Panbo

The next Gizmo? Talk me down!

... written for Panbo by Ben Ellison and posted on Mar 13, 2009
Maybe_Gizmo_panel_cPanbo.jpg

So it turns out that within my big old head still lurks the boat lust of a younger man, even when confronted with tangles of wires and other system complexities. No problem, I thought to myself, I can deal with this stuff!  But was that the irrational voice of a love stricken boy speaking?  I've been missing from Panbo for a couple of days because en route to NYC yesterday I checked out a boat I'd been admiring online...and fell much deeper under her spell. Today I've been consulting trusted advisors who know more about this sort of boat, and the used boat buying process, than I do. And I'd like to know what Panbots think...

So the possible future Panbo electronics testing platform and office afloat --- i.e. the next Gizmo --- might be this Duffy Atlantic 37 listed at YachtWorld.  There's more detail on the hull here, and the yard that finished her here.  Now before you give me grief about guzzling fossil fuel, let me note that I'd often run a boat like this in displacement or minimum plane modes, and would hope to evolve the systems so that the generator was hardly ever be used, or maybe even removed. But don't hesitate to poke holes in this dream boat; it might be good for me to be talked down a bit.   

Maybe_Gizmo_cPanbo.jpg

Comments

I don't know power boats, but that is a handsome boat and looks quite comfy, well maintained and well built.

You won't want to be messing her up with all sorts of wiring and instruments and antennas here and there. If you can figure out how to use her as a test platform without ruining the pretty lines I'd say you got your next Gizmo.

I won't talk you down.

Posted by: SanderO at March 13, 2009 8:47 PM | Reply

Greatlooking boat, love the protected prop and the nav station. Well equipped and livable.

Posted by: J R at March 13, 2009 10:36 PM | Reply

It's my humble opinion that once the plea to "talk me down" goes out, your already in love and looking to spice up the affair with an extra dose of defiance. Enjoy her! She's beautiful.

Posted by: Marine Guard Yacht Security at March 14, 2009 1:27 AM | Reply

Very pretty boat indeed.

Yard bills.

Name: after your wife or your mother, unless you're going to name her Panboat or Electron.

Productivity: you'll be so busy driving your wife and friends around you'll lose interest in hooking up wires on the test bench. Oops, I forgot, she IS the new test bench!

Did I mention yard bills?

But she does make a very classy-looking business expense deduction for the 1040!

Posted by: Dan at March 14, 2009 4:49 AM | Reply

Get some sails :)

/

Posted by: Anonymous at March 14, 2009 5:17 AM | Reply

I can see Panbo being written/updated from this floating "lab"... You only live once!

Sorry, not sure that was "talking you down"...

Posted by: LC at March 14, 2009 7:39 AM | Reply

I'm a bit disappointed at your change in direction from purchasing a modern, stable, fuel efficient cruising catamaran toward buying an old lobsteryacht.

I appreciate your fresh ideas and innovative approach to electronics.....push the envelope and do some more research for a smaller cat.

Evolution on all fronts!

Posted by: Bill at March 14, 2009 7:40 AM | Reply

Not much of a sail on it.

Remember, the price of fuel is extremely low right now - we will be going back to $4.00 plus a gallon again.

Posted by: Richard Cassano at March 14, 2009 8:32 AM | Reply

Beautiful vessel, lots of potential.

From the looks of it, her single diesel and low deadrise hull should prove efficent, at least compared to a deep vee.

I say go for it, because in this buyer's market I bet you can get one heck of a deal.

Posted by: AaronH at March 14, 2009 9:01 AM | Reply

And why remove the generator-I can see a Panbo electric-diesel hybrid in her!

Posted by: AaronH at March 14, 2009 9:05 AM | Reply

It's too late to talk you off the ledge.

Duffy hulls have always been one of my favorites. This one looks like a beauty and is the perfect Downeast style boat for you.

Besides, you'll be helping the economy!

Posted by: Lookout Sailors at March 14, 2009 9:27 AM | Reply

Ben,

remember, less is more.
Do your test in you laboratory, travel and visit friends and family with your spare time. That's my vote. PL

Posted by: peter lindquist at March 14, 2009 9:45 AM | Reply

Go for it!

As one with a displacement speed lobster boat used in Penobscot and Blue Hill bays, my recommendation for the very first improvement wouldn't be electronics, but rather a nice cage around the propeller. The you can read the instruction manuals steaming down the bay without worrying about picking up a lobster pot.

Posted by: Tom C at March 14, 2009 9:59 AM | Reply

Or, AaronH, maybe repowered with a Steyr style diesel propulsion/generator hybrid...after a few years when the technology is wrung out, and this boat's Volvo Penta is tired?

