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Old 10-05-2013, 06:54   #1
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Powerboat for lifelong sailor - advice?

Hi:


We have just competed a sailing circumnavigation, and have returned to buy a house on the Chesapeake Bay. I am now, at this point in our life, and with our catamaran out front, willing and interested in a small power boat to tool around the bay in.

I know nothing about this world.

I think having a small cutty cabin might be nice, but its mostly mostly for visiting friends in other parts of the western coast of the bay (would like to be able to go at 15-20 knots comfortably and economically -- is that realistic?), for crabbing, maybe skiing on calm days ... Etc.

Ease of upkeep is important ... And names like Grady ring out from my past lives ...

Am biased for cost reasons to the used market.

How do I even begin to think about this?

Thanks to all!

/j
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Old 10-05-2013, 07:06   #2
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Re: Powerboat for lifelong sailor - advice?

Since you already appreciate the space virtues of a catamaran sailer, why not go with a power cat. About 24' or so, cuddy cabin, twin 100-150 hp O/Bs. Carolina Cat, Glacier Bay and World Cat are some of the brands.

Search Yachtworld and you will find dozens.

David
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Old 10-05-2013, 07:08   #3
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Re: Powerboat for lifelong sailor - advice?

Quote:
Am biased for cost reasons to the used market.

How do I even begin to think about this?
I'd head right down to the bay and start patrolling the smaller powerboat-oriented marinas and start talking to folks. A lot of folks are very willing to talk about their boats, and will probably let you look them over pretty closely. In the Chesapeake I would go outboard for shallow draft and ease of replacement/repair.
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Old 10-05-2013, 07:58   #4
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Re: Powerboat for lifelong sailor - advice?

Have done a similar thing in the past. Lived on a large lake and kept a power boat for running around to visit friends around the lake. Was great fun and much more practical for this than sail.

For me the decision process would be based on a few questions.

1. How far to your friends?

2. How often and how long will you visit?

3. How choppy will that part of the bay get on a regular basis.

In my situation I was traveling as far as 15 miles across a lake that was pretty rough. Even on calm days the combined wake of the hundreds of boats on the lake made for a very bumpy ride. I was looking for a compromise between speed, comfort and economy.

The boats that I liked the most were a 19' Grady and an 18' Searay (an older model when they were well built). Both were V-hulls and rode pretty well on the rough water, gas mileage wasn't bad and they carried plenty of passengers. I didn't want to get much larger as I wanted them for pulling skiers as well. Larger might be good for your application and a cat might be great.
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Old 10-05-2013, 08:13   #5
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Re: Powerboat for lifelong sailor - advice?

Expensive, but look at C-Dory. Check out C-Brats group.
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Old 11-05-2013, 06:50   #6
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Re: Powerboat for lifelong sailor - advice?

j, There are lots of options for you, but as you mentioned, the Grady White would be an excellent choice for what you plan and they certainly can handle most anything the Bay can dish out. We know all to well how things can suddenly change on the Bay on any summer day. Chuck
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Old 11-05-2013, 07:10   #7
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Re: Powerboat for lifelong sailor - advice?

For occasional skiing, you'll want more than 15-20 knot capability. For all that stuff, and until you can refine your own requirements a bit more, generally anything from about 18' up to about 30' (getting expensive) can maybe work pretty well.

Small cuddies, whether monohull or cat, can be a pretty good choice. Crabbing might depend on freeboard.

If you don't intend to overnight, a center console has a lot going for it, too (and once you get into the 26' range or so, you can get a decent head). At the 30' mark, you can usually even sleep down below (see the Grady and Boston Whaler models, just for orientation to the concept). Ditto freeboard and crabbing, but we see boatloads of guys around here doing that all the time.

Some folks like a dual-console or a bow-rider, too... so you'll probably just have to eyeball a bunch of different styles a bit to see what speaks to you, what might meet the needs of the way you'd use it, etc. As you refine your own ideas, it's easier to home in one candidates that might best suit.

You might want to think about power options right up front, too. In this broad size range, you generally have inboard-outboard (I/O) or outboard options (outboards especially at the low end of the size range but running throughout), and each has some advantages... some of which relevant depending on how you intend to store the boat.

I/Os don't usually tilt out of the water enough for best storage, although salt in the Chespeake is generally easier to deal with than in someplace like Florida. Outboards tend to be more "tiltable" for in-water storage. Might you install a lift at your dock?

OTOH, there are diesel I/Os, which in turn bring some additional upfront cost but long-term economy -- and often good performance -- into the mix.

Lots of credible brands/models/sizes out there...

-Chris
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Old 11-05-2013, 07:18   #8
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Re: Powerboat for lifelong sailor - advice?

Just take the mast down and pretend that you have a deep displacement power boat!
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Old 11-05-2013, 07:35   #9
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Re: Powerboat for lifelong sailor - advice?

One thing about powerboats is that they are much more of a commodity than sailboats--they are relatively easy to buy and sell quickly, without too much if any loss of value. So, you can purchase a boat this year to see what you think, and then you'll have a much better idea of what you really need and can sell the first boat and move on. The biggest hit doing this is on sales taxes paid up front.
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Old 11-05-2013, 09:07   #10
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Re: Powerboat for lifelong sailor - advice?

One vessel that I have always found interesting is the 'standard' 'RIB' power boat that towboatUS uses. It has a nice little pilot house. I presume is both efficient and fast (would need to be for commercial reasons). Strong and able to hold up under commercial service.
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Old 11-05-2013, 09:20   #11
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Re: Powerboat for lifelong sailor - advice?

