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Old 03-25-2011, 01:05 PM   #1
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1 engine or 2?

I am planning to purchase a used trawler in the 40-45 foot range in the next few years. One of the things I am not sure about is going with one engine or two. I would feel safe with one engine while coastal crusing the ICW and Chesapeake bay but I want to go to the Bahamas, and going across the Gulfstream waters from Florida with only one motor makes me a little nervous. Can I get some input from my experienced friends on this site? What would happen if you lost power out in the Gulfstream? Or what would happen if you lost your only engine in the Bahamas, tow yourself in with a dingy? Can you get repairs done for a reasonable price in the Bahamas? At this point I feeling that it is worth the extra money and maintenence to have the second motor.
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Old 03-25-2011, 01:19 PM   #2
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RE: 1 engine or 2?

Wowie....this is the humdinger of all topics and you will get opinions all over the map. I am in the single engine camp. Generally, an engine shuts down(or is shut down) due to a fuel issue or an overheating condition. You should be able to figure out what the issue is and you should be able to fix it yourself. The only time you are truly dead in the water is due to a catastrophic engine failure...which can happen but it is extremely rare...especially in a slow turning application like a trawler. In the end, whatever you feel comfortable with. I feel the very slight added risk is worth the savings and headache of maintaining an extra engine. Good maintenance and knowing your engine(s) goes a long way in reducing that risk.
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Old 03-25-2011, 01:36 PM   #3
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RE: 1 engine or 2?

I'm in the twin camp but I will give you some cons to look out for:

Pay attention to the accessibility of items like water pumps, oil filters and fuel filters are located.* If it is easy to get to on one side then chances are it will be a bear to access on the other side.

Also, learn to buy in sets of two and be prepared to spend twice the time on oil changes and general maintenance.

On the pro side:

maneuverability, and you know the rest...
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Old 03-25-2011, 01:42 PM   #4
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RE: 1 engine or 2?

One is all you need. I spend half the time and money on engine maintenance. As to maneuverability, I always get to the dock. Reliability has already been spoken to by Baker.
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Old 03-25-2011, 01:47 PM   #5
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RE: 1 engine or 2?

*"Or what would happen if you lost your only engine in the Bahamas"

Um...you might have to spend the rest of your life there? Hmmmm.....not a bad option

Seriously though, I'm a single engine fan, have only run single engine boats. Only time I got in real trouble was when I lost power in the Harlem River \.

But I was lucky and was able to anchor and get things straightened out.

No on second thought that was not luck it was being properly prepared. I needed the second anchor that was rigged and ready, and I needed my mechanical skills.

*
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Old 03-25-2011, 02:15 PM   #6
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RE: 1 engine or 2?

Either works if well cared for. Neither works if not well cared for. What is your budget, how fast do you want to go and what is*your previous boating experience?
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Old 03-25-2011, 02:23 PM   #7
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RE: 1 engine or 2?

I perfer a single on a slow speed boat like a trawler.

For me it is easier to maintain one engine and keep it in top shape.

Also easier to keep a basic set of spare parts and more room to service if needed.

Less fuel, less used oil, filters etc. = less environmental impact!

Generally more protected prop, fewer zincs, simpler controls and electrics.

I would not feel too comfortable offshore if I did not have the basic working knowledge of repairing simple things.

Just me but I feel knowing your powerplant more important than the number of engines.* JohnP
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Old 03-25-2011, 02:35 PM   #8
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RE: 1 engine or 2?

First time I have seen this topic here......

I vote for which ever one you like best!



*
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Old 03-25-2011, 05:20 PM   #9
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1 engine or 2?

Quote:
Xraycharlie wrote:
*What would happen if you lost power out in the Gulfstream?
*Maybe you'll make landfall on Iceland.*

One of two locomotives responsible for creating the breakwater for the harbor at Reykjavik:



I don't disagree with any of the earlier responses.*


-- Edited by markpierce on Saturday 26th of March 2011 11:48:39 PM
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Old 03-25-2011, 05:35 PM   #10
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RE: 1 engine or 2?

If you lose power out on the Gulfstream radio for help. If you are concerned about being out of VHF range you could invest time and money for Ham radio or Sat phone.
Steve W
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Old 03-25-2011, 06:29 PM   #11
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RE: 1 engine or 2?

Twin engine is better like most things more expensive. The safety and maneuverability*afforded by twin engine boats is well worth the price. Men like to appear brave and going out in a single engined boat is seen as a good way to achieve greater masculinity * *....kinda like riding Harleys instead of motorcycles or driving a big black PU truck that makes lots of noise. Our life style robs men of huge amounts of masculinity and many feel the need to fill that hole. At one time driving a big truck gauaranteed masculinity and now cute little 115lb foxy women or even girls drive big trucks. And there are many many other examples. At one time all a man needed to do was bring home a paycheck to assure his masculinity but no more. I wish I had the money to make a twin out of my Willard. As you can see I feel my masculinity is firmly in place.
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Old 03-25-2011, 08:21 PM   #12
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RE: 1 engine or 2?

