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Jan 18, 2017
Vessel Make
Ericson 29
I thought I'd take a moment to introduce myself. My wife and I currently live in Chattanooga, TN but as part of a job change, we are relocating to Charleston, SC. Due to this move, we are at a cross roads in our lives so to speak. We have been considering ditching the land life to move aboard a boat. This is the perfect opportunity to do so. Now the catch, our 29' sailboat isn't large enough so we are looking at purchasing a new (to us) boat in Charleston. We are considering both Sail and Power. I'm pretty comfortable in what I'm looking/for in a sailboat, but I know practically nothing about power boats. I found this forum while starting to educate myself. I'm looking forward to learning from you all.

Welcome to the Trawler Forum and good luck with the move!

Welcome aboard!

As a former owner of 6 cruising sailboats and two cruising power boats plus our current power boat, I think I can give you a fair perspective on the differences between the two:

While under sail in nice conditions, you can't beat the feeling it gives you!!!
Unfortunately the above only happens a small fraction of your cruising time
Although you can't go very fast under power, it is almost always more comfortable due to the mast's inertia and keel that resists roll, not to mention the sails that you can often raise while powering.
You always have sails to get you home even if your engine fails

More comfortable helm position and more visibility
You can go fast on some boats
Main salon is enclosed and has great visibility outside
You can easily enclose cockpit with canvas/stratiglas and have another room
Although propulsion diesels are reliable, there seem to be more problems with them on trawlers than on sailboats. Why, I don't know.
For the same length, trawlers have more room inside than sailboats

There are probably lots of others, but these are my highlights.

Thank you!

Thank you for the welcome!

David, that is exactly the kind of compare and contrast I'm hoping to find. The tid bit about the engines is very much the kind of thing I'm looking for. Sailboats and Powerboats are both hulls in the water with different means to make them go forward, but it is the difference I need to learn about.

An good example: Pros and Cons to "galley up" and "galley down" not much of an up and down on the sailboats I've been on or owned.

Another one is what are major systems differences? Is a bilge pump system the same for both, or are there "gotchas" to worry about?

Clip 68,
"galley down" means you have to go up/down a few stairs between galley and saloon/eating area. Also, the cook is more isolated from family/guests while cooking. I never liked that concept, but that's just my personal opinion.

I am a former sailboater (36' Islander Freeport) who has now gone to the trawler side (32' Grand Banks). I did it because of age and some health issues which make pulling strings, cranking winches and getting splashed with cold salt water MUCH less appealing than it used to be. As my wife put it, "Stinkpots don't seem to smell as bad as they used to."

I wonder if powerboats really have more engine issues than sailboats..Of course, the engine gets used a lot more but, if anything, that's a good thing compared with many sailboats that have engine issues from LACK of use! As always, proper maintenance is the

I like a trawler because, though slow (it powers only a little faster than my last sailboat but tacking is rarely involved), it is very fuel efficient compared to those go-fast powerboats. It looks salty and "shippy" and I like the traditional look. Big windows all around eliminate the "cave" feeling of many sailboats. Best of all, I can drive it from inside or from the flying bridge when the wave and wind conditions are good. at 32' long with a near-12' beam, it is wider than most sailboats of the same length, giving it much more interior space for living and storage.

Best of luck!
"Everything on your boat is broken; you just don't know it yet."

Systems on power boats are exactly the same as sail, with one exception. Some power boats have the room for a full size vertical refrigerator/freezer but I have never seen one on a sailboat. Sailboats have fiberglass top opening ice boxes that usually have had a cooling system added. Both sail and power use DC cooling, although the power boat ones usually also work on AC.

One reason that power boats have more problems with their engines is that some have high hp, turbocharged and after cooled engines and these are more complex so they have more problems. If you were to compare a Perkins 4-154 on a sailboat and a displacement hull power boat, I suspect they would do the same.

Once again, I have to thank you all for sharing your knowledge so freely!

Oldersalt, I think both my wife and I would agree with you regarding the galley down scenario. We share the galley duties and being away from guests or each other would get tiresome. Not to mention the possible "Ooops" when transferring food from galley to dinette after one too many sundowners.

David, I'm assuming those upright fridge/freezers have some kind of latching mechanism to keep the fridge contents in place when the seas get rowdy. We are hoping to find a boat without too fancy of a powerplant. I tend to like my mechanicals to follow the KISS principle.
Mr. 68. Fridge latches?

Screwed onto the door edge after consultation with the manufacturer. We have a Home Depot domestic unit. 110v only (inverter).
Mr. 68. Fridge latches?

Screwed onto the door edge after consultation with the manufacturer. We have a Home Depot domestic unit. 110v only (inverter).

I figured there was something like that, or you guys figured a magical way to keep the boat from pitching a rolling. Ya' never know. :whistling:

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