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Old 19-09-2019, 18:16   #1
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My first post - am looking for THE power boat, help

Thanks for making me feel welcome. Am in Texas, USA. Been looking hard, now requesting your inputs. My interest is in the Loop, but first finding my future live aboard. Current #1 is the Marinette, 37- 40' model, diesel twins. Now, will listen to you - my new future friends. thanks.
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Old 19-09-2019, 18:46   #2
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Re: My first post - am looking for THE power boat, help

Also checkout the sister forum Trawler Forum
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Old 19-09-2019, 19:29   #3
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Re: My first post - am looking for THE power boat, help

For some reason, this was posted here instead if trawler forum. No connection whatsoever but caught my eye. Single diesel, but no teak decks and nicely equipped. Owner states Just completed 2-year cruise from California through canal. $50k.seems like a great price.

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Old 19-09-2019, 22:01   #4
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Re: My first post - am looking for THE power boat, help

How about a nice island Packet powerboat....
See sailnautilus.com for details....
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Old 20-09-2019, 04:16   #5
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Re: My first post - am looking for THE power boat, help

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Originally Posted by Dave Elenburg View Post
Thanks for making me feel welcome. Am in Texas, USA. Been looking hard, now requesting your inputs. My interest is in the Loop, but first finding my future live aboard. Current #1 is the Marinette, 37- 40' model, diesel twins. Now, will listen to you - my new future friends. thanks.
Thought Marinette models are all pretty long in the tooth by now? Aluminum hull? Didn't know they made any with diesels...

In addition to trawlerforum.com, you might look at the Great Loop website (AGLCA) for ideas on boats that have been successful.

Air draft is an issue you'll want to take into account. I think max is 19'1" in the Chicago area (Loop site will have info).

You may find it useful to list out your desired (need/want/would like) features beforehand. For example, you may want more interior space for a liveaboard and that leans toward an aft cabin motor yacht, cockpit motor yacht, aft cabin trawler, etc.... or you may prefer better aft visibility which argues for a convertible or sportfish... or you may like a compromise sedan bridge or sport bridge...

Et cetera...

If you mention your target features, you may get better tips on the forums.

-Chris
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Old 20-09-2019, 05:17   #6
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Re: My first post - am looking for THE power boat, help

Ranger is right, but it does sound like a trawler. My reaction to your first post (welcome to the forum!) is "too much engine for your goal." A single diesel is the way to go for long distance in protected water. Don't let them tell you that you need two engines for redundancy; you need one engine and a membership in TowBoatUS or SeaTow.


The usual Grand Banks type trawlers fit your live-aboard and transportation needs. The question is really size. The difference between a 38' and a 42' is surprising, so go tour some and see what you like. Your economical putting along speed is governed completely by your length, not your number of engines, and fifty horsepower will push you along just fine in that displacement class.
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Old 20-09-2019, 05:59   #7
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Re: My first post - am looking for THE power boat, help

Some comments on power...

Mostly, you're stuck what whatever power the boat comes with. For example, many GB's come with twins. If you find a boat with the other features you want, you may have a few power options depending on the used-boat market... or not.

In the trawler market, many have been delivered with similar total horsepower, no matter whether with a single or with twins. Commentary suggests fuel economy is about the same, when the power options are designed in from the git-go.

Other styles may float your boat better than trawlers; if so, horsepower can be mostly a non-issue... if you drive slow. For example, we have 900 hp, but usually putter along at trawler speeds and we can approach 2 NMPG depending on wind, waves, current, tide, etc. That's maybe not as good as a bonafide displacement hull with 2 horsepower... but it's acceptable given fuel is often not the major expense associated with boating. (Note: the engine manufacturer will often recommend you run at appropriate operating temps, and occasionally run at higher RPMs to clean out aftercoolers and turbos and what not. Not hard to do.)

Having more power can sometimes be beneficial anyway. For example, if the Chesapeake is snotty at trawler speed, I can run from here to Norfolk at 20 kts and get it over with... but that might not be an option with short horsepower.

None of this is a recommendation; just observations... but most of the folks we know who've been shopping ended up with a boat that met their other needs, and whatever horsepower or engine(s) it came with is what they got.

Lots of related discussion on trawlerforum.

-Chris
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Old 20-09-2019, 09:23   #8
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Re: My first post - am looking for THE power boat, help

Just a quick two cents re: engines -- it's not just about horsepower or redundancy. If you'll be single-handing, twins will make your life easier and less stressful in close quarters maneuvering. That when coupled with redundancy may well be worth the cost of twins. Yes, I know about thrusters, but you are not likely to find them in older boats.

