recommendation for 30' Alaska boat

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harrisonaero

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Joined
Oct 31, 2009
Messages
563
Location
Coeur d'Alene, ID
I know a lot more about airplanes than boats but my mother and stepfather are looking for a boat to visit the grandkids here in Coeur d'Alene so I offered to help. So I figured this would be a good place to ask since planes and boats often go together for folks.

Need something that will cruise relatively fast (planing hull), about 30'-32' long, and handles relatively rough water like you would see doing light sport fishing in Alaska, San Juan Islands, etc.

Prefer diesel but will go dual gas engines if needed. Opinions here?

Needs to be a his & hers boat so that besides being safe in rough water is also comfortably equipped inside with nice sized galley and stand up head with shower.

Definitely something used and most likely made in the 80s-90s and can be bought in good condition for $30k-$50k.

For example one of the boats she almost got was a 1987 Tollycraft 30' Sport Cruiser. It's a rugged boat and nicely equipped. So that's the type she's looking for- what other models should she consider?
 

TFF

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Joined
Apr 28, 2010
Messages
12,562
Location
Memphis, TN
I dont know what they go for but I knew someone who had what was a Miami Vice Scarab hull with a cabin. He did not go flat out when I got a ride; we only went 60mph. It had a nice cabin.
 

Angusnofangus

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Joined
Sep 29, 2015
Messages
412
Location
Victoria, Canada
I know a lot more about airplanes than boats but my mother and stepfather are looking for a boat to visit the grandkids here in Coeur d'Alene so I offered to help. So I figured this would be a good place to ask since planes and boats often go together for folks.

Need something that will cruise relatively fast (planing hull), about 30'-32' long, and handles relatively rough water like you would see doing light sport fishing in Alaska, San Juan Islands, etc.

Prefer diesel but will go dual gas engines if needed. Opinions here?

Needs to be a his & hers boat so that besides being safe in rough water is also comfortably equipped inside with nice sized galley and stand up head with shower.

Definitely something used and most likely made in the 80s-90s and can be bought in good condition for $30k-$50k.

For example one of the boats she almost got was a 1987 Tollycraft 30' Sport Cruiser. It's a rugged boat and nicely equipped. So that's the type she's looking for- what other models should she consider?
I would suggest you look at the Seattle CL and get an idea of what you might want. There are literally thousands of boats in this neck of the woods.
 

cluttonfred

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HBA Supporter
Joined
Feb 13, 2010
Messages
7,101
Location
World traveler
I have built several small boats but nothing as big you have in mind. I would suggest that this is something entirely dependent on what you can find locally rather than identifying a particular model and looking for that specific one. If they are buying a boat in Idaho and trailering to the sea, then ease of trailering is going to be big factor. Personally, I would look at something more workmanlike and less sporty than the Tolley if rough water is really going to be an issue. That said, if you mother and stepfather don't know much about boats, then out in rough seas among the San Juan Islands may not be the best place to start, and a smaller boat might make a lot more sense. Maybe more of a sport fisherman type?
 

BobbyZ

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Joined
Jan 14, 2010
Messages
228
Location
Cape May NJ USA and Varna Bulgaria
I would put the 31 Bertram at the top of your list.I've spent many hours on moppie's and there is a reason they have a cult following.If you asked a group of 10 fisherman around here for 3 boats under 40 ft that they'd want to be on when it gets nasty out a 31 Bertram would probably be on every list.They have earned their reputation and hold their value well as far as boats go.Although equipped with diesels they can be pricey at times.I've seen fully restored to new ones for over 300k to ok ones at less than 20-30k so shop around and you'll probably find a nice one.As far as older boats go,if it is maintained and upgraded sensibly it is one of the few that holds some value.

I'd also recommend the 29-32 Blackfin's.They are really close to the Bertram's and have a very good reputation and once they reach a certain age as long as they are maintained seem to hold pretty steady around a certain price range/value as far as boats go.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrBRaAiPvV8

If you want something a little less sport fisherman like take a look at Tiara 29,31,or 35 or the similar sized Albemarle's.Both are great boats but the Tiara's are a little roomier because they have a little more beam then the Albie's.Some say the Albemarle's handle the rough water better but truth is they have a more spartan interior so there's really just less stuff to worry about knocking around ;) Both are nice boats but Tiara gets the nod for creature comforts.

I'll warn you though,if diesels are going to be a deal breaker just skip the Tiara.Gas is affordable but diesels can be pricey and once you see a nice 3100 or 3500 chances are they'll both fall in love and I'd hate for them to be heartbroken ;) Also they are one of the best mixes of a sport cruiser Searay like boat and real seaworthy sportfisherman style boat that I know of.It's rare that someone looking in this class doesnt like something about them and it's a great his and hers compromise.

You also might be able to find a decent Luhrs Open or a Luhrs Alura 30 but chances are they are going to be up there in age etc.Some folks around here love them but I never found anything super special about them to be honest.But the Alura is a nice boat if you like the style,other then that I doubt they'd get the woman's approval.

