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Old 06-12-2013, 19:50   #1
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Power Cat vs Motor Yacht vs Trawler Questions

Hi.

An aspiring cruiser, hoping to retire within the next two years and start spending winters as a liveaboard couple. The plan is to spend the first winter cruising Florida and the keys to gain experience and confidence. Year two, off to the Bahamas, etc and year three, down to the Virgin Islands

Budget will be in the area of $750K.

Would like to stay under 50', flybridge, protected running gear, king berth, twin engines. 15 knots or better would be nice.

Although the style is---functional ( the soft-top version reminds of a Jeep I used to own)---the Endeavour powercat 48 hits every box on my list. The space is great and the furnishings could be upgraded so no one has to feel they are "living on a boat", not that I mind :-)

A Krogen Express 49 or a used 47' Grand Banks Euro are contenders for a trawler. Although mechanicals, fit and finish are great, it would always feel like coming home to a boat at the end of a long day of doing nothing ashore.

Regarding using a motor yacht as a trawler/liveaboard, I do like the older Hatteras 56MY but it was a non starter.

Which finally brings me to my question, although I want to go fast when I want to, 95% of the time I would be at the dock or mooring and the motor yacht sure is a nice place to come home to after a long day of sight seeing, etc. But--for those times when I want to tool along at trawler speeds of 10-12 knots, enjoying the scenery, the weather or whatever, does a motor yacht (e.g. Silverton Ovation 52) just plow along with its bow pointed skyward?

If there are any late model MYs in my price bracket that are suitable for my needs, I'd be grateful for any info or education.

Thanks!
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Old 06-12-2013, 23:30   #2
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Re: power cat vs motor yacht vs trawler questions

Was just commenting on this new US built Catamaran Trawler by Maltese Catamarans in California on different thread. Might be something you might want to consider? I suppose if one really wanted/needed a Flybridge or Tower you could even add one. Looks like she will be super fuel efficient and seems big enough to suit your needs. Have a look at maltese catamarans on google.

I think Power cats are the way to go these days. No Roll, plenty of room, you can cheat the hull speed rule somewhat, and not to mention fuel efficiency. Rumours abound that Lagoon might be even launching new power cat models next year.??

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Old 06-12-2013, 23:35   #3
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Re: power cat vs motor yacht vs trawler questions

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Originally Posted by Lagoonboy View Post
Was just commenting on this new US built Catamaran Trawler by Maltese Catamarans in California on different thread.
So, whats your affiliation with the company?
You seem to be pushing them pretty hard.
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Old 06-12-2013, 23:46   #4
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Re: power cat vs motor yacht vs trawler questions

Parmenter,
I'm designated a commercial member for a reason and though my username suggests it, Lagoons aren't the only cats I work with. Plus its always good to help get more competition out on the Catamaran market. Might cause them to drop the prices so they become more affordable..
But in all seriousness, its a cool concept that I'd like to see get off the ground and I think theres potential there. Not every company has the advertising budget of Lagoon, FP, GB. Grassroots support never hurt right?

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So, whats your affiliation with the company?
You seem to be pushing them pretty hard.
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Old 07-12-2013, 00:27   #5
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Re: power cat vs motor yacht vs trawler questions

These days I would be looking very heavily at a power cat. Like I said in the other thread the MP-52 looks very nice, but I would have to commission a different deck house.

I don't have much experience with large power cats, but since 2005 we have bought three multihulls, and I have fallen in love with them. The extra stability is nice, and the deck space is amazing.


