Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 08-10-2019, 10:44 AM   #1
Member
 
City: Hershey,Pa
Country: USA
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 12
Picking a boat for overnights and long distance cruising (ICW, Great Loop)

I have narrowed the choice of a boat down. I am a newbie to boating, a healthy & reasonably fit 74 and will be mostly single handling the boat.
My choices are From the following:

1990 Carved 38 with 454 closed system mercruisers

1998 Sea Day Sundance 330 with 5.7L closed system mercruisers

1987 Tollycraft 34 Sundeck Crusader 350 closed system

Initially, I will be using the boat in the Chesapeake Bay traveling to the various islands. As I become more comfortable and confident with my skills I will expand my cruising to the East coast up to New England and down the ICW to Florida. After a couple of years I would like to travel the Caribbean, and maybe venture to Cuba.

Any advice welcome.
__________________
Advertisement

LateStarter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2019, 12:21 PM   #2
Veteran Member
 
City: Hilton Head Island
Country: United States
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 89
I can comment on Mercruisiers and the ICW in SC/GA. On the Mercs, those sized boats, you got singles or twins? Either way, you will love them IF you maintain them. Here is what I do: Take the outdrive off each year, lube it, align it, check bellows, replace zincs, pull prop, (props if you have the B3s - probably not on the Carver), replace impellers and seals every other year. I have one outdrive and pay $800-1200a year and have this work done at a major marina. I painted my Bravo3 Merc to help with corrosion since it sits in salt 24x7x365. On both of those boats, those props are probably at least 40 inches below the water line, great stability from those high-torque V-8s - particularly if either of those are twins. On the ICW, if you are new to boating, you will want a bow thruster (stern thruster may not fit with Mercs). In SC/GA part of the ICW, the tide changes about 6 to 7 feet (Calibogue Sound area), about every 6 hours - docking with a bit of wind, and tide movement can be difficult, particularly if assigned a dock perpendicular to the current and these boats have windage. Hope this helps.
__________________

Mark P is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2019, 12:49 PM   #3
Guru
 
O C Diver's Avatar
 
City: Fort Myers, FL... Summers in Crisfield, MD
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Slow Hand
Vessel Model: Cherubini Independence 45
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 7,298
You were ok till you mentioned Caribbean and Cuba. Maybe a trip to the Bahamas with a buddy boat. You really need to figure out or find out the fuel range with each boat. Chesapeake won't be a problem, but there are a couple of stretches on the Great Loop where there aren't fuel stops within 100 miles.

Ted
__________________
Blog: mvslowhand.com
I'm tired of fast moves, I've got a slow groove, on my mind.....
I want to spend some time, Not come and go in a heated rush.....
"Slow Hand" by The Pointer Sisters
O C Diver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2019, 01:18 PM   #4
Guru
 
ben2go's Avatar
 
City: Upstate,SC
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Caroliner
Vessel Model: 28' Spira San Miguel
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 2,226
I like Tolly myself. I hate gassers on big boats. I have a lot of time with Mercruisers and their sterndrives. I would pull the boat and have complete service done on the outdrives if the boat you choose has them. If kept clean and maintained, the rubber parts and seals will last 5 to 7 years.



Longest distance on the loop without fuel currently seems to be 252 miles. I read a while back that Hoppies is closed.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Capitan John
The “no reserve” bottom line is: Your vessel must have a minimum fuel range of 208-miles on the most popular Tennessee-Tombigbee route to the
Gulf. It will also be imperative that you know your fuel burn rate ‘per hour’ (gph) as well as your mpg.
Sailboats will have to run under power on this leg of the voyage and smaller powerboats with outboard motors and small fuel tanks, must be able to
cruise 208-miles. So, additional fuel tanks or jerry cans may be required.
This 208-miles is from Hoppies Marina on the Upper Mississippi River to Paducah. The voyage consists of cruising a precise 208-miles with the first
152-miles at normal cruising speed with a light current. The last 48-miles however re slow hard miles against a very strong (2- to 3-mph) current. In a
sailboat or full-displacement hull vessel with a 6-knot maximum hull speed, this can the 48-miles can be a 12-hour voyage. Therefore, it is mandatory
you know your GPH (gallons per hour) fuel burn rate at cruise speed as well as your MPG (miles per gallon). While there are safe anchorages along
the way, this 208-miles is the maximum distance between fuel stops on the entire Great Loop.
Note: It should be noted that if Hoppies Marina, Mile 158.5 on the Upper Mississippi River is unable to provide fuel, is forced to close, or
unavailable for any reason; your fuel range will increase 44-miles to 252-miles. This is the distance from Alton Marina to Paducah. As regrettable as it
is, Hoppies has had more than its fair share of problems with both the weather and the waterway. Exposed as it is on the Mississippi, Hoppies ability to
withstand the troubles it has had over the past decade simply puts its future in jeopardy.
__________________
What a pain in the transom.

ben2go is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2019, 01:38 PM   #5
Member
 
City: Hershey,Pa
Country: USA
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 12
Thank you
LateStarter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2019, 01:47 PM   #6
Member
 