I've spent a lot of time delivering boats up and down the east coast for my uncles marina over the years.These are a few of my favorites in and around the range you specified.Take a look and let me know what you think,like and dislike and I'm sure I can find some others to recommend.Pretty much everything here can handle a reasonable amount of weather for its size and will take anything a sane person would get caught in under normal circumstances.There are some less seaworthy boats that are decent and have more creature comforts and if it is for Coeur d'Alene lake by all means you can go this route.But I assumed that you are looking for something a little more seaworthy when you mentioned the other areas.
 

autoreply

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Joined
Jul 7, 2009
Messages
10,738
Location
Rotterdam, Netherlands
Is homebuilding a viable option?

I've been following Fram sailing & building pages, home building a F-39 trimaran and Tri-Cat Zeilvakanties | Canarische eilanden & Algarve for a few years. Big job to build a boat yourself; but especially for a simple monohull boat it seems like a well do-able project with strip-planking and infusion.

A scaled down M-hull (Stiletto M80 scaled to 35%) sounds like an ambitious but feasible plan. Cruising at 50 kts on decent power and thus reasonable mileage? With it's stealth panel-looks, this would be an extremely simple design to build as an origami sandwich monocoque (like the Personal Cruiser etc).
 

bmcj

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Joined
Apr 10, 2007
Messages
13,300
Location
Fresno, California
Let's make it more airplane related... AIRBOAT!!!

Some people are making reference to speed. I think speed should not be a criteria here because higher speed means higher risks and rougher rides.
 

skier

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Joined
Mar 5, 2008
Messages
1,078
Location
CT
Let's make it more airplane related... AIRBOAT!!!
ooh. Since we're going that route, how about an ekranoplan

[video=youtube;x-ZJYvpzw3A]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-ZJYvpzw3A[/video]
 
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BobbyZ

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Joined
Jan 14, 2010
Messages
228
Location
Cape May NJ USA and Varna Bulgaria
Some quick things I thought I'd add.

Sign up for the ABYC and read through their standards Standards Index - American Boat and Yacht Council It will really help you weed out the bad apples and it is a great guideline.There's plenty of books out there and they have a free trial membership that should help during the buying process and it could possibly save you from a nightmare down the line.

Find a qualified Surveyor.There's a ton of hacks out there so ask around long before you find a boat you like.Finding the right one can be harder then finding the right boat but a proper prepurchase survey will save headaches down the line and give you some bargaining power.If the seller balks at waiting for a survey you should probably walk.There is no reason why a honest seller shouldnt be able to wait a day or so for a inspection to be done.I know people need money these days but it is very simple to arrange a sales agreement pending a survey like one would a house waiting for inspection.

Just about every glass boat is cored one way or another these days and they all have the potential to rot from water intrusion.The better boats leave mounting areas devoid of coring and are solid glass but this isnt foolproof because people install things sometimes as they please.As long as things are bed in properly it isnt a problem in most cases but you still need to be aware of this.If you feel anything flex underfoot or sort of feel soft and spongy be extra careful and dont be afraid to ask the surveyor to pull a few pieces of hardware (especially non factory) in order to check the core for moisture.Some boats are worse than others but usually the quicker they are built,the less care they take along the way.A lot of dealers are aware of this and some will re bed all hardware before sale on a new boat so even if a model has history of problems the one at hand may have been taken care of.Although these are issues a proper survey should reveal when they test for moisture.

Hull blisters,these are caused by water intrusion of the gelcoat below the waterline.When repaired properly they are not a issue but like anything it has to be done right.Some boats are worse than others,some never have a problem and at times 2 of the same boats one will have them and the other wont.I think some of it is caused by different bottom paints but that is neither here nor there.Just be sure to ask,check and know if the boat you are looking at is known to have them or not.One way to tell is if the color under the bottom paint isnt white gelcoat but a grey or black primer like paint.You can actually carefully peal most bottom paints away with a chisel to reveal the under lying gelcoat,or barrier coat if it was repaired.
This will explain it a little better Buying a Boat or Yacht : Buying a Blister Boat Usually badly blistered boats will be left in the water during sale,reaching down or taking a swim can save some headaches down the line.

I know aluminum boats are popular out west,but please dont let these things steer you away from glass and towards aluminum as they have their own problems too,mainly from electrolysis.Chances are though most aluminum boats out there are a little more on the rugged fisherman side of things and quite spartan as far as amenities go ;)

I'm sure I'm forgetting stuff but these are a few of the big issues that can help first time buyers make a educated choice and enjoy boating vs ending up with a expensive nightmare.Educating yourself prior to buying is the key to having a positive experience instead of the many nightmares that you hear all too often.

If you or your family have any questions about a prospective boat etc feel free to shoot me a pm.If I dont know I'll do my best to point you guys in the right direction.

Good Luck
 
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