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
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...
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
/ 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
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
, 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...