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Old 24-07-2011, 11:52   #46
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Re: Powerboat Circumnavigation Possible ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cat man do View Post
Dont forget the initial cost of mast, winches, tracks, blocks, additional mounting points, spinnaker poles, squeezer socks , halyards, sheets, chainplates, fastenings etc etc
All things that the power vessel has not had to purchase
I'm not quite sure why, but the power boats weigh more than sailboats and perhaps due to the cost/lb of materials, their initial cost seems similar, despite the lack of sailing gear. Maybe its the cost of a larger engine with more reserve power? Maybe its the cost of the stabilizing system (which you might avoid with a power cat)

What would be the retail price for a nice power cat like yours??
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Old 24-07-2011, 14:30   #47
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Re: Powerboat Circumnavigation Possible ?

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Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
A new set of sails costs us $9k, and our last set went 60,000 miles, so our sail depreciation on this passage would be about $700.

Rigging costs are harder to calculate, but we replace the standing rigging every 10 years or 60,000 miles at a cost of $3k, so you could call that about $230 on a mileage basis or less than $10 on a time basis.
Interesting figures. I got my mainsail for $150 (brand new including 3 reefs and sail cover) and headsail for $20. It cost me $500 to replace my standing rigging (including turnbuckles and chainplates. The rigging cost so much because it's dynnex dux and 1/2" bronze turnbuckles and chainplates. If I had gone with galvanized it would have been around $250.

I sail about 90 miles for every dollar spent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cat man do View Post
Dont forget the initial cost of mast, winches, tracks, blocks, additional mounting points, spinnaker poles, squeezer socks , halyards, sheets, chainplates, fastenings etc etc
All things that the power vessel has not had to purchase
Don't forget to subtract the engine, fuel tanks etc.. All the things the sail vessel has not had to purchase.
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Old 24-07-2011, 15:47   #48
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Re: Powerboat Circumnavigation Possible ?

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Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
I'm not quite sure why, but the power boats weigh more than sailboats and perhaps due to the cost/lb of materials, their initial cost seems similar, despite the lack of sailing gear.
But then a slower speed* custom powercat like mine will be lighter than the sailing equivalent it was based on as it is 4 ft narrower overall, therefore it has cost less.
* a faster version would need to be built stronger=heavier

Quote:
Maybe its the cost of a larger engine with more reserve power?
cummins 65hp x 2 cost about the same price as the 40-50hp yanmars that the sailing version would have had
But yes, on a normal powered vessel they would have a larger than normal engine size, but take for example something like this one http://www.mvfocus.fastmail.net/
Would the motor in this be much larger or more expensive than its sail equivalent?

Quote:
Maybe its the cost of the stabilizing system (which you might avoid with a power cat)
I do avoid it
The powered vessel in my sig link reckons they had solid "fish" stabilizers off of the old trawler arms/gallows, that would have cost no more than a few grand

Quote:
What would be the retail price for a nice power cat like yours??
Wishing prices or actual sale prices?
About half of what it would have been when I started, if you could get a sale.
Same with many other nice trawlers.
I could a nice 2nd trawler, ready to go, like in my sig link, for about the same price that it'll cost me to finish.
If I could have done that when I started, I never would have started.
How the world changes
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Old 24-07-2011, 16:33   #49
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Re: Powerboat Circumnavigation Possible ?

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Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
Maybe its the cost of a larger engine with more reserve power?
The vessel I linked to above, MV Focus has a Length Overall of 56 feet and a John Deere 6068 130 h.p engine

A 50' Beneteau cyclades has a 108hp Yanmar

A 51' Alan Payne steely has a 112 Hp Gardner 6LW diesel

A 49' Garden Design Ketch has 165hp

A 47 'Formosa has a 120hp Ford-Lehman

and many more "Sailing Vessels" just like them, with both expensive mast and sails AND large engines
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Old 24-07-2011, 22:56   #50
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Re: Powerboat Circumnavigation Possible ?

It is good to get into the numbers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
Being quantitative, our last passage was from Panama to Hawaii
First, to keep things in context of circumnavigation we have to go beyond the Pacific. It is a great sailing region, and where speed on average will be their highest. But the question is, could a high course made good speed be maintained around the world in two years with only 25% time at sea?

