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Old 01-19-2014, 07:06 PM   #1
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Trip to Caribbean

This coming year I plan to retire. Have owned small boats all my life and now I intend on buying a 35-40 Foot Something and become a coastal Cruiser.
This has always been the plan of my wife and I .
I lost my wife last year so I must now do this alone. Here are my concerns and questions if you guys don't mind sharing your expertise.
I have decided to go with either a Trawler or a Motor Sailor
My decision was based on economical reasons alone. I will be doing this on a fixed income and plan on doing it for the rest of my life.
Here is what I think to be true at this point. A full displacement Trawler with a single diesel engine will give me a more comfortable boat and the fuel cost should be around the 2.00 an hour range.
The Sailor is not as nice as far as amenities Etc. but I could get .50 per hour cost of fuel. This is a huge difference over many miles.

So biggest question is do you guys have experience with both? Are my numbers correct? Since its now just me Im thinking I should go smaller on the boat size but I want to be comfortable .
I plan on making a home base on Gulf side of Florida and leaving for points South.
The other consideration is Even though I have been a boater for 40 years I have Never Ever Sailed. I would have to take lessons, go to a school !
Thank You All Up-Front
Jacob
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Old 01-19-2014, 07:25 PM   #2
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This coming year I plan to retire. Have owned small boats all my life and now I intend on buying a 35-40 Foot Something and become a coastal Cruiser. This has always been the plan of my wife and I . I lost my wife last year so I must now do this alone. Here are my concerns and questions if you guys don't mind sharing your expertise. I have decided to go with either a Trawler or a Motor Sailor My decision was based on economical reasons alone. I will be doing this on a fixed income and plan on doing it for the rest of my life. Here is what I think to be true at this point. A full displacement Trawler with a single diesel engine will give me a more comfortable boat and the fuel cost should be around the 2.00 an hour range. The Sailor is not as nice as far as amenities Etc. but I could get .50 per hour cost of fuel. This is a huge difference over many miles. So biggest question is do you guys have experience with both? Are my numbers correct? Since its now just me Im thinking I should go smaller on the boat size but I want to be comfortable . I plan on making a home base on Gulf side of Florida and leaving for points South. The other consideration is Even though I have been a boater for 40 years I have Never Ever Sailed. I would have to take lessons, go to a school ! Thank You All Up-Front Jacob
Whats your price range? I think your numbers are backwards, we have a 47' nordhavn that is FD get about 2.5-3.0 GPH without genny which we always run so figure 4 GPH total which is on the high end. Also depending on price range, I think the KK 39 would be nice.
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Old 01-19-2014, 10:49 PM   #3
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I've owned two boats.
a. 37' single engine displacement hull trawler 1.2gph at 7knots (see my avatar)
b. 40' single engine motoryacht planing- 1.6gph at 7knots (8gph @ 16knots).
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Old 01-19-2014, 10:53 PM   #4
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I've owned two boats. a. 37' single engine displacement hull trawler 1.2gph at 7knots (see my avatar) b. 40' single engine motoryacht planing- 1.6gph at 7knots (8gph @ 16knots).
I stand corrected. What make is your current boat, she looks like a stout.?
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Old 01-19-2014, 10:57 PM   #5
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I stand corrected. What make is your current boat, she looks like a stout.?
The boat in my avatar, which I sold six years ago (been kicking my own ass ever since) was a one off custom build by Bruckman Yachts which at the time was the custom shop for C&C (the sailboat people).
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Old 01-19-2014, 11:00 PM   #6
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The boat in my avatar, which I sold six years ago (been kicking my own ass ever since) was a one off custom build by Bruckman Yachts which at the time was the custom shop for C&C (the sailboat people).
Oh ok that makes sense, so what's the make of your current boat?
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Old 01-19-2014, 11:11 PM   #7
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Oh ok that makes sense, so what's the make of your current boat?

