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Old 09-11-2012, 20:23   #16
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Re: "Express Cruiser" as Caribbean cruiser?

Well, that monohull sailboat pictured above has a bigger cockpit than most, but really nothing like a smaller express cruiser,
Regarding living in a cave - I would say monohulls are even darker inside.
The low draft and smaller size for even stern-to anchoring are nice features that monohulls just don't have.

Some more thoughts - with these boats you get more "location" time and less travelling time, if that's what you are into, it extends your vacation.

Fuel - say these boats get 1/3 the fuel economy of a trawler. So you would pay for example $5 per mile rather than 1.50 per mile, in fuel. At 300 miles travelled inter-island per year, that's around $1000 per year more. And, if you just anchor at your favorite couple of beaches for 8 weeks spread over the year, even less.
As mentioned above, it would take a heck of alot of years to make up the price difference.....
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Old 21-11-2012, 08:21   #17
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Re: "Express Cruiser" as Caribbean cruiser?

Been reading this thread and others like it. My 2 cents worth now. Never understood "living in a cave" statement at all. We looked at many mono-hulls, from 26'-40'. One thing in common, they all step down into a dark cabin. If sun not shining or many lights on, dark, period. We really wanted a roomy mono, but with draft issues, only 4-8 weeks a year to sail and wanting to see some things, we could not justify a sailer. The purchase price was much higher for the sail boat(for a good one set up as we wanted), really not trailerable unless we bought a very expensive and seldom used trailer, and the weather on our lakes(LOTW,Superior,Michigan) made sailer fall way off the list. We bought a 28' Four Winns very reasonable, fantastic comfort and living area for the 4-8 weeks get-away we do, and as far as fuel issue, will have to spend many years cruising to make up the difference that we would have assumed with purchase of larger sailer. Our draft is near 3' with motor full down, mush less if trimmed. Fuel usage is in the .65-.85 range(350 chevy, somewhat underpowered for 30 m.p.h. but great for the 10-15 mph that the "stable-Vee allows for on plane). Fuel can and ofter is $4.25 range. At this rate we would have to use 29,400 gallons to be at break even. Not saying what is best, but I have always felt that fun is expensive, just how much is a person willing to spend on it. We have enough room for the 2 of us,for a liveability aspect,more than enough storage and space that the wife needs, and a cost effectiveness that will keep me smiling at the gas pumps for years. My 2 cents worth.
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Old 21-11-2012, 12:37   #18
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The " living in a cave" comes from the 24' express cruiser we owned. When inside there was a very limited view of anything outside the boat. I enjoy the 360 degree view from the salon of our current sedan bridge boat , also the sun in the interior is a big plus. I didn't live on the 24', it was great for weekends or even a week, being retired I'am on the 38' 8-9 months a year & much prefer the view from it. Different strokes for different folks
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Old 29-11-2012, 19:11   #19
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Re: "Express Cruiser" as Caribbean cruiser?

I agree the interior of the Express Cruisers is dark and small, even the 42 foot Sea Ray Sundancers.
I would be looking at displacement Trawlers if they had any useable cockpit space.
Has anyone seen any non-cat Trawler (or sailboat) with an Express Cruiser hang-out-and-eat-dinner table and lounge cockpit?
No one wants to climb steps to eat on a bridge, and the Trawler cockpits can barely fit a couple of deck chairs or a tiny bistro table.
They all look like this:
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Old 30-11-2012, 09:07   #20
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Re: "Express Cruiser" as Caribbean cruiser?

I couldn't remember any other "economical" brands earlier, but Albin now also comes to mind. Think some (all?) of their "express"cruisers have a keel...

-Chris
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Old 30-11-2012, 09:13   #21
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Re: "Express Cruiser" as Caribbean cruiser?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Orionnebula View Post
I agree the interior of the Express Cruisers is dark and small, even the 42 foot Sea Ray Sundancers.
I would be looking at displacement Trawlers if they had any useable cockpit space.
Has anyone seen any non-cat Trawler (or sailboat) with an Express Cruiser hang-out-and-eat-dinner table and lounge cockpit?
No one wants to climb steps to eat on a bridge, and the Trawler cockpits can barely fit a couple of deck chairs or a tiny bistro table.
They all look like this:Attachment 50462

Most express sportfish boats have larger cockpits, although often at the expense of interior amenities. Wellcraft Coastals, Luhrs, Tiara (some models), Phoenix, etc... as do some of the downeast lobstah yachts (Hinckley, Sabre, etc.). Not usually as economical as a displacement or semi-displacement configuration, but no worse fuel economy than a Sea Ray/Cruisers/etc.

