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Old 06-20-2017, 05:35 AM   #21
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" Until this weekend I did not explain to her how our speed would change with a trawler. So, after taking a nice ride at 20kts, I slowed our boat down to 8kts, and explained to her how this would be our new cruising speed. I also explained the financial necessity for this change."


Hello Dani-lu,
Used to see and read your posts at boatered. We had two 'trawlers' that were powered such that they were really limited to 8 knots or so. I think what will help you see what it is really like is to run in flat neutral seas at 8 knots and record your boats rpm. Then make a full trip out to Block Island and back or maybe up the Hudson to Kingston and back with that rpm as your top limit.
That will give yourself and your wife a good experience at 8 knots and a good feel for the total fuel consumption difference that you can expect with your boat.
As a couple of others have posted - that was not a good solution for us as we like to be able to get up on plane at times even though we also like to cruise slower at other times. Being in an 8 knot boat with a 3-5 knot tide hitting you on the nose is an experience for sure - you have hit them going to BI for sure but may not have really notice them while traveling faster.
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Old 06-20-2017, 05:37 AM   #22
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Now if speed is what you want ...


You can tow a fast RIB to get speed if you want, and when you want
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Old 06-20-2017, 05:43 AM   #23
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Re Codger and his lust, knowing the San Diego/LA area I can see why a bit more speed would be helpful. Your destinations are a wee bit further, especially if you want some variation. Not so sure about League City TX (Larry). I might be wanting to go that route as well.
But, as mentioned above, many of us live in areas where there is an absolute abundance of gunk holing available, either along the ICW (especially from north Florida all the way through the Carolinas), up rivers (St John's, St Mary's, etc), and the Caribbean islands starting only 56 miles from the coast. And a good number of down towns to visit if so inclines (JAX, St Augustine, Fernandina, St Simon's, Hilton Head, Savannah, Daytona around these parts).
Case in point. I have been a sailor since 9 years old. I would have loved to have bought a sailboat when I move to JAX. But the geographical limitations around here moved me to power boating.
In the end, you need to make the smart decision which will result in you actually using your boat, not having it parked at the marina as a condo.
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Old 06-20-2017, 06:03 AM   #24
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My wife and I like to have options though we have been thinking about a trawler lately.

With our current boat, we typically run 8-9kts which allows the boat to be level the ride to be nice and smooth and the fuel burn to be miserly. The attitude we have is like others; we are already where we want to be when we are on the boat.

We also like the option to run fast if we want to. Cruise speed is 17-18kts and there are times when we use it. For example we do one really long trip per year. Most of the time we take it slow with 4-5 hours underway at 8kts. This past year and now again in July we will go to the Dry Tortugas.

For the crossing from Boca to Key West and then to the Dry Tortugas we will run fast. This allows it to be an 9 and 3.5 hour passage compared to a 19 and 7.5 hour crossing.
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Old 06-20-2017, 06:05 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Dani-lu View Post
Until this weekend I did not explain to her how our speed would change with a trawler. So, after taking a nice ride at 20kts, I slowed our boat down to 8kts, and explained to her how this would be our new cruising speed. I also explained the financial necessity for this change.

And she said...?

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Old 06-20-2017, 06:28 AM   #26
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I have 2 boats, one for work and one for cruising. The work boat (6 pack charter boat) bangs along at 15+ knots. My trawler cruises at 7. The 7 knot cruise is a much more relaxing enjoyable pace if you're doing multiple days in a row. The other part about slow is that weight and load matter less. When I was shopping, many of the faster boats compromised water and waste capacity for weight of fuel and engines so that they could still plane. If you're cruising style is from marina to marina, this isn't a big deal. If you are going to remote areas for extended periods, having less weight and space dedicated to engines and fuel, leaves more available for other things.

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Old 06-20-2017, 06:47 AM   #27
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I came from a Sea Ray with a 454 engine. Soon got tired of feeling like riding a jet ski. Besides I prefer to travel on the outside on a calm day. I now travel at 8-9 knots on autopilot and am quite happy about that. 6-7 hours a day traveling is max. I have done 10 -13 hour days because there was no choice and that I am not a fan of.

I'll take what I have now over speed any day!
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Old 06-20-2017, 07:07 AM   #28
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Donna, I think you identified a big weakness in the cruising community. Gas versus diesel.

When transiting at 8 kts I average 1.3 nautical miles per gallon in my diesel powered aft cabin which comes to around 400 nautical miles of range. I can swallow back to around 6 kn and get a little more than 600 nautical miles if I need to. With a 55 gallon waste tank and 150 gallons of fresh water that is plenty for my travels.

I don't think many gas powered vessels of this size exist that can do the same.

There are no plans in my near future to do any Atlantic crossings so no need for 1000+ gallons
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Old 06-20-2017, 07:26 AM   #29
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The OP has a diesel Sea Ray Sundancer 410.
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Old 06-20-2017, 07:45 AM   #30
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So why not just slow down with the present boat?

At eight knots your fuel use will be similar to the "trawlers" you lust after. It will be a lot cheaper to just go live your dream with the present boat at slower speed plus you will have the speed option if ever needed.
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Old 06-20-2017, 08:01 AM   #31
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My first mate has always (35 yrs) asked me to to slow down our "go fast" boats to a ride speed she feels comfortable with (pitch, bounce, roll).

Our next boat is FD as I found myself at 6-9 knots to keep the first mate happy and wanting to be on the boat. As one of my life long friends, and life long boater says, remember there is no family boating if the family doesn't want to come along.

