Coastal boater turning LRC

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Jan 4, 2015
I am new to this site and it looks like there is a treasure trove of information that I will be needing in the future! I know everyone starts off with questions like what kind of boat and so on but for the most part my husband and I are being brought back to the Californian LRC length anywhere from 34-42 ft. I know they have a great history and no matter how many boats we have come to learn about, we always end up at the Californians again. So, that being said, any positives or negatives are appreciated. Most interested in what folks think about gas consumption vs. engine size(whats the REAL gas mileage!) and basic structural makeup for these boats as far as doing the Loop and going to the Bahamas. Make no mistake, we are new to these types of boats but we have spent a long time making this decision and learning as much as we can with books, forums and personal visits to marinas and been invited on a few different boats(catamarans, trawlers, power cruisers, monohull sailboats). After deciding on the trawler we thought the next best thing would be to start getting advice from a forum just like this. Thanks!
Also a couple of very nice Defever 44s--one of which is a one-owner--which would be much more suitable for the kind of cruising you're planning.

Defever Boats For Sale
Diesel for sure. I do like the Defevers also. Its has the same feel as the Californian to me. Would love to know more about them if you have a link
Welcome great advice can be had with good questions and feedback.
Welcome great advice can be had with good questions and feedback.
You are quite right! Any good suggestions on your favorite boat manufacturers? We would go with twin diesels and I think I would be drawing the line at 45 ft.
My impression is that these LRCs (Long-Range Cruiser models) are gunkhole/coastal cruisers like my own.
This may be completely stupid of me but is gunkhole a good or bad thing? I'm afraid of the answer!
Be not afraid, try googling it, in the privacy of your home. No really, it`s ok.
Gunk holing is what a lot of us trawler guys use to describe exploring/anchoring in shallow areas. And don't worry about "completely stupid". Most of us started out that way and many of us have returned to that state. Californian's are fine LRC's, but not the only boat built under that nomenclature. There's some Californian owners right here on the site that can probably give you some detail. Good luck with you search. Have fun.
As a proud owner of 48' Californian (1988 CPMY) they are fine boats. We are now into ours at about 8 months. I cannot give you specifics into GPH yet even though we have a little over 100 hour on her. By spring we will know more as time will allow us crusing hours with and without the generator.

As an owner of many boats over the years I can not really fault anything on the boat. Easy to work on, relatively easy to get around engine room makes maintenance not too bad. If you buy a Californian of any type I think you will enjoy it for many years to come.

By the way welcome to the forum. Your right lots of knowledge base here!
Gunkholing is a good thing....if you know how to anchor! :hide:

I can't help you with the 135 vs 185 fuel burn but can tell you what little I know about the Californian line. Much is documented in the Californian Section of Trawler Forum, so a read through those threads and posted magazine articles might be helpful.

I have owned my 34 Californian LRC for 7 years. We have twin Perkins 4.236 naturals at 85 HP each. We consistently burn 3 gph total at 7.5 kts for a 2.5 NMPG efficiency. With 250 gallons of fuel, we can go 75 hrs/550 miles with a 10% reserve before refueling. Not exactly big world "long range cruising", but that's a lot for the CA Delta and SF Bay, so I guess it's all relative.

We have traveled throughout the CA Delta and much of the SF Bay estuary in our time with this boat and are very pleased with its handling and efficiency, except for following seas which get a little squirrelly and hand-steering is needed to counter the roll/heading changes. In head seas the ride is solid and dry. I credit the Carolina flare of the bow for the dryness.

The previous owner would take annual trips from SF to Monterey, CA in her and said she was very stable. Personally, I have not taken her out in the big water yet, except for a short foray beyond the Golden Gate. I would think it's important to pick your weather carefully.

The vessel is very stout and predictable with a couple of Achilles heals. One is the fuel tanks are located outboard of the shaft logs. Without dripless logs, the sea water gets flung onto the steel tanks and causes corrosion. My tanks were replaced and dripless logs installed by the PO so the problem was solved for me. The other issue is that the aft corners of the pilothouse (at least on my 34) seem to be inadequately supported and some sag occurs causing a minor water pooling on the deck. It's an easy fix to support from below, but I have not done it yet.

I'll second Capt Jon's words about easy access to all systems for maintenance, inspection or improvements. It would be very crowded in the ER with the Cat 3208s, but no problem with my 4 cylinder inline Perkins. I can easily get to all tanks, batteries, water heater, shower sump pump, hoses, and engine components. The ER is cavernous for a boat this size and we really appreciate the walkaround decks, both of which come at the expense of interior space, but that's a compromise we're pleased with.

There are a quite a few around with gasoline engines and I'd personally steer clear of those since I prefer diesel for safety and efficiency. I've run across a quite a few Californians in my travels of SF Bay and the CA Delta and all I meet are very pleased with their boats. We feel the same.

Californians are neither the high end for fit and finish nor the low end. The interior of my first model year (1977) 34 LRC doesn't hold a candle to a more modern Grand Banks but it's a level of quality and finish that we find comfortable. I suppose that might be true of any 37 year old boat. The later models like Jon's 1988 have a much better joinery. I have a friend with a 48 CPMY and it's beautiful and huge by comparison!

For the money, Californians offer a real value for the dollar without many of the compromises of mass produced boats. They have a more classic and unique look, but the exterior brightwork of earlier models means more work. Personally, I love the classic lines and the look of teak and willingly put forth with the labor to keep her looking her best. It's just part of the entire boat owner thing! I love it all!
I can attest to Al's enjoyment of his Californian 34, as well as his "tip-toeing" outside the Golden Gate. (He cruises about a knot faster than I, but Al has over twice the horsepower and lots less weight.)


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