The one thing I would think about is if the tradeoffs for a high top speed is worth it? A boat that can maintain high average speeds in rough weather even with a lower top still get there ahead of a faster boat that pounds.
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Old 07-12-2013, 05:59   #6
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Re: Power Cat vs Motor Yacht vs Trawler Questions

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Plympton.
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Old 07-12-2013, 11:07   #7
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Re: Power Cat vs Motor Yacht vs Trawler Questions

Plympton,
I just delivered a 54 Ocean Alexander Motor Yacht up the coast from San Diego to LA. Granted it was a pretty smooth day and we were able to run at 15Kts most of the way. Though the design is a little dated it makes for an excellent Coastal Cruiser option as well. My only concern was the fuel burn running to two Detroits at 485HP a piece. Ouch.. But thats why i think the Power Cat is the way to go in the future, unless you have a pretty nice dividend from your oil investments...
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Old 07-12-2013, 11:48   #8
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Re: Power Cat vs Motor Yacht vs Trawler Questions

Each type of boat has its +&- but you won't get a full picture from sales hype or from a dedicated enthusiast of one particular type. Best to have personal experience under multiple conditions. For example a cat in the Caribbean may not be as desirable a platform in other locations. lots of variables and issues along with personal style. On this form you will get lots of opinion which may or may not be useful and some may for your purposes be misleading. My advice read a lot and go out and get personal experience then form your own prejudices and opinions.
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Old 07-12-2013, 12:14   #9
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Re: Power Cat vs Motor Yacht vs Trawler Questions

Power cats might be more fuel efficient but there is also the cost of berthage to consider. They are also likely to be newer and more expensive.
If your budget is 750k you might consider allocating 20% of that to refurbishment upgrading costs. It is a rare boat that does not require ongoing work some of which will have been neglected by a previous owner not wanting to incur expenses he will not recoup. Those costs do not increase linearly with size but more like exponentially.
I suggest you want to think hard about the desire not need for speed for a couple of reasons. One a displacement hull is far more stable in a sea. Two going over hull speed can raise your fuel costs 3-5 x. That can be a significant cost factor effecting your choice to actually use the boat particularly at speed.
A typical yacht might have a peak motor speed of 6.5 and probably cruise at 6. Under sail in varying conditions with spells of light winds and head winds the velocity made good could well be four knots and influenced proportionately more by current.
At 50' you could cruise at 9 direct constantly = 220 mile a day. I suspect most would limit a day passage to about forty to fifty miles. Say 10 hours versus 5 for you. I wonder about the value of decreasing that time to 3 hours. Either way you would be there in time for lunch.
You will find much of this covered in various threads by Galaxygirl specifically "Overwhelmed".
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Old 07-12-2013, 16:25   #10
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Re: Power Cat vs Motor Yacht vs Trawler Questions

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Originally Posted by plympton View Post

Which finally brings me to my question, although I want to go fast when I want to, 95% of the time I would be at the dock or mooring and the motor yacht sure is a nice place to come home to after a long day of sight seeing, etc. But--for those times when I want to tool along at trawler speeds of 10-12 knots, enjoying the scenery, the weather or whatever, does a motor yacht (e.g. Silverton Ovation 52) just plow along with its bow pointed skyward?

You could run an Ovation 52 at displacement speeds when sea states permit. The hull form isn't designed to comfort in all sea states, given it's a planing hull, but it works OK at slow speeds... when beam seas don't cause enough roll to be uncomfortable.

The engines are large-ish for perfect fuel economy at displacement speeds, but OTOH if you can handle 6-8 GPH or less at about 8 kts, it might ring your chimes.

BTW, usually "trawler speeds" for boats in this size range are closer to 6-8 kts. Theoretical MAX displacement speed for a 52' boat -- assumed 49' length at the waterline, would be approx. 9.38 kts... but best fuel economy would be closer to 7 kts. (Generalizations.)

But then that Ovation would also likely cruise at 20+ kts -- with decent fuel burn, compared to various convertible/sportfish boats -- when necessary

Not a recommendation, although they do look nice and I could see going there is circumstances (budget) were right. Trawlers and cats would use less fuel under most circumstances, though, if that becomes your biggest driver.

FWIW, there's a Silverton owners club on line, which is about as close as you'd get for tech support... although I'm not aware of any members who own Ovations. (Might be, though)

-Chris
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Old 07-12-2013, 20:51   #11
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Re: Power Cat vs Motor Yacht vs Trawler Questions

Thanks all for the advice. I appreciate the varied viewpoints and the answer regarding the Ovation. Sometimes it only takes one little thing to send me off in a direction I wouldn't have ventured on my own.