I just tell everyone to regard the next boat (FD trawler ) as a sailboat.......but without the sails. Then the expectations are met- but the accommodations are a pleasant surprise.
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Old 06-20-2017, 08:02 AM   #32
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While I can't speak for the OP, I believe that the Sundancer design, while popular, might not be best for long distance cruising in terms of comfort.
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Old 06-20-2017, 08:57 AM   #33
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Ok, you got some good feedback. Now you give us some. What was your wife's reaction to the 8 kn speed..? You didn't say...
Wifey B: It's a very individual thing but this individual is not made for 8 knots. We chartered one time a boat that cruised at 12, WOT at 14 and could not stand it. Don't just cruise a little while slow to decide. Go an extended period (days, weeks) at slow speeds, no cheating to speed up, and then see how you both feel.

To go from 6 knots to 8-10 knots is one thing but when you're coming down from 20 to 10 then that's a huge change. Some like it, some hate it. And those who have never gone faster can't really understand.
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Old 06-20-2017, 09:04 AM   #34
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A lot of good information, not totally sure you can take your 20 knot cruise boat and effectively go 8 knots and think this is a great/equal test, somewhere in the back of your mind you know you slide those two handles up and you are gone, whereas a nice low HP diesel just chugging along, hull slipping through the water, nice music on the background and I think you have a different picture, maybe rent a trawler down in the Caribbean? .
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Old 06-20-2017, 09:09 AM   #35
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Stickman wrote;
"I just tell everyone to regard the next boat (FD trawler ) as a sailboat.......but without the sails"

When people ask me what kind of boat I have I usually say "It's like a fish boat w/o the fishing gear".
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Old 06-20-2017, 09:28 AM   #36
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We had a boat that would do 36kts and we cruised at 20kts. The admiral preferred it when we were in no wake zones and doing 6 or 7 kts. Our next boat will be a trawler. Also, situations develop much more slowly at 8kts than at planing speeds, so it makes a trip (except in flat, deep, open water) much less intense.
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Old 06-20-2017, 09:33 AM   #37
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None of the destinations you mention really require or justify a Kady, Selene or Nordhavn.

If you really like a planing boat and want more space, the Sea Ray aft cabin and sedan bridge models will give you both at a much more wallet friendly price and you can still cruise at 8 knots when you want to. In fact, the cost savings on purchasing a used Sea Ray aft cabin over one of those other brands will probably pay for your fuel the rest of your life no matter how fast you go. There are many no wake zones as you cruise up and down the east coast where you will be doing less than 8 knots anyway.

Now if you really want more room in the engine room, that is another story.

There are many posters here who have traded boats somewhat often but probably at some financial loss. If at all possible, try the lifestyle in your current boat at 8 knots and then decide if you really want/need a trawler style boat.
You just touched on a few topics I wanted to cover, so I will ask some questions here. I made a list of nice to haves and must haves in our next/retirement boat.

ER "walk in" access is a must have. Fortunately I am only 5' 6" and handy enough to do most maintenance (filters, hoses, belts, etc) and some repairs myself. This is a must have for two reasons, 1. To make sure I can and "will" proactively inspect and maintain everything in the ER. 2. I am not getting younger and crawling behind or squeezing into the outboard sides of my engine and geni is not getting easier. For example, I currently pay a mechanic to change the the impeller on my starboard engine. 3. Besides enjoying working on my own boat, it will become a must when on a fixed income, allowing us to maintain a comfortable cruising lifestyle.

Your comment on trying this on our boat, is exactly what my wife said. Clearly you are smarter than me, like my wife . But, I have well maintained twin 385hp, turbo, Cat 3126's with 1,300 hours. Am I causing any mechanical issues running these engines at 8 kts all day?

Based on our planned travels, I figured a full-displacement trawler was overkill. Does running diesel 2800 WOT RPM at 700 or 800 rpms for 8 to 10 hours or longer a day, do any damage? Or is it as simple as running them up to their rated cruise 2300 rpms every few hours?

Thanks,

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Old 06-20-2017, 09:40 AM   #38
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"coming down from 20 to 10 then that's a huge change."

One big difference is watch standing requirements under way.

Even with the AP working the 20K skipper has to be ON! every second of the trip.
Stuff Happens Almost like being at work! Even in blue water.

The 7-8K boat can usually continue under AP while the bridge watch enjoys a book, checks the charts , or perhaps takes a whiz over the side.

Stress or no stress is a choice.
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Old 06-20-2017, 09:41 AM   #39
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My last boat had the ability to cruise at 25+ knots but often anything above 10 knots often meant I was hammering into the waves. There were times I could barely walk at the end of a day of "cruising" due to the pounding the boat and occupants took. I decided that there was no need to get somewhere a hurry. That isn't what I wanted a boat for. I wanted a boat to enjoy myself on the water with family and friends.

Now we cruise with comfort at 6 knots in relaxed mode on autopilot. We see more along the way and arrive at the destination (if there is one) feeling good.

I too slow down when in rough seas (short interval waves), which is anything larger than 3' in a 40' Sea Ray. 10' swells, no problem. 6' short interval waves, trawler speed. And, I try to avoid anything bigger than 3', to avoid my boat and passengers taking a beating.
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Old 06-20-2017, 09:45 AM   #40
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8 to 9 knots is a huge increase in speed for us!
Actually, our previous 38' sailboat could sail at 7 plus knots for extended distances in the correct conditions. Our best 24 hour distance was 195 miles but... 6 knots was the norm under power.
Our boat will hit just about 20 knots loaded and it will cruise at 16 all day but she is happiest at 8 to 10 knots. The fuel burn rate and noise at 8 knots make it an easy regular cruising speed.
Bruce

I was waiting for a sail boater convert to chime in. For the record, I love sail boating. The silence is incredibly relaxing. Also, I was impressed how most sail boaters understand the passing process on the ICW and I always followed the process.
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