Hi all, new member here. I am on the cusp of perhaps accepting a counter offer to purchase a used 2016 NC 11 located on the American East coast. I'm experiencing final moment cold feet as I still have lingering doubts about its suitability for my planned mission set.
I live in Door County on the Eastern side of Lake Michigan in the state of Wisconsin. It is what I would consider "big water" in certain weather circumstances. My plan for the boat is 50% sitting out at the dock drinking wine and entertaining friends, 40% motoring quickly to the quaint towns sprinkled around the area, 5% pushing across the big lake to Michigan/North Channel/etc, 5% occasional long adventures to the Eastern US seaboard.
Is this boat an appropriate choice for these missions. I like the idea of an enclosed salon, dual diesel engines, fuel efficiency, and European aesthetics.......but I worry it might be an uncomfortable ride on local wave conditions, too light, poor build quality, and damaged by salt water.
I am relatively naive about the boating world. This would be my first boating purchase. I am planning a survey, personal inspection, and sea trial....but honestly I am not sure I would recognize the issues even if in front of me.
Buying a boat is a daunting experience, especially the first time! We're on our 5th boat in 7 years (yes, it's a disease, just ask any boater :-) We don't boat in your area, so I can't speak to that, but no matter where you boat, understanding what the boat can and cannot do as well as your own limitations as a new captain (or an experienced one, for that matter) is critical no matter what boat you buy.
Drinking wine is fun on EVERY boat, so you're good there!
Diesel engines...there are so many threads on the pros and cons of this all around the internet, and I've never had a diesel engine boat, but from what I understand, they need to be run constantly for best performance. If taken care of, they will run forever.
The other thing is, you really don't know how the boat is going to handle certain conditions until you've been out in rough seas in your boat...not much you can do about that, unless you plan a sea trial on a crappy day with an experienced skipper to see how she handles the chop. When I bought my Searay (which we've recently sold), my maiden voyage on that boat was from Virginia to New Jersey...280 miles in open water. Needless to say, I learned A LOT about that boat on that trip, but even a sea trial couldn't have given me that level of comfort, as you need to get used to the boat in varying conditions. Experienced skippers know when to leave the boat in the slip and just drink wine :-)
Sounds like you're on the right track with an inspection and sea trial. Just "listen" to the boat when you're underway...see how it feels under you, have them run it wide-open, and see if anything seems unstable, unusual noises, etc. If the boat has been well maintained, the only limitations will be on how and when you choose to use it.
It took us the better part of 7 years to finally be able to say, "This is what me and my family do on boats pretty much all the time." As such, we're now looking at a Jeanneau that solves for 99% of the boating we do on the waters that we call home!
Post by Malcolm_in_the_middle on Sept 7, 2019 14:02:58 GMT
I can relate to your experience as I've had cold feet and regrets several times in the last 5 years in my boating adventure. I'm up in the PNW in Vancouver Canada. I'm on my third boat in the last month. I went from a 25 year old 30ft twin gas, to 25 year 35ft twin diesel, to my 2017 Jeanneau 795 single gas outboard.
I too had plans to spend time on the dock, explore locally and then take longer trips. I had numerous maintenances issues with the older boats, so having a newer one was top on my list. But I also found it much harder than I thought to get to the point to comfortably being able to handle things in conditions beyond calm conditions. 2-3ft waves are quite common in the PNW and although I could "handle" things, it wasn't comfortable for me, particularly with the worry of maintenance issues with the 2 older boats.
I've only had my 2017 Jeanneau a month now but I have to say the build quality seems great, especially compared to my last boats. I'm in salt water all the time, so I don't think there is a problem with that, especially if you do regular maintenance.
I just looked at windy.com (a good site for conditions), and it looks like it's 2 - 3 ft waves out on the open water on Michigan lake. I've never been on a NC 11, but it's size/weight looks similar to my 35ft diesel, and I can say 2 - 3 ft waves are workable, but can be a bit daunting.
I would say focus mainly on the 90% usage you want, namely at dock and local trips, especially your comfort level at sea trial. The longer trips will come as you get more comfortable with your boat and your skill level, and for everyone it happens differently. It might take quite a bit time to get to the long distance point, so ask yourself if you are ok with just the 90% usage scenario with boat as it is on the sea trial.
If there is anyway you can take along a friend or someone with a lot of boating experience on the sea trial, it will help a great deal with questions you may have about the handling and conditions. As well if you can go out on someone elses boat that might be similar size, even if older boat before you do the sea trial, it would help as a comparison.
Thanks so Much Malcolm. That was very helpful. It is great to hear you are are satisfied with the Jeanneau build quality. It is a boat that very few seem to be familiar with around my home area.
I am quite jealous of your PNW stomping grounds. Must be an archipelago dream land. My son recently moved to the Bangor area. Though the view from his unusual boat is not so very good, we love visiting the area.
