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Firming up plans to move aboard!

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    Firming up plans to move aboard!

    Hello all,
    My wife and I have finally set a date to move aboard by March 2020 or before. We may start shopping as early as December (we're in Ventura, CA). We're on the wait list for a slip, so we're waiting for that. We are in an apartment now, and lease is up in March - hence the planned date.

    We're 99% focused on a 4788. It's long been my dream-boat for all the reasons articulated in so many articles on this and other forums. Due to cost, I may have to settle for a 4588, but I'm hoping we can swing the 4788.

    We have zero experience on a big boat, but we both have our California boater cards (via Power Squadron courses). I plan to hire a licensed captain/instructor for however long it takes me to be comfortable with the new boat. I understand insurance companies may require this anyway.

    But I have a few questions for you experts:
    1) Our son, daughter-in-law and two grand-daughters are now living in Portland, OR. Our dream would be to - sometime in the future - take trips up the coast to visit, and eventually spend a few months at a time up there. I was concerned about the relatively small fuel capacity, fuel economy, etc., compared to "true" trawlers. I was thinking that I should look for a trawler with Lehman 120's so I get good economy, but many posts (especially this one) have convinced me that I can still get decent economy if I stay a little below hull speed on a long trip. This post describes a similar trip (including Kevin Sanders' poetic reply ).
    a) Is it realistic to undertake such a long trip with this boat?
    b) Should I be looking at a full displacement boat for a trip like this?

    2) I've read about dry rot in the radar arches on the 4588's and 4788's (as in this post).
    a) Is this a common problem?
    b) If the boat has a dry rotted radar arch, what might it cost to repair?
    c) Seems like I should make sure the surveyor focuses on this?

    3) What size slip are other 4788 and 4588 owners actually paying for? Per this post, the LOA of the 4788 is 53 feet, but I wonder what the marina's are actually saying. Our marina says you can hang over 2 feet at most. So I suppose we could get away with a 51' slip if they are strict about the measurement.

    4) Never having purchased a boat before (lots of used cars, but no boats), I'm wondering about the haggling process.
    a) Is there any haggling?
    b) Is there a "typical" discount, i.e. you always end up N% below asking price? I'm assuming just depends on the condition of the boat, the survey, etc.
    c) Should I pay for a buyer's agent?
    d) Should I pay for a separate engine surveyor (as is suggested in many forum posts)?

    5) Finally, what are the thoughts about Hino's vs Cummins?
    a) Is one preferred over the other enough to sway a buying decision?
    b) I see Hino 220 HP, 225 HP, 250 HP, 300 HP, 310 HP and Cummins 330 HP, 370 HP, 375 HP - are any of these to be avoided? I subscribe to so I can look them all up, but I'm hoping for feedback based on your real-world, practical experience.

    Any other words of wisdom or encouragement would be appreciated as well! Constructive criticism will not be appreciated, but I'll take that, too!

    Thanks, David

    Welcome to the forum and good luck on your search for a 4788. Unfortunately I own a 3888 so can't answer most of your questions but can say yes to getting a separate mechanical survey and don't be shy about making sure he checks everything. Tell him in advance anything you specifically want checked. Saves you wondering about it later.
    P/C Bob Hicks JN
    Dock Holiday, 1992 Bayliner 3888 Double Cabin Flybridge Cruiser
    Twin Hino W04TI 210 HP Diesels with Hurth HSW630A 2.0:1 Trannys
    Westerbeke 8.0 BTD-614 8KW Genset
    Avon 9 ft 6 in Tender with a Tohatsu M8B 8HP outboard
    Currently moored at Stones in Nanamio, B.C.


    • David_ventura
      David_ventura commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks for the feedback, Bob!

    Yes a 4788 can easily travel along any coastline, anywhere. The only caveat is to watch your weather, something any prudent mariner does.
    You will hear horror stories out there about rough seas, and yes they are all true. What is also true is that every one of those horror stories were delivery cruises where the crew had a fixed timeframe. That is where people get into trouble.

    As far as Hino Vs Cummins it is really personal preference. The Cummins equipped boats fetch a higher price, but they are also newer, and like anything improvements were made along the way. The Hino is a great engine, but it might be a tad more challenging to get it worked on, if you hire your work out. Having replaced a couple Cummins 6BTA engines and being here on the BOC for two decades I believe that the HINO is a stouter engine, but I have no science to back that up, just gut instinct.

    As far as the radar arches, they are fiberflass as far as I can tell, I would not sweat that issue.

    Good hunting!!!

    where are we right now​​​​​​???​


    • David_ventura
      David_ventura commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks Kevin - the feedback is appreciated!

    I don’t know if a 4588 is settleing, we choose the 4588 over the 4788 for a few reasons. The extra 2 feet is really only apparent on the Fly Bridge and in the Galley, other than that they are pretty much the same boat. For living aboard we really liked the office in the bunk room instead of the little bit of extra closet space. One needs somewhere to keep and do paperwork. We are not boaters that run our boat at high speed so the Hino 250 hp vs the Cummings 330 or 370’s use less fuel for the way we operate on a daily basis. The older boats have more woodwork in the interior which we also like better. Where we boat you pay for the size of your slip not the size of your boat. Slips generally are 25 feet, 30 feet, 40 feet, 50 feet, 60 feet, you get the idea. So, the 4588 will fit in a 50 foot slip, if we had a 4788 we would have to pay for a 60 foot slip thus paying for a lot of slip we are not using.
    Also, the 4788’s are generally 70-100 grand more than a 4588 just so you can have a little bit larger galley.
    We did however prefer the way the salon is laid out in the 4788, and the vaccuflush heads in the 4788 are far superior to the old Jabsco heads in the 4588.
    You cannot go wrong with either model, they are both great boats.
    Hino W06
    St. Louis, MO
    ”It’s A Wonderful Life”


    • David_ventura
      David_ventura commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks very much for your feedback, was very helpful.


