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Old 04-02-2019, 09:12 PM   #1
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Question What about a gas trawler?

There is a trawler that we like (long story, Iíll update yíall later) but it has two Crusader 350ís in it. Why they put gas engines in a trawler in the mid 80ís Iíll never understand but there it is.

Would the fuel efficiency of a trawler with gas engines at 8 knots be the same as planing hull at idle?

For reference this is the boat Iím teferring to:
https://www.popyachts.com/motor-yach...exas-r1-104295

Please leave all comments about the dreaded seller aside, I am well aware.
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Old 04-02-2019, 09:28 PM   #2
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Because itís not a trawler. Itís a semi-displacement powerboat that, Iím guessing here, is likely quite happy at 12-17 knots. Californian even of that era is a tough overbuilt solid glass hull.

If your going to have gas engines, Crusaders are the ones to have and a small block Chevy wonít eat you out of house and home like big blocks. If you slow down to trawler speeds, you will get much improved economy. If you get the idea to run on one engine, re-pitch the props, because you donít want to lug a small block.
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Old 04-02-2019, 09:35 PM   #3
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Because itís not a trawler. Itís a semi-displacement powerboat that, Iím guessing here, is likely quite happy at 12-17 knots. Californian even of that era is a tough overbuilt solid glass hull.

If your going to have gas engines, Crusaders are the ones to have and a small block Chevy wonít eat you out of house and home like big blocks. If you slow down to trawler speeds, you will get much improved economy. If you get the idea to run on one engine, re-pitch the props, because you donít want to lug a small block.
At the current price I think it would be worth the hull. The engines I could run until they die and then throw in some used Lehmanís or something.
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Old 04-02-2019, 09:55 PM   #4
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These are 350 HP big blocks, 454 CU in. They will like the fuel.
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Old 04-02-2019, 10:06 PM   #5
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These are 350 HP big blocks, 454 CU in. They will like the fuel.
So exactly what I have now. 7.4Lís
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Old 04-02-2019, 10:19 PM   #6
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I agree with toocoys. I have moved to diesel, BayLiner 4087, after almost 50 yrs with gas. If I had to do it again I would take gas without question. If you run the 350s below 3000 with secondaries closed you will find fuel burn quite acceptable. In fact it may be less than a new high RPM diesel. Secondly, the cost of two new state of the art crusaders installed will be less than 1/3 of installing diesels in a gas powered boat. My last gas boat was a 1988 CC 381 and my burn rate ranged around 40 ltrs per. If the vessel passes the survey, make an offer. You will be happy.
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Old 04-03-2019, 05:39 AM   #7
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For economy I would first install a vacuum gauge and observe boat speed.

Since where ever the huge secondaries open the mileage will go to worms, the first cruising experiment might be to pull the tiny pin and disconnect the secondaries.

IF you get the speed you want, removing the 4bbl and installing a quality 2bbl might help a bit more .

At the usual 200 hours a year no diesel will ever pay for itself , and as the boat cant cross oceans a longer range fuel supply is not useful.

A 305 might pay if the anchor motors finally fail.


Money spent on gas will be repaid in lower maint and repair coats from a common gas engine.
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Old 04-03-2019, 05:44 AM   #8
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My new boat has twin Crusader gassers. It's not a trawler by any stretch of the imagination but it IS probably biggest interior of any 35 foot hull I came across. It'll make the perfect liveaboard for me. TooCoys, go tour one in person. You may fall in love with it like I did. Here's the one Im under contract on. I would've preferred diesels but every boat is a compromise. I found a gem.

https://www.yachtworld.com/boats/200...nced%20listing
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Old 04-03-2019, 06:36 AM   #9
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Nor sure what speed you plan to run it, but here are a couple of data points:

A diesel trawler of the same size and hull type (semi-displacement) will burn about 3 gph to go 7 or so kts. Swap out the engine for those big gassers and it will go up to about 5 gph.

Contrary to what is said above, diesels maintain their fuel efficiency pretty well at low rpm/loads partially because they are not throttled like gassers. Gasser fuel economy drops significantly at low load/rpms.

At high cruising speeds the difference decreases but gassers still burn about 25% more fuel than diesels.

David
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Old 04-03-2019, 06:43 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toocoys View Post
There is a trawler that we like (long story, Iíll update yíall later) but it has two Crusader 350ís in it. Why they put gas engines in a trawler in the mid 80ís Iíll never understand but there it is.

Would the fuel efficiency of a trawler with gas engines at 8 knots be the same as planing hull at idle?

For reference this is the boat Iím teferring to:
https://www.popyachts.com/motor-yach...exas-r1-104295

As said above, it's a "motor yacht," likely wasn't marketed as a "trawler" back in the day, and the 454 Crusaders would have been entirely appropriate to the design.

