2017 Marlin?

magicalbill

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A thought or two on joysticks.

I have been in a boat equipped with them. During a docking procedure in 15kt winds, the joystick couldn't keep up with the wind blowing it around. I saw it first hand.

I have a great friend with a 300 Marlin built the same time as mine. He usually chooses to dock with the throttles, as the HelmMaster won't completely push the boat sideways.

Many others like it. I've never tried to use one.

My Marlin has the thruster option and no HelmMaster. I really feel it is best to learn how to maneuver your boat with twins in close quarters rather than rely on the thruster. Having this knowledge is important, if not essential. Thrusters are meant to assist in challenging conditions, not be the primary go-to option. I can spin mine on a dime in her own length with no thruster needed.

I use my thruster maybe 20% of the time, all on windy days. I never use it in calm docking situations.

Public Service Message here; Practice and really learn how to drive a boat. I'm still learning after 50 years. That thruster will stop one day and the HelmMaster will break. You still need to be able to get to the dock.
 

luckydude

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I have been in a boat equipped with them. During a docking procedure in 15kt winds, the joystick couldn't keep up with the wind blowing it around. I saw it first hand.

My Marlin has the thruster option and no HelmMaster. I really feel it is best to learn how to maneuver your boat with twins in close quarters rather than rely on the thruster. Having this knowledge is important, if not essential. Thrusters are meant to assist in challenging conditions, not be the primary go-to option. I can spin mine on a dime in her own length with no thruster needed.

Public Service Message here; Practice and really learn how to drive a boat. I'm still learning after 50 years. That thruster will stop one day and the HelmMaster will break. You still need to be able to get to the dock.
So my buddy Gary loves his joystick, he has the bow thruster as well and he says you want both. He's got a 2020 Marlin.

I hear you Magic, but I've only got a few years left to fish if we don't figure out my health problems (but I'm working on that, maybe, just maybe, I've found a doctor with a clue. Maybe.) At this point, I just want to go fish, getting a Marlin means I can fish more days and I am all about that. I know you don't fish and I think that is crazy, my wife reminds me that the vast majority of people don't care about fishing. I do, it is fantastic when you see that color and put a fish in the boat, I'm all about that.

So if the technology helps me dock, I want it. I'll try and learn two engines, I have learned how to dock with one engine, took me over a year of screwed up docking attempts, I figured it out, you come in at an angle, 3-4mph, about 4 feet from the dock go neutral, about 2 feet from the dock swing the engine towards the dock, 1 foot, reverse and if it all works the boat slows down and the aft pulls towards the dock, the whole boat kisses the dock. When it works it is awesome, when it doesn't I've got a boat hook. I'm way waaaaay better at docking than I was 1.5 years ago, that was a mess.
 

magicalbill

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Luck:

Nothing wrong with technology if you don't totally depend on it. To me, that's where it gets scary. Many times I have needed that thruster and leaned on it like mad when I was being blown around. However, when I don't need it, I let it alone.

I just would hate to see you get in the habit of Joysticking in all the time, or using the thruster for everything, rather than developing your docking skills. You are such a dedicated Angler; you're on your boat all the time. I predict you'll feel really good about yourself and your skillsets when you put in some time learning what the Marlin does. It does take time..there's inertia, prop thrust, wind, current-it's a handful, yes, but you'll feel like The Dude when it all comes together.

When we do take a fishing trip, can I catch a shark? That sounds like fun.
 

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I admire your determination Lucky. The only advice I can offer as an accountant is think through the budget thoroughly. Dual engines will be twice the maintenance cost. Fuel cost will increase substantially. Slip fees are significant as you know (but of course allows convenience). Insurance will be more too. Off-season storage as well.

I wish you the best with solving any medical issues, which unfortunately can be quite costly themselves, but I also find time on the water, or finishing a boat project, to be the most therapeutic things I can do for my mental health. My wife is a nurse at Stanford in a cardiac unit, if it’s anything heart related, I’m sure she could offer some advice. Doctors call the shots but nurses interact with the patients and are the eyes and ears in the hospitals.
 

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I'd decide which boat you need/want and get yourself into one boat. I think this is an excellent time to sell/trade a boat and it only is going to get more expensive moving forward (fuel and marina charges being the two biggest drivers). Just my 2 pennies.
 

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Luck:

Nothing wrong with technology if you don't totally depend on it. To me, that's where it gets scary. Many times I have needed that thruster and leaned on it like mad when I was being blown around. However, when I don't need it, I let it alone.

