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Old 21-07-2011, 19:13   #16
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Re: Powerboat Circumnavigation Possible ?

Of course it is possible, but why would you want to? It makes a lot more sense to use sail power for that kind of speed and those distances. The sails do the roll stabilization, the propulsion, and are far more economical/reliable.

For that kind of budget you could buy a solar boat. That would be a more interesting approach, then when you are done you can sell the panels and get some money vs burning diesel and giving everyone air pollution.
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Old 21-07-2011, 19:18   #17
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Re: Powerboat Circumnavigation Possible ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by EricGrab View Post
A few comments on assumptions 1-3 above.

1. Sailing rigging is mechanical. We encountered many sailboats with some degree of broken sailing rigs during passages. Sails and rigging have a hard and somewhat inconsistent life. Our engine never failed through 5000 hours, chugging away in a dry engine room completely isolated from seawater. One time we went out in rough conditions due to an expired immigration visa and the sailboat that was out there for the same reason dismasted.
2. We never had a problem with dirty fuel, but we were careful were we got it from. We had the range to be choosy. The world's fishing fleets depend on decent diesel and we went to established ports. We polished carefully, have water drain sump, and used biocide. Before we got anywhere we were sure we had clean fuel.
3. Indeed. Out boat is a heavy displacement boat with significant self righting capacity (weighted full keel, two inches of fiberglass), and with minimal windage.

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Like I said, we all make the same computations and come up with a different answer. So we have much that we don't agree on but what I love about cruisers in general is that we have far more in common. And BTW, I'm supposed to be at work only these emails keep popping up on my computer.

Greg
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Old 21-07-2011, 19:44   #18
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Originally Posted by cat man do

Compared to what?

She's a nice vessel, but there is no way that I would ever say a nordhaven has minimal windage
I meant underway, compared to a sailboat with her sails up. Big gusts and sudden wind direction changes have minimal impact to us. We do heel a bit in bigger winds while underway, but only a few degrees.
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Old 21-07-2011, 20:35   #19
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Re: Powerboat Circumnavigation Possible ?

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Of course it is possible, but why would you want to? It makes a lot more sense to use sail power for that kind of speed and those distances. The sails do the roll stabilization, the propulsion, and are far more economical/reliable.
I disagree that sails are faster, or more reliable. Part of the point of the original post is that it does not make "a lot more sense to use sail power". That is conventional wisdom from sailors. Also I would say the economics are about the same for equivalent luxury.

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For that kind of budget you could buy a solar boat. That would be a more interesting approach, then when you are done you can sell the panels and get some money vs burning diesel and giving everyone air pollution.
To be clear on budget: It is ~$300k, to cruise for 2 years on a ~$700k boat. About half of the 300k is downpayment, ~50k for fuel, ~20k for insurance, the rest for other boat costs, fun, food, etc. Is there a $700k solar powered boat out there that can circumnavigate in 2 years while having only 25% time underway? And selling off a key component(s) of the boat upon return? I can sell all kind of things off my boat, including my engine, but I see no reason to do that unless things get really desperate.

Most sailboats consume their fair share of diesel. We observed cruising boats spend 25-75% of their time under power. The physics and fuel burn are pretty much the same.

Net pollution is not that different when you consider the energy and materials used to manufacture a modern boat. The world could not sustain everyone having a modern sailboat that is for sure. Cruising pleasure boats are luxuries that comes from an infrastructure of inexpensive power that currently causes pollution. A better grid of renewable energy and using biodiesel may help. I would love a solar boat, and they are making some progress. There is a large cat, covered with panels working on a circumnavigation. Ultra capacitors even allow interesting ways to store energy. But solar and energy storage have a way to go. Even crazy as it sounds it might be possible to use nuclear power on small boats. Look at travelling wave reactors. Anyway, I digress, that gets into ridiculous complexity at this point in time.

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Old 21-07-2011, 20:58   #20
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Re: Powerboat Circumnavigation Possible ?

When Scott and Mary Flanders crossed the Pacific in Egret they beat the sailboats in every leg, sometimes by quite a large margin. And they basically traveled at fuel economy speed. They crossed from Chili so they used extra fuel bladders but they always had reserve fuel along the way.
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Old 21-07-2011, 21:24   #21
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Re: Powerboat Circumnavigation Possible ?

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Originally Posted by cat man do View Post
She's a nice vessel, but there is no way that I would ever say a nordhaven has minimal windage
If my desire was to make oceanic transits and had the financial resources, I'd want something like this:

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Old 21-07-2011, 21:28   #22
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Re: Powerboat Circumnavigation Possible ?

We know someone who circumnavigated in the wrong direction (west-about) in an older 58-ft Hatteras. Obtaining sufficient fuel for the longest passages was never a problem.

Wishing you all the best. Have a ball.

Judy
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Old 21-07-2011, 22:48   #23
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Re: Powerboat Circumnavigation Possible ?

