Inexperienced new guy seeking answers

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The single versus twin argument is a constant thread here and I hate to start it here, but I have to say that if fed clean fuel -- at least three filters between the tank and the engine -- diesels are highly reliable. Both Morning Light and Fintry are singles -- we crossed the Atlantic in Fintry.


Unless the boat has heavy, expensive, drag producing, skegs under twin screws -- I don't know of any stock boats that do -- I believe that twins are actually less reliable because the props and rudders are vulnerable to almost anything in the water. A well protected single is a better bet and with some experience is just as maneuverable.


Jim


Sweetwater -- Swan 57 sloop on which we circumnavigated 1995-98
Fintry -- x Royal Navy Fleet Tender -- owned 2003-2022 18,000 miles including trans-Atlantic The Fleet Tender Fintry
Morning Light -- Webbers Cove 42 single screw trawler 2021- 23
?? Going back to sailing after Morning Light is sold.


Thanks, Jim. Your input has boosted my confidence significantly. I suppose, within my budget, a single engine would be a better choice. I hope I can embark on an Atlantic crossing someday, just like you did.
 
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Power is good choice if your wife prefers. A 36-37’ Tri cabin would fit your family well. A well maintained one (requires searching) would be well within your budget. However, your monthly costs seem a bit light. Where we are (one of the lower priced marinas in BC and here moorage and insurance will likely cost you $7,000-8,000.standard maintenance with few upgrades I would expect to be $6,000 to $10,000 depending upon condition (could be higher). Single leman 120 is a good motor simple to maintain. Good luck. Just do it.
FYI, I am retired now and spend 6 months of the year floating.
Thanks, Riff. Choosing between power and sail is a challenging decision. I think we all need to attend a yacht show next year; it might help my wife determine her preferred style. Yes, our monthly budget is quite tight, at least for the first 1-2 years. Do you think the maintenance and upgrade cost would be lower on a sailboat? I envy your has the option to stay on the boat for 6 months; my wife is dealing with that Chinook headache and really wants to stay elsewhere. That's one of the reasons we're considering owning a boat.
 
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For cruising the PNW a sailboat is inferior. Very little wind on average, sitting in the rain while you motor, and then not seeing much scenery through small portholes after anchoring. Traveling under power in a boat is not as aesthetic or interesting as sail but the reality is that most traveling is done under power. Sail is best only for long passages or daysailing, not for cruising.

The same is true for Mexico and the Med. People do sail from island to island in the Caribbean due to the trade-winds but that is the exception.

I recommend you buy a modest trawler for your cruising and also a small trailerable daysailer for doing some racing with your kids, when you might have some breeze.
Thank you for your response, but having two boats is too much for us. We already have two cars, one tractor, and one RV – too many toys to take care of, LOL. I wish I could combine them all into one big transformer.
 
She does not like the diesel smell in the sailboat, or the tight headroom.

Tight headroom may be "fixable" by shopping for various boats and layouts.

Diesel odor often means there's something wrong, needs fixing.

-Chris
 
Thanks, Riff. Choosing between power and sail is a challenging decision. I think we all need to attend a yacht show next year; it might help my wife determine her preferred style. Yes, our monthly budget is quite tight, at least for the first 1-2 years. Do you think the maintenance and upgrade cost would be lower on a sailboat? I envy your has the option to stay on the boat for 6 months; my wife is dealing with that Chinook headache and really wants to stay elsewhere. That's one of the reasons we're considering owning a boat.
When you are young, the choice is more difficult between sail and power. Sail is more work but a bit more interesting. Wish I had known then what I know now.
First off, this is not your last boat and you likely will not at least initially, be traveling far distances because of your monthly budget. So, your first question is where and how far from shore and infrastructure do you really intend to be with kids?
There is little doubt in my mind that with a $12k budget that i would buy a 36 to under 40' single diesel low speed trawler boat as the lowest cost for the maximum amount of room and wait on the Caribbean.
1.) You need a longer sailboat for the same amount of room. 2.) With a sailboat you are maintaining two power system, engine and sail with sails being the more expensive to maintain. 3.) Actual condition and safety is much more difficult to to access, with more potential surprises on a sailboat.

