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Old 01-27-2018, 10:55 AM   #41
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Thanks. Don't want to hijack the original thread with a side discussion about this particular boat.

I will say that we went through the exact same thought process as the OP when shopping for a Great Lakes live aboard, and this was our solution. Outside living space was by far our primary consideration, and the sundeck configuration filled that bill. Trunk cabin configuration is great, but not for a Great Lakes summer live aboard. Same for most sedans. Sundeck keeps you up in the breeze and out of the bugs (for the most part), and provides a great field of view above other boats. We live outside unless it's raining.

Next was a water level cockpit for easy dinghy access. Then came all the rest. (I'd be happy to discuss particulars of this particular boat in a PM if you think you might be in the market in a year or two). Regards.
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Old 01-27-2018, 11:32 AM   #42
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Thanks. Don't want to hijack the original thread with a side discussion about this particular boat.
That boat does show though very clearly that there are a lot of potential options that don't fit into the definition some have of Trawlers. Some would call your OA a Trawler and some wouldn't. Regardless, it's a good middle ground option.
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Old 01-27-2018, 11:48 AM   #43
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Hello fellow boaters,

I've barely posted since joining a couple years ago but read this forum almost daily. Learned a lot here and helped us narrow down the choices for the next boat. Thank you for the free education!

Some background...nearing retirement and looking for a summer liveaboard. We plan to sell our home so it would be the boat in the summer and RV snowbirds in the winter.

Currently have a 2006 Four Winns Vista 378 that we enjoy on Lake Michigan / Green Bay.

This is where my rant comes in. Our boat only has 300 hours on the gas engines. It is truly near showroom condition including the shiny gelcoat. It's in such good shape I would offer a warranty to a private buyer. We probably will end up selling for $125k to $130.

Purchasing the next boat (Trawler type) 45' to 52', we were hoping to stay under $200k. However, scouring Yachtworld and broker sites, it seems like anything under that price is 30+ years old, engine hours north of 4,000, outdated electronics, worn interiors and faded/caulky exteriors. Not understanding the high asking prices for most of these boats when compared to much newer express cruisers and motoryachts? End of rant, just had to vent because it has been very discouraging!

Thinking of changing plans to a cockpit motoryacht?
Gas engines are a turn off.
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Old 01-27-2018, 05:54 PM   #44
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From what I've read, the older diesels that were large, cast iron, and limited horsepower are the source of the reputation about diesel robustness and economy.

The newer modern diesels where they get 300hp out of a small package via turbo charging, electronic control, etc., do not have the same reputation because the engines are stressed more to generate that HP and all the gadgets that make it possible add failure points.

My understanding is that diesels are more expensive up front, are more expensive to maintain, but may have longer life and better fuel economy compared to gas engines. It would depend on the particular use of the specific boat as to whether diesels or gas are the better choice.
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Old 01-27-2018, 07:58 PM   #45
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From what I've read, the older diesels that were large, cast iron, and limited horsepower are the source of the reputation about diesel robustness and economy.

The newer modern diesels where they get 300hp out of a small package via turbo charging, electronic control, etc., do not have the same reputation because the engines are stressed more to generate that HP and all the gadgets that make it possible add failure points.

My understanding is that diesels are more expensive up front, are more expensive to maintain, but may have longer life and better fuel economy compared to gas engines. It would depend on the particular use of the specific boat as to whether diesels or gas are the better choice.
I've never owned one of the older diesels, but understand the new modern diesels are not all that new in design. Turbo and Common Rail and Electronic Control have long since passed out of the period of new. They have excellent reputations and dependability. My experience is with 110 hp to 2895 hp.

Now, I'm still agreeing that for the lakes and inland cruising, gas can be a good option. The vast majority of boats there are gas.
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Old 01-28-2018, 07:19 AM   #46
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Gas engines do not slobber if constantly lightly loaded big diesels may.

The bigger hassle with a fast built boat at slow trawler crawler speeds is poor handling.

BUT if the AP can handle it , why worry?

And that could mean big two-stroke DDs may slobber... but it could also be that newer 4-strokes, not so much.

For OP, the handling could indeed be an issue, but FWIW we've found any sea state we're comfortable in at slow speeds works fine. And the A/P works. If we start getting uncomfortable, usually planing solves that... or sometimes tacking is an additional help... or else it's time to make port.