I do think the Duffy could "greened" a bit over time, plus fuel efficiency has a lot to do the hand on the throttle. Remember that I'm the guy who took a 25k Island Pilot from Maine to Cuttyhunk at close to idle speed.

http://www.islandpilot.com/html/islandpilotpressroom.html

In fact, early this week I joined boatdiesel.com so I could ask about the efficiency and health of the running the TAMD74C at low RPMs. The gear heads there mostly said "no problem", but I'm certainly interested in more opinions.

Another boat I looked at and like a lot, by the way, is a Northern Bay 36 that's purposely set up for life on a hook and maximum fuel efficiency underway:

http://www.yachtworld.com/boats/1999/Northern-Bay--1765498/West-Bath/ME/United-States

Regarding the Maine Cat P-47: I still get construction updates every week, and they are looking sensational. But there's a factor I haven't discussed. Late last Fall (after decades on waiting lists) I got a permit to own and use a float in Camden Inner Harbor. It's sort of like being on a mooring (though you have a float mate) but it's very protected, much more than the outer harbor, and it's simply one of the most beautiful places to hang out in the boating world (I think).

But a boat on a float in the Inner Harbor can not exceed 42' in length, pulpit and swim platform included, or 14' in beam. Multihulls, therefore, are pretty much out. This Duffy 37, however, fits like a glove!

Incidentally, I'd still like to sell my discount P47 contract, but there's not much time left:

http://www.panbo.com/archives/2008/12/garmin_ap_p47_worthy_how_about_you.html

Posted by: Ben at March 14, 2009 10:03 AM | Reply

Beautiful boat, Go for it! Hopefully our wakes will cross this summer and we can see her in the flesh.

Posted by: Mike Martus at March 14, 2009 10:50 AM | Reply

Just caved and bought this boat with lots of room to change out electronics. Installing bunch of Garmin stuff. See you in Rockport soon.
http://s20.photobucket.com/albums/b242/AHSeymour/
Its a Lord Nelson Victory Tug.

Posted by: Allan Seymour at March 14, 2009 10:55 AM | Reply

Seems like there is generous space for many chartplotters ... are you thinking of having many at once ?

Posted by: Dan Corcoran (b393capt) at March 14, 2009 11:49 AM | Reply

I live in the Pacific Northwest, more specifically in Victoria on Vancouver Island BC. I have a 2001 40' Pacific Trawler that also serves as the test bed for the equipment reviews I write for a US magazine.

The limiting factor for me is that unless the gear is to become part of the permanent inventory on the boat, I will not install anything that isn't 100% reversible, i.e. no holes, scratches, etc. As a result, several potentially good articles never got written, because temporary installations wouldn't work well enough to produce the necessary real world experience over time and through different conditions.

OTOH, those that meet my conditions provide yet another good excuse - as if I needed one - to be on the boat.

Cheers, Garrett

Posted by: Garrett at March 14, 2009 12:40 PM | Reply

Definitely, Dan! There's tons of room at both helms, not to mention ample cable runs and that monster of an antenna mast. Check out the dual reinforced spreaders and shrouds, along with mast steps and tabernacle. I could, say, temporarily install two or three radomes and/or sat domes for comparative testing.

Posted by: Ben at March 14, 2009 1:19 PM | Reply

Garrett, Please feel free to mention your magazine(s) here or, better yet, link us to any of your work that's online.

Allan, I think I found your Lord Nelson on Yacht World...sweeeeeeet!

Posted by: Ben at March 14, 2009 1:29 PM | Reply

Ben


I have recently surveyed a couple of Duffy / Atlantic boat hulls and there was some moisture, quite a lot actually in the core. It seems that where the deck fills and other penetrations went through the deck etc the core was left exposed and sucked up water. Most Duffy hulls are great but be aware of this. I can send pictures to you if you like.

Mark Corke

Posted by: Mark Corke at March 14, 2009 8:30 PM | Reply

go for it Ben.

Looks like the ideal "real world" test platform. And you are da man for it!

Posted by: robert at March 14, 2009 10:07 PM | Reply

Lots of folks are going to say (and have) how the boat is nice and you should get it, but they have nothing at stake. I say let the numbers direct you.

Posted by: Maren at March 15, 2009 8:18 AM | Reply

OK Ben, I'm going to give it to you STRAIGHT. This vessel is perilously close to the DARK SIDE. The mast and boom are embarrasingly small, and hardly worth using in less than a gale. Looking at it one is led to suspect that the sails are little more than ornamental, and that you would be runing the auxiliary power almost all the time you're under way. Shameless. That means you have to carry enough fuel for almost the whole voyage. And there is hardly any keel.
The truth is, people are bound to talk. I spend enough time defending that damn beanie of yours; this is just too hard a spin to doctor. Sorry.

Posted by: Sandy at March 15, 2009 11:44 AM | Reply

Ben, hard for me to talk you down since I live in your town and can see myself sitting on the aft deck on that float with the view of Mount Battie and the passing Camden Harbor boat eye candy.

