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Thread: Need advice about boats

  1. #1

    Default Need advice about boats

    I'm considering purchasing my first ocean-going boat. I've found an extended cabin 2001 Aurora 27' with twin 130 Hondas. There's a 25' Wooldridge with twin 115 Yamahas that gets great fuel economy. Then there's a 24' Fish-rite with twin 200 Suzuki's. They are priced within 12k of each other. The Aurora has more than 800 hours on it. The Wooldridge and Fish-rite have between 100-200 hours on them. The Aurora seems to have had some issues in it's 6 years of use... but it has the attraction of the largest cabin (I have 4 children). Any recommendations or ideas you can offer?
    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    What has been the issues on the Aurora? I think they have 10 year waranties on the hull... With 4 kids I'd definately be looking at the 27' boat.

  3. #3
    Member akdeweyj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaska Meier View Post
    I'm considering purchasing my first ocean-going boat. I've found an extended cabin 2001 Aurora 27' with twin 130 Hondas. There's a 25' Wooldridge with twin 115 Yamahas that gets great fuel economy. Then there's a 24' Fish-rite with twin 200 Suzuki's. They are priced within 12k of each other. The Aurora has more than 800 hours on it. The Wooldridge and Fish-rite have between 100-200 hours on them. The Aurora seems to have had some issues in it's 6 years of use... but it has the attraction of the largest cabin (I have 4 children). Any recommendations or ideas you can offer?
    Thanks!
    If you decide not to buy the Aurora, please post the contact information for the owner. Are the "issues" that you mention the Hondas?

  4. #4
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Hard to say without looking at them. Give a strong consideration as to opperating costs, and exactly what your uses are going to be. Will you only go out on day trips, overnighters, week long trips? What range do you need for the trips you want to make? How many people do you want to fish at the same time and what are the layouts of the fishing decks?

    Assuming a crew of 6 and overnight use, I'd be hardpressed to recomend anything under 26', and would be looking at a 28-30' boat.

    A pilothouse that the family can comfortable fit in is well worth the $ to make trips that everyone enjoys.

    While the 27' aurora sounds like the perfect fit for your family, I'd be concerned that it might be underpowered. Find out the gross weight of the boat with a full load of fuel, your family and gear on board. If that number is in excess of 8000# then it's bordering on underpowered. Most folks underestimate how much weight they add with clothing, safety gear, food, ice etc.

  5. #5
    Member Osteichthyes's Avatar
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    The three feet between the 24 and the 27 will go a long way to making a multi-day trip enjoyable with the number of people you have, especially when it rains the entire trip, not that it ever does that in PWS . Also, the kids will only get bigger and take up more space over the years. With 6 people you also have a larger amount of food, clothing, rain gear, and hopefully a limit of fish onboard.

    I'd also pay attention to the whether the 25-footer is 25'0" or 25'10" (as mine is). Is the 27 just 27 or is it 27 and some inches? It can be a big difference if you're comparing a 25 to a 27'10" or a 25'10" to a 27'0".

    I know a few people that do a lot of camping on shore in PWS because their boats aren't set up to spend the night on. Obviously, it is possible to do this but be aware that many anchorages in PWS are not suitable for camping due to steep topography, wet and spongy ground (even at high elevation), and in some places a load of bears. For early and late season trips it can be a real pain to come into an anchorage in the dark (and rain) and have to set up camp on shore. This is even less practical if you have to ferry the gear to shore in a raft because you can't beach the boat due to bottom conditions or tide stage. Bottom line, if you're looking to do 2-4 day length trips go for a boat big enough that everyone can spend the night on, especially since you have young kids.

    If the engines are your main concern I'd post another message with "Honda 130 HP" featured in the title since it will generate more feedback. See if you can get a read on how many hours people have on their and any problems that surfaced at certain hours (500, 1000, etc).

    It would be worthwhile to begin reading the Cruising Guide to PWS this winter and check out the charts for each anchorage (paper ones or NOAAs online chart viewer). Google Earth is great for plotting out conservative distances to to these anchorages so you can adhere to the rule of 1/3s (assuming you know your cruising range).

  6. #6

    Default

    Thank you for the informative responses. I actually neglected to explain specifics about the Aurora. Not that all boats are subject to some of the same problems... but the Aurora has had water in the fuel which was attributed to the fuel fill-cap being up towards the bow. The one motor leaks oil. One motor has had the lower unit replaced. Apparently the Honda 130's had a recall on the heads as well. Apparently there's a bilge pump issue too. Not that I couldn't remedy these problems... it is a very attractive boat for our needs (wants!).

    I am also considering the Hewescraft cuddy hard top as it is within our price range. As some of you explained, it is important to consider cabin size with my family. I've also considered purchasing a canvas cover over the cockpit area in back too. This might accommodate my growing family nicely.

    The Harbercraft is definitely a beautiful boat, however the 24' version would probably be the only size I could afford at this time. I am, none-the-less, considering this one too!

  7. #7
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Personally I'd not consider a boat that has had, and does have engine problems. If the boat is marginally underpowered, then those engines have been worked hard. If you had to repower it, and went with something along the lines of twin 175's, you're looking at a $30k upgrade.

    With my family of 5 our 22' boat is really too small for sleeping on board, and I would have been better off building a 24'. For a family of 6, I'd be hardpressed seeing anything under 26' as being big enough for anything other than day trips.

  8. #8
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    As the owner of a 24 foot boat I have to agree with Paul. I would never even consider having 6 people on my boat even if 4 were children. 24 feet is simply to small and everyone on board would end up disliking the trips.
    Tennessee

  9. #9

    Default Boat

    If a new Hewescraft cuddy is in your price range, why are you even considering a used boat??
    I'd go with a new boat and not have to worry about some one elses head ache.

  10. #10

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    I Own A 24 Foot Aurora With Twin Honda 130's, Approx. 450 Hours On The Motors, I've Had No Problems To Date With Either Of These Engines. I,m Not Sure Of The Total Number Of Hours On The Hull (boat Originally Had Twin 90's), No Problems With The Hull Either. I Run The Boat Out Of Homer, Whittier And Seward. I Really Like The Layout Of The Boat, Large Fishing Deck, Plenty Of Seating, And Most Importantly The Cuddy, If You Do Overnight Trips It Is The Only Way To Go. I Have Not Had Any Problems With Water In The Fuel Even Though My Fuel Fill Is Mounted On The Port Bow. As To The 27 Ft Aurora Being Under-powered, It Depends How You Plan To Use It. If You Plan On Hauling Alot Of Weight You Could Have Some Problems. If You Are Just Taking Your Family Fishing Out In The Sound For A Few Days You Will Probably Be Ok. Ask The Current Owner How He Used The Boat. I.e. Cruise Speed, Rpm At Cruise, Nm Per Gallon, Use Of Trim Tabs, Loading, Range, Top Speed....... Then You Don't Have To Guess.
    I Find That My Boat, Although Smaller, Does Well With The Twin 130's, Cruise Speed = 25 - 27 Knots @ 4000rpm @ Approx. 2.3nm/gallon, With Trim Tabs All Of The Way Up, 4 Men, Gear, Fish Box Full Of Fish, Raft.
    Bottom Line My Boat Serves My Purpose Well, It Is A Well Built Hull, The Motors Purr, And I Feel Safe Taking My Family And Friends Out In Alaska's Various Bays And Sounds.

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