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Old 10-04-2011, 02:03   #1
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Looking for Recommendations on River boat

Im new to the Forum so please go easy. I have lived in Miami and had several power boats up to a 26ft motor sailer (Renell) stubby keel. I then moved to south Alabama land locked and in 2008 moved to the bluff overlooking the Tennessee river across from Scottsboro Al. Near Guntersville dam. 30 miles.
We have done the motor home thing, we now own a class B 21ft and have spent 6 weeks at a time in it, and are now ready to tackle some river cruising. I have been looking at boats 25-30ft with a wide beam approx 10ft and decided trawlers are the best fit with a small 20-30hp diesel. I read approx 0.5gph at 6 knots.
Our plans are to eventually cruse down to Florida and up to the great lakes some day. I work at home testing electronics, which is feast of famine so I get 2-3 months without work at a time and start SS this month. I'm only looking to invest no more than 20k, which makes trawlers hard to come by. My dream would be a motor sailer trawler I have seen an Alpin 25 which may work. I like the trawlers because they sit higher and the cabin is mostly above the water, and generally bigger and more roomer cabins than a motor sailer. The wife gets seasick in the ocean and I would prefer to keep her above the water.
If I cant find a trawler that fills the bill I would conceder a motor sailer if the cabin is big. I like the looks of the S2 9.2A but most only come with a 12hp diesel I think its too small to fight up current on the river. I am currently remodeling the house so some fix up would not kill me but I don't want a project boat. I can do plumbing and electric and woodwork and have done some fiberglass repair but not gel coat.
I have also thought about a motor trawler without sails and adding a small sail to it, mostly for sailing downwind with the wind when its blowing at our back to save gas. I saw one at a boat show many years ago. Another thought was a motor sailer with a cut down mast and smaller sails (if it could be done) for the same reason. I once sailed a 21ft power boat across Gasprillia Bay at night with a sheet, boat hook and ore when the outboard went out.
The most important item would be living space 1-2 months at a time, the second would be gph at 5-6 knots and the 3rd would be sail all this under $20k. The boat would remain in the river system unless we go to Fla which would see very little if any open water.
So I am asking for ideas, recommendations, an to be criticized.
I have yet to finish reading all the posts so any help would be appreciated.
Thank you
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Old 19-04-2011, 08:58   #2
Tam
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Boat: Bayliner, Ciera 2855
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Re: Looking for recommendations on River boat

I have a '98 Bayliner 2855. Great river boat as it has a shallow draft. '9"7 beam, 30' length. Sleeps 6 (4 comfortably), fully galley, head, shower, transom shower, a/c, more stowage than I can fill on a regular basis (great for cruising distances). I'm on the Illinois River. My only complaint about the boat is the radar arch tilts toward the cockpit instead of away from so even with my full canvas on I take water on the aft deck but I think I might be able to improve this with better weatherstripping. In any case the water catches and runs off the deck so it's not a hazard just an incovenience. Otherwise I have no complaints about this boat.
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Old 19-04-2011, 09:01   #3
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Re: Looking for recommendations on River boat

Oh, and I bought without a trailer since I live a few miles from the marina so I got the boat (with new motor) for $17,500. A lot of bang for your buck with this boat. With trailer and decent canvas you'll be looking at $29K. You can go a few years older to drop the price but the upholstery starts looking too outdated earlier than 98 and we didn't like the floor plans at all.
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Old 19-04-2011, 09:52   #4
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Re: Looking for recommendations on River boat

How much gas does it suck up at 5-7 knots?
thanks
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Old 19-04-2011, 10:09   #5
Tam
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Re: Looking for recommendations on River boat

I have no idea really. I'm in a 27 mile pool in between locks so I rarely leave this stretch of water on my boat. I look at the fuel gauge and think in terms of "days playing on the water" instead of miles. I'm in the water already and after a few repairs this weekend I'll be out running so I'll try to calculate it for you.
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Old 19-04-2011, 10:19   #6
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Re: Looking for recommendations on River boat

If you make a run to Florida you might be thinking about gas rather than days on the water, as the price keeps rising toward $5 per gal. Around here its $4.50 on the water.
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Old 19-04-2011, 10:24   #7
Tam
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Re: Looking for recommendations on River boat

I have thought about wintering down there. I have friends all over Florida and Louisianna and thought it would be fun to live aboard for the cold season down there.

Up here near Chicago we're already up to $4.30 at the stations, I'm dreading to see what gas on the water will cost.
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Old 19-04-2011, 10:36   #8
Tam
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Re: Looking for recommendations on River boat

I like your idea of a motoryacht with sail, I'm especially in love with that style from the 20's and 30's. But if you're on a river make sure to check bridge clearances before you buy something with a mast or flybridge. Also, the sail will be nice if you go down to the gulf or further but for the river remember that although it looks very wide the navigable channel can be quite narrow and unless you're a proficient sailor you might be asking for more trouble. I'd stick to a motor in the river.
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Old 19-04-2011, 10:36   #9
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Re: Looking for recommendations on River boat

Its 77 right now it has already hit 90 last week and I'm only in North Alabama.
I am located on the Bluff looking over the Jackson County marina in Scottsboro Al. About 35 miles south of Chattanooga. $3.65 at the stations here.
GasBuddy.com - Find Low Gas Prices in the USA and Canada
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Old 19-04-2011, 10:40   #10
Tam
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Re: Looking for recommendations on River boat

We should be warmer than we are this far into April. We had snow yesterday. I don't care, my boat goes in 2nd weekend of April. I had to drink whisky wearing four layers of clothing this past weekend to stay warm but I was in heaven being back on my boat. Oh ps- the boat has a/c but no heat.
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Old 19-04-2011, 10:42   #11
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Re: Looking for recommendations on River boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tam View Post
I like your idea of a motoryacht with sail, I'm especially in love with that style from the 20's and 30's. But if you're on a river make sure to check bridge clearances before you buy something with a mast or flybridge. Also, the sail will be nice if you go down to the gulf or further but for the river remember that although it looks very wide the navigable channel can be quite narrow and unless you're a proficient sailor you might be asking for more trouble. I'd stick to a motor in the river.
There are dams on the rivers and their are large lakes. There is approx 7309 miles of shoreline of just the Tennessee river witch is 652 miles long.

Tennessee River Guidebook - Google Books
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Old 19-04-2011, 10:43   #12
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Re: Looking for recommendations on River boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tam View Post
We should be warmer than we are this far into April. We had snow yesterday. I don't care, my boat goes in 2nd weekend of April. I had to drink whisky wearing four layers of clothing this past weekend to stay warm but I was in heaven being back on my boat. Oh ps- the boat has a/c but no heat.
You need a heat pump.
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Old 19-04-2011, 10:51   #13
Tam
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Re: Looking for recommendations on River boat

Usually in early spring or late fall I find simmering a pot of water on the stove heats up the cabin perfectly but they haven't turned on the water on the dock yet so I didn't have running water yet and there's no way I was going to boil my whisky.
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