PNW Boat builders

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waterdog247
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PNW Boat builders

#1

Post by waterdog247 »

Hello all!

I finally made the switch, and have decided to buy an aluminum hull. After many years of boating in plastic shells, we figured it was time to get something that would stand up to the PNW and the inside passage.

We have narrowed our search down to three manufacturers; Norvelle, Seawolf, and Silverstreak. Now please don't flame me for leaving anyone out. I am sure there are manufacturers we haven't looked at and are more than willing to consider any suggestions. I am currently stationed in the Philippines, and will only have a short amount of time to sea trial boats when I get home, before I am deployed again. That is one of the reasons we chose the above three, their location.

My wife and I are dive instructors part time at Underwater Sports in Olympia. When I retire in 3 years, (seems so far away...) we would like to dedicate more of our time to diving and instruction. Gel-coat and non-alloy just don't hold up to the rigors of diving like alloy does. The 27-30 foot range has the room we want but trailer-ability we need. Eventually we would like to take a trip up the inside passage, and some of the amenities available in this size will make that trip very comfortable for the admiral. We all know if the admiral is happy, everyone is happy! :thumbsup: The occasional run offshore for Halis, Salmon and Tuna would work their way into the plan as well.

Here are some examples of what we are considering
http://www.norvelleboats.com/2896-offshore.htm
http://www.silverstreakboats.com/index. ... 3&itemid=9
http://www.seawolfmarine.com/AvailableB ... erSea.aspx

My biggest question is who owns a boat like the ones listed above, and can help narrow down our decision. I realize boat ownership is an intensely personal thing. Everyone's input is welcome. We would like to have made a decision, and either started construction on a new hull, or purchased a used one by May of 2011.

Thank you all for your help-

Cheers!

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Re: PNW Boat builders

#2

Post by Chaps »

Those are all great boats, wish I had your problem of choosing one. Yes, there are a few other PNW builders to consider but I'm sure you have looked around.

As far as I know Seawolf will only build a boat with I/O power. A buddy of mine has one and its a great boat and there are a couple of members here with that brand. I've set foot on Silver Streaks and they are very nice, if you want a deep V hull they and other BC builders have that feature avail. Norvelle's look very nice, never seen one up close, just on their site. Welcome to AAB!
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Re: PNW Boat builders

#3

Post by welder »

Check out Cold water boats www.coldwaterboats.com they build some awesome boats , done right.
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waterdog247
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Re: PNW Boat builders

#4

Post by waterdog247 »

Thank you Chaps and welder!

After doing quite a bit of reading on this forum, I am going to have to add Glacier Craft and Coldwater to the list. I have no idea why they haven't shown up in any of my searches.

I/O is what I would prefer. As divers, a clean walk-through transom and a big, sturdy swim step are very important. Believe me, the internal struggle with I/O vs OB has been a tremendous one. I know some of the diesel power plants they have now will last 10-15k hours with proper maintenance.

Thanks again guys!

Awesome forum!

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Re: PNW Boat builders

#5

Post by ruggit »

Not familiar with Norville, but looking at your list, and considering value for money spent, and ease of communication between builder and buyer would certainly have Coldwater on my short list, along with Armstrong, who probably would build you a mono or cat.
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Re: PNW Boat builders

#6

Post by Gundog »

I just finished having a Wooldridge built and if I had it to do again it would be another Wooldridge. Your list has some very good builders in it. We just got back from the maiden voyage in the salt and I could not be more impressed with my new boat and I am not a new boat owner I have had boats for 30 years and this is by far the best I have owned.

Wooldridge is a custom builder and they build a nice Pilot House boat they will build it to your specs as far as amenities. They have had very good feed back on their Pilot House series. Remember not all manufacturers measure their boats the same. Wooldridge does not count the motor bracket in their measurements so a 26' Wooldridge is equall to some of the other boats 29'er. That does not make them bad boats just make sure you are comparing apples to apples. Some of the builders on your list count the gill bracket in the boat length. My 26'6" boat is 32' from the tip of the bow to the back of my motors.

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Re: PNW Boat builders

#7

Post by S L Dave »

welder wrote:Check out Cold water boats http://www.coldwaterboats.com they build some awesome boats , done right.

I have only seen them on the internet, but they really do look like the greatest quality boats.

This is fun for me to live through you as you pick out your builder. There are many good ones and I am always afraid to leave out any worthy candidates in a long list of recommendations...so I will leave my list short and give those who know something about other builders to chime in.

Many of us here are partial to Pacific/BlackLab and Rocksalt boats and owners of said boats and friends with the people involved with those excellent companies.

I am also a huge fan of http://www.armstrongmarine.com/ cats. I spoke to them a couple of times and have seen a couple of these amazingly cool boats. They do make one in your desired size and I was very pleased with the quoted price estimate for building a new one.

Keep us posted!
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Re: PNW Boat builders

#8

Post by Bob5292 »

I'm an Ex SCUBA diver turned freediver, living just north of Seattle. When you get back to town you should come out for a spin on my boat. I have a dual Diesel Aerohead in the size range you are looking for. I really want to get out on a Seawolf and see what the difference between their 14 degree and my 20 degree hull actually is.

