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Old 10-12-2019, 02:10 PM   #1
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Planning (Dreaming) Ahead

I'll try not to ramble but I can't make any promises. I am 49 years old and plan to retire between age 55 and 60 and would love to start cruising the east coast at that point. I am married with 2 teenage kids who will (in theory) be out of college just when I retire. I would probably start hopping around New England initially but would love to head south in the winter.

The boat:
Comfortable and fuel efficient, prefer single diesel, 30-40 foot range. I love the layout of the Mainships for the following reasons: center queen berth, separate shower stall, stairs (not ladder) to flybridge. I can do a lot of maintenance myself but don't really want to get into a project boat. I want to use the crap out of it for 5-10 years, not spend that time working on it constantly. But I understand there will be a lot of upkeep and maintenance and I'm OK with that.

I wont have a huge budget so I know I have to remain realistic. But, should I bite the bullet and find something in the $100,000-150,000 range that wont need much or do I go older and cheaper and do a bunch of work soon after purchase then motor off into the sunset? What about a recently renovated/upgraded/rebuilt older boat?

Does it have to be a trawler and does it have to have a diesel? There are a ton of affordable Bayliner/Trojan type motoryachts out there with twin gas motors. Asking for trouble? Not fuel efficient? Not designed to run at 8 knots for hours on end? It would be nice to have the extra HP if needed to beat some weather or get to a port before sundown.

I've got a ton of questions, but that's it for now. Thanks in advance for your thoughts and insight.
Dan
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Old 10-12-2019, 02:32 PM   #2
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Welcome. Your best value will be a diesel trawler that someone else put a lot of money into.
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Old 10-12-2019, 03:12 PM   #3
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Welcome, and good luck with your search. There's lots of advice, opinions, and experience here. It won't all fit your situation, plans, and dreams, but it's all given freely and with good intent.
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Old 10-12-2019, 03:38 PM   #4
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Greetings,
Welcome aboard. Buy a gasser NOW!!! Forget about "efficiency" unless you're putting on more than 100hrs to 200hrs per year. The gas motor yachts are great value and you will get a ton of experience in the next 10 to 15 years. Get good hull and engine surveys, keep your maintenance current and you should be just fine putting along at 8 knots.


I have no idea what the market is for that type of boat but I suspect one would run you quite a bit cheaper than a diesel trawler.



My $.02...


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Old 10-12-2019, 04:19 PM   #5
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Welcome aboard. If you plan on doing much cruising buy a diesel boat, feed it clean fuel and do the routine maintenance and you will have a great time. Lots of trawlers out there. Look for someone who liked to maintain and upgrade the boat. They will not recover most of the money that was put into the boat so you will benefit. Start looking now as you have some free time and you will have a better handle on what you want when the time comes to buy. Good luck and enjoy the looking.
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Old 10-12-2019, 05:08 PM   #6
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Dan,
I agree with most of the advice given above, just not the part about the gasser. In my humble opinion, stick with diesel.
Take your time, walk the docks and talk to boat owners. Ask them what they like about their boats, and what they would change (or don't like) if they could. Go to boat shows, trawler fests, etc. Take some boating courses such as Power squadron (or whatever they are called now).

Think carefully about how you plan to use the boat (eg. lots of guests or not, long trips both duration and distance or closer to home or shorter duration, etc.). Then develop lists. Must haves, like to have, and do not want. Remember that almost all boats will involve a compromise somewhere along the way and will not likely "check off all the boxes". Take your time and be thorough. You will likely end up with a boat that better fits your wishes that way.

One last point. Remember to keep a pretty good sized budget for repairs, upgrades, and add ons for shortly after purchase.
Tom
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Old 10-12-2019, 06:06 PM   #7
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Greetings,
Mr 75. I hear ya about the diesels BUT I've seen a few gassers in pretty good shape that were basically given away (cheap). Given the comparative prices, going with a gasser will get Mr. DM into boating now.


For example: https://www.yachtworld.com/boats/199...nced%20listing


Maybe $22K will swing a deal. Not necessarily THIS boat but there are lots out there. Get rid of it in 5-10 years and no big loss but gain the fun and experience.


OP mentions he wants to start cruising in 10-15 years. I expect in the mean time he will either be boat less or be staying in his local area. Above vessel is perfect for that right now IMO and won't break the bank.
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Old 10-13-2019, 07:45 AM   #8
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Thanks all. I'm at the point where I am sick and tired of dealing with junk. Boats, trucks and everything else. Once I decide to do this I don't really want to spend a ton of time fixing up a "cheap" boat. That's why I think an older boat that has recently had a bunch of upgrades done is one route, or just finance a $100-150,000, use it for 5-10 years and re-sell.