I don't know what cruising boats you are seeing but I average under 200 gallons a year, 60k miles since 2006. I only have a 50 gallon tank. I own a catamaran and normally sail a lot faster then 6 knots. I don't know where the 25-75% engine run time comes from (your quote) but even motor sailing is burning far less fuel. If I run both engines I burn 1/2 gallon an hour, also doing 6 knots, no sails, something I never have to do. I've cruised since 2006, and my costs and your also don't compare. It's far different. I imagine a lot of sailors cringed when you posted your costs. Many sailors are spending less than 15k a year, including boat maintenance. I have as much space and equivalent luxury (not entertainment systems) and I don't require flopper stoppers at anchor, or paravanes in weather. The physics aren't the same as the boats aren't the same. Don't attempt to compare the two. Its a different type of boating though doing the same thing. One is sailing and the other trawling.

I think your original post is a good one and shows the Nordhaven for what it is, a true blue water trawler. If someone wants to boat with a motor then I think it's terrific and you can be proud of your accomplishment. I read your post not to compare but in interest of your accomplishment. I think you should keep to the fabric of your post...your circumnavigation and the Nordhaven. It really is a good boat.
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Old 22-07-2011, 00:26   #24
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Re: Powerboat Circumnavigation Possible ?

We all make our choices with regards to a vessel choice and while we can discuss why we've made our own choices please remember to be respectful of the choices others have made. We're not in a competition to claim rights to the best type of vessel nor are we here to write judgements of others choices.

Thanks.
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Old 22-07-2011, 01:36   #25
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Re: Powerboat Circumnavigation Possible ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by EricGrab View Post
I disagree that sails are faster, or more reliable. Part of the point of the original post is that it does not make "a lot more sense to use sail power". That is conventional wisdom from sailors. Also I would say the economics are about the same for equivalent luxury.
We should agree to disagree Everyone knows a sailboat the size of this boat can go much faster than 6 knots on sail power alone. Sails are equivalent to about 20,000 miles per gallon if you consider what it takes to make the sails and rig vs making the engine and the fuel it will consume. You have to sail until the sails rip in half.

Quote:
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I disagree that sails are faster, or more reliable. Part of the
To be clear on budget: It is ~$300k, to cruise for 2 years on a ~$700k boat. About half of the 300k is downpayment, ~50k for fuel, ~20k for insurance, the rest for other boat costs, fun, food, etc. Is there a $700k solar powered boat out there that can circumnavigate in 2 years while having only 25% time underway?
Probably, but you need to buy everything separately and put it together. I was able to get just a few solar panels new from the distributers for $1.75 a watt, they should be cheaper in quantity, but assuming this price, if you spent $300k on solar panels you would have 223hp of electric power in direct sunlight. Of course the continuous 24hr power is considerably less, but it may not be as impossible or expensive as you might think. I don't really think you are interested in going this route so it's pointless to run numbers on everything batteries motors controllers etc... but ocean crossings have been done on solar with a much lower budget.

Quote:
Most sailboats consume their fair share of diesel. We observed cruising boats spend 25-75% of their time under power. The physics and fuel burn are pretty much the same.
That does not mean they need to. Some people drop their sails and motor into an anchorage after sailing 300 miles in the ocean. They might as well have left the sails up and sailed in as I did.

Quote:
Net pollution is not that different when you consider the energy and materials used to manufacture a modern boat. The world could not sustain everyone having a modern sailboat that is for sure. Cruising pleasure boats are luxuries that comes from an infrastructure of inexpensive power that currently causes pollution. A better grid of renewable energy and using biodiesel may help. I would love a solar boat, and they are making some progress. There is a large cat, covered with panels working on a circumnavigation. Ultra capacitors even allow interesting ways to store energy. But solar and energy storage have a way to go. Even crazy as it sounds it might be possible to use nuclear power on small boats. Look at travelling wave reactors. Anyway, I digress, that gets into ridiculous complexity at this point in time.
Good to know you are exploring all possibilities, even esoteric! What about dolphin/shark power? Livestock walking in circles (works for raising anchor too)? Oars operated by "servants"? Swell power?

You should seriously consider a kite at the very least to improve fuel economy in the right conditions.

Authorities will never let consumers have nuclear power for fear of dirty bombs. They wont allow it for cargo ships, or airplanes, trains etc even. AFAIK they are only on military vessels and power plants. I don't think it will ever be legal. If you can get the radioactive material and build your own reactor however...

With your budget, why spend it all on yourself? Why not just cruise comfortably on 100k (I'm doing it on 10k and see no end in sight) and donate the rest to help the people you meet along the way? Isn't it a bit selfish to keep so much for yourself when so many people have so little?
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Old 22-07-2011, 12:01   #26
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Re: Powerboat Circumnavigation Possible ?

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I don't know where the 25-75% engine run time comes from (your quote)
This generalization number originally came from Beth Leonard's Cruising Handbook, and then confirmed by several dozen sailors I met. I found in different parts of the world the numbers varied. For example during our passage time in the Indian Ocean there was a lot of motoring and people joked their sails were ornamental. There as we compared engine hours across about 5,000 nm, at least one boat had the same number of engine hours. The run through the Gulf of Aden and to the Red Sea was particularly tough with strong currents. In one stretch sailboats boats were doing 2-3 knots motor sailing, while we were doing about 5. In the South Pacific with consistent trade winds things were different, and sailboats averaged better speed. Anyway, about 80% of the time we were between 5 and 7 knots. Our extremes were 12 knots (for a minutes or two through a pass through an atoll), and 3 knots in likewise strong currents fighting head seas and winds. It is all about averages over long distances, and course made good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by geckosenator View Post
Everyone knows a sailboat the size of this boat can go much faster than 6 knots on sail power alone.
Locally yes, around the world, not in general. Not for the same size boat in the same two timeframe with similar stops. Roughly sail is about 30 to 50% slower over that large average. And sure there will be some exceptions.