Good luck!
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Old 20-09-2019, 10:32   #9
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Re: My first post - am looking for THE power boat, help

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Yes, I know about thrusters, but you are not likely to find them in older boats.

Good point about maneuverability with twins, but they don't solve everything... while a bow thruster is usually easily added... and a single with bow thruster can work pretty well for many.

Yes, might not be already installed, but that makes it a point that can be addressed while shopping: can I add a bow thruster to this boat if I decide I need it?

Of course it could cost $$$ to add... but the same boat with a thruster already installed might be prices slightly higher in the first place.

Still not a recommendation, just more observations...

-Chris
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Old 20-09-2019, 12:48   #10
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Re: My first post - am looking for THE power boat, help

Hi all, CaptVR here. I was a marine surveyor for close to 20 years. I think what your looking for in a cruise of the loop vessel, is to much boat. If it's yourself and a mate with an occasional guest. My opinion, if I was looking FOR MYSELF. A Mainship 34 is a great, little cruiser. Very comfortable, with room to spare. Relatively shallow draft that can handle pretty ruff weather if you get stuck in some. Make sure it has the Perkins or Layman in it, the Volvo, you will eat your lunch in proprietary maintenance parts. All were set up with old style Onan gensets, most have been replaced by newer, quieter sets.
All had interior helm stations as well as an upper bridge. They have a covered aft deck that was great for morning coffee or sipping a wine at sunset. Size for size, a good savings from the GB. Super easy to lift up soles to gain engine room access.
My second choice would be a little West Indian Trawler.
Both of these that I mentioned are single screw, twins really are not needed, both handle well. A good number had bow thruster installed, which really makes docking simple. They really are not needed, you will learn the intricacy's of single screw boat handling and spring lines in short order.
As far as getting into port if the remote possibility that you would have an engine failure. Some people put a hi/low bracket on the side of the transom to hold the dinghy outboard, and that 8-10hp will still push you along at 3-5 knots. Big plus, galley is like a house, main salon is as large as found on many 40 footers....
You will get all types of suggestions, I'm just telling you with my 73 years 60 on the water, and inspecting boats and people for an extended period. This would be my choice for a very comfortable extended live aboard cruiser, and one of the more economical cruisers at that......
A pretty nice one can be had for 40-60k, needing some work 30-40k
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Old 20-09-2019, 18:45   #11
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Re: My first post - am looking for THE power boat, help

Capt VR, your sharing opinion is greatly appreciated. where u located? May I contact you on a limited basis for additional input. Thanks again, Dave 940-447-2235 (c)
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Old 20-09-2019, 20:47   #12
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Re: My first post - am looking for THE power boat, help

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Capt VR, your sharing opinion is greatly appreciated. where u located? May I contact you on a limited basis for additional input. Thanks again, Dave 940-447-2235 (c)
Yes you may Dave. I live in St.Petersburg, Fl. I think, last count, I have 7 boats... I had a 65' Schooner "Altair" for 7 years.
Between my shops, equipment and boats, I may not hear you, so just try calling back 10-15 minutes later. No problem taking calls from 0800 - 2000.
727-515-5021. I am doing a seminar at a boat show in Tampa tomorrow, have not got the schedule yet, but phone will be off for a couple hours. Have a good evening...
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Old 21-09-2019, 04:11   #13
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Re: My first post - am looking for THE power boat, help

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Originally Posted by CF32907 View Post
My opinion, if I was looking FOR MYSELF. A Mainship 34 is a great, little cruiser. Very comfortable, with room to spare. Relatively shallow draft that can handle pretty ruff weather if you get stuck in some. Make sure it has the Perkins or Layman in it, the Volvo, you will eat your lunch in proprietary maintenance parts. All were set up with old style Onan gensets, most have been replaced by newer, quieter sets.
All had interior helm stations as well as an upper bridge. They have a covered aft deck that was great for morning coffee or sipping a wine at sunset. Size for size, a good savings from the GB. Super easy to lift up soles to gain engine room access.

We had a Mainship 34 Mk III, great boat. Didn't have a covered cockpit... maybe that was the earlier original or Mk II?

FWIW, if I were shopping for something from roughly that era these days we would prefer the slightly newer 350 or 390 models. Roughly the same length but a wider beam, a sliding door at the lower helm, and stairs to the bridge instead of a ladder. May or may not be suitable for OP's intentions and needs, though...

-Chris
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