Click for JetForums Click for Nordhavn Click for Cross Click for Lurssen Click for Lurssen

Family looking for 1st Trawler

Discussion in 'General Trawler Discussion' started by oubeta, Mar 9, 2021.

  1. oubeta

    oubeta New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2021
    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    OKLAHOMA
    OK where to start.
    My wife and I have had a dream to sail around the world for years now. Recently we started making steps to make it happen. We have 4 young boys, so a sailboat big enough to hold all of us (and grandparents for a few legs) is probably more than my wife and I want to take on without a crew, so we have decided a trawler would be the best option for us.
    I recently put our airplane up for sale and it sold quicker than expected. We are wanting to put this money into a trawler and hopefully be trained up and ready to roll in a year or so.
    We have bareboat chartered a mainship in the Abaco's and Cats in the BVI's several times, so I have a little experience already. I've also worked in AK, and I'm very familiar with diesel engines, jenny's, etc. I'm good with avionics and navigation from 15 years of flying jets. I just don't know jack about trawlers and the various makes and models. We are wanting to sell the boat after 18 months or so when we get back so resale value is a concern. I've looked for leasing options, but haven't found much. I don't mind buying one and selling it when we are done. I'm hoping I can get 90% of my money back after a mini refit when we get back.

    My biggest questions now is what brand/model boat to start looking for that will hold our family of 6 and a few guests throughout our trip. I would like to be in the $1-1.5mm price range, but could push it to $2mil ff we had to. I reached out to a broker and he suggested a Nordhavn 64 would be the perfect boat in our price range. Safety is my biggest concern as we want to explore the South Pacific as well as many other long distance cruising destinations. Would the N64 be a good boat to start looking for? My wife is definitely wanting space to spread out, but the kids could bunk and share a room if we had to.
    I've been looking at Salene, Fleming, Berhing, and Nordhavn's. The Nordhavn's seem to be one of the best boats for what we need to do, just finding a N64 that isn't too old has been difficult.
    I wish we could find a retired couple that we could 'rent' one from who is in-between trips, but I'm not sure how the yacht industry does things. In aviation, it was easy to do a dry lease on a plane for a year or so.

    I would love to year everyone's suggestions on Makes/Models to start researching.
    My next hurdle is where to keep the boat after we buy it as we are landlocked in OK.
    In a perfect world, we would find the perfect boat 2-3 months before we were ready to leave, do a few small passages with an experienced captain, then off to the races, but that's probably going to be tough. I just hate to put it on the hard or pay for a slip for an entire year before we leave.

    God Bless
  2. AnotherKen

    AnotherKen Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2018
    Messages:
    73
    Location:
    Canada
    Well, I'm probably the least experienced here, but from what I know, a yacht to comfortably fit your family is not going to be on land when you are not using it. So, you will probably store it in a marina when you don't use it. Find one that is either busy all year, or well secured. One good option would be a marina that is very near a navy base, this is because some navy sailors own boats of their own, and they know how to keep them safe ;)
  3. Kevin

    Kevin YF Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2004
    Messages:
    2,870
    Location:
    Montreal, Qc, Canada
    Around here @JWY would be the person to answer any and all questions you have on trawlers... she'll surely see this thread soon enough.
  4. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Messages:
    11,200
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    +1 on Judy. Send a PM to JWY or she'll probably chime in here. In the mean time Google Nordhaven Yachts or plug them into the search feature above. Good place to start. First thing to think about is your budget for purchase and maintaining, fuel, dockage, etc. Then you'll know what ballpark you're in. Now the bad news. In order to get insurance you'll probably need to have a captain for the first year, and quite frankly you'll need him or her. Especially with your plans.
    johnrupp and oubeta like this.
  5. oubeta

    oubeta New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2021
    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    OKLAHOMA
    I appreciate all the help thus far. Hopefully we won't need a captain for insurance purposes. Just like aviation, lol. The insurance is always a pain.
    Hopefully my captains resume will suffice and we won't have to hire a captain. If so, hopefully we can do so for just a short passages. We will have 6 pax most of the time, so hopefully it won't be required. I have a lot of experience on sport fishing vessels, just don't know much about trawlers brands, etc..
    I'm pretty set on buying a Nordhavn, but just want to make sure I'm not overlooking the makes and models, etc..