Great advice, keep it coming!
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Old 10-13-2019, 08:15 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DMack View Post
I wont have a huge budget so I know I have to remain realistic. But, should I bite the bullet and find something in the $100,000-150,000 range that wont need much or do I go older and cheaper and do a bunch of work soon after purchase then motor off into the sunset? What about a recently renovated/upgraded/rebuilt older boat?

Does it have to be a trawler and does it have to have a diesel? There are a ton of affordable Bayliner/Trojan type motoryachts out there with twin gas motors. Asking for trouble? Not fuel efficient? Not designed to run at 8 knots for hours on end? It would be nice to have the extra HP if needed to beat some weather or get to a port before sundown.

Don't worry so much about budget just yet; find the right sort of boats, then worry about potential costs once you've pinned down basic sizes, configurations, features, etc. that might work best for you.

I can tell you we often putter along at trawler speed (see avatar), and we find it useful to have the extra speed when sea states argue for getting into port or into a comfortable anchorage faster. But... YMMV... so I'd suggest you pay attention first to the sizes, configurations, features, etc. that you'd need/want/find nice to have and then worry about whatever the marketing folks named it later.

There's a good use gas for gas, mostly cost-, distance-, and speed- driven. Only you can decide, but generally longer trips and/or higher speeds argue for diesel. If you can afford entry cost.

Bayliners and Trojans with twin diesels exist, too.

Buying NOW has some advantages, if you can find the right -- well-maintained -- boat. The learning curve is continuous, so if you buy now and do (most of) your own maintenance and service, you might have a clue where everything is and how to fix it by the time you're really ready to cruise.

-Chris
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Old 10-13-2019, 09:21 AM   #10
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"I can tell you we often putter along at trawler speed"

Ok so at that speed, what is your approximately fuel burn? How many motors and diesel or gas? If gas, does prolonged slower speed have any negative impact on the engine over time? I assume that could be addressed by occasionally opening up the throttles for a few minutes.

As far as the rest, the Mainships check a lot of my wish list boxes as far as layout, creature comforts, ease of maintenance.
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Old 10-13-2019, 09:31 AM   #11
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My only advice would be to not get wedded to any one style of boat while you are looking. Look at as many different types, brands, and styles as you can. Even if it's just dock walking. I can't tell you how many times over my life, I have struck up a conversation with a boat owner (or dockwalker) and ended up touring their boat, or letting them tour mine.

And, boat shows, going on right now, are a great way to get a feel for the different types of boats, and their layouts (even if you have zero intention of buying a new boat).
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Old 10-13-2019, 11:46 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DMack View Post
"I can tell you we often putter along at trawler speed"

Ok so at that speed, what is your approximately fuel burn? How many motors and diesel or gas? If gas, does prolonged slower speed have any negative impact on the engine over time? I assume that could be addressed by occasionally opening up the throttles for a few minutes.

Twin Cummins 450 diesels. Running at between 7-8 kts (generally theoretical displacement speed, as if we were a full displacement boat -- and we're not) usually needs somewhere between 1000-1200 RPMs (rated WOT is 2600) depending on wind and tide/current. At those RPMs we see somewhere between 3-4 GPH total (i.e., both engines) and that can translate to somewhere about 2 NMPG plus/minus. If we run closer to 1200 RPMs, as in headwind and up current, fuel consumption can begin to drop toward 1.5 NMPG pretty quickly.

Some of that is theoretical, though. I've done the two-way speed tests to know X RPMs usually gives Y kts... but the fuel consumption info (at those RPMs) is taken from Cummins published fuel/load curves. IOW, not measured with something like a flow scan. OTOH, my fuel tank gauges generally agree with what I think I've used over long distances.

We DO ensure we're running within the recommended operating temperature ranges; happens once we're above 1000 RPMs that's pretty easy to do. Yes, we do "open 'er up" from time to time, usually toward the end of long-ish putters.