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Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
We motorsailed a lot of the first 500 miles due to light winds. While motorsailing, we consume about 0.5 gph at 5 knots, for about 9-10 mpg.
The nm per gallon is the crucial efficiency number under power. This number is variable and I have seen it lacking accuracy and precision aboard sailboats over long distances and in varying conditions. The question is how much HP is needed to drive the about same tonnage power vs. sailboat with about the same waterline length? It turns out they are very close, which is why you see similar HP numbers on sailboat engines as the would be for full displacement powerboats as noticed here:

A historical generalization is many sailboats are underpowered and many powerboats are overpowered. But if we are talking efficient hull speed of full displacement boats the number are in the same ball park. But we get this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kapena View Post
The physics aren't the same as the boats aren't the same. Don't attempt to compare the two.
But the physics much closer than some people think.

Overall there is no free lunch out there. Time, flexibility, and luxury will cost. If you have a relatively small window of time (2 years) to travel, and you want to go around the world, want certain luxuries, want certain safety/redundancy, certain stress levels, have limited prep time, want maximum liesure time, have limited experience, I think is hard to beat the plan from the original post.

Of course you can pick parts of the equation and show you can spend less. Amazing, you spend less fuel aboard a sailboat under sail! Consider for the plan that fuel is only 16% of the overall budget where other big costs are obtaining a new boat, carrying insurance, and other cruising costs. Can you spend less money? Sure. But then there are other other trade-offs and costs/time sinks. Once again I am presenting a formula, and trying to convey it is possible and not as inefficient or costly as some may think.

Overall there is a relatively efficient combination of things you get with the 40ish foot boat under power, which may help seal the deal for some people. Consider the following luxuries underway and at anchor: You can take relatively long hot fresh water showers at least once a day, a washing machine for sheets and clothes, flush toilets with fresh water, keep all the electronics (radar, AIS, SSB, computers, etc.) on all the time underway, never wear weather gear">foul weather gear, microwave lots of frozen food, have large amounts of quickly chilled water, rhumb line everywhere, almost always arrive in daylight, less waiting for passage windows, ability to use air conditioning, and the list goes on. Overall I think it translates to less stress, more time ashore, and more comfort. For some this may make the difference between cruising and not. For us it certainly did.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
"Voyaging Under Power" is the definitive guide for those who wish to cross oceans under power.
Voyaging Under Power ~ by Robert Beebe, revised by James Leishman
Voyaging Under Power - Google Books
Yes indeed. This is the book that helped make it happen for us. I happen to know there is a going to be a new edition coming out hopefully soon. We were very skeptical about using a powerboat for crossing oceans until we read this book.

--
Eric
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Old 25-07-2011, 00:30   #51
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Re: Powerboat Circumnavigation Possible ?

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Originally Posted by markpierce View Post
Like I said, if you didn't do it in a catamaran, they'll say you did it wrong.

There are always many ways to skin a cat.

One can hardly say Steve Dashew is not a sailer. In the context of crusing it matters not how fast you can travel as long as oceans can be crossed safety. Which vessel was first to finish in the last Alantic ARC?

Quoting Steve Dashew - "With Wind Horse at rest we have been able to get an accurate measure of the fuel left aboard. The fuel data for the passage from Las Palmas in the Canary Islands to Fort Lauderdale looks like this:
  • Nautical miles traveled through the water (including current, plus or minus, is required for accurate mileage) – 4244
  • Hours run – 378
  • Average speed 11.23 knots
  • Speed length ratio – 1.247
  • Fuel consumed – 2885 gallons/10,900 liters
  • Fuel burn per hour – 7.63 gallons/28.9 liters
  • Mileage – .68 gallons/2.56 liters per nautical mile
  • Total range under these conditions based on remaining – 5060 nautical miles"
Some of the newer catamarans similar to Cat-Man Do's only need very small diesels (>50hp) to cruise at around 1 liter per nautical mile at 10knots+ although you would need greater than 40ft length to carry the large tankages for the longer passages.

There are several Australian and New designers (Roger Hill, Chamberlain, Oram, Malcom Tennant and others) with similar vessels that have made extensive passages in the Pacific. Most of the designers design in both sail and power.

An Oram prototype for example.

Video of Bob Oram’s Power Boat Bob Oram Design

45′ Cape Leveque Bob Oram Design

There are many ways to skin a cat and it's whatever floats your boat.
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Old 25-07-2011, 06:31   #52
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Re: Powerboat Circumnavigation Possible ?

