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Old 11-06-2020, 08:53 PM   #1
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Double the expense?

Hello, when it comes to maintenance expenses, I'm curious if those of you who own motorsailers find the maintenance expenses are significantly higher than those of a trawler? Our retirement dream is to have a winter liveaboard and cruise the east coast, Bahamas, Caribbean, and wherever else we choose. Although I am a sailor, and love nothing more than turning of the motor and sailing, I can see the value in having a trawler for liveaboard space, overall comfort, and ease of getting where we want to go.

I'm attracted to Island Packet SP Cruiser's because they seem to make a great pilothouse trawler with a comfortable layout and also the ability to sail when conditions are right. A mainsail to help stabilize the boat and also help with fuel efficiency could be nice as well.

But, as anyone who's owned a sailboat knows, sailing isn't exactly free. Maintaining all the rigging and sails is extremely expensive. Any fuel savings are lost just with the cost of replacing some jib sheets. The cost of a new block or two equals an engine tune-up. You could probably perform a major engine overhaul for the price of new sails.

Have you found the additional costs of maintaining the sails and rigging really negates the benefits of having a motorsailer vs strictly a trawler?
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Old 12-17-2020, 06:51 AM   #2
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As someone just exploring the idea of getting into cruising, I'm wondering about the same sorts of thing.
Lack of responses here speaks volumes in a way....
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Old 12-17-2020, 07:37 AM   #3
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I guess you should also consider the number of bridges you have to clear before making your great escape out to sea.

Bridges can hold you up and in very heavy weather, the are locked down and you might get stuck away from your home dock.
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Old 12-17-2020, 11:13 AM   #4
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Sails dont really stabilize a boat unless the wind is from the right direction. You know from your sailing experience how infrequently that happens. When powering most of the time the sail will be luffing

IMO motor sailors done do either well. And I dont see you really lowering your expenses

Buy the right powerboat for your lifestyle.

My first year after buying a powerboat I was nervous when off shore because if the engines failed I had no sails. It never happened and with fully independent twins one failure didn't matter.
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Old 12-17-2020, 12:25 PM   #5
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Probably so few responses because there are so few motorsailers out there.
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Old 12-17-2020, 12:41 PM   #6
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Bruckmann 50. A little more sailer than motor compared to many motorsailers, but very good performance while motoring. Build quality very hard to find in any trawler.

Yeah it costs more to maintain. I own a trawler and a sailboat, just getting quotes on a new mainsail, last one cost $23K. That pays for a lot of diesel.
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Old 12-17-2020, 12:56 PM   #7
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Hi TheDory,

Yes, few responses from motorsailer owners, as I share the sentiment that there simply aren't many motorsailers, and thus few owners to comment.

In response to your original posted question, I doubt cost of maintenance is much of a detriment to motorsailer ownership. Rather, (in my opinion, of course), the major detriment is simply that motorsailers do nothing well. They epitomize the reality that "all boats are a compromise". Motorsailers simply drive those compromises to the limit of usefulness, where they do nothing very well for anyone.

Hence, the VERY limited market.

Regards,

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Old 12-17-2020, 02:03 PM   #8
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Yeah it costs more to maintain. I own a trawler and a sailboat, just getting quotes on a new mainsail, last one cost $23K. That pays for a lot of diesel.
Yep, last sailing vessel I was involved in, cost of rig and sails would have motored us around the planet a couple of times.

Continually amazed how these days its pretty rare to see a sailing vessel actually sailing
Recently back from a 6 mth cruise and we'd see the same sailboats/motorsailors , mostly frenchy cats and mono's doing the same passages as us, mostly after a blow so sloppy conditions and motoring but not doing it comfortably or well.

A hell of a lot of money spent on a vessel that is the worst of both worlds.
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Old 12-17-2020, 02:58 PM   #9
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"A hell of a lot of money spent on a vessel that is the worst of both worlds."

Maybe. On the other hand, my Fales 32 is a motorsailer that is a confortable, seawothy, full displacement trawler. that cruises at hull speed while sipping fuel.

I find that the sails will work good enough off the wind and really stabilize the boat.

But, the main reason is I keep her in a private sailing club that does not allow strictly power boats in a slip. My cost for a slip and membership is half the local going rate. Plus good friends made over the years. Having a motorsailer allows access.