I like the Duffy better than the Northern Bay. Better layout and the covered aft deck gets your tender up and out of the way. The pass-through transom and swim platform is a nice feature of the Northern Bay but overall the Duffy has it.

Very interested to hear more about your "greening" plans as I'm sure are others because I think we all know that Richard is correct, fuel prices will be headed back up again. It would be no fun to be making your travel plans based on the rise and fall of diesel prices. Still, if the plan is a slow cruise up and down the ICW, and sitting at either end of the trip then what she does at rest is just as important. Big solar panels and wind power should be a part of the plan with all that computer equipment and all the gear you test. There's no shore power on those floats in the middle of Camden Harbor.

Good luck with your decision!

Posted by: Jamie at March 16, 2009 6:59 AM | Reply

Great looking boat. I have been following comments about a Terry Jason 35 ft down east powerboat on another forum, and several people on that forum claim many down east hulls are no fun in quartering seas. The fine, deep bow that eats up head seas and the flat stern sections that provide such an efficient ride combine to produce a hull that yaws and bow steers in certain sea conditions. Have you heard whether the Duffy 37 suffers from this handling trait?

I noticed there is a spray rail along the bow. Again, many down east hulls have no flare (flam?) and are like a submarine they are so wet. Have you heard anything about the Duffy on this aspect? I met a fellow who bought and instantly sold a Pearson True North because it was so wet in any sort of sea.

Covey Island is very highly regarded and the construction and woodworking are likely to be first-rate.

Posted by: John at March 16, 2009 3:04 PM | Reply

Go for it. It can be bought and later sold. It's not like kids. You are dead a long time!

Posted by: melkal at March 16, 2009 3:57 PM | Reply

I have a Duffy 37 2005 with a Cummings QSL 9
320 fuel, 100 water, 45 holding.
It has a long top that covers the back and is
finished with teak and cherry.
The operation speeds seem to match what I am getting with this boat.
I use a five bladed prop and 8kw gen set. Sound down everywhere.
The Saloon has two captains chairs and is finished more like a Zimmerman 36.
If you would like pictures give me a place to send them.

Posted by: Carlisle Neithold at March 16, 2009 11:12 PM | Reply

The Covey Island interior is beautiful and functional. The concern about moisture intrusion might be mitigated if we knew that Covey Island finished the outside as well. After all, their normal method of construction is glass-covered wood so proper techniques to prevent moisture intrusion are their stock and trade.

For seaworthiness, I would choose a proper semi-displacement hull. However, at normal cruising speeds, say 12 knots, they are not economical to run. The idea of a lobster boat with one very large diesel is old thinking and not a long-term solution to future fuel prices.

The lower helm will require significant modification to accomodate monitors or radar/chartplotters. The engine instruments need to be moved. The instrument console appears to stick up about as high as it can go. Of course, you can create hanging shelving overhead to accommodate some instruments for test.

Posted by: Ron Rogers at March 17, 2009 12:12 PM | Reply

Hail bene:

Quite a looker - she has beautiful and classic lines...I can see what attracted her to you. You are far too savvy about boats to need much input, but I will add a few comments about hulls and hooks.

Construction details from Duffy did not mention whether hull construction was cored or solid... and what was the resin? Poly or vinyl-ester? Barrier coat if poly? Even a beautiful boat is only as good as the integrity of her hull.

I also suspect that your life on the hook (be it the CQR at Great Wass/Roque, or your Camden float) will have different requirements than her previous life on a dock with shore power. I did not catch whether the Volvo has a high output alternator, or how large was the charging capacity of the battery charger running off the genset. If they were standard issue, you might want to factor in the cost of upgrades in the near future.

Also, the exterior teak is gorgeous, but it is what it is!

Finally, purchasing a boat is not a rational decision, it is an emotional one. Enjoy it, or alternatively, simply tear up $100 bills in a cold shower. If it were rational, everyone would sail OPB's. Speaking of which, let's clear this up by May 16th!!!

Best, Visions

Posted by: Visions at March 17, 2009 6:48 PM | Reply

Hey, I love you guys!

I carefully read, and appreciated, all comments pro and con, and I've been doing homework elsewhere. Nonetheless, offers and counter offers were made, and I have a signed Purchase Agreement, subject of course to a thorough survey in a week or two. Wow!

PS I'm back in Maine, after a long day on the road, and N2K Power Part 2 will have to wait until the morning.

Posted by: Ben at March 17, 2009 9:02 PM | Reply

Ignore the voracious sputter of the neo-nazi environmentalists, diesel fuel is a naturally ocurring substance placed here for our use, so use some of it in this georgeous Duffy and keep the genset, in fact add more electronics and electron guzzling fixtures until you max-out the amp capacity. Great boat, go for it with mucho gusto.

Posted by: marcus at March 23, 2009 7:26 PM | Reply

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