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Old 26-12-2015, 08:25   #16
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Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Currently in Michigan
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Re: Our 1300 mile trip taught us a lot!

Robert, a cruising lifestyle aboard a gas powered vessel with a planing hull is an unusual choice. Usually, unless your independently wealthy, the fuel bill will soon kill the dream. Also, a planing hull has a pretty short range of acceptable sea conditions compared to a displacement hull.

I have made similar choices, but not for a cruising boat. I remember the very first boat I bought was a 12' boat powered by a 90hp force 2 stroke / jet powerplant. Its effective horsepower with the jet drive was only 65hp. I remember being astonished that such a small boat could consume 15 gal of fuel per hour while towing a water skier ! It took me a while to figure out that some of the drag boats on the lake with very noisy V8 engines were more fuel efficient than that force engine. At the time, gas was between $3 and $4 per gallon so the joy was soon lost at $60/hr just for fuel...

Before diving headlong into a sailboat acqulsition, I suggest you at least consider doing a charter of a modest sized vessel to see what kind of fit it will be. Sailboats have very busy decks, with not a lot of sunbathing space and most of the time the helm position is totally exposed. It is more likely that a diesel powered trawler / troller type boat would be a better fit. Much more sea kindly behaviour under way, a fraction of the fuel consumption, a steering / watch position inside under shelter, relatively uncluttered deck layout.

Buy used and let the other guy take the massive first owner depreciation. On a trawler type vessel, consider very carefully the real need for a fly bridge. That space adds a lot of cost and occupies the very best location for solar panel install space. Given that running the engine costs money, the more solar you can install, the longer you will go at a given spot before you are looking for fuel.

The ultimate power cruisers are the FPB series from the Dashews in NZ, but out of reach financially for 99.99% of us. But one can look at them for good ideas on how to do things.

Above the FPB 78 see the solar panels on the top of the cabin. The 130 has a huge array and in the absence of the fly bridge there would be room for a lot more.

Best of luck...

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