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Old 12-17-2020, 03:04 PM   #10
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"A hell of a lot of money spent on a vessel that is the worst of both worlds."

Maybe. On the other hand, my Fales 32 is a motorsailer that is a confortable, seawothy, full displacement trawler. that cruises at hull speed while sipping fuel.
No offence intended

I was more thinking Lagoon type cats
Dont motor that well in the slop and dont sail well at all in under 20 knot air
Have half the interior space of ours yet cost 5 x plus the money to buy.
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Old 12-17-2020, 03:18 PM   #11
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Old 12-17-2020, 03:40 PM   #12
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If buying a boat with rig and sails already on, that is one thing
Doing it after the fact is another

I know of a guy in Oz who made his vessel into a "motorsailor" with a pretty basic rig but I did get him to admit that he will never recoup his expenditure in fuel savings in his lifetime even though he is full time cruising.
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Old 12-17-2020, 04:14 PM   #13
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I was more thinking Lagoon type cats
Lagoon cats (and most Condo type cats) don't sail well at all. But I am also surprised by the number of good sailboats I see motoring, in ideal sailing conditions. Many of them with pushbutton sails so that the effort required is small. The owners would be better served by a trawler. It depends a great deal on the area, I've noticed that in areas with undependable wind, owners get used to motoring a lot and that is what they do. In tradewind areas, or SF Bay where my sailboat is now, the wind is a constant and you see a much higher percentage of sailboats actually sail (but the Lagoons of the world still motor a fair bit).
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Old 12-17-2020, 04:45 PM   #14
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Greetings,
Mr. DDW. "...I see motoring, in ideal sailing conditions." But, but...the wind is free.
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Old 12-17-2020, 04:50 PM   #15
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I always thought some motorsailers would make dandy trawlers if you took the masts off. Or maybe shorten 1 for a boom to launch the dingy. Slippery hull, small engine. Run at hull speed.
Thinking of the Fisher's or Nauticat maybe. Always thought they looked 'salty'.
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Old 12-17-2020, 05:04 PM   #16
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With some...such as the Nordhavn model...I don't understand the thought it does nothing well. From my novice perspective looking from the outside.... it looks like it's 100% trawler if you chop of the mast.

I can believe it doesn't sail especially well...but if you're not i a hurry why does that even matter?...
why isn't it a good trawler?... the only downsides I can think of from that perspective are
the air draft
and all the lines and winches cluttering up the place...
What am I missing?
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Old 12-17-2020, 05:32 PM   #17
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I always thought some motorsailers would make dandy trawlers if you took the masts off. Or maybe shorten 1 for a boom to launch the dingy. Slippery hull, small engine. Run at hull speed.
Thinking of the Fisher's or Nauticat maybe. Always thought they looked 'salty'.
Ever been on a ballasted sailing vessel in a seaway that lost its rig?
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Old 12-17-2020, 05:33 PM   #18
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With some...such as the Nordhavn model...I don't understand the thought it does nothing well. From my novice perspective looking from the outside.... it looks like it's 100% trawler if you chop of the mast.

I can believe it doesn't sail especially well...but if you're not i a hurry why does that even matter?...
why isn't it a good trawler?... the only downsides I can think of from that perspective are
the air draft
and all the lines and winches cluttering up the place...
What am I missing?
Interior space and extra comfort
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Old 12-17-2020, 08:25 PM   #19
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I bought my motorsailer for roughly the same cost as the cruiser version of the same boat. The regular version was one of the most popular Australian built boats in the 1980's. With a very round bilge section and a relatively shallow full length keel, the cruiser version suffered from extreme rolling motion with a swell on the beam.

The motorsailer version solved this problem. Raising the sails stops all rolling with 10 knots of wind or more. With only 30 m3 (300 square feet) of sail, its not a great sailer compared to a "real" sailboat but I'm not really interested in racing around the cans.

For me, it's the perfect fit. I motor-sail the all the time if there is any wind, as it gives me great stabilisation and extra speed and/or reduced revs. I can still get about 5 knots under sail alone with 20 knots of wind when I get tired of listening to the engine.
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Old 12-17-2020, 11:08 PM   #20
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Ever been on a ballasted sailing vessel in a seaway that lost its rig?
Nope ! Never sailed at all.

Can it be true "Looks can be deceiving "
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