Hello everyone

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


Aug 17, 2014
Vessel Name
RP Trainee
Vessel Make
Olympic 1800
Been reading the forum for some time and finally joined. I'm looking for information on cruising the inside passage. From what kind of trawler would work good (40 to 60k range). Just my wife, me and one 13 yo son. And of course the dog and my sons let rabbit. I spent 10 years cruising SE Alaska in 40 foot Bayliner and flying around in my 182. But I have never been thru the inside passage and I want to share it with my son.

What size of boat would be good. I like simple, slow and basic. I have a year to prepare and want to purchase now so we can get familiar with it and outfit it for our needs before we go. Any words of wisdom from those that have been? It's been 15 years since I have captained a large boat. But I have been brushing up on navigation and have been reading books on the passage. I want to be safe and a boat that is safe and reliable. So any thoughts would be appreciated.

Thank you!
Welcome aboard. Huge question you ask really re type of boat. Basically any well-kept and well set up trawler style boat in the 40 - 50' length would do if sailed conservatively, I suspect. As to a specific vessel.. An older, well-proven Nordhavn 46 springs to mind...
The notion that a big boat is needed for this journey is not correct. We know of people who've done it in boats as small as a 22-foot C-Dory. A couple in our club just downsized from a Krogen 42 to a Camano Troll (technically, 28 feet) and they are embarking on the same journeys up the coast they used to do in the Krogen.

The only make of boat I am really familiar with are Grand Banks. For two people, the GB32 makes a great cruiser and countless numbers of them have done the Inside Passage with ease.

But for a couple with a kid, a better choice would be a GB36 tri-cabin. This gives the couple the aft cabin and the kid the forward cabin, complete with its own head, and a nice big patch of neutral ground in between.

With regards to pets, in the 16 years we've owned our GB36 we've always had a dog (50 pounds or so) and for two of those years we had two dogs of the the same breed. It was not a problem at all.

One of our more frequent guests is a fellow I worked with in television in Hawaii and his wife who moved here from Oahu a few years ago. They have a dog, too, a larger one than ours, but on the cruises we've taken with them, some of them a week or two, having the two dogs on board was no problem.

Grand Banks boats of all sizes, from 32 feet to 52 feet, are ideal boats for cruising these inside and coastal waters and on up to SE Alaska. One of the features we like best about GBs is they have full walk-around main decks that are wide enough to actually be usable. As far as we're concerned, a full walk-around main deck is an essential feature for a boat in this area. Other people feel differently, but we would never buy a boat without one. Particularly if we were going to boat with a dog.

My wife and I have made the Inside Passage journey many, many times in the floatplane, but we've not done it by boat. We bought the boat we have right now with the idea of someday making that run by water. However, our thinking has changed somewhat in recent years, and our interests now lie more in the area between Campbell River and Rivers Inlet/Hakai Strait. We've explored the area north of that extensively by plane so we know what it looks like. We're finding that we are more drawn to "the jungles" as the myriad of islands between Campbell River and Queen Charlotte Strait used to be known.

There are, of course, all sorts of makes of boat that can easily make the Inside Passage journey. Tollycrafts, Nordic Tugs, Bayliners, CHBs, and Island Gypsys are some of the boat makes that come to mind that can often be found in your stated budget.

Or you can save your money and take your son on the Alaska State ferry from Bellingham to Juneau.:)
Last edited:
1982 Mainship I Power Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

Wrong coast. Do east coast, go through the lakes as far west as possible then truck her. Still under budget. 2006 Cummins..all throughout re done, replaced or renewed. Better in most ways than in 1982. Had her in 10-12 tight seas, never took a breath, great sea boat. 2 gallons an hour @ 7-8 knots, top 15+.
Almost any boat will do it