The choice is entirely yours to make. I followed my heart and paid a lot for my education. I will bet that most passionate long term boaters here did the same.
 
Thanks, Ken. Our plan is to sail in the Mediterranean with the first boat if it is capable and our finances allow. Our monthly maintenance budget is not fixed, but we aim to keep it low for the first 1-2 years. I have confidence that I can generate some extra income from investments or rental income. I do not want to purchase the boat at our final destination; instead, I prefer to keep it in British Columbia so we can use it frequently while the kids are young. When the kids are young, long flights are challenging for us, but we'll it later when the kids are ready for longer flights.
My suggestion of Bluewater sail is based on the info given of wanting to make long open passages not coastal cruising. While I am "not quite right", I would not try to take my GB36 across to the Med.
 
Costs and thoughts

1.) in the PNW I would be budgeting 60,000-75,000 can. For boat budget if trawler. Don’t buy el cheapo fixer upper - you don’t have time and your family will not like sitting at the marina while you fix boat. That will happen enough anyway with new “to you boat”.
2.) forget taking first boat long distances. You don’t know what you don’t know. Buy something to get your feet wet. Find out what you like. Boat shows and advice is only worth so much.
3.) go power. Get your family enjoying lifestyle, Many opportunities to go sailing on what will become new friends in the marina.
 
Thanks, David. A Grand Bank 36 seems like a very good choice for me to start with. The only concern is the single engine, but I guess as long as I stay close to the coast, it should be fine. I'll definitely upgrade to a better one when I gain more experience and make more money! LOL

I had a 1973 GB 36 with twin lehman 120s It was the perfect first cruising boat. We did the loop on it with my wife, kid, and dog.
 
For cruising the PNW a sailboat is inferior. Very little wind on average, sitting in the rain while you motor, and then not seeing much scenery through small portholes after anchoring. Traveling under power in a boat is not as aesthetic or interesting as sail but the reality is that most traveling is done under power. Sail is best only for long passages or daysailing, not for cruising.

The same is true for Mexico and the Med. People do sail from island to island in the Caribbean due to the trade-winds but that is the exception.

I recommend you buy a modest trawler for your cruising and also a small trailerable daysailer for doing some racing with your kids, when you might have some breeze.

I can't reinforce this enough. I am a lifelong sailor and my daughter started with Opti's, windsurfing, and we now race catamarans. That said, you simply can not beat a trawler for cruising primarily for the to points made here. The experience is simply superior. I still love sailing but for cruising, unless a sailboat is the absolute only way you can pull it off due to finances and distance, I would pick a trawler. And I did.
 
First of all. Find a slip to keep your dream boat in. Go to the wharfingers office, shake their hand and get on a list. Maybe bring a nice bottle of Scotch with you. (Much cheaper in Alberta, BTW.) I would consider Comox or Powell River. Two places you can readily get to by WestJet from Calgary without having or renting a car or an expensive taxi ride to get to your boat. Not far from Desolation Sound and the Discovery Islands. Will save you days of transit and money from a boat in Victoria or Vancouver. Consider Campbell River too. Or look where any other place Pacific Coastal flies.

Now is actually a good time to come out, rent a car and visit the different harbours and boat yards to entice the dream. A lot of boats are for sale that aren't listed in classifieds yet. Just a FSBO sign and phone number on the boat.

Unusual to Americans (which is most of this forum), but people in BC often list boats on Craigslist, Used Victoria, and Kijiji. Let's face it, a 100,000 boat is the same price as many pickup trucks in Calgary. Western Canadians are less litigious than Americans, and the buying and selling of boats is still not the semi-criminal act it appears to be in the States.

I think you could buy a Taiwanese trawler or a heavy safe cruising sailboat (Hans Christian 33) using this method.

I'll keep an eye out...
 
