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Bucket List Item

While many of us have numerous bucket list items we are often shy or hesitant to discuss them. Possibly this short post will help a few share their list. Today I accomplished one of those smaller items, I took out the GIG Harbor and spent a couple of hours rowing. It was a perfect day for rowing with very little wind, mirror like waters and temperatures in mid 70's. It just doest get much better (thanks San Diego).

At first I wasn't sure what to expect since I haven't rowed a boat since I was nine or ten years of age. The guys at GH didn't lie when they said the boats are built to glide thru the water. One stroke and I was flying. It really didn't matter how hard I rowed the boat would travel at its relative hull speed. She handled a few small wakes like a pro and we didn't slow down. I was amazed how effortlessly the boat is to row. When I was done I was not sore or tired and felt great. I found rowing to be a peaceful way to get around the harbor and was even able to listen to some music on my iphone. This is one great tender that offers a lot and receives lots of compliments.

Time for the next bucket list item.....
 

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Now see, that there is nice, I don't care who you are. [emoji41]
Really.
 
Very nice, John!

"It didn't take long to figure out I failed to open the built in fuel tank air vent thus starved the engine of air. "

I forget to open my generator or OB fuel tank vent almost annually...maybe more regular than I ought to! But, technically, you didn't starve the engine of air. You staved it of fuel.
 
I forgot to open the vent on my dingy, 40 HP Honda with 15 gallon plastic tank. Motor ran fine, it just sucked the fuel it wanted anyway. Eventually I thought i should check to see how much fuel was left, and when I lifted the seat I found a tank collapsed to less then half its original size. Releasing the vent didn't help much. So I pulled the tank out and sat it in the noonday sun for a bit with the vent closed. I had to do it for a few days in the hottest part of the day, but eventually the tank returned to its proper shape without any damage.
 
While many of us have numerous bucket list items we are often shy or hesitant to discuss them. Possibly this short post will help a few share their list. .

Why don't you start a thread on bucket lists? If you do, please specify if you want only boating related items or anything.
 
Looks like the perfect boat, right size, layout, etc. Congrats 0 Good Luck.
 
Your Navigator is much prettier than mine. That wood is beautiful. I went with the bare utilitarian fiberglass.
 
Your Navigator is much prettier than mine. That wood is beautiful. I went with the bare utilitarian fiberglass.

I like both versions. One for aesthetic appreciation ( and cringe at maintenance) and the other for simple utilitarian appeal. Either way, cool boats.
 
Learning Process

One thing about boating is the never ending learning process and all that goes with it. When we decided to build the Gig Harbor and use it as tender we knew the boat design was primarily a rowing / sailing boat with a well designed hull form. That being said I still struggled with understanding how a little 2.5hp OB could push us and boat along. Well after a month of using the boat I can can honestly report I have over powered the boat. Even with both of us aboard the boat requires only about 15% of power to push us along at 5 knots. In fact she rows effortlessly at the same speed and we both have come to appreciate the quietness of not using engine. The exercise factor of rowing is an added benefit I was looking for and working out well.

We are so impressed with this little boat we have decided to take it to next level and learn to sail with her. The " no engine " experience has struck a nerve with us and something we want to explore further. Only problem is we can not add the sail rig to this boat and would need to build a new boat. So, if anyone is interested in one month old work of art at a great price, drop me a line.

John
 
Overnight Trip

We decided a trip to Ensenada, Mexico (70 miles south) would have to wait a little longer so instead we headed up the coast 35 miles to a little harbor in Oceanside, Ca. We had perfect weather with a slight breeze and mixed 1-3 foot swells at 10 seconds. Run time including the hour it takes from the marina to around Point Loma was about five hours. Despite the swells hitting us on our port side we found the smooth motion of the hull tolerable and never needed to change our heading. Even Sailor blue got into the rhythm after a while.

We spent the afternoon checking out the marina and had lunch at Rockin Lobster before heading back to boat for a margarita. We had dinner at another restaurant then settled in for the night. It was a rough night with four large (over 250lbs) sea lions fighting all night for space on an adjacent dock which kept SB barking all night.

We left Oceanside at 0800hrs and found ourselves in slightly larger swells (2-4foot) but still spaced far enough apart that the ride was fine. Heading south usually provides a better ride with the swells pushing us from behind. This time they were more on our quarter stern so we encountered some roll but nothing we couldn't tolerate. We spent a good hour up on the flybridge enjoying the sun and views. Rounding Point Loma always brings a confused sea so we finished the trip in the comfortable PH and followed a Navy Destroyer into the harbor.

