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Old 08-10-2013, 22:54   #16
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Re: Newbie with questions, I have a lot to learn, I know.

I'm the outlier eccentric who thinks the best way to go is build your own boat.
Make it a solar powered electric boat. Solar power is free.
I've heard the sun comes up every day but that might be a myth promulgated by the solar panel companies.


Oh, if you make a very long skinny boat, and only go 6-8 knots (about as fast as most sailboat ever go) the amount of fuel used is very little.
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Old 08-10-2013, 23:18   #17
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Re: Newbie with questions, I have a lot to learn, I know.

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Originally Posted by SpeedsterX View Post
Had a dream for a long time, to see the world on a boat. A little background on me. I am a single male, 47 years old. An inner city patrol police officer that lived on a 40'ish foot wooden Pacer motor yacht for a summer 13 years ago but never left the Marina. I will be retiring from the Department in 5 years and am planning now. I am determined. I have been lurking on this site for some time and reading as much as possible. Read the book "Quit your job and live on a boat". Of course, I am not quitting my job but am basically following that plan.

My questions are these.


1) I am early in my choice of if I want a sailboat (with a motor) or a power boat. I think a motor yacht would be my choice but maybe with a sail just in case. Maybe a Cat. I know this is a matter of contention but what I really want to know is is sailing hard to learn? Remember I have 5 years to learn.
Should be no problem to learn to sail in that period. Interest in sailing is a different matter.

2) I plan on having about $60,000 to $80,000 saved for the boat but I will also have a nominal pension of (in todays dollars) about $1,500 a month to live. Is this enough to comfortably live the cruising life style? I am basically a minimalist but I do like my beer and decent food.
That principal should allow you to buy a pretty good sized (35-45') older (30-50 yr old) boat. The monthly payments $1500 would allow you to live in modest comfort provided you buy a smaller boat (30'-40') and are handy or are willing to learn to be handy.

3) I've heard of mooring fee's. Why do people pay for this when all they have to do is drop anchor? Rookie question, I know.
People pay moorage in order to not have to row ashore constantly, and to have water, electricity, cable, wifi, landline and showers or some combination of the preceding. If all depends on the level of comfort you need in order to have an acceptable standard of living. You would need to live on a boat for a bit to figure that out. Also the security of being on a dock and not worrying about your anchor all the time. Of course in a named storm I would either want the boat out of the water or tied up to multiple anchor points in some storm hole rather than tied to a dock.

4) If I go with motor only, does 2 motors make better sense? If one goes out will the other be enough to move the boat? Can I use just one? My biggest fear would be to be stranded in the middle of the ocean (of course onboard fire would be right up there).
Frankly, I don't see you doing anything more than weekend trips on a motor vessel, the fuel costs are just too high. See the comments for question 5).
Assuming you go with a motor boat anyway: you are trading weight, efficiency and maintenance load for redundancy. Stick with one main engine (unless you get a cat) and get a small outboard for backup. With your budget you can't afford the weight and efficiency penalty. The problem with this route is that the outboard will take gas and main engine will take diesel unless you buy an older boat, mid-70's or earlier. So to have a decent range you will need to carry significant amounts of gas. For coastal cruising, you probably want a range of 30-60nm to get you back if the main engine packs it in. At 3kt, assume you get about 3nm/gal, that means 10-20gal gas. Actual mileage will depend on the actual boat and outboard you get.


5) I would like to be based somewhere near Florida or/and the Keys. Eventually when I learn enough I would like to venture to the USVI and the Bahama's. I sometimes read of guys circumavigating. Is it possible to do that on a 40'ish foot trawler or motor yacht?
Not on your budget. I have acquaintances who motored around the world on a 43' trawler. They spent about $900k on the boat and another $59k on fuel.
Count on getting 2-4nm/gal (diesel) or 1-3nm/gal (gas) at 6kt on most motor boats in the 30-40' range. Sailboats in that size range will get 8-12nm/gal motoring the same speed. Sailing, they get in the 10-20k/gal range (the stuff evaporates from the tank ). The trade off is that a 33' sailboat has the interior room of a 35-28' motor boat and a 40' sailboat is equivalant to a 30-35' motor boat. Also you can expect to get about 20,000nm out of your sails. Some get used rarely and should last the life of the boat, but others are used frequently or even constantly. Cost per mile for sails goes up with size of boat since the sails get larger as the square of the boat length.
Safety wise, sailboats have it all over motor boats when caught in storms.