We split the difference with our "Convertible": no climbing to eat on the flybridge (unless we choose to), but the cockpit is almost as large as a fishboat... and we don't have to do the cave thing, given a pleasant saloon.

-Chris
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Old 09-12-2012, 16:33   #22
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Re: "Express Cruiser" as Caribbean cruiser?

I had a 27' Chris Craft Constellation Mahogany Express cruiser. 1963 model. We absolutely loved it for running around in the bayous and bays near where we live. I love the lines of these boats. Definately not "cave like" interior, very nice roomy cockpit, nice flat sidedecks, coachroof and bow for storing stuff and sunning. With the full bimini we stayed out in the cockpit all day long and caught the breezes. The windshields would tilt open and allow wind through or close to keep rain out. I don't think any of the newer "tennis shoe" shaped cruisers have any of these features. Alas, after fixing the thing up to be a pretty nice boat a guy came along and offered me a price I couldn't refuse at the time so I sold it and began sailing. I still miss that boat, and would possibly buy another just like it if it had a single engine. I would often run the boat on just one engine and got maybe 2 mpg out of it at displacement speeds. The biggest problem with these boats is if you are not on plane, they track terribly in following seas as the rudders are much too small to steer in these conditions. This is why I would prefer sail in bigger water.

Kevin
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Old 24-02-2017, 02:14   #23
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Re: "Express Cruiser" as Caribbean cruiser?

Stumbled on this older thread.
What express cruiser in the sub 30' segment would you recommend, for lsingle-handed, laid-back cruising up-and-down the Caribbean islands ?
Would appreciate your views.

THANKS,
V.
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Old 24-02-2017, 05:15   #24
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Re: "Express Cruiser" as Caribbean cruiser?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vronsky View Post
Stumbled on this older thread.
What express cruiser in the sub 30' segment would you recommend, for lsingle-handed, laid-back cruising up-and-down the Caribbean islands ?
Would appreciate your views.

Not easy to recommend, given no knowledge of what specific features you might really need.

In addition to any other brand mentioned above... Have a look at Sea Ray Sundancer models and Cruisers (brand) models... see if any of those float your boat. If they do or do not, mention why and maybe that'd make it easier to home in on recommendations.

Not lots of space in <30' express power boats...

Almost all will be gas, although there are exceptions. Carolina Classic makes (made?) a sub-30' express fish boat with diesel, jackshaft, and outdrive. Outdrives (I/O propulsion) are said to be best kept in dry storage or on a lift, ideally not left in the water all the time because the outdrive can't be raised enough to mitigate saltwater corrosion when not in use.

Maybe some of the "pocket trawlers" would be a useful alternative. Rosborough, C-Dory, Ranger (the brand, not our boat)...

-Chris
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Old 24-02-2017, 14:04   #25
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Re: "Express Cruiser" as Caribbean cruiser?

There are Dozens of cruiser manufactures. Rinker, Cruisers Inc, Searay, Glastron, Regal, Bayliner to name the ones that immediately pop into my head.

The 25' boats are small. You need to get into the 32' - 35' range in my opinion.

Good luck in your search.
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Old 24-02-2017, 14:49   #26
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Re: "Express Cruiser" as Caribbean cruiser?

We once took a 5 day trip to the Bahamas in a friend's Wellcraft 34' express cruiser. While crossing the stream the wind piped up and seas went to about 8ft. We slowed to hull speed but the boat was extremely unstable in the 8 ft seas. Putting a little speed on helped but fuel consumption dropped to the point we would not have reached west end or made it back to Lake Worth, so we had to put it up on a full plane which was not comfortable but at least we could get to West End. Did I mention we left with a full 250 gallons of fuel. We ran up to Grand Cay and Great Sale and had to fill up again at Grand to get back to West End. We filled up again at west end for the crossing. In that 5 day trip we spent over $2000 on fuel and at the time gas was only $2.25 in the Bahamas.. That was the trip that made me decide on a sailing catamaran for my retirement.
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