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Old 01-25-2013, 12:25 PM   #1
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New from California. Sail or Power

Hi all,

I'm new to this forum but have about 2500 posts on the sister site, Cruiser's Forum.

I started sailing as a kid, family used to have a Flying Junior in the early 60's. In the late 80's ~ early 90's I bought an old Cal 40 ex race boat and matched the purchase price with the refit of cruising goodies. Sailed single handed from Long Beach to Mulege, Mexico in the Sea of Cortez. later in my mid 40's I was accepted to California Maritime Academy and turned my passion into a profession. I'm now retired to care for my 93 year old dad, but look forward to the cruising lifestyle again but I'm a bit on the fence as to another sailboat or trawler, so here I am. Friends have put 20,000 nm on their Nordhavn 43, and have me considering power instead of sail.
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Old 01-25-2013, 01:01 PM   #2
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Lots of us on here made the switch from sailing. Don't know of any who'd want to go back. I sure wouldn't. Welcome.
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Old 01-25-2013, 01:08 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply Pineapple Girl. Can you elaborate as to why you wouldn't go back to sailing? The reasons I can think of is fickle winds and a new suit of sails running $15K. Can purchase a lot of diesel for what new sails run.
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Old 01-25-2013, 01:09 PM   #4
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Oh, I would go back to sailing if I had a suitable First Mate. Power is best for us singles, though. :-)

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Old 01-25-2013, 01:17 PM   #5
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No matter which you decide, the alternative will always seem better. I miss sailing. When I'm sailing, I miss powerboating...
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Old 01-25-2013, 01:21 PM   #6
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Welcome aboard Bob, can't relate to a transition from sailing to trawlers as I have never had the desire to sail but I have slowed down a lot transitioning from an offshore speed boat at one point to our current trawler. You will likely speed up, sounds like a plus to me. Nothing like the hum of a fine running diesel.
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Old 01-25-2013, 01:21 PM   #7
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John,

What design eeks out the best nm per gallon burned? A catamaran trawler? As to engine, a long stroke medium speed diesel with hp peak below 1800 rpm or the modern, smaller displacement turbocharged Yanmar. I already know what props are most efficient, as large as can be fitted with a deep pitch for slow rpm.
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Old 01-25-2013, 02:32 PM   #8
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Bob, actually I would love to have a little Shock Harbor 20 or whatever it is to day sail, if I lived somewhere that daysailing would actually be fun versus wet and cold!!! For cruising I will take the powerboat all day, every day, hands down.

When my husband and I first met, he had a Santana 30/30 GP. we had great fun racing it but it was a bit tender for the SF bay summer winds and not great for overnighting. We moved on to a Catalina 320 and started cruising... but we were always motoring to get where we were going for the night so it seemed a waste to have a sailboat.

After a <two year partnership on a J42 to do the Pac Cup in 2010, we got our 35' "trawler" "cabin cruiser" whatever you want to call her. LOVE IT. So much storage space, walk around berth in the aft cabin, galley feels like it could be in an apartment with a "real" (not reach in) refrigerator... If we were not racing the sailboat, we were motoring. Sitting in the cockpit in the weather. Now, if it is cold and rainy we can drive from down below and be comfy and warm. We still have our foulies but I can't remember the last time I used the bottoms! The jacket gets some use.

We have the boat up on the "delta loop" and LOVE IT. We were anchored out last Sunday night and we are cruising to another marina tomorrow for an overnighter.

Quick story, on the C320, we had gone across the bay for a cruise out and were coming home. Decided to sail back so as my husband stood at the wheel, I stowed all the fenders and lines, raised and trimmed the main and unfurled and trimmed the jib. Finally, I sat down after doing all this work and my husband turns to me and says "isn't sailing relaxing." To which I replied "FOR YOU." I think that was about the time we started thinking about a power boat.

One other thing I have said on other threads, several times when we have been on a cruise with sailboater friends and it has come time to decide whose boat to eat a meal on, they always want to come over to our boat. Down below on a sailboat you could be anywhere, while on a power boat you can see and enjoy your surrondings.
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Old 01-25-2013, 03:25 PM   #9
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Jennifer,

Thanks for taking the time for such a good post. I had just spent a lot of time putting together a post on the Electrical and Electronics & Navigation's thread about LiFePO4 batteries with links and pictures, and the forum would not accept my pictures from an off site source, Photo Bucket. I pay for this service because I've organized all my pictures there and use it for the many forums I participate on. Then when trying to upload to this site (after having to reduce in size the pictures I wanted to use) I got the automated response that my activity was suspicious and my account was locked. This is the first forum I've run across that doesn't allow use of off site picture storage, and for me to have to reduce in size and then upload any picture I want to use in a post is way too much effort.

I'll just stay with the Cruiser's Forum, there is maybe 20% that are using power boats there.
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Old 01-25-2013, 03:28 PM   #10
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Bob that may just be because you are new, not that the forum does not allow it? Let me ask Janet about this; she works on cruiser forum as well and I think they are the same software!
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Old 01-25-2013, 04:01 PM   #11
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Bob that may just be because you are new, not that the forum does not allow it? Let me ask Janet about this; she works on cruiser forum as well and I think they are the same software!
Thanks, I'm now able to post from my Photo Bucket account.

