Good question - one that I've asked myself more than once. We had the Detroit "fuel misers" that had all the required updates and a mechanic who is a local Detroit guru (gave them a clean bill of health). The boat had Sidepower bow and stern thrusters and a Roskelly pickle-fork davit. We had some interior work done, replaced all the waste hoses, etc. Replaced all the blinds and totally cleaned an re-oiled all the interior teak. Etc. Etc. Etc. So why?
Well, for one, the wood infrastructure that is ln the cabin and is used for mounting the flybridge housing had a lot of dry rot. Easily but not cheaply fixed. We needed a new dingy - the boat came with a waterlogged 11' Whaler and a smoky 2 cycle outboard. The use of the pickle-fork dinghy required serious additional bracing of the transom and blocked the swim step from practical use. The electronics needed replacing (which, admittedly, I also did on the 4788). Both heads were raw water and with 2 x 20 gal holding tanks filled quickly and smelled - not a cheap fix. The window frames would have needed removal and rework or replacement. The aft cabin walls needed re-papering. All the drapes needed replacement. A lot of the monkey fir in the aft cabin needed replacement and exhibited signs on engines that needed better air flow. One of the two lazerette hatches had a waterlogged core and needed some serious work. The only heat was wall-mounted electric. And I deluded myself that changing boats would require less additional "fix it" capital outlay.
If I knew then what I knew now would I make the change again? Hard to say definitively. Updating the Tolly might have cost more than what we've spent on the 4788 updates but our overall cashflow is a bit more than the Tolly as a result of the additional cash outlay. The Tolly aft cabin berth was easier to deal with than the 4788 v-berth but the headroom was almost claustrophobic. The Tolly hull design is better in a "beam-ish" seaway, but did suffer from snap-roll. The 4788 is quite sensitive to beam sea rolling, but that's overcome by "jibing" and treating larger seas like I'm piloting a sailboat downwind. Neither hull "oil canned". The Tolly water was 140 gals, the 4788 200 gals. The pilothouse design really is far superior for our needs. We really like the big salon with all the windows. Did I mention the pilothouse? We have tons of storage. The 4788 is surprisingly economical at 7-8 knots, not much more fuel consumption overall than the Tolly (5-7 gph including generator and 15 minute stints of high speed every 2-3 hours). Insurance, moorage, maint, fees, etc. are virtually the same. Interior volume on the 4788 is much larger.
So for Pac NW coastal cruising I think we are better served by the 4788.
Patti & Gordon
Knot Home - 1998 Bayliner 4788