A few observations:
Average RPM was 1750
Average GPH was 4.4
Average speed was 8.3knots
Total run time about 11 hours

The motion of the boat is what I expected and very very soft. She handles the swell from behind much better than our Nordhavn 40 which would squat down. I'm not exactly sure why the better handling since both hull shapes aft are similar, possibly the heavier weight of the N40? I like the clean entry into head seas with a slight cut before the water starts to part along the hull sides. Unless you have owned a Nordhavn 40 with its very wide hull carried forward you may not get this point. The size of this boat is perfect for us, small enough to single handle and large enough to take on a coastal run even with a little weather. The noise level underway is very low and we can talk all day without even thinking about raising our voices. One nice thing about the digital engine data screen is that it keeps me aware of how the engine is doing without an ER check. That can also be a bad thing in that I found myself thinking " I can skip an ER check this hour" before reminding myself instruments don't tell the entire story. So I kept up my tradition of visiting the ER every hour through the ER door while Mary kept watch from the PH. There's nothing like checking the engine and confirming all sounds, smells and visuals are good while underway.

That's all for this post.
 
we found the smooth motion of the hull tolerable

we encountered some roll but nothing we couldn't tolerate. .

You used the word "tolerable" and "tolerate" coming and going. I would have hoped for "comfortable" so bringing this up just for a bit more of your definition. Was it "enjoyable?" Or did you at any point think perhaps stabilizers would have been nice? I just think of "tolerable" as something one can put up with but not a very positive word. Hoping it's just a poor choice of words or a misinterpretation on my part.
 
Ride Comfort

You used the word "tolerable" and "tolerate" coming and going. I would have hoped for "comfortable" so bringing this up just for a bit more of your definition. Was it "enjoyable?" Or did you at any point think perhaps stabilizers would have been nice? I just think of "tolerable" as something one can put up with but not a very positive word. Hoping it's just a poor choice of words or a misinterpretation on my part.

Grew catch, thanks. Possibly due to writing this post in the early morning I didn't use the best description. Comfortable is a much better description of the ride. Tolerable is not something in Mary's vocabulary and if she would have proofread tho it would have been caught. As i mentioned many times prior"this is an amazing hull". While stabilization would add to the ride (in a beam sea) I think the 30 owners ahead of us (including two Nordhavn owners) felt the same and didn't add stabilization. You really don't need them if you can handle a little side to side motion in certain conditions. This reminds me of the recent article about a Kadey Krogen 44 owner who crossed at the Atlantic ocean without stabilizers. Now that's pushing it for us but does show what people are willing to do and find "tolerable".

Another point I should have made was that during the entire time we were underway we never had anything fall down from the swells,Mary cooked on the stove and we enjoyed great breakfasts and a lunch without even thinking about it. Just another observation of cruising along "comfortably" at 8knots this hull provides.

John
 
Much better, John. I was just afraid there had been less than wonderful. Great to know you're enjoying it just the way it is.
 
those are very nice fuel consumption numbers, John. What percent of the time do you find yourself outside at the upper helm station? What size sea state sends you back down to the pilothouse in your Helmsman?
 
Sea Conditions

those are very nice fuel consumption numbers, John. What percent of the time do you find yourself outside at the upper helm station? What size sea state sends you back down to the pilothouse in your Helmsman?

I actually stressed over the fuel consumption numbers when I knew we cruise all DAT 1400rpm at around 7 - 7.5 knots and only burn 2gph. Amazing the price you pay for an extra knot but its nice to have the option.

As with our other boats we spend less than 10% of our time up top. A nice thing about the low profile PH is the FB is lower thus less rolling in similar conditions. We took 3' swells at about 10 seconds and felt comfortable the entire time.
 
Great to get this feedback.

We are among the H 38 owners who have tested the windows and can report no problems with the windows. On three occasions we have been able to put the nose through a wave and take solid water to the windscreen. Solid green water. The first time we were caught in a squall at the mouth of the Choptank. It got so rough I just pointed her into the seas and held position till it blew over. The waves were so large that when we went off the top, as the bow fell into the trough the engine hatch would open a crack and then close with a bang. The waves were very short and we hit a set where the result was inevitable: we submerged the bow. It had been a warm day so one side door was open, When we submerged the bow we took a slug of water into the pilot house and into the salon. WE knew better, but had forgotten to close the door As the boat was falling the binocs lifted off the dash board and landed on the keyboard of the navigation computer and broke three keys. The GHJ were never right after that. The other two times we put the bow into waves and took solid water, we were at the mouth of the Potomac. That is a particularly nasty area with a well deserved reputation. In all cases, the boat performed well, it was no reflection on the boat at all, we were out in so seriously rough water. Cristina and I are known for that. WE are not fair weather sailors and will take our 38 out in weather that most other boaters don't venture into. We have no intention of crossing open oceans, but as far as coastal exploration, we are adventurous.
 