    Thanks Guys
  6. oubeta

    oubeta New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2021
    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    OKLAHOMA
    I spoke with Judy. She's answered all of my questions. Excited to work with her.
  7. Capt Cole

    Capt Cole Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2017
    Messages:
    95
    Location:
    Pittsburg CA
    Every Insurance Co. will have their own requirements regarding the amount of time you will need a licensed captain on board. Some require a specific number of hours and some are open ended, simply requiring a licensed captain offer a letter outlining training provided and stating the insured's ability to competently and safely operate the vessel. My suggestion, reach out to a few yacht insurance companies, explain your intended use, and ask for their requirements to be insured.

    Another brand to consider, Outer Reef.
  8. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    Messages:
    7,105
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    What I'm missing in your information is your cruising plans such as where and how many months a year initially. What age are your kids? Are you going to educate them yourselves? You indicate the six of you plus a few guests. How long for the guests? I ask because the Nordhavn 64 is very tight for six people and not equipped for 6 plus more. Can be done, but challenging.

    You talk of going around the world and that's more than an 18 month journey for most. Have you and your family been out in rough sea conditions, experienced 8', 10', 15', even 20' seas? I ask because the famous Nordhavn rally in 2004 resulted in a lot of spouses saying never again and owners putting the boat up for sale in Europe. It only takes one of the six of you having a severe reaction to the conditions, whether physical or emotional or both, to destroy the plans. That also makes me ask what your plans for medical care are as someone will get sick. As a pilot, you're likely aware of services that will provide help.

    In any boat in this range, you're likely to be required initially to have a captain. You can work through that in your year of preparation as many allow you to prove to a captain you're prepared. I know all you've done, but the insurers are wise. You're not ready to go around the world. Trust the process and learn. I'd say you need at least a year of heavy boating on the boat, meaning half time or more, before even considering this dream trip. You need to encounter some significant problems and have to solve them.

    For your size family a slightly larger Ocean Reef, as mentioned above, has great advantages with overall space and a 4th stateroom. A 66' Selene has the 4th stateroom and a lot of creature comforts beyond the Nordhavn. I don't know families of six plus guests who have circumnavigated. Kadey Krogen, Horizon, Cheoy Lee all merit consideration. Fleming, you'd need to go larger to have the range you seek. They are great boats, but not really boats for circumnavigation.

    After 18 months are you looking to get out of boating entirely or some different boat? Is it something you could initially go to and bypass an intermediate move?

    I know it's a lot of questions, but hopefully not much different than those Judy asked you as it's important to know the answers before making recommendations.
    oubeta likes this.
  9. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Messages:
    6,974
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    You have chartered a couple of mainshits trawlers in the Abacos and want to go Around the world ??

    you are much braver than I am...

    Personally I think going around the world is over rated. Start by exploring and cruising the med, the Bahamas and Caribbean and then consider the rest. There is enough between the med, carib, Bahamas and east coast to keep you entertained for 5 to 8 years before considering long passages and places with security concerns
    oubeta likes this.
  10. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    Messages:
    7,105
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    I wouldn't call it overrated but could certainly enjoy some closer cruising for a good while first. To cruise just the combined coasts of North America and both the Eastern and Western Caribbean could take years, and that's without the Bahamas and the Great Loop and all the rivers. Maybe their plans are to do it in reverse, world first, near by second. We're into our eighth year and haven't yet crossed the Atlantic or Pacific, although they're both in future plans. We have shorter term plans to cruise in Europe but on a boat we're buying there. So far we've cruised nearly 150,000 nm just in the areas I've mentioned.
    oubeta likes this.
  11. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Messages:
    11,200
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    You mentioned working in Alaska. Was that on the water? As for where to keep the boat while you prepare I'd recommend the west coast as it will give you a feel for world cruising between big seas and long distances between ports. Maybe start with a cruise to Alaska and then come down to the Panama canal and proceed into the Caribbean. By the time you're done with that you may be done with boating, in which case the boat can be brought to the U.S. for sale, and you'll have gained much experience before heading across the pond and long before hitting some of the more politically sensitive and dangerous areas of the world. One thing to consider about cruising long distances. It's boring when the ocean isn't trying to kill you.
  12. ranger58sb

    ranger58sb Senior member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2013
    Messages:
    629
    Location:
    Chesapeake Bay, USA
    With only chartering "several times" as background...

