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Old 04-17-2018, 11:12 AM   #1
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Sailing vs. Trawlering

Seems like half the people on here switch over from sailing.
Why??

I haven't done it, but sailing seems legit - you save on fuel, it's much quieter without the engines running, and you can still use them when you want.

The only downfall I can see is bridge clearance and a few extra things to maintain. What's the rub??

This Grand Banks is our first boat, but if we could have afforded it we probably would have bought a sweet Catamaran. All that to say, I am very happy with the GB, just trying to figure out what I'm missing.
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Old 04-17-2018, 12:01 PM   #2
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Most sailors (at least up here) seldom use their sails, they motor to get to their destinations. If you don't have a destination or don't care when you get there sails are fine. Maintaining the rigging is expensive and if you don't maintain it the consequences can be high. Sailboats also have an engine and mechanical system to maintain, so trawlers are about half as complicated.

The view out the windows of a trawler is much better than the view out of most sailboats. Also the amount of uncluttered deck space on a trawler vs the deck and rigging of a sailboat are different animals.

It's a balance of features, older sailors I believe realize how little they actually sailed and how much they just enjoyed being on the water and choose a simpler vessel that more closely matches what they actually have been using their sailboats to do when they switch over to trawlers.

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Old 04-17-2018, 12:01 PM   #3
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My sailing friends always glare at me when we are out cruising together and I am nice and dry and warm and drinking hot chocolate while they are in their foul weather gear in a cold, wet cockpit.
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Old 04-17-2018, 12:13 PM   #4
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Around here sailboats are under power about 60% of the time or more often because they are trying to stick to a schedule and don't have time to sail at 6 knots in a direction 45 degrees from their destination. On the Chesapeake, we are fortunate to have plenty of sights and harbors worth visiting within 20-30 miles or each other but this still requires a minimum of 5 hours of sailing in ideal conditions for most cruisers. If you are sailing inland, the land masses funnel the wind such that more often than not, you are trying to go directly upwind or downwind, the slowest points of sail. Other considerations are the effort and number of hands needed to raise, handle and douse sails as well as draft and height restrictions.
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Old 04-17-2018, 12:15 PM   #5
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I've never been a sailor but know many sailors in our yacht club. It seems to me that they go sailing just to be out on the water where we only take our boat out when we have a definite purpose.
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Old 04-17-2018, 12:31 PM   #6
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I like fiddling with my steadying sails, but would not like tacking all over the place to get where I want to go. I also donít want to sit outside all day on long runsó I like my air conditioned pilothouse.

Some would say I have the worst of both worlds ó a smallish sail plan that wonít move the boat well enough by themselves (and the subsequent added maintenance and expense), but I think itís kind of fun to have a little wind power.

Plus, if my engine konks
out and the wind is blowing a bit I might be able to get back home (or get somewhere depending on the wind direction), not just sit out there bobbing like a cork.
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Old 04-17-2018, 12:37 PM   #7
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Nothing wrong with sailing, but sailboats suck! Small dark cabins, tiny heads, nowhere to get out of the cold wet wind when traveling. Oh, and they lay on their sides when moving......

If you want to see what you are missing with your Grand Banks, next time you go out, you could always sit on the foredeck and have a friend throw buckets of water on you.
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Old 04-17-2018, 12:46 PM   #8
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As a former sailor with extensive Bluewater experience I can tell you experience is significantly different. Living in a monohull is like living in the in a tube. Our curent trawler has three to four times the room of our 43 foot trawler. This Does not include our enclosed flybridge or covered sundeck whic is about 10 x 11 feet.