I just would hate to see you get in the habit of Joysticking in all the time, or using the thruster for everything, rather than developing your docking skills. You are such a dedicated Angler; you're on your boat all the time. I predict you'll feel really good about yourself and your skillsets when you put in some time learning what the Marlin does. It does take time..there's inertia, prop thrust, wind, current-it's a handful, yes, but you'll feel like The Dude when it all comes together.

When we do take a fishing trip, can I catch a shark? That sounds like fun.
I've learned how to dock my single engine boat, it took me a while but when it works, you are right, I feel like The Dude. I'd love a tutorial about how you manage your boat without the technology. Not being snarky, you know I like you, just looking for how you do things with two engines.
 

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I admire your determination Lucky. The only advice I can offer as an accountant is think through the budget thoroughly. Dual engines will be twice the maintenance cost. Fuel cost will increase substantially. Slip fees are significant as you know (but of course allows convenience). Insurance will be more too. Off-season storage as well.

I wish you the best with solving any medical issues, which unfortunately can be quite costly themselves, but I also find time on the water, or finishing a boat project, to be the most therapeutic things I can do for my mental health. My wife is a nurse at Stanford in a cardiac unit, if it’s anything heart related, I’m sure she could offer some advice. Doctors call the shots but nurses interact with the patients and are the eyes and ears in the hospitals.
Thank you for this thoughtful message. I'm fine on the budget, I was scared of the stock market but when COVID happened and the market went to 22,000 I put my pile in at 24,000. I think market is somewhere around 36,000 now, I'm fine. The Marlin will be a hit but not that big of a hit compared to two kids in college.

I'm getting somewhere, maybe, with the health issues, found a smart doctor in San Francisco and she thinks it is vascular but not the valves, where the blood goes through your hips or spine. I'm not sure but she might be on to something so I'm checking it out. If I could go back to normal, holy smokes, that would be huge. I might not be here as much because of fly fishing. Just kidding, I'm completely in love with ocean fishing, fly fishing is fun and I'd do some, but ocean fishing puts food on the table and there is something so basic about that, I want to do it.

The Marlin lets me do that more and I want that. More days fishing, more comfort, I like that. On a different forum, I think, maybe it was here, someone said "The only better boat than a Grady White is a bigger Grady White" and I agree.
 
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magicalbill

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I've learned how to dock my single engine boat, it took me a while but when it works, you are right, I feel like The Dude. I'd love a tutorial about how you manage your boat without the technology. Not being snarky, you know I like you, just looking for how you do things with two engines.
Unfortunately, this is next to impossible without us being aboard the boat. It is beyond the scope of the printed word because of the nuances; inertia, current, prop thrust...it goes on. I tried once to explain it to "Russ." (he hasn't been here in awhile...) It was just too long and cumbersome to read.

The other problem is I'm still learning myself, and sometimes the moves I bank on working do not.

Just another reason to hang in the future.
 

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A few comments as a very new Marlin owner and a novice boater in general - - with both the full helm master system (including joystick) and a bow thruster. I've been successful docking without material challenges on windy days in relatively tight quarters using the helm master to move the back of the boat where I want it to go and the bow thruster to move (as expected) the bow where I want it. I've also found the helm master system will hold the boat against the dock when the wind is blowing me away from it so that I can either tie off from the boat or step off with two dock lines (middle and aft cleats) to tie off. The helm master system does have the ability to adjust the thrust that is applied for windy conditions, but I have not yet experimented with it. I took delivery on a day with 35 mph gusts - - a good learning environment as I had two experts on the boat with me and it was the worse case scenario that I've faced, though I have had some very challenging conditions given the winds in San Francisco Bay (near SFO where it really blows). And, I completely agree with the advice mentioned in this thread that I should learn to dock the boat without the electronics in the event of a failure. I'm delinquent on that learning, but plan to prioritize it shortly after a fuel line issue gave me the wakeup call that I might have to dock without all the technology. Ultimately, I solved the fuel issue to keep both motors running and docked with just the bow thruster and engine thrust as turning the motors in any significant direction killed one engine due to the failing fuel line/rigging (now resolved). The failure essentially left the joystick out of the equation given the amount of movement the motors use based on the joystick inputs. As you might guess from the comments, I'm a huge fan of this technology. It maybe overkill for someone who has experience with a dual outboard setup. In my case, the Marlin was the first on that front as I upgraded from my 208. Also important to remember that the Helm Master System is more than just a joystick for docking. We've used the Fishpoint feature on a regular basis to stay in place over structures that are delivering solid rock fishing results and the various auto-pilot features have been great for both the long runs in and and out as well as to keep the boat on a straight path while trolling with downriggers. There are other useful features that are well covered in some of the Yamaha tutorial videos - - I'm a tech guy so learning how everything works was part of the "fun" (sometimes frustrating), though it takes a bit of time to sort out how everything works and the various bells and whistles. I've only been at it for less than three months and still finding features that are useful. It's all about experimentation and learning, but from my lens, the combination of the joystick and bow thruster has allowed me to handle a boat that would otherwise be years of experience beyond what I have. And, these features have largely taken the stress out of docking that I experienced (and know many new boaters do as well), though I haven't lost respect for the process and proceed slowly and carefully every time. I know my limitations and don't let the technology fool me into thinking I'm an expert. The Marlin has been terrific and I have zero regrets about taking the leap of faith from the 208 to the Marlin along with all the added technology. Grady White and Yamaha have created a winning combination for both experienced and novice boaters. Lastly, one thing to mention is that the Helm Master system integrates very well with my Garmin electronics as the Yamaha navigation screen is essentially just another Garmin device with some added engine related menu items. They all link together seamlessly.
 