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Interesting figures. I got my mainsail for $150 (brand new including 3 reefs and sail cover) and headsail for $20. It cost me $500 to replace my standing rigging (including turnbuckles and chainplates. The rigging cost so much because it's dynnex dux and 1/2" bronze turnbuckles and chainplates. If I had gone with galvanized it would have been around $250.

pleasee tell me where i can get dynex that cheep? thanks and where did you score the cheap turnbuckles?

p.s. did you sail non stop from cali to pago pago? love to hear more about the trip (in its own thread perhaps)
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Old 25-07-2011, 07:08   #53
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Re: Powerboat Circumnavigation Possible ?

Quote from Eric on a Nordhavn 43

"Overall there is a relatively efficient combination of things you get with the 40ish foot boat under power, which may help seal the deal for some people. Consider the following luxuries underway and at anchor: You can take relatively long hot fresh water showers at least once a day, a washing machine for sheets and clothes, flush toilets with fresh water, keep all the electronics (radar, AIS, SSB, computers, etc.) on all the time underway, never wear foul weather gear, microwave lots of frozen food, have large amounts of quickly chilled water, rhumb line everywhere, almost always arrive in daylight, less waiting for passage windows, ability to use air conditioning, and the list goes on. Overall I think it translates to less stress, more time ashore, and more comfort. For some this may make the difference between cruising and not. For us it certainly did."

On a rebuilt fishing boat, 63', 70 tons, we carry 2000 gallons of fresh water, a 20k Northernlights genset, a 10 k backup, a FULL size washer dryer, a full size kitchen with commercial 6 burner stove, 2 bay deep SS sink, and SS preptables, 7 cu ft freezer and 7 cu ft refer, a 5 ton AC unit, a full 36" by 36" shower stall in a standard size bathroom, and about 1,000 sq ft of living space with 8' ceilings and 1,000 sq ft of deck space.
We looked at a Nordhavn when we were boat shopping and they are most certainly luxurious and comfortable, but for us just too small to live on as a home. The one we were looking at was 40' at 350k, so it was affordable. We had to build our boat for a year and a half and ended spending maybe 100k less. I really like the size and heft of a large steel vessel.
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Old 25-07-2011, 10:13   #54
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Re: Powerboat Circumnavigation Possible ?

Lorenzo, we applaud people who are capable of doing the conversion from a fishing vessel to luxury yacht. When we bought our boat, we have virtually no boating experience and doing this kind of conversion wasn't possible for us. The reason why Eric posted the thread in the first place is because we are tired of all the "expert" sailors who give inaccurate information about long range power boating and discourage people from even thinking about it. We are so glad you are posting to let people know a conversion can be done for even less than a ready made trawler if you have the skills to make such a conversion happen.
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Old 25-07-2011, 16:59   #55
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Re: Powerboat Circumnavigation Possible ?

Thank you Christi and Eric for posting your experiences here. I have enjoyed your and others blogs about long range power boat experience and its great that we are discussing it on this forum.
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Old 25-07-2011, 17:29   #56
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Re: Powerboat Circumnavigation Possible ?

We planned on 150 mile days for our sailing circumnavigation, and most of the time we exceeded that, even out of the Pacific. I may not agree that a powerboat is the best thing to circumnavigate in, but it is certainly possible. Here is a picture of the boat next to us in Hanalei Bay, Hawaii which looks quite capable of it.

A powerboat is definitely the ticket for my next project, which is the Great Loop. I'm looking for shallower draft, low air draft, and limited range. I'm also blessed with a wife who used to live in a VW bus, and doesn't demand all the comforts of home.
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Old 27-12-2011, 14:08   #57
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Re: Powerboat Circumnavigation Possible ?

I think it's great that seasoned circumnavigators like Christi and Eric provide their insights on topics like this. Thank you both for taking the time to provide such thought provoking and lucid posts. Your blog - and your two books - have been a wealth of information for us as we plan our own future travels.

