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Thread: Looking for advice/opinions on a new saltwater boat

  1. #1
    Member SwansonSilver's Avatar
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    Default Looking for advice/opinions on a new saltwater boat

    Well I think it's almost time that my family will be in a position to pull the trigger on a new(used) boat. I will be stepping up from an 18' grayling so this will be a big step up. We will be doing a mix of fishing, cruising, kayaking, beach combing, etc. mostly K bay and Ressurection bay. It's my wife and I and our son (toddler). I would like to hear opinions for some of the other family men on here as to what works in regards to having a small child and wife on board. My budget will be likely under 55k. I am drawn to aluminum but I know I can get a more comfortable and affordable boat if I go with glass. Ive been looking at the c dory's, both the 23' venture and the 25' cruiser. Sea sports, ospreys, and hewescraft pacific cruisers all look like they would work out nice but mostly out of my price range. Something with outboards is a huge bonus for me as well. I would love to hear comments from anyone with experience bringing the family out on the water. Thanks!

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    Member Akgramps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SwansonSilver View Post
    Well I think it's almost time that my family will be in a position to pull the trigger on a new(used) boat. I will be stepping up from an 18' grayling so this will be a big step up. We will be doing a mix of fishing, cruising, kayaking, beach combing, etc. mostly K bay and Ressurection bay. It's my wife and I and our son (toddler). I would like to hear opinions for some of the other family men on here as to what works in regards to having a small child and wife on board. My budget will be likely under 55k. I am drawn to aluminum but I know I can get a more comfortable and affordable boat if I go with glass. Ive been looking at the c dory's, both the 23' venture and the 25' cruiser. Sea sports, ospreys, and hewescraft pacific cruisers all look like they would work out nice but mostly out of my price range. Something with outboards is a huge bonus for me as well. I would love to hear comments from anyone with experience bringing the family out on the water. Thanks!
    55K will buy you a lotta of boat, and plenty of good boats to pick from and you should be able to get something very usable for that. My advice is to take your time and dont be in hurry, its like a marriage, you dont want to rush into it. All the boats you mentioned are good and you will find the right one in your price range. You will learn something from everyone you look at, and be that much closer to the "one", you may need to look at 5, it may take 25........ decide what most important, is a head on the top of the list? What else is important...?
    I would not get anything smaller than a 24 footer.....
    “Nothing worth doing is easy”
    TR

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    What type of tow vehicle?

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    Member SwansonSilver's Avatar
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    Thanks gramps, I have a 3/4 ton gmc, so towing shouldn't be an issue.

  5. #5

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    Dry, warm, safe. If you can buy complete with dinghy and such you will avoid spending another 5k+

  6. #6

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    Just got back from a Weekend out on the Sound with the family. Despite a little rain we had pleanty to do. And we didn't even fish! We have been boating with the boys before they could even walk. They are "boat kids" and look forward to their weekends on the water. Advice for a future boat owner. Get a boat with a v-berth, head, warm heater, and good fuel economy. We added a bimini with sides over the cockpit and it has been money well spent. At anchor, in the rain, with two kids . . . a boat can be a very small island. Adding an extra "room" may you save some sanity. We didn't know what type of boat we wanted when we started looking. I started by looking around at what other guys, both private and charters were using on the Sound. My observations led me to look for a boat that included - enclosed cab, forward leaning windshield, twin Yamaha engines, aluminum hull, and a head of some sort. We were lucky to find a two year old, 24' Wooldridge Super Sport XL at Marita. It fit all of my criteria, was a bit over our budget, but we pulled the trigger and got the bigger boat. The boat is awesome! We have a lot of fun running all over the Sound almost every weekend, and in almost every type of weather. Our first three outings this year were all "small craft advisory". The boat handles the big water great, and I don't worry about it mechanicaly. The piece of mind allows me to enjoy our weekend, and I never hesitate to include the family in the weekend adventures. I included some pictures from this weekends adventures . . . and the kids always complain that there is nothing to do!?!


















  7. #7
    Member SwansonSilver's Avatar
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    Propnut:

    First off, beautiful family and beautiful boat. Looks like you guys have a blast, that's the kind of stuff we are really looking forward to. That Bimini is a fantastic idea as I'm sure my little 2 year old would go psycho if he didn't have that extra room on rainy days. Are you glad you went with aluminum? Do you beach your boat a lot or do you mostly run your dingy to shore? Thanks for the pics and advice. Just what I was looking for. Hopefully see you out there someday.