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My two cents...

I fished on a friends 330 for years with the Helm Master set-up.
My 330 has no Helm Master but a Bow Thruster.

I personally prefer the Bow Thruster. On a windy day, I can move my boat sideways easily (Bow Thruster + the leeward engine in reverse). I think nothing replaces having a propeller (bow thruster) up front when you want the bow to go a certain direction. The Helm Master revs the engines, makes alot of bubbles but doesn't control the boat as well as my Bow Thruster.

Also - side note - and with all due respect - in the GW 30 footer size, I prefer the Express over the Marlin as it has a wider and therefore more useful cabin. The 30 foot Express is called a 305 and hard to find but the guys that have them love them. And all Express style GW's have a decent enough way to get up forward when necessary. Again - Just my two cents...
 

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I agree that the Bow Thruster is the better of the two for the primary reason mentioned - - control. I personally like the combination of the two for docking and the Fishpoint feature is really nice for rock fishing on the California coast. It's similar to Staypoint, but uses minimal thrust to keep the boat in a spot so you don't get the noise and bubbles mentioned. Drift point has also worked well once I got the hang of positioning the boat correctly before engaging it. I can't really comment on the Express as I've never been on one, but I'm happy with the cabin on my marlin. It has a stand-up head and a ton of storage - - everything is a series of tradeoffs. We don't spend the night on the boat, so the Marlin cabin is more than adequate for our long days on the water and the size and weight of the Marlin handles the choppy water with ease. From my lens, this is a healthy discussion and I appreciate the constructive comments and the reminder on managing my dependency on the electronics in the event they aren't working.
 
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luckydude

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I agree that the Bow Thruster is the better of the two for the primary reason mentioned - - control. I personally like the combination of the two for docking and the Fishpoint feature is really nice for rock fishing on the California coast. It's similar to Staypoint, but uses minimal thrust to keep the boat in a spot so you don't get the noise and bubbles mentioned. Drift point has also worked well once I got the hang of positioning the boat correctly before engaging it. I can't really comment on the Express as I've never been on one, but I'm happy with the cabin on my marlin. It has a stand-up head and a ton of storage - - everything is a series of tradeoffs. We don't spend the night on the boat, so the Marlin cabin is more than adequate for our long days on the water and the size and weight of the Marlin handles the choppy water with ease. From my lens, this is a healthy discussion and I appreciate the constructive comments and the reminder on managing my dependency on the electronics in the event they aren't working.
This is Gary, I was on his Marlin Thursday, we got some crab and rockies. Gary is somewhat new to his Marlin and he docks it like a Boss!
His harbor has very little wind so the helm master worked great. I get the feeling that it is not enough in some wind and that's why MagicBill is telling me to learn how to do stuff with two engines. I talked to Gary about that, and he agrees that knowing more than one way to get something done is super useful, but the joystick has been working. I've only been out with him the one time but that time he slid into the slip just right. It was a combo of thruster and joystick but it was 100% drama free.

