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Old 15-04-2012, 23:26   #1
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San Diego to Brisbane in a Motor Yacht

Hi All, Does anybody have experience in crossing the Pacific in a motor yacht? I've read about stacks of people who have done the tr4ip by sail but very few have done it in a power boat. Is it because of the cost of fuel?
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Old 16-04-2012, 01:12   #2
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Re: San Diego to Brisbane in a Motor Yacht

Rhem-It is not so much the cost of the fuel but the distance the fuel must last. If you take the traditional sailing route, the run from the Galapagos to the Marquesas is about 3,000 miles-not many smaller powerboats have the fuel capacity to make that run. Krogens (like ours), Nordhavn, Selene in the 45' plus range can make it as well as a few other trawlers. To do so, they are motoring at sailboat speeds, i.e 6-7 knots. Compared to the # of sailboats out there, there are very, very few trawlers out there that can make the trip. You can shorten the longest run to about 2500 miles by going via Hawaii, but if you want to do it in something less than about 125', you need a displacement hull that carries a lot of fuel and uses it very efficiently. As a for instance, in our Krogen 58'. we carry almost 1,800 gallons of diesel and about a 3,300 -3,500 range at 7 knots.
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Old 16-04-2012, 05:18   #3
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Re: San Diego to Brisbane in a Motor Yacht

Thanks for your input. I'm looking at purchasing another vessel (56 Ocean Alexander /6v92's) with a view to cruising the South Pacific. Rather than ship it out to NZ or Australia I was contemplating going from the west coast via Hawaii - Kiribati - Fiji etc. Once in Fiji the legs seem more manageable. The Ocean only has 1100 gallon tanks so I'll have to think more about fuel storage. I'm not sure of the fuel consumption of the Ocean but from what I've read I should get around 11gph (more research needed) which means I'll come up a bit short. Have you actually done the trip and what route did you take or have you heard of someone who has done the trip?
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Old 16-04-2012, 05:23   #4
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Re: San Diego to Brisbane in a Motor Yacht

Down here in Melbourne there are 4 or so vessels from the US, the smallest weighing in at perhaps 60 ft from Philadelphia. We've got about a 120ft one in at the moment from Delaware. Don't see much smaller than that down this way from so far away.
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Old 16-04-2012, 05:55   #5
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Re: San Diego to Brisbane in a Motor Yacht

I have a 76’ alloy Jack Hargraves designed motor yacht on Sydney Harbour it can out from the US on Dockwise. I live on the Gold Coast where we have a stack of US visitors berth for short periods. It’s usually the Super Yachts that get all the attention surely someone has done the trip in a mid-size motor cruiser or trawler.
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Old 16-04-2012, 10:57   #6
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Re: San Diego to Brisbane in a Motor Yacht

Rhem-we have not done the trip although we will be doing it in the next 3-4 years. I know at least two who have, one in a Krogen and one in a Nordhavn. There is another 58' Krogen owner doing the trip this spring via the Galapagos.

I am familiar with Ocean-I am not sure they ever made a 56'. The only one I know of is a 50 that was extended. It is currently for sale but it has twin 6-71s. Those OA's were semi-displacement hulls with cruising speeds in the 14-15 knot range and top end of 20-22 knots. At those speeds, 1100 gallons will only get you somewhere around a 400 mile range. At 7 knots,you might get up to 1000-1200 miles but that leaves an awful lot of extra fuel to be carried, about what your tank capacity is, 1100 gallons. Plus, those hulls are not going to be very commfortable displacement speeds, especially in any kind of heavy water.
I don't thiink the trip is doable in that boat.
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Old 16-04-2012, 13:11   #7
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It looks like its deck cargo for the OA and costal cruises to the Whitsundays.
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Old 16-04-2012, 13:33   #8
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Re: San Diego to Brisbane in a Motor Yacht

Welcome to CF, Rhemtide.

Here's a guy (EricGrab) who did a circumnavigation in a 50' power boat