Running at higher RPM

Last weekend we decided to take the boat for a few hours and enjoy lunch off the coastline. Little did we know it was a major sail boat race weekend with numerous different racese all over bay and inlet. It didn't matter where we turned we were faced with boats coming from different directions. Even as we headed straight out the inlet we found ourselves in the middle of the "big" boats racing towards open waters. This was the first time I really appreciated the little extra speed the boat offers. I honestly believe it was a deciding factor in avoiding one potential incident when two sailboats came towards us from different directions and care we were on a direct course inside the channel.

A few observations that day included the very limited squatting of the stern when we increased RPM and excellent handling characteristics. Very unlike our previous boat. Fuel burn to speed ratio does off the chart above 1700 RPM. Noise level even at 2400 rpm was very acceptable and Mary didn't even comment. Overall great experience.
 
How many hours have you put on since you bought it?
 
Engine Hours

How many hours have you put on since you bought it?

We only have 80 hours on the Cummins 380hp. It has turned out to be a great engine and I would select Cummins again. We did over power the boat with the 380hp. I selected the larger engine for currents when we run the IWC but I don't think we need this much power. We plan to 80 miles in the ocean to Ensenada, Mexico over Thanksgiving and will play more with RPM / Speed / Fuel Burn to dial in the "sweet spot". I really appreciate the computer instrument display, its light years ahead of what we had with Lugger engines on the Nordhavn's.
 
Sea Magazine

Anyone on the west coast may enjoy reading the Helmsman 38E boat test in the October issue of Sea Magazine. While the article was written for our boat the photos used are from a stock boat. Overall a great review by the publisher.
 
Davit

After a longer than planned wait we finally received word our new custom designed davit is complete and ready for shipment to SD. We contracted with a local yard to receive the pallet of pieces which will be installed over a couple of days with the boat remaining in the water. I'm not looking forward to having people aboard but hopefully things will go smooth and no damage will occur.

I'm leaning towards the removable soft chocks for the boat to rest on since it will be in the water more than up top.
 
Hi John,

Would you mind posting some before and after pictures with your story on this project, please? I want to learn from you as we will need to deal with this issue on the next boat.

Thanks!
 
Just to throw my 2 bits in... I own a 38 here in Seattle and use the soft chocks and can't say enough good things about them. With the hard permanent type i envisioned stubbed or broken toes, grand kids tripping etc. With these I just kick them to the corner when not in use and have a nice open fly-bridge deck. If they made taller ones I would have bought them just to get the dinghy up off the deck a little higher.
I tag the bow of the dinghy down around the davit post and the transom to the rails on the port side but honestly even in rough water I have never noticed any movement of the dinghy that may be a concern to some folks.
 
Davit

We have not posted in awhile due to getting ready for the next phase in our lifes. More about later but I wanted to say we finally got the davit scheduled for installation on 11/21. I couldn't believe the yard was booked for a month solid. Once the davit is installed I will post a few photos.

It's great to see all the new posts from new owners.
 
We have not posted in awhile due to getting ready for the next phase in our lifes. More about later but I wanted to say we finally got the davit scheduled for installation on 11/21. I couldn't believe the yard was booked for a month solid. Once the davit is installed I will post a few photos.

It's great to see all the new posts from new owners.

Hi N4061,

There is a N40 a couple of slips down from me. It's an impressive boat but so is the Helmsman! I finally sold my Carver C34 and I just got back from Bellingham, Washington. I went up to look at my new NP45 and to bring up some additional electronics. The boat finally came in from China. I've been waiting since January and it was supposedly almost done then! It will be up there for a couple of months getting commissioned.

I took it for a test drive and was surprised at the rattle of the cummins 355 at a couple of RPM ranges. Trevor said that he had the Cummins Rep came out and took it for a test run. The Rep said that it was common with the new engines. Going from one RPM range to another there would be a harmonic rumble that would go away when the next range was reached. This happens in a couple of places. I forget the RPM range. Did you notice that with yours?

You're in SF aren't you? I will eventually be home based in Redwood City, West Point Harbor. I hope to see you sometime.

Cheers and congratulations on your new Helmsman.
 
I took it for a test drive and was surprised at the rattle of the cummins 355 at a couple of RPM ranges. Trevor said that he had the Cummins Rep came out and took it for a test run. The Rep said that it was common with the new engines.

Doesn't sound right to me, but if the theory is that it will go away once you get a few hours on it, I would document the boat mfgrs warranty that they will fix if it doesn't. Otherwise, you may hear, "well, you should have had Cummins fix it sooner -- too late now."
 
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