Like I said, I am just scratching the surface on this right now and plan on using these 5 years to learn, learn, learn. Thank you all for any information. Right now these are my basic questions. I am sure I will bother you all with more in the future. Safe sailings to you all!
If you want to venture very far afield I would get a sailboat in the 32-35' range. Small enough to single hand without getting overwhelmed in heavy weather or a bad anchoring situation, but large enough to carry plenty of supplies and room to take on a companion if the desire to do so takes hold.
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Old 08-10-2013, 23:19   #18
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Re: Newbie with questions, I have a lot to learn, I know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis.G View Post
Regarding sail vs power:

Get a small inexpensive daysailer sailboat and learn to sail. See if this is something that does it for you. If so, decision made as to what kind of boat fits you. But go small first to learn on- something you can sell later without worrying about a financial loss.
... +1
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Old 09-10-2013, 06:00   #19
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Re: Newbie with questions, I have a lot to learn, I know.

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Originally Posted by SpeedsterX View Post
can you explain better designs? Thank you!

Simply, some boats are made for off shore conditions - others are not. Kind of like a car - some are made for off road, some are made for around town. You will understand once you start a boat search.
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Old 09-10-2013, 06:49   #20
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Re: Newbie with questions, I have a lot to learn, I know.

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Originally Posted by nimblemotors View Post
I'm the outlier eccentric who thinks the best way to go is build your own boat.
Make it a solar powered electric boat. Solar power is free.
I've heard the sun comes up every day but that might be a myth promulgated by the solar panel companies.


Oh, if you make a very long skinny boat, and only go 6-8 knots (about as fast as most sailboat ever go) the amount of fuel used is very little.
I would love to go electric on my boat but even at very low speed and low power use I have not figured out a way to motor more than 2-3 hours without:

A) installing a huge, heavy, expensive battery bank OR
B) installing a generator OR
C) covering the entire surface of the boat and wings on either side with solar panels and don't go out on cloudy days.

Since there are a couple of situations at least for my current cruising plans that require significant range under power I'm stuck with diesel.

Would be thrilled if you have found a solution to this dilemma.
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Old 09-10-2013, 06:59   #21
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Re: Newbie with questions, I have a lot to learn, I know.

you have many questions after lurking here for a while. most are brought up weekly.
go sailboat all the way. far more comfortable at anchor.

if you plan to live on a motorboat long term, be aware of the fuel price trend.
if $10 a gallon is just fine with you, then go with the motorboat. you can see the world on a motorboat with enough cash.
i asked myself this question. i am a powerboater at heart, i love speed.
i bought a sailboat.
and my first time sailing, was solo, in the long island sound, in a boat nearly 50' long. with 3 sails. but i have to say. when i ran the engine in my little boat, i was very aware of the $120 per hour price tag. now that i sail i am tickled by the fact we are moving for free. i think to myself, i get to do my favorite activity, being on the water, for free!
hope that helps you on that choice. a circ on a powerboat can cost $40,000-XXX,XXX,XXX in just fuel.
you may be talking about a $200,000 trip around the world. or more. your engine may not even make 10,000 hours.....
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Old 09-10-2013, 07:03   #22
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Re: Newbie with questions, I have a lot to learn, I know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeedsterX View Post
To be honest, I think I am leaning more power boat than sail right now but want to learn it all and be proficient at both. The main reason I think about a sailboat is I have the choice not to be stuck in the middle of the ocean if something goes wrong with the engines in a power boat.
Don't go to the "Dark Side"!!! WHen you have gotten hooked on sailing, look at a cat, two engines, plus sail!!!!!!!!!!!!
Try sailing a Hobie Cat on that lake and you will never look back
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Old 09-10-2013, 07:35   #23
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Re: Newbie with questions, I have a lot to learn, I know.

