Roberta, Ken And The Pups Cruise The World On A Relatively Small Boat
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[KensBlog] Boatless in Seattle

The three GSSR boats
Greetings all! They say the two happiest days in a boaters life are: 1) The day they take delivery of a new boat 2) The day they sell the boat I can confirm the first of these sayings, but am struggling with the second. Sans Souci, our beautiful Nordhavn 68, now has a new owner. We are proud that Sans Souci's reputation, extensive upgrades and amazing condition allowed her to sell so quickly, but sorry to see her go. The closest analogue to this mixture of sadness and joy would be when we se...
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[KensBlog] Many decisions to make

Greetings all! For those of you who may have missed my last blog entry, the quick story is that Roberta and I have listed Sans Souci for sale and are in the process of ordering a new boat. The quick reason is that we are planning to cruise 'the Great Loop' (an inland journey on America's rivers). We chose our Nordhavn 68 as the best possible boat for ocean crossing and now we're building a boat that is built for a completely different flavor of cruising.   We're now deep into the process of or...
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End of an era, Start of an era

Sans Souci
I have some very bizarre news. Roberta and I have listed Sans Souci for sale ! Why? you might ask… The quick answer is that after completing a semi-circumnavigation we’ve been struggling to think of where we want to go next. We’ve cruised our way through over twenty-five countries and have come very close on a couple of ideas. We joined the Waikiki Yacht Club in anticipation of taking the boat to Hawaii, and then had trouble finding moorage. Weird as it sounds, a marina in Hawaii accepted us,...
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[kensblog] Lazy Days Of Summer

We justify the money we spend on the boat by telling people, “Imagine the cost of a waterfront home that can easily be moved to virtually any city in the world.” Hawaii, Athens, London, Los Angeles, Cartagena, Cabo, and hundreds more. What would it cost for a comfortable waterfront home in each of those places? We are saving money!
Note: This particular blog entry is divided into three sections. In Part one I answer a reader question about life on a boat. Part two consists of nothing but some randomly selected and annotated pictures from our last week on the boat. And, Part three is a technical story of a mechanical problem during our last passage. Part 1: What’s it like to live on a boat?Whenever I send out a blog article a flurry of questions comes flying back my direction. I enjoy the questions and typically learn far ...
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Hi Ken. I knew you would sell San Souci fast. Congratulations to both you and Roberta, and also to the new owner of the coolest Nordhavn on the water. In your latest post, you mention "We are adding a crash plate at the bow to provide for the logs we'll inevitably hit."  I've recently moved my DeFever from Southern California to the northwest. It's in Anacortes now, but will be in Bellingham before too long. I too fear hitting a deadhead or log, especially when there's a little chop and the wood is difficult to see. How are you planning on doing your crash plate? Have you identified a vendor?  Anything you can pass along will be appreciated.


 Eric Roeder  1/3/2019


---Reply posted by Ken Williams on 1/3/2019

The crash plate is still a discussion point with Grand Banks and not worked out. They put it into my contract that we'd sort it out over the next few months.

On my  Nordhavn 68 I had a vertical steel plate that was perhaps 3' tall and 1' wide molded to the surface. It had the tow-ring in it. If you look at any of the pictures of Sans Souci out of the water ( ) you can see it.

I had problems with the crash plate (I'm not sure of a better word for it) leaking on Sans Souci. Grand Banks is looking to see if they can think of some other options; perhaps some carbon fiber in that location. 

It's a bigger issue on the GB60 than on my Nordhavn. Forces increase exponentially with speed. Hitting a log at 25kts would be much different than at 8kts. 

PS Good to hear from you and welcome to the area!!! You are in for some awesome cruising. Logs are usually avoidable if you pay close attention, although there are some deadheads out there. The best defense is slow speed, running in daylight and extreme vigilance especially after storms. Generally, at 8 or 9 knots you hear a bang and the log is pushed out of the way, although on my N62 I managed to bend a prop, and on our powercat (27' Glacier Bay) I hit one hard enough to punch a hole in one of the pontoons. Not fun.

I would be very interested to learn why you decided against the Felming. Nothing wrong with the Grand Banks, but we are strongly considering a Fleming (deciding between the 58 and 65) for a great loop/Caribbean cruiser. The Fleming seems to have quite a high build quality (similar to Nordhavn), but can still get up and go when you just want to get into port. One thing we didn't like about the GB was the abeam master.

 Robert  1/2/2019


---Reply posted by Ken Williams on 1/2/2019

PS Robert - You might want to ask Grand Banks .. they are very open to changing their layouts. There is a GB60 on their website which has a HUGE master stateroom located in the bow. When we saw that layout we briefly asked ourselves if we should switch, but it compromises the size of the guest stateroom and we're hoping to have other couples along from time to time as we cruise.

Roberta and I had a lot of fun with the project. We used Powerpoint and a series of small images I screen-grabbed to piece together various layouts until we got something that was exactly what we wanted. GB was open to just about anything.

---Reply posted by Ken Williams on 1/2/2019

Greetings Robert! 

We did seriously consider a Fleming. I have nothing but good things to say about Fleming and you can't go wrong with either the 58 or 65. We particularly liked the 65.

As to why we didn't choose the Fleming ... There were a few reasons:

- We really liked the idea of a Seakeeper and I don't think one has been done on a Fleming

- The delivery times were too far out. Fleming was talking about a two to three year wait for a custom 58 and we didn't want to take a stock boat

- We thought about the 65 but the price was more than we wanted to spend and it was getting too close to the size and complexity of Sans Souci

- The salesman wasn't particularly pushy and seemed kind of laid back when I didn't immediately say yes. On the positive side this meant they were having no trouble selling boats, but on the negative side it meant they were unlikely to work with me on all the customizing we'd want

- The Flemings weren't nearly as fast and the Fleming 58 didn't have the range of the GB60

- One major reason is that we ruled out Fleming early on when we decided we wanted the Palm Beach 55 and didn't want a "trawler-looking" boat. Once we decided the PB55 wasn't going to be big enough, and that we were going to need to buy something with a trawler look, we were already fully engaged with our Grand Banks salesman. We decided to take a second look at Fleming but when the Fleming salesman started talking about a 2-3 year wait and didn't seem particularly motivated, we bailed on the discussion.

All of that said, I did do a fair amount of research, including reading Tony Fleming's blogs and asking my string of experts what they thought. There seems to be unanimous agreement that Fleming is well worth considering. 

Ken W