Gary knows I'm thinking hard about buying a Marlin and he wanted to show me everything. At the end of the day he said go check out the cabin. I was "Meh, cabin", he pushed me to check it out. I'm 6'2" and I could stand tall in it and in the head and not hit the ceiling. I think a 6'3" guy would hit the ceiling but still, I was very impressed, my 228 cabin is crawl in, crawl out.

I'm a fan of the Marlin, it seems big enough. Jens wants a 330 express, I priced that, it is almost $200K more for 3 more feet long and a wider cabin. Not for me, the Marlin is spendy enough, kinda scares me a bit. Express is out of my budget.
 
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Gary knows I'm thinking hard about buying a Marlin and he wanted to show me everything. At the end of the day he said go check out the cabin. I was "Meh, cabin", he pushed me to check it out. I'm 6'2" and I could stand tall in it and in the head and not hit the ceiling. I think a 6'3" guy would hit the ceiling but still, I was very impressed, my 228 cabin is crawl in, crawl out.

I'm a fan of the Marlin, it seems big enough. Jens wants a 330 express, I priced that, it is almost $200K more for 3 more feet long and a wider cabin. Not for me, the Marlin is spendy enough, kinda scares me a bit. Express is out of my budget.
At time I've thought about how awesome it would be to have a stand up cabin but I don't think I'd ever use it for that purpose and would need a much larger boat in order to have that. The 228 Seafarer I think will fit my needs perfectly at the present time as I mostly only do day fishing/crabbing/shrimping. My uncle had a much larger boat that was a 26' Bayliner and it had a stand up cabin inside of it as well as a stand up head and two different beds. I never used the stand up head, only went into the cabin area to get the fishing gear and I only slept in the boat one time when we moored overnight at a marina for a weekend of halibut fishing. I see where you're coming from with getting a bigger boat for a smoother/softer ride but as mentioned, how much is it worth? An extra $200k more is a large chunk of change for "extra comfort".
 

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At time I've thought about how awesome it would be to have a stand up cabin but I don't think I'd ever use it for that purpose and would need a much larger boat in order to have that. The 228 Seafarer I think will fit my needs perfectly at the present time as I mostly only do day fishing/crabbing/shrimping. My uncle had a much larger boat that was a 26' Bayliner and it had a stand up cabin inside of it as well as a stand up head and two different beds. I never used the stand up head, only went into the cabin area to get the fishing gear and I only slept in the boat one time when we moored overnight at a marina for a weekend of halibut fishing. I see where you're coming from with getting a bigger boat for a smoother/softer ride but as mentioned, how much is it worth? An extra $200k more is a large chunk of change for "extra comfort".
It's not about the stand up cabin, though I do think that is a big upgrade from my 228. It is about how much a bigger boat opens up the ocean. In a bigger boat you can go more days. I'm retired, I like to fish, there are a ton of days that I look at with the 228 and go "nope, not today". The bigger boat lets me go out more and makes every day more fun. I've made enough money, working hard for 30 years, that the money is not the issue. Fun is. I'll leave it at that because I don't want to be some rich asswipe, I'm not that rich, I looked at the express and was "hell no, I don't have that kind of money" but I think I can swing a Marlin. And if I can, why not? I'm almost 60, some time not so long from now I'm gonna be dead.
 
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ItalianAngler

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It's not about the stand up cabin, though I do think that is a big upgrade from my 228. It is about how much a bigger boat opens up the ocean. In a bigger boat you can go more days. I'm retired, I like to fish, there are a ton of days that I look at with the 228 and go "nope, not today". The bigger boat lets me go out more and makes every day more fun. I've made enough money, working hard for 30 years, that the money is not the issue. Fun is. I'll leave it at that because I don't want to be some rich asswipe, I'm not that rich, I looked at the express and was "hell no, I don't have that kind of money" but I think I can swing a Marlin. And if I can, why not? I'm almost 60, some time not so long from now I'm gonna be dead.
I get where your at, I have 2 boats, though I share the bay boat with a neighbor. My 282 gets me out in anything I care to be out in on the Chesapeake. And the bay can blow up in a heartbeat. I was out this past Sunday night slamming fish on the jig and there was only one other boat out, some small DC and he was bobbing like a cork. It was a truly epic bite on light tackle, most folks missed out on it. The slightly hairy days are the best, no one else out and the fish are angry! We had no issues in the Grady and cruised home at 28kts. The kids, wife and i were snug in the enclosure, rolling right through the slop. The range, speed, comfort are all things that will enhance your days on the water. That being said i love the bay boat for what it is, apples and oranges.
 
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