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Re: PNW Boat builders

#9

Post by waterdog247 »

Bob5292 wrote:When you get back to town you should come out for a spin on my boat.
Bob, I would love too. It won't be till Feb, so I hope you don't mind going out in the cold!

S L Dave wrote:This is fun for me to live through you as you pick out your builder.
SL Dave, that's the problem! There are so many to chose from!! We have dove off the Mark V several times. A custom made diving Cat from Armstrong. We would love a Cat, but couldn't get one with a beam narrow enough for easy trailering. I hate compromises.
I looked at RockSalt, and while I was very impressed with what they had to offer, they are a very long way from me. I would prefer to be able to drive to the manufacturer to address any issues or problems in person.

Who has been up the inside passage, or on an extended cruise, and can talk about dos/don'ts, lessons learned, what you would do different, etc? That will significantly impact what we buy and how we outfit her.

James

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Re: PNW Boat builders

#10

Post by AlloyToy »

Welcome to AAB :thumbsup:

Although I have limited experience with the manufacturers you've mentioned, I must add (after extensive research) that bow entry angle plays a critical role in hull performance, and quality of the ride. It amazes me that manufacturers never seem to list this specification on their boat model spec sheets. Some can't even tell you what the entry angle is. They usually list the aft deadrise which IMHO is superfluous info without the entry angle as they both work together in boat performance.

Reverse chine also lends itself to boat handling, performance and ride quality.

Silver Streak intrigues me :idea: If you visit them please report back on you thoughts of the company and boats.

And if I could add one last thing. No matter what builder you choose, get a copy of your warranty in hand, and make sure you understand it. Don't rely on the internet and other owners to say "you have a life time warranty......cuz you just might not :!:

Good luck with your search :beer:

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Re: PNW Boat builders

#11

Post by JETTYWOLF »

waterdog247 wrote:Thank you Chaps and welder!

After doing quite a bit of reading on this forum, I am going to have to add Glacier Craft and Coldwater to the list. I have no idea why they haven't shown up in any of my searches.

I/O is what I would prefer. As divers, a clean walk-through transom and a big, sturdy swim step are very important. Believe me, the internal struggle with I/O vs OB has been a tremendous one. I know some of the diesel power plants they have now will last 10-15k hours with proper maintenance.

Thanks again guys!

Awesome forum!

Cats seem to have Dive Boat written all over them. Those big azz Munsons seem to be the kind of boat that could really work as a commercial dive boat.

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Re: PNW Boat builders

#12

Post by goatram »

Cold Water Boats are in the Same Town, On the Same Street, and in the Same Building as Pacific. Bruce builds the boat to your Specifications. If you will be here in Late Jan early Feb 2011. The Seattle Boat Show will be running then. Bruce will have one or two in the water to check out and give you a ride in. For our climate and waters it's a sweet boat. (I want to upgrade to one in a couple of year) They have made a few twin diesel powered ones.

Wooldridge looks good as well. At the boat show there will be a few other Alloy Builders as well to look at and compare.
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waterdog247
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Re: PNW Boat builders

#13

Post by waterdog247 »

I am hoping I will be back by then. Right now it is looking like the 1st of Feb, so that doesn't give me a lot of time. I am hoping most of the manufacturers will be pretty flexible, and still have something available to sea trial.

Is Glacier craft still taking orders? And do they usually take as long as they did to build spoiled1's boat?

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Re: PNW Boat builders

#14

Post by spoiled one »

waterdog247 wrote: Is Glacier craft still taking orders? And do they usually take as long as they did to build spoiled1's boat?
I love my boat, but I would not go through the build process there again. I was only 18 months late. If you like the GC, Armstrong can build you one...I suspect. :popcorn: Coldwater is top shelf both in quality as well as how he runs the business. Seawolf seems to have the I/O and diesel combination dialed in. Wooldridge makes a quality boat and has an outstanding reputation, but is not in the same class as some of the previously mentioned boats IMO.

If I were to do it over again. I would think long and hard about having an Armstrong cat as my fishing, hunting, and family cruiser.
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Re: PNW Boat builders

#15

Post by welder »

Is this not a sweet ride or what , 31' of ALLOY diving fishing machine . If I ever jumped brands , this is the boat I would go with.
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Re: PNW Boat builders

#16

Post by SNOOT »

Have a look at Northwind Marine.. Another local builder use to go by the name Workboats NW. They also have there own cutting tables run by NW Plasma.

www.northwindmarine.com

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Re: PNW Boat builders

#17

Post by waterdog247 »

spoiled one wrote:If I were to do it over again. I would think long and hard about having an Armstrong cat as my fishing, hunting, and family cruiser.
spoiled one, I enjoyed your blog during the build. I would have to agree with many of the posts. Not only is "Patience" a great name, but you have more of it than I think I could ever muster. I looked at Armstrong and have sent them an inquiry. Hopefully they can get back to me soon. I am not sure a cat would meet our needs, because of the beam. It would be too hard to trailer with out a ton of red tape and permits. I am looking forward to hearing what they say about building a mono.
welder wrote:Is this not a sweet ride or what , 31' of ALLOY diving fishing machine . If I ever jumped brands , this is the boat I would go with.
welder, that is almost exactly what we are looking for. That is one sexy boat!!!