I had read one suggestion along the way to buy the boat for the type of cruising you plan to do now---not the cruising you think you might do in the future. Feeling pressed for time and getting off to such a late start boating, my 3 year plan to work our way down to the Caribbean leaves me wanting to be familiar with my boat and everything on it after 3 years---not breaking in a new boat for the trip.

The only reason for speed was a member of the crew is uncomfortable with the prospect of being in open water for an extended period. The ability to cross with reasonable speed and safety and have the range that the powercats provide seems to be the best solution for my needs.

I was curious about the suitability of an express cruiser for this application. They didn't seem to have the range at speed I was hoping for and I wasn't sure how suitable a craft for those days that we could leisurely poke around slowly---impersonating a trawler.

That having been said, the over the top luxury on the express cruisers was tempting :-)

Thank you all again!
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Old 08-12-2013, 03:16   #12
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Re: Power Cat vs Motor Yacht vs Trawler Questions

At 10kn there aren't many Caribean crossings more than a day. The trick to fast passages isn't high max speed, but high average speed.

A displacement 50' cat should easily be able to maintain an efficient cruise at 12+kn in almost all conditions. That nonsense about hull speed only is true with a length:beam ratio of 3:1-4:1, when you get to the 10:1 of power cats it's a completely different story.
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Old 08-12-2013, 07:59   #13
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Re: Power Cat vs Motor Yacht vs Trawler Questions

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I was curious about the suitability of an express cruiser for this application. They didn't seem to have the range at speed I was hoping for and I wasn't sure how suitable a craft for those days that we could leisurely poke around slowly---impersonating a trawler.

That having been said, the over the top luxury on the express cruisers was tempting :-)


You may already know all this, but if not...

It might help you to know that in the powerboat world, an "express cruiser" usually means a fast-ish boat without flying bridge, so no raised saloon (bridge deck sorta suffices). Sea Ray Sundancer models exemplify. Unless it looks like a lobster boat, in which case it's called a downeast look, like some Hinkleys, Sabres, and MJMs and so forth

Flying bridge boats -- usually with decent enclosed saloons -- are often called sportfishers or convertibles (latter being a cross between fishing and cruising, see our avatar), or sometimes sedans, or sedan bridges, or in the current emerging European terminology: "Fly."

I don't remember how Luhrs Group described the Ovation 52, but probably convertible comes closest. Usually you'd see the helm location optimized (aft-ish) for fishing in these, whereas in a sedan/bridge, the helm location would more likely be further forward, with the aft part of the bridge more for entertaining.

I think I could never stand to own a boat with the word "Fly" in it's name

Flying bridge boats that also include an aft-cabin (usually the master or owner's stateroom) tend to be called motor yachts, and there are some "cockpit" versions of those -- with a cockpit tacked on aft of the aft-cabin.

And then you know all the trawler, cat stuff.

-Chris
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Old 08-12-2013, 08:13   #14
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Re: Power Cat vs Motor Yacht vs Trawler Questions

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...

Would like to stay under 50', flybridge, protected running gear, king berth, twin engines. 15 knots or better would be nice. ...
Single-engined boats usually have better-protected running gear because of a substantial keel deeper than propeller and rudder and with the shaft enclosed in the keel.
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Old 10-12-2013, 10:27   #15
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Re: Power Cat vs Motor Yacht vs Trawler Questions

There is not much different between a motor yacht vs a trawler looking boat Trawler has become the in vogue name for motor boat. You can not tell by the looks above the water line as some brand use the same hull on both their yacht and trawler looking boats. The important factors are the type of hull, planing 15+ knots, semi displacement, up to 15 knots, and full displacement at hull speed 7 to 10 knots. The house power is some what related to the type of hull.

So beside looking at boat above the water line is important to look what is below the water line.
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