American Tugs for non-owners, post 2: Deciding on a specific model

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sjisailor

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In the first post of this series I outlined how and why we decided on an American Tug boat. I also explained why I hope this series will unlock a bit of the mystery around these boats. (So much discussion is only available on the confirmed owners' forum.) That post is: American Tug for non-owners, post 1: Deciding on an AT

In this second post, I'll briefly describe available models, and why we chose the one we did.

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AT currently makes 5 models (well, really 4 as I'll note). They are built one-at-a-time by hand in La Conner, Washington, currently around 8-10 per year. A brief rundown and description of the models is:

AT 365 (LOA 36.5'). Their most popular boat by far. The 365 is an update to the venerable AT 34 model. It has 1 stateroom and 1 head. I believe there are around 200 of the 34/365 model built since 2000.

AT 362 (LOA 36.5'). This is a variation on the 365 that adds a second berth. The berth is tight and more like a half-berth, slipped under the pilothouse. IMO, it could sleep one person or 2 kids.

AT 395 (LOA 41.5'). This adds 5 feet to the 365 model, giving a larger salon and cockpit, plus a full size second stateroom. Overall it is extremely similar in layout to a Nordic Tug 37/40 (the AT 395 s a few inches larger all around). The 395 has 1 head, and either 1 or 2 staterooms. (There also has been one that was custom ordered to have 1.5 heads, accomplished by shrinking the second stateroom.)

AT 435 (LOA 43.6'). This is their second most popular model and is an evolution of the predecessor AT 41. It is much larger than the 365 all around, especially in the height and beam. Although it is only 2' longer than the 395, it is also 2' wider. It has a U-shaped galley, a substantially larger master berth (positioned mid-ship) and a second head.

AT 485 (LOA 48.6'). Same as the 435 but adding 5' in length, which gives room for a dinette area and a larger cockpit. They are not currently manufacturing the 485, and given the overlap with Kadey-Krogen (AT's new owners), I imagine they won't make any more for a long time if ever. There have been a couple of one-off variations like a "51" and maybe a "525", if I recall the numbering correctly.

Every model is available with an optional flybridge. Most East Coast boats get a flybridge; most West Coast boats [primarily PNW] do not.

===

What did we choose? We wanted 2 staterooms, so that eliminated the 365. The second stateroom in the 362 was smaller than we wanted, eliminating it. The 485 is larger than we wanted or needed.

That left the 395 and 435 in consideration. Our cruising is typically two people, for which both models are good. I do a fair amount single-handing, especially because we have two slips, and IMO single handing should be easier on the 395. Because the 435 is higher, it is more difficult to get on and off from the pilothouse. The 435 is heavier and would be much more difficult to move around by hand (e.g., walking her up a dock).

We think the 395 has good looks that are well-proportioned for length vs. beam. Other models of AT seem a bit "squatty" in their looks in our opinion (although the width is wonderful on the inside). Also, we have chartered an NT 37 and were happy with it; and it is very similar in size to a 395. In choosing the 395 vs the 435, I recall the old adage to "get the smallest boat that meets your mission". All of that argues for the 395.

Some of the options on the 395 include a larger Cummins engine (we got that), a crane (we didn't), a washing machine (we did but in a unique location), electric vs. propane stove, diesel or reverse cycle heat (west coast/east coast), various electronics options, and air conditioning of various sizes. I'll say more about some of those choices in future posts.

In the end, we ended up contracting for an AT 395. Who know, someday we might move to a 435. Many AT owners go up and down in size among the models. The most recent 395 to sell used supposedly was because the owners decided to move up to a Kadey-Krogan.

Anyway, as I mentioned in the first thread, the key is to get the boat that works for you. One thing that really helped us decide was prior charter experience with a very similar boat. More soon, and I hope these posts will be helpful to someone down the way. Cheers!
 
Hello SJISailor,

Congratulations on having a new American Tug under construction!

As the guy who started the American Tug Owners Group (ATOG) in 2018 in the wake of an earlier group was in the process of closing down, I can tell you that it was not my intention to deny membership to people like you who have signed a contract to build an AT and have a boat under construction. I doubt that's the present owner/moderator's policy either.

