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Old 07-09-2019, 08:23 AM   #1
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Opinions please -

I'm here mostly "learning" but I want to retire in 5 yrs and do the Great Loop (and then Bahamas). The boat I buy will be my (live aboard) home (divorce, don't ask) and I will live off (mostly) social security. So I'm looking at a low cost boat, especially maintenance.
A single engine trawler is my first instinct, but I see there's many gas-powered yachts (twin V8s) at significantly low prices.

Are these boats a realistic possibility?

[I didn't think so because gasoline doesn't store long-term (well) and gas boats burn fuel faster and thus have less range.]

Thank you,
Mark Koontz
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Old 07-09-2019, 08:45 AM   #2
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It will all depend on your finances. What is your budget to purchase? Will you be living on the hook or marinas. Figure 5-10% of purchase price for maintenance. There are many threads on this same subject if you search
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Old 07-09-2019, 09:01 AM   #3
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This is an impossible question to answer with out knowing what boats you are looking at. A sailboat with a 25 hp yanmar is about as cheap as life gets. On average gas is less expensive on purchase but higher in operation costs. Over the long run gas and diesel cost about the same for maintenance but the diesel waits a long time and then hits you with a big bill so timing is everything.
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Old 07-09-2019, 09:42 AM   #4
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Budget, what budget? I am looking at $40k max, but if I can spend less, then I'd have more for unexpected repairs, and a cruising kitty. So the question is: $40k for diesel, or $23k for crusaders? Is it doable to "live" with a gas (motor) staying several weeks without moving? Diesel is just a great fuel for sitting a long time...

Note: I know sailboat is cheapest for fuel (because of the small motor and drag) but not so great for the loop (as the draft can be problematic and the interior space is cavelike compared to a trawler (type)).

Mark
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Old 07-09-2019, 09:49 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpkoontz48 View Post
I want to retire in 5 yrs and do the Great Loop (and then Bahamas).

...I see there's many gas-powered yachts (twin V8s) at significantly low prices.
Hey Mark,

The gassers with twin V8s often have a very attractive price but their hulls are designed for going from one place to another at high speed. They tend not to be as stable at slower speeds as the single engine trawlers you mention. From what I've heard, much of the Loop is done at slower speeds. Others on here will know better.

John
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Old 07-09-2019, 09:51 AM   #6
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You can put in gas stabilizer and get maybe a year out of it. No engine gas or diesel, wants to sit for extended periods without being run. As a part of annual cost you need to run the boat to excersize systems.

As to gas versus diesel, economics depends a lot on how much you will use it. It's likely that overall cost of boat maintenance will depend more on the individual boat as opposed to whether its gas or diesel.

If it's all about cost, as already mentioned, I'd consider a sailboat with a single diesel. Probably a lot more boat for little bucks. Having sails doesn't obligate you to use them. Many suffer in roll motion if you remove the mast. Some such as the Schuckers were sold with or without a sail rig.

https://www.yachtworld.com/boats/197...owse%20listing

A nicer condition boat.

https://www.yachtworld.com/boats/197...nced%20listing

If you like the idea, there is a forum for Schuckers on Yahoo that has a wealth of information, photos, and classifieds.

Ted
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Old 07-09-2019, 10:32 AM   #7
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Various gas boats are absolutely options. Gas certainly has a lower dollar entry point. Each must be considered separately and range and fuel costs evaluated. Something like a Searay Sundancer is a very viable choice. Gas engines come in all sizes and shapes.
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Old 07-09-2019, 10:57 AM   #8
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Liveaboard, loop, no Bahamas, inexpensive to maintain and run....


Houseboat hands down in my suggestion list.


Add the Bahamas adds a different twist, but some houseboats (close cousins) still make the list.
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Old 07-09-2019, 11:03 AM   #9
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10 years from now when this question arises, the low cost approach will be outboard powered boats. Not enough outboard powered cruisers on the used market yet to make it a probable option for most.
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Old 07-09-2019, 11:45 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by mpkoontz48 View Post
Budget, what budget? I am looking at $40k max, but if I can spend less, then I'd have more for unexpected repairs, and a cruising kitty. So the question is: $40k for diesel, or $23k for crusaders? Is it doable to "live" with a gas (motor) staying several weeks without moving? Diesel is just a great fuel for sitting a long time...

Note: I know sailboat is cheapest for fuel (because of the small motor and drag) but not so great for the loop (as the draft can be problematic and the interior space is cavelike compared to a trawler (type)).

Mark
I'm going to bet the wet blanket of the group and offer that your budget ($40K all in and living on S.S.) may be to small for a mechanically dependable boat that will do the Great Loop AND cruise the Bahamas.