When you are bvuying a used boat if the engine /engines have not been looked after you have a problem or twice the problem.
I prefer single engine.
less expensive to run and maintain.
A lot more room in the Eng Room so that maint is a lot more user friendly.
As with any set up get to know the engines and be able to do basic maintenance.
With a single a bow thruster may be a help for berthing.

Benn
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Old 03-25-2011, 09:28 PM   #13
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RE: 1 engine or 2?

Quote:
nomadwilly wrote:
Twin engine is better like most things more expensive. The safety and maneuverability*afforded by twin engine boats is well worth the price. Men like to appear brave and going out in a single engined boat is seen as a good way to achieve greater masculinity * *....kinda like riding Harleys instead of motorcycles or driving a big black PU truck that makes lots of noise. Our life style robs men of huge amounts of masculinity and many feel the need to fill that hole. At one time driving a big truck gauaranteed masculinity and now cute little 115lb foxy women or even girls drive big trucks. And there are many many other examples. At one time all a man needed to do was bring home a paycheck to assure his masculinity but no more. I wish I had the money to make a twin out of my Willard. As you can see I feel my masculinity is firmly in place.
*Eric, *I love ya man. *You make more sense than most. * *For the past 20 years I have cruised the Upper Mississippi and lake Michigan in a single screw gas Trojan cruiser. *In what probably amounted to 10,000 miles, I have never had an engine issue that I couldn't solve on my own. *I carried parts. *When I was on Lake Michigan, I was amazed at the reaction I would get from people who could not imagine crossing the lake in a 26' single engine. *I really doubt that the once a month these people left the harbor in their twin engine SeaRays and Carvers, they ever ventured beyond sight of the harbor jetties. *How sad. * *I don't have masculinity issues, but I must admit I did have a bit more bounce in my step after backing the cruiser into her slip with a 1 ~1 1/2 current, and a small crew of wannabe helpers on the dock. *A single screw boat is fun to handle when you learn how. *It's a bit of an ego thing. * * All that said and I recently bought a twin engine trawler Cal. 34LRC w/ twin 200 Perkins. *I didn't buy It because it had twins, I would have preferred a single 120 Lehman, a 150 Deere, or ???. *But in the end what did it for me was the rest of the boat. *The engines have only 1500 hrs. *the gen set has 500 hrs. *The boat does not have teak decks, is a real looker, IMO, has good wiring, good systems, and has been well cared for by a knowledgeable PO. *It needs several simple things, but does not represent any major projects. *It is far nicer than I expected to find for the price I was willing to spend. *The question about engines didn't really enter the picture. *I don't need the 16kt cruise it is capable of @ 1 mpg. *I will be going much slower as a whole, and get double or better the mpg, but still more expensive than a single would have been. *Will it be more expensive to feed and care for? *You bet. *But, I don't have the big ticket upgrades that would be required for other boats in the price range. * If I wanted to spend a big pile of cash, I would have chosen differently. * That would be spend a lot more money to save a little money. *That only seems to make sense to a politician. * *The 16kt cruise incidentally, *that I really don't need, sure came in handy last week when I needed to move the boat from Nashville to Kentucky lake (200mi) in two days back in late February, *when *there is only 11 hours of daylight. *his was the first leg in a 800 mile trip to my home in Iowa on the Mississippi *River.* *There are a whole lot of big ticket expenses beyond engines and fuel. *Look at the big picture and find the best value with what ever engine(s) it has got.*

*
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Old 03-25-2011, 10:07 PM   #14
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RE: 1 engine or 2?

Quote:
nomadwilly wrote:
Twin engine is better like most things more expensive. The safety and maneuverability*afforded by twin engine boats is well worth the price. Men like to appear brave and going out in a single engined boat is seen as a good way to achieve greater masculinity * *....kinda like riding Harleys instead of motorcycles or driving a big black PU truck that makes lots of noise. Our life style robs men of huge amounts of masculinity and many feel the need to fill that hole. At one time driving a big truck gauaranteed masculinity and now cute little 115lb foxy women or even girls drive big trucks. And there are many many other examples. At one time all a man needed to do was bring home a paycheck to assure his masculinity but no more. I wish I had the money to make a twin out of my Willard. As you can see I feel my masculinity is firmly in place.
*Seriously????????????

So let me get this straight... I had a single engine 50' trawler because it masked a deep seated insecurity complex...

Now I have a 40' TWIN engine go fast cruiser.... I must of been cured!!* PTL!,

And all this time I thought the big twin engine boats were piloted by short accountants that suffered from a life of having women tell them they had a small penis! .. man I had it all wrong

For the record, I am 6'2, not a accountant, and never been accused of the former statement.

You really went out on a limb on this one..

HOLLYWOOD

*
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Old 03-25-2011, 11:21 PM   #15
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RE: 1 engine or 2?

Having had a 2 motor Grand Banks and now a single Krogen, I like single better cause its simpler. Having 2 engines makes it hard to work on the outboard side and it is harder to have a look at the out board side during engine room checks.. A single sits lower in the hull lowers the CG. Prop is better protected. Maneuvering a single with a wimpy, sissy, stupid bow thruster is easy once you get the hang of it. (I thought a Harley was a motorcycle.)
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Old 03-26-2011, 01:51 AM   #16
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1 engine or 2?

