My family and I (two little girls under 3 yrs old and my wife) cruise
lower mainland waters as well as the Gulf Islands and northern destinations in our 36 foot motorsailer
My requirements were a reliable powerplant that was cheap
to operate and a large pilothouse with nice windows so we could enjoy the scenery on our rainy days. I also wanted a back up to the engine should something go wrong. The new 54hp yanmar diesel
I installed in the boat will give me years of reliability
and only burns a gallon per hour at cruise
(6 or 7 knots). The sail rig is a great backup should we ever have engine trouble and really helps with stability when crossing the Strait of Georgia
in snotty weather
. If you need something with speed then of course a motorsailer
or a trawler will not suit your needs.
If I hadn't purchased a motorsailer I would have gone with a single
engine trawler. A couple of things to keep in mind with the trawler. They generally have a sickly motion without stabilizers and if they do have stabilizers they will cost you a fortune. I wouldn't discount a trawler with twin diesels either, but running costs will be somewhat more. If you seek the safety
of a second engine I would consider mounting a large kicker
say 15hp on the transom of a single
screw trawler as a get you home engine. Many trawlers already have this arrangement for trolling for salmon. You should also consider heating
as a major consideration. I personally like the Dickinson
drip style stoves for heat as it uses diesel
which I already have on board and it really keeps the boat toasty for the girls in the off season. If you are going to own a boat and incur all of the associated costs you should really be able to enjoy it year round and you will need a good heat source to do so.
There are many gotchas when looking at trawlers or older boats in general, but especially any trawlers you would be looking at in your price range. The issues range from rotten decks or cabins to old beat engines and rusty fuel tanks
. The list literally goes on and on. That being said there can be just as many issues with a new boat. The sea environment
is hard on everything and even boats 5 or 10 yrs old can be riddled with issues.
Bayliners have been mentioned above. Have you researched Bayliners and some of the other mass produced gas powered boats. I personally would not purchase
one and I have been aboard many, but I admit I have never owned one myself and some owners think they are great. If you don't like to spend money
on engines every year I would stay away from twin gas powerplants. This is my personal bias and have never owned one, but have heard my share of horror stories.
If I could sum up my boating philosophy in a phrase it would be "keep it simple". This means from the boat on down to your systems including engines, electrical
etc....complex systems are difficult to troubleshoot and expensive to fix. I don't like difficult issues on my boat when I am miles away from help with two little girls.
If you tell us how you plan to use the boat we can likely pinpoint the best boat for your needs. Try answering some of the following:
- Do you like to sail?
- Have you ever tried sailing?
- How much time do you envision using the boat per year?
- How old are your kids?
- Will you be a fair weather boater or would you like to use it yr round?
- Are you handy with repairs ie: engine, fiberglass
- How many berths/bunks do you need?
- Do you have experience with a boat over say 25 feet in length?
- Have you ever operated a single screw trawler?
Hopefully this was helpful