My guess it that 40K is going to buy a fixer-up that will still need considerable extra dollars to get it cruise ready.

A sailboat is only problematic for the loop IF the draft is over 5'. There are, however, many sailboats that draw less than 5'. One sailboat that is currently on our list as a Loop/Bahama's boat, is a mid-80's Island Packet 31 with a draft of only 4'. Nice beamy boat (11'6") with 6'4" headroom. Real nice examples are 35-40K. The kicker is, however, that a partial refit, replacing the fiberglass encased chainplates and tanks on an Island Packet is 15K alone. For Bahamas cruising, I could easily see an additional 15-20K+ in refit expenses, bringing the total to 65-75K+.

Jim
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Old 07-09-2019, 11:46 AM   #11
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If you are not familiar with the dangers of gas inboards, go with diesel. I have been running, repairing, and dealing with gas inboards since 1989. The dangers involved with gas fumes in the engine room or bilge keep me up at night along with bad fuel problems. Gas has a habit of eating through fuel lines where they can't be easily seen or reached. Gas explodes by way of igniting fumes. Diesel does not usually do this.


I rowed an 18-foot bow rider a half mile back to the dock because a fuel line ruptured in an inaccessible area. Fumes filled the boat because they are heavier than air. The owner and I were hanging off the sides to breathe. The line ruptured under the deck where it connects to the tank. No access. I had to cut out that area, reinforce it, and install a deck plate.
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Old 07-09-2019, 01:11 PM   #12
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Note that a portion of the Loop on the Tenn-Tom waterway requires you have a range of 208 miles without refueling.
I kind of agree with JLD, when the OP says "So I'm looking at a low cost boat, especially maintenance".... the problem is when you start at a very low purchase point, you almost automatically increase the likelihood of higher maintenance costs.
I'm absolutely not saying don't do this because its an awesome goal and journey .....

But maybe one option at that price point is to go ahead and get the boat... but plan on stretching out the refit period of a year or two or more as the budget allows before heading off on something like the loop.
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Old 07-09-2019, 01:19 PM   #13
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A nicer condition boat.

https://www.yachtworld.com/boats/197...nced%20listing

If you like the idea, there is a forum for Schuckers on Yahoo that has a wealth of information, photos, and classifieds.

Ted

Ted: Wow, that nicer green Shucker is absolutely beautiful and seems like a heck of a lot of boat for the money, very impressive! it even has reverse cycle AC... which is unusual for a PNW boat, but desireable for loopers...


but then I guess the OP would have more maintenance regarding all that exposed teakwood, i don't have that so i'm not familiar with how much extra $ that results in annual cost.....
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Old 07-09-2019, 02:02 PM   #14
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I happen to love the Sea Ray 39. But how do you think they handle at 7 or 8 kts? And it also seems a shame to run "all those inches" asking (really) 50 hp to push the boat along...
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Old 07-09-2019, 02:04 PM   #15
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Have a look around the for sale section.


1987 Carver Voyager
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Old 07-09-2019, 02:06 PM   #16
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I happen to love the Sea Ray 39. But how do you think they handle at 7 or 8 kts? And it also seems a shame to run "all those inches" asking (really) 50 hp to push the boat along...
Been on one. They are rollie in beam seas at low, off plane, speeds.
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Old 07-09-2019, 02:06 PM   #17
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Can you elaborate? I thought the houseboats of coastal cruising was trawlers.

Are there houseboats that can coastal cruise? Can a houseboat do the whole loop?
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Old 07-09-2019, 02:16 PM   #18
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The idea of the "motorsailer" is good, but I worry the maintenance is more as it's both sail and motorboat. Sails and rigging aren't free, but people always say "the wind is free."
But maybe I should think of it as a bigger sailboat...
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Old 07-09-2019, 02:23 PM   #19
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I wouldn't take a houseboat on the ICW or any of the coastal bays. They are usually pontoon-based or barge hull based and not very efficient. The Carver I posted isn't a houseboat. It's a planning hull that rides fair comfortable at slow speeds. The term trawler is a misnomer and used to give cruising power boats a salty help in selling. A real trawler is a type of fishing a fishing boat does AKA trawling for fish.
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Old 07-09-2019, 02:26 PM   #20
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The idea of the "motorsailer" is good, but I worry the maintenance is more as it's both sail and motorboat. Sails and rigging aren't free, but people always say "the wind is free."
But maybe I should think of it as a bigger sailboat...
You will spend more time under motor than sailing. You'll also have bridge-clearance issues doing the loop. 19' is about as high as you can go and still do the Loop. I think under 15' gives access to other areas that's off limits to other boats.
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