I think this guy lost the 1 vs. 2* debate

[img]download.spark?ID=898985&aBID=115492[/img]

The SS Minnow



*



*


-- Edited by KJ on Saturday 26th of March 2011 02:05:21 AM
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Old 03-26-2011, 04:23 AM   #17
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RE: 1 engine or 2?

A single is cheaper to operate , far safer in shallow or junk filled waters (AICW, Loop) and way easier to maintain.

No contest!
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Old 03-26-2011, 10:05 AM   #18
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RE: 1 engine or 2?

KJ, * *Like

xfedex, * * "Maneuvering a single with a wimpy, sissy, stupid bow thruster" * *...got lots of hair on your chest I see. Scuff marks on your topsides?

Capn Craig, * * *Thanks for the nice words. Looks like a poll now would produce a single screw boat w thrusters at both ends and a get home system except for everyone w a masculine image problem scratch the get home and the thrusters.*

Hollywood, * * *Thought the threads were getting a bit dull so I decided to liven things up a bit. Had no idea someone would belly up to the bar and lean clear over the edge w feet in the air and start talk'in about his pecker. Looks like I can depend on you big time. LOL

FF, * * *Now include all the other variables.
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Old 03-26-2011, 10:53 AM   #19
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RE: 1 engine or 2?

Quote:
Baker wrote:Wowie....this is the humdinger of all topics and you will get opinions all over the map. I am in the single engine camp.
Hummmm Lets see now???* To enjoy a single screw or a double screw... shall we let our minds wander!* Oh my, but I digress lmao... oooo*

On to more serious stuff about power boating... Most Joking Aside!*

At or below hull speed, if you run both engines in a twin screw simultaneously you get dual wear and tear, higher (not necessarily double) fuel cost, and twice the maintenance costs compared to running a single screw.* If you cruise the same boat at or just below hull speed with one twin running at a time, you cut the wear and tear in half, greatly reduce fuel costs (to the proximity of a single screw) and maintenance costs are cut not quite in half... pretty darn similar to the overall economy and power train costs of boat with a single screw... but... you always have the capabilities of twin screw for docking, fast runs if needed or desired, ability to better deal with certain rough sea conditions; and of course, a virtual guarantee that you always have get-to-port power capabilities (so long as you dont run completely out of fuel DUH!).*

We all know that engines as well as their entire drive line should be exercised on a regular basis.* Therefore, in a twin screw it is the alternating of engine use that keeps their usage hours in sync and power train mechanics in working order.*

Some cautions (and/or precautions) regarding alternating twin engine use schedules (other items not mentioned should also be considered):*
  1. To power along using one engine, without having the off engines shaft locked in position (so the off engines prop does not freewheel and turn the transmission without its fluids fully lubricating all parts), then the twin engines use schedule should be alternated each hour so the freewheeling transmission does not damage its interior and trany fluids are kept well dispersed inside both transmissions.
  2. If you use one engine for over an hour then it is wise to lock the off engines shaft in position so its prop does not freewheel and therefore no damage can occur to the off engines trany.* A locking method can be as simple as a vice grip on the off engines shaft.* Or, if you plan to often run one engine on and one off for long periods then you can get creative for developing a shaft locking mechanism.* Accesses to lock the shafts are individualized per boats engine area layout.
  3. Always check with trany manufacturer to make sure that one hour +/- freewheeling at hull speed will not damage your model trany.
  4. To not put too much stress on the running engine of a twin screw, i.e. be careful to not try and go too fast... at or below hull speed is the most comfortable for all mechanical items concerned... also to attain the lest gph!
  5. When alternating engine use; if done by the hour the off engine will still have residual heat from recent use, but, do let the newly started engine warm up for a few minutes before placing into gear and shutting down the other motor.* If alternating engine use after long periods then allow the engine being brought back on with full opportunity to warm up before engaging.*
The benefits of utilizing a single or twin screw power configuration are really not too far apart.* Personally, I enjoy a boat with creature comforts of two staterooms with a large salon, a big fly bridge, plenty of deck space, good sized swim step, a SD or plaining hull and twin screw... that can cruise at hull speed, or below, or above and, that by alternating engine use can be made to cruise economically too!!*

For long range fuel economy I believe a FD hull*with conservative diesel power (that is cruised just below hull speed) will provide the most economical overall experience.* But, if utilized wisely, twin screw in any hull design can also provide good economy and can always enable other operational options that a single screw simply cant achieve.*

With that said... I feel it is up to the perception, desire, and understanding of the boat purchaser, hopefully acting as the captain too, regarding what power source, size/style craft, hull configuration, make, accessories,*and interior accommodations are chosen.* When an informed boat Captain is also the purchaser, then the union of owner to craft can become electrically charged!* And yes, a love affair between the two can ensue!* There was a recent thread in this forum asking Do boats having feelings; well in my opinion sort of! - LOL ***

*
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Old 03-26-2011, 11:23 AM   #20
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RE: 1 engine or 2?

Hmmm. * I had always throught a man with a bow thruster demonstrated*confidence*in his manhood, and that having multiple engines was the opposite.*
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