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Old 29-12-2011, 10:08   #1
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I Would Like Some Advice Regarding Beam Seas

I am taking two years off to cruise from Florida to Colombia, then through the Panama Canal and up the Pacific coast. I need a boat. The boat will be a platform to Fish, dive and PARTY from. Just me and maybe a girlfriend will be living on the boat. I have about 80K for the boat and a 15K per year fuel budget. I’m 51 years old and in good shape. I don’t know how to sail. I would be happy to learn sailing though. Im very good at fixing just about anything.

For the last 3 months I have been looking at boats. My favorite is the 42-46’ Sportfishers. Post, Hatteras. Anybody here live and cruise on one of these? I have been told that they will take me to where I want, but will it be comfortable?

I really like a 42’ Post sportsfisher. Fast if I want, but will cruise at tolling speeds for economy. The Marine Trader 44’ Francesca seems to be a perfect fit. There is one Shucker in Florida right now that might work. Many many sailboats are for sale at good prices.
How are sailboats for Fishing, diving and parting?

I was going to settle on a small trawler like a 34’ Marine Trader, but I was told that I should reconsider my selection because my route of choice will have mostly “beam seas’.
The question: Considering the above, What boats are safe and comfortable for the Caribbean and the Pacific coast for a two year vacation?
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Old 29-12-2011, 10:59   #2
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Re: I would like some advice regarding “beam seas”.

You will have beam seas for the trip thru the Pannama but you will be heading into the waves going up the west coast and the breezes will be from the west and north so best look for a tall bow on a power boat. Lots of sailors usually go from Panama to Hawaii then head northeast to Seattle or the Columbia river because of the trade winds. So how far up the west coast will you be going ? If you get a sailboat make sure it goes to weather really good if you want to stay close to the west coast. Something else to be awair of is the floatsome from the Japinese tsunami has started coming ashore mostly light weight stuff like commercial fishing net floats the size of 55 gal barrels no heavy stuff yet but I would get a boat with a great bow. Good luck on your quest.
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Old 29-12-2011, 11:14   #3
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Re: I would like some advice regarding “beam seas”.

You will want to check the fuel burn rate on a sportfish that size. It could be a lot more than $15k/year. A buddy of mine has a 51 footer, he isnt cruising, but does live aboard. One year he spent 23K on fuel.....just making local trips often. Might want to consider a trawler for long distance cruising.
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Old 29-12-2011, 11:16   #4
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Re: I would like some advice regarding “beam seas”.

Thankyou for the reply. But how does "beam seas" relate to the kind of boat to get? Thank you for the tip about the pacific coast. I live in northern California. Would it be better to reverse my trip? San Diego to Panama then to the Caribbean?
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Old 04-01-2012, 18:58   #5
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Re: I would like some advice regarding “beam seas”.

Going south to the canal is pretty easy, going north can be very tough, regardless of the direction through the canal. The wind and seas on the Caribbean side seem more consistent than on the Pacific side: there is a reason the Spaniards named the Pacific after sailing on the Atlantic and Caribbean!

So, having done this trip twice from California to the Caribbean, I think it would be better to go from East to West. Not much of a difference.

If you have two years to do it, you can afford to wait quite a long time for good conditions, and good conditions do always occur, eventually.

Fortunately, fuel south of the USA is cheaper, sometimes DRAMATICALLY cheaper in Panama (prices can be very dynamic however).

Distances: United States Office of Coast Survey

Passage distances from the East Coast to Panama are 1600 from Texas or the Gulf coast, 1100 from Key West, 1800 from Norfolk, 2000 from NYC, 2200 from Boston or Maine.

Passage distances from Panama to San Diego is 2900, LA 3000, SFO 3300, and Seattle 4000.

You will want to wander around, so add at least 20 percent to these distances. So NYC to SFO is about (1.25 x (2000+3300)) or 6600 nautical miles.

At 2 nmpg (a displacement trawler) thats 3300 gallons.
At 1 nmpg (a semi-displacement trawler) thats 6600 gallons.
At 0.25 nmpg (a planing sportfishing boat) thats over 25000 gallons.

Therefore, you don't want a sportfishing boat, or any planing hull. And you really probably do not want a semi planing hull. You probably really want a true displacement hull.

If it goes fast, and/or has big engines (like over about 150HP), its the wrong boat for the trip you are thinking about. Might be the perfect boat for other uses.

Also, you really need about 1000 mile range to do this trip. It can be done with much less range -- like 300 -- but then you are always looking for fuel, and fuel can be a major hassle, even in seemingly major ports.

Here is a Willard 40 in your price range, that might work with additional fuel tanks:

http://www.yachtworld.com/core/listi..._id=77374&url=

I'd look for the other kinds of Willards in this size range, but they rarely come on the market. Krogens are good, but expensive. Lots of the Bayliner trawlers out there. Also, you may do well to consider a powercat coming out of charter. They are worn, but proven, and the charter base will really know what goes wrong and what goes well with the boats.

If you actually do this trip, you may be surprised to discover that MOST of the boats actually out there and cruising around are pretty shoddy vessels, nothing at all like what is advertised and reviewed in the yachting press.