    A "few small passages" first sounds like trying to go from zero to hero in 45 seconds flat. I'd guess more like 2 years prep -- gaining experience on your specific boat along the way -- might begin to be adequate...

    Took me about 10 years before I could say I really knew our last boat.

    -Chris
  13. oubeta

    oubeta New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2021
    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    OKLAHOMA
    Maybe we are being a little to ambitious right out of the gate, but it's how we roll, lol We have lived off grid in the middle of no where Alaska all year without power, flown into several remote parts of the world, flew bush planes for several years, was a fishing guide in AK in college. We have only done 2 big boating trips as a family with the kids. My wife and I spent our honeymoon on a terrible old Mainship 350 and went all through the Bahamas and had a great time and learned a lot. I have boating experience offshore in the Gulf of AK and the Bering Sea and have made several bad weather trips to my bear camp in the Aleutians with my provisions and a saw mill. Built a few cabins out in the middle of no where. Defiantly like to take the boat up that way also. I know my family pretty well, and we live for this stuff. My kids don't get sick, but my wife has once off the coast of Mexico in really rough seas. We get bored pretty quick, and are always looking for a challenge and adventure. I've rebuilt several generators while living in AK and being a typed in several different jets and turboprops, I learn systems pretty quickly. The boat systems look pretty simple compared to a jet so that doesn't really scare me much. Granted I still have a lot to learn, but we like to jump in with both feet. It's definitely foolish to set off without knowing your systems by heart and how to repair and troubleshoot them. Just like it's crazy to fly a jet without your emergency checklists memorized. My questions are really about the boats and what will work best for our family. I'm confident I can handle it from there and I'm definitely aware of what I don't know (yet). I also moonlight as an EMT Medic, and a Firefighter here at home.
    That being said, we are planning a few Bahamas/Caribbean trips before we set off. I have talked with Judy and she is amazing.

    We are currently looking at a Bering 65 steel boat. With the places we want to go, I'm really reluctant about buying a plastic boat. I've been set of buying a Nordhavn 64 for a few years, but just worried about hitting something out in the middle of nowhere. I realize people go all over the world on fiberglass boats without any issues. I'd love to hear everyone's thoughts on steel hull boats and if anyone worries about hitting objects in their fiberglass boats. I've read the incident reports on several boats hitting unknown objects and doing major damage to their boats. Seems like a steel boat would do much better. I'm not so much worried about hitting a reef, etc, just mainly floating objects like a shipping container or something. All the boats I've been on in AK were steel hulls and drafted 10' and had stability for days. It looks like most of the 'cruising' boats are a far departure from what I'm used to. High center of gravity, over the center of buoyancy, boxy hull designs to maximize interior space, etc. Trying to compromise and keep the wife happy, but keep it as safe as I can. I was able to get my hands on the stability charts for the Bering 65, and I was defiantly wasn't impressed. I'm not a nautical engineer, but I know a little bit about boat design. I also reached out to an old friend and basically agreed, but said must of the popular cruisers are all like this.
    I just feel like I'm really limiting our choices looking only at steel hull boats. If I know we would just stick to the Bahamas, East Coast, Caribbean, etc I think I'd be fine with a Salene or Nordhavn, but I know we won't and will end up on some atoll in the South Pacific or passing Adak Island as soon as we feel we are ready.

    We are looking at flights to FL next weekend and are planning on looking at the Bering 65, Nordhavn 62, and possible a 80' Northern Marine with Judy's help. We really like the layout of the Bering.
    I'm just trying to do as much due diligence as I can before we limit ourselves to only steel boats. I've talked to friends and family, my captain buds in AK, FL FWC, and even the Coast Guard trying to figure out this fiberglass vs steel dilemma

    I really appreciate all the comments and suggestions.

