Is a DE for me?

exiledgator

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I'm contemplating a used ~20' center cockpit DE boat and I'm hoping to tap the wisdom of this board to see if:

1.) This would be a good boat for my intended use?
2.) How much should I expect to spend to be up and running?

I realize these questions are unanswerable without more info, so here we go:

Intended uses:

We're looking to buy a boat in about 2 years to take our kids (that will be 5.5 and 3.5 by then) out into eastern Casco Bay (ME) and possible trailer into other ME bays. We will be day tripping to islands and tent camping on islands. Ideally - I'd also like to pull some lobster pots (rec license) with the same boat.

With that in mind, here's my wish list: I want a boat that is sea kindly, sea(bay)worthy, fairly dry, shallow draft for coves and rivers, relatively fuel efficient, able to carry a family of 4 and camping gear / or 6 - 8 passengers, can be used to pull pots.

I've owned a half dozen boats in my life - up to a 30' cruising sloop (I'm a life-long sailer) - so I recognize that everything is a trade off in boats. I understand that I may not find a boat in the size and price I want, that will do all the things I want to do. But that's why I'm here asking about DEs. :) How many of my wishes would come true in a ~20' DE?

How much should I expect?

Again, I've owned and vigilantly maintained many boats (have yet to pay anyone to work on a boat of mine - except for marine diesel) so I'm aware that there's "nothing more expensive than a cheap boat". I've seen some DE boats in the 18'-22' range on craigslist from $6K (obviously needing lots of work) on up. I don't want to bring an older boat up to Bristol condition - I just want to make it solid, clean, and serviceable. Can this be done under $15K? Under $10K?

Thanks in advance!
 

Eastporter

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I think a 20' Eastern CC or a Seaway 21' Sportsman would be wonderful for what you want to do. I have a 20' Eastporter that is similar to an Eastern and I rebuilt it (added a pilothouse too). There are many different brands of this shallow keel (outboard) DE boat. For examples: Eastern, Seaway, Eastporter, Midland, Mitchell Cove, generic "novi" boats, Leblanc boats out of Canada etc. They are bay worthy (excellent in short chop under 2'), extremely fuel efficient with upgraded power, and fairly easy to trailer. Install a custom davit on the boat's gunnel and you can pull pots all season. The problem with kids is having a head and sun/weather protection. You might want to consider a canvas dodger, a porta-potty, or spend a little more money and find a pilothouse model. I don't think many boats in the 20' range can legally accommodate 8 passengers unless you are talking about two children in the total. Good luck and price range will vary depending on condition and power (don't forget trailer too). I've seen lots of used boats in this category for short money lately (less than $5k) but may need work or have old outboards. I would say $10-$15k would be a good budget, and this would get you a newer (used) 4 stroke outboard. New Easterns and Seaways in this length are around $35-$40k. Spray rails are usually installed to keep passengers drier, but most cc boats are still wet boats depending on conditions.
This 22' Eastern has been rebuilt by Eastern in 2009 and looks like a great deal more boat- that your family will not outgrow right away. http://maine.craigslist.org/boa/3160190285.html A decent boat for a fair price IMHO. This 23' boat should fit all your camping gear and price is right but get it surveyed for rot.
http://maine.craigslist.org/boa/3135496496.html
 
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JimRP31

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De 4 me

I agree with Eastporter's boat options. My wife and I went through the same routine last year. We wanted a small cabin so my daughter would have a place to nap and stay out of the sun. We had an idea that we could overnight as well. We looked in the 10K range with figuring we could put in some sweat equity to upgrade to a nicer family boat. We found that most of the boats in the 10K or lower range needed a lot of work and had engines with limited life span. We ended up with a SISU 22. Our total cost was around 20K. It came with a 2006 4S Johnson (Suzuki under the covers). It did need some cosmetic work but was good to go the first summer. This past spring we looked at the boat and realized the spray rails were falling off. See the thread for SISU Refit. We spent 90 plus hour replacing the spray rails and repainting. My point is even a 20K boat will need some TLC. My advice is you buy a boat in good shape with preferably a good engine. But make sure the boat is good first. It is much easier to repair or replace the engine than to replace stringers, decking, transom etc. Unless of course you want to spend you weekends replacing stringers, decking etc.....
 

exiledgator

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Thanks for the replies, all.