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    Member Sobie2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Akgramps View Post
    My advice is to take your time and dont be in hurry, its like a marriage, you dont want to rush into it.
    Yea true that! Of course the problem is falling in love with the first one you see "gettin hitched" and then a few years down the road 2nd guessing yourself and getting 2-footitis! Then the divorce is expensive since you most always take a loss to trade up.

    Sobie2

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    Member Akgramps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sobie2 View Post
    Yea true that! Of course the problem is falling in love with the first one you see "gettin hitched" and then a few years down the road 2nd guessing yourself and getting 2-footitis! Then the divorce is expensive since you most always take a loss to trade up.

    Sobie2
    So many boats, so little time......
    “Nothing worth doing is easy”
    TR

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    If you have some money, then don't buy a "project" boat. If you have a lot of spare time and knowledge, then maybe go ahead.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by SwansonSilver View Post
    Propnut:

    First off, beautiful family and beautiful boat. Looks like you guys have a blast, that's the kind of stuff we are really looking forward to. That Bimini is a fantastic idea as I'm sure my little 2 year old would go psycho if he didn't have that extra room on rainy days. Are you glad you went with aluminum? Do you beach your boat a lot or do you mostly run your dingy to shore? Thanks for the pics and advice. Just what I was looking for. Hopefully see you out there someday.
    Thanks SwansonSilver - Yes, I have been very happy with the aluminum. We don't often beach the boat, but when I do, I don't sweat it. We anchored up in Cascade Bay a few weeks ago and woke up in the morning to find only 10 inches of water under our hull. The outboards were "up", so there was little worry if the water ran out. The result was a really cool “salt water aquarium” right underneath the boat. We found all kinds of stuff living in the shallows. Another time we we encountered ice boating north up Wells Passage . Running about 25 kts I accidentally smashed a basketball sized chunk right on the bow. It came out of nowhere and I obliterated it! Would have definitely chipped a glass boat, maybe worse. There are definitly arguments for both types of boats. I’ve owned both, and am really happy we chose an alloy boat. The security of a metal hull between me and the water is worth the extra $$.

    Bimini is a must. We went a year without one and boating with the two kids was a far different experience. I took the boat over to Buster’s upholstery across from Merrill Field and Willy hooked me up. It works perfectly when we are out cruising/fishing/camping. Send me a PM and I will be happy to show you the top and/or the boat.






  12. #12
    Member pacific23's Avatar
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    I'm the guy in the gray Pacific hat in the last picture, I'm 6'-2" and there is PLENTY of room under the top and in the boat. For a 24' boat , propnut made an awesome choice.
    We spent 5 days aboard fishing PWS, I now have GREAT memories that will last a LIFETIME, thank you Dug.

  13. #13
    Member SwansonSilver's Avatar
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    Looks like a blast. Does anyone have experience in a c dory 25 cruiser or the venture? Only downsides to the c dorys it seems is the mostly open transom, and the rough handling in chop. Other than that they seem like real nice boats for the price.

  14. #14
    Member coho slayer's Avatar
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    Propnut, that is a great boat! Pretty much exactly what we're looking for. I've been talking to Wooldridge about possibly building a 24x9.5' for me. Won't happen anytime in the next year or two, but it is possible. Saw you guys in line for the tunnel on the 4th and was telling my wife that is exactly what we need....lol.

    Anyway, I do have a question: What kind of rig do you tow it with? I was too busy looking at the boat to notice. I've got a 1/2 ton with towing package rated to 8,000lbs and I really don't want to buy a new truck along with a new boat.

  15. #15

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    Coho_Slayer - no problem pulling the 24' with a 1/2 ton truck. I haven't taken the boat to the scales, but believe the boat is around 6500 lbs, and 7K loaded. I tow the boat with an F-250 and while I know it is back there, the boat goes back an fourth to Whittier every weekend with no problem. I wouldnt hesitate to pull it with an F-150. I think my VW Touareg might even pull it! On and off the trailer it is a great boat. Got into some solid six footers this weekend past Lone island and probably would have kept going all the way to Naked Island had it not been for a few upset stomachs in the crew. Boat did great in some pretty "nautical" weather. Soggy but fun trip.

    Les - you are welcome on the boat anytime! Looking forward to next years AAB cruise. Need to start planning that trip and get some dates on the calendar. Still haven't caught any "gaff worthy" fish. I'll send you a pic when I do!!

