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Old 11-03-2013, 06:47 PM   #1
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City: Los Angeles
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Performance and owner manuals

Hi,
My other half and I are looking at a 44' Ocean Alexander cockpit motor yacht as a live aboard. Having looked at a fair number of other boats, we find that we really like the interiors and storage available on OA's.
I have a couple of questions, though. The boat we are considering is equipped with Caterpillar 3208 375hp diesels. What I'd like to know is what kind of fuel flow can I expect at various power settings?
What speed is best for economical long range cruise?
At what speed do you typically get the best and most comfortable ride?
Are owner manuals/operating handbooks available online?
In case you haven't guessed, this is a first for us. Neither of us has ever owned a boat before. I have never read or heard anyone say a negative thing about OA's from the late eighties and early nineties. Are we missing something?
Is there anywhere I can go to learn about the specs and various models available out there?
Thanks so much for any info you guys can send our way.
Cheers!!
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Old 11-03-2013, 07:36 PM   #2
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City: Seattle, WA
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Vessel Model: 1989 PT52 Overseas Yachtfisher
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The Cat engine is a wonderful powerplant- we like them so much, we have 2
Here's the Cat spec sheet the the 3208:

http://www.dieselpartsdirect.com/Doc...propulsion.pdf


OA's are great boats. Like most boats of that era, there may be the usual 'dammits' that are typical of the breed, including minor leaks, doors that require adjustment, and the inevitable replacement of 20+ year old parts at the end of their service life (bilge, shower, and potable water pumps, refrigerators, nav electronics, and more.

As long as you do your due diligence and keep some of the emotion out of the search and purchase, you're in for a whole new world of fun!

As this is your first boat, you'll probably want to be safe- I strongly recommend you consider hiring a training skipper to work with you and teach you about the basics of operating your boat. From my professional standpoint (insurance) I don't know of a reputable insurance market that would insure you or your vessel as a first time owner without some formal training- some would require a full time skipper for the first year.

Good luck on your search, and ask as many questions are you can! Also, use the search function above to quench your thirst for knowledge....
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Old 11-03-2013, 09:33 PM   #3
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Performance and info

Thanks so very much for the info. As for training, you bet your ass! I drive airplanes for a living and I firmly believe in training and the value of good instruction. Good standard operating procedures are how I do my job safely and make it fun. Trying to invent that stuff on the fly is stressful and, sometimes, downright scary! There's an old saying in aviation: "Never let an airplane take you someplace your brain didn't get five minutes earlier!" Training makes that possible.
I just took a three day trip from Oakland to San Diego in a 45' trawler and learned a lot including that I probably don't know even more than than I thought, if that makes sense!
I don't believe that a full time captain is even a remote possibility financially. I will certainly hire someone to take us out for at least the first six months or so and I am NOT going to try to learn this art all by myself.
Do you have any recommendations regarding how to find a good, honest surveyor?
Thank you for the Cat data sheet. Any idea how I can find the owners manual for that boat or do such things not exist?
Any info on best cruise speeds for comfort and economy?

Cheers!
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Old 11-03-2013, 10:15 PM   #4
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Vessel Model: Krogen 42
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If this is your first boat I suggest you consider taking the Power Squadron's boating course. These are low cost (you pay for the materials), and will give you a good basic grounding. The basic course and the 2nd course, seamanship, would be extremely helpful. Frankly, there is more to learn in operating a boat then in driving a car.

Courses can also reduce your insurance costs with many of the companies.

For further information and finding a power squadron near your the website for the Los Angeles Squadrons is d13 squadrons.

Have your other half take a course with you. I could fill an evening with stories of the "captain" being unable to continue and the spouse/girlfriend being unable to do anything with the boat.

Good luck and congratulations.

