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Old 09-16-2021, 04:37 AM   #1
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How underpowered is she?

I have been a sailor for many years, now at 68 years young, with the Northwest as my cruising ground, I知 looking to buy a trawler where I can cruise 6 months a year. I see an ad for a 1978 C & L Puget Trawler. She looks to be in nice shape but the power seems lacking with only a single Lehman 120. They say she cruises at 6 knots burning 1.5 gph. Of course, if I become serious, I値l have a full survey done and if the rest of the vessel is satisfactory I知 unsure if the power issue is a non-issue, whether the power issue is a deal killer or if I just commit to repowering her down the road. The price is good, so there is room in my budget for it. Does anyone have any thoughts that might be helpful?
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Old 09-16-2021, 05:12 AM   #2
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Using the usual ROT (rules of thumb) most trawlers will cruise about 1K under their theoretical hull speed 6K sounds about right .

Depending on how well a diesel is set up they will usually make 15HP or so per gallon of fuel.

Modern engines can do 20HP, but at the cost of of a modern electronic injection , which is expensive to maintain , and usually beyond the skills of the owner to repair..

1 1/2 GPH would translate to 25 to 35HP , which is well within the ability of an old Lehman , which if cared for should last about 8000 hours.

The power is a non issue.
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Old 09-16-2021, 06:02 AM   #3
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This is a 37' semi displacement Europa style trawler. It will weigh about 20,000 lbs dry, maybe 25,000 with fluids, passengers and gear. A general rule of thumb for a semi displacement hull is about 2 hp per thousand pounds to reach hull speed or 50 hp. Hull speed should be near 7.7 kts.

So 120 hp looks fine if all you want to do is trawler speeds.

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Old 09-16-2021, 06:20 AM   #4
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I have been a sailor for many years, now at 68 years young, with the Northwest as my cruising ground, I知 looking to buy a trawler where I can cruise 6 months a year. I see an ad for a 1978 C & L Puget Trawler. She looks to be in nice shape but the power seems lacking with only a single Lehman 120. They say she cruises at 6 knots burning 1.5 gph. Of course, if I become serious, I値l have a full survey done and if the rest of the vessel is satisfactory I知 unsure if the power issue is a non-issue, whether the power issue is a deal killer or if I just commit to repowering her down the road. The price is good, so there is room in my budget for it. Does anyone have any thoughts that might be helpful?
Unless you want to go fast, it's a non-issue - boat is NOT underpowered at all given the style. This is an extremely common configuration for vintage Taiwan trawlers in this size range. In fact, being a recovering sailor, you will find the 7kt speed fast. Granted, my Willard 36 is a full displacement boat, but is almost 30k lbs and cruises at around 1.25 gph at 7 kts with a 75hp Perkins 4.236. In my opinion, my boat would be over powered with a 120hp engine.

FL120 has many, many satisfied owners. It is a preferred engine. That said, if there are mechanical issues, move on to next boat. As with sailboats, paying a premium for a boat in good condition is usually the most economical way to buy a boat

Good luck.

Peter

PS - do check fuel tanks for rust to thr extent possible. Known failure point on all boats of this style and vintage. Expensive repair without meaningful value add at resale
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Old 09-16-2021, 06:44 AM   #5
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The boat will go faster. They just wanted to give the most favorable gallons per hour info. This is the right info to give, as speed is not that important to folks buying full displacement boats.

Compare with the guy next to me at the dock who can go 12 kts, but burns 4.5 gal/hr to do it.
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Old 09-16-2021, 07:12 AM   #6
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Compare with the guy next to me at the dock who can go 12 kts, but burns 4.5 gal/hr to do it.
If a 40-foot boat, I'd take that deal. Approaching 3 npg at 12-kts would be impressive. When I was delivering, my baseline was 10 gph at 10 kts and would adjust up/down for size/conditions. Ended up being fairly accurate - +/- 20% vs owner's wildly optimistic projections that would have left me dead-in-the-water 20-miles off the central California coast (I stopped asking what their fuel-burn was).

Peter
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Old 09-16-2021, 08:42 AM   #7
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How underpowered is she?

Thank all of you so much, Trawler Forum Rocks! I知 overwhelmed by all these quick and thoughtful replies. Upon reading my question I realize I had left out that the Puget Trawler is 44. I知 not sure of the tonnage but I値l find that out today.
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Old 09-16-2021, 09:00 AM   #8
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Thank all of you so much, Trawler Forum Rocks! I’m overwhelmed by all these quick and thoughtful replies. Upon reading my question I realize I had left out that the Puget Trawler is 44’. I’m not sure of the tonnage but I’ll find that out today.
Some will argue otherwise, but in my opinion, a boat this sized with modestly sized single engine needs a bow thruster for reliable close-quarters maneuvering. If not already equipped, plan on $10k-$12k installed assuming no heroics needed for batteries/cabling/charging.

Areas of cost-concerns are teak decks and the previously mentioned fuel tanks. Unlike a bow-thruster (if needed) that adds some value at resale, these items will add near zero value but are expensive and time consuming to do with considerable scope-creep potential.

Good luck.

