We are Ray and Lisa and have been boating along the North Carolina coast for over 25 years. We retired mid-2018, sold our "dirt home", and moved aboard a boat to live. We are planning to cruise the east coast and the Bahamas for the the next few years and then see where things go from there.
We are living aboard and cruising a 2005 Great Harbour N37 trawler, m/v SCOUT. The N37 was one of several Great Harbour models manufactured by Mirage Manufacturing in Florida. Here is a side profile graphic from the company.
Our plan is to cruise the east coast and Bahamas, and then start the Great Loop in 2021 when the lock closures on the river system are complete. We will bounce around the southeast coast and maybe Florida before springtime while working on projects.
The typical "schedule" for the loop is to follow the seasons around for good weather and hurricane protection. Down south and Florida in the colder months and up north and through Canada and the Great Lakes over the summer. The map below is a general plan (firm plans are typically detrimental to boats and boating).
A bit about our boat/home.
The N37 is 37ft long (about 42 feet overall with the bowsprit and swim platform). It is very wide for its length, at 16ft of beam. It weighs about 48-50,000lbs and has about a three-foot draft (hull below the water). This shallow draft makes is very suitable for the often shallow waters of the southeast, Florida and Bahamas.
The "layout" drawing from the manufacturer is shown below. Because Great Harbour boats were built one at a time, and not as "cookie-cutter" boats, each one is just a bit different, but generally the same basic arrangement.
Below are some photos of the outside of the boat. As you can see from the photo of the boat "in the slings", there is very little hull under the waterline (draft).
Below are some photos of the inside of SCOUT.....
Up in the deck house, there is a dinette eating area with a fold-out table on the port side, and a couch/bench to starboard.
Forward of the seating is the helm (steering) area and a "navigator" seat to port.
Underneath a hatch next to the dinette, there is a massive storage area underneath that we are calling the "basement". It's one of the things that makes this boat easier to live aboard.
Down the steps from the deck house is the galley. There is a small bar seating area and a really large galley (kitchen) for a boat of this size. This galley is actually larger than the kitchen in the townhouse we have spent the last 8 years in!
Across from the galley is a small office/guest room. There is a full-width work table and the seating area converts into a double bed for overnight.
Further forward, to port, is the head (bathroom).
All the way forward, at the bow, is the main stateroom. It has some closets and drawer storage on each side, and a full queen bed.
About midway back, with access from the small stateroom, is the engine room. The N37 has a "proper" engine room, with standing headroom and a work bench.
[Geek Alert] ....what about the boat's systems?
For the boat's systems, there are two 54hp Yanmar diesel engines. These push the boat at about 7-8 mph using less than 2gal/hr of diesel (about 3.5 mpg). Top speed is...... (are you ready for this?) ..... a whopping 9 mph! This boat was built for those that enjoy the journey, not only the destination ;). There are two propellers and two rudders underneath, protected from groundings by a stout skeg.
There is one fuel tank aboard that can hold 500 gallons of diesel. This gives a conservative range of over 1500 miles at a moderate cruising speed.
Nearly all 'appliances' aboard SCOUT are electric (no propane or other fuels) and runs on either 120/240VAC or 12V DC.
There are eight very large 12V batteries connected in parallel that can provide up to 1600 amp-hours at 12V. Unfortunately, only 800 or so of these amp-hours are "usable" without degrading the batteries over time. The batteries are charged by a AC charger or via solar panels.
AC power comes from two places. If at a marina or dock, a "shore" power plug is used to bring 240VAC onto the boat to power appliances, water heater, and charge the battery bank. When away from shore, an 8kW diesel generator can also provide 240VAC to the boat's systems.
Some selected appliances and outlets in the boat are also connected to an inverter so that, when there is no AC power coming in, the 12V battery bank can provide limited 120VAC to these chosen appliances (refrigerator, outlets, etc.). This inverter and the associated loads can drain the batteries VERY fast, so some oversight is needed. Unfortunately, the air conditioner requires far too much power for the inverted battery bank, and it is not possible to run it without shore power or the generator.
On top of the deck-house are solar panels that, in full sun, can generate 1400W of power. These panels are connected to automatic battery charge controllers and feed the 12V battery bank continuously. This arrangement allows a nearly unlimited number of days at anchor or away from the dock, with refrigeration, cooking, and some small appliances.
WATER AND PLUMBING
SCOUT has two 150 gallon freshwater tanks that are typically filled with a hose when at a dock or marina. Careful conservative use of the water can make this last a month or more if needed.
There is a 110 gallon black water holding tank for the head discharge. This needs to be pumped out when full at a dock or marina, or it can be pumped overboard if we are three miles or more offshore.