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Old 05-15-2020, 01:39 PM   #21
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I recently went from sail to trawler. Other than crossing oceans, it is MUCH easier, more comfortable and quicker to travel via trawler. I have a 1200 mile range on one tank of fuel which will get me anywhere I am interested in going and on my normal summer, that will last me an entire season. Fuel is not really an issue to me with this boat. I figure it as a seasonal expense kind of like hauling, bottom painting and shrink wrapping up here in the NE. Things I like are my Pilothouse with AC/heat, windshield wipers!, flybridge when it's nice, companion seats (benches, tables, etc) in both the piltohouse and flybridge so my wife can be sitting with me while I drive (or vice versa), room to walk around without stooping, huge head with shower, honest galley and salon, and decent gross tonnage. All of this in a 40 ft boat.
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Old 05-15-2020, 01:47 PM   #22
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We should be arriving back in FL tomorrow after 2 years and 2 months exploring the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, and the entire Eastern Caribbean all the way to Grenada. Once we reached the Virgins, it was almost ALL sailboats, so we met a lot of them. Here's the thing we realized: a sailboat nice enough to live on has all the same systems (and related headaches) as a trawler, PLUS all the rigging and sails, which come with their own set of problems.

This past 10 days, we've come all the way from St. John, USVI - it'll be 1,000nm by the time we hit FL tomorrow. We're part of a large group doing the same thing, and we've been able to track all of them on a special PredictWind map that was put up by the organizing group. Because of weather, most of the sailboats have become motorboats on this journey, as they do on about half of their journeys, anywhere. (No exaggeration - talk to someone who has sailed the Eastern Caribbean, and you'll find that most of them motor, or motorsail, about half the time.)

No doubt sailing has some romance associated with it. But also extra complexity and expense with the rigging and sails (the wind is free, but catching it isn't). And unless you get a BIG monohull or a sailing catamaran, you're going to be cramped for space all the time. There's a reason that happy hours are almost always on our boat, not our friends' monohull sailboats.

We have no desire to go farther than the Caribbean, so we don't need sails. If you want to get to the South Pacific, you'll need sails or extra fuel bladders.
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Old 05-15-2020, 02:05 PM   #23
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https://72land-n-sea.blogspot.com/20...awler.html?m=1

The folks here are familiar with this blog entry, but it does show some of the possible inland cruises if you're not locked into saltwatwer.
https://72land-n-sea.blogspot.com/2019/12/rubber-band-trawler
If you really get bored, here's a series of inland/coastal cruises in my 15'11" cuddy cabin boat. There's a similar entry of cruises in my 18 footer but I won't bore you with those.
https://72land-n-sea.blogspot.com/20...tures.html?m=1
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Old 05-15-2020, 03:57 PM   #24
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Saw this Youtube video, "Sailing is fixing things in exotic location". Saw another were they sailed 19 days to reach Easter Island. I spent $400 for first class on a new 787 and spent less than 5 hours on the trip. If you can afford a catamaran maybe, but mono hulls seem like living out of the back seat of an economy car. Another interesting thing, if you buy a boat for Moorings, they pay you for 5 years, and you get like 14 weeks to use around the world.
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Old 05-15-2020, 06:03 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by GlennR View Post
I grew up on a lake, so have been around small boats all my life. Whenever we'd visit the coast I always enjoyed checking out the marinas with all the big saltwater boats. They always seemed too fancy & expensive to own unless you lived nearby, or actually lived full-time on the water.

Now that I'm retired and sitting around bored during the COVID-19 closedown I've been killing a lot of time surfing the web, which eventually led to looking at boats that are large enough to live & travel on. Browsing the yachtworld.com classifieds it's obvious that powerboats are much more popular than sailboats. I assume that's mainly because they fit under bridges, go where you point them, and don't depend on the wind.

I'm sort of drawn to the romantic freedom of a sailboat. Crossing big water, visiting exotic lands, being one with nature, etc. I realize that the wind doesn't always blow, but a powerboat is limited by the range of its fuel tanks. I do imagine that zigzagging upwind is probably a drag in a sailboat, especially when you're running late, or out of alcohol or TP.

I live near Charlotte, NC and there aren't any navigable rivers nearby, so I don't know much about cruising inland by boat. It must be popular, but it doesn't seem very exciting compared to visiting tropical or foreign places. I'm sure it's a lot less stressful than worrying about hurricanes and pirates, and also very comforting to always have assistance nearby.

Can someone share a link of a map that shows all the navigable inland waterways in the US, or around the world if available?

Also, I'm curious about the fuel costs, and the typical range of trawlers. I assume you can't cross the Atlantic on most of them, but maybe I'm wrong about that? I guess you could cross both the Atlantic or the Pacific if you take Northern routes, but that doesn't seem practical.

I realize I've posted a number of rambling general questions. So, feel free to answer whichever you like and ramble as much as you want. Also, feel free to straighten out any and all of my ignorant misconceptions.