    I am fairly familiar with the 3788 as a good friend of mine had one, and I am currently looking at possibly buying one.

    They are a good solid boat, but they are not a passage maker. That is tho say they are not a boat I would want to get caught off the west coast of Oregon or NorCal in!

    Day trips around SoCal out to the channel islands when the weather is reasonable? Perfect boat!

    The issue is the side cabin windows, a big wave will knock em right out!

    People can and do modify them, and really the boat is a coastal cruiser, and yes you could harbor hop up the coast, but the best way to take a Bayliner from Socal to Oregon is I-5!

    That bit of the west coast is known for tearing up boats if not destroying them, and the nice part of the year wind and current would be working against you so it would be an uphill slog the whole way!

    Being a sailor I can tell you that when guys on Sailboats go from Socal to the PNW, we do it by going to Hawaii, then heading north towards Alaska over the top of the Pacific High so you aren't taking all that weather on the nose!

    However, they never made a Bayliner that was suited for that trip!

    You will however have lots of other choices there is a lot to be seen in Mexico and you can venture further south to Costa Rica and Panama, if you get your druthers to go through the Canal the gulf and Caribbean have lots to offer where you can run that boat all over.

    To give you some perspective I would take a Bayliner 3788 to Canada and Alaska up the inside passage without too much hesitation, really just depending on the anchoring gear and electronics available to me like say a good auto pilot and a damn good radar/chart plotter. (and a water maker)

    But would I take the same boat down the west coast of Oregon and Norcal, down maybe, up, id have to be super familiar with the boat and make special preparations to her.

    As far as which boat to buy?

    Well there are a few factors there, if you were to say step down even further to a 3788, or a 3888 you're going to fit in a 40' slip, and 40' slips are plentiful, 50' slips in places have waiting lists that are years long!

    So before you buy her, make sure you can actually get her into a marina!

    Then you need to consider the difference in the cost of moorage, a 48' boat at a marina that charges $1.25 a foot for an overnight stay in their guest moorage is going to cost $60.00 per night, a 38 would cost $47.50! That means that every 4th day you stayed on the bigger boat you could have got a 5th for the same price!

    Then consider some marinas in the summer charge $1.95 a foot! I will let you do the math!

    When it comes to permanent moorage, you are going to be looking $8-15.00 per month per boat foot. lets say it is $12.00, the 48 would cost $576.00 a month, the 38 $456.00. That's $120.00 a month, and $1,440 a year!

    Then you need to consider fuel consumption.

    At an economy cruise the 48 is gong to burn about 5 gph if you are lucky, I am not sure what diesel is where you are, but it is 3.599 here, that means you are looking at $17.99 per hour operating cost for diesel alone on the 48, where as on the 3788 I would say you are going to be closer to 3 gph, That is $10.80 per hour.

    When you consider the cost of making a 200 mile trip, say the economy cruise is at 10 knots, the 48' will snort down 100 gallons of fuel, and cost $359.90! The 38' will use 70 gallons and cost $251.93!

    Same boats, same trip, but on the 38', you will show up with an extra $107.97 in your pocket!

    I think you get the idea.

    Also, getting a 48' for your first boat, that is a lot of boat, my current boat is a 42' sailboat, and she is a lot of boat for someone who is new.

    When running the boat you are also going to have to consider that that big Bayliner is like a wall of fiberglass and canvas, and that means when the wind is blowing it is a sail. Again when you consider 48' vs. 38', the 48' is going to have about 26% more area on it's side profile, to my estimate about 410 Sqft. the 38 is about 303 Sqft.

    Throw in 15 knots of breeze, and you are going to have your hands full on the 48 because the side profile is as big as the main sail on my sailboat!

    Yes, experienced handlers do it all the time, but that experience has to come from somewhere, and most get it on smaller boats.

    I see a lot of people who jump into big boats, get embarrassed docking a few times, then they give up on boating all together because of it, and never really get the joys life on the water can bring.

    And maybe you are the kind of guy who has the pockets who are deep enough, and you are a quick study when it comes to driving your boat that obviously is not known to me.

    What I do know is what I have seen, and that is a lot of people buy a big boat, and it becomes a floating condo that never leaves the slip because they get scared or embarrassed a few times after a few crunches and insurance claims and apologies, and they never take the boat out again!

    Hope you find an awesome boat and get some good time out on the water!

    - Nick

    P.S, and by the way, join a yacht club that has good reciprocal moorage, if you are a veteran there are military clubs that are super cheap, reciprocal moorage lets you stay places for cheap or even free! And they are a great place to meet awesome people who love boating.

    Currently sailing: Spencer 42 Sloop Hull #7

    Looking at a 3888.


    • David_ventura
      David_ventura commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks, Nick. Appreciate the feedback. You've given me much to think about!