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Old 06-18-2020, 10:34 PM   #1
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Older say Nordhavn or newer North Pacific/Helsman

Got me thinking the other day. Looking towards the retirement boat. We'll be coastal cruising, enough along the Westcoast to keep us busy and busy for a very very long time. Heck we could spend a few years from the San Juans to everything in-between AK. Would you rather have a solid ocean going heavily built boat such as a Nordy or would you prefer something new or newer such as a North Pacific. I realize that that is trying to compare say an apple to an orange. However, the cost would be fairly equal. One thing I don't see getting much enjoyment as I age is tracking down problems, tinkering and fixing broken issues. Some of that of course comes with any ownership. What say you?
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Old 06-18-2020, 11:12 PM   #2
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My thoughts are that a boat that is more comfortable in a larg sea state will allow you to travel on more days.

That said, being retired who cares if you are “stuck” in port in a Coastal Cruiser.

I would buy the MOST comfortable boat for you and your traveling companion as #1 priority. Whatever that boat is, that is the one to buy.

Cruising up and down a coast you will realistically probably be actually cruising one day a week at the most. The other six days you will be living on a boat.

Chose the most live aboard friendly boat you can get, and stay in port on snotty days.

If that thought process leads you to a Nordhavn, then Fantastic, buy one. If it leads you to a North Pacific, buy that, but never forget that when you are living on a boat for any significant length of time, live aboard comfort is paramount.
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Old 06-18-2020, 11:26 PM   #3
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Bshillam,

Good question.

I agree with your first response from ksanders.

You probably won’t need an offshore boat as most of us will stay in, or head in, if the wx gets bad. Similar with the fuel capacity, everything being discussed has enough range.

We have looked closely at the Helmsman and it is a very impressive boat. After the initial commissioning details, it would hopefully be years before any major services, new canvas or soft goods, or new electronics.

I think new sounds nice, if you are OK with the depreciation and exit strategy (resale). I am fairly confident you could spend as much as that depreciation refitting an older Nordhavn.
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Old 06-18-2020, 11:30 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ksanders View Post
My thoughts are that a boat that is more comfortable in a larg sea state will allow you to travel on more days.

That said, being retired who cares if you are “stuck” in port in a Coastal Cruiser.

I would buy the MOST comfortable boat for you and your traveling companion as #1 priority. Whatever that boat is, that is the one to buy.

Cruising up and down a coast you will realistically probably be actually cruising one day a week at the most. The other six days you will be living on a boat.

Chose the most live aboard friendly boat you can get, and stay in port on snotty days.

If that thought process leads you to a Nordhavn, then Fantastic, buy one. If it leads you to a North Pacific, buy that, but never forget that when you are living on a boat for any significant length of time, live aboard comfort is paramount.

Great advice indeed. I like that thought. Plan is to cruise 6 months out of the year and be land bound the other six. We're considering wintering somewhere other than the PNW.
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Old 06-19-2020, 01:22 AM   #5
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For west coast coastal cruising you have a lot of options depending on budget. Tolly 53/57/60+. Ocean Alexander. Nordic Tug. American Tug. Selene. Seahorse. Etc. New or used. The list of options goes on and on. My recommendation is to shop brokers first. Really dig. A good broker will help refine your needs and wants and get you to the right boat. No boat is trouble free. Get good bones, invest in establishing a documented baseline and the ENJOY!
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Old 06-19-2020, 02:12 AM   #6
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While I really like the quality of the Nordhavns, they are not as spacious as some others. If your goal isn’t crossing oceans then I would go with the roomier boat. NPs seem to well though of on the forum, so I would probably go that way.
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Old 06-19-2020, 05:31 AM   #7
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Bshillam
On any vessel access to all systems weighs in heavily for us, especially as we and the boat age. Visit the ER, rudder, water, fuel, electrical, instruments, plumbing, windlass etc areas to assess the ease of inevitable repairs.

A full size washer and dryer is a nicety as is storage and lots of it. Ns have great dock access, a mere step off that once into your 70s becomes a must to many. There are several good choices beyond the vessels you've noted. Boat shows, dock walking and a few trips to AK on your present vessel will answer a lot of questions.

Heading to Mexico opens a different door or two in not only vessel equipment such as redundancy, mechanical skills, good AC and water makers but linguistic skills and social awareness as well.

There is no one answer. Many vessels have done what you contemplate. Owner experience and desires cannot easily be answered by strangers on the Internet. Oh, then the budget.
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Old 06-19-2020, 06:16 AM   #8
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You will probably lose less money in a used boat in good condition with relatively fresh electronics than a new one. Stabilizers come to mind - probably $40k add on to new build but more or less expected in resale market, at least for nordhavn. By the time you're done with fabrics, dinghy, outboard, crane, HVAC, and upgrades to electronics and do-dads, I'd guess a new build has well over $100k in additional expense, little of which will be recovered at resale (and that estimate may be way low). Plus a used boat is available now.

Some thoughts depend on which Nordhavn and which NP/Helmsman you are considering. The N40 is an incredible little boat for its size. The N47 was not my favorite (I delivered several of each from Dana Point to PNW). I've never been aboard a NP/Helmsman but it looks like a nice layout (though Helmsman has an odd day-head layout that seems like wasted space, but maybe that disappears when aboard) with a decent engine room space, though does not compare with the more-or-less standing headroom of the Nordhavn line. The older Nordhavn mostly came with Luggers, and all Nordhavn are equipped with wing engines which is a plus on both accounts.