You are asking two different questions. There are plenty of Blue water capable trawlers out there. Very expensive. As far as inshore cruising grounds, there is the ICW from Brownsville, Texas all along the Gulf Coast to Key West and up the East Coast to Virginia in mostly protected waters. Then thereís the Great Loop if you are so inclined. Be honest with yourself about what you really want to do and how you will actually use your boat. The boat you would be comfortable with on the ICW is a totally different boat than you would need to cross the Atlantic or Pacific and they are in two totally different price ranges. Good luck with your hunt.
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Old 05-15-2020, 06:41 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by GlennR View Post
I grew up on a lake, so have been around small boats all my life. Whenever we'd visit the coast I always enjoyed checking out the marinas with all the big saltwater boats. They always seemed too fancy & expensive to own unless you lived nearby, or actually lived full-time on the water.

Now that I'm retired and sitting around bored during the COVID-19 closedown I've been killing a lot of time surfing the web, which eventually led to looking at boats that are large enough to live & travel on. Browsing the yachtworld.com classifieds it's obvious that powerboats are much more popular than sailboats. I assume that's mainly because they fit under bridges, go where you point them, and don't depend on the wind.

I'm sort of drawn to the romantic freedom of a sailboat. Crossing big water, visiting exotic lands, being one with nature, etc. I realize that the wind doesn't always blow, but a powerboat is limited by the range of its fuel tanks. I do imagine that zigzagging upwind is probably a drag in a sailboat, especially when you're running late, or out of alcohol or TP.

I live near Charlotte, NC and there aren't any navigable rivers nearby, so I don't know much about cruising inland by boat. It must be popular, but it doesn't seem very exciting compared to visiting tropical or foreign places. I'm sure it's a lot less stressful than worrying about hurricanes and pirates, and also very comforting to always have assistance nearby.

Can someone share a link of a map that shows all the navigable inland waterways in the US, or around the world if available?

Also, I'm curious about the fuel costs, and the typical range of trawlers. I assume you can't cross the Atlantic on most of them, but maybe I'm wrong about that? I guess you could cross both the Atlantic or the Pacific if you take Northern routes, but that doesn't seem practical.

I realize I've posted a number of rambling general questions. So, feel free to answer whichever you like and ramble as much as you want. Also, feel free to straighten out any and all of my ignorant misconceptions.


Wifey B: You are all over the place.

We lived in Lake Norman and I remember when I first arrived there what a wonderful world it was. Getting out on the water and going from one end to the other was a thrill. However, thinking ahead to retirement, we knew it was just too limited. It was our dream to retire somewhere we could cruise more distances from.

We went with an acquaintance once to the TN River and fell in love with it. Just the thought of going for miles and miles and miles and miles and miles. First thought was just hundreds of miles on the TN river and the Tenn Tom and the Cumberland, but I'm greedy and thought if I can do that I can go anywhere.

You asked about rivers and just easy cruises are the TN River, the Cumberland, the Ohio, the Mississippi, the Tombigbee, the Tenn Tom, the Black Warrior, the Arkansas, the Missouri, the Illinois and that's just a start but many more.

But then we hit South Florida and it was love at first sight and here we are, gateway to the world. Limited only by bank account I guess. I love it, but I would have been happy on the TN River, living perhaps in Chattanooga or Knoxville.

Now, sailboats. They're work. Read that word very carefully. W O R K.
You're retiring. That's anti-work. You're also aging. Why do people go from sail to power? Because of age and health. They're real and as they turn into negative factors, power wins.

Sounds like you've only observed boats but never done any boating. You've fallen in love with the romance, but without knowing what it's really like. It's wonderful but then I don't have to do the work. Many here are DIY'ers and they can tell you.

We can't tell you what boating is right for you. I'd suggest you start checking it out. Maybe rent a boat on Lake Norman during the week when not crowded and see what you think. Take some courses first though in rules and handling. From there maybe charter a trawler for a week. Maybe rent a boat on the TN River. Take your time and explore.

You mentioned the cost of fuel. Oops.... While it's important to many, there are so many other costs to consider. Fuel is just a small part. You need to learn more about the cost of ownership. We know nothing about your budget or finances to even send you in a direction. As you go from lake to river to ocean, those costs increase exponentially. Like a rocket.

At this point, you can't even know if you and your wife would enjoy boating. If you get into it without educating yourselves some, you won't, because the costs and the problems will overwhelm you and make you angry at yourselves.

Then there's type boat, trawler....cruiser.....motoryacht....speedboat? No one can tell you what is right for you. For me, it's not a trawler. One reason and one only. I don't like s l o w. Otherwise, at heart, in exploration, I'm like a trawler person, just a high speed trawler. You know like 40, 50 knots preferably although I'm ok at 20.

