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Old 09-19-2016, 04:36 PM   #101
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So is it foolish (or should I say fuel-ish) to think, as some have said to SeeVee, my current boat may be fine? Or have I crossed over the reasonable line? Today is the day I was going to list my boat and start looking for that perfect loop boat. Using my boat would make things simpler but is that smarter?
Sounds to me like it would be quite fine, almost perfect. I wouldn't worry about the gas. What is your range though at various speeds? That's the only issue I can see. I would look at your maintenance schedule and plan on getting maintenance along the way as 600-700 hours surely pushes it into several windows.

It will be your choice, what speed and what fuel rate in many areas. In some the choice will be 10 mph or 5 mph. But you have the boat you really like.
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Old 09-19-2016, 04:46 PM   #102
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So is it foolish (or should I say fuel-ish) to think, as some have said to SeeVee, my current boat may be fine? Or have I crossed over the reasonable line? Today is the day I was going to list my boat and start looking for that perfect loop boat. Using my boat would make things simpler but is that smarter?
It's hard to beat a Aft Cabin boat for interior space. I think you mentioned that's what you have and you've owned it for awhile, so you mechanically know it well. Why would you change? If you are thinking gas mileage the only way to better that is get a smaller boat or go diesel. Gas is cheap (relatively speaking) and so is diesel, but the slightly better fuel milage with diesel would probably not pay for the sales taxes you pay for a different boat.

But if you must buy diesel take a look at this one : www.FlyinLowSale.com

Disclaimer, it's mine.
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Old 09-19-2016, 05:01 PM   #103
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I'd agree that it sounds like you have your boat dialed in so why replace it, especially if it fits your needs. Only a couple of places would you need to worry about range, but there have been many, many boats that have done the loop with gas engines.

Heck LOOK at what this local guy just did in his homemade canoe!!!!

Video: Destin resident Nick Noreus completes a 3 1 2 month, 3,700 mile river journey from Montana to Destin - Videos - Northwest Florida Daily News - Fort Walton Beach, FL
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Old 09-19-2016, 05:18 PM   #104
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These are the types of events that destroy families financially, even wealthy families. I've seen businesses have to close over one major accident. I've seen many individuals sued and the moment they lost the case, they'd file bankruptcy as they clearly could never pay what the verdict was. So, they lost everything they had except their home and perhaps a significant part of their future earnings too.
I had an interesting conversation with a friend over the weekend. It was our 40th high school reunion. I was told by another classmate that my friend foot the bill for the venue where it was held. When I later thanked him for his generosity he said that the committee didn't have any upfront money so couldn't rent the venue.

Rather than give the money to the venue, he instead wrote a check to the lead organizer in her name. His idea, knowing many of our classmates, that he didn't want his name on any contract having to do with the event. In the case of something bad happening, he didn't want to be in the cross hairs of any civil suit.

I would never have thought of that, and if I had would have figured that insurance would likely cover it in some way. However, I don't have the kind of wealth and assets my friend has. I own a nice 43' Chinese built boat whereas he owns a 115' custom yacht built by Crescent Marine Yachts in BC back in the '90s.
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Old 09-19-2016, 06:17 PM   #105
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Gotta admit, that 1 MPG at 9 knots is a hard kick for the loop (at least for me), but considering all costs, not a deal killer. You know its idiosyncrasies,, capacities, you enjoy it, and have maintenance familiarity. That's way ahead of many of us so-called "perfect loop boat" loopers when we get on the trail. Go for it.
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Old 09-19-2016, 06:38 PM   #106
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...
The one glitch is it is gas . It can do a bit better than 1 mpg at 9 mph; crossing into 10 mph and above puts me over 1 gallon per mile (all in miles not knots).

In addition, my on-plane cruise fuel burn is 0.6 gallons per mile when dialed in around 20 something mph. Not ideal, but fine for plugging around my home waters. We actually enjoy and favor the 9 mph speed...
If you really care about fuel consumption dial it back to < 7 mph. Betcha you could come close to doubling your mileage. Or put it another way - you could use less fuel by slowing down in your existing boat than you could by replacing it with a fuel-efficient boat of similar size and cruising at the same 9-10 mph.
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Old 09-19-2016, 08:25 PM   #107
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Ignorant question, but for much of the loop are their speed and wake restrictions?
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Old 09-19-2016, 09:15 PM   #108
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Ignorant question, but for much of the loop are their speed and wake restrictions?
Main speed restrictions are the canals, Erie, etc. There are several speed zones, some at 10 mph and some at 5 mph. There's also a rather fixed limit just in having the short distances between locks.

Now, the wake restrictions, both no wake and minimum wake, really don't impact you much until the ICW in Southeast FL. The TN Tom is similar to the canals in being a rather narrow section with many locks. I don't recall any marked zones, but given the layout, you're pretty much tied to slow.
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Old 09-20-2016, 09:52 AM   #109
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The replies are very welcome, thank you.


To follow up on range....The range would be what I get out of 250 gallons of fuel. If slow and not working against a current or similar, I feel that stops under 200 miles between would keep me less stressed. From what I have read, that may be a concern traveling the loop through mid-section of US; any input on this would appreciated.


For maintenance...The positive side to gas is that they are easily maintained as most everything is readily available if not carried with me. My maintenance has been seasonally (no winter boating here) at 100-200 hours of use. I would continue something similar.


