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Thread: Help me pick a boat!

  1. #1
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    Default Help me pick a boat!

    I know this question has been asked, but I would love some help.
    I have 3 boys under ten, a busy job, and have accepted I won't be building anything in the near future.

    But, I need a bigger boat.

    I have a Bolger Nymph I love, and that was fantastic early in marriage for a nice date and good conversation.

    Now I want something bigger, 16-18ft, that me and .. some of the full crew, call it 2-4 adults, can be comfortable in.
    Maybe 2-3 of us could go crabbing?

    Location would be mostly Seattle or nearby, sometimes the west coast of Vancouver Island (Tofino)

    I want something that is primarily a rowboat, but sailing or an aux motor might be nice.

    My dream is straight up wood, but maybe plywood or synthetic just makes more sense right now.


    Hvalsoe 16/18 and Swampscot Dory are a few of the things on my list.

    Any suggestions? What else should I consider?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Help me pick a boat!

    When you said up to 4 adults, and crabbing, I pictured a power boat. But let's see what the hivemind can come up with for primarily oar-powered (but with an auxillary outboard, I assume?).

    Something like these from the Atkin catalog ??? --

    Atkin 'Elon Jessup' - http://www.atkinboatplans.com/Oar/ElonJessup.html



    Atkin 'Punch' - http://www.atkinboatplans.com/Oar/Punch.html



    Atkin 'Mother Hubbard' (skip the sailing rig) - http://www.atkinboatplans.com/Sail/MotherHubbard.html

    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    https://www.facebook.com/HarborWoodworks/

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Help me pick a boat!

    [QUOTE=David G;6443108]When you said up to 4 adults, and crabbing, I pictured a power boat. But let's see what the hivemind can come up with for primarily oar-powered (but with an auxillary outboard, I assume?).

    Outboard is a nice-to-have, I can live with oars. We have a 22' C-Dory and a 14' metal something in the extended family, I would be OK if the thing I had in the garage was human powered.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Help me pick a boat!

    [QUOTE=jpwg;6443187]
    Quote Originally Posted by David G View Post
    When you said up to 4 adults, and crabbing, I pictured a power boat. But let's see what the hivemind can come up with for primarily oar-powered (but with an auxillary outboard, I assume?).

    Outboard is a nice-to-have, I can live with oars. We have a 22' C-Dory and a 14' metal something in the extended family, I would be OK if the thing I had in the garage was human powered.
    Did those Atkin designs come at all close?
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    https://www.facebook.com/HarborWoodworks/

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Help me pick a boat!

    They do! I am staring at the punch right now. I guess if "available on craigslist for $3800 with a trailer" was one of the criteria we'd be done, except for waiting. If the perfect boat was for sale I will risk the marital strife, but if I have to fight/negotiate, I need to check more boxes, if that makes sense.

    I am hoping the hive mind can get me close enough to watch for the right boat to show up, or worst case I know what I want to build come retirement-thirty.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Help me pick a boat!

    I guess one of my questions is, is wood a legit answer to this question? I don't mind taking on some maintenance obligation, and the $20K or whatever for a glass boat that will last forever seems like a lot.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Help me pick a boat!

    Quote Originally Posted by jpwg View Post
    and have accepted I won't be building anything in the near future.
    so you're buying a boat or having one built?

    Quote Originally Posted by jpwg View Post
    Location would be mostly Seattle or nearby, sometimes the west coast of Vancouver Island (Tofino)
    hvalsoe
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Help me pick a boat!

    Quote Originally Posted by jpwg View Post
    I know this question has been asked, but I would love some help.
    I have 3 boys under ten, a busy job, and have accepted I won't be building anything in the near future.

    But, I need a bigger boat.

    I have a Bolger Nymph I love, and that was fantastic early in marriage for a nice date and good conversation.

    Now I want something bigger, 16-18ft, that me and .. some of the full crew, call it 2-4 adults, can be comfortable in.
    Maybe 2-3 of us could go crabbing?

    Location would be mostly Seattle or nearby, sometimes the west coast of Vancouver Island (Tofino)

    I want something that is primarily a rowboat, but sailing or an aux motor might be nice.

    My dream is straight up wood, but maybe plywood or synthetic just makes more sense right now.


    Hvalsoe 16/18 and Swampscot Dory are a few of the things on my list.

    Any suggestions? What else should I consider?
    Three kids under 10, a busy job and a wife?

    Here comes the bucket of ice cold water...

    You don't have time to build a boat right now, at least not in some kind of reasonable time frame. Scour CL and find something that works for now. Have the kids help fix it up, that'll give them some ownership and you'll have time to go out on it with them.

    Still have the itch to build a boat? Having one already gives you some breathing room. Find the right boat, carve out a building space and settle in for a long haul. It's easy for even a relatively small boat building project to stretch out into years as folks grab an hour or so somewhere between dinner and bedtime with the occasional weekend thrown in.
    Steve

    If you would have a good boat, be a good guy when you build her - honest, careful, patient, strong.
    H.A. Calahan

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Help me pick a boat!

    Whoops - sorry if I wasn't clear. I know I am not building anything soon. I was planning to buy one, but "having one built" sounds interesting. I'd assumed that was a lot more $$.


    I've rowed a Hvalsoe a few times, and liked it. I guess that is top of my list now.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Help me pick a boat!

    Quote Originally Posted by jpwg View Post
    Whoops - sorry if I wasn't clear. I know I am not building anything soon. I was planning to buy one, but "having one built" sounds interesting. I'd assumed that was a lot more $$.


    I've rowed a Hvalsoe a few times, and liked it. I guess that is top of my list now.
    If your strategy is to find a used boat for sale on Craigslist or somesuch... that's a perfectly viable idea. But then your approach is backwards. Almost never will you be able to pick a design, then keep an eye open for a used one to come up for sale. Beetle Cats on Cape Cod or suchlike might be an exception.

