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Old 25-11-2014, 11:10   #1
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Pacific NW veterans

Close to retirement and in shopping mode for comfortable, reliable boat for Pac NW and Inside passage. I have researched a lot and understand every boat is a collection of compromises.

For those who have done the inside passage is there a sweet spot for boat size?
45'?
is 60' too big for a lot of anchorages and small fuel docks?
Can a larger dinghy compensate for a little less access?-leave the big at anchor and run the dinghy a little farther for shore excursions, poking around?

Would just like to discuss the pros & cons of size--obviously bigger = more comfort, more expensive, more fuel, etc.
Smaller has it's virtues also.
What size is too large?

Thanks

Ken-wannabe Inside passage guy
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Old 25-11-2014, 11:27   #2
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Re: Pacific NW veterans

Those are tough questions. I was comfortable in 30 ft and 44 ft. It's a personal thing. But 60 ft is really getting big. There are a lot of small public docks up there, rafting up to a boat already there is common place.
A lot of currents and tide changes, so some places aren't that good for anchoring. (although a lot are)
One key is a boat that motors well. You will motor a lot, with some great sailing on occasion. A pilot house is very nice in the PNW on those misty foggy days.
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Old 25-11-2014, 11:40   #3
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Re: Pacific NW veterans

Thanks for input--I neglected to clarify-I can't competently "work a sailboat" so this would be a powerboat.

Another collection of variables-the cruise at 7kts top speed 9 kts trawler vs the cruise at 10 kts but can go 17 kts boat. Any recommendations or just choose your own personal set of compromises.

Thanks
ken
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Old 25-11-2014, 11:51   #4
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Re: Pacific NW veterans

KTDTX,

Welcome to CF.

There are contributors here, B_&_B, who will have input for you, other power boaters, who have just been up there. Stay tuned, or send them a PM.

Ann
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Old 25-11-2014, 11:55   #5
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Re: Pacific NW veterans

Well.... I prefer Trawlers, but if you want to go fast and have the money for fuel that's fine. I have friends that live aboard their 51 footer and use it quite a bit. One year they spent $20,000 on diesel.. but they can do 20+ knots if they really want to. They tow a 22 (?) ft dingy on 150 ft line.
I guess you just have to establish a boat budget and a cruising budget as a starting point. Then the search gets easier. How many people usually aboard?
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Old 25-11-2014, 12:04   #6
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Re: Pacific NW veterans

Definitely 2 (wife & I) but will be from April something into September so we would like a little room-comfort is good. Also a dog & a cat--I know, another set of problems but...it's part of the package.

We expect some visitors but if 20% of the people who say they will come for a week or 2 actually show up I will be surprised.
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Old 25-11-2014, 12:27   #7
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Re: Pacific NW veterans

Yeah... that's how it usually goes. I'm thinkin 36-40 ft trawler or Tug type is real nice.
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Old 25-11-2014, 12:29   #8
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Re: Pacific NW veterans

I've spent a fair amount of time in the PNW (particularly the Inside Passage) in a sailboat. Most of my thoughts you've answered by having a power vessel. But, I'll put them down here:

1. An inside steering station, with room for most/all of your crew. Lots of time will be spent enjoying the scenery but trying to stay out of rain/fog. Good all-around visibility from the inside station is a must.

2. As you get larger there is more of a chance you will end up in the commercial/fishing section of some harbors. In a lot of the Inside Passage there really isn't much in the way of "recreational harbors" and you'll end up with the fishing fleet anyway. I like that myself, but "yacht" owners can have a difficult time.

3. There's a lot of territory to cover, so speed is nice, but to me fuel economy would be even more critical. Unless you're going to be in hurry go with more economical operating costs.

4. Many of the anchorages in the PNW are quite deep, you'll want to carrying 2x 300-600' rodes, so a boat with the space for that, and the foredeck area to work with it is nice. You'll also want some long chunks of line to tying to shore when that is desirable.
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Old 25-11-2014, 12:48   #9
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Re: Pacific NW veterans

The larger boat has some issues in the lower portion of the area, as it means expensive slips when you head into towns like Naniamo, Friday Harbor, Vancouver, Victoria etc. Going north on the Inside Passage a big boat is fine. Tugs with tows do it all the time. The anchorages are plenty big, just deep like mentioned. Even on a smaller boat you are often sharing dock space with a big purse seiner. It is perfect trawler country. Inside steerage, a good heater, lots of endless scenery to see.
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Old 25-11-2014, 12:52   #10
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Re: Pacific NW veterans