Marty
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Old 11-03-2013, 11:08 PM   #5
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Classes

Thanks for the info about the power and sail squadrons. We didn't know these existed.
We fully agree with your comments about us both being qualified and taking classes. It is our full intention for both of us to be equally qualified in operating the boat. We have been around couples where there was obviously a great deal of tension and some bullying going on and it was pretty obvious that, although she was doing absolutely fine, Captain Insecure needed to push her around and belittle her every chance he got. I never wanted anything to be over so fast.
My girlfriend is airline also and that stuff just doesn't work. We long ago decided to both take whatever classes are available and the split the trips. She takes it outbound and I take it home and we'll alternate that. Why should only one of us have all the fun?
Any other arrangement seems kinda lame to us.
Cheers!!
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Old 11-03-2013, 11:17 PM   #6
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Vessel Model: Ocean Alexander 40
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Greetings
OA's are great boats. We are very happy with ours, all the OA owners we know like their boats a lot. The 44 is a well-done transition between the earlier trawler-style boats and their later motor yachts.

Anacortes Yacht Charters in Anacortes and San Juan Sailing in Bellingham both have training programs for trawlers and power boats. We did a "learn & cruise" week-long program several years ago with San Juan and liked it -- we learned a lot and liked the instructional style and methods. We have also watched a training captain from Anacortes Yacht Charters working with a new student, and were impressed with his methods and approach.

Anacortes offers a program in bigger boats, but I think you have to start off with their 36-38' course first.

Captains Jack and Mary DeFriel out of Bellevue do training programs on your boat or their Bayliner 38. We recommend them, they will travel or you can come up to the PNW.

There is an operator in Ballena Bay in Alameda, CA, that does training but they use a single-screw trawler, you would have to Google them.

If you want to travel back to the West Coast of Florida there is a training operator there that has a nice website but we don't have any personal knowledge.

Tony Athens of SeaBoard Marine in Oxnard would be where I would start looking for a surveyor down there. He is a major supporter of BoatDiesel.com, has quite a business, but is still available for phone questions. www.SBMAR.com.

Your experience driving big metal tubes in the sky will help a lot, it won't take anywhere near six months to be ready to solo. Lots of good reading material out there also. Enjoy!
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Old 11-04-2013, 12:10 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyinmick View Post
Thanks so very much for the info. As for training, you bet your ass! I drive airplanes for a living and I firmly believe in training and the value of good instruction. Good standard operating procedures are how I do my job safely and make it fun. Trying to invent that stuff on the fly is stressful and, sometimes, downright scary! There's an old saying in aviation: "Never let an airplane take you someplace your brain didn't get five minutes earlier!" Training makes that possible.
I just took a three day trip from Oakland to San Diego in a 45' trawler and learned a lot including that I probably don't know even more than than I thought, if that makes sense!
I don't believe that a full time captain is even a remote possibility financially. I will certainly hire someone to take us out for at least the first six months or so and I am NOT going to try to learn this art all by myself.
Do you have any recommendations regarding how to find a good, honest surveyor?
Thank you for the Cat data sheet. Any idea how I can find the owners manual for that boat or do such things not exist?
Any info on best cruise speeds for comfort and economy?

Cheers!
As a general rule, your best economy will be found at hull speed or less. The quick formula to determine hull speed is to use the square root of the waterline length (LWL) x 1.34. For an OA 44 with an estimated LWL of 40', the hull speed will be about 8.47 knots. This is also where you'll also find the most comfortable ride.

As far as training- most insurance companies will want to see some hours of training until the training skipper signs you off as basically competent to operate your vessel. Your background in aviation will be of great benefit to you, as you already have a knowledge of navigation and spatial relationships (time/speed/distance problems).

With regards to surveyors- be prepared to hear the gamut about surveyors; some hate them, some love them. As a general recommendation, I recommend a surveyor affiliated with either NAMS (National Association of Marine Surveyors) or SAMS (The Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors).

