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Old 15-11-2010, 02:16   #1
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Fishing Boat Conversion (Aussie Specific)

Well, it seems we may be crossing to the dark side. Due to some health reasons we are considering selling the sailboat and going power. Our plan is to do next season on Nightcap in Vanuatu and maybe New Cal then back to NZ to sell the boat. After that, if the Aussie dollar is still high we will (hopefully) head across the ditch to do some work in the mines or rigs and buy a fishing boat with the idea of starting with a blank canvas and convert her to a cruiser.
I am a marine engineer so will be able to do the work myself and enjoy it in the process but would love to hear from people who have done similar in Aussie (cat man do, where are you?) with advice on reducing cost, pitfalls etc.
My initial thoughts are to go for a 45-50' semi displacement ex cray boat in fibreglass. My reasons for semi displacement are the ability to cruise economically at displacement speed but having a bit in reserve to get ahead of weather etc.
My apologies if I don't respond quickly to replies as we are still cruising Fiji for another few weeks but will be around the internet sporadically.
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Old 15-11-2010, 06:07   #2
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The problen with cray boats is they are designed with a hold that carrys many tonnes of water, which apart from keeping the crays alive also stabalizes the boat. And water needs to be replaced to bring the boat down onto its designed water line, what I have seen is tonnes of lead or concreate blocks fitted in the hold where the tanks use to be just to achieve this on converted cray boats.
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Old 15-11-2010, 06:51   #3
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And water needs to be replaced to bring the boat down onto its designed water line, what I have seen is tonnes of lead or concreate blocks fitted in the hold where the tanks use to be just to achieve this on converted cray boats.
Hasnt been my experience but that was an experience with only one style of cray boat weighing 47 tonne that we took to Vanuatu and through the Islands (click bottom attached picture)

NT, have a look at this link Converting a fishing boat to a Passagemaker
A fine example of a 49 ft Crayboat converted to a very comfortable cruiser.
Sue is living on this vessel now up at Kota Kinnabalu

Before

after


Cray boat I took to Vanuatu below
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Old 15-11-2010, 12:22   #4
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Great read thanks. Pretty much mirrors what we expect (hope!!) to achieve and some great information.
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Old 15-11-2010, 15:39   #5
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One of the things going through my mind is ventilation, especially in the V berth. What ideas for air both underway and at anchor. (No, we will not be fitting air conditioning!!!)
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Old 15-11-2010, 17:06   #6
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Yes but..where are the sails!?
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Old 16-11-2010, 00:22   #7
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Yes but..where are the sails!?
In the bank, along with the cash from the mast and winches they didnt have to buy.
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Old 16-11-2010, 01:28   #8
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In the bank, along with the cash from the mast and winches they didnt have to buy.
Now that's a first for me. Seeing someone advocating a power boat as a means of saving money in a cruising lifestyle Still, I do suppose it's possible to actually save money with a power boat...just so long as you don't go very far. There are far fewer key systems on a power boat compared to a sailboat.
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Old 16-11-2010, 01:41   #9
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Now that's a first for me. Seeing someone advocating a power boat as a means of saving money in a cruising lifestyle Still, I do suppose it's possible to actually save money with a power boat...just so long as you don't go very far. There are far fewer key systems on a power boat compared to a sailboat.
Sod off. I started this thread for some advice regarding the transition to power (for reasons you don't need to know). If you can't be constructive go to SA and join their self flagellation exercises.
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Old 16-11-2010, 01:53   #10
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I always admire the wood or steel cray and longline boats in the harbour in Hobart that have furling jibs and often a small main sail. They are obviously designed for comfortable living, economical passage making and sea kindly?

If you could find something similar, especially on the wood versions it would not be too hard to convert the fish holds into living space, workshop and storage?
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Old 16-11-2010, 02:25   #11
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I had no intention of creating a problem here. I'll unsubscribe from the thread and issue a public (and private) apology for crossing the line with my remarks.

Carry on, gents
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Old 16-11-2010, 05:45   #12
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Now that's a first for me. Seeing someone advocating a power boat as a means of saving money in a cruising lifestyle ...
Robert Beebe made just that point*, in his seminal book on passagemaker powerboats:
“Voyaging Under Power” ~ by Capt. Robert P. Beebe
Voyaging Under Power - Google Books

* Over time, and long distances,, a power boat may be cheaper to operate than a sailboat.
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