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Senior Member
Sep 19, 2019
Vessel Name
'Au Kai (Ocean Traveler)
Vessel Make
C-Dory 25
I am a new member, so I thought I'd intro myself. I have been a "lurker" for a while but finally decided it was time to become official. I work in LE in the Seattle area and my wife is an operating-room registered nurse. I was born/raised in Hawai'i, hence the "local" boy reference.

My wife and I currently own a 25' C-Dory and reside in WA State. Being working stiffs, we mainly boat in the Salish Sea (Puget Sound) up into B.C. We have had the boat for 10 yrs and it has suited us well, but with my retirement approaching (in less than 3 yrs) we are contemplating our boating future. We are considering moving up to a part-time live-aboard in the PNW. One possibility is we would live on it mainly from May thru August and then head down to AZ for the remainder. The 25 is too small for our needs should this come to fruition. It is a very good boat. Solid, dry, capable, safe. It has taken us to Desolation Sound from Bellingham and to Predeaux Haven...but it is very basic. Very. Water, ice, fuel are it's limitations and luxury is non-existent. Although we are pretty low maintenance we don't wish to live this way for months at a time.

As a result, I've been looking, dreaming, researching and considering the pros/cons of such a decision. We want a trawler with a fly bridge, if possible. A complete galley with oven and decent sized refer/freezer and an island bed. The island bed is the killer. Many boats we have researched have full beds against a bulkhead or the hull. Nope. And the V-berth is out as our primary sleeping arrangement. Since this will be a part-time live-aboard, we want it to be as "house-like" (is that a word?) as possible yet within our budget. A second berth (V-berth) is not a requirement and I'd take salon space over it. But again, we have to stay within a fixed budget and I have not seen anything that fits under 40'. Also, NO TEAK DECKS!

We would love a GB 42 Classic but price and teak decks are a deal breaker. I have looked at a few of the "Taiwan trawlers" with mixed feelings; most don't have a queen island bed. My research has led me to a Monk 36. It seems to meet most of our wants/needs and will not break the budget. I saw one in Winter Cove, BC and it peeked my interest.

I'm leery of the complexities/myriad systems involved vs the simplicity of our C-Dory, but I'm relatively handy. I'm no pro mechanic, but I did all our basic maintenance on the Dory (outboard powered) and added several systems the boat did not have like a solar system, radar, VHF radios, up-dated battery relay, diesel heater etc. That said, I know almost nothing about diesel engines, except basic maintenance (we have a 3/4 ton Ford).

So, I'll be a lurking, reading, dreaming... I have already learned much from you all; heads are a big talking point I've seen...that and anchors.:rofl: And as the search and decisions proceed, I'm sure I'll have many, many questions.

Aloha & mahalo,

Mark & Meredith

Lake Stevens, WA
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Welcome! We bought a 2003 Monk 36 in 2008. We took delivery in Annapolis and brought her back home to Louisiana. Since then we have made several trips to Florida including to the Keys and back up via Miami and Lake Okeechobee. It has been a very good boat, our previous boat was a Camano 31 also very well made.
I was born in Hawaii also, in Hakalau.
Mark, welcome to TF from an old retired WA cop (LEOFF I!). I have one question for you: Without wanting to piss off any of the wonderful trawler owners on here, why are you limiting your search to trawlers.

Some of the things you want (fly bridge, no teak decks, etc.) you can find on other designs and that opens up your search to lots of other brands.

Also, when you're talking about going to AZ, do you have any areas in mind? We go down to Sun City West in the winter months and love it. Senior community, no kids so no schools so no school taxes, tons of activities, nearby lakes, and housing costs aren't bad.