If you run it at displacement speeds... I dunno if fuel efficiency compared to a twin screw diesel "trawler" of approximately the same length would be "the same" but I doubt it wold be different enough to matter much.

You can find fuel consumption predictions for various gas engines at various RPMs -- I forget the names, but I've seen various calculators on line -- and use that for maybe more specific consideration. I'd guess maybe 1000-1200 RPMs might move that boat at hull speed well enough, but maybe some of the Californian owners here can give better numbers than that.

That particular boat seems like it'd be worth an in-person look if that layout appeals.

If the original Crusaders wear out in the next 10-15 years or so... it probably wouldn't be too hard to repower with whatever latest-and-greatest gassers exist at the time.

(Or maybe even re-man Cummins B diesels, if you find out you're putting maybe 500 hours a year on the boat... That'd be a more difficult calculation though, would have to consider fuel tanks maybe, genset, running gear, etc.)

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Old 04-03-2019, 10:29 AM   #11
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I just canít resist on chiming in on this one. So as far as fuel economy, if your boating within a say 10 to 50 mile radius of youíre home port then who cares about fuel economy. If youíre planning on traveling the world then the gassers would be an issue. From looking closely at the pictures this is a hell of a vessel at 30 grand. Iím actually wondering if there is something else going on with this boat. The Californian is a exquisite vessel and the craftsmanship is just beautiful. And once again at 30K I believe thatís a lot of bang for your buck. So you pay 25K for the boat, dump another 10K in it for detailing, canvas, bottom paint,and any other hidden surprises and youíve got a hell of a boat for the local waterways for many years to come. Once again if your going to do far adventures then the gassers are gonna hurt the checkbook. When I was a broker many people would tell me that going to travel the world with their boat and I see them 2 years later and the boat hasnít gone more then 20 miles from home port. Just saying. One last thought and Iíll shut up. Resale will hurt you. Just as it has for the previous owner.
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Old 04-03-2019, 10:33 AM   #12
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Well I wasnít quite finished and accidentally hit the send button. Didnít see the hours listed? Did I miss that?
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Old 04-03-2019, 12:01 PM   #13
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I would be asking a bunch of questions about the engines on this boat. Interesting how there is little info other than what make and model of engines they are. No info on hours or maintenance. Is this possibly the reason for a price reduction from $70K to $30K?

I don't know if you can believe the information at moreboats.com, but that site notes that the boat has been on the market since Aug 1st 2016!

I think this could potentially be a good buy, but I would have a lot of questions first!

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Old 04-03-2019, 12:13 PM   #14
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Good call Jim. Now itís a 20K boat with a 15K investment in the first. 6 months of ownership. Net result is 35K. Personally I would never covert it to diesel. To many system to change and then the problems in the years to come. I always believe if you absolutely want diesels, buy it with diesels.
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Old 04-03-2019, 12:51 PM   #15
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OMG! An argument for gas vs. diesel?!?!?

Quote:
Originally Posted by toocoys View Post
There is a trawler that we like (long story, Iíll update yíall later) but it has two Crusader 350ís in it. Why they put gas engines in a trawler in the mid 80ís Iíll never understand but there it is.

Would the fuel efficiency of a trawler with gas engines at 8 knots be the same as planing hull at idle?

For reference this is the boat Iím teferring to:
https://www.popyachts.com/motor-yach...exas-r1-104295

Please leave all comments about the dreaded seller aside, I am well aware.
Re: "Why they put gas engines in a trawler in the mid 80ís Iíll never understand but there it is."

A quick look at Yachtworld shows four of these on the market, three of the four are gassers and only one is a diesel.

As others have noted, it's not really what most here would call a "Trawler" -- it's a motoryacht. There are many shades of grey between displacement hulls and planing hulls, this one claims to have a 'semi-displacement hull', but appearances are it is a deep-vee planing hull.

I think this was the manufacturer's effort to capture a part of the market they were missing out on, by merely calling it a trawler.

Why gas vs. Diesel? In the 1980's, the Diesel option for this boat was probably a $20,000-$30,000 upcharge. Personally, if I had been shopping for one of these in the 1980's...I'd have stuck with the gasoline engines.

The legendary David Pascoe (R.I.P.) wrote this piece, which you might be interested in.

https://www.yachtsurvey.com/GasDiesel.htm

In my mind, (and as David opines), 90% of the reliability advantages of diesel vs. gas vanish as soon as you add the turbo and intercooler. You wind up trading a little fuel efficiency for a LOT of complicated stuff and maintenence chores. That and a lot of sleepless nights knowing that if an engine that blows up, it will cost you 30K for the diesel vs only 10K (or less) for the gasser.