It's nice to hear that a DE boat may do the trick for me. I certainly have a strong preference for something a little salty - I have a hard time considering a clorox bottle SeaRay/Trophy/etc.

I appreciate the real-life input, jk. I don't mind (I actually kinda like it) taking on some projects, but I will be looking for something that doesn't involve projects as large as laying new stringers - or similar. Hopefully our budget will allow us to avoid that much work.

Thanks for the links, too, Eastporter. It does look like there are some 'short dollar' options out there when the time comes.

I was reading a thread on hull-truth last night about Eastern 22s (after I found that Boston CL boat - wow that's cheap!) and there were some interesting comments I'd like to bounce off of you:

Some guys were complaining about the ride in chop, while others said it did well in bay chop. ?

Others were talking about unsavory handling characteristics in a following sea (I've read this elsewhere, too). Is this a troubling characteristic of these hulls or something easily overcome with seamanship?

There was also those complaining of low freeboard/gunwales and kids.

I guess I really need to get out and take some boats on sea trial, huh?
 

Eastporter

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I have only experience with my boat, but it is soft chine with a small 2" keel. It is great in a small head sea chop, not good in anything over 2'. It does roll at anchor, on a mooring, and a beam sea can move the boat. A following sea keeps you on your toes, as you steer and try to surf the waves in (adjusting throttle). If anyone knows Buzzards Bay (around Wings Neck lighthouse) it can get some crazy confused seas due to canal, high SW wind, tides etc. I've had my boat in when the steep rollers were coming from different angles and it is NOT fun (downright scary). If you want a bay boat and pick your days (look at marine forecast) you'll be okay. That said, my next boat will have a full keel with a single screw. I have 23" freeboard at the lowest point and increases going forward. Two kids and no trouble with them falling out- I would have a cleat or grab handle available however.
 

MouseTrap

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I would think a DE would fit your needs nicely. I boat in Western Casco Bay and have two kids. Our 21' is rated for seven passengers. We've owned it for 10 years (since new), and had it before kids. Our two kids are now 6 and 8.

We use it exactly as you describe. The nice thing about our boat is that it draws 8" of water with the engine up, allowing the family to get off the boat in ankle deep water.

We are thinking about up-sizing only due to the fact that the boat is the perfect size for a family of four, but now that the kids are getting older there is not much room for friends.

I've had center consoles before, and the space they provide is great. However, I am happy to have the little pilothouse for protection from the elements. Our boat is good in a small chop. We have trim tabs, which makes a big difference. Beam seas do move the little boat around quite a bit, but it is a small-light-soft chine boat. Following seas are fine, just don't take your hand off the wheel.

The gunwales on our boat are VERY low. We added passenger rails which you can see in the picture, which I am very happy I added. The picture shows the boat in less than a foot of water on Little Chebeague.

attachment.php


I would be happy to take you out for a ride if you want.
 
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exiledgator

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I can tell ya, full keeled sailboats don't particularly act too nicely in quartering/following seas - so I'm OK with maintaining an active helm to keep things copacetic. I certainly don't plan on being in the thick of things with the family, but I've also spent enough time out there to recognize that planning doesn't guarantee avoiding a mess. I just want to be sure that whatever boat we get, is one that gives me a good odds to get back safe.

Ian, Great to hear you've successfully done what we're looking to do in your DE. I can really see the beauty (both aesthetic and functional beauty) of the pilot house, but I sure do like the "idea" of a CC and all it's room. It would be nice to be able to bring some friends along with us on occasion.

