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Old 09-01-2015, 10:30 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by ksanders View Post
Brian, you do realize that to go from your current boat to something more comfortable in a seaway that you will need to move to a passagemaker style boat.

In order to see significant change from that you will need to go to a full displacement stabilized boat.

.
There are many boats that are not full displacement but can handle those seas quite well. You mentioned a Hatteras LRC, well Hatteras doesn't make LRC's now but their boats all handle seas well. A good SF is remarkable for it's sea handling ability and while you're rocking along in the rough sea at 6 knots they may go by you riding quite decently at 20-25 knots. Now, full displacement may be his choice, but it is not the only choice for comfort in a seaway.
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Old 09-01-2015, 10:37 AM   #22
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If I was contemplating such a cruise, my first choice would be Larry M's set-up of the KK42 with paravanes. I'm basing my choice on safety, economy and cost of boat. The closer you get to the simple systems that sail boaters use the better off you gonna be!
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Old 09-01-2015, 10:54 AM   #23
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The challenge is guys that the OP already has a 43' "trawler" abet a non passagemaker type.

In order for him to see a significant difference in sea keeping performance...he is going to have to make a significant change in either hull form, or a significant change in stabilization equipment, or both.
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Old 09-01-2015, 11:04 AM   #24
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Question:

Would a powercat like a PDQ 34's extra speed overcome the problem with beam seas encountered in the Caribbean, or would that be a snap roll disaster?

Also, how much head sea action do you see in the Caribbean, and is it short period swell? I could see the PDQ hobby horsing quite a bit which doesn't sound fun. In big, short period swell my 36' LWL boat gets the hobby horse effect going, and while it doesn't seem unsafe it got old after 6-7 hours.
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Old 09-01-2015, 11:13 AM   #25
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I think a Gulf Star, especially with flopper stoppers, could do the trip very well. When you are in the islands you are already in paradise. So, attack it with the philosophy that we are in paradise. We may as well be here as anywhere else. That way waiting for weather is just a routine thing. I think it is a marvelous way to cruise.
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Old 09-01-2015, 11:40 AM   #26
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OK, now we're getting somewhere! Let me answer a few questions that have been raised, then ask a few of my own based on some things that have been said.

BTW, I know I'm asking a LOT - but please feel free to weigh in on just some, or even just one, of my questions. All info will be useful!

Answers to Questions Posed:
1. Our current boat (which is just like the photo posted by ksanders) was purchased as a "practice boat", and has served that purpose incredibly well. It was inexpensive to buy, is inexpensive to operate, has introduced us to "big boats" and living aboard (longest stretch - 20 nights - and we weren't even close to being ready to get back to the dirt home at the end), and ocean crossings (if "FL to Bahamas" counts), and many, many other things we wanted to learn before embarking on our Big Adventure (BA). But it was never intended to be the boat for the BA:

- It's smaller than we want as our full-time home for 2-3 years. We've been on enough boats to have a feeling that a 49 or larger is going to be desired.

- I'm the mechanic, and I want a real engine room, that isn't accessed by lifting the sole in the salon, and that has at least a foot of clearance above the engine(s).

- With the "aft cabin" design, it's terrible for scuba diving, and not much better for snorkeling - both of which we plan to do a LOT of.

- It's lacking an ice maker, a water maker and solar panels, all of which are things we think we want (we prefer to anchor or moor), and which wouldn't fit well on this boat.

2. We're perfectly happy going at trawler speeds all the time. If we're going to go as far as we think we will in 2-3 years, fuel economy is going to be important. The idea of getting less than 1nm/gallon is not attractive to us (but honestly, I don't know if that's realistic, given the other things we want). Two big turbocharged engines, making 400+ HP each, seems like way more than we want, and seems unlikely to yield the fuel economy, even at trawler speeds, that we're interested in. (But is that true? Practically no listings on YachtWorld give fuel economy numbers, so we're very much in the dark on this topic.)

3. An older boat is fine. Ours is a 1974, and is in great shape. We've looked at a number of boats from the '80's and '90's that are in great shape, and they would be OK.

