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Old 28-08-2013, 06:33   #1
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Recommendation on a Powerboat for Cruising

I am trying to make a decision to purchase a cruiser powerboat. I currently have a mid-size sailboat but I think it's just too much heeling, wind and overall uncomfortableness for my two kids and wife. Beginning to think that they are just not sailors...

I have been looking and researching online, but not being very familiar with powerboat manufacturers, there seems to be quite a few to choose from in the 34' to 37' range. Rinker 342, Formula 39 PC, etc...

I am looking for a comfortable and roomy interior, in the 34' to 37' range. Going 45 mph on the water would not be a priority.

Any thoughts?
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Old 28-08-2013, 06:56   #2
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Re: Recommendation on a Powerboat for cruising

How about:
Buzzards Bay 34 power catamaran | Buzzards Bay Cats - Power Catamarans
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Old 28-08-2013, 11:07   #3
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Re: Recommendation on a Powerboat for cruising

Hmmm... need to throw a dart first, to see where to start.

Slow vs. fast? Enclosed saloon or not? Flybridge? Raised helm? Express model (living spaces mostly below decks)? Diesel or gas? Two or three staterooms (or berths)? (Or just one, and the kids can use a pull-out or dinette conversion?) And so forth.

It's often easy to visit dealers to gander at new boat layouts; identify a few you like, see if you can find those on the used market.

Similar to names you've mentioned, other makers like that include Sea Ray, Chaparral, Cruisers, Regal, Maxum, Wellcraft... but that only scratches the surface of boats that might actually work for you. Name 5 boats/models you might like, hum a few bars about features of those that you might find attractive... and that'll make it easier for folks to chime in with more ideas.

-Chris
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Old 28-08-2013, 11:21   #4
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Re: Recommendation on a Powerboat for Cruising

Trawler or go fast? A trawler you will spend the day getting to that island 30 miles away, spend the night and spend the next day getting home to go to work on Monday. A go-fast you will spend 1.5 hours getting there and back and use at least twice the fuel. What's your priorities? Does the family enjoying "going" or enjoy being there?
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Old 28-08-2013, 11:37   #5
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Re: Recommendation on a Powerboat for Cruising

I am not interested in a flybridge or anything similar in design.
I don't need to go fast but not looking for a slug but sailing for many years in a monohull, going more than 7 knots is speedy. I would prefer a diesel just because I am familiar with this type of engine. In the size of boat I am looking at, I don't think that is going to be reasonable.

I like the design and layout of the 2002 Rinker 342 or 1997 Sea Ray 370. They have nice finishes (wood), aft cabin, forward v-berth and galley. The specs for both indicate 37' LOA but I believe the Rinker is a 34', perhaps they are counting the swim platform. Kids are small, 8 and 10 yrs old. So having a stable boat would be an absolute must. Traveling throughout the Chesapeake Bay and anchoring out would be the general use.
I don't think I can go much bigger than a 37', although I have sailed on 36' plus sailboats for many years, I don't have a lot of experience in cruisers - powerboats.
It is a little confusing reviewing each model, one will say 330 but the specs indicate 36'.

Both seem to have as much room as our 36' sailboat, I guess.
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Old 28-08-2013, 11:44   #6
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Re: Recommendation on a Powerboat for Cruising

Family enjoys spending the night, visiting new places and new adventures. Not sure traveling all day for 30 miles would be fun for the kids but really don't need to get there in 1 1/2 hrs. I am sure this is a dumb question, do you have to maintain cruising speed (based on the boat, as they always indicate in the specifications), as long as you are on plain? I.E. if they indicate cruising speed is 24 mph but you are going 15 to 18 instead.