Bayliner 3288 / 3988 ia another good choice. Since you've are ready owned a 40' Bayliner you know there is a good market for these as well when you want to unload it. I did the trip in a 28' ft Cierra Sunbridge All the way up the inside to Glacier Bay and down most of the outside to Prince Rupert and back to Everett. My only complaint was lack of range with the 110 gallons of fuel on the 28. A used Sea Sport or Osprey with added range of their large fuel tanks and in some cases diesel power would be another option.
There are a bunch of places up there you can charter all sizes and shapes of boats. Gets you on the water now, and will lead to making the right choice for you when you buy. You may well find it cheaper and much less stressful than buying, owning and maintaining unless you plan on boating full time.
Thanks for the replies! I've flown the passage many times but want to slow down and see what's under the trees. We took the ferry a couple times transporting goods for work and enjoyed it except I wanted to stop and see things better. No matter how I begged, the captain wouldn't stop for me :)

I havnt enjoyed chartering to much. Seems like your not at home and can't set things up the way I want. Maybe it's the control freak in me. And I want my son to get some experience. For the last few years we have traveled to western US with a fifth wheel for vacations. Want to enjoy something different since I live on puget sound. Long term I was thinking of leaving it based somewhere along the passage where we can just fly up Friday nights and putz around for the weekends.

Looking at a 79 37 foot hershine puget sound trawler. Anyone have any thoughts on this boat?
Looking at a 79 37 foot hershine puget sound trawler. Anyone have any thoughts on this boat?

These are one of a category of boats often called "Taiwan Trawlers." They include a large variety of brand names, including CHB, Puget Trawler, and so forth.

One thing these brands can have in common is spotty quality within the brand due to the way these boats were manufactured, with the hulls made by the main yard being farmed out to smaller boatyards for completion. The smaller yards sometimes used different manufacturing techniques and materials than the other yards, which meant the boats going out under a specific brand could differ in quality even though they were externally identical.

What this means is that it's very important with these boats to get a thorough survey done by a surveyor who is very familiar with the brand and knows what to look for in terms of existing or potential trouble spots. It's the best way to avoid getting a boat that looks great, but has serious problems under the skin.
How would one find a good surveyor? Someone that you can trust to look her over from top to bottom and not just state the obvious? And I would assume you would want her surveyed out of the water? Who generally pays for the haul out, buyer or seller? Or is it negotiable? What are the typical costs of a survey?
Best way to find a good surveyor is to ask in the local area, and ask people who not connected with the sale of the boat you're interested in. Ask other boat owners, boatyards, etc. This forum can be a useful resource if there are people on it from the area you're looking in.

Surveys are usually conducted with the boat in the water and then hauled out for the second part of the survey. Or if the boat's already out the exterior hull and running gear survey is done and then the boat is launched for the rest of it. It's smart, I think, to get both a hull/systems survey and an engine survey. This usually means two surveyors, as most surveyors specialize in one or the other.

The buyer usually pays for the survey(s). After all, it's the buyer's responsibility to make sure the boat is what he's expecting it to be, not the seller's.

And be wary of past surveys offered up by the seller as "evidence" of a good boat. Have your own survey(s) conducted to make sure you're getting an honest, objective opinion.

As to cost, I don't know what a comprehensive survey costs these days. Less than a thousand dollars I would assume. But it will depend on who the surveyor is. As with everything else, you tend to get what you pay for.

If you are totally new to the boat-buying thing, it might prove helpful to enlist the help of a broker. A "buyers broker" is what this is called. The trick here, as with surveyors, is to find a really good one who will look out for your interests without a hidden agenda. We used one, and it proved to be a very smart decision on our part as we were totally new to this kind of thing. But the fellow we used, who is still a broker and has also become a good friend, may be a somewhat rare bird, I don't know. But he did a great job for us, and other people who've used him have had the same experience.
Last edited:
Thanks! Every bit of wisdom helps. So a question I am sure will generate as much controversy as ford vs chevy. (Although we all know deep down that Dodge rules!).

I've seen them with dual gas engines and dual diesel and single diesel. Since I like to be alone when out, I'm thinking twin engines best so I don't get stranded somewhere. What's the main factors on gas vs diesel. Seems gas is twice as fast but is operational costs like fuel and repairs that much different?
Basically, diesels are much more economical (in cruising boats), much more longer-lived, simpler, safer, a lot heavier, much more expensive, and smell better. Gasoline engines are faster, a lot cheaper, lighter, less efficient, shorter-lived, potentially dangerous, and stink.
Top Bottom