Financially, I think you'd work out better with trying to resell a Nordhavn than most any other brand let alone a NP/Helmsman. Personally, assuming the NP (or Helmsman) is as nice as it appears to be, I'd lean towards either for the trip you're contemplating. I personally like full-width salons and can live without side decks. Some folks prefer side-decks.

Good luck

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Old 06-19-2020, 09:41 AM   #9
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What Ksanders said.
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Old 06-19-2020, 09:44 AM   #10
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If you want twins, there aren't many choices.
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Old 06-19-2020, 09:53 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ksanders;890891......being retired who cares if you are “stuck” in port in a Coastal Cruiser......[B
I would buy the MOST comfortable boat for you and your traveling companion as #1 priority.[/B] Whatever that boat is, that is the one to buy.......Choose the most live aboard friendly boat you can get, and stay in port on snotty days......
never forget that when you are living on a boat for any significant length of time, live aboard comfort is paramount.
My thoughts exactly!
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Old 06-19-2020, 09:57 AM   #12
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Getting back to the OP? What has been your cruising experience with your Navigator, and why is it not a candidate for your long term vessel? Based on your cruising experience, what have you learned is most important to you and yours? Knowing those things, then the group may be able to come up with some better suggestions on what to look at.

Sunchaser makes some great points, particularly when it comes to piloting and maintenance ergonomics. Age of the hull is not much of a determining factor at all. It's all the systems installed inside the hull that cost money, time and effort (and various degrees of agility) to maintain and replace. An older boat with recently updated or overhauled systems may well be a better value than a "newer" one that has not.
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Old 06-19-2020, 10:01 AM   #13
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Quote:
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While I really like the quality of the Nordhavns, they are not as spacious as some others. If your goal isn’t crossing oceans then I would go with the roomier boat.
I agree with the above but I would add a "roomier stand-up ER & twins."
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Old 06-19-2020, 11:18 AM   #14
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If you want twins, there aren't many choices.
If one assumes a get home, all Ns are twins as well as many Selenes. The new kid on the block, the N41 has twins. Plenty of choices and no absolutes fit the OPs post.

Add to the list, well found vessels like Hatteras, DeFever, Cheoy Lee, Grand Banks and many more. Calteflex's thought is correct, why not a Navigator?
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Old 06-19-2020, 11:50 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by caltexflanc View Post
Getting back to the OP? What has been your cruising experience with your Navigator, and why is it not a candidate for your long term vessel?
Great question it's a 97 and access will become a problem. I'd prefer to be able to walk into an ER to maintain systems. Long term such as batteries, oil changes, zincs, filters, and such. I'd also like a larger salon. Something closer to 50-60. The Gator has a nice salon and for us a bit larger of a cockpit than necessary. I'd like more salon space than cockpit. Ideally I would be looking to something as a resale that has most of the systems I would like to see.

Just starting the process, more thinking at this stage. About five years from now I'll get serious. In the mean time it's improving the systems on the current boat, making cosmetic upgrades, catching up on some delayed maintenance and such. The Gator is working well for us now and might just into retirement but I'd like something a bit heavier and over all larger for long term living.
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Old 06-19-2020, 12:47 PM   #16
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Although I would love a Nordhavn or KK of any vintage, I guess, for you, I would go with a newer boat.

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Old 06-19-2020, 02:09 PM   #17
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Lieutenant Colonel Alastair Edward Henry Worsley MBE

I haven't seen MBE show up in anything I've read for a long time. My dad had an MBE and Mention in Dispatch from WW 2 (Italian campaign - the first real D day for the invasion of Europe by Allied troops).
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Old 06-19-2020, 04:54 PM   #18
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One thing to consider is how long you expect to be away from the dock. This will vary from boat to boat with the longer range boats having more redundancy and capacity.

Things like
Dual generators
Dual domestic water pumps
Dual water heaters
Water and waste tank capacity
Water Maker
Storage and refrigeration capacity.
Trash compactor
Dual anchors.
etc.

You don't need most of them but for example not having domestic water available shuts down the fun part of cruising pretty quickly.
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Old 06-19-2020, 06:09 PM   #19
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J hall
Hundreds if not thousands of vessels ply the waters annually from Oregon to AK lacking most of the items on your list. No problem finding shore stops to deal with fluid fills, stores and general maintenance assistance.

By all means carry spare parts for wear items. Two things to remember though, spotty cell phone service and no tow boat assistance. You're often on your own, a real treat for most of us.
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Old 06-19-2020, 06:09 PM   #20
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I'm with you 100% on the accessibility thing. We used to charter a beautiful GB 49 Classic up through the San Juans and Gulf Islands, and another beauty, a GB 49MY in SW Florida, and one of many things I loved about them was the standup engine room and sensible positioning and layout of systems.

The old definition of cruising holds true "Fixing your boat in exotic places".

When it came time for us to buy a boat to live onboard and cruise full time for several years (well, about 6, but that was up from the "plan" to do it for two) those values and many others made the must have list. The old Hatteras 53' + Motoryachts (and the new/newer ones too, actually) had great walk-in (two doors each) engine rooms one for each engine on each side of the companionway to the aft stateroom and extremely well thought out system design and layout. We ended up with a 56 and loved it, maybe loved it too much.
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