The problem with the sailboat is that my daughter and sometimes my wife did not like the heeling, and most of the time you go out sailing is when the wind picks up so there is always some chop on the water. I love sailing but it would be nice not to plan a trip around the wind forecast.
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Old 28-08-2013, 11:58   #7
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Re: Recommendation on a Powerboat for Cruising

If you are considering a Searay 37 with diesels... you are into some pretty big bucks. Some considerations: while the flybridge isnt for everyone, it usually means you have a nice open airy cabin below. Most the Sea Ray types are a bit of a cave like a sailboat. One very nice thing about a trawler or sport fisher etc is the nice open cabin with large windows. In the price range you are talking, a catamaran is a definite possibility.... still comes down to how fast you want to go.
I have tested dozen of (gas) planing powerboats... the most economical speed on them is cruising speed... often in the 3500-4000 rpm range. Yeah.... they are sucking gas, but they are going 30-35 while doing so. We analyzed the numbers... going 30 mph and only running an hour to get there is cheaper than going 12-15 and pushing that bow wave!
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Old 28-08-2013, 12:14   #8
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Re: Recommendation on a Powerboat for Cruising

My kids hated to heal also. In the 5 years that we had our Catalina 380 they came on the boat for 5 hours max.

Since we purchase the cat the kids want to go with us all the time.

They love the 360 degree view and being able to walk around and lay on the tramp for hours getting a tan.

Diesels are the way to go. We have two 30hp engines, but only use one at a time when cruising.
We use a shot class of fuel every time we go out. When I fill the cat with fuel from a 5 gal can, others at the dock wonder what I am doing. I just say, I hope it takes the whole five gallons of fuel.

Do not want to sail. No worries, just start one diesel and it’s the cheapest trawler you can get.

A 36 cat will equal the room of a 46 foot mono hull. A small cat will be a better cruiser for a family of four just because of all the room. They come with three state rooms for a family setup.
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Old 28-08-2013, 12:21   #9
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Re: Recommendation on a Powerboat for Cruising

Have you looked at the Beneteau powerboats??? Pretty nice boats... Much better build quality than sea ray...
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Old 28-08-2013, 12:35   #10
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Re: Recommendation on a Powerboat for Cruising

No, I was not planning to find a diesel engine within a Sea Ray 370. Just saying that would be my preference, diesel engine.

Yes, a catamaran mid 30' range was my choice. Best of both worlds, not much heeling for the kids but still sailing, and lots of room. I looked at PDQ and others, price range is around $130k for a used late 1990's. More for a newer and little bit bigger catamaran. The 105MC are reasonable, cost wise but the beam is much less than others, and they seem very light (displacement). I moved towards a powerboat cruiser because you seem to be able to get more of a boat for less money, compared to a catamaran.
Yes, catamaran would be my choice but so expensive.
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Old 28-08-2013, 12:58   #11
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Re: Recommendation on a Powerboat for Cruising

OK, you must be looking at older Searays... I took a quick look and they seemed to be running $200-250K! That Rinker looks like a lot of boat for the money.
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Old 28-08-2013, 12:59   #12
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Re: Recommendation on a Powerboat for Cruising

If you’re a sailor then you’re going to have a hard time spending a few hundred dollars every time you go out for a cruise. The fuel cost gets old fast and make a lot of power boats into dock queens. That is why older powerboats are cheap. The fuel cost got old for the seller and they got sick of dock life.
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Old 28-08-2013, 13:08   #13
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Re: Recommendation on a Powerboat for Cruising

Cotemar,
The fuel costs was included in my monthly budget analysis but that has crossed my mind. I am like you, I am still working on my fuel tank from this year spring.
When I first reviewed the fuel consumption on the Rinker 342, I thought it was a mistake. 1 gallon of fuel per mile, and that's if you were going at the recommended cruising speed, faster, you use much more fuel.
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Old 28-08-2013, 13:16   #14
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Re: Recommendation on a Powerboat for Cruising

Quote:
Originally Posted by patrscoe View Post
Cotemar,
The fuel costs was included in my monthly budget analysis but that has crossed my mind. I am like you, I am still working on my fuel tank from this year spring.
When I first reviewed the fuel consumption on the Rinker 342, I thought it was a mistake. 1 gallon of fuel per mile, and that's if you were going at the recommended cruising speed, faster, you use much more fuel.
Yeah, typical type of thing. one hour 30 mile trip at 30 MPH is maybe $130 in fuel. For the return the same. So $250 fuel for the day trip..... a trawler at 1.75 gal per hour and maybe 7 mph, maybe $65 in fuel, but 9 hours run time...
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Old 28-08-2013, 13:20   #15
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Re: Recommendation on a Powerboat for Cruising

Quote:
Originally Posted by patrscoe View Post

I am not interested in a flybridge or anything similar in design.