Oh: as one other forum member recently discovered (he bought a Hatteras LRC in Panama and is having it refurbished up a river in El Savador), there are lots of boats that made it to Panama, and the owners have decided not to carry on. Some of these boats are far over equipped with everything ever advertised or suggested in any number of books on voyaging. And the prices are quite low. You probably will need to do some work on the boat, and you need to actually go there to inspect and survey -- don't trust the photos!!!! But if you are taking 2 years off to do this sort of thing, you might be the perfect person to gain a huge advantage from someone else's tarnished dreams.

Its not so painful to have work done on a boat in such places as Central America -- in fact, lots of people take their boats TO Central America expressly for this purpose. While its being painted, say, you can explore the jungles, meet lots of locals and cruisers, find private beaches, ... I spent a couple of months doing a refit of an 80 foot luxury performance sailing yacht down there, it was lots of fun, high quality work, and very cheap. A friend is currently spending a few months bringing his 40 year old production fiberglass sailing yacht back to pristine, and he's having a great time.

Get out there and have fun!
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Old 04-01-2012, 19:33   #6
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Re: I would like some advice regarding “beam seas”.

Seems to me for around the same sort of dollars you can have something like this


1973 Kita Boatyard Raised Pilothouse Trawler Power New and Used Boats for


1970 Nordlund 52 Pilothouse Trawler Power New and Used Boats for Sale


1968 Grand Banks Alaskan Power New and Used Boats for Sale -

or my favourite for a few dollars more


1972 Defever Offshore Cruiser Power New and Used Boats for Sale -

of course there are no shortage of smaller and even cheaper trawler styled vessels available over there.
http://au.yachtworld.com/core/listin...cyid=1008&No=0
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Old 04-01-2012, 19:37   #7
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Re: I would like some advice regarding “beam seas”.

Quote:
Originally Posted by monteverde View Post
How are sailboats for Fishing, diving and parting?
efficient.
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Old 07-01-2012, 17:39   #8
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Re: I would like some advice regarding “beam seas”.

Quote:
Originally Posted by monteverde View Post
I am taking two years off to cruise from Florida to Colombia, then through the Panama Canal and up the Pacific coast. I need a boat. The boat will be a platform to Fish, dive and PARTY from. Just me and maybe a girlfriend will be living on the boat. I have about 80K for the boat and a 15K per year fuel budget. I’m 51 years old and in good shape. I don’t know how to sail. I would be happy to learn sailing though. Im very good at fixing just about anything.

For the last 3 months I have been looking at boats. My favorite is the 42-46’ Sportfishers. Post, Hatteras. Anybody here live and cruise on one of these? I have been told that they will take me to where I want, but will it be comfortable?

I really like a 42’ Post sportsfisher. Fast if I want, but will cruise at tolling speeds for economy. The Marine Trader 44’ Francesca seems to be a perfect fit. There is one Shucker in Florida right now that might work. Many many sailboats are for sale at good prices.
How are sailboats for Fishing, diving and parting?

I was going to settle on a small trawler like a 34’ Marine Trader, but I was told that I should reconsider my selection because my route of choice will have mostly “beam seas’.
The question: Considering the above, What boats are safe and comfortable for the Caribbean and the Pacific coast for a two year vacation?
The 15k fuel budget will never work on a sportfisher with that kind of distance. Better look at sailboat.
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Old 07-01-2012, 19:45   #9
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Re: I would like some advice regarding “beam seas”.

Ok, so no sportfishers. Even though the trawler sounds good, I guess that I will be learning to motorsail. If a sailboat is efficient for diving, fishing, and partying, then so be it. There are many posts regarding sailboats here. I will continue reading. Any favorites that come to mind that you might want to suggest?
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Old 08-01-2012, 02:27   #10
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Re: I would like some advice regarding “beam seas”.

Take a look at a nice crusing catamaran they have aft steps to the water and diving and fishing is easy and sailing down wind is about the easiest. I'm not going to mention catamaran brands but ours is a great fishing and swimming boat and an awsome boat at anchor and the 8 miles per gal at 8 mph is about too fast to fish and very echnomical.
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Old 16-03-2012, 17:46   #11
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Re: I would like some advice regarding “beam seas”.

why not look at a motorsailor? get the engine turning over slowly pushing you at 5 knots and with a little wind you can add 2 more knots, and with the sail you'll get some heel on the boat so beam seas are not a big deal. or get a trawler and add some paravanes.
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Old 19-03-2012, 11:05   #12
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Re: I would like some advice regarding “beam seas”.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Honey Ryder View Post
why not look at a motorsailor? get the engine turning over slowly pushing you at 5 knots and with a little wind you can add 2 more knots, and with the sail you'll get some heel on the boat so beam seas are not a big deal. or get a trawler and add some paravanes.
Motorsailors seem like a good idea. Many seem to combine the large engine rooms one actually needs (all that stuff requires service, so easy access is important), with big windows to avoid living in a cave (the beauty of nature is one reason to go cruising, right?), and with full displacement hull forms so they travel at SL1 (e.g., the square root of waterline length, in knots) efficiently and comfortably.

Paravanes are highly loaded and dangerous in conditions where they are actually needed rather than just when they are a nice-to-have. Steadying sails, such as on a motorsailor, are safe and actually help motivate, rather than just adding a non-trivial amount of drag.
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