Great thread! After crewing a sailboat from TX down to Panama through a winter storm I was hooked. I obsessed over having my own sailboat for years. I made it a goal when I was 47 to work to buy a sailboat that year, and learn how to sail. I reached my goal! There is a lot of good advice in the thread so far, but it sounds like you have more money than I did....I was financially restricted. I love sailing, and my boat is a 24ft. C&C rigged up for coastal cruising. I have about 10 grand into my boat and extras. I jumped right in the deep end too. First solo sailing experience in my life was on Lake Murray 2011 during 4th of July night. I knew how to get going but I did not know how to slow down or stop!! The thing that I love about sailing is this....when forced to figure out how something works, you figure it out!! That's why I prefer sailing to power boats, and you do need to have an outboard or diesel inboard on a sailboat to be safe when the wind let's up....but if you enjoy being on the water, and are not in a hurry to get to the next anchorage, then sailing is the way to do it. I like monohulls because of the safety of this design. YOU DO WANT TO EASE INTO SAILING...so don't go out and spend it all on a new large boat....start small and see if it is something you really enjoy. You can be absolutely in love with the IDEA, and become a slave to your boat to the point where you do not enjoy it, or you can love the simple priorities and pace of living on board and travelling. I sailed 1200 miles along the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, and the trip started 2 months after being on that lake for the first time, so do not let lack of experience stop you...You gotta want it a lot, that's all it takes!
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Old 09-10-2013, 09:31   #24
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Re: Newbie with questions, I have a lot to learn, I know.

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Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
Trust us ... there are many ways to get stuck in the middle of the ocean on a sailboat. Ever hear the word "becalmed?"
I assume you mean periods of no wind? Isn't that the reason some sailboats also have a motor? After looking at pictures of the insides of sailboats, I think I may be more of a power boat guy. More room for me the better although I envy true sailors as that seems to be "true freedom". I will always be slave to some consistant income.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
By sailing, you'll learn a lot about the action of wind and wave on the body of the boat as well as on the sails. You get a big trawler, you have a lot of surface for the wind to push on. Makes for lots of fun when docking sometimes. You'll be one-up some other power boaters with that knowledge.

Another thing you can do is get an inexpensive sailing dinghy you can store on the power boat. Then you can have the fun of gunk-holing around areas the trawler wouldn't make it in to. Little boats can be a real hoot to sail.

If they don't throw you in for a swim, that is ...
I'll definitely have something small as well. Maybe a rowable dinghy but with a motor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobofthenorth View Post
I'll throw in my 2 bits worth. We dreamed and planned for a long time. The hunt was almost as much fun as the actual ownership. In our case we owned a rental house and always referred to it as "the boat". We started looking at boats and did that for about 5 years. Then we lost a long term tenant in the house and their departure coincided with a market uptick so we sold the house. About a year later we closed on Gray Hawk. The point of all that was TAKE YOUR TIME.

We ended up spending $85,000 on the boat which was in remarkably good condition for a 30+ year old boat. However, despite that we have still spent another $25-30,000 since purchase. So make sure you don't spend the whole wad on the boat - you'll need more once you get to know the vessel, no matter how good it looks pre-purchase.

As to the "charter before you buy" recommendation I'm of mixed emotions on that. We didn't do that. Our reasoning was that chartering was going to represent a significant portion of the eventual purchase price of our vessel. Effectively chartering was going to significantly reduce what we could afford to spend on the boat. Perhaps that was false economy but in our case it worked out. What we did do however was to walk on a LOT of boats - probably over 50 prior to making an offer on Gray Hawk. We also walked onto several charter boats that we had no intention of buying or chartering. If you look for boat shows and charter shows you can do this without needlessly wasting agents' time and the more boats you walk onto the more you will learn. In addition we attended 2 Trawlerfests prior to making an offer.

Take your time - enjoy the search - and I hope you can be even half as happy as we are with whatever you end up buying.
I plan on doing just that. I am researching now, 5 years before I can even think about buying. Didn't know about charter shows and fests. Thank you! I'll definitely be looking into those.
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Old 09-10-2013, 09:51   #25
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Re: Newbie with questions, I have a lot to learn, I know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nimblemotors View Post
I'm the outlier eccentric who thinks the best way to go is build your own boat.
Make it a solar powered electric boat. Solar power is free.
I've heard the sun comes up every day but that might be a myth promulgated by the solar panel companies.


