Making the Decision

It’s always interesting to peek into the decision-making process behind a boat purchase. Different buyers have different criteria, which explains the wide variety of boats for sale. Seldom have we seen a selection made with such thought and deliberate care as that made by Fred and Stephanie Kaufhold. Fred retired as an officer in the US Navy, and then his time on the water began in earnest. Fred and Stephanie purchased a world-cruising sailboat in England and then sailed and lived aboard for 25 years, finally arriving in the Pacific Northwest. Enroute they’ve worked as delivery captain and crew for countless yachts of all types up and down the US east coast. So it can fairly be said that they know their way around boats.

In thinking about their desire to continue boating as they age Fred and Stephanie defined their ideal “Geriatric Trawler”. It would be:

  • 34-38 foot sedan or pilothouse trawler because they wanted to downsize from their large sailboat and because they wanted big windows and a relatively shallow draft
  • Less than 10 years old for less major maintenance and to have more recent electronics
  • If a pilothouse (with its primary advantage of access doors port and starboard) then full walk-around decks and all around visibility from the pilothouse were important
  • If a sedan (with its primary advantage of full walk-around decks, high bulwarks and covered side decks) then easy access from the dock would be important
  • If there were a flybridge (optional) it would have to be accessed safely — no vertical ladder. And it would not have a full enclosure to reduce windage and maintenance
  • Single stateroom to provide more room in a smaller boat
  • No exterior brightwork for less maintenance
  • Ample swim step for easy access and dinghy deployment
  • Single engine propulsion (with bow thruster for maneuverability) to provide a protective keel and skeg mounted rudder and to provide ample room in the engineroom for all-around engine access
  • Ample handholds on deck and in the cabin for safety
  • Economical cruising speed of 8 knots, but with a top speed of 15 knots.

A long list of “musts” and “wants”. They found only four models that could respond to these criteria and settled on a Helmsman Trawlers 37 Sedan in its single stateroom version. But — alas and with some despair — no used models were available on the west coast. So Waterline Boats helped them purchase one in Annapolis and they shipped it to Seattle!

Needless to say Fred and Stephanie are excited about their new boat after planning and searching for so long, and they look forward to many happy years of cruising ahead. Having searched with such well-defined criteria this pre-owned Helmsman Trawlers fits them perfectly!

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