Given a choice between two identical examples of this boat, one with twin turbo-diesels and one with the Crusaders...I'd take the gas version every time.

At the end of the day, buy a boat you love, and learn to live with whatever engines it has.
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Old 04-03-2019, 01:03 PM   #16
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Gas versus diesel, here is an article in two parts, need to tab onto part 2 at the bottom. Gas isn't the bad guy it is made out to be and diesel isn't the end all of what it is made out to be. Read the article and decide for yourself:

https://www.yachtsurvey.com/GasDiesel.htm

One comment about horse power (I have just repowered my 1969 boat from a Mercury I/O 350 block engine 270 hp to a Merc I/O 350 hp motor). In the "old days" and I think the 80's was still the old days, hp was considered differently than today. My 270 hp was by today's standards more like a 240 hp engine. Back then, horsepower was measured at the motor, today it is measured at the prop. Kind of like light bulbs, back in the day watts was the common denominator but watts described build more than output, so hence today you see light bulbs being measured in lumen, their actual output. You lose approximately 10 % of the engine's horsepower due to mechanical demands hence the reduction in output when measuring from the engine.

And just a comment on older motors. I naively thought that a motor with low hours was good, high hours bad. Now I think the reverse, higher hours is good, lower hours is bad. Engines sitting around in an ocean environment not being used is even worse than a car engine not being used.

So with what I have spent on removing the old motor, re-glassing the I/O hole for resizing, glassing in the two vents, now venting through the leg, taking the old motor out, rehabilitating the area (paint and sound proofing, etc) and then installing the new motor then testing it out, with that money I could purchase a really decent new BMW. With two engines, I don't want to even think about it. If you have to replace those two engines, you could easily be looking at $100,000, not just for the motors but the whole shebang.

The above post with the same link was posted before I submitted, still a great article.
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Old 04-03-2019, 01:06 PM   #17
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One last thought and Iíll shut up. Resale will hurt you. Just as it has for the previous owner.

Not sure I'd agree. Of the four for sale in the US on Yachtworld today, three are gassers and one has a pair of 3208's. I think getting the gas powered version is a great way to save some money on one of these, and should hold it's resale value (as a percentage of purchase price) as well as the diesel version.
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Old 04-03-2019, 02:35 PM   #18
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As others have noted, it's not really what most here would call a "Trawler" -- it's a motoryacht.

I think this was the manufacturer's effort to capture a part of the market they were missing out on, by merely calling it a trawler.

FWIW, I kinda doubt the manufacturer used the word "trawler" at all. Mostly they hadn't been "discovered" back then -- except for maybe KK, Defever, Marine Trader, GB, and a couple more -- and even those didn't always use the word "trawler." I think.

I don't know the Californian history, but I'd guess they just called it a motor yacht. I suspect the current seller has injected the "trawler" word in this case... but folks who know Californian boats and their history more intimately will know...

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Old 04-03-2019, 02:44 PM   #19
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Because it’s not a trawler. It’s a semi-displacement powerboat that, I’m guessing here, is likely quite happy at 12-17 knots. Californian even of that era is a tough overbuilt solid glass hull.

If your going to have gas engines, Crusaders are the ones to have and a small block Chevy won’t eat you out of house and home like big blocks. If you slow down to trawler speeds, you will get much improved economy. If you get the idea to run on one engine, re-pitch the props, because you don’t want to lug a small block.
Not a trawler?
They have a planing hull but are considered a trawler on this trawler forum. They are heavy and look like a rec trawler hence their inclusion here. But at slow speeds they are not very efficient but I don’t think they have an excessive beam. Being a bit narrow helps.
I think some think having a diesel engine for power is required for trawler status. To me it’s not. However I would exclude most all outboards.
But IMO a Californian w gas power is still a trawler. As long as it’s not designed to plane on a regular basis it’s not a planing boat even though it has a planing hull shape.
It’s weight and partially style that makes a trawler a trawler. The Cal has both.

As to the suitability of gas power it’s all about money and the advantages of the gas engine. Like someone said if you don’t have far to go the gas power is perfect. Quiet, light, easy to work on, inexpensive to repair or/and purchase, low vibration and last but not last stinks less w less smoke.

One has to get over the remote but real posibility of being blown up. Some are afraid of that but most aren’t. I recall someone above saying something about “50 years of gas engines” .......
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Old 04-04-2019, 06:25 AM   #20
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One of the fuel consumption differences between gas and diesel is due to the weight difference in the fuels.

Compression ignition diesels tend to be really noisy as the cylinder wall rings like a bell with each cylinder firing.

The lower compression of gas does require a functioning electrical system , but provides far less engine noise to the boater.

AS most folks boat for pleasure gas can be an outstanding choice.

If your boating is 2,000 hours every year diesel is the only choice!
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