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Old 05-17-2023, 09:01 AM   #41
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City: Aventura FL
Vessel Name: Kinja
Vessel Model: American Tug 34 #116 2008
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 10,294
Questions to consider before you buy a big trawler.
Are you comparable on land?
Your skill level?
How many people onboard. (# of staterooms and heads.)
If you are having another couple join you, their skill level, are the going for the complete loop? You dont want to end up with a short crew.
Who’s going to cook?
Sharing fuel, maintenance, food bill?
The meek will inherit the earth but, the brave will inherit the seas.
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Old 05-22-2023, 08:53 PM   #42
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City: Tampa
Join Date: May 2020
Posts: 40
One or two

I chose two engines for the loop. There are pros and cons to each configuration, however economics isn't a big one. The engine/engines are pushing the same load, plowing the same amount of water, the same distance. It is the same work. If you move a cord of wood from one side of your yard to another. It doesn't matter if one, two, three people move the load. It doesn't change the amount of work. It just moves the load faster. The same is true of boats. Oil changes are one area where costs increase. I changed my own oil so the difference was oil and filter.

The hull for a single engine boat, trawler or not, tend to be configured as full displacement hulls with substantial keels. Full displacement hulls are most efficient at displacement speeds; add one extra knot beyond displacement and your fuel expense rises dramatically.

Propeller protection, which to me, is the biggest advantage of single engine trawlers. The loop has some very shallow areas, even in the marked channels. A single engine boat has no prop worries, whereas the dual engine needs to pay very close attention.

I did a loop and a half plus the Bahamas. Speed is the biggest advantage of dual engined boats. I think all two engine boats are semi-displacement and I can go incrementally faster without a large bump in fuel costs. At displacement speed I get 3.4 gallons per mile. For awhile, I have traveled with Mainships, Grand Banks, and a variety of full displacement boats.

The reason for I only traveled for awhile was the weather. I could adjust my speed to minimize the effects of weather and the trawlers couldn't. I sat for a week in Buffalo because of a storm. My, at the time, traveling buddies, on a Grand Banks spent 2 weeks because the waves were very annoying in their duration. I sped up to take them at a difference cadence. I had this same experience with others in Lake Huron, Lake Michigan, Gulf of Mexico and returning from the Bahamas.

There is no free lunch. When I go fast the fuel consumption drops to as little as a half a mile per gallon, but I didn't pay for an extra week at a marina in Buffalo.

As to size, we have a 40ft boat with a dinghy that hangs over about 4 feet. It is as large, as we want at the marinas we chose. Turning in the runway was tight at 44 ft. We recently talked to a couple who have a 54ft boat who love the size because they are put on the face docks.

If you expect any guests, you might look at two heads. It is hard for 4 people to operate out of one head. We had extra guests for about 6 weeks. Not a large amount but the second head was necessary for an enjoyable time.

Enjoy, there are no wrong answers. It is a great adventure and I hope you go for it.

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Old 05-23-2023, 06:25 AM   #43
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City: Stratford, CT
Vessel Name: Blue Moon
Vessel Model: Mainship Pilot 355
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 3,926

This has been debated here many times. I can't disagree with any of your points but there are a few comments I'd add to your generalizations about single vs. twin.

Twins are not always faster. 1 larger engine vs 2 smaller ones can get you similar HP and same or faster speeds. 2 engines and gear may weigh more than 1 and have a little more loss in spinning 2 transmissions and props, but not significantly. In general I'd expect 1 engine to be slightly more efficient.

Maintenance is more than just oil changes. Some parts might cost more for a bigger engine than a smaller one, but over time you'll spend more in total maintenance because you are replacing 2x the parts.

I think either choice can be a good one as they both have pros and cons. More important is that you are out and cruising so enjoy!
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Old 05-23-2023, 07:19 AM   #44
City: Ludington
Join Date: May 2023
Posts: 13
Great input I am going to look at a twin tiawanees boat today. Twin Volvos.
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Old 05-23-2023, 07:25 AM   #45
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City: Stratford, CT
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Originally Posted by Davidj View Post
Great input I am going to look at a twin tiawanees boat today. Twin Volvos.
Volvos have a bad rep on TF. Allegedly hard to get parts and service. I have no personal knowledge, only what others have said here.
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Old 05-23-2023, 07:40 AM   #46
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City: Southern Maine
Vessel Model: Prairie 36 Coastal Cruiser
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 2,559
I've run and worked on Volvos, but admittedly not owned them. They seem like great motors, well engineered and easy to service. The down side is the parts are stupid expensive. I haven't found parts or service to be any less available than other brands.
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Old 05-23-2023, 08:37 AM   #47
City: Carefree, Arizona
Vessel Name: sunchaser V
Vessel Model: DeFever 48
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 9,798
A popular choice would be the Mainship line such as the 34/390. Many were built and with singles too thus a large population from which to choose. TF has many MS owners thus a good source of first hand problems to watch out for.

The best if you can afford it IMHO - an American Tug 34 and with very easy resale.
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Old 05-23-2023, 05:21 PM   #48
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City: Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Vessel Name: Xanadu
Vessel Model: Mainship 37 Motor Yacht
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As I recall the mechanical and fuel mathematics between twins and singles aren't the same for the same amount of work. I believe Bumpkin's post is theoretically correct in some Newtonian universe, but once you factor in some fraction of mechanical loss for less than perfect efficiency of two engines instead of one, comparative drag of two props as opposed to one, prop shaft friction on two stuffing boxes instead of one, the resistance or drag or engine load of two alternators instead of one, et cetera, et cetera, a single will actually burn less fuel overall than twins, to move the same boat the same distance. But as so many say on here, even with much higher fuel prices lately, the fractional difference in fuel burn between twins and a single is not your highest consideration when gearing up for the Great Loop. I'm a twins guy for maneuverability and redundancy, but yeah, that topic has been beaten to death. Ultimately a preference thing in my mind. And my boat has so much darn windage, I want twins, but then our boat is the giant white tennis shoe style. YMMV.
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Old 05-23-2023, 06:52 PM   #49
City: Ludington
Join Date: May 2023
Posts: 13
These points are valid. I think of myself trying to spin a diesel engine and drive. You can’t do it. It does take fuel. Engines create heat which is energy wasted. I
Think one engine is the most efficient
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Old 06-05-2023, 11:47 AM   #50
City: Noank
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 16
Hi David, I will be selling my 2004 400 Mainship this summer. Finishing a leg from Georgian Bay to North Channel. We have checked off some of the Great Loop destinations and will be ending our travels around the Cheboygan, MI area. If you google 2004 Mainship 400 Trawler on Facebook Marketplace it should show up. It will will reference the location in NH, while its currently in winter storage in Georgian Bay. Feel free to touch base if you have any questions.
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Old Yesterday, 07:55 AM   #51
City: Ludington
Join Date: May 2023
Posts: 13
How many hours are on it. Is it a single. How much are you looking for it. When will you make it to cheyboygan?
You can call me at at 231-690-5611
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