What Goes Around Comes Around


By Jim Favors

The first boat Lisa and I bought together was a used 20-ft. Four Winns Sundowner with a cuddy cabin. It was a good boat, nothing exceptional, it was how we boated with that vessel that made it memorable. We towed our Four Winns all over northern Michigan so we could explore the lakes, rivers, and small harbor towns. It almost seems like yesterday when we were anchored out overnight in that small boat on Torch Lake or Lake Charlevoix, among other local hot spots, using our Porta Potty in the cover of darkness and eating finger foods out of a small cooler. Although I’m not interested in ever having a Porta Potty again, I am excited about the prospects of owning another trailerable boat. For us, what goes around is coming around; at least as far as the trailerable boat part is concerned.

Lisa and I enjoying a quiet anchorage on Torch Lake on our 20’ Four Winns Sundowner.

For people who are true boaters, water rats if you will, it really doesn’t matter what the mode of water transportation is as long as they’re able to get out onto the water. If we can get from point A to point B safely and in reasonable comfort that’s what’s important. I suppose if money was no object then we’d all have the biggest and newest boats, but lets face it most of us don’t fit into that category; a few do, some pretend to but really most just don’t. In addition, I’d say a few creature comforts make for a more civilized boating experience, but size is not necessarily where it’s always at. We’ve found that it’s truly amazing what amenities the boat factories have been able to get into a 25 to 28-foot boat. After it’s all said and done, it’s really more about the experiences along the way, not the amenities, that matter most when spending time on the water.

Our old Four Winns boat didn’t have any of the amenities that we’ve come to enjoy on our more recent boats but we remember that never stopped us from spending every summer weekend on our floating, trailerable cottage.

Speaking of experience, I remember cruising up the Hudson River a few years ago in New York, enjoying the scenery of the fjords in the Highland stretch of the river. This part of the river was one of the more pleasant natural surprises of our Great Loop trip! As we came around a bend in the winding river, I saw something in the water, on the west bank, heading south, floating with the current. At first I couldn’t make out what it was, certainly not a boat, it looked more like a stacking skid (the kind they move stuff around on by fork lift) with a broomstick stuck in the middle of it, some fabric, and two small shapes. Lisa grabbed for the binoculars and exclaimed that it was two young men on a make shift raft, Huckleberry Finn style. My point here is that as they float down the Hudson they’ll see the exact same scenery and sights as everyone else, probably have more fun than most and I certainly would hope they’d have one heck of a memory to pass along to friends and family. We later heard the boys were heading to New York City, an estimated 80 miles downriver.

 Heading north on the Hudson River Fjord area (where we had the small raft sighting), the hills start to get really big. This area is just 40 miles north of the Big Apple.

I wonder if that home made raft was trailerable? Probably a bit rustic for Lisa’s taste and just a little short on the creature comforts for our liking! Besides, lately we’ve had a continuous stream of leads and recommendations for what type of trailerable trawler we should consider buying. Ever since we sold our 40-ft. trawler and announced our plans to downsize, we’ve gotten phone calls, emails and many welcomed opinions and suggestions as to what we might like to consider. We never discard an idea, as we value everyone’s thoughts as to what they personally like and more importantly, why. The reason there is no perfect boat is because we all have different opinions as to what makes something attractive, functional or desirable, one that will meet our own unique needs.

 The Nomad 25, don’t let looks fool you, this boat has everything you need to be comfortable on the water.

It seems to me the more we delve into the trailerable trawler arena the more we learn. After spending time studying, what I’d call the usual suspects of Ranger Tugs, Rosborough, C-Dory, North Pacific, and Nordic Tug we started to hear about other trailerable boats. Our friends Wade and Susie know of someone in the Keys who represents the Nomad 25. They were not sure what the boat was and like us had never heard of it before. The only thing we knew, before checking it out online, was that it fit the description of being trailerable. The beauty of the Internet is that we can learn about anything with just a few keystrokes. We found the boat has everything one would need to be out on the water but for us it doesn’t fit the characteristics we’re looking for. That doesn’t take anything away from the Nomad because there will be many others who’ll think the Nomad is the perfect boat for them. Again, it’s about being out on the water in the boat that fits your own particular needs and budget.

Lisa was talking with Christy Martin, the publisher of Life on the Water Magazine, about our boat buying plans and she asked if we had considered the Nimble Nomad (not to be confused with the Nomad)? Again, we were dumbfounded because we had never heard of this boat either. This led to another Google search for Nimble Nomad (www.nimbleboat.net). Nimble Nomads, made in Tampa Florida, have been built since 1990; they also produce models called Wanderer and Kodiak. The Nomad version is a 25-ft. trawler built to accommodate a small outboard engine (up to 50 hp). I was able to download their brochure right off of the website for additional information. It was on their “our boat” page I learned that the 26-ft. Kodiak and the 32-ft. Wanderer could be built as either a trawler or a motor-sailor, making the Nomad line of boats more desirable for a larger group of boating enthusiasts. Could the motor-sailors be also called trailer sailors? When talking with Cliff, their sales representative in Annapolis, MD, (240-447-0202), he shared with me some exciting news; a new 29-ft. Nomad was being designed for introduction at the Annapolis Power Boat Show in October 2011. He stated that their goal was to enlarge the cockpit, make the cabin two feet larger and have a separate shower for the new Nomad series. The new 29-ft. will also be trailerable, just like all the other Nimble Boats.

 25’ Nimble Nomad cruising North Carolina waters, during the spring of 2011.

As I write this, I’m in northern Michigan, sitting in our family room. I’m looking outside and see the remnants of winter melting away as the season finally works its way into spring. Boaters up north will soon be preparing to launch their boats for the summer season. For many of you, the lucky ones that have been down south boating over the winter months, your water adventures continue. We are both jealous and envious of everyone who has plans to be on the water as the summer unfolds. So, with that in mind the pressure is on us to make a boat buying decision soon so we to can get back out on the water with you.

From the assorted collection of trailerable trawlers we’ve studied online, boarded at boat shows, visited at peoples houses, marinas and boat yards over the last several months, one of which we’ll end up buying, we’ve started to compile a wish list. We’ve poked and prodded into the engine compartments, checked out the fit and finish, headroom, galleys, investigated storage and so much more to discover where the advantages are in each boat. We’ve done so much investigating our heads are spinning with almost too much information. When I look back I counted 14 different vessels we’ve researched, some more seriously than others, that’s a lot of boat images and specs to draw upon – you’d think it would make the decision making process easier.

In summary, we’re still reviewing the construction methods, design, propulsion options, galley configuration, stateroom layouts, standard and optional equipment, fit and finish, and price (sometimes with the owner’s forums as a valuable tool) to determine which one will become our new Kismet. Ultimately we are looking for a comfortable boat that we can continue our boating adventures on. In the end, the most important thing for us is to be out on the water. We can tell you that we are very close to making this very important decision and we can’t wait to share it with you, hopefully in the next Log.