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Old 01-29-2019, 12:05 PM   #1
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Viability of De-Rigged Pilothouse Motorsailer?

I'm still researching possibilities for my first power cruising boat. It will be (90% of the time) just myself and my lady cruising the coast. I work out of New Bedford, MA and she owns a house in Boothbay Harbor, ME. I can see us cruising a boat up and down the coast during the summers. Since the seasons are short, I'd like a heated, enclosed pilothouse so we can be comfortable during the "shoulders" of the season. Maybe someday we'll do the Downeast Circle?

We're looking for a safe, economical boat to run; one with simple minimal systems for decreased maintenance time and expense. One of the possibilities is a motorsailor used as a powerboat. I could even see me not setting up the rigging at all and just powering. There are two Fisher 30 motorsailors that are in the Boston Area. In this case I might only rig the aft mast for steadying, etc. This one is in the best shape:

https://www.yachtworld.com/boats/197...ource=standard listing

Aside from being relegated to hull speed - what are the disadvantages of going this route? I'm attracted to the simple approach and efficient cruising.

Thoughts?
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Old 01-29-2019, 12:17 PM   #2
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I’ve always liked the Fisher designs and this one looks really good. I would probably keep it rigged and have the best of both worlds. It’s nice to be able to sail when conditions are right.
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Old 01-29-2019, 12:50 PM   #3
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I considered those when I started shopping, the cockpit is terribly tiny and if you want to fish or work shrimp or crab pots it's almost unworkable. I made a transit with a Fisher from Homer to Seward, and checked in with him while he was in Prince William Sound. There were three on board and it was really tight and cramped, they admired all the room I had on my 30' Willard...
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Old 01-29-2019, 01:01 PM   #4
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A Fisher is a very safe and seaworthy boat. They have a great, solid pilothouse. I come close to buying one, and ended up with something very similar.

Here are a few disadvantages of the Fisher 30.

This style of boat is quite tender and rolls a fair bit in a beam sea. The sails steady it out beautifully; I would definitely leave the rigging in place. They are very easy to sail, even for a beginner. They won't win any races but have a lovely motion in the sea.

The Fisher 30 has a narrow aft end, and so a fairly small cockpit when compared to a 30 foot semi displacement boat. Great for seaworthiness, but you won't seat 6 of your friends back there.

Also due to the narrow aft end, they have a fairly tight engine space. Having long skinny arms helps when doing mechanical work.

Other than that it's all good. The plusses are a much longer list.

btw - unless you plan on boating in areas with low clearance where the mast will get in the way, the mast and rigging are a definite asset. Removing them will certainly reduce the value of the boat.
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Old 01-29-2019, 01:11 PM   #5
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Looks like a nice boat for your purposes. In addition to all of the comments saying leave the rig in place, let me add that a mast provides some stability (extends the roll period) even without a sail, so leave the rig or at least the masts in place (but save the boom and sails for when you sell.


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Old 01-29-2019, 01:17 PM   #6
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Fishers are great boats; well built!
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Old 01-29-2019, 01:20 PM   #7
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I saw both of those 30's listed, one in NH and the other I think on the cape. They both need a good buffing but otherwise seem decent. I also love fishers, the one serious thing I'd look at is the bilge and the keel, they're ballasted with steel punchings and if they ever get water to them they rust and expand. I've only seem one with this issue, a 37' but it wasn't bad as it was a small area in the bilge that was fairly easy to grind out and repair. If you buy one in the UK and bring it across you might find a better deal as there's plenty over there, I keep looking at Colvic Watsons in UK listings myself. By the way I'd also say keep the rig for all the reasons Auscan mentioned.
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