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Originally Posted by Kapena View Post
I imagine a lot of sailors cringed when you posted your costs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by geckosenator View Post
With your budget, why spend it all on yourself? Why not just cruise comfortably on 100k (I'm doing it on 10k and see no end in sight) and donate the rest to help the people you meet along the way? Isn't it a bit selfish to keep so much for yourself when so many people have so little?
It is comments and sentiment like these that are frustrating. By certain metrics the wife and I did spend a lot of money. So do a lot of other people out there cruising. We certainly pumped our fair share into local economies. Like I said I think we burned the candle brightly. There is a whole spectrum of budgets out there. We worked hard for everything we did, and we wanted certain luxuries, trade-offs, and timelines. But I do get the sense sometimes that if we literally spent twice as much on an Oyster 58 with racing sails the word would be not be "cringe", but something like awesome or noble.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hummingway View Post
We all make our choices with regards to a vessel choice and while we can discuss why we've made our own choices please remember to be respectful of the choices others have made. We're not in a competition to claim rights to the best type of vessel nor are we here to write judgements of others choices.
Indeed, we should not judge people on their boats or make too many assumptions. Yet to be honest, we got that explicitly from at least one sailor per stop (110 stops) around the world. The unprovoked inquisitions and implications from sailors did not really sour anything for us (well maybe once), but it did get tiresome because it happened essentially every time we dropped the hook. Try as we might to avoid talking about boating stats and technology as we visited each place, it is interesting how fast it comes up for some folks and how quickly it can to be used to generalize about who you are.

The reality is people are judgmental about their boats, equipment, and plans. Just look at the deadhorse topics of mono vs. multi, anchor types, experience needed, cruising on $X limit, etc. The deviations from a certain perspective will appear increasingly crazy to some people. And things can get hyperbolic quickly with people "cringing" and implying there is irrational thinking involved. Also cruising on $1 a day does not make you any more or less of a person, nor does spending $10,000 a day, or anything in-between.

I tried to give as many numbers as possible, because these were by far the most asked questions. There have been many assumptions about our circumnavigation that have been off by factors of 2, 5, or even 10. There is no "best". There is what works for you. I only want to give some perspective on the numbers. Our plan and formula worked for us, it is not for everybody, and I would like to convey it is not as extreme or outlandish as people may assume.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eleebana View Post
… what I love about cruisers in general is that we have far more in common.
Indeed again. We met tons of great folks, and made lasting friends. It was one of the highlights of the whole experience.
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Old 23-07-2011, 05:43   #27
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Re: Powerboat Circumnavigation Possible ?

We are former sailors and cruised on a sailboat for seven years. After selling that boat and going back to work for a couple years, we started looking at boats again and at a friends urging, looked at a Nordhavn. At first we laughed - no way would we consider a power boat! But when we started weighing all the pros and cons, it seemed worth a closer look. Don't get me wrong, we loved sailing, but it's a lot of work, lots of times there's not enough wind, somtimes too much wind, you're often cold and wet, etc. The real deciding factor was the amount of living space and amenities on a similar sized trawler for the same amount of money. We're just now getting back into full time cruising mode but so far have been very happy. And the operating costs of this boat vs. a sailboat of the same size will be about the same. New sails are expensive and you can buy a LOT of fuel for the same cost.
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Old 23-07-2011, 06:01   #28
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Re: Powerboat Circumnavigation Possible ?

If power boats were so dangerous or unreliable then Tea clippers would still be in use.
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Old 23-07-2011, 10:33   #29
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Re: Powerboat Circumnavigation Possible ?

I too have considered the sailboat powerboat cost equation.

Sails, rigging, and etc are expensive and do certainly wear out.

My powerboat gets about 4 sm per gal at 5 mph, and I don't go very far often. There is no doubt in my mind that it is a lot cheaper than any sailboat with similar accommodations to operate for what I do, especially considering the thinwater conditions locally. Your choice was similar and you proved it was a good one!

A fuel efficient powerboat is faster, even at 6 knots straight-line distance, than the majority of sailboats, much more comfortable than the majority of sailboats, and easier to get going and keep going than the majority of sailboats.

Sailing is a wonderful experience and if you enjoy that, as I do, that is a good reason to only consider sail. But, cost might be as clear cut as many of you think.

I would never consider a Nordhaven for where I plan to operate if only for its draft - but for what you did it sounds like the perfect boat.
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Old 23-07-2011, 10:57   #30
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Re: Powerboat Circumnavigation Possible ?

The pecking order around here is catamarans, monohulls, and lastly, motorboats.
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