4. Similarly, we're not much concerned about looks. As we've thought many times, when you're ON the boat, you can't tell what it looks like! (About the only style we don't like is the "Euro-styling" of the SeaRays, Azimuts, etc.) We're far more concerned about livable / usable space, especially outside space - big aft deck ("the coffee deck"), nice sized fly bridge, great swim platform and/or cockpit.

5. We don't mind rocking and rolling a bit if it can't be avoided. On two of our return trips from the Bahamas, it's been uncomfortably "rolly" on the fly bridge for parts of the trip, so we've come down to the lower helm station to ride out the rough patches. We don't want that to be the norm, but if it happens once in a while, neither of us will be sick or even unhappy about it. (And I just always assume that all of our "stuff" will be secured before any crossing.)

6. A fly bridge, big and comfortable enough for the pilot and 3 others, is very important, as we much prefer driving from outside.

7. An internal helm station is important, but we don't care if it's in a separate pilot house, or just takes up some space at the front of the living space. We don't want to forfeit a lot of space to a dedicated pilot house, as we don't plan on doing much travel at night or in crappy weather.

Questions:
1. It seems the total weight of the boat has a lot to do with its seaworthiness, which makes perfect sense. But how much is enough? Obviously, it's going to be different for a longer boat than a shorter boat. So is there some kind of ratio of tonnage per foot of LOA that would qualify a boat as a "coastal cruiser" vs. an "island hopper" vs. a "true blue water passagemaker"?

2. Stabilzation under way: the choices seem to be paravanes or a gyro-based system with the big "fins". The former add some significant outside structure that seems like it might be in the way at times, the latter seems like it would be very expensive to add (so, either buy a boat that already has it, or go with paravanes if the boat isn't stabilized when purchased). That sound about right? What else is important about stabilization?

3. Stabilization under way, Part II: are there any boats in the 50' - 60' range that are so stable from a design / weight standpoint that they really don't need any kind of stabilization system?

4. Stabilization at rest: all the variations of the "flopper stopper" concept seem to do a pretty decent job - and they would use the same basic booms / poles as paravanes, right? Is that another advantage of paravanes? (In addition to being less expensive than a gyro-based system.)

5. Catamarans? We absolutely love the living space on some cats we've been on, like the Endeavor Cat 48. Fuel economy is great, and they can get up and go if needed. No real engine room, but some have more than adequate space to work on the engines and all the other systems. The real issue seems to be, are they OK to take on such a big trip, or better suited for coastal cruising? (I know the single / mono hull question is like religion for some people, but I'm interested in facts, or at least first hand experience with cats in bigger water, please.)

Until we're comfortable with all of the above issues, I don't think we can start to zero in on individual boats. No point falling in love with "My Last Boat II" if she's simply too light to ever be comfortable in 4' seas, right? But, other bullet points that might be important even in the early going include:

- 2 cabins are the minimum. A 3rd is fine, but absolutely not necessary.
- 1 engine is OK, with the right boat and engine, and some kind of "get home" system.
- Don't care about having a pilot house, and in fact, prefer not to have one if it takes up too much of the interior living space. But won't rule out a PH design.
- Would love to have the salon and aft deck on the same level, but that's not critical.
- Would prefer the galley and salon on the same deck, but a down galley would be OK. (The Gulfstar has that, and we don't mind it too much.)

Whew! That's a lot! Thanks to all for whatever you care to contribute.
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Old 09-01-2015, 12:03 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by ragin cajun View Post
If I was contemplating such a cruise, my first choice would be Larry M's set-up of the KK42 with paravanes. I'm basing my choice on safety, economy and cost of boat. The closer you get to the simple systems that sail boaters use the better off you gonna be!
We love the KK's quality and economy. The 42 is probably too small for our home for 2-3 years, and the 48 seems to be the next step up. Those are at the very, very upper end (maybe above it, actually) of our price range, unfortunately. Also, KK likes to devote more space for a pilot house than we'd prefer, although we certainly wouldn't rule one out because of that.
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Old 09-01-2015, 01:18 PM   #28
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I am watching this thread with great interest. We just bought our "practice boat", an Ocean Alexander 38, and will spend the next 3 or 4 years "practicing". Then in retirement off to the Caribbean and perhaps beyond (but no ocean crossings). So I have pretty much all the same questions rolling around in my head as Brian does.
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Old 09-01-2015, 01:24 PM   #29
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I'll add that I think a Selene will do what you are asking for and fit your criteria well:
Full displacement
Large Flybridge
2 or 3 cabins
most are 1 engine (w/ a get home)
Come with Active stabilization
"real" engine room (by your definition)
Most come with ice makers
big aft deck
nice swim platform
galley up design
Fuel burn on our Selene 53 (60ft LOA)
3.5 gal/hr at 1400 RPM 6-6.5 kts
6.5 gal/hr at 1800 RPM 8 kts