My last "power boat". Diesel-electric hybrid. (6) 5,000 hp electric thrusters and 32,000 tons displacement. Looking to downsize, but would like to stay with diesel-electric hybrid.


Yours truly.
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Old 01-25-2013, 04:02 PM   #12
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Bob-- A big part of your decision will be based on where you want to boat. I like sailboats and crewed on them in Hawaii. Over there they made all sorts of sense in the rough-ish water and constant wind.

But when I moved to the Pacific Northwest and some years later my wife and I decided to get a larger boat, the obvious choice was a powerboat. The reasons were pretty straightforward and I'm sure have occurred to you as you've thought about your decision.

1. The winds tend to be pretty fickle in this whole area, particularly during the summer and fall months. Combine this with the very strong tidal currents we get it means that in order to get from Point A to Point B within the time frame one wants to make the trip in, sailboaters are for the most part forced to motor. I noticed this on my very first visit to the area in 1977 while riding a ferry through the San Juan Islands from Sidney, BC to Anacortes, WA. This was in August and every single sailboat I saw during that run--- and there were a lot of them--- was under power. I never forgot that.

2. While it rains most of the time up here, the scenery is nevertheless wonderful. And being that it can be cold and wet much of the year, neither my wife nor I could gin up much enthusiasm for the choices offered by a sailboat---- be outside where you can see stuff but be in the weather or, at best, cold and damp in the shelter of a dodger, or be down in the cabin with its tiny windows and restricted view of the world. A cruiser like the one we ended up with gives you a wonderful view all around while being out of the weather.

3. I mentioned the currents. These can run up to four and five knots in the larger bodies of water and much higher than that in the passes and narrow channels. The typical 30-40 foot sailboat seems in our observation and experience boating with sailboat-owning friends to cruise under power in the 4 to 6 knot range. Which means that depending on the where and when, one's forward progress can be reduced to a couple of knots at best, or you not moving at all or even backing up at worst. Obviously one can try to time their runs to take advantage of, or at least not be penalized by, the currents, but that can force some pretty long waits.

While we both hate the slow speed of our cruiser (8 knots) at least that provides a couple of knot margin over a sailboat which means that we can buck currents somewhat more successfully than they can in terms of the time it takes us to get somewhere.

BUT..... if we lived in a region where the currents were not such a factor and the wind was more dependable and consistent, I suspect a sailboat would have been right up there with a powerboat in terms of our preference.
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Old 01-25-2013, 04:20 PM   #13
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Marin,

Rather valid points. Friends from my sailing community moved to Port Ludlow and quickly made the change to a cruiser/trawler for all the reasons you mentioned. Desolation Sound is like the Yosemite of the PNW, and the winds do strange things around those very scenic mountains. I love the Caribbean and that area is well suited for sail, and catamarans are quite popular, but would like to do more cruising in your neck of the woods and further north. I guess what I'm looking for is maybe a cat trawler than can give decent nm per gallon.
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Old 01-25-2013, 04:28 PM   #14
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I guess what I'm looking for is maybe a cat trawler than can give decent nm per gallon.
A displacement, monohull power cruiser can provide very impressive economy, too, along with the benefit of a lot of usable space on the inside. I've never had one so cannot speak from experience. But from posts from Eric Henning about his Willard and the few others on this forum who have displacement boats, fuel economy is certainly one of their strong points.
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Old 01-25-2013, 04:33 PM   #15
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It would be a displacement boat for me, I'll have to search out Eric's posts on his Willard. I'm thinking at 6~8 kts, with the right hull and prop, 4 nm per gallon should be doable.
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Old 01-29-2013, 08:59 PM   #16
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Bob - You get a chance, I recommend reading the full low-down on this particular 48' Tollycraft coastal cruiser. Its owner, Bob Senter (aka, “Lugger Bob”) is a pretty impressive mariner.

http://www.yachtworld.com/core/listi...g_id=10104&url=
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Old 01-29-2013, 09:19 PM   #17
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Thanks Art, I'm going to the link now.

Checked it out. I wouldn't think old style 2 stroke DD 6-71 would approach the low fuel consumption numbers I'm looking for.
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Old 01-29-2013, 09:31 PM   #18
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Thanks Art, I'm going to the link now.

Checked it out. I wouldn't think old style 2 stroke DD 6-71 would approach the low fuel consumption numbers I'm looking for.
Prob not... but ya never know till you contact Lugger Bob! He's an expert diesel guy for reconfiguring the power plants and their propulsion props.


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Old 01-30-2013, 03:49 AM   #19
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It would be a displacement boat for me, I'll have to search out Eric's posts on his Willard. I'm thinking at 6~8 kts, with the right hull and prop, 4 nm per gallon should be doable.
DO, not only possible, that is easy from a trawler. My Clipper 34 with Lehman 120 diesel uses ~ 7 lph at 7 kn = better than 4nm per gal.
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Old 01-30-2013, 11:11 AM   #20
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... but we were always motoring to get where we were going for the night so it seemed a waste to have a sailboat.

If we were not racing the sailboat, we were motoring.
Sounds like one of my best friends! He motors his 37 Tartan 75% of the time.
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