Just some examples that you won't find listed with a broker. BC also has a lot of old fishboat hulls that were made into trawlers. Some of the fiberglass hulls are incredibly tough and seaworthy. Just not as yacht inside.



https://www.kijiji.ca/v-powerboat-m...ster/1983-custom-33-diesel-trawler/1664738410

https://www.kijiji.ca/v-powerboat-m...langley/1973-pelagic-sedan-trawler/1673590624

https://www.kijiji.ca/v-sailboat/victoria-bc/1984-lm-30-pilothouse-sloop-made-in-denmark/1663715357

https://www.kijiji.ca/v-sailboat/vancouver/coastal-cruiser-or-liveaboard/1669848479


https://www.kijiji.ca/v-powerboat-m...-phil-barron-surveyed-hauled-07-23/1661771778.

(a wood hull which I wouldn't recommend to a first time boatowner, but boy, what a boat)
 
Hi everyone, I just wanted to express my gratitude for your awesome advice. It's packed with experience and smarts, and it's shifted my focus to trawlers by a whopping 95%! I'm putting the brakes on Mediterranean cruising idea for now and diving headfirst into learning and enjoying the NWP region. I won't be replying to each of you individually, but I've got some follow-up questions to toss out there:

Besides the Grand Banks 36, are there any other affordable and tough models you think I should check out? The GB 36 might be a tad cozy for the four of us and our big dog.

Should I sort out moorage before getting my hands on a trawler? Not sure if it's cool to chat with the marina about it before officially owning the boat.

I've noticed that there's a bigger boat selection in Washington, US. Is it doable to buy a boat there and keep it stateside rather than in BC, Canada? Although, my basic Google sleuthing hints that moorage might cost a bit more in the US.
 
Giving up the Med for now is probably a good idea. Two different worlds. I've never been there but it seems a different type of boat, or at least a boat outitted differently, is needed.

Best way to tell if a GB 36 or any boat will work for you is go get aboard with all four of you. Gather in the main areas and imagine all being there eating meals, pass the time on cold rainy evening. As far as a GB being affordable I'm not sure that's true. Seems to me they sell for a premium when compared to a Taiwanese trawler of similar size and accomdations.

It is perfectly OK to talk to a marina before owning a boat. In Washington State that is sound advice. Slips are in short supply and waiting lists are long. If you want to keep a boat in Washington get on any and every waiting list for marinas that interest you. Just ask if you can pay for and keep the slip without a boat in it. Explain the reasons. I had to do it. I see others doing it.

I think you're right that moorage is more expensive in Washington than Canada. Yes, some Canadians keep their US owned boats in the US. I can't advise on the legal and regulatory aspect of doing that, maybe some Canadians here can. I think Pt Roberts has a number of Canadians doing that. Do keep in mind that covid closed the Canada / US border. I think we're done with Covid border closings but who knows what may come in the future.
 
Now that you have taken the Med off your list, and will be coastal cruising, I will second the purchase of a trawler.
Whichever make you choose, I would recommend 40' range for 4 people. 36' would be too cramped IMHO.
Single or twin? I prefer a single for ease of maintenance simply because I can get around the whole engine easily. Trying to get around twins can result in abrasions in different places.
 
Chris -

Have you or your wife read "A Prairie Chicken Goes to Sea"? IIRC, the author, Margot Wood (wife of Charles Wood, creator of the formerly well-loved Charlie's Charts), was born and grew up in Alberta.

https://www.landfallnavigation.com/a-prairie-chicken-goes-to-sea.html

Regarding potential boats for long term cruising in the PNW, I've always thought the older Nauticat motorsailers (early to late '80s models) were perfect hybrids of power and sail. There's a long standing derision in both the power and sail communities for motorsailers, with the primary complaint being they don't do either one particularly well. But all the Nauticat owners I've ever talked to LOVE their boats. Yes, here in the PNW they are most often under power. But they have the ability to sail "not too bad". Obviously they aren't made for racing, but if you have favorable conditions to cross the Strait of Georgia under sail they're great. They can also, properly equipped and maintained, cross oceans.