    You can try that approach. You might catch lightning in a bottle. Odds aren't good. So.....

    Instead, I'd suggest you do what I've done for some clients. Find someone who will help you find a boat. A boat broker. Pay her a consulting fee. A local boat builder. A respected and widely knowledgeable member of a local boating club. Someone who knows boat - esp. the sorts of boats you're after.

    With that design brief in hand, watch the ads. Or have your hired consultant watch the ads. Or both. When you find a candidate... she can help you say 'yes, that fits'... or not. If so, they can take a look and advise. I've done that for clients, and it's generally far, far, far less expensive than having a boat custom built, or than buying the wrong boat, or than the materials for a home-build.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    https://www.facebook.com/HarborWoodworks/

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Help me pick a boat!

    And be realistic with yourself regarding your available time. Even a simple small wood boat requires regular yearly maintenance. I'm overly persnickety with my own boat, but I've got the time to be. Nevertheless many of the things I attend to over the winter must be done or there are consequences. You might be happier with a glass boat which will require much less, although some, maintenance. Wait till the kids are a little older and can help with the boat chores to get into wood.

    Jeff

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Help me pick a boat!

    Wow, thanks, this is all great. I have been lurking for a long time and I knew this was the right place. I am very intrigued by the boat broker idea.

    I am hoping to stick with wood, but am maybe ... glass-curious.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Help me pick a boat!

    Quote Originally Posted by jpwg View Post
    Wow, thanks, this is all great. I have been lurking for a long time and I knew this was the right place. I am very intrigued by the boat broker idea.

    I am hoping to stick with wood, but am maybe ... glass-curious.
    You should be. From what you've said so far, I wouldn't be surprised if the design brief landed you with options of both fiberglass and wood.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    https://www.facebook.com/HarborWoodworks/

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Help me pick a boat!

    Quote Originally Posted by jpwg View Post
    Whoops - sorry if I wasn't clear. I know I am not building anything soon. I was planning to buy one, but "having one built" sounds interesting. I'd assumed that was a lot more $$.


    I've rowed a Hvalsoe a few times, and liked it. I guess that is top of my list now.
    I built kayaks with kids still at home. Granted they were stitch and glue which is quick and simple compared to traditional construction.
    Right now I am considering having a nice sail-n-oar built or building a more basic stitch and glue model. As I am retired I have lots of time but I want to spend it playing, not building.
    ​​♦ During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act
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  15. #15
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    Default Re: Help me pick a boat!

    I bet Eric Hvalsoe would love to draw a boat that's one size up from the Hvalsoe 18. Something about 20' that could be single or tandem rowed, and could handle a 2hp Honda. This is about what you'd need with all those people in the boat. That'd be a helluva boat.

    Otherwise, I think a Ranger 20 with an outboard and a small rowable pram would do what you want. Here's the fun part, ask Eric to draw you a 8' pram for oar and sail (and to serve as your tender). Something that could be built glued lap. I've always felt like Hvalsoe needed to add an HV Pram to the catalog. I'm full of good ideas, huh.
    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    Yeadon is right, of course.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Help me pick a boat!

    Quote Originally Posted by Yeadon View Post
    Here's the fun part, ask Eric to draw you a 8' pram for oar and sail (and to serve as your tender).
    If this ends up with me buying 2 or more boats, I am blaming you.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Help me pick a boat!

    What about a David Payne snapper boat - mine is 17' with an inboard diesel and easily takes 6 adults. Plans are available via the David Payne website.
    IMG_5015.jpg

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Help me pick a boat!

    I can picture all or most of us in that snapper, but I think I want something I can take out for a row by myself half of the time, and jam some of the full crew in other times. How does it row?

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Help me pick a boat!

    Quote Originally Posted by jpwg View Post
    I guess one of my questions is, is wood a legit answer to this question? I don't mind taking on some maintenance obligation, and the $20K or whatever for a glass boat that will last forever seems like a lot.
    You ask this question on a wooden boat forum?
    be modest, and be proud of it.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Help me pick a boat!

    Of course if you simply want a real load carrier that performs well under outboard that you could build in a week then the Bolger Diablo would be it.
    be modest, and be proud of it.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Help me pick a boat!

    Quote Originally Posted by jpwg View Post
    ... I think I want something I can take out for a row by myself half of the time, and jam some of the full crew in other times...
    You need two boats, a light-weight skiff for solo rowing, and a load-carrier with outboard for the family outings.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Help me pick a boat!

    OK after some research and soul searching I am halfway between a brand new glass Gig Harbor Salish Voyager and the first wood melonseed under 6K I see.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Help me pick a boat!

    Quote Originally Posted by Yeadon View Post
    I bet Eric Hvalsoe would love to draw a boat that's one size up from the Hvalsoe 18. Something about 20' that could be single or tandem rowed, and could handle a 2hp Honda. This is about what you'd need with all those people in the boat. That'd be a helluva boat.

    Otherwise, I think a Ranger 20 with an outboard and a small rowable pram would do what you want. Here's the fun part, ask Eric to draw you a 8' pram for oar and sail (and to serve as your tender). Something that could be built glued lap. I've always felt like Hvalsoe needed to add an HV Pram to the catalog. I'm full of good ideas, huh.
    I see what you're up to there, Tim. More transoms!

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

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  24. #24
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    Default Re: Help me pick a boat!

    Conclusion- thank you everyone! The HV16 kept sneaking on to the list, and it (barely) fits in my garage.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Help me pick a boat!

    Beautiful, and in more ways than one! Great choice, and have fun with her1...

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