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Old 01-28-2018, 10:10 AM   #47
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And that could mean big two-stroke DDs may slobber... but it could also be that newer 4-strokes, not so much.
suffering weather delays, or
For OP, the handling could indeed be an issue, but FWIW we've found any sea state we're comfortable in at slow speeds works fine. And the A/P works. If we start getting uncomfortable, usually planing solves that... or sometimes tacking is an additional help... or else it's time to make port.

-Chris
Older highly boosted four stroke diesels also slobber at slow speeds...regardless of hull type (planing or semi-planing). The twin 375 Grand Banks from the '90s come to mind.

I believe the OPs point (which I agree with) is that the Great Lakes have many, many days where a planing hull at slow speeds is an unacceptable combination. So the owner either spends an inordinate amount of time enduring weather delays or is forced to pound through the rough stuff on plane. A semi-planing hull suffers the same issues, but to a lesser extent. Of course some semi-planning hull designs are better than others. The Ed Monk Jr. designed semi-planing hull on our boat is among the best in my opinion. Grand Banks, not so much. With some exceptions, the grouping of semi-displacement hulls from Taiwan (Marine Trader, Albin, CHB) don't have enough installed power to operate comfortably in the "hump plus" (12+ knot) speed range. Again, there are exceptions.

If you're retired like the OP will be, then perhaps sitting in the slip and waiting on calm conditions isn't an issue. But I can say for sure that the number of days of two footers or less on Lake Michigan were hard to come by last summer. Our little marina made a tidy profit on transient boaters...many of them loopers... who were delayed by wind and waves.
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Old 01-28-2018, 11:51 AM   #48
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Older highly boosted four stroke diesels also slobber at slow speeds...regardless of hull type (planing or semi-planing). The twin 375 Grand Banks from the '90s come to mind.

I believe the OPs point (which I agree with) is that the Great Lakes have many, many days where a planing hull at slow speeds is an unacceptable combination.

What engines are those twin 375s?

Your point about sea states is well taken. OTOH, that might equally be in argument in favor of a motor yacht. Around where we are, it's often benign enough to go slow, even with our planing hull. I dunno Great Lakes... but maybe a planing hull would overcome weather slightly more often than would a slower hull?

Not intending to suggest planing is a universal solution, of course.... but sometimes we can get out "comfortably" (relatively) in sloppy weather whereas beam seas (especially) going very slow wouldn't be fun.

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Old 01-28-2018, 12:03 PM   #49
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The biggest difference is the build of most trawlers as opposed to a cruiser. Trawlers are built to go out into blue water either coastal cruising or crossing oceans. Most of your smaller "gas" boats are not.
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Old 01-28-2018, 12:11 PM   #50
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The biggest difference is the build of most trawlers as opposed to a cruiser. Trawlers are built to go out into blue water either coastal cruising or crossing oceans. Most of your smaller "gas" boats are not.
But not talking small gas boats and the mention was made of 2' or less seas. Well, other than perhaps some small bowriders any boat should be capable of handling greater than that. 3-4' is just a norm to me. Obviously, the period is an important part of it. However, the boats being discussed here are built quite well to handle Great Lakes conditions.
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Old 01-28-2018, 12:28 PM   #51
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What engines are those twin 375s?

Your point about sea states is well taken. OTOH, that might equally be in argument in favor of a motor yacht. Around where we are, it's often benign enough to go slow, even with our planing hull. I dunno Great Lakes... but maybe a planing hull would overcome weather slightly more often than would a slower hull?

Not intending to suggest planing is a universal solution, of course.... but sometimes we can get out "comfortably" (relatively) in sloppy weather whereas beam seas (especially) going very slow wouldn't be fun.

-Chris
The engines I was thinking of were Cats. And I just checked and noted a couple of '90s vintage 46 GB with twin 425 intercooled 3208s. One ad noted the boat will make a whole 18 knots! Now there's the undisputed king of slobbering combos (for a semi-displacement design) at hull speed.

Yes, a planing motoryacht might make sense for the OP. Big bang for the buck from Carver, Cruisers and other mass produced boats. We looked at a lot of them when shopping. Bought the OA for the open sundeck and flybridge layout and the interior as much as anything. Does have a nice ride in rough stuff though.
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Old 01-28-2018, 12:36 PM   #52
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"they are significantly cheaper to operate (with diesel) than a 38ft gas boat, probably half as much."

