So, often on social media, we see generic inquiries on what type of boat to buy. We can’t stress enough that boat shows are a great way to board, see, and touch so many vessels in a concentrated area. Joining boat membership forums is another platform for first-hand insight and knowledge. Also, as a member, you can attend rendezvous, which may lead you to board friends or attend a hosted boat crawl. Over time, you will begin to curate your own list of deal breakers and have. Only you can answer…

  • Acceptable condition?
  • Affordable operational cost?
  • Affordable purchase range?
  • Abilities and desires of what you’re willing to do or not to do onboard?
  • Compromises you’re willing to make?
  • Current boat skills and what additional skills you may require?
  • Deal breakers and must haves?
  • Definition of affordable and comfort?
  • Full-time or part-time cruisers?
  • Importance to seeing family and friends; how long can you go without seeing them in person?
  • Navigation plans (any limitations and/or restrictions)?
  • Vessel preferences? 
  • Whether maintenance and/or repairs will be done yourself or outsourced?
  • Willingness and associated cost to relocate the vessel?

Our Insurance Agent, aware of our future purchase plans, had warned us to stay clear of drastic length leaps exceeding 10 feet of the last vessel operated/owned and steel hulls due to known insurance underwriting issues. We previously owned:

  • 2012 35′ Regal Sport Coupe (M/V Silver Lining)
  • 2010 24′ Yamaha 240SX (M/V Yami)

Between us, our search methods differed. Jacques preferred the automated method while I enjoyed the regular manual search whether on a Monday, Wednesday and/or Friday with BoatsBoat TraderCurtis Stokes, DenisonJeff Merrill Yacht Sales (JMYS), Marine Trawler Owners Association (MTOA)National Liquidators or Yachtworld online.

Our Trawler Wish List…


  • Protected Wide Passage/Walkway (Janet)** 
  • Passage/Walkway Overhang (Janet)
  • Portuguese Bridge (Jacques)**
  • No Teak (Janet)


  • Midship Master Stateroom (Both)**
  • Master Stateroom Walk Around Bed (Janet)**
  • Separate Washer & Dryer (Janet)** 
  • Engine Room Access (Jacques)**


  • Raised Pilothouse (Both)
  • Dual Pilothouse Doors (Both)
  • LOA 45-55 (Both)
  • Low Draft/Height for the Great Loop (Jacques)
  • Reverse Gant Windows (Jacques)
  • Year 2000/Newer (Both)

Deal Breaker Comments (**Notes our Deal Breakers Above)

  • Separate washer and dryer preferred on the same level of staterooms. A deal breaker if it is located in the engine room or a combo unit.
  • If the main engine access is through the floor of the galley or saloon, this is a deal-breaker.

Also Important to Us:

  • Galley Space – We enjoy cooking together, so large enough for 2 figures to work.
  • His & Her Space – Walls when breaks are needed from each other in tight quarters, it happens!
  • Interior Natural Light  

After years of searching, we certainly had moments to believe we were looking for a “unicorn.” Fortunately, not at any moment, were we both feeling doubtful at the same time. One of us was always able to boost the others’ morale and restore hope. Regardless of all the boat shows and salesperson connections we made throughout the years, service never seemed to go beyond the automated email solicitations. In fact, on 10/1/22, we attended Trawlerfest (Baltimore, MD), leaving our contact information and preferred parameters as noted above. Thankfully, we left nothing to chance as we proactively contacted the opposing brokerage on the Nordhavn 47 listing. Sadly, the listing broker whom we met just months prior followed up with a perfect match. Be your own advocate and leave nothing by chance. On Thursday, 5/18/23, we finally became trawler owners on a Nordhavn 47′ (N4701)! Our initial showing was on Saturday, 3/4/23, followed by Surveyors on Monday, 5/1/23, and Tuesday, 5/2/23. The delayed settlement results in the vessel’s Canadian past flag requiring further Seller’s actions. If you have never settled on a vessel before, I would compare buying or selling a residence with your emotions and stress level.  

  • 2 Staterooms & 2 Full Heads
  • Diesel
  • East Coast Location
  • Engine Room Access
  • Flybridge
  • Interior Flow
  • Portuguese Bridge
  • Price Point
  • Raised Pilothouse
  • Storage Space
  • Washer & Dryer 

With our Nordhavn 47′ what did we compromise or sacrifice in terms of some:

  • No Teak (Janet) – There’s 1 plank area!
  • Low Draft & Height Clearance for the “Great Loop” (Jacques)

Since we became Marine Trawler Owners Association (MTOA) Members in 2013, it’s taken us nearly 10 years to achieve our goal!
Other brands we liked: Bruce Roberts, DeFever, Jefferson LRC, Ocean Alexander, Pacific Mariner, SeaHorse and Selene. 

And if money wasn’t an object, then Bering, Fleming, Marlow, Northwest, or Outer Reef, just to mention a few.


  • Be prepared whether you’re buying or selling the process can take years. Don’t get discouraged!
  • Board as many vessels as you can. You won’t know what you like, dislike, need, and want until you do.
  • Create and edit your “must haves” accordingly (we actually kept a draft in our joint email account).
  • Discuss and know what you’re willing to compromise on or not.
  • Don’t be afraid to “dream” (I even had a vision board, there’s no harm in throwing it out to the universe)!
  • Be your own advocate! Don’t rely on others when it comes to fulfilling your dreams.
  • Some boaters say, with a used vessel to plan on 15% – 25% of the initial purchase price in improvements and repairs before any lengthy cruising.
Hi, I’m Janet

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