Oh, if you make a very long skinny boat, and only go 6-8 knots (about as fast as most sailboat ever go) the amount of fuel used is very little.
I don't have the will nor motivation to build a boat! lol

Quote:
Originally Posted by scoobert View Post
you have many questions after lurking here for a while. most are brought up weekly.
go sailboat all the way. far more comfortable at anchor.

if you plan to live on a motorboat long term, be aware of the fuel price trend.
if $10 a gallon is just fine with you, then go with the motorboat. you can see the world on a motorboat with enough cash.
i asked myself this question. i am a powerboater at heart, i love speed.
i bought a sailboat.
and my first time sailing, was solo, in the long island sound, in a boat nearly 50' long. with 3 sails. but i have to say. when i ran the engine in my little boat, i was very aware of the $120 per hour price tag. now that i sail i am tickled by the fact we are moving for free. i think to myself, i get to do my favorite activity, being on the water, for free!
hope that helps you on that choice. a circ on a powerboat can cost $40,000-XXX,XXX,XXX in just fuel.
you may be talking about a $200,000 trip around the world. or more. your engine may not even make 10,000 hours.....
Wow! I was always thinking definitely power boat but learn to sail anyway. Now you got me thinking all over again! Glad I have 5 years to think about it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JusDreaming View Post
Don't go to the "Dark Side"!!! WHen you have gotten hooked on sailing, look at a cat, two engines, plus sail!!!!!!!!!!!!
Try sailing a Hobie Cat on that lake and you will never look back
I am definitely going to try out sailing. I'll keep everyone informed if I catch the bug. lol
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Old 09-10-2013, 10:01   #26
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Re: Newbie with questions, I have a lot to learn, I know.

get on the water by crewing first,then decide

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Old 09-10-2013, 10:02   #27
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Re: Newbie with questions, I have a lot to learn, I know.

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Originally Posted by Adelie View Post
If you want to venture very far afield I would get a sailboat in the 32-35' range. Small enough to single hand without getting overwhelmed in heavy weather or a bad anchoring situation, but large enough to carry plenty of supplies and room to take on a companion if the desire to do so takes hold.
I believe I am more of a guy that would anchor for a while at most places. Maybe make home base somewhere near the Gulf Coast. Cruise to the keys and anchor there for a month or two then maybe go to the Bahama's and hang there for weeks to a couple of months. Maybe do that kind of thing once a year.
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Old 09-10-2013, 10:19   #28
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Re: Newbie with questions, I have a lot to learn, I know.

I love sailing and would never knock anyone who wants to go that route but I am a powerboater at heart. The high expense of fuel warnings you are getting, I think are greatly overblown. We have done Toronto to Bahamas and back including the St.Johns River, The St.Mary's River, The Delaware and the Chesapeake on 779 imperial gallons of diesel on the boat in my avatar. We have done these 9 month trips on a number of occasions. I don't think that is an outrageous cost. It's all about boat choice.

Boats for what you have in mind can (don't have to be) pretty complex and I'd suggest you start educating yourself on the structure and systems involved.
Beebe's book is terrific but very outdated. Suggest you start with Marine Survey 101.
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Old 09-10-2013, 10:48   #29
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779•$4=$3116

Two months income for fuel to travel 9 months.

Personally, I would just hit craigslist every weekend and look at one or two boats of either type. Talk with the owners and get a feel for both. No purchasing required.
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Old 09-10-2013, 10:57   #30
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Re: Newbie with questions, I have a lot to learn, I know.

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I love sailing and would never knock anyone who wants to go that route but I am a powerboater at heart. The high expense of fuel warnings you are getting, I think are greatly overblown. We have done Toronto to Bahamas and back including the St.Johns River, The St.Mary's River, The Delaware and the Chesapeake on 779 imperial gallons of diesel on the boat in my avatar. We have done these 9 month trips on a number of occasions. I don't think that is an outrageous cost. It's all about boat choice.

Boats for what you have in mind can (don't have to be) pretty complex and I'd suggest you start educating yourself on the structure and systems involved.
Beebe's book is terrific but very outdated. Suggest you start with Marine Survey 101.
Thanks! I'll read every word. Yes, I realize it will cost money but like you point out, this is the type of cruising I am at this time thinking I would be doing. Bopping from place to place but staying at each place for weeks at a time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Garbone View Post
779•$4=$3116

Two months income for fuel to travel 9 months.

Personally, I would just hit craigslist every weekend and look at one or two boats of either type. Talk with the owners and get a feel for both. No purchasing required.
As you've noted, 2 months income for 9 months is doable. I'd even have another extra months income and all the income during the 9 months. Seems easily doable. I'll just make sure I have a decent nestegg for the "surprises".
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