City: Hershey,Pa
Country: USA
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 12
All 3 boats are twins. I have looked into the possibility of installing a SideStep how thruster on whatever boat I purchase. From research it seems to be reliable and are attached to the now without drilling below the waterline.
Thanks
LateStarter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2019, 04:44 PM   #7
Guru
 
O C Diver's Avatar
 
City: Fort Myers, FL... Summers in Crisfield, MD
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Slow Hand
Vessel Model: Cherubini Independence 45
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 7,298
Before investing in a bow thruster, considering hiring a captain for some one on one training in docking with twins. Not in anyway disparaging your boating skills, but a boat in that size isn't difficult to dock with twins once you master the proper techniques. You might be amazed what can learn in a couple of hours with a good instructor.

Ted
__________________
Blog: mvslowhand.com
I'm tired of fast moves, I've got a slow groove, on my mind.....
I want to spend some time, Not come and go in a heated rush.....
"Slow Hand" by The Pointer Sisters
O C Diver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2019, 09:33 PM   #8
Guru
 
BandB's Avatar
 
City: Fort Lauderdale
Country: USA
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 16,651
Quote:
Originally Posted by LateStarter View Post
I have narrowed the choice of a boat down. I am a newbie to boating, a healthy & reasonably fit 74 and will be mostly single handling the boat.
My choices are From the following:

1990 Carved 38 with 454 closed system mercruisers

1998 Sea Day Sundance 330 with 5.7L closed system mercruisers

1987 Tollycraft 34 Sundeck Crusader 350 closed system

Initially, I will be using the boat in the Chesapeake Bay traveling to the various islands. As I become more comfortable and confident with my skills I will expand my cruising to the East coast up to New England and down the ICW to Florida. After a couple of years I would like to travel the Caribbean, and maybe venture to Cuba.

Any advice welcome.
Is your inclination toward gas and toward stern drives due to pricing or did you have other reasons?

Range could become a factor for the boats you've indicated.

You're 74 and in your boating lifetime can't see all there is in the US and Bahamas so don't toss Cuba into the equation or the Caribbean. The Caribbean will greatly impact the suitable boat and will challenge your ability. Not for a newbie and not for the type boats you're leaning toward. You can have 30 years of great experiences without covering those areas.
BandB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2019, 09:47 PM   #9
Guru
 
LaBomba's Avatar
 
City: Beaverton, Ontario
Country: Canada
Vessel Name: Looking Glass
Vessel Model: Carver 370 Voyager
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 1,122
My personal choice would be to go with a boat without outdrives. Boats with Inboards IMO are more maneuverable and less maintenance. Gasers, when driven at trawler speed can be relatively fuel efficient from my experience. Take your time and think it all through. By a boat for what you want it to do and where you want to go.
LaBomba is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2019, 09:59 PM   #10
Veteran Member
 
City: San Diego, CA
Country: USA
Vessel Name: READY
Vessel Model: Nordic Tugs 32
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 35
I have had many boats. Would never go back to sterndrives or gas for the type of use you are describing. Suitable for a lake but you will spend significant money on maintenance in saltwater and if you don't you will have failures and replacements. Very difficult to keep the outdrives clean and divers typically charge a premium.
Echo the others, if you have twins you really should not need a bow thruster.
READY is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2019, 10:07 PM   #11
Member
 
City: Hershey,Pa
Country: USA
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 12
No offense taken. As I said, I am a newbie and intend to get training so that I don't hurt myself or anyone else.
Thanks for the advice
LateStarter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2019, 10:10 PM   #12
Member
 
City: Hershey,Pa
Country: USA
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 12
All 3 boats are inboards.
LateStarter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2019, 10:16 PM   #13
Member
 
City: Hershey,Pa
Country: USA
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 12
I would prefer a diesel, but also want a boat that has an entrance thru the stern not over the side. I also prefer the built in steps instead of ladders to access a flybridge. I'm not as lumber as I used to be.
LateStarter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2019, 11:32 PM   #14
Veteran Member
 
City: San Diego, CA
Country: USA
Vessel Name: READY
Vessel Model: Nordic Tugs 32
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 35
That is good to hear. Agree that steps may be better than a ladder at mist any age as long as they also have good handrails.
READY is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2019, 05:28 AM   #15
FF
Guru
 
FF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 19,316
"After a couple of years I would like to travel the Caribbean, and maybe venture to Cuba."

None of the listed boats would be suitable for offshore cruising.

The "Thornless Path" style of harbor hopping would be required .