Trendsetter 40', they only built two and she is a very odd boat. Not too many 40 footers can cruise at 16knots with a top speed of 21knots on a single 235hp diesel. She was designed by Dave Martin and the design brief was basically to design the most fuel efficient 40 footer on the water.
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Old 01-19-2014, 11:34 PM   #8
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Whats your price range? I think your numbers are backwards, we have a 47' nordhavn that is FD get about 2.5-3.0 GPH without genny which we always run so figure 4 GPH total which is on the high end. Also depending on price range, I think the KK 39 would be nice.
I wanted to stay at a Budget of 40 Grand. I thought in this Buyers market if I stayed with a boat built in the 80's I could achieve it.
Are you saying that the trawler would be better on fuel. I thought it was the other way so Im confused

Thanks for your input
Jake
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Old 01-19-2014, 11:41 PM   #9
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I wanted to stay at a Budget of 40 Grand. I thought in this Buyers market if I stayed with a boat built in the 80's I could achieve it. Are you saying that the trawler would be better on fuel. I thought it was the other way so Im confused Thanks for your input Jake
No I'm talking trawlers aren't as efficient in some way. If you go with a motor sailor you'll have flat calm no wind days which you'll have to run the engine. I don't know of any FD boats within your criteria, someone please chime in if there is. I'm thinking a single screw Taiwanese fixer upper, if your up to the challenge. Not FD though.
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Old 01-20-2014, 01:00 AM   #10
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We are in the Eastern Caribbean. A couple of comments:

There are hundreds of cruisers here, 40% or so full-time liveaboards. Almost 100% of the boats are full displacement vessels, 19 out of 20 of which are sailboats. I am considering the catamarans as full displacement.


Cost per mile sailed. This must be a long term comparison to take into account the cost of replacing, repairing sails and rigging. Over the long term these costs for a sailboat may equal the cost of fuel for a trawler.

Where the trawlers become expensive is the added equipment that is put on the trawlers, both in terms of initial expense but also upkeep. Many sailboats here do not have diesel generators, air conditioning, TVs and certainly trawler style refrigeration.

The trawlers here are primarily of two brands, Nordhavn and Krogen. I am not aware of any these that are within your budget. You may be able to find another brand or a converted fishing boat at a lesser price.

Some of the sailboats here are very simple in terms of equipment and can be purchased for low prices. These simple boats are also less expensive to maintain.

An option for you to consider is to limit your cruising to the Bahamas and North America. While the Eastern and Western Caribbean are wonderful places, these are difficult places to get to while single handling a boat.
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Old 01-20-2014, 07:27 AM   #11
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The best three trawlers I have ever seen were steel, orphan, home built boats of extremely high quality which sold for far less than they were worth because they had no "brand" name.

When searching yachtworld do not discount homebuilt steel boats. Many of them are full displacement (the most fuel efficient hull form) whether motor sailor or trawler. A little harder to find but a few of them are real gems.
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Old 01-20-2014, 07:34 AM   #12
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at $40,000 you aren't going to find much that's not just this side of a wreck...I looked hard and wound up with something near the $60K range and other than a good engine it was a POS. The other boats I looked at were't even in drive away condition and would have required much more to get them ready to launch and drive.

Go into the 36 foot range, different story, but after living aboard 2 different boats, running many as a delivery capt, I knew going smaller than a 40 for long term living/cruising would be a mistake.

Just remember you may get a boat for $40 grand...but how much more is it going to take to get her where you want her. There's a reason why a boat costs $40K and a sistership is asking $90K....you can buy the $40K boat but will probably spend halfway to that upper number just to get her liveable and countless hours doing so....I'm doing it now...thankfully I can and still cruise while doing it.