Plus, with a proper pilothouse, they are way more spacious, bright and open than typical sailboats. I've owned two pilothouse sailboats here in the PNW, and if we ever went back to sail we would absolutely own a pilothouse model. I'm a big fan of the Nauticat 44 in particular, but if it were just my wife and I, I'd be perfectly happy with a Nauticat 33.

This N44 has actually done a circumnavigation:

https://www.yachtworld.com/yacht/1984-nauticat-44-8075154/

And here's a new 38 just listed in Vancouver:

https://www.yachtworld.com/yacht/1986-nauticat-38-pilothouse-9067838/
 
Hello everyone! I really appreciate all your valuable advice. I've been scouting Kijiji, and it seems there aren't many options for larger boats. As for the motorsailer, I'm not entirely sure if I'll love it, but I'll definitely hop on one to check it out. I've also started looking at slips, and one sailboat caught my eye. It has assumable moorage in Point Roberts, and you can find the details here: https://www.yachtworld.com/yacht/1991-hunter-legend-43-9063740/.

The price is pretty attractive, and my wife is somewhat okay with the layout. We're thinking about checking it out next week.

I'd love to hear your opinions and any advice you might have. Do you have any recommendations for a good surveyor I can hire?

Best regards!
 
Had I stayed with sailboats, the Hunter, that Hunter would have been my next boat. Chartered a 41 years ago and had it on my radar ever since.
This one must have travelled a lot with 5936 hours on the engine, that may be the weak point, the rest looks great.

Unless things have changed, insist it be brought into Canada anchored or in a berth before making an offer. Notice it says no American buyers while in US waters. But as I recall a Canadian buyer or seller in the US pays a tax to Wahington state on a Canadian flagged boat.
 
Had I stayed with sailboats, the Hunter, that Hunter would have been my next boat. Chartered a 41 years ago and had it on my radar ever since.
This one must have travelled a lot with 5936 hours on the engine, that may be the weak point, the rest looks great.

Unless things have changed, insist it be brought into Canada anchored or in a berth before making an offer. Notice it says no American buyers while in US waters. But as I recall a Canadian buyer or seller in the US pays a tax to Wahington state on a Canadian flagged boat.
They are nice boats. I delivered a 44-ish center cockpit hunter from San Francisco to Ventura CA. Decent sailboat, and comfortable living space. A cousin of mine has sailed an older Hunter 40-ish for 25 years and still loves it. And he's an excellent carpenter and mechanic (ex-small engine aircraft mechanic).

Peter

Peter
 
https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/1178392053120000/

1974 Monk roughwater 35

After 18 years of good times with our boat we have decided to sell our 1974 Roughwater35 "Foggy Bottom"
It comes with Transferable moorage. Hauled out Oct. ‘22, new zincs & bottom paint
Ed Monk designed fibreglass full keel hull. Sleeps six
LOA: 35’9”, Beam: 11’5”, Draft: 3’4”, Displacement: 19,000 lbs
Single Diesel Engine: 6 cyl, 165 HP Ford Lehman, uses less than 2 gals/hour
Engine Hours: 3547 Fuel Tanks: 170 gals
New Rudder, Prop & Shaft Log

Garmin GPS Depth Sounder/Fish Finder, Furuno Radar, Ritchie Compass, Horizon VHF radio

Xantrex Inverter/Charger 1000W, Xantrex Battery Monitor, 6 Gallon Hot Water Tank

4 new 6 volt house batteries, 1- 4D size Starter Battery

1 Head with Electric Flush Toilet with 25 Gallon Hold Tank

Galley: New 12V Fridge, Origo Oven & Coooktop, Microwave, large ceramic sink

Lofrans Windlass with Helm & Deck control and Delta & Danforth anchors

Full Protective winter cover.
 

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Greetings,
Mr. NS. Shows REALLY well BUT pictures of the ER would/will tell the tale. 165 HP Lehman? Turbo charged?


Mr. C1. To me, that sailboat would be like living in a cave and piloting outside in all kinds of weather. MUCH, MUCH better option would be the one Mr. NS. posted. Lower price, TRANSFERABLE moorage.


The Monk is the one to look at.
 