I think sailboats overall require much less maintenance. Sails and rigging dont require much work. We n a monohull, you only have one small engine. My current boat has five ACs, two generators, two vaccuflush heads, hydraulic stabilizers, bow thruster, two 330 hp engines, two icemakers, watchmaker, hydraulic hardtop, electronic throttles, trim tabs, just to tick off some of the equipment requiring routines maintenance. I don't know if routine maintenance is required on the satellite television or satellites telephone dishes.
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Old 04-17-2018, 12:50 PM   #9
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Too many days with no wind or wind on the nose, living underground with only a tiny view of the world through little portlights, all day in a small cockpit in bright sun, or all day in cold rain, crawling to the foredeck with green water coming over the bow to take down the staysail...

Trawler? Huge living space, tons of storage, amazing view, out of the elements, get where we're going on our schedule. I do miss the solid stability of the sailboat and the knowledge it would go through any seas I was crazy enough to be in, I absolutely hate the engine noise when weather forces us to the lower helm, but I can't believe we waited this long to switch.
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Old 04-17-2018, 12:55 PM   #10
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We also chose a trawler for the liveability (we are liveaboards); I hate the small portlights of the sailboat.
Why not a catamaran though? Then you get best of both worlds?
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Old 04-17-2018, 01:03 PM   #11
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We miss sailing. But not enough to go back!

However, if we decided to cruise the South Pacific, I'd opt for a pilothouse sailboat or at least a motorsailer. Yes, sailing is a bit more work in terms of things to do underway (before and after, too), but the feeling of slicing through the water in relative silence is pretty darn nice!

We'll get our sailing fix in Tahiti this June, as my wife and I are captaining one of the nine catamarans on the Cruising Outpost Share the Sail. That should last us another couple of years...
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Old 04-17-2018, 01:19 PM   #12
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We'll get our sailing fix in Tahiti this June, as my wife and I are captaining one of the nine catamarans on the Cruising Outpost Share the Sail. That should last us another couple of years...

Thatís going to be an awesome trip. Jealous.
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Old 04-17-2018, 01:20 PM   #13
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Seems like half the people on here switch over from sailing.
Why??

I haven't done it, but sailing seems legit - you save on fuel, it's much quieter without the engines running, and you can still use them when you want.

The only downfall I can see is bridge clearance and a few extra things to maintain. What's the rub??

This Grand Banks is our first boat, but if we could have afforded it we probably would have bought a sweet Catamaran. All that to say, I am very happy with the GB, just trying to figure out what I'm missing.

The comforts of a Trawler type of boat are obvious incl. ease of handling when under way, the speed to get somewhere does not hurt either. Unfortunately when one is doing coastal or local sailing, one motor - sails most of the time.
Trawlers esp. with two engines and their size, have more complex systems to maintain .... in my view.
Having sailed quite a bit, I miss the process BUT .... if I was going Off Shore and long distance, I would prefer to do it in a sailboat, it's cheaper and the sailboat is more sea kindly ......... fb
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Old 04-17-2018, 01:25 PM   #14
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Why not a catamaran? Try making the beds. Depending on the beam a slip may be hard to find and a haul out may be troublesome as well.
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Old 04-17-2018, 01:43 PM   #15
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I've got my nice & slow 10 ton trawler and my gal has a nice 26' Macgregor sailboat that will do 6 1/2 knots across the wind or 20+ knots on plane, if needed. My big flybridge vs. the shallow draft freedom of her boat. Our summer trips around the PNW on the trawler vs her trailerable boat that we racked up almost 3 weeks on in Sea of Cortez this winter.

Best of both worlds!
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Old 04-17-2018, 01:46 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Westiculo View Post
Seems like half the people on here switch over from sailing.
Why??

I haven't done it, but sailing seems legit - you save on fuel, it's much quieter without the engines running, and you can still use them when you want.

The only downfall I can see is bridge clearance and a few extra things to maintain. What's the rub??

This Grand Banks is our first boat, but if we could have afforded it we probably would have bought a sweet Catamaran. All that to say, I am very happy with the GB, just trying to figure out what I'm missing.
Doug outlined much of the issues. I sailed for 50+ years before moving to power.