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    We boat out of Valdez and had C-Dory 22 cruiser with twin Honda 40's. The boat was nice for my wife and I and our dog. It had a Toyo 6 K BTU cook top / heater and a 10 K BTU forced air heater and we could stay nice and warm in the boat. The boat sat nice and still on anchor. The boat held 42 gallons of gas 20 gallons of water and had a portable head. The boat was maxed out for weight with the twin 40's and dual batteries and was not self bailing. It was great starter boat for the sound but I would not recommend the 22 foot version due to way it pounded in even the small chop. The good thing is that it held it's value very well when we moved up to our Kingfisher 2825. I don't miss polishing the fiberglass one bit!!!! I would hold out for a boat that was at least 24' and had a head and heater installed. The metal boats need a lot of heater if you want to stay warm inside. A comfortable family will be much more into the adventure even if its not all that far off the beaten path to start with.

  17. #17
    Member smtdvm's Avatar
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    We had a C-dory 25 and loved it for the most part. It had a fair amount of room for us and we found her to be quite seaworthy. We never took a wave over the stern. They are self baling, unlike the 22s. They also have a full head and more cabin, head room and cockpit space. The down side was that it still slammed pretty good in chop. It seemed like it could go through just about anything if you did so slowly and it felt quite stable and sturdy. We much appreciate the alloy boat we have now but the C-Dory was hard to beat for its purpose, simplicity, towability and cost. It was easy to work on and upgrade as well. They also hold their value well. Check out C-brats.com for a plethora of information, adds for used ones, photos etc. There are several in S.E. right now, mostly 22s that have cruised up from Seattle. Numbers of them do the passage every year.

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    Member SwansonSilver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smtdvm View Post
    We had a C-dory 25 and loved it for the most part. It had a fair amount of room for us and we found her to be quite seaworthy. We never took a wave over the stern. They are self baling, unlike the 22s. They also have a full head and more cabin, head room and cockpit space. The down side was that it still slammed pretty good in chop. It seemed like it could go through just about anything if you did so slowly and it felt quite stable and sturdy. We much appreciate the alloy boat we have now but the C-Dory was hard to beat for its purpose, simplicity, towability and cost. It was easy to work on and upgrade as well. They also hold their value well. Check out C-brats.com for a plethora of information, adds for used ones, photos etc. There are several in S.E. right now, mostly 22s that have cruised up from Seattle. Numbers of them do the passage every year.
    Thanks for the input, I'm really leaning towards the C dory 25 right now. Is the deck self bailing or just the cockpit? What motor(s) did you have on it? I've checked out the c brats website and it seems that everyone who owns one loves it. I just wonder how many of those people are boating in Alaskan waters.

  19. #19
    Member smtdvm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SwansonSilver View Post
    Thanks for the input, I'm really leaning towards the C dory 25 right now. Is the deck self bailing or just the cockpit? What motor(s) did you have on it? I've checked out the c brats website and it seems that everyone who owns one loves it. I just wonder how many of those people are boating in Alaskan waters.
    I agree with the recommendation given by others to go 24' or more, especially with the kiddo. The CD25 meets that and while its not a big boat, it has as much or more room than a lot of 24s I've seen. The cockpit is self bailing. The only other decks are the bow and walk arounds which can't hold water. I am aware of at least several 25s here in Juneau and know of at least several in the Anch area. There are tons of 22s in S.E. and PWS, for good reason. Every summer there are a number of people who cruise up the inside passage, mostly in 22s but also 25s, but there were just fewer built. Two 22s came through Juneau last week from Seattle.
    We had a Suzuki 140 on ours. It did a good job and adequate power for our needs. A friend upgraded to a 185 if I remember right and he really liked the improved power. Some go twins, some singles and a kicker. That's the route I'd take again mostly due to cost and having to maintain two motors. Others are dead set on twins for their good reasons.

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    One of the best bangs for the buck you will find in a trailerable cruiser is the Bayliner 2859.

    I have had two of them, and if I ever move back into a trailerable boat, the 2859 will be on my short list of boats to have.

    Your budget of $55K will buy even the best equipped 2859 and have money to spare.

    The last one I sold (when I bought our current boat) was oct 2011, it had:

    375HP new mercruiser 496 engine still under warranty
    new Bravo 2 stern drive still under factory warranty.
    diesel hydronic furnace
    extended range tanks
    upgraded sanitation system with onboard treatment
    upgraded electrical system
    good electronics package
    almost new kicker
    skiff with 2 hp outboard

    Sale price was <$50K

    We were based out of Whittier (had a slip) and took the boat out into the Gulf of Alaska all the time to Seal Rocks.
    Great family boat. Vee berth plus full stateroom.


    Price

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