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Old 01-22-2023, 11:11 PM   #1
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Converting sailboat to powerboat

I'm in SW Florida with wrecked boats a plenty here.

There are a number of sailboats that need their mast, rigging, and sails replaced, but the rest of the boat is fine.

Would it work to just forget the sails and use it as a cruising powerboat?

What would be the downside?
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Old 01-22-2023, 11:14 PM   #2
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I'm in SW Florida with wrecked boats a plenty here.



There are a number of sailboats that need their mast, rigging, and sails replaced, but the rest of the boat is fine.



Would it work to just forget the sails and use it as a cruising powerboat?



What would be the downside?
Where do you want to go?
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Old 01-22-2023, 11:28 PM   #3
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Most sailboats I have been on have small fuel tanks but thrifty on fuel consumption. So there is your limitations. Sails optional.
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Old 01-22-2023, 11:43 PM   #4
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Mmm. That's one limitation. Lots of folks carry Jerry cans. Easy to get 1,000 miles slow. I've often thought they'd make decent river boats.

But you've got other practical limitations - draft
- comfort in big waves
- most people you encounter will assume you're indigent. You're not going to want to try anchoring too long anywhere.

I forgot slow!
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Old 01-22-2023, 11:46 PM   #5
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If you want to keep it behind your house and cruise the canals it might be fabulous.
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Old 01-22-2023, 11:53 PM   #6
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Without the rig most sail boats are over ballasted resulting in a very uncomfortable motion. A naval architect, preferably the designer, could provide insight in how much of ballast weight to remove. This likely would result in modifying the keel. Not impossible but imo necessary to have an enjoyable vessel.
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Old 01-23-2023, 12:11 AM   #7
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Without the rig most sail boats are over ballasted resulting in a very uncomfortable motion. A naval architect, preferably the designer, could provide insight in how much of ballast weight to remove. This likely would result in modifying the keel. Not impossible but imo necessary to have an enjoyable vessel.
Kindly expand on bolded.
Removing any part of the keel would definitely make the hull worthless for anyone interested in re rigging.
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Old 01-23-2023, 12:27 AM   #8
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Not hurricane boats. They're worth the lead and the motor, maybe. Most will be junked, a handful rerigged, and a handful repurposed as power boats, mostly unsuccessfully.

Antares suggestion is a good one. If a fin keel boat take a chainsaw to the keel. Watch rudder draft, and ideally lop some depth off the rudder. This requires more specialized skills.
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Old 01-23-2023, 12:33 AM   #9
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I've been on a couple of keelboats that have spat their rigs
Thoroughly miserable trip getting back to port
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Old 01-23-2023, 12:41 AM   #10
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Not trying to be cranky here. But sailboats without rigs are pretty common, and none of them get rerigged. Many take the insurance check and happily walked away.

There's a boat that's been for sale here locally. Nice boat, a buddy had a sister ship. He sold his just before COVID and has regretted it ever since. I was kind of advising him and feel bad.

Anyway, I digress. Boat with a mast might be worth 50k. It's now being advertised for $15k. Seller has estimate for $45k mast. My guess is he took the $45k and the insurance company gave him what was left of the boat.

You might think that you can match up to a used rig. But then you realize that sails are different, rigging loads are different, etc etc etc. It's far worse than repowering a trawler.
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Old 01-23-2023, 12:52 AM   #11
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I haven't checked lately, but I kind of have $1/lb as my go-to number. The value of the lead will definitely cover the cost of a keel job, if you don't demand perfection.

Assuming you have an external lead keel. Probably should shut up now :-)
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Old 01-23-2023, 01:06 AM   #12
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The sailboats I have been on made fairly lousy powerboats. They are designed for sails not motors.
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Old 01-23-2023, 01:35 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueRidge View Post
I'm in SW Florida with wrecked boats a plenty here.

There are a number of sailboats that need their mast, rigging, and sails replaced, but the rest of the boat is fine.

Would it work to just forget the sails and use it as a cruising powerboat?

What would be the downside?
If you concentrate only on catamarans I think many could be converted to
power cruisers. I also advise against a monohull without the mast. My 30'
sailboat was dismasted while I was living aboard in Hawaii and the motion
was very unpleasant even tied up at my dock during high winds and waves.
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Old 01-23-2023, 06:14 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KnotYet View Post
If you concentrate only on catamarans I think many could be converted to
power cruisers. I also advise against a monohull without the mast. My 30'
sailboat was dismasted while I was living aboard in Hawaii and the motion
was very unpleasant even tied up at my dock during high winds and waves.
What boat at the dock has a pleasant motion in high winds and waves? Much less a 30' boat...
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Old 01-23-2023, 06:25 AM   #15
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On the East Coast, heck, most sailors power down the ditch from Norfolk to Florida and still love their boats when they get there. Some even take the mast down and those that don't, many curse the bridges.

I have been on sailboats that were under power a lot and would have to say certain sizes and shapes seem to be better at powering in terms of ride and speed.

There are examples of converted sailboats that people have described as wonderful to awful that have been published. Might be found in Youtubes or Googled.

I wanted to get away from that "submarine, tubelike living" to the "open, airy and windowed" style. Thus a trawler.

I guess the biggest decision is just how many modifications would you do, or just accect what it is at a cheap price and go enjoy?
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Old 01-23-2023, 06:33 AM   #16
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Hi, the mast slows down the roll movement. without a mast the movement is annoyingly fast and boating is not comfortable.

as someone already mentioned, the stability of the boat would require consideration by the Naval architect.

Nbs
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Old 01-23-2023, 07:19 AM   #17
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For info on sailboats that travel with their masts down, the America’s Great Loop Cruisers' Association websire may be helpful....

https://www.greatloop.org/
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Old 01-23-2023, 07:27 AM   #18
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Or Captain John
https://captainjohn.org/
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Old 01-23-2023, 07:30 AM   #19
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Some

already do that .
We take a look at an another interesting hull in Australia.
narrow, well built, light , not so expansive, two "side board" (who it could be usefull) and the covid arrived and storage ashore was at an huge price(for waiting the end of covid or at less the end of the access restriction to reach in Australia ... Don't go further.It was a 90' Dubois design Ragamuffin
Attached Thumbnails
tra.JPG  
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Old 01-23-2023, 07:49 AM   #20
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Years ago in the Indiantown marina, Florida, there was a 36 Gulfstar sailboat that was converted to trawler. They cut the keel and rudder down, added a pilothouse and added more power, tanks, etc. It was nice when complete and if I remember correctly, the couple went on extended cruises regularly. It was a huge project
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