I re-read my original post - I don't know why I put eastern Casco Bay. I live in Cape. I can't count the number of times I've dropped the hook in Chandler cove. Plenty of "picnics" on Tick Island (as we like to call Little Chebeague) over the years. Judging by pics in your other thread, it looks like you keep her at Sunset? If you're sincere in your offer - I'd love to take a little ride one day/evening!
 

MouseTrap

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A harbor cruise it is then! Yup, we have been at Sunset for the past 8 years. PM me to make arrangements. :D
 

JimRP31

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EK glad I could add some input. Let know if you have anymore questions. I live in Tiverton RI if you ever want to come look at my SISU 22
 

exiledgator

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^^^ Whoa! The next cheapest RF246 I see on the itrawebs is listed at $30K. Most are $50K and up.
 

jrg

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My neighbor had an RF246 for years - he used to keep her at Chandler's Wharf. She looked like she could take a beating! Rugged hull.

Gator - Like mousetrap, I'd happily take you out on my Eastern 24 (old design). It's mostly a family boat, bombing between islands and beaches just about every weekend and I'll drag the occasional striper/blue over the gunwhale too. I keep her in Falmouth. Lemme know if this hull is on your list.
 

MouseTrap

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Lance,

Have you seen this 21' center console for sale in the clisified forums?

It looks like it would be a very substantial 21 footer!

attachment.php
 
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exiledgator

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Thanks for the links, all!

That 21 Hooper has for sale looks like just what I had in mind.

But, I've done enough boat searches/purchases to know that I often don't end up wanting/getting what I originally want. Research and realism can change one's mind. Not that this will be the case now, but I've got a lot to learn and consider before purchasing - plus our purchase is a year away at the earliest.

By all means, keep posting links - I'm sucking this stuff up!

I pulled a U-ey on Rte 1 in Arundel yesterday when I saw a small CC DE in a boat yard. Turns out it was a Tripp Angler 18. I don't think it was for sale, but it was a stout looking boat.

jrg, I'd love to see your Eastern one day. I think I'm headed out with Ian one evening this week - then I'm out of town for a week. I'll PM you and maybe we can make something happen later this month.

I love the internet. How did we ever learn in 1994? ;) Seems like so long ago now...
 
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exiledgator

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Got out on Mouse Trap w/ Ian last night. What a beautiful and stout boat he has!

I was really interested in getting into a pilot house to see how that would work for my needs. I was skeptical that I would want one, but now I feel more inclined to consider it. For one, I see how wet these smallish DEs can be. It was as calm an evening as one will find and the wipers were still put to use as we went through all the traffic wake at the mouth of the river.

I can also see the beauty in the space the pilot house creates. Both to "throw it to stow it" and a place for the kids to play around in. Not to mention shelter.

The deck on his boat is HUGE. Very appealing. I do think I'll need the admirals OK on the low gunwales of a DE and our li'l ones, though.

The boat handled much as I expected (except wetter than I expected.)

Now I'm off to try a CC and see how that fits into the equation.



BTW: For those that haven't met him, Ian is a super nice guy. Thanks again, man!
 

MouseTrap

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BTW: For those that haven't met him, Ian is a super nice guy. Thanks again, man!

Aw-shucks, thanks Lance. My wife says thanks for not murdering me and taking the boat :D. Lance told a great story about his telling his colleagues that he was going to meet a guy that he met on the Internet after work!

It was a great reason to go out during the week!


Just an FYI here is another great looking little pilot house "craigslist find" in the classified section.
 

jrg

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Gator - since you didn't cut Ian up in little pieces and steal his boat, my offer still stands. Give me a shout when you're back from out of town.
 

exiledgator

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Lance told a great story about his telling his colleagues that he was going to meet a guy that he met on the Internet after work!

Yeah, that one got even more mileage at the office yesterday. :oops: LOL

Jrg - thanks again. It's the Eastern 24 that I really want, so I'll be bringing my hatchet for our ride. Be sure to have all your affairs in order. ;)
 
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