This is only true if maint , oil changes , filters and repair parts are not counted , and the gasser is operated well above trawler speeds.

Operate at the Sq RT of the LWL for speed in Knots as many trawlers do (-30-50 hp) and gas is cheap to keep.

A vacuum gauge is a great help on a gasser , to stay below the secondaries opening , if you want to go a bit faster.

"Plus I think they just look cool."

Ego is expensive ,

A $4.00 spark plug vs a $75 injector rebuild , the requirement for super cleaned diesel fuel and the ease of repair make the seasonal or annual cost of diesels at least on par with gas.

Now if you run 200 -300+ days a year the diesel will have an advantage in fuel cost , and the higher repair PM costs can be OK.

At local cruising 200 hours a year many times a gas boat is a far better buy , the difference in interest on a loan may pay for all summers cruise
Fred - You hit many nails on the head!
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Old 01-28-2018, 01:04 PM   #53
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But not talking small gas boats and the mention was made of 2' or less seas. Well, other than perhaps some small bowriders any boat should be capable of handling greater than that. 3-4' is just a norm to me. Obviously, the period is an important part of it. However, the boats being discussed here are built quite well to handle Great Lakes conditions.
Period and wave shape are indeed important. Sure, any boat in this discussion can handle 4 footers. and much more. But many operators don't particularly like traveling in the very close coupled and steep waves that pile up along the eastern side of Lake Michigan with prevailing west winds. I depart with forecast 3-4's all the time...and often get caught in 5-6s with occasional 7s a few miles offshore. Many are more cautious.
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Old 01-28-2018, 01:26 PM   #54
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Many are more cautious.
And they sit a lot.
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Old 01-28-2018, 04:11 PM   #55
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The biggest difference is the build of most trawlers as opposed to a cruiser. Trawlers are built to go out into blue water either coastal cruising or crossing oceans. Most of your smaller "gas" boats are not.

Given that "trawler" is a marketing term more than anything else, I wouldn't assume that "most trawlers" are any stouter of build than most motor yachts... nor would I assume that many of the "trawlers" are up to cruising oceans.

Which isn't a criticism of either "most trawlers" or motor yachts, just an observation.

We appreciate well-built when the Chesapeake kicks up with short-period chop (not uncommon); if the Great Lakes are similar, I can see where sometimes relatively benign-sounding numbers can make your teeth hurt. Even that doesn't mean our ride needs to be engineered for ocean passages, though.

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Old 01-28-2018, 04:46 PM   #56
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Given that "trawler" is a marketing term more than anything else, I wouldn't assume that "most trawlers" are any stouter of build than most motor yachts... nor would I assume that many of the "trawlers" are up to cruising oceans.

Which isn't a criticism of either "most trawlers" or motor yachts, just an observation.

We appreciate well-built when the Chesapeake kicks up with short-period chop (not uncommon); if the Great Lakes are similar, I can see where sometimes relatively benign-sounding numbers can make your teeth hurt. Even that doesn't mean our ride needs to be engineered for ocean passages, though.

-Chris
Chesapeake and Great Lakes are very similar. What they have in common is large open areas where the wind can hit from all directions and land not really providing much of a shield.

Growing up on a small lake, I know that all of us ocean cruisers, myself included now, seem to forget lakes like the one we were on can ever get rough. We think of calm lakes. Well, Lake Norman is during the week if the wind isn't blowing and very early and very late on weekends. However, when working people can get on it, it's typically very choppy in many areas just from boat wakes. When you have nice large wakes hitting from all directions it's quite rough. However, there's one additional part of the lake. At one part of the lake it's 9 miles wide. When the wind is strong and coming from the right direction there are occasions in which the wind waves are 3-4'. We've had sailboat regattas on July 4 or other times cancelled because it was too rough. There are no ocean crossing vessels on the lake but there is some rough boating for small bowriders and wake boats and pontoons.
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Old 01-28-2018, 08:02 PM   #57
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Period and wave shape are indeed important. Sure, any boat in this discussion can handle 4 footers. and much more. But many operators don't particularly like traveling in the very close coupled and steep waves that pile up along the eastern side of Lake Michigan with prevailing west winds. I depart with forecast 3-4's all the time...and often get caught in 5-6s with occasional 7s a few miles offshore. Many are more cautious.
Sounds like the sea states we often get in LI sound with the opposing tide fighting the wind. We always found the boat was capable of taking on more than we would typically choose but sometimes the weather would change quickly in LI sound and it was good to be able to make choices that included higher speeds that often would be a better ride than a hull speed cruise.