My cousin has a 28' Albemarle Express, it was a really nice boat. It was a great ride, having an inboard instead of outboards. Not sure what your budget is, and there are a ton of choices out there. Having a trailer is a big plus, for storm season and to open up some cruising options inland. That may have very little appeal for you, but I for one miss having a boat to take on mountain lakes in the summer.

If I was in your situation, I'd want a boat with some cockpit protection for boating in cooler weather, and some functionality as a work boat. The crabbing plan is good, I'm really excited for you and I don't even know you.....

My cousins also had a much bigger boat for offshore fishing, but the Albemarle was for inshore fishing, and taking to restaurants in Topsail Beach, Surf City, and Wrightsville Beach. They would always come meet us in the Motts Channel anchorage and take us to dinner when we arrived at Masonboro inlet from offshore. Good memories...

Guess I'm a little envious
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Old 11-05-2013, 09:41   #12
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Re: Powerboat for lifelong sailor - advice?

just a couple of thoughts.
*Inboard vs outboard: Outboards give you more room in the boat on a small boat and are usually quieter. A replacment 200 hp outboard is about $18000! A replacement 350 chevy inboard long block is about $1500 + labor.
* transoms: nearly every old boat out there (other than Tollycraft) has or has had a rotten core in the transom. Doesnt matter if it's a Searay or a Bayliner. They cut the outdrive hole in the transom and dont get it sealed up well enough, or they drill holes for things attached to the transom and leaks occur into the core. You want a boat that has had the transom rebuilt, or asurance there are no issues.
* a 200-250 hp boat will burn about 12+ gallons an hour at 30 mph+, other than using the boat as a displacement hull at 6 knots or so, the most economical speed is usually 3500-4000 rpm... yeah you're burning fuel but you are going 30 miles in one hour.
* It's nice to have a stand up head on a boat, some have them, some dont. At 24 feet or so you usually get it.
* From what I can tell the GM based inboards and Volvo or Mercruiser outdrives are best. OMC not so good.
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Old 11-05-2013, 13:23   #13
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Re: Powerboat for lifelong sailor - advice?

Most of the boats already mentioned are overkill for shallow water Chesapeake day boats. Probably you are going to confine yourself to only going out on pretty days anyway? A T-top is great for the center console to provide shade. I've had several cuddy cabin boats, they are a waste for day trips and end up being a messy place to throw junk that ends up mildewed.

Get a Carolina Skiff DLX that is 19 feet or longer to handle wind chop. They are extremely versatile, good shallow water boats, easy to clean, good resale value, and carry a ton of stuff or people. I had a 24 footer with a 140 HP outboard and I would even take it out in the ocean on pretty days. It was rated for an insane 18 people. Easy on gas, great speed. The kids loved it for pulling skiers or a tube, and it would fit two lawn chairs in the front when the ladies wanted to cruise down the creek. Getting it on and off a trailer took all of three minutes, and it was small enough to run it through an open bay powerwash carwash. I've had a dozen power boats and got the most use out of my skiff. If you want to go fast (or offshore,) I also liked my Fountain 31 center console (62 mph with six guys and fishing equipment at 60 gal/hr WOT.)
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Old 11-05-2013, 17:44   #14
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Re: Powerboat for lifelong sailor - advice?

Not sure what the budget is or about cabins wanted or what.

If you want a boat to run around in little can beat a "Panga" design.

Angler Boat Corporation - Sportfishing Boats makes a 22 and a 26.

They are used world wide (not the Angler itself but the panga lines) for a reason. Weatherly, plane easily, carry good load etc. They are the most fuel efficient hull out there. Cats are the worst at fuel efficiency - but have a really nice ride.
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Old 12-05-2013, 05:56   #15
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Re: Powerboat for lifelong sailor - advice?

I saw this Carolina Skiff 19.8 DLX on the side of road this morning for sale, exactly what I was talking about, well outfitted and in nearly perfect condition despite being a 2005- as though it had been stored inside. A 19 only requires a 90 HP outboard, I wouldn't go any smaller because the 17 will beat you to death in short wind chop which is common on the east coast. This is a good size for 2 to 4 adults, but can carry up to 11 if you are foolish enough to try that. In the Outer Banks, where there are more boats than people it seems, the Carolina Skiff is the dominant model but I also see them commonly as far away as the Great Lakes (where I spend a lot of time) and Texas. People in Galveston use them to fish 30 miles offshore for king mackerel.

A panga is an interesting choice. I know them from sailfishing in Costa Rica, but they are rarely seen on the east coast despite being an efficient hull. Very few used models, and even an Angler Panga 26 (called a Pangler OMG) is north of 30K and would require a 225 HP motor to achieve max hull speed of 45 mph. I got 42 mph with my Carolina Skiff 24 with a 140 HP and got about 7 mpg at cruise on a calm day (instead of 3.8 listed for the Pangler.)

Notice the nice casting platform with storage in front and wide open deck space on the CS. Allegedly you can fill these boats with water and they won't sink.

Again, forget the cuddy cabin... you are describing the need for a day boat and a cuddy cabin just robs you of much needed deck space to provide a damp hole to store stuff you don't need and ruin stuff you do need like fishing equipment etc and also you can't powerwash a cuddy cabin after you go crabbing or fishing.
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