M/V Cloud Nine

M/V Cloud Nine
A 1973 North Sea 38' pilothouse Trawler, made in Osaka, Japan by Kita Trading Co. Ltd.

Monday, July 25, 2011


Our search for the perfect boat for us began more than 18 months before we found her.  We spent months and months browsing the internet, looking at boats for sale on and  We read articles on the different manufacturers.  We read blogs about people’s own experiences, and we read post after post of differing opinions on what kind of boat was “the best”.  We visited the Seattle Boat Show and every other boat show within a day’s drive.  We walked the docks at marinas; lots and lots of docks at lots and lots of marinas.  What we thought we wanted in the beginning changed as our search continued and changed a few more times before we found the "right" boat for us.  As we wanted to live aboard our boat, our needs differed from those people just wanting a boat for long weekend getaway or the two-to-three-week cruise in the summer.  We got on many boats at boat shows, imagining how we’d live aboard.  Jerry had the advantage here.  He had experience living aboard.  He knew what he didn’t want.  He didn’t want a tri-cabin with its small salon with only the dining settee for sitting.  No, he wanted more “living” space, and I joined him on this quest after my first visit on a tri-cabin.  I wanted more living space, too.  This was a must.  One of the other musts (we thought at the beginning) was a comfortable and non-claustrophobic master suite.  The final must?  Jerry insisted on a single engine due to numerous reasons; this narrowed our search down by quite a bit.

What would be our answer?  We read lots of magazine articles that said "New and Affordable!" and we asked ourselves "Affordable to whom?"  While $300,000 might be affordable to many people out there looking for a boat, we weren't one of them and pricing was a BIG issue for us.  We needed to find something truly affordable that also had good living space.

At one point we thought the Kadey Krogen 42's were the answer and decided we wouldn't settle for anything but a Krogen.  Those on the market ranged between $165,000 - $220,000 range, and were 20-25 years old.  How were we going to manage THIS?  We knew together we could maybe pull $170,000 together.  Could we put everything we owned into this boat? We ran the numbers again and again over the months of searching and each time convinced ourselves that we COULD live aboard, have a small loan each month, and still put away enough each month for fuel purchases and repair jobs.   And so we put our hopes into one day owning a Krogen 42' and waited for Jerry's house to sell.  We knew one thing:  we couldn't buy a boat until Jerry's house sold and, therefore, we were at the mercy of a real estate market that had yet to hit bottom.

We continued to visit and talk with boat owners every chance we got and continued to visit marinas and walk the docks.  We also attended boat shows and got on every boat we could, each time convincing ourselves that we had indeed found the boat we wanted.  Then our interest waned as we met owners of older Krogens and found out that some had issues with water getting into the core of the hull.  One couple had just had their boat out on the hard for two years trying to dry it out.  Another couple was just heading for the hard for removal of the water and repairs.  We knew our limited budget could not swing paying more than $160,000 for a boat and then face enormous expenses if something was wrong, too.  We loved the Krogen 42's, but reality was we didn't have unlimited funds to dump into the boat, and so we needed to find something that we could afford that would allow us to put some of our funds away for needed repairs.

We returned to our nightly checks at to see what else was available similar to the Krogen. We loved the Pacific Trawlers and the newer North Pacific trawlers for their living space, but both pushed our budget.  One thing became clear and that was that we NOW could not settle for anything but a pilothouse trawler; we just didn't know which model.  We visited a 40' Bluewater pilothouse in Portland, overpriced and in need of a lot of work.  We returned from our trip, however, very clearly in our minds that a pilothouse trawler was indeed the only style of boat that would work for us living aboard.

We live near the John Wayne Marina in Sequim and it was where we always turned when we needed to be around the water and boats.  Many days we spent time eating our lunch overlooking the marina.  After our trip to Portland to see the Bluewater, we went walking the docks at the marina, saying hello to people we'd met many times before.  One stopped to ask how our search was going and we told him that until the house sold we were stuck, unable to afford anything on the market.  "Maybe not!" he quickly responded, as he pointed to a boat with a FSBO sign, which had recently come to the docks.  She was a pilothouse trawler, single engine, with attractive lines.  There was cosmetic work needed, that was clear, but overall a nice-looking boat.  We called the number on the sign and were told the boat's doors were unlocked.  
She had an ample covered back deck for sitting with the glass of wine at night or fishing away the day or even eating a meal.

We jumped at the chance to climb aboard her and entering the back, we saw this huge salon.
 Jerry and I look at each other, stunned.  This was the largest salon we had ever seen on a boat this size.  We continued to explore her, finding a nice size bathroom with a stall shower larger than any we had seen.  The kitchen was small, but workable.  Stepping up into the pilothouse was, for me, the time I knew we had found our boat.  All the windows let in great light, and a comfortable bench seat had me imaging where I would spend hours reading or crocheting.

A look down into her bow lead to the v-berth sleeping quarters with a closet, ample storage, and behind a door another head and sink.  Here's where we hesitated.  We had wanted a center-island queen and had dismissed any boat we had seen on the internet that had a v-berth for the master, and yet, here we were falling very quickly in love with this boat and it didn't have the center-island queen we thought was so important.  What was clear, however, was the "living" space on this boat was the largest we had seen on any other boat in our budget and we could see ourselves living on her.  We found out the owner had passed away and his widow was wanting to sell the boat.  Negotiations began and we found out another at the marina was also bidding on her.  Competition has a way of making you ask yourself, "Just how badly do I want her?"  We weren't going to be stupid; we knew she needed a lot of work, but that was something both of us had no problem doing ourselves.  Her exterior was pretty and we could see some cosmetic things that needed to be taken care of, but with her age we suspected we'd be working on fixing her up for at least the next year.

Needless to say, we finally came to an agreeable price (otherwise, there would be no need for this blog).  Her name?  Cloud Nine.  

We talked about her name, do we change it, do we keep it.  I had called my 87-year-old father to tell him we had found a boat.  He asked all about her and I was excited sharing the news and describing her to my dad.  At the end of my description, my dad said, "Jerry must be on cloud nine!"  I laughed and said, "Dad!  That's the name of the boat!"  My father laughed a deep, full-bellied laugh, that I had rarely heard come out of him.  At that moment I knew we could not change her name.  It was perfect.  We were on CLOUD NINE!

Back of Salon looking out to back deck