The OP was very concerned about range - how does the range work out with the 44 OA? Usable fuel capacity and typical burn rate at speed?
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Old 01-29-2018, 09:42 PM   #58
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OP here again. I see my education continues! I've never had the opportunity to ride in a trawler. Just assumed all you ocean guys and gals, many trading in sailboats for the creature comforts of a trawler, found the perfect all around boat for livability, range and ride comfort. Figured it would work for us also. Just thought that we would need a slow heavy boat to drive through waves instead of bouncing over them.

A page or two back someone mentioned their trawler handled great on the ocean leg of the loop but got beat up in Lake Michigan. What an eye opener! I can't thank all you folks enough. Our search has changed from trawler type to motor yacht.

Only confusion remaining is diesels and extended low RPM usage. Our current gas engine boat has an optimum cruising speed of 25 mph (per manufacturer data) turning 3600 rpm getting 0.7 miles per gallon. We can afford this fuel usage now, but when retired with no time constraints and cruising greater distances, would prefer much lower fuel consumption.

Thanks again. BTW Rufus, beautiful OA. You are not hijacking the tread by any means!
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Old 01-30-2018, 01:04 AM   #59
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We were in a different but similar position several years ago. Working full time we wanted a boat that opened our weather windows for travel to the Bahamas, Chesapeake and along the east coast. We went with a cockpit motor yacht/fly bridge cruiser. We got a Viking sport cruiser/princess 50 ft flybridge. 9 seasons later this has been an excellent choice

We go slow as often as we can or time allows. Slow cruise is 8 knots, fast cruise is 19 knots and WOT 26 knots. Slow saves fuel and is easier on equipment, fast is most stable in beam seas due to hydrodynamic stability. Typical nice weather 200 mile cruise from say Nassau to ft lauderdale is 4 hours slow cruise and 1 hour 19 knots alternating. No engine build up and no engine soot except momentarily getting on plane after a few hours 8 knot cruise. Plenty of fuel, we maybe use half our fuel over 200 miles in this way.

We chose Viking sport cruiser because 20 degree dead rise aft, steeper forefoot and a sharp entry. So a deeper vee than most comparable US built flybridge cruisers. Some of the British built boats (princess, sun seeker) claim a deeper vee design for the English Channel and nearby steeper seas. The result is a 40,000 lb boat that handles steeper seas such as the Chesapeake or pimlico sounds well. But I have to say the worse conditions we have seen have been in the Gulf Stream when significant storms form or the passage from the abacos to harbor island

We also love the open layout of the Viking/princess sport cruisers. We spend weeks at a time as a family of four on our 50.
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Old 01-30-2018, 06:52 AM   #60
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OP here again. I see my education continues! I've never had the opportunity to ride in a trawler. Just assumed all you ocean guys and gals, many trading in sailboats for the creature comforts of a trawler, found the perfect all around boat for livability, range and ride comfort. Figured it would work for us also. Just thought that we would need a slow heavy boat to drive through waves instead of bouncing over them.

A page or two back someone mentioned their trawler handled great on the ocean leg of the loop but got beat up in Lake Michigan. What an eye opener! I can't thank all you folks enough. Our search has changed from trawler type to motor yacht.

Only confusion remaining is diesels and extended low RPM usage. Our current gas engine boat has an optimum cruising speed of 25 mph (per manufacturer data) turning 3600 rpm getting 0.7 miles per gallon. We can afford this fuel usage now, but when retired with no time constraints and cruising greater distances, would prefer much lower fuel consumption.

Thanks again. BTW Rufus, beautiful OA. You are not hijacking the tread by any means!
IMHO - when it comes to your typical 4 stroke 6 cylinder turbo diesel (Cummins, Perkins, Hino, etc) running slow does not make it into the top 10 reasons why the engines would have a problem. I do not know how 'extended' or low you mean by low rpm usage but it is not a significant problem and can be easily minimized even if you really intend "slow and extended".
There are many other items to get on your list for your 'best choice' boat.
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