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What boat would you owners buy/build for a downeaster?????????

1998 Views 10 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  wpdesmarais
Hello all. I'm new to the board but not boating. I've owned a 28 Bertram FBC cruiser for 15 years (for sale by the way, updated soup to nuts..aluminum fuel tank etc.,great deal...never thought I'd be selling the boat) and now I own a 31 Blackfin Combi with diesels. Our family are day boaters, fishing, cruising, some tuna, lobster traps etc. We use the boat 100-150 hours/year and boat out of the Merrimack River Newburyport.
Before the Blackfin I seriously considered having a 31 Duffy built. I now have the Blackfin, great fast heavy fishing boat, great lines, perfect for the family except pulling traps. (2 props in water for lines to snag).I'll own the Blackfin for 10 years or so.....BUT...
I still have a nagging obsession for owning and running a downeaster. 31 to 36 feet. Stable, protected running gear, not so fast, nost down compared to a planing hull and ONE engine/ running gear to wrench! Not luxury yacht quality. We USE the boat. Fishing, cruising, lobstering, lrage ****pit with access etc.
I've studied the posts, talked to other downeaster owners, Duffy, BHM, H&H, RP. The posts on the "Flowers" project is great. I love the bow thruster....if you boat in the Merrimack with a single screw, a real nice addition to have, boaters there will know what I mean!
What's new out there. Who are the builders you'd use, whose hull, what length and why?
Thanks, Bill D.
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About a month ago I ordered a 34' Calvin Beal Jr. hull. Boat is 34' long by 13' wide. I had very specific requirements, 34-35 ft in length, efficient running and speed potential were very high priorities. I probably talked to 30 different people who owned 35 RPs, 35' Duffys, 34' Wayne Beals, 35' Mitchell Coves, 34' H&H, 35' H&H, 34' Calvin Beals, 36' Flowers (Ken was willing to shorten his to make a 35'). When I took speed potential, efficient use of horsepower, price, looks, and what owners had to say about their boats, the Calvin Beal 34' was the clear winner for me. Every single person I talked to who had the Calvin Beal 34' really liked their boat. Personally, I think all the popular downeast boats are really good, but the Calvin seemed to fit the bill best for me.


The "Lori Morgan" is the best looking Downeast boat I've ever seen, in my opinion. Wbyrnes on this forum owns that boat, I believe it has the 500hp D9 Volvo.

I'm planning on installing the Cummins QSC 8.3 500hp with 1.75 gear reduction. My boat will be built for commercial salmon fishing in Alaska. My father and I will be building the boat; we build our boats light, simple, and fast. I'm expecting a top speed of 28-30 knots. I will be picking the boat up in about 2 weeks, trailering the hull to Kansas City to finish it at my house, and shipping it to Alaska in May or June of 2010. I'll keep you updated with pictures when I get started on it. If you search through various topics, you will find many pictures of the 34 Calvin Beal and many other nice boats. I bought my hull by calling Calvin and mailing a down payment to him. Calvin is a gentleman and a pleasure to talk to, he's also knowledgeable of the various downeast designs. 'Course he likes his boats the best, but that's to be expected.

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The transporting of the boat is almost as big of a project as the building of it. We are doing everything ourselves; the transporting, building, etc. The boat will be for us to use commercially in Alaska. My father has built about 15-20 boats for use in Alaska; although he hasn't finished one in about 10 years, so we both may be a little rusty to begin with. I've enjoyed watching the many boats take shape on this forum, the stories and pictures are great.

I have a Chevrolet Dually with the Duramax diesel, so it will pull the boat just fine; the boat will be hauled on my tri-axle fifth wheel boat trailer. It's a lot cheaper than hiring someone to move it. Maine to Missouri to Washington to Alaska. It's still cheaper than buying a used boat in Alaska that would probably require a lot of work to get it up to the condition we like our boats to be in. I have my family on board fishing with me, so I'm a little picky on the layout and condition of my vessel.

There are a few midwesterners that fish in Alaska, not many though. On "Deadliest Catch" one of the captains of the FV Time Bandit lives in Indiana; Andy Hillstrand is his name. I'm sure you've seen Discovery Channel's Deadliest Catch series.

The nice thing about the salmon season in Cook Inlet, Alaska is that it's only about 3 weeks in length, so you can still have a "normal" job where you live and go fishing without missing too much work. I have my own business; so it's still hard to get off, but I can manage it with my employees.

New engine warranties do not start until the sea-trial, so even if we buy the engine 1.5 years before the boat is ready to float, the warranty will not have started. No bow thrusters on our boat, we don't have to manuever in tight marinas with million dollar boats all around us:) Although a bow thruster would be nice, we manage without one.


This post edited by powderpro 04:14 PM 06/22/2008
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