Greetings from Pend Oreille

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Veteran Member
Aug 10, 2015
Vessel Name
Mary Elyse
Vessel Make
1964 Boston Whaler Eastport
Just joined. We're a couple in our 50's who are transitioning from a pontoon-style houseboat (now that the kids are gone) to a more appropriate boat. Pend Oreille is a big lake with occasional big water, so we believe a 35-40 foot trawler would be perfect for us as we cruise into our dotage.

Initial question: we are both tall people (I am 6'6" and my wife is just under 6'); any particular trawler style/manufacturer accommodate height better than others?

Looking forward to many [STRIKE]wasted[/STRIKE] happy hours browsing this forum!

Toby Carlson
Hope, Idaho
Welcome to the forum. DeFever tend to have more headroom but the smallest is about 41 feet if I recall. Headroom is normally a fairly easy hurdle, bed length tends to be an issue sometimes for taller boaters. I'm sure others taller than my comparatively diminutive 5-10 will be along soon with better feedback.
Toby, welcome to TF. I'm sorry that I can't shed any light on a trawler with headroom but I will say that you live in a gorgeous area of Idaho. We were up on Lake PO last year with our 13' Whaler and cruised from Bayview to Sand Point and back.

Very pretty area. Are you planning on keeping the trawler on PO?
Would that be Lake pond o ray! Beautiful place to be. Headroom on a Grand Banks is about 6'2" max but sleeping room is much larger in the v birth. Good luck!
Ya mean like this one that's parked next to the Sundancer outside the Submarine shed in Bayview?


I took that last year when we were up there.
Welcome aboard

my salon ceiling is 6'5" so would not be comfortable for you I would think
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Our "utility boat" is a 1964 Whaler Eastport, a perfect small boat for that lake. A trip from Bayview to Sandpoint and back in a 13' Whaler is quite a feat.
Oh!!! You're killing me, Mike! I absolutely love that lake. We used to stay at the hotel and ride the water taxi to the golf course's famous island hole just to get out on the lake. One of my funniest radio engagements with Air Traffic Control was when we were working with Spokane Approach Control while working some local airports.

I knew a couple of AT controllers and asked for them on the radio. Neither were working, but it started a dialog about the people working there and the local area. Before you knew it, I was offered a ride with an AT Controller who was out on the water with his boat on the lake! I couldn't say yes fast enough.

It turned out to be a great day on the water! The whole crew contributed to the expenses and had a great time. Beyond that, I'm sworn to secrecy!

All I can say is that I LOVE that lake!
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You hit it on a good day for sure, Mike. To be able to motor from Bayview to Sandpoint and back in a 13' boat is not a common situation. Very often the lake can be calm at one end and stormy 25 miles away in another part of the lake. And to answer your (much earlier) question, yes, our plan is to put a trawler on the lake. Both of us grew up on this lake and have had small aluminum boats, sailboats, our current elderly Whaler and a 40 pontoon-style houseboat, and we're ready for a boat with a little more gravitas. It's a big deep lake and it can get nasty -- not ocean-nasty, certainly, or even really Puget Sound-nasty -- but lots of wind and waves, enough that more than once I've wished for something a little bigger and stouter under me. The lake is certainly large enough and uncrowded enough to accommodate it.

Maybe I should buy a Portland boat, cruise to Lewiston and truck it to Bayview from there.....
If you do buy a Portland boat and cruise it to Lewiston you'll be coming right through our neck of the woods and it would be worth the first round to meet you two.

FYI, at the marina at Bayview there was an Ocean Alexander that was styled more like a trawler than a traditional OA. We met the owner of the boat while poking around at the marina before our trip.

He said he'd only taken his boat up to Sandpoint one time a few years prior and had no problems but hadn't done it since. To say he was surprised that we were going to do it in the Whaler would be an understatement.

IMHO, most people (boaters included) tend to operate only in their comfort zone. They don't often reach out beyond that because then they get uncomfortable. So they stay with what's safe.

I grew up on Lake Huron where we used to take a friend's 15' boat out in 3'-4' waves. Everyone around there did it and thought nothing of it. Around here, when the wind picks up a bit and waves get to 1', everyone clears off the water. Again, it's all about one's comfort zone.

I always watch the weather for a few days before we go out so I know what to expect. Granted, the unexpected can happen, but on a lake like PO you're usually within 1/2 mile of shore and can find a protected cove fairly easily.
I agree with you about the tendency to stay within one's comfort zone. Three times we've taken our elderly Whaler to the salt, once in an abortive attempt to cross the strait to Victoria from Anacortes (three tries, wind/waves just two much), once to Telegraph Cove on the Johnstone Straits (had incredible whale/orca interaction) and a third time for a week on Cortes Island. Each time I spent most of the trip wondering if I was crazy to take such a tiny boat onto such big water, but we absolutely had a fantastic experience each time, and for different, unforeseen reasons. It's one reason I love boating: it should be an adventure.

I hope to get down your way some day. Maybe tow the Whaler down and try for one of those Hanford Reach kings!
Do you mean one of these that my wife caught up in the Reach?


There are a lot of fish running right now and a lot of boats out there fishing for them. We have too much stuff on our plates right now to be out there with them, but hopefully in the next week or so we'll be out there.
Yes, one exactly like that. We have big trout in our lake, but nothing to compare to that fish! I assume you fish from your Whaler?
Not yet. My Galley Wench (her choice of titles, not mine) wants to but we just have too much crap going on right now to take a day on the river.

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