So I recommend that you reach out to the current moderator of the group and ask to be a member. You can apply at this link but you may wish to reach out directly to the moderator, David Hamre at dhamre430@gmail.com

ATOG is a robust,active group with lots of give and take. Here are the opening paragraphs from its homepage:

The American Tug Owners Group (ATOG) is for owners of American Tug yachts, and we believe that over 80% of the world's American Tug owners are members of the group. Our membership includes American Tug owners, former owners, AT builder TOMCO Marine Group’s owners, specially invited guests, and other members of the American Tug family.

ATOG is a free, non-commercial forum where owners, new and old, can connect with other owners and learn more about their own ATs. Our focus is serving as a members’ clearinghouse for ideas, opinions, advice, counsel, and personal experiences, and for the exchange of information involving all things American Tug, including but not limited to coastal cruising, seamanship, anchoring and ground tackle, navigation, AT yacht systems, boatkeeping, electronics, engines, transmissions, generators, other equipment, maintenance, repairs, upgrades and improvements, living aboard, weather, and other subjects of particular interest to those of us who own and cruise aboard American Tug yachts.

If you're looking for answers or help in solving a problem, you'll find it easy to use this group to connect with other owners and have your questions answered. When posting a question, be specific--and please be sure to include your tug's model and hull number, homeport or geographical location, and anything else pertinent to your questions. More detail will bring you better answers! Another excellent resource is ATOG's Files and Photos archives which have been moved over from the previous BigTent group, go back several years, and are easily searchable using Groups.io's Search feature.

Good luck,

Milt Baker, American Tug 34064 Bluewater V
Founding moderator, ATOG

 
Hello SJISailor,

Congratulations on having a new American Tug under construction!

As the guy who started the American Tug Owners Group (ATOG) in 2018 in the wake of an earlier group was in the process of closing down, I can tell you that it was not my intention to deny membership to people like you who have signed a contract to build an AT and have a boat under construction. I doubt that's the present owner/moderator's policy either.

So I recommend that you reach out to the current moderator of the group and ask to be a member. You can apply at this link but you may wish to reach out directly to the moderator, David Hamre at dhamre430@gmail.com

ATOG is a robust,active group with lots of give and take. Here are the opening paragraphs from its homepage:

The American Tug Owners Group (ATOG) is for owners of American Tug yachts, and we believe that over 80% of the world's American Tug owners are members of the group. Our membership includes American Tug owners, former owners, AT builder TOMCO Marine Group’s owners, specially invited guests, and other members of the American Tug family.

ATOG is a free, non-commercial forum where owners, new and old, can connect with other owners and learn more about their own ATs. Our focus is serving as a members’ clearinghouse for ideas, opinions, advice, counsel, and personal experiences, and for the exchange of information involving all things American Tug, including but not limited to coastal cruising, seamanship, anchoring and ground tackle, navigation, AT yacht systems, boatkeeping, electronics, engines, transmissions, generators, other equipment, maintenance, repairs, upgrades and improvements, living aboard, weather, and other subjects of particular interest to those of us who own and cruise aboard American Tug yachts.

If you're looking for answers or help in solving a problem, you'll find it easy to use this group to connect with other owners and have your questions answered. When posting a question, be specific--and please be sure to include your tug's model and hull number, homeport or geographical location, and anything else pertinent to your questions. More detail will bring you better answers! Another excellent resource is ATOG's Files and Photos archives which have been moved over from the previous BigTent group, go back several years, and are easily searchable using Groups.io's Search feature.

Good luck,

Milt Baker, American Tug 34064 Bluewater V
Founding moderator, ATOG


Hi Milt, thank you for everything you've done for the AT community over many years! I am indeed a member of ATOG and it is valuable. As you note, folks can join there after they have a contract and hull number assigned. And I did, and am not looking to replace that.

Rather, I hope the threads might help folks who are earlier in the process. I noted in this prior post that much information is "locked up" in ATOG. That is not a complaint. It is perfectly reasonable and makes sense for owners ... and yet it can also be a frustration for shoppers. There is not much publicly available for non-owners. I hope only to add to that, for folks not yet decided.

Best wishes there and I love reading your ATOG posts! :)
 
Once again I think your comments/conclusions are spot on. Our ideal boat would be a 395 single state room. At our advanced age it doesn't make sent to upgrade from our perfectly adequate 34-109
 

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