A lot of it is based on location. I hear there are places in the world where the weather is warm and the breeze is always blowing. Not sure that I believe it, but in those locations it would be hard to beat sail.

Here in the PNW the water is cold and the weather is cool. Most of the sailing is oriented roughly in the North/South direction, as is the wind. Another rule of thumb is that if the weather is nice, there is no wind. If the weather is foul, there is wind. There is a reason why most sailboat race series take place in the fall and spring, there isn't any wind in the summer.

So, if a sailor is going to actually "go someplace", more than half the time there is no wind. If there is wind it is coming from the wrong direction. So that means that only 25% of the time sailing is an option. If it is raining and the temps are in the 40s, sailing can be a "character building" exercise.

My own experience was that I was sailing only about 75% of the time. Often I would motorsail, I'd put up the main, gain .2-.5 knots of boat speed and have a much more stable ride and burn maybe 3/4 gal per hour at 6.5 knots.

Maintaining rigging is not expensive for a cruising sailboat. Not so for someone racing. The engine and supporting systems are generally much simpler and frankly easier to maintain than a larger engine, let alone twins.

For me the determining factor was back problems. I'm only 6'2" but still had to crouch a lot on the sailboat, even at the wheel to be able to see through the dodger. A bad knee made climbing up and down the companionway stairs a bit of a chore as well.

When it is warm and sunny, with a nice breeze blowing from the aft quarter, I miss the ability to shut off the engine and sail with main and my asymmetric spinnaker. Can't say that my sailboat was a lot quieter however. Wind and wave noise in the cockpit when sailing at 6 knots is likely a bit more than the noise inside my pilothouse motoring at 7 knots.
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Old 04-17-2018, 01:48 PM   #17
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Having sailed quite a bit, I miss the process BUT .... if I was going Off Shore and long distance, I would prefer to do it in a sailboat, it's cheaper and the sailboat is more sea kindly ......... fb
No question. If I was crossing oceans, I'd do it in a sailboat.
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Old 04-17-2018, 01:48 PM   #18
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Sailing vs. Trawlering

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Originally Posted by hmason View Post
Why not a catamaran? Try making the beds. Depending on the beam a slip may be hard to find and a haul out may be troublesome as well.

My dream boat, if I was actually using it a lot and didnít have to rely on keeping it a slip most of the time, would be a sailing catamaran with walk-around beds, decent sized engine rooms and a direct drive setup (not sail drives). Wife wants a flybridge cat, but I would rather have the helm down near the cockpit so the captain could talk to folks in the salon and cockpit.
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Old 04-17-2018, 02:01 PM   #19
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We lived and cruised on a sailboat for 10 years and over 40,000 miles. Our longest passage was 24 days and had many over 10 days. We had a 27’ ChistCraft and 34’ Mainship before we bought the Slocum 43, cutter rigged sailboat. We bought the sailboat to go cruising full time. For us it was a great fit. We had all the creature comforts that we have on Hobo; central heat, a serperate fridge/freezer, 24 gallon per hour watermaker, 5 Kw NL generator, etc. You get the idea, we weren’t camping.

We’ve had Hobo now for 11 years and at times I do miss having the ability to shut off the engine and have the quite. There’s nothing like being on watch at 2 am, with horizon to horizon stars with just the sound of the wind and water passing by over the hull.

That being said, if I want to go sailing, I have a brother who has sailboat on the Chesapeake. They use it extensively to go day sailing not cruising. They love it and wouldn’t consider a power boat.

Using a boat as a condo or for coastal cruising, give me a power boat. For crossing oceans give me sail.
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Old 04-17-2018, 02:10 PM   #20
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I actually enjoy sailing. I seldom do it and only for a day. It's lots of fun to play with a sailboat for a day, and go nowhere. Cruising somewhere or living on one, not so much. Cruising on a sailboat is like my brother doing cross country motorcycle trips. You may start on a nice sunny day, but sooner or later you'll look like a drowned rat from a bad weather forecast.

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