Peter
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Old 09-16-2021, 10:05 AM   #9
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Thanks mvweebles. Surprisingly this boat does have a bow thruster which I’m grateful for. However she seems to be lacking some of the newer electronics. In my past voyaging (1982] I owned a 46’ sailboat which had a compass, depth sounder and vhf radio for electronics. It was enough to get me safely from Seattle to Mexico and cruise the Sea of Cortez for a year. Although I know that I have the skills to navigate the Pacific NW without all the new gadgets, they sure make things easier, and at my age, I feel like I’ve earned easy…
It would be nice to setup a modest array of new instrumentation that network with each other so I guess that I would have to fit that into the budget.
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Old 09-16-2021, 10:16 AM   #10
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Highliner - In a way, I view older electronics as a benefit as long as the boat is priced accordingly. Why? Because newer electronics are relatively affordable and the old stuff is usually crap by modern standards. For about $6k, you can add a decent array of MFD/Radar/Chartplotter/Depth, albeit a pretty skinny set.

Peter
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Old 09-16-2021, 10:29 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Highliner View Post
I have been a sailor for many years, now at 68 years young, with the Northwest as my cruising ground, I知 looking to buy a trawler where I can cruise 6 months a year. I see an ad for a 1978 C & L Puget Trawler. She looks to be in nice shape but the power seems lacking with only a single Lehman 120. They say she cruises at 6 knots burning 1.5 gph. Of course, if I become serious, I値l have a full survey done and if the rest of the vessel is satisfactory I知 unsure if the power issue is a non-issue, whether the power issue is a deal killer or if I just commit to repowering her down the road. The price is good, so there is room in my budget for it. Does anyone have any thoughts that might be helpful?
My C&L44 has twins, so not a fair comparative.
At 8 knots I burn 4 gph, so by the calculations above, use 80 hp. Before re-powering with more hp, I used 5 gph at 7 knots, with a pair of 145 hp engines.
There are many similar boats with a single FL120, so the one you are looking at is common, as is a 6.5 knot cruising speed.
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Old 09-16-2021, 02:40 PM   #12
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I had a 40 Albin with a single FL 120 and a hydraulic stern thruster.
At my normal 6.5-7 knot cruise it was 1.75 GPH and that included occasional genny use.
I never had a problem putting it where it had to go thanks to the thruster.
I would say it was only "underpowered" a couple of times but I would either accept a 2-4 knot forward speed or kick it it up a notch to get thru a bad current.
One thing you will want is an autopilot with a slow boat. I used mine most of the time when I could.
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Old 09-16-2021, 05:31 PM   #13
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Highliner, Assuming the Lehman 120 is in good shape now and if you treat it with care and respect, that engine will satisfy you for years. It is a basic, no frills diesel. Easy to learn for maintenance. It just needs clean fuel and air, once it is started.
A trawler goes slow.... cruising somewhere between 6.5 and 7 knots (hull speed) sipping fuel.
You may get it up to 8 knots but at a significant increase in fuel usage.
So learn to go slow, put your head over the side and count the fish. Remember, even at 7 knots, it is faster than a sailboat without wind.
Check out the engine room space. Can you reach everything? It is not called 'the holy place' without good reason. You may discover you spend a lot of time down there on your knees. LOL
Of course, I recommend you get a good diesel mechanic to do a separate engine survey.
You should have duel Racor filters for the main and a single Racor will be fine for the generator.

Plus all the stuff other people mention.
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Old 09-16-2021, 07:45 PM   #14
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Welcome aboard. It isn稚 underpowered assuming you want to run at trawler speeds. The 120 Lehmans are almost bulletproof.
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Old 09-16-2021, 08:01 PM   #15
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The boat in question is 50 percent overpowered. Eighty horsepower would be sufficient.
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Old 09-16-2021, 10:07 PM   #16
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......if I just commit to repowering her down the road. The price is good, so there is room in my budget for it. Does anyone have any thoughts that might be helpful?
As others have said the boat has enough power for her designed speed. Repowering to get more speed out of a typical trawler hull will be an exercise in financial frustration. The costs will be huge and the improvement in performance insignifigant. Putting more HP in requires a new engine, transmission, engine mounts, possibly engine beds, shaft, cutlass bearings + struts if going to a larger diameter shaft and propeller. Source the engine you might consider then at a bare minium double the cost of that engine before it is up and running. Don't be surprised if it goes much higher.

It can be done cheaper if you are able to scrounge everything including the engine and do much of the work yourself.
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Old 09-17-2021, 04:44 AM   #17
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Highliner, if you wish to go faster, look at semi-displacement hulls but realize fuel costs would increase significantly.
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Old 09-18-2021, 05:58 PM   #18
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Thanks so much for all your excellent advice. I am flying to Seattle in 2 days to give her a look. I also found the same boat in Anacordes, except that it has two Lehman 120’s with about 1/2 the engine hours, adequate electronics, a better tender and the asking price is $1,500 less. Of course I will look at that both boats. After all your comments I had become very comfortable with a single diesel but a friend mentioned that when I go to sell her, twins would be more marketable. Hmmmm.
Can’t wait to go boat shopping… I’ll report back on my trip when I return home Thursday.
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Old 09-18-2021, 08:51 PM   #19
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Thanks so much for all your excellent advice. I am flying to Seattle in 2 days to give her a look. I also found the same boat in Anacordes, except that it has two Lehman 120痴 with about 1/2 the engine hours, adequate electronics, a better tender and the asking price is $1,500 less. Of course I will look at that both boats. After all your comments I had become very comfortable with a single diesel but a friend mentioned that when I go to sell her, twins would be more marketable. Hmmmm.
Can稚 wait to go boat shopping I値l report back on my trip when I return home Thursday.
I and many others enjoy and recommend twins. Then again many, many, enjoy and recommend a single. That is one of the largest [most heated] debates in boating. If you like... go into the search feature [top of page] and research to explore hundreds of "reasons-why"!
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