How to decide is based on two real factors... Time and Money
We went from trawler to motoryacht
last year. The trawler was awesome as a first boat. Slow and cheap
on fuel (1.75 GPH over the 5 years we had it).
Time and Money: Unfortunately, we came to realize that we didn't really have the time for a slower boat. Even a simple weekend trip from New Bern to Morehead City
pretty much required us to take a day off work (yes, we still have jobs) to really enjoy our stay there. Sure, we enjoyed the trip down the river, but we could only be at our destination
for about 16 hours before we had to come back home. However, the 40 mile trip took 5 to 5.5 hours, but only burned around ten gallons (or less) to make the trip. One way.
Enter our new 42' planing motoryacht
that can cruise
at 18 - 20 mph. Between our fast and slow over the past tank, we are averaging around 16GPH and that is low for a boat this size and speed. It has a very efficient hull that takes less horsepower than others in its class.
Time and Money: We now have the ability to get anywhere we want in far less time, but we pay the price
on fuel. We knew that going in and set the budget
accordingly. So the same trip as above take just under 3 hours (there are a couple of places we should go slow) but takes more than 50 gallons of dino juice. One way. However, we made that same trip just a few weeks ago, we stayed slow and only did it using less than half that.
That brings up a very important point... A fast boat can always go slow, but a slow boat can never go fast. We can get 5GPH if we took the new boat down to the old boat speed. But I will tell you honestly, once you get used to hopping up on plane, it is hard to WANT to go slow again. We have to force ourselves to do it.
Still, we love the idea that we can now outrun weather
and go quick in an emergency
when we have to.
Time and Money: The aforementioned time saving piece of mind takes a firm investment. We planned for it from Day 1. it is also something our marina mates, mostly sailors, tease us about incessantly when we tell them we just spent $100 in fuel to goto Oriental take a few pics on our cell phones to post on Facebook and come home... or that it will only take us, on plane, 4 to 5 hours to get to Ocracoke
. They hate us when we remind them of that
If you go into anything like this with the correct mindset, it will make ownership
MUCH more pleasing. Know what you are getting into. If that is your worry, talk to the previous owner about real-word fuel burn numbers. Almost everyone keeps a fuel log of some kind. See if they will share it. Then, double those numbers (or some nominal higher factor) to set your expectations. You really won't know how to milk the lowest burn rate the first year.
Ironically, my wife and I now both have jobs that pay better than when we owned the previous boat and also allows us far more schedule flexibility and WFH options that opens up a new range of possibilities. Good luck with your decision. It is a tough one. I'm happy to help where I can.