When our decision was made to begin the process of moving aboard I started feverishly researching the best vessel for our situation. I spent weeks scouring the internet for articles and blogs and message boards about living aboard to find out other people’s opinions about the boats they lived on. Through the research I found what I believe to be very good information.
Talking with my wife about the pros and cons of all kinds of boats we immediately decided that a sailboat was out. Actually she decided against the sail boat. She thinks that sailing will be way too much work. I am not sure that I disagree with her, but sailing has always been something that I would like to try. The other thing about conventional sailboats that neither of us liked is that the majority of the living space is below deck. It seems like that would make it feel like living in a cave. The realization that we wanted lots of natural light in the living space also eliminated most express cruisers.
We then started looking at trawlers and motor yachts. There are so many options out there that it really is overwhelming. As near as I can tell the biggest difference between trawlers and motor yachts is their cruise speed. I also learned SPEED = FUEL CONSUMPTION. Based on our plans the thought of burning 30 gallons of fuel an hour gave me a nasty feeling in my stomach. After all the cost of 30 gallons of fuel is more than I make an hour now, and when we make the big move I am expecting to make substantially less.
So a trawler it is. Good fuel burn rates and lots of living space, sounds like a good deal to me. Now, there are more options in trawlers and sue doe trawlers out there than I know what to do with so we narrowed our choices down to boats we could afford that are new enough to get financing for. (Our plan includes financing the boat purchase for about 2 years before we sell our house and pay off the boat loan.) Based on our price range and our tastes we created a short list of the Nordic Tug 32, the American Tug 34, and the Mainship 390.
We took a trip to Trawler Fest at the Bay Bridge Marina on Kent Island in Maryland. The original list of boats that were supposed to be there included all three on our list. Once we were there, we found that none of the boats on our list were there. It was still a great trip and Alexis’ first time boarding boats of this class. The only boats she has been on before have been smaller fishing boats and ferries. We were able to check out a Nordic Tug 34, the newer version of the 32. It was decided pretty quick that it was not going to be big enough for us to live on full time.
There was also a huge mistake made! We boarded a 2016 40’ Endevour Trawler Cat. It was a beautiful boat. One that we will never be able to afford to purchase. We ood and ahaad over it and completely spoiled every other boat we looked at that day. It’s still fun to dream though.
Our next trip was already planned. We were planning to attend the US Power Boat Show in Annapolis to try and look at more of our short list. Then came the FLIP FLOP! As we were looking at more pictures of boats on the internet, Alexis ran across the Silverton 38 Convertible. It was the layout that got her. Nothing else we’d looked at had the layout of the Silverton and she was in love with it.