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Old 07-09-2010, 12:39   #16
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Another boat to look at which suits your needs as stated is the Thundercraft. Our friends are very happy with theirs. Private aft cabin, 29 feet, twin Mercruisers. Goes like stink, too. It's Canadian built but don't hold that against it. Here's a link to a listing.

1989 Thundercraft 290 Magnum Power Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

Good luck and happy hunting!
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Old 07-09-2010, 14:05   #17
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While there are no absolutes in life or boating, as a general rule someone won't allow the gelcoat, upholstry, canvas, rugs, and general cleanliness of a boat slip, but stay right on top of engine maintenance.

I nother words, if they were lazy with the sponges, brushes, cleaners and wax (The EASY stuff), then they were probably lazy with the oil changes, filters, topping off fluids, etc. (the dirtier, more uncomfortable and more technical jobs) as well. It is rare to find a beat down boat with an ultra clean, well maintained engine. Unless the boat was very recently repowered. People rarely put big bucks into an engine to sell the boat at a loss.

Just my .02
I completely agree with you Shrew that is why I didn't pursue two boats we looked at this weekend. If they don't care enough to clean them to sell them what else did they get lazy with.


1988 Sundancer Here is a link to the boat we hope to look at this weekend. I need to get my wife on some other styles like the Thundercraft posted earlier. She is smitten with the SeaRay at this time.
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Old 07-09-2010, 14:59   #18
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I use fishing boats and general work boats as my model for what is important on a boat for safety and efficiency. When I want advise about my boat, the electronics, the engine, or whatever, I go talk to a tug boat owner or a fisherman running a boat similar to mine.
I do not buff my hull, lay strips of teak on my decks, fly pretty little flags, or serve cocktails. I do use old tires as fenders and anything else that is cheap and makes sense.
I realize the puts me out of sync with 99% of recreational boaters, but that's OK with me. And yes, I do maintain my engine.
I've built and fixed homes and worked with tools all my life and a boat is a home and a tool. If you want it to be something else, rock out.
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Old 09-10-2010, 14:03   #19
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Fuel Mileage?

I am interested in the same thing as the original post. But I am very curious what kind of fuel mileage a motor yacht can get? Something in the 25'-35' range.

(If you got 3mi/gal and gas/diesel was $3/gal than it would take about $1/mi to go anywhere. That might get a little expensive to travel)

Thanks for the help.
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Old 09-10-2010, 14:36   #20
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If you got 3mi/gal and gas/diesel was $3/gal than it would take about $1/mi to go anywhere. That might get a little expensive to travel
You would be the envy of most power boat owners. In the bigger picture of total costs you spend more money going no place covering all the other expenses and they are far greater than the fuel cost. Most people say 10 to 20% of the total is fuel. $1 / mile would be far less than any boat you are looking at. At the end of the boating season you'll easily see you spent less money on fuel than you did on the other costs. Slip fees, insurance, and maintenance costs will easily be 6 times the fuel cost. If you get into express class boats you'll be more far more than $1.

You need to consider that you anchor your boat far more than you move it. If you have a big fuel bill at the end of the season it means you did a lot of boating. Looking at it that way you can see why many power boaters say fuel is not the big issue in boating. If you want to save money on fuel you need to buy a lawn mower.
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Old 09-10-2010, 14:47   #21
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fuel cost

I live in corpus christi TX, am planning a trip to the Caribbean. The plan is to buy a boat here than fix it up / get comfortable with it before I sail it along the gulf coast to Florida and then south to the Caribbean islands. But maybe it would be better to just buy a boat in Florida and go from there. I am also considering a sailboat but don't have much sailing experience.
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Old 10-10-2010, 18:37   #22
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I was thinking of buying a small cruiser for my retirement and sailing round the the UK and the Med for a couple of years.

I'd be interested to know roughly what the typical running costs are likely to be.

I'd also welcome advice on books I should read and any training I should undertake.
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Old 10-10-2010, 19:07   #23
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(If you got 3mi/gal and gas/diesel was $3/gal than it would take about $1/mi to go anywhere. That might get a little expensive to travel)
Deduct capital cost of mast, sails and deck hardware + repair and replacement of same and that buys a lot of diesel
(based on costs for my 50ft cat and proposed 1L/nm usage @ 8-10knots)
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Old 10-10-2010, 19:52   #24
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I'd be interested to know roughly what the typical running costs are likely to be.
Typically we would need to know which boat first and then we would need to know how much running you would be doing. It's not like any of these points could be typical.

Costs might run $500 US. Not sure if that would be per week, per day, or per hour. It depends how typical the boat is and how fast you run. There still are costs for just being some place and not running around at all. It might be best to firm up the plans and budget to back into a realistic set of costs.
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Old 12-10-2010, 06:29   #25
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Typically we would need to know which boat first and then we would need to know how much running you would be doing. It's not like any of these points could be typical.
I was thinking about cruising around the UK and European coast and around the Mediterranean so I suppose I'd be looking at something like an 8 or 9m Bayliner or Sea Ray.