NAMS- NAMSGlobal - Welcome Aboard | NAMSGlobal
SAMS- The Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors, Inc.® - (SAMS®)

If you're working with a broker, they will usually coordinate all the moving parts (offer, haulout for survey, paperwork, etc). As you're a novice boater, I suggest you work with a broker.
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Old 11-04-2013, 01:49 AM   #8
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Survey

Thanks, Pau Hana,
Eight and a half knots is not so bad. I wonder what power setting I'd need to achieve that?
I will work with a broker, although I've come across a fair range of competence levels. One or two were great and some, one in particular, left me wondering how he was able to find his way to the marina.
The other thing I'm deeply concerned about is selecting a competent surveyor who is not in some broker's pocket or his first cousin or something. What should I look for in the surveyor's bio that would mark him out as a good surveyor?
Thanks!
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Old 11-04-2013, 05:54 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyinmick View Post
Thanks, Pau Hana,
Eight and a half knots is not so bad. I wonder what power setting I'd need to achieve that?
I will work with a broker, although I've come across a fair range of competence levels. One or two were great and some, one in particular, left me wondering how he was able to find his way to the marina.
The other thing I'm deeply concerned about is selecting a competent surveyor who is not in some broker's pocket or his first cousin or something. What should I look for in the surveyor's bio that would mark him out as a good surveyor?
Thanks!
Ask the selling broker who he would recommend....and then NOT use him!!!.... Seriously, you are going to have to look around. You are in SoCal and there are many people on this forum in that area. They should be able to help you out. Ask around the docks too.

I will take a WAG here but at 8 knots you will likely be burning around 5GPH. There is a lot of power for just 8 knots. Maybe that thing will get up on plane??? It likely has a semi-planing hull.

Welcome aboard. I think you might be the first pilot to join this forum!!!!...
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Old 11-24-2013, 05:07 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyinmick View Post
Hi,
My other half and I are looking at a 44' Ocean Alexander cockpit motor yacht as a live aboard. Having looked at a fair number of other boats, we find that we really like the interiors and storage available on OA's.
I have a couple of questions, though. The boat we are considering is equipped with Caterpillar 3208 375hp diesels. What I'd like to know is what kind of fuel flow can I expect at various power settings?
What speed is best for economical long range cruise?
At what speed do you typically get the best and most comfortable ride?
Are owner manuals/operating handbooks available online?
In case you haven't guessed, this is a first for us. Neither of us has ever owned a boat before. I have never read or heard anyone say a negative thing about OA's from the late eighties and early nineties. Are we missing something?
Is there anywhere I can go to learn about the specs and various models available out there?
Thanks so much for any info you guys can send our way.
Cheers!!
We've owned an OA 44/440 since 2005...our first boat. We live aboard full time from late May to mid-September (Great Lakes). Couldn't be happier with the choice. Our hull has 250 HP turbo diesels. I cruise it at 8.8 knots and average about 4.8 gph fuel burn...seems to be the "sweet spot" in the slow speed cruise regime. Fuel burn drops pretty significantly below 8 knots, but I like to keep the turbos spun up just a bit. Top end is 17.5 knots. PM me if you have specific questions. Great boat, quality systems and materials, good ride. I will guarantee you that you wouldn't regret a 44 sundeck with cockpit configuration. By the way, we chose the dinette cabin layout over the second large head/shower for the extra living space. I have an original owners manual and prop/engine charts for our configuration. Also have some single engine data that I've compiled in years past. If you're in the buying mode for a 44', PM me before you hire a surveyor. I know the model inside and out.

Regards
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Old 11-24-2013, 05:27 PM   #11
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Vessel Name: The 6-Pack
Vessel Model: 1983 45' CHB Europa Trawler
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We stepped from a 24' open bow to our 45' Europa. It is a CHB not an OA but has big diesels and are about the same size. I have been around boats more or less my entire life but boating is new to my wife and she was very nervous. I always plan for the eventual heart attack and how is she going to get the boat in. We spent around $600 for her to take the Trawlerfest Woman's Boat handling course in Anacortes. They used a 50' OA as a training vessel and a group of 6-8 women spent the week in a super low stress non-male environment learning the systems of the boat and handling the boat with a woman captain. They all had to dock and negotiate the navigational challenges of Cap Sante. My wife says it was a defining moment in her acceptance and comfort with boating.

I am sure there is a similar thing in your area and I also echo the feelings about the power squadron stuff. I would opt for experiential in addition to the classroom learning classes. Nothing beats hands on with a knowledgeable low key instructor!
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