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37' Diesel Trawler, Former Commercial Fisher - Bellingham, Washington

The friendliest place on the web for anyone who enjoys boating.
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.


Senior Member
Oct 19, 2017
United States
Vessel Name
Vessel Make
37' converted gillnetter/crabber

Kingfisher is a 37-foot cold-molded commercial fishing boat that has been converted into a pleasure yacht. She was built in 1976 in Sechelt, BC by Bob Hadden, who built a half-dozen such vessels. The designer is unknown, but her lines strongly resemble the Roughwater series by Ed Monk. She has a nicely flared bow, a lovely sheer, and a saucy tumblehome in her graceful stern. 10.5 foot beam with a 4-foot draft. The cold-molded hull is comprised of alternating cedar strips in epoxy, light, strong and bombproof, it's as waterproof as a fiberglass boat. She's a strongly-built fishing boat, definitely not a dainty yacht, but full of the character of a boat built to work.

There is a double vee berth forward in a private owners' cabin that also features a lavatory. The galley-up design is light and airy, with a dinette that can convert to a single berth. She has pressure hot and cold water, and our favorite thing, the diesel range. Local fishermen would literally light the range in September and let it run continuously through May, and that's exactly what the liveaboard who owned it before us did. It gives off delightful dry heat and makes winter boating a joy. For hot summer weather there's a propane barbecue and single burner on the cockpit rail. From the wheelhouse/galley it's a step down to the rear cabin, which includes the head with shower and freshwater flush toilet. There's also a built-in futon sofa that pulls out into a double bed. The covered rear cockpit allows comfortable 4-season use and includes the rear helm. The inflatable dinghy lives up top with the commercial rigging allowing it to be easily launched over the side. The hinged swim platform allows her to legally berth in a 36-foot slip. Her size and layout allow a comfortable extended cruise for a couple or a week's adventure for 2 couples or a family. Tankage is as follows: 200 gallons of diesel in 2 tanks (over 500 nm range). 150 gallons of fresh water in 2 tanks. 35 gallon black water tank with both deck pumpout and macerator. 10 gallon header tank for diesel stove. 11 gallon hot water heater (heated off engine or 110v). She has enormous storage capacity, more than enough to bring all the dry goods, canned/packaged food, and spares you'd need for a trip to Alaska. Put a freezer in the cockpit, as the previous owner had, and you'd be able to bring a summer's worth of frozen food with you...or bring home a freezer full of fish & crab.

We bought her in Canada and brought her home in a gale. The boat is much, much hardier than her captain! Powered by the legendary Ford Lehman diesel, she sips diesel. She has a wonderful dry stack and keel cooler. Aft cockpit helm station makes picking up a mooring buoy so easy, even when singlehanding. We've put a lot of work into her, rewiring the cabin, new nav and work lights, a new hard top on the cockpit, rebuilding and hinging the swim platform, new bottom paint, new transducers, new fish finder, new GPS plotter/depth finder, new electronic compass, new VHF radio and antenna, new handheld VHF, new mooring bitts, new dock lines, new anchor, chain and rode with custom anchor pulpit, new radar reflector and anchor light, new bilge pumps, lots of new plumbing, new pump-out connection, and a new conversion of her rudder to a fishtail design for amazing maneuverability. She carries a spare anchor & chain, plenty of spare lines, and a spare prop. Her VHF is also a GPS and AIS receiver; we used this data to run Coastal Explorer on a laptop, giving total redundancy for both nav/plotting as well as depth.

We've also done a lot of refinishing. The bottom was new last fall and is in excellent condition. She's an old commercial fishing boat and we've finished her to that standard; this is NOT a shiny yacht! I would rather use the boat than fiddle with varnish, so all exterior varnish was stripped and painted. There is plenty more work left to do. The inboard faces of the bulwarks are partially stripped and need finishing. The cabin has been partially refinished but needs to be sanded & painted. She could use new window blinds as they're starting to wear out. Her house battery bank of 6 golf cart batteries is nearing end of life but still functional. The 2 starting batteries are strong. The battery charger/inverter works great. The Lehman diesel runs beautifully and burns no oil, though it could use re-sealing at some point to keep the bilge a bit cleaner. In the pictures, note that the old cockpit canvas is gone, replaced with a hard top. Also note that all external varnish has been stripped and painted.

This is the painful part. I had a spinal injury at work a few years ago and haven't been able to enjoy her very much. I had to hire out the bottom painting, something that I've always done myself. Working on refinishing the cabin is now impossible for me due to nerve damage. We've continued to enjoy our "waterfront cabin" by having dinner and sleeping aboard, but can't take her on trips much anymore. I've lost the balance that made it easy to hop into the dinghy or across to the dock, and can't crawl around in her bilge or do much heavy work. It's heartbreaking for me to see her just sitting in her slip, and, after many tears, my wife and I are very reluctantly letting her go. The price reflects that this solid, dependable boat, which is 100% ready to go on a trip right now, needs continued work. The boat comes with an enormous collection of paper charts in addition to the electronic ones, which are current. She is fully legal with respect to all USCG requirements and all safety gear will go with her. She meets the requirements of the insurance company, as well, and enjoys inexpensive insurance through Boats US.

Of course, almost everything in life is fully negotiable. With full asking price we will include a LOT of extras. This will include the 10-foot RIB dinghy and Suzuki outboard, which runs perfectly and has a nifty oil injection system so that you don't have to pre-mix the gas and oil. It planes effortlessly with 2 adults. We'll also include a new 560 amp-hour lithium battery bank that I built to replace the aging house batteries. This includes a new smart inverter/battery charger that does programmable lithium profiles, a DC-DC charger to allow charging from the alternator without frying it AND includes an MPPT solar charger (I built the hard dodger over the cockpit to take solar panels), additional remote control panels, shunts, fuses, etc., all the tools aboard, a licensed copy of Coastal Explorer navigation software (which is by far the cheapest way to get Canadian electronic charts), 2 survival suits, and 2 sets of high-end Musto foul weather gear, which originally cost $800 each.

We have put a lot of work into her, focusing on essential systems, legal compliance, safety, redundancy, etc. We're also realistic and understand that we'll never recoup our costs, but we gained immeasurable enjoyment and learned a great deal. We got part-way through the cosmetics, but won't be able to continue, so are hoping to pass her on to someone willing to tackle the simple (but too much for me!) work that she needs. We'll happily show her to serious buyers with cash available.




















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Dang if that boat was in Alaska I would be on my way to see you. It looks like way more boat than the asking price reflects.
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