[If you haven't already, by all means check out their books via this link: The Unexpected Circumnavigation: Unusual Boat, Unusual People Part 1 - San Diego To Australia by Christi Grab]

I've been a sailor for 40+ years, racing first and then cruising on a variety of wonderful sailboats. Pathfinder is our Hinckley Bermuda 40, and she has seen us racing along the Gulf Stream, skirting offshore hurricanes (twice), and frequenting numerous anchorages from the Bahamas to the Marquesas.


s/v Pathfinder

It was on my last trip that my attitude towards sailing changed. Sailing in the Keys with a couple of friends, we encountered unseasonably cold and fierce weather (e.g., a high of 55 degrees in Key West) for the entire trip, resulting in one crew member coming down with pneumonia. It was quite a let down from our expectations of a warm subtropical cruise to the Dry Tortugas. Foul winds, cold temperatures, and cramped quarters were the rule. Unfortunately, work commitments meant the imposition of dastardly deadlines, and so we found ourselves motoring into headwinds much of the time, freezing all the while.

On my return I did some calculations based on several years of cruising for a week or two at a time and came to realize that, because we worked and faced deadlines, we historically used the engine exclusively about 25% of time; motor-sailed almost 50% of the time; and used the sails exclusively only 25% of our trips. That was an epiphany for me.

While very much your average 'give me a sailboat or give me death' chauvinist at that time, it dawned on me that both comfort and passage times would improve - as would our ability to achieve our itinerary goals given our limited sailing time - if we were to have a powerboat. Boy, even writing 'powerboat' bothers me still. Of course, the thought was immediately repellant, and my wife suggested therapy before a new type of boat. But after doing some research, I, like the Grabs, found that the Nordhavn could provide me with true blue water, transoceanic capability in a sound, comfortable, and commodious trawler. Things like an ice maker (!) standup SubZero refrigerator and freezer (!!) and central air-conditioning and heating at anchor (!!!) made the transition frighteningly appealing.

And so it was we bought a Nordhavn 40. It boasts 3,000+ nm range on 950 gallons of diesel; 250 gallons of water; 6.0 - 7.5 knots into headseas; 1.75 - 2.0 gph fuel consumption; great stability and seakindliness provided by both active (stabilizers) and passive (paravanes) gear; and enough room to where we have to make a concerted effort to find our nine-year old. And she looks salty as hell and I'm not embarrassed to be seen in her (oh, the vanity of men).


m/v Tropic Explorer

We have already made several forays to the Bahamas in our new 'expeditionary trawler' (that's what I call her; please understand, to me she's not a 'powerboat'), as well as a circumnavigation of Florida via the Okeechobee Waterway (a great trip, by the way). And while a circumnavigation of the Caribbean is coming in a year or two, we are now making many weekend and week-long cruises where weather and seas are a secondary concern.

While I know this kind of change wouldn't appeal to a lot of sailors (yet), for us it has been an easy and fun transition. And like with our Bermuda 40, we get lots of interest and kind comments on our boat wherever we anchor. It's been so successful that, while I never would have believed it, my beloved yawl is now for sale.
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Old 28-12-2011, 14:21   #58
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Re: Powerboat Circumnavigation Possible ?

Tex Fandango,

Welcome to the dark side! Your Nordhavn 40 is beautiful! I am sure that even though you will be sad about selling your yawl, you will never look back. I am glad that you enjoyed our blog and books! We hope to see you out on the water!

Christi Grab
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Old 04-01-2012, 19:27   #59
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Fuel Consumption

Fuel consumption is dominated by displacement. For a given waterline on a full displacement hull, nmpg is almost linear with respect to displacement. Half the displacement gives twice the mpg.

Hull shape is less important, but all sailors know it still matters. The drag from an immersed transom is remarkably high, about double the drag of a stern clear of the water (at displacement speeds).

Wetted surface matters quite a lot too, so full keels, deep draft, and extra appendages underwater (shafts, struts, stabilizers, rudders) can contribute 10 to 20% to drag (and therefore, reduce mileage by the same number).

If one actually did build a light displacement, clean shape, low wetted surface boat, one could easily drive fuel costs down radically. Of course, then one gets into motion issues. Weight makes motions much slower, and people are most affected by high accelerations, especially slamming (several Gs).

A light powercat can be very good because it can have a very small water plane area, therefore low motion rate, even at light displacement. And the lack of stabilizers and shafts for twin installations helps reduce the large disadvantage in wetted surface.

Unfortunately, production builders are stuck in the days of the Cadillac, where they think weight is a good thing, rather than a very bad thing. That goes for the production power cats too.
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Old 09-01-2012, 16:58   #60
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Re: Powerboat Circumnavigation Possible ?

Sorry if someone has already mentioned this, it was done 35yrs ago by Robert Beebe in a single engine, 50' wooden powerboat named Passagemaker. Google those details and you'll get lots of hits
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