Last, you talk about visiting exotic lands. Well, the only way I want to do it is by water, by boat. But I'm just weird as are most of the people on this forum. I love boating. But you don't even know about boating. And for a non boater it's a lousy way to go. Costs hundreds times more. Takes hundreds times longer. Hop on a plane and fly to St. Marteen and be there in a few hours. From even South Florida, by boat, you're talking days or weeks. Plane for two will be $1000. Boat for two to get you there, first the cost of the boat, say $300,000 and then the cost to get there, say another $10,000. If the only objective is travel, you don't buy a boat. Only get a boat, if you love traveling by boat more than any other form and it's like the best thing in the world you can imagine (other than sex) and you can't live without it.
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Old 05-15-2020, 09:03 PM   #27
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I have pretty much always been a human powered boater. So take my opinion with a grain of salt. It seems to me that the choice of sail or power is kind of obvious depending on where you want to go and what you want to do. It is pretty much impossible to sail the Great American Loop (our preparations were interrupted by this virus) and grinding big diesels does not sound like my idea of a quiet sunset cruise.

What makes your little heart go pitter-patter?
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Old 05-15-2020, 10:59 PM   #28
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I suppose that many of us dream of passage making to Hawaii, the South Pacific, or some other far off places. They are great dreams. Reality is that few are able to fully commit to the financial, time, and emotional stress involved in a passage like that. For the rest of us local cruising, the Caribbean, Mexico, the Inside Passage or a great loop is as good as it gets. You can do all of these in a 40í trawler in much more comfort.

Sailing seems romantic and perhaps it is in some ways. Reality is that most of us are getting older and being a thousand miles from medical care may not be advised. By nature a coastal trawler is not likely to venture very far offshore and hence at least a helicopter evacuation is generally an option.

In my opinion trawlers give us the opportunity to live a part of the dream and not break the budget in the process. With that said, it isnít going to be cheap but neither is passage making in a sailboat.
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Old 05-16-2020, 12:02 AM   #29
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All of you make good points. I don't need to cross oceans. A boat that's capable of exploring the Caribean is all we'd need.

I've been looking at trawlers on Yachtworld.com and really like the design. I don't mind that they aren't very fast, they have autopilot on them so it's not like I'd have to keep a constant watch.

This might be a dumb question, but have any of you seen boats utilize kites to use wind power when it's available? I've seen them used experimentally online & even saw a Scandanavian cargo ship that claimed to save 30% on fuel by using kites when the wind is available. It seems like kites could really extend your cruising range.
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Old 05-16-2020, 12:44 AM   #30
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Imagine the savings on a vessel that measures economy by the number of tons of fuel burned per hour. As an example, a Panamax container may burn around 50,000 gallons of fuel per day at twenty knots. For the sake of discussion let’s assume that vessel is burning low Sulfur bunker fuel at a cost of $2.00/gallon. That’s based on current fuel price of around $610.00 per metric ton in the US Gulf.

So, they are consuming about $100,000 of fuel per day. A thirty percent reduction in fuel burn would save the ocean carrier $30,000 per day. You can afford a lot of dollars for the kite system with those kinds of savings. My 42’ trawler burns about $250.00 of fuel per day. I would only save $75.00 per day. I’m sure the cost of a kite system would be very high so I don’t think the system would be cost effective in our application.
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Old 05-16-2020, 03:29 AM   #31
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As a longtime owner of a single engine boat who likes to go long distances, I am keenly interested in alternative propulsion. I've seen the occasional puff piece on kites. They do not appear practical for my purposes. If I wanted to cross an ocean as have other Willard 36s, I would fit a mast and sails similar to a diesel duck.
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Old 05-16-2020, 05:52 AM   #32
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... they have autopilot on them so it's not like I'd have to keep a constant watch.

Yes, you must keep a constant watch.


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Old 05-16-2020, 07:18 PM   #33
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Yes, you must keep a constant watch.


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I guess I misunderstood what an autopilot is for. When you're out on the open waters can't you just set it for a heading and it will steer the boat?
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Old 05-16-2020, 07:23 PM   #34
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I guess I misunderstood what an autopilot is for. When you're out on the open waters can't you just set it for a heading and it will steer the boat?
Yes. But you still have to keep watch, even though you're not steering. Autopilot just reduces your workload so you can do a longer shift at the helm without getting tired and so you're more free to manage navigating, operating radar if necessary, etc.
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Old 05-16-2020, 07:57 PM   #35
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I guess I misunderstood what an autopilot is for. When you're out on the open waters can't you just set it for a heading and it will steer the boat?
Yes, definitely misunderstood. AP has two general modes. Steer a course - say 90-degrees (due east). Problem with that although the boat is steering 90-degrees , wind and waves may push the boat off course forcing it to crab to 80 or 100 degrees true course.

The second mode is steer to waypoint, often as part of a longer route. In this mode the AP will compensate for current or wind and always aim towards the waypoint.

Steer to waypoint is obviously more reliable. So why not set and forget? Cross traffic is possible (not all vessels have VHF), you should have someone man the VHF as good practice, not unheard of for a chart plotter to freeze and just let the AP keep chugging along, effective in heading mode, on long legs the leg itself hasn't been zoomed in for obstructions, watch should look, listen, and smell for any unusual activities on the boat, and a few other reasons.

Bottom line. AP is an incredible useful tool. More or less fills the shoes of a crew on board. A couple can crew a boat with an AP. Without it, hand steering means three would be minimum. But it doesn't alleviate need for a watch

Peter
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