As far as efficiency.....go sail or motor sailor...can't beat free energy but you do lose interior volume over a given size range.
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Old 01-20-2014, 08:16 AM   #13
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Jake, For comparisons sake, we own a share of a 41' Beneteau sloop in the BVI's and do a lot of motoring when headed east due to the tradewinds. We commonly run about 1800 RPM with our Perkins 4-108 50 HP diesel, producing about 5 knots, and burn just at .5 gal per hour. Considering that the cost of diesel at the marinas is approx. $5 per gal, that is $2.50 per hour for fuel. For efficiency, a sailboat is hard to beat. Good used sails are readily available, which greatly reduces the cost of sails and rigging. That said, I just bought a single engine trawler as it is getting harder to handle all of the work on a sailboat at age 70. Good luck! George
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Old 01-20-2014, 08:34 AM   #14
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Go with a motorsailer, and look for one with a nice, pilot house. Positives: (1) More fuel efficient than a single screw trawler. My old MS was 38' long, had a 30 hp diesel and burned .65gph producing a speed of 6.5 kts through the water. Years before I had a 42' single screw diesel trawler. Fuel burn was 1.8 gph at 7 kts through the water. (2) More reliable--if your single engine quits, you can get home with your sails. (3) More stable ride--the sails help steady the boat's motion in the roll axis. Unless you have stabilizers, or flopper-stoppers, you'll roll your eyeballs out in a trawler. (4) Price--you should be able to find something that's not too big of a project in a 36-40' motorsailer...your choices in trawlers within your 40K budget will be seriously limited, though not impossible. Now for the negatives (1) You'll have less interior room. (2) You'll probably have deeper draft...and along the Gulf of Mexico and in the northern Caribbean that's a consideration. (3) You'll have to learn an entirely new skill set...sailing. But once done, you'll have knowledge and abilities that will stand you well even if in later years you decide to go with a trawler. Many of us on this forum are former sailors and value their rag-boat heritage. Whichever way you go, best of luck!
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Old 01-20-2014, 10:41 AM   #15
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I intend on buying a 35-40 Foot Something and become a coastal Cruiser.

The lowest cost coastal cruiser would be a sail boat , these are very very cheap and since you wont need the rig , it can be scrapped.A 45 ft with no mast and rig would be ideal.

The room aboard would be far less than on a motorboat of similar size , but most would require far less fixing than the usual TT.

34 ft would be a good size for a motorboat , plan on 5K when traveling and anchoring out as close to 100% of the time.The cheaper the boat , usually the more work to fix it up.What skills do you have?

Electronics seems to be the biggest money waster , a wheel autopilot , hand held GPS and a good mechanical windlass is all thats really required .

A hand held VHF works fine to wake the bridge and lock folks .

The biggest task if you go for a motorboat would be setting it up to easily single hand,

Go for it!
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Old 01-21-2014, 12:43 AM   #16
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Thank you ALL for your input. After more research it seems like a more realistic number is 60 K for what I want unless I go much smaller and Im not sure about going smaller.
Thanks Again
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Old 01-21-2014, 09:23 AM   #17
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BIG boat Small boat , the size of the vessel is important as YOU will be scrubbing , painting and repairing all the stuff on board.

Size does not equal comfort , or expense.

The vessels complexity 2 engines , 2 noisemakers , get home never used engine all need to be maintained .

AS someone has pointed out what you dont have , you dont have to buy , install, maintain , repair and replace.

AND never buy a huge boat planning on family visits , kids are as happy sleeping on the cabin floor as in their own stateroom.
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Old 01-21-2014, 10:15 AM   #18
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The original Mainship 34's can be had for under 50k in good shape. Here is a 1987 on Yachtworld for 49k.

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Old 01-22-2014, 08:34 AM   #19
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Trawler with a single diesel engine will give me a more comfortable boat and the fuel cost should be around the 2.00 an hour range.
The Sailor is not as nice as far as amenities Etc. but I could get .50 per hour cost of fuel. This is a huge difference over many miles.

This is 1960 fuel costs , today were still stuck with close to $4.00a gallon.

Under $2.00 is possible , but not with the cyrrent rullers.

Most sail hulls will run at the SQ rt of the LWL for under a gal an hour,

Many smaller diesel hulls can run under 2 gal an hour at similar speeds.

Thats $4.00 to $8.00 not 50c per hour.

For planning a dollar a mile might work considering lube oil, and fuel and lube filters , IF you do all the work yourself.
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Old 01-22-2014, 10:51 AM   #20
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dollar a mile is what I get strictly fuel...repairs and maintenance are more...
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