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Old 04-24-2018, 12:11 PM   #1
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Switching from sail to steam need advice

Hello all, I have had several sailboats lived aboard and did some cruising we sold the boat 4 yrs. ago,and now once again looking to go cruising again at 55 yrs old ,I am wondering if any folks who switched from sail to steam had regrets, were they forced into due to health,? are they happy they made the switch any insight appreciated.
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Old 04-24-2018, 12:56 PM   #2
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I think you will find everyone on here are all very happy with the switch to steam.
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Old 04-24-2018, 01:08 PM   #3
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In comparing a sailing vessel to a motor vessel; there is only one downside to a motor vessel, the increased fuel bill. The upsides are endless.
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Old 04-24-2018, 01:21 PM   #4
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A semi-displacement hull is very different from a full displacement hull in high seas. But it's a much more spacious, pleasant living space
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Old 04-24-2018, 02:02 PM   #5
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There is nothing better than purring along at 7 or 8 knots knowing you could go two or even three times as fast if needed AND be going directly towards your destination all the time. At least it is as long as you have someplace to go: for just fooling around on the water within sight of your home port a small daysailer is hard to beat.
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Old 04-24-2018, 03:20 PM   #6
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I think that many, maybe most trawler owners are former sailboat owners. There are lots of reasons to switch: Mama, less work, mama, old age, mama, desire to get there quicker, mama.

In general sailing is about the journey and the destination is secondary. Trawlering is probably the opposite.

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Old 04-24-2018, 03:21 PM   #7
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We made the switch two years ago. We went from a 40' Catalina to a 43' North Pacific. Our situation in the PNW is different the East coast. In our area, we found we were actually sailing only 25% of the time or less. The rest of the time we were using it as a very efficient powerboat.

The trawler is warmer, drier, more comfortable, more space, more amenities, better views from inside, and much more expensive. I miss sailing but would never go back.
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Old 04-24-2018, 03:31 PM   #8
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What kind of cruising do you want to do? If you want to cross oceans, the sailboat would be more economical and make more sense than most power boats. If you want to coastal cruise or hang out in marinas or on the ICW, the power boat probably makes more sense.
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Old 04-24-2018, 04:27 PM   #9
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Most, if not all, of the sail boat owers I know, including my three brothers, are power boaters.
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Old 04-24-2018, 06:09 PM   #10
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I'm still sitting on the fence.

There are a few downsides to power boating. Generally, power boats don't handle rough water as well. You will miss the stability that sails give you. And then there is the noise.

Power boats are often faster if you are trying to get somewhere in a hurry.
They are almost always more comfortable (wider, more windows, designed for entertaining as much as boating)

It all depends what you want to do.
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Old 04-24-2018, 06:44 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabe n Em View Post
A semi-displacement hull is very different from a full displacement hull in high seas. But it's a much more spacious, pleasant living space
We have a full displacement hull so I'll have to disagree.
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Old 04-24-2018, 06:45 PM   #12
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Most, if not all, of the sail boat owers I know, including my three brothers, are power boaters.
Dragging expensive sticks through the sky slowing them down?
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Old 04-24-2018, 07:54 PM   #13
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In comparing a sailing vessel to a motor vessel; there is only one downside to a motor vessel, the increased fuel bill. The upsides are endless.
True, but consider the compensatory savings of not having a sailboat. No sails to buy,repair and maintain. No rigging to maintain and regularly overhaul to avoid risks of failure.No mast to remove overhaul and reinstall. Surely there are other savings.
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Old 04-24-2018, 07:55 PM   #14
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I am not a sailor vs power boat type. I do both. For now I have more money than time and power boats in my price bracket are more livable. Where i live is great for sailboat racing but rarely is the wind cooperative for cruising, not to mention the severe tidal currents. If I ever end up with more time than money I might switch back to blow boats.
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Old 04-24-2018, 11:39 PM   #15
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If you really want steam, here ya' go:

Huge price reduction on SS Delphine
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Old 04-25-2018, 09:01 AM   #16
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Many sailors switch to power but few go back. What else needs saying?
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Old 04-25-2018, 11:19 AM   #17
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I sailed when I was younger. I miss the quiet. But injuries and arthritis makes handling small lines too difficult and handling small lines makes the arthritis worse.
But I'm 70 now and don't see and end to my cruising or living aboard yet.
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Old 04-25-2018, 01:32 PM   #18
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True, but consider the compensatory savings of not having a sailboat. No sails to buy,repair and maintain. No rigging to maintain and regularly overhaul to avoid risks of failure.No mast to remove overhaul and reinstall. Surely there are other savings.
But you have to pay for maintenance and overhaul on the powerplant, drive train, and associated equipment "to avoid risks of failure". If you have more than one powerplant the spending amount multiplies. I have never owned a sailboat, but I bet in the long run the cost difference isn't that much, particularly if you figure in the fuel bill.
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Old 04-25-2018, 03:48 PM   #19
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But you have to pay for maintenance and overhaul on the powerplant, drive train, and associated equipment "to avoid risks of failure". If you have more than one powerplant the spending amount multiplies. I have never owned a sailboat, but I bet in the long run the cost difference isn't that much, particularly if you figure in the fuel bill.
You have to do that in a sailing boat as well and a sailing catamaran x 2.

A decent sized sailing boat that is suitable for comfortable live aboard and can actually sail can easily have $100,000 worth of mast, sail, wire and deck fittings and believe me, the loads are horrific and maintenance is crucial.
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Old 04-25-2018, 04:31 PM   #20
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You have to do that in a sailing boat as well and a sailing catamaran x 2.

A decent sized sailing boat that is suitable for comfortable live aboard and can actually sail can easily have $100,000 worth of mast, sail, wire and deck fittings and believe me, the loads are horrific and maintenance is crucial.
That also applies to some large power boats as well.
$100,000 worth of engine(s) with horrific loads and crucial maintenance.

My modest sail setup has cost me $2800 to replace and upgrade all the standing and running rigging (after 30 years). This included labour.
I may replace the original sails soon for another 4-5k.
Total sail maintenance would average out to a bit over $200 a year over 35 years. Fairly good value IMO.
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