Welcome aboard. We have a 41’ President aft cabin sundeck. It has an island queen in the aft cabin, 2 cabins, 2 heads and a flybridge. We do have teak decks but only on the covered sundeck. However I wish they were just glass. One of the must haves for us was no built in furniture in the salon. We both have had back problems and sitting in built in seating for hours just does not work for us. Another must was no vertical ladders. We have a dog and we are both getting older and 7’ tall vertical ladders don’t work. We wanted steps. We do have a 3 step ladder from the sundeck to the bridge that I modified so the dog can go up and down. Good luck in your search.
We bought a 2003 Monk 36...
Love it. I'd like some pics/specs of your boat. I'm seeing various layouts and power options. One I saw had a co-pilot seat but at the cost of (salon) dinette room. That dinette got small in a hurry.

I was born in Hawaii also, in Hakalau.
Ah, the Hamakua Coast. Nice area. I grew up in Honolulu and it is now a big city with big city problems. I'd love to retire there but I still have not won the lottery.
Last edited: old retired WA cop (LEOFF I!).
Congrats. You made it. LEOFF I. Even better. I'm obviously LEOFF II. 20 plus years here and about 4 back home. Three more and I'm free at last! Let's just say the job has "changed"...

...why are you limiting your search to trawlers.
Fuel efficiency, mainly. I also love the "salty look" and the visibility/openness. My brother has had sailboats and I despised the feeling of being in a cave, down below. I also dislike the gopher in a hole thing; popping up to look around. If I'm missing something or misinterpreting what a trawler is, please school me.
... when you're talking about going to AZ, do you have any areas in mind?
We are considering the Oracle area. We have found a really nice 55 and over that suits us. Gated, nice homes, amenities, golf course, pools...yada, yada. The wife is slowly coming around but has family here, so we are not "all in"...yet.
Love my pilothouse.


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Hi Mark,
I thought I'd check in, as we went through the same thought process 10 years ago. We had a 25 C- Dory that we bought new in 2003. It was our first powerboat and we loved it. We took it all over the NW but because of work couldn't spend more than two weeks at a time cruising.

I started thinking about a bigger
boat around 2007. I spent two years thinking about and looking for our next boat. It was hard because we really liked our C- Dory.

I think your decision process sounds good so far, and I like the Monk 36.

My advice would be to take some time deciding what you really want in a larger boat. The boat we bought in 2009 was very different from the boat I originally thought we needed. Consider chartering a boat that is similar to what you want. It might seem expensive, but might be less expensive than purchasing the wrong boat.
Mark - Welcome aboard!

The Monk 36 is a great boat/design in terms of what you're looking for. I did a video on one in Bellingham about 15 years ago. If I can find it I'll upload it to our YouTube channel.

And although you indicated the v-berth is out, there are some boats with walk arounds in the forward stateroom, such as the Nordic Tug 32. Here's a video I made around the same time as the Monk:

And there are actually quite a few older Taiwan Trawlers with walk around queens. Many of the Ocean Alexanders we looked at had lovely aft cabins that felt "house-like". Even some CHBs had the layout you are looking for. Though across the border, this one is not too far from you:

Have fun in your search!
Since you are local, so to speak, to the Salish Sea, pay attention to the sea keeping abilities of your said choice. For example, I love the looks of a Grand Banks, almost got one, but I know they roll easy in a disgruntled sea. Since you will be more out and about and you know what the Strait of Georgia can be like, look for a boat design that will handle those kinds of waters better than a Grand Bank. I don't know if "comfortable" is the right word, but your said beloved boat should be able to cruise reasonably comfortable in a 25 knot Salish Sea.
Mark, welcome aboard. There are several "Brats" here. ��
We are doing the eastern version of your dream, live on our Mainship on the Niagara River late May to mid September, then down to Florida where we have a condo. Boat stays on the hard in NY. We have been doing this for 4 years now and our Mainship ticks all the boxes you are looking at. They are american built like your C Dory and perfect for the live aboard lifestyle and cruising.

As mentioned above, there are other types of boats to consider, especially if your cruising plans are mostly local. Carvers come to mind, although most have alot of up and down steps, you can't beat the layouts for roominess. A houseboat could also be a consideration.

Good luck with your search and future life aboard!

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