See a lot of 40 something trawlers up there. They must be doing something right...
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Old 25-11-2014, 17:27   #11
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Re: Pacific NW veterans

Thanks all for the input

<<< Many of the anchorages in the PNW are quite deep, you'll want to carrying 2x 300-600' rodes, so a boat with the space for that, and the foredeck area to work with it is nice. You'll also want some long chunks of line to tying to shore when that is desirable.>>>

Are you saying 600 to 1200' of rode for the anchor or two times the 300 to 600' to handle 2 anchors?

Is a 600' spool of line on the stern enough to tie stern to?
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Old 25-11-2014, 17:30   #12
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Re: Pacific NW veterans

Quote:
Originally Posted by KTDTX View Post
Thanks all for the input

<<< Many of the anchorages in the PNW are quite deep, you'll want to carrying 2x 300-600' rodes, so a boat with the space for that, and the foredeck area to work with it is nice. You'll also want some long chunks of line to tying to shore when that is desirable.>>>

Are you saying 600 to 1200' of rode for the anchor or two times the 300 to 600' to handle 2 anchors?

Is a 600' spool of line on the stern enough to tie stern to?
I've never cruised the inside passage or 'round Van Isle with more than 300 ft of continuous single rode and found it was fine. However all those boats were 6 ft of draft or less.
A stern line 100-200 ft is fine. Of course you will want a spare anchor and rode also.
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Old 25-11-2014, 17:37   #13
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Re: Pacific NW veterans

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Originally Posted by KTDTX View Post
Thanks all for the input

<<< Many of the anchorages in the PNW are quite deep, you'll want to carrying 2x 300-600' rodes, so a boat with the space for that, and the foredeck area to work with it is nice. You'll also want some long chunks of line to tying to shore when that is desirable.>>>

Are you saying 600 to 1200' of rode for the anchor or two times the 300 to 600' to handle 2 anchors?

Is a 600' spool of line on the stern enough to tie stern to?
I found myself anchoring in 90-100' of water on a number of occasions, and I like to have two anchors that can both be used if necessary, thus my recommendation on 2x, others may feel differently. As to length of each one, guess that depends on how much scope you want, but, as noted, I found a fair number of places that I couldn't have visited without anchoring in 100' of water (and I only draw 4!). So each rode somewhere between 300' and 600'.

600' on a spool would be more than enough. I probably rather have 2x 200' or so. Can always join them together, but sometimes you want more than one.
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Old 25-11-2014, 18:08   #14
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Re: Pacific NW veterans

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I found myself anchoring in 90-100' of water on a number of occasions, and I like to have two anchors that can both be used if necessary, thus my recommendation on 2x, others may feel differently. As to length of each one, guess that depends on how much scope you want, but, as noted, I found a fair number of places that I couldn't have visited without anchoring in 100' of water (and I only draw 4!). So each rode somewhere between 300' and 600'.

600' on a spool would be more than enough. I probably rather have 2x 200' or so. Can always join them together, but sometimes you want more than one.

So, you would run out 600' if in 100' of water? half chain, half nylon?

Did you ever find a use for a spool of line on the bow too? Tie off bow & stern to land if shoreline contour is amenable and water too deep?
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Old 25-11-2014, 18:20   #15
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Re: Pacific NW veterans

When we were looking for a PNW boat, we walked a lot of docks in SE Alaska looking at the local boats. There are a lot of commercial fishing boats, and they will raft up if they can't find dock space. Our conclusion: buy a strong boat that won't get damaged easily by someone rafting to you. We also noticed that boats less than 40', from outside of Alaska, all had gear tied all over the deck. Our conclusion: a boat of at least 40' is needed to allow you to carry all the gear (crab pots, etc) that people like to take up the inside passage. We also noticed that almost every Alaska fishing boat was equipped with a Forfjord anchor. Our conclusion: there must be a reason for that. I'll let someone else suggest why. We also noticed that people in Alaska like boats with a pilot house, and also a diesel stove. They are suited to the climate.
We ended up buying a very "experienced" commercial boat, which as you might guess came with a pilot house, a diesel stove, and a 112 lb Forfjord anchor with 600 lb of chain.
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