Post by Malcolm_in_the_middle on Sept 11, 2019 0:54:22 GMT
Thanks, there is an amazing amount of places to visit in PNW, but there is a lot of challenges as well for a new boat owner, and I'm still far from experienced enough to venture to all of them. I'm really keen on being able to anchor and have little weekend getaways in secluded coves. I will probably keep my Jeanneau 795 for several years to gain my experience and then once i'm more comfortable upgrade back to a somewhat larger boat, maybe the 1095.
Often the best times I have had so far on the boats, is just relaxing after work on the dock. As long as the financial aspects of what you are looking for is comfortable (including things like moorage, insurance etc), I say go for it. The only way really to know what you can/can't do is to give it a try.
Post by carolansteve on Sept 12, 2019 22:26:59 GMT
I have a 2018 NC 11 and I can tell you it handles open water-the Atlantic very well. My best boat to date by far ( and I have had 7)! I am going to be selling the boat which is in perfect condition because my wife wants a flybridge.
As far as the diesels go its a no-brainer. They are safer, easy to maintain and much more economical by far to run. Stay away from gas engines.
Congratulations on your purchase, I am sure that grand adventure will turn out to be the better description.
Of course all grand adventures come with their unique challenges, but with any luck they will not be insurmountable.
If I could make any suggestions as to how you begin, I would suggest the highest priority is to respect the weather. Wind and waves are the overriding consideration for all boat sizes. Be cautious as to what you head out in, as your experience builds you will better understand your limits. Remember the cautious tend to live longer, and a happy crew will be your best asset in the long run.
It is always better to forgo a days outings than to scare yourself or your crew. Building up gradually, you will get to understand your limits and those of your boat and waterway, and will soon be surprised at how much there is to enjoy.
Thank you Rene! I respect the weather. As a IFR rated pilot, who initially downplayed weather's power and almost killed myself over the Rocky Mountains in icing conditions, One cannot be reminded enough of nature's fury. We are merely along for the ride if she should decide to smite us. To paraphrase a bit of pilot wisdom...."it is better to be on land wishing you were out there in the sea, than to be out there on the sea wishing you were on dry land". I'm going to lean heavily on this board for boating wisdom.
I am sorry if I simplified things a bit for you, but that maxim is a good one to remember.
Aeroplanes and boats have a lot in common, particularly in that neither like a hard landing against anything solid.
Of course, with boats, the vertical range of motion is insignificant, unless you or your crew get seasick!
So in bringing your experience to boating the main thing you have to get used to is waves. Because of the density of water, they can have a severe effect on your boat motion.
I noticed your question about the boats suitability for waves. Waves vary greatly in character. They build up with the distance the wind has been blowing across the water, or fetch, but more significantly they change in character with changes in water depth. In our admittedly extremely shallow lakes, all under ten meters, and anything over five is great. In these conditions waves become close together and very steep. Wave height that would be insignificant in the open ocean can be so close together that they are less than a boat length apart. I guess Lake Michigan would typically be somewhere between. You will soon get to know what you and your boat can handle in terms of wind direction, strength and wave height.
Most important, don’t scare the crew, stay safe and have fun.
Plenty of helpful like minded people here to answer all your questions and share your experience
Post by Malcolm_in_the_middle on Sept 21, 2019 14:25:52 GMT
Congratulations Mike! I am sure you will have many years of enjoyment. I echo the sentiment about weather. As someone once said to me about my 32ft boat at the time, it's still basically a cork on water. Having gone to an even smaller boat I am spending quite a bit of time checking weather forecast from multiple sources (since they are not very accurate).
I also always have a plan B/C when I go out as sometimes the conditions are different than I expected, so then I quickly go to the alternative plan to still enjoy the outing. Everyone has a different tolerance for the conditions and waves.
My wife and I have owned a Jeanneau 44 DS sailboat for several years ( just sold her) and are now getting to the point where we wish to switch to power. Long story, but I have been seriously looking at the NC 11.
We boat in New England in the Mystic/Newport/Block/Marthas area and I am well versed in the power of the current there and sometimes significant waves. Seas at 3-5 ft are common and 5-7+ are not uncommon, often with opposing 3-4 kt currents. So, I am a little concerned about the lightness of the NC- 11 and how she could handle these conditions vs my former sailboat. I know...completely different animal and completely different hull characteristics.
Would love to hear more about sea handling manners of the NC -11 from owners.
I am all ears too, would love to hear more about the NC 11's sea state handling characteristics/limitations. I would let you know soon, but unfortunately my boat is going to be shipped straight to heated storage here in Wisconsin. This is going to be the longest Winter ever!...at least psychologically as I wait for my first boating season.
I head out to Newport area tomorrow for my personal inspection of the boat. Looks like a nice, nautical place....