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Greetings,
Mr. NS. Shows REALLY well BUT pictures of the ER would/will tell the tale. 165 HP Lehman? Turbo charged?


Mr. C1. To me, that sailboat would be like living in a cave and piloting outside in all kinds of weather. MUCH, MUCH better option would be the one Mr. NS. posted. Lower price, TRANSFERABLE moorage.


The Monk is the one to look at.

Early Mainship 34s had the 165 hp turbocharged Lehman.
 
Chris
If you are considering blue water cruising. / sailing I'd suggest looking for copies of "Flirting with Mermaids" and "Sailing a Serious Ocean" both by John Kretchmer a recognized blue water sailor that has logged 9ver 300,000 miles on the world's oceans. They are interesting reads even if you never take on the blue water challenges.
Best of luck with your aspirations.
 
Chris,
I am not trying to be negative, I only want you to have the best possible experience.
Look for permanent moorage well before you make a purchase, but after you determine the approx. size of boat you will be considering. For boats much above 40 feet (some marinas allow a small "overhang", so for example a 43 foot boat MAY be allowed in a 40 foot slip?), the number of slips set aside for these larger boats is smaller (in number) so may be harder to find an opening. Several marinas in this area have long wait lists.
Your "budget" for operating and maintenance is very small. In Nanaimo where I live, you can expect to pay $8000 (maybe more) per year just for moorage and insurance. Even travelling at trawler speeds and burning a relatively small 2 gallons per hour to go approx. 7 nautical miles per hour, will cost approx. $1500 per year to run for 100 hours (not an excessive amount per year). If you are not capable of doing most to all of the repairs and maintenance yourself, you will spend at least $100 per hour for marine workers. This adds up very, very quickly. Neglected maintenance, (if you can't do it or afford it; or if you buy a boat that has not been well maintained) can lead quickly to expensive and UNTIMELY repairs.
From my experience, the only way you could hope to make your budget for this, is DYI, which may add another steep learning curve (however, not insurmountable).
When I bought Pilitak (approx. 16 years old at the time), which had been very well maintained, we spent an additional $35,000 (plus) in the first year, replacing old, tired components, adding items we felt were necessary and/or desired to make the boat work best for us. Older boats will require updates, improvements, deferred maintenance, etc. that will be costs to be aware of.
As far as older trawlers, I strongly advise you to avoid any boats that are wooden hulled; or have screwed down teak decks; or lots of exterior woodwork. Wooden hulls are a separate issue, the other 2 items tend to require extensive maintenance (at least in time). These decks can end up leaking (badly) causing lots of potentially expensive damage.
BC waters are fantastic for cruising and will offer years of great experiences for you and your family. Get trained/educated on boating, there is much more to it than some people think, and knowledge and skill will greatly increase your odds of having many safe trips. I have much more I could say on this topic, having cruised this area for years in both a Nordic Tug and a Bavaria sailboat. If interested, send me a PM with your email, and we can converse further.

Good luck
 
Yeah, I agree!

Before you buy the boat make sure you have an affordable place to keep it. I paid double slip rent for 4 months just to reserve my spot at a nice (but affordable) place. By affordable I mean half the price of the fancy places. On an annual basis that would be five grand a year (in savings), so it's real dough.
 
Thanks, yes, I plan to have that kind of course online before purchasing my first vessel. :)

An online class is ok, but I strongly suggest an actual class taught by either the Coast Guard Aux or the US Power Squadron. I promise, you will get a lot more out of it.
After taking the safety class (both you and your wife) follow up with the Seamanship class both organizations offer. Well worth the time and effort. And after that look at other classes offered, piloting, navigation and others.
 
+1 for Chuck34
"An online class is ok, but I strongly suggest an actual class taught by either the Coast Guard Aux or the US Power Squadron. I promise, you will get a lot more out of it. "

Many USPS clubs (now America's Boating Club) offer on the water sessions for many of their courses providing a real hands on opportunity to practice some of those skills.
The volunteer instructors and participants provide an instant network of folks with common interests that's difficult / impossible to duplicate online b e.
 
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