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Old 09-01-2015, 01:38 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by BrianSmith View Post

2. We're perfectly happy going at trawler speeds all the time. If we're going to go as far as we think we will in 2-3 years, fuel economy is going to be important. The idea of getting less than 1nm/gallon is not attractive to us (but honestly, I don't know if that's realistic, given the other things we want). Two big turbocharged engines, making 400+ HP each, seems like way more than we want, and seems unlikely to yield the fuel economy, even at trawler speeds, that we're interested in. (But is that true? Practically no listings on YachtWorld give fuel economy numbers, so we're very much in the dark on this topic.)

5. We don't mind rocking and rolling a bit if it can't be avoided. On two of our return trips from the Bahamas, it's been uncomfortably "rolly" on the fly bridge for parts of the trip, so we've come down to the lower helm station to ride out the rough patches. We don't want that to be the norm, but if it happens once in a while, neither of us will be sick or even unhappy about it. (And I just always assume that all of our "stuff" will be secured before any crossing.)

6. A fly bridge, big and comfortable enough for the pilot and 3 others, is very important, as we much prefer driving from outside.

7. An internal helm station is important, but we don't care if it's in a separate pilot house, or just takes up some space at the front of the living space. We don't want to forfeit a lot of space to a dedicated pilot house, as we don't plan on doing much travel at night or in crappy weather.

Questions:
1. It seems the total weight of the boat has a lot to do with its seaworthiness, which makes perfect sense. But how much is enough? Obviously, it's going to be different for a longer boat than a shorter boat. So is there some kind of ratio of tonnage per foot of LOA that would qualify a boat as a "coastal cruiser" vs. an "island hopper" vs. a "true blue water passagemaker"?

2. Stabilzation under way: the choices seem to be paravanes or a gyro-based system with the big "fins". The former add some significant outside structure that seems like it might be in the way at times, the latter seems like it would be very expensive to add (so, either buy a boat that already has it, or go with paravanes if the boat isn't stabilized when purchased). That sound about right? What else is important about stabilization?

5. Catamarans? We absolutely love the living space on some cats we've been on, like the Endeavor Cat 48. Fuel economy is great, and they can get up and go if needed. No real engine room, but some have more than adequate space to work on the engines and all the other systems. The real issue seems to be, are they OK to take on such a big trip, or better suited for coastal cruising? (I know the single / mono hull question is like religion for some people, but I'm interested in facts, or at least first hand experience with cats in bigger water, please.)
A good place to get fuel usage is to find boat tests on new boats. As to whether you can get greater than 1 nm/gallon on larger twins, the answer is yes. We can run twin 1200 hp MTU's at 750 rpm and get 8 knots at 6 gallons per hour. But who would do that and why? To have extra power over what you need is fine, but in moderation to what you'll use.

As to rocking and rolling, the more you're on the boat, the more annoying it will be. But flopper stoppers and gyro's aren't the only choices. There are the traditional systems like Naiad.

As to catamarans, something like the PDQ 34 would just be too small for the job. But get into something like the Horizon PC 52 or 60 and they are pretty good rough water boats. Worth at least looking at.

