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Old 12-10-2010, 12:08   #16
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Los Angeles and Hawaii
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Originally Posted by alohaboat View Post
I suggest you look at a Willard 30 trawler. Single diesel engine that burns 3/4 gallon per hour at 6 knots. Many well kept 30 year old Willards for sale under US$50K.
Damn this forum software. Dumped my long and well thought out response! OK, let's see if I can re-do it.

Cost of fuel is one thing that can keep you shorebound. But its not the only thing. I find that people generally won't go boating if the get sea sick, or if the boat smells badly. If you get sea sick or the boat stinks, you won't go boating even if it gets a million miles to the gallon.

The two things that contribute the most to sea sickness are 1) not having a clear view of a lot of horizon, and 2) not having good enough ventilation (made much worse by disgusting smells).

Having a good view from the bunk can be essential! This is why many people prefer greatly to sleep on deck.

Disgusting smells usually come from 4 sources: 1) head, 2) mildew, 3) bilges, and 4) fuel.

The best solution to head smells I have found is to use Vacuflush heads with fresh water for flushing. A vacuflush uses only about a cup of water per flush, so both your water supply and your holding tank capacity is respected.

Avoiding mildew requires moisture control. This means wiping down the shower every time you use it. I find that a "wet head" is generally better than a stall shower, because people often will not wipe down the stall, but they know they can't avoid wiping down the entire head compartment with a wet head. Also, no carpet, especially no carpet under deck or in lockers or any other hard to reach place. A lot of boat builders use carpet to "finish" hard to reach areas! Usually, a non-cored boat, or a boat with plywood cores, will be prone to condensation, and this leads to mildew.

Bilges must be kept clean and dry. As clean as your kitchen floor. This means all areas of the bilges must be very easy to access. In particular, the bilge near the engine and stuffing box MUST be very easy to access, because diesel, oil, and grease are eaten by microbes, and microbes smell very badly.

Diesel fuel can smell badly. You must have easy access to anywhere fuel flows ore is stored (filler, vent, tank, under the tank, filters, fuel valves, filters, right through to the injectors and the return lines) because ALL of these things WILL leak from time to time. You must be able to clean up the diesel completely or the diesel will soak into wood near your bilge. Contrary to popular myth, diesel and wet wood (like your engine beds, stringers, frames, floors, ...) can burn like hell.

Gasoline smells much less than diesel. It evaporates, so small amounts don't soak into wood nearly as badly as diesel. And the danger of gasoline is usually overstated, because gasoline requires a narrow range of air-fuel ratio to burn, and blowers and engine room ventilation can avoid this risk.

As for cost of operation, the key is to go slow. A displacement hull without an immersed transom, such as a Willard, Krogen, or nearly any sailboat, can be pushed at the sqrt(LWL) in knots VERY efficiently: e.g., 6 knots for a 36 foot waterline boat. Hull speed tends to require about twice the fuel flow, and exceeding hull speed gets very expensive very quickly.

For inexpensive operation, one should avoid any hull with an immersed transom. This includes any semi-planing, fast trawler, or planing hulls.

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