I'd be looking to use it pretty much all the time hopping from place to place, say an average of 100 to 150 miles a week at a leisurely pace.
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Old 12-10-2010, 07:00   #26
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I suppose I'd be looking at something like an 8 or 9m Bayliner or Sea Ray.
If you take a Sea Ray 270 as an example it's an 8 to 9 meter boat. Friends just sold theirs for a larger boat. I really don't see that as being a suitable boat for ocean travel. The fact that it might be possible for some of the trip really won't afford you any safety or comfort. You would of course be limited to hopping since the fuel range of the boat isn't very far and the ability to manage anything other than a calm sea would be treacherous. In any serious weather you could not survive. To transit the places you mention you would need a boat with longer range abilities. You can't always hop in the short ranges the boat is limited to. Most would consider a single gasoline engine unacceptable.

Looking at that boat as an example fuel would be a serious issue but so would the duty cycle of most of the mechanical systems.

OTOH, the boat is trailerable. You could transport it by land and operate it where ever you wanted to launch it.
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Old 12-10-2010, 13:25   #27
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Boating is a funny thing: the stuff that seems really important when you are NOT boating, turns out to be the opposite of what you want when you ARE boating.

For example, private cabins. Seems like a great idea, but its soooo much nicer to sleep under the stars. Especially if there is even the slightest possibility of sea sickness.

For example, home-like finishes, especially carpet. Its soooo much nicer to be able to just hose the thing out, and let it dry.

For example, home-like electronics like TVs, stereos, and microwaves. Many people get sea sick watching TV on a boat, and besides, you are boating to enjoy where you are. Ya just don't long for the canned entertainment. Music tends to be similar: great for a bit, but quickly one starts to want to hear the waves on shore, the birds, the wind, ... And ya really never want to cook below. You need to be in the cockpit, and a BBQ is better.

And as many people have said, the real costs in boating are maintenance. Twin engines are AT LEAST twice as expensive as one. While its easy to see the cost must be twice as much, its so much more because access to the engines (and inside of the outdrives if any) will be much worse, leading to fraud by mechanics (they bill you for stuff they just don't do and you won't be able to tell they skipped the work). Also, the fuel burn is much higher because the extra weight, and the weight being so far aft, both lead to much more fuel burn.

Try this with a dinghy and you'll see what I mean: put an outboard on the back, and cruise around by yourself. Note how moving forward or aft has a big effect on performance. Now add another person sitting in the back of the dinghy. You'll see no matter what you'll do, you will never be anywhere near as efficient as you were alone. Weight, and especially weight aft, is MUCH worse for fuel burn until you are going VERY fast (like 40+ knots).

The less stuff in the boat, and especially the less stuff that seems like home in your boat, the more fun and less pain.
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Old 12-10-2010, 16:46   #28
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The fact that it might be possible for some of the trip really won't afford you any safety or comfort. You would of course be limited to hopping since the fuel range of the boat isn't very far and the ability to manage anything other than a calm sea would be treacherous. In any serious weather you could not survive.
When I was younger I was at sea in a force 11 and I have to say I didn't particularly enjoy it. I'm not interested in being at sea in anything other than good weather. The moment a storm started to appeared I'd be straight into a harbour.

I thank you for your contribution.
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Old 12-10-2010, 18:16   #29
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Having recently been in a simlular situation, I can give the benifit of my own experience. A lot of what the other posted makes a lot of sense. I can add two things. 1. If you have a $20,000 budget reconsider. I spent triple that and still had several severe maintenance issues the first year. (I bought 36' aft cabin cruiser; engine blew due to water leaking into the pistons, neither mechanic nor surveyer caught it and it blew 50 yards from the salesmans dock, thats when I learned the true meaning of as is). 2 3 miles per gallon? maybe downstream with a tail wind. .7 or less is more like it. My 36' has a 250gal gas tank, ($750 per tank full), it will burn it in one day. Once a year plan on about a $2000.00 marina bill for haul out and botton job, plus fixin's. Anything above the water except replacing a 1 ton engine block I do myself.
The second is I saw an oportunity to buy a 26' single cabin that was 1 year old and cost $30,000.00. In retrospect that would have been a much better choice. A bigger boat may be more seaworthy, but my family will not step foot on it in more than 1' seas even though 3 footers won't even spill the champaign in the salon. I have heard an estimate that a boat will burn 10-20% of its value in maintenance each year, a better estimate is 200-300 per foot per year. Unless you buy a sailboat or a blue water trawler, (unlikely in that price range). A compact cruiser is a better choice, easier to singlehand for when the kids would rather hang out with friends than the folks at the boat. Trailerable for the occasional hurricane. And much cheaper on the gas and repairs. The kids would rather sleep on deck or the salon even though there is a perfectly servicable berth that I have slept in comfortably myself. Unless you are planning an extended cruise you need a smaller boat than you think. You can always trade up later, and the smaller boats are easier to sell.
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Old 14-10-2010, 11:34   #30
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THinking more about this: a fishing boat is probably a better idea than a Sea Ray. Simple, easy to clean. A friend has a 25 foot center console with bimini, single Optimax outboard, gets 7 mpg cruising around the ocean. Sleeps on deck. Has a tent like thing he rigs over the foredeck if there is dew. He gets a lot of fun out of that boat.

I've got a "sportfish cruiser" and the sportfish aspects are much more useful than the cruiser aspects.

I've got twin Mercruisers, and I'm currently converting it to a single engine boat. Both engines out, engine compartment clean, about to re-build the transom...
The parts of my boat I really like are t
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