I have had it drilled into my head that diesel was the only way to go. Sales tax on another boat alone would put me many miles around the loop.....thanks for that reality check.


When we do travel on our yearly "big" trip we do take our time. We are fortunate in that we get by with our summers free with only rare work that can be done over the net. This has us doing extended stays when and where we find something interesting. That is why the loop has been so appealing and why your comments about my boat and SeeVee's have hit home. There is no need or strong desire to rush through it (thank goodness for autopilot). I am sure that on certain stretches there may be moments of impatience that I will have to deal with or pay for.


Keep the thoughts coming...feel free to take the other side. I do really appreciate the information and insights I have been finding on this site (I should've joined in earlier...doh).
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Old 09-20-2016, 10:01 AM   #110
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To follow up on range....The range would be what I get out of 250 gallons of fuel. If slow and not working against a current or similar, I feel that stops under 200 miles between would keep me less stressed. From what I have read, that may be a concern traveling the loop through mid-section of US; any input on this would appreciated.


.
Unless you go down the lower Mississippi, your longest stretch will be about 250 miles. Lower Mississippi would require 450. So, you'd just have to adjust speed so that you got more than 1 mile per gallon for the stretch from Hoppie's to Kentucky Lake. That's an area you're not going to want to go fast anyway.
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Old 09-20-2016, 10:10 AM   #111
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Looking back to some earlier suggestions that SeeVee's current boat is capable has me rethinking. Currently I have an under ten year old very comfortable 36' (plus a couple if LOA) aft cabin MY that we live on during the summers on Lake Champlain...........

So is it foolish (or should I say fuel-ish) to think, as some have said to SeeVee, my current boat may be fine? Or have I crossed over the reasonable line? Today is the day I was going to list my boat and start looking for that perfect loop boat. Using my boat would make things simpler but is that smarter?
Nac,

Certainly don't mind you jumping in and appreciate your comments. Similar to your situation I've been thinking the fuel cost vs. other costs a bit.

If one looks at fuel with Diesel in the $2.20 range, with a lo of $1.90 and a high of $3.00..... and gas with an average of $3 and a lo of $2.60 and high of $3.50 if one gets 1 mpg they will spend $13,200 with diesel and $18,000 with gas on an average 6000 mile trip.

However, with extremes and mpg of 3, it could be as low as $4000 or with a sled that one pushes hard that burns gas $20,000.

I'm winging the numbers a bit, based on a quick check on Waterway Guide......

Now, if one buys a boat ONLY for the loop, pays ~150 on it and sells it at a 10% loss (which may not be uncommon or worse) they'll loose $15K on it, less fees in buying and selling. Now throw unpredictable maintenance in, which you'll get with ANY boat that's new to you.

So, now the difference in fuel costs doesn't look horribly bad, especially if you have a really comfy and predictable boat you know.

I don't have my Loop boat yet, and there's no way I'll do it in my little Sundancer so still in the shopping range, but leaning a bit more on a nicer boat, less maintenance and while fuel is a consideration, not quite a huge as I thought it was.

I've never owned a diesel, but crewed and operated many and if two boats are up to par mechanically, the diesel will be more reliable and less maintenance... but can be expensive when it hits. So, if I buy a boat, it will be diesel. But, if I had a good gas one that I knew, I'd sure consider that one. And, sounds like you're boat is a keeper... that you'll not sell after the loop which is another consideration. I'm planning on selling mine as it just doesn't fit into west FL cruising well, with few trips over a few days and a lot of trips to the sand bar, restaurants, or hanging on the hook.

I had a Formula 31PC gas that I'd consider doing the loop in... a bit small but a great cruiser and slow speeds would get in the 1.7 mpg range, but cruised nice at 30 kts at 1 mpg. But it's a bit more of a go fast boat, which doesn't seem to fit well with the mission. Now I like speed and am leaned toward a modified hull where I can haul buggy when wanted, but suspect most of the loop will be in the 7 to 8kt range. And, the Admiral likes that.

There's been a few boats that have attracted my attention... the Albin, Mainship and Carver.... granted they are not Grand Banks, but offer a lot of bang for the buck and have a good reputation.

I'd love a Grand Banks or equal, but would want a newer one that's just not in the budget... we're keeping the house and all the other toys.
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Old 09-20-2016, 10:30 AM   #112
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Fact is, that the loop can be done in any boat of any type fuel or propulsion with an air draft (or adjusted air draft after lowering mast or arch) of less than 19'1" and draft of no more than 6' and length of no more than probably 90' or so and range of at least 250 miles. It's just finding the one you're comfortable doing it in and preferably less draft and shorter than the maximum.
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Old 09-20-2016, 10:30 AM   #113
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"So is it foolish (or should I say fuel-ish) to think, as some have said to SeeVee, my current boat may be fine? Or have I crossed over the reasonable line?"


I would say you should do what makes you happy and not what anyone else may find is his/her desires.
With that said do you have the range in fuel to travel each section of the loop you are planning on doing? If yes then the only other factor is costs over the say 7,000 miles you are going to be covering. If you get 1 mpg then its easy math to figure gallons needed times average costs of fuel. Its not too hard to adjust costs quite a lot by traveling slightly slower and timing legs to take advantage of tides. And it would not be too hard to calculate what you might save if you had a longer boat powered by diesels. But I think you will find at the end of the day the savings will never be more than $8-10K over the entire trip at todays fuel prices if all else is held equal (distances, speeds travel times, etc).
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