I don't need to go fast but not looking for a slug but sailing for many years in a monohull, going more than 7 knots is speedy. I would prefer a diesel just because I am familiar with this type of engine. In the size of boat I am looking at, I don't think that is going to be reasonable.

I like the design and layout of the 2002 Rinker 342 or 1997 Sea Ray 370. They have nice finishes (wood), aft cabin, forward v-berth and galley. The specs for both indicate 37' LOA but I believe the Rinker is a 34', perhaps they are counting the swim platform. Kids are small, 8 and 10 yrs old. So having a stable boat would be an absolute must. Traveling throughout the Chesapeake Bay and anchoring out would be the general use.
I don't think I can go much bigger than a 37', although I have sailed on 36' plus sailboats for many years, I don't have a lot of experience in cruisers - powerboats.
It is a little confusing reviewing each model, one will say 330 but the specs indicate 36'.

Both seem to have as much room as our 36' sailboat, I guess.

I am sure this is a dumb question, do you have to maintain cruising speed (based on the boat, as they always indicate in the specifications), as long as you are on plain? I.E. if they indicate cruising speed is 24 mph but you are going 15 to 18 instead.

1 gallon of fuel per mile, and that's if you were going at the recommended cruising speed, faster, you use much more fuel.

Yes, a catamaran mid 30' range was my choice. Best of both worlds, not much heeling for the kids but still sailing, and lots of room. I looked at PDQ and others, price range is around $130k for a used late 1990's. More for a newer and little bit bigger catamaran. The 105MC are reasonable, cost wise but the beam is much less than others, and they seem very light (displacement). I moved towards a powerboat cruiser because you seem to be able to get more of a boat for less money, compared to a catamaran.
Yes, catamaran would be my choice but so expensive.

OK, so express boats, picnic boats, down east boats, etc. may be getting closer.

You can have a single diesel in many of these. Look at Albins, Mainships, Back Cove, Hinckley (latter two very pricey, but just to give you an example), etc. If the layout of some of those look useful, then more research along those lines might be useful.

Actual size and nominal size are affected by marketing... so yes, some 36s are really 33s and some are really 38s. Depends on whether the builder counted the pulpit (if any) and swim platform (usually not included, unless integral with the hull) in the measurements. And then the marketing guys get hold of it... and all of a sudden, a 36 becomes a 42

A 36' (really) express boat should have slightly more room than a 36' sailboat, due to the more angular stern. Not much bigger, though...

A planing hull will be more comfortable in more sea states when on plane ("cruise") but yes, you can slow down and stay on plane. You have to do the MPG calculation though, before deciding to slow down. Sometimes the slower speed doesn't get you the least fuel burn. You can also slow down to theoretical hull (displacement) speed and get great fuel economy... but sometimes sea states aren't very friendly at those speeds. Still, you can run at 8 kts often around here, even in a boat with a planning hull, on calm days or when you're not faced with a beam sea.

1 MPG is actually pretty good for a planing hull at "cruise" speed, which is usually depending on where the engine like to be comfortable and the hull rides nicely. Also not uncommon to get .75 or less MPG. OTOH, puttering along at displacement speed on the same boat (assuming sea states permit) might get you as much as 2-3 MPG, depending.

BUT... you don't have to get a planing hull to have a useful 34-37' boat that would be comfortable here on the Chesapeake. See Albin, Mainship (trawlers, not their early-90's boats), and so forth. Kinda trawler wannabees, heavily influenced by down east (lobstah) boats, often with a full keel and skeg underneath, single diesel, very economical... and they'll usually run all day comfortably at somewhere between 8-12 kts depending on model, length, horsepower, load, etc. You can't hardly visit any dock around here and not see these all over the place.

And then... there are power cats, too. Don't remember too many brand names off hand , nor various sizes, but Glacier Bay is one (and see the Buzzards Bay link above). Several others available. Lots of the same advantages a sailing cat would offer.

-Chris
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