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Old 10-13-2019, 02:30 PM   #13
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Dan,
I agree 100% with the advice about "not getting too focused on one brand/model" during the early stages of your search. If you do so, you may end up making a purchase that you later regret (or you may "get lucky" and it will work out for the best - but it is more of a gamble). In my opinion, take the earlier advice regarding taking your time, looking at many styles, types, ages, of boats. Think carefully about how you will use the boat, and then make the lists described earlier. This process, will help ensure that you end up with a boat that has a good chance of "making you happy" (even in the longer term). To optimize your results (and remember, mistakes made in your purchase decisions can be costly) there is work (research) involved. Mainship are pretty good boats, but for me, I think there are better choices (each to their own), but they do offer a lot for the money.
According to Tony Athens (sbmar.com), diesel engine life expectancy (all things being equal with good maintenance) can be somewhat measured by the amount of fuel burned. He states that engines run at lower RPM (under a load) will actually last longer (hours) than engines run at much higher RPM (they burn less fuel per hour at the lower RPM). He does advise to "run up the RPM" to wide open once in a while to "clean things out". I am paraphrasing, but he posts many useful articles on his site under either "Tony's Tips" or in the forums.
I have a Cummins 6BTA 330 hp diesel engine where I get about 2 gal/hr at between 7 and 8 knots (12-1400 rpm with 2800 being WOT) as measured (and averaged) over about 500 hours of operation. These are real world results, not manufacturer theoretical results.
We (on the forum) can give you "free" advice (worth every penny you have paid for it), but it is up to you whether or not you follow any or none of it. To me, you are on the right track because you are here asking questions, a good start. Enjoy the process, as it is a process and there are many paths to (hopefully) success (some are just longer and costlier than others).
Regards,
Tom
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Old 10-13-2019, 08:18 PM   #14
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Thanks Tom,
Regarding keeping an open mind, I started watching Tula's Endless Summer a couple winters ago when they cruised the Bahamas in the 34 Marine Trader and that got me hooked. Especially when its in the 30s with wind rain and snow here. So i started thinking and researching trawlers but I started seeing other cruiser/motor yacht type boats on the market. Also trailer trawlers which piqued my interest. Anyway, yes I am keeping an open mind. I do like the relative simplicity of the naturally aspirated single diesel/trawler type set up.

Chris, thanks for the details. I like the thought of being able to increase speed when needed which trawlers really can't do.
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Old 10-14-2019, 07:25 AM   #15
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Chris, thanks for the details. I like the thought of being able to increase speed when needed which trawlers really can't do.

We find it useful, but not enough to call it a recommendation. Ya gotta go with whatever floats your boat.

When we head south, the starting 120 (or so) NM on the Chesapeake is a bit of a slog at 7-8 kts, not all that comfortable in some sea states.... so at times like that and assuming a decent-enough weather window, we tend to just get it over with. Even at ~18 kts, though (~26 GPH total. ~.70 NMPG), that's a semi-long day for us, counting approach, docking, and clean-up time.

But that's just us, and there are several ways to break that down into shorter segments... and I think several of the folks here do that instead.

-Chris
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Old 10-14-2019, 09:05 AM   #16
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Greetings,
Mr 75. I hear ya about the diesels BUT I've seen a few gassers in pretty good shape that were basically given away (cheap). Given the comparative prices, going with a gasser will get Mr. DM into boating now.
I would be careful with this idea. We all have a friend who is a semi-regular TF user that has bought his "dream boat" (or at least one he has lusted over for years). It is a twin gasser... HOWEVER... what he has discovered here in North Carolina, that there are literally ZERO yards that work on inboard or even I/O gas yacht motors. He is having issues and cannot find anyone to fix it. He called 12+ yards. Yards either do diesel or outboards. It's kinda sad really because his family has missed an entire season of boating while he searches for a mechanic. I do believe he has finally found and indy mechanic. We'll see if it gets fixed properly.

I guess my point is that the buy a gasser now is only good advice if the infrastructure supports it. Which, as you have seen, it doesn't always.

I would possibly recommend that if you have never boated before, that perhaps a bay boat, center console, or dual console with a nice outboard motor WOULD be a good way to get out and learn things like sea states, channel markings, "right-of-way", weather, and routine maintenance. Just general boating knowledge that will help when you size up to your floating apartment. Certainly an option. I grew up with the family ski boat and much of what I learned as a kid transferred to the big boat.
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Old 10-14-2019, 09:47 AM   #17
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Greetings,
Mr. TB. I had no idea marine inboard or I/O gas motors were orphans, service-wise. Your suggestion of a bay boat or whatever with outboard(s) is a good one particularly if Mr. DM is unable to obtain service, otherwise. Our summer cruising area is fresh water where I think the opposite is true in that you are hard pressed to find anyone who services diesels (although I haven't really looked, not having one up here).



We've all heard the stories about someone who is or was waiting for retirement/house sale/kids gone etc. before buying a boat and when the time finally comes they are unable to for some reason. THAT was my reasoning for suggesting buying something now.


That being said, a smaller boat would allow Mr. DM to gain on the water experience but would limit longer overnight or longer trips which would expose him and his crew to an aspect of boating closer to what he anticipates doing (cruising) in the future. Heck, even the boat we've been discussing in the $1000 thread is only $13.5K.
https://hudsonvalley.craigslist.org/...981022896.html But with NO ER pictures, the thing could be a wreck/money pit.



Just trying to throw some ideas out there.
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