The Gentleman's Guide to Passages South: The Thornless Path to ...

https://www.amazon.com/Gentlemans-Guide...Thornless/dp/1470146967
The Gentleman's Guide to Passages South: The Thornless Path to Windward Paperback – March 14, 2012. ... This is the Tenth and last Edition of the popular directions for sailing south to the Bahamas and the Caribbean. For more than twenty years Van Sant repeatedly surveyed nearly 200 ...
FF is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2019, 08:20 AM   #16
Guru
 
OldDan1943's Avatar
 
City: Aventura FL
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Kinja
Vessel Model: American Tug 34 #116
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 3,476
FF, I really enjoy audio books, I can do things as I listen ie, make dinner, dust and more importantly pilot the boat at night.... Sort of like having company at the helm.
__________________
I will update this as soon as I can think of something snappy.
OldDan1943 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2019, 08:31 AM   #17
Senior Member
 
Portage_Bay's Avatar
 
City: Coupeville Wa.
Country: United States
Vessel Name: Pelorus
Vessel Model: Californian 42 LRC
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 420
I've done a fair bit of single handing of boats up to 65 ft LOA. In addition to the fuel range others have mentioned the general setup of the boat is a consideration for single handing.

It is very important to be able to quickly and safely step from the steering station to your first line. The 65 ft T boat I ran was like that. A breeze to single hand. It didn't hurt that she had a nice shape. The widest beam almost at the wheel house door narrowing considerably towards the stern. She could be warped on or off the dock from a spring line midships tending fore or aft. More modern straight sided boats while providing more interior volume are harder to warp off the dock when the wind and or current oppose your efforts. They often require the spring to be at the bow or stern which puts you far from the steering station.

A boat that must be run from a fly bridge won't meet this requirement. A boat that has a squatty low door at the steering station that you must then wiggle onto a narrow side deck won't work very well. My 40 ft Tolly tri-cabin was like that. Damned hard to see anything from the main cabin, so fly bridge was the place to maneuver from. IF I could dock starboard side to, and IF dock cleats were placed such that my first line could be the midships line reachable from the steering station then I could pull it off.
Portage_Bay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2019, 08:55 AM   #18
JLD
Senior Member
 
City: Maryland
Country: USA
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 288
Respectfully, I don't think that you have spent enough time thinking on how you would use the boat, to purchase one at this time. If you haven't read the Boat Search 101 thread, it is a great thread to read.

Cruising to the Bahamas, especially in a fast boat, is not that difficult for most boats with the proper weather window. From what I have read, however, the Caribbean is much different, given both the sea conditions and the distance.

From your list, the SeaRay Sundancer would be my choice. BUT, it would be my choice as driven by how I plan to use my boat. One difference between the Sundancer and the other boats listed is that it is an express cruiser and no flybridge. I can't speak to the other boats, but I don't think a Sundancer 330 requires a thruster, or that it would even be very helpful on this boat. There is a great, and very active, SeaRay owners group at clubsearay.com

If I was going to spend a lot of time in the Bahamas, I would be looking at a 2000ish Sundancer 380 or 400 with twin diesels. Fairly large fuel tanks for a boat of this type and decent efficiency for high hp engines.

Jim
JLD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2019, 09:15 AM   #19
Senior Member
 
Capitaine R's Avatar
 
City: St James City/Punta Gorda
Country: U.S.A.
Vessel Name: Charlie Noble
Vessel Model: 32 Nordic Tug
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 236
The very first boat we owned in Florida was a I/O. At first it did well, but before long it was being worked on more than used. It got to the point where my wife told me to sell it because she would not go out on it anymore. We ended losing $$$$, they do not sell very well down here. Never again.

I have a friend who when asked about the use of outdrives in saltwater he refers to them as Alkaseltzers because they just fiz away.

That just our experience ymmv.
__________________
The best way to find out is get her out on the ocean, because if anything is going to happen it's going to happen out there.
"Captain Ron"
Capitaine R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2019, 03:10 PM   #20
Guru
 
ranger42c's Avatar
 
City: Maryland
Country: USA
Vessel Model: 42' Sportfish
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 4,427
Quote:
Originally Posted by LateStarter View Post
I have narrowed the choice of a boat down. I am a newbie to boating, a healthy & reasonably fit 74 and will be mostly single handling the boat.
My choices are From the following:

1990 Carved 38 with 454 closed system mercruisers

1998 Sea Day Sundance 330 with 5.7L closed system mercruisers

1987 Tollycraft 34 Sundeck Crusader 350 closed system

Initially, I will be using the boat in the Chesapeake Bay traveling to the various islands. As I become more comfortable and confident with my skills I will expand my cruising to the East coast up to New England and down the ICW to Florida. After a couple of years I would like to travel the Caribbean, and maybe venture to Cuba.

Any advice welcome.

Don't think I'd pick any of those for long-distance cruising. All are probably OK for the Chesapeake... but just now gas at our fuel dock is $.50/gal more than diesel... and diesel would give you better fuel economy on top of that... and diesel would be safer for running a genset overnight (for aircon and heat) if necessary...

There's a good use case for gassers, but I don't think "cruising to the East coast up to New England and down the ICW to Florida" and then eventually adding the islands is it.

Unless you're intending to start with something like these, then change later.

Single handing benefits from really good access to side decks and foredeck.

I would also shy away from something like a Sundancer or other express cruiser for long periods on board... simply because living in "the cave" gets old, for me. In fact, just waiting out a rainstorm down below got old pretty quickly...

-Chris
__________________

__________________
South River, Chesapeake Bay
ranger42c is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:08 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012