    Thank You All
  14. gcsi

    gcsi Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2011
    Messages:
    81
    Location:
    tampa
    oubeta likes this.
  15. Danvilletim

    Danvilletim Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2011
    Messages:
    778
    Location:
    isleton, ca
    Steel boats rust and aluminum boats corrode. Not horribly but enough to screw up a $300k paint job pretty quick. We repainted our hull and had to start spending $8-10k a year ( 2 years out ) on patching up corrosion. So that’s one downside of steel. The other that I can think of is resale. But perhaps it’s more accepted in the trawler market.
    oubeta likes this.
  16. mapism

    mapism Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2008
    Messages:
    1,588
    Location:
    Sardinia
    Absolutely. But for most folks, it's an itch to scratch, so by definition you can't talk them out of it.
    Which is fine, as long as they don't mind the fact that quite often (particularly while crossing oceans, but not only) it's something boring at best and scaring at worst.

    Anyway, I'd carefully consider the FPB alternative to traditional trawlers, if I really should go RTW.
    If nothing else, the boring/scaring bits can be a bit shorter, courtesy of their faster cruising speed.
    oubeta likes this.
  17. oubeta

    oubeta New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2021
    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    OKLAHOMA
    I looked at this boat. I love it, but my wife killed the idea.
    Defiantly considering a FPB after talking to several people. Seems some people are dead set on a steel boat and some hate them. Not much middle ground.
  18. mapism

    mapism Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2008
    Messages:
    1,588
    Location:
    Sardinia
    Dashew's FPBs aren't steel boats: all built in aluminum, hull included.
    Not that I think it's better than steel or GRP (or steel+alu), just saying.
    Pros and cons of each material are rather well known by now, and it's hard to tell anything that hasn't been already said about that.
    'Fiuaskme, if someone would give me enough money (and it shoult be quite a lot!) to jump out of bed and go for an ocean crossing, if given the choice I'd rather not pick any plastic boat.
    But each to their own on that - I wouldn't do it at all unless well paid, first and foremost! :)
  19. Riknpat

    Riknpat Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Messages:
    152
    Location:
    Toronto
    There was quite a debate on this site a couple of years ago on the relative merits of steel and GRP. It got quite lively and contentious. My recollection is that is ended in a draw except for two points. There seemed to be a (grudging) acceptance that fires were usually easier to contain or escape from on steel boats and secondly, for folks who dream of far away places with strange sounding names, there always seems to be someone, no matter how remote the place, who has the equipment and the ability to weld and repair steel. Not necessarily so with GRP.
    oubeta likes this.
  20. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    Messages:
    7,105
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    It's an ongoing debate but I don't recall either of those arguments being agreed to in any debate on the subject I've had.

    Generally the argument for steel is more forgiving if you hit something. I think that's true but caution anyone who thinks it can't be penetrated is misleading.

    As to fires, I agree that GRP might help in the spread of a fire, but on most boats there are so many flammable materials and fires are most often electrical in nature. Often they originate in an engine room and the materials of the boat won't matter as the flammable materials there, including fuel, will quickly fuel a larger fire or explosion and the answer will still be to get off the boat. I'm very fearful of boat fires and no less fearful on a metal boat than a glass one.

    As to people to work on steel vs. GRP, I don't buy that at all. I don't know of any area in the world where boats could dock and not find people to work on fiberglass. In some areas, one or the other may take precedence but smaller marinas and yards would be more likely to work on GRP than metal while larger yards would be inclined toward metal but still do GRP.

    I'm not going to buy a full displacement boat so a steel hull isn't under my future consideration. An aluminum boat may be at some point. However, it won't be a strong view of aluminum vs. glass but it will be a matter of my favored builder in the size and type building in one or the other. Specifically, if I was buying in the 50 meter range and liked Westport, then it's glass and if I prefer Heesen, it's aluminum.
    oubeta likes this.