You are so doing this the right way in trying to really determine your requirements before trying to identify boats.
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Old 09-01-2015, 02:05 PM   #31
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You might have this already but I would highly recommend "Gentleman's Guide to Passages South". This book will give you information on distances between islands as well as prevailing sea conditions for each time of year. Available anchorages through out the islands, etc. This book can really help define the boat you need for this adventure. Sailors can be your best friend and source of info in doing the Caribbean loop, they been doing it for generations in relatively smaller vessels than what you have in mind.
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Old 09-01-2015, 03:08 PM   #32
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We love the KK's quality and economy. The 42 is probably too small for our home for 2-3 years, and the 48 seems to be the next step up. Those are at the very, very upper end (maybe above it, actually) of our price range, unfortunately. Also, KK likes to devote more space for a pilot house than we'd prefer, although we certainly wouldn't rule one out because of that.
A Defever 49 (or 44 +5) cockpit motor yacht also would seem to meet many of your criteria. Huge outdoor spaces, full master stateroom, cockpit for fishing/snorkling etc., spacious ER and often more affordable than a KK of similar size.



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Old 09-01-2015, 03:10 PM   #33
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Brian: Maybe I missed it but what's your budget complete? (water maker, solar, etc.)
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Old 09-01-2015, 05:13 PM   #34
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Brian, your head seas issue. The Caribbean is a big place. In the Eastern Caribbean the seas will almost always be on the beam as you will be going north and south with the winds generally from the east.

Along the Dominican Republic you will have seas on the beam as you will be going east or west with the wind from the east (on the head or stern) with the Atlantic swell coming from the north. Generally all the sailboats motor sail this area.

In the Virgins you can be going in all directions so you will have head or beam seas as the case may be.

I let others chime in on the Western Caribbean and Mexico.

By the way we waited for 3 weeks last year for the seas to drop below 2 meters.
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Old 09-01-2015, 05:31 PM   #35
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...I let others chime in on the Western Caribbean...By the way we waited for 3 weeks last year for the seas to drop below 2 meters.
It's funny how your weather criteria can change based on where you are. We would look for winds less than 20 knots and seas less than 2 meters when we were in Colombia and the ABC's. In the Caribbean, once the Christmas winds start, they can blow for months with no let up depending on where you are. There are a lot of boats moving around during the transition seasons, spring and fall.
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Old 09-02-2015, 10:44 AM   #36
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Something that tends not to come up, but is surely part of the equation is the period. Give me a long enough period and I'll be much happier in any sea.
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Old 09-02-2015, 12:23 PM   #37
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Something that tends not to come up, but is surely part of the equation is the period. Give me a long enough period and I'll be much happier in any sea.
Actually a major part of the equation. Give me 10' with 15 seconds anytime over 6' at 6 seconds.
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Old 09-02-2015, 02:51 PM   #38
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Actually a major part of the equation. Give me 10' with 15 seconds anytime over 6' at 6 seconds.
Exactly
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Old 09-02-2015, 04:55 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by No Mast View Post
I'll add that I think a Selene will do what you are asking for and fit your criteria well:
Full displacement
Large Flybridge
2 or 3 cabins
most are 1 engine (w/ a get home)
Come with Active stabilization
"real" engine room (by your definition)
Most come with ice makers
big aft deck
nice swim platform
galley up design
Fuel burn on our Selene 53 (60ft LOA)
3.5 gal/hr at 1400 RPM 6-6.5 kts
6.5 gal/hr at 1800 RPM 8 kts

...but no ours isn't for sale
No Mast - we love the Selenes, ever since we saw a couple at our first TrawlerFest about 4 years ago. But either they don't come up for sale often, or they're priced way out of our range, because I don't recall seeing any in any of the searches we've done on Yachtworld - even the searches with our "stretch budget" price range. (Yeah, just looked again - not many available, and the least expensive is a 47' for over $500K. And it doesn't even have two "proper" cabins - just a nice master, and then bunks in the only other one.)

Thanks for the input!
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Old 09-02-2015, 04:56 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by ragin cajun View Post
You might have this already but I would highly recommend "Gentleman's Guide to Passages South". This book will give you information on distances between islands as well as prevailing sea conditions for each time of year. Available anchorages through out the islands, etc. This book can really help define the boat you need for this adventure. Sailors can be your best friend and source of info in doing the Caribbean loop, they been doing it for generations in relatively smaller vessels than what you have in mind.
Based on another thread here on TF, I ordered it two days ago!
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