:beer:

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Re: PNW Boat builders

#18

Post by S L Dave »

welder wrote:Is this not a sweet ride or what , 31' of ALLOY diving fishing machine . If I ever jumped brands , this is the boat I would go with.
Holy Smokes!!!! What a beauty!
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Re: PNW Boat builders

#19

Post by spoiled one »

waterdog247 wrote:
spoiled one wrote:If I were to do it over again. I would think long and hard about having an Armstrong cat as my fishing, hunting, and family cruiser.
spoiled one, I enjoyed your blog during the build. I would have to agree with many of the posts. Not only is "Patience" a great name, but you have more of it than I think I could ever muster. I looked at Armstrong and have sent them an inquiry. Hopefully they can get back to me soon. I am not sure a cat would meet our needs, because of the beam. It would be too hard to trailer with out a ton of red tape and permits. I am looking forward to hearing what they say about building a mono.
I am pretty certain that Armstrong was contracted to build the first GC hulls and did three or four within the last couple of years. There are a lot of similarities between their hull and the GC. Another builder that deserves a look is EagleCraft. They put a nice hull together, too.

Patience is a quality that I was missing prior to the build for sure. The wounds from the build process have finally healed. Beer and time on the water sure does wonders! We sure have enjoyed her and have put nearly 7000 miles on Prince William Sound and have loved each mile logged! :beer:
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Re: PNW Boat builders

#20

Post by welder »

Pete, if you ever sell Patience, you will not have a problem doing it . She is a AWESOME boat , rides VERY well and cuts turns like she is on rails . The fuel burn is very respectable for a boat her size and with the LOAD we had she did GREAT.
Guys I think Pete went through Hell getting her built but I think it was worth it, just don't know if one could get another one built.

Oh Yeah, did I tell you THANK YOU today. :beer:

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Re: PNW Boat builders

#21

Post by spoiled one »

Days like these make it all worth it!


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Re: PNW Boat builders

#22

Post by welder »

Pete, you are truly SPOILED Son.
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Re: PNW Boat builders

#23

Post by waterdog247 »

spoiled one wrote:Days like these make it all worth it!
Pete, Thank you for your insight. I can't wait to hear back from Armstrong and see if they can put something together for us like Patience.

I read through the thread about your trip this summer, and was spellbound. I have been in the Army too darn long (25years) and can't wait to retire. Taking a trip up the inside passage to your neck of the woods is one of the first things on our list. I truly hope we are able to find or build a boat and outfit it to make this happen.

:beer:

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Re: PNW Boat builders

#24

Post by S L Dave »

waterdog247 wrote:
spoiled one wrote:Days like these make it all worth it!
Pete, Thank you for your insight. I can't wait to hear back from Armstrong and see if they can put something together for us like Patience.

I read through the thread about your trip this summer, and was spellbound. I have been in the Army too darn long (25years) and can't wait to retire. Taking a trip up the inside passage to your neck of the woods is one of the first things on our list. I truly hope we are able to find or build a boat and outfit it to make this happen.

:beer:

25 years of service should afford you everything you have ever dreamed of. Thank YOU!!!! I would be surprised if Armstrong didn't get back to you today. They were very responsive with my inquiry last year.
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Re: PNW Boat builders

#25

Post by Shark Bait »

Waterdog: Another boat you might consider is an EagleCraft, built in Campbell river BC. http://www.eaglecraft.bc.ca/

Although I am a little biased I believe they build the most refined, highest quality aluminum boats available - however that quality does cost a little more. Working with the Steve Daigle, the owner, and his entire team was a sheer pleasure. Our boat was started on the day they said it would be started, got pictures every Friday and it was finished on time, 9 months after I made the first construction deposit. Steve's business practices are the best in the industry - and I visited and discussed having a boat built with six builders in Alaska, Washington and British Columbia. In all honesty I did not know about ColdWater when I ordered mine. I have seen several ColdWaters and have talked to Russ several times. Coldwater would be my second choice behind EagleCraft.

I came very close to ordering a Glacier Craft and am very glad I did not. Spoiled One is a good friend and I have two other friends who are having great difficulty with boats they have ordered from GlacierCraft. If you think you might want a GlacierCraft I strongly suggest that you have some offline, PM discussions with Spoiled One and some other GlaicerCraft owners. While the boat my be OK the business and build process is something I would not want anyone to have to go through.

I hope you are finding the AAB forum helpful - there are a great bunch of folks here. I really wished it existed when I was trying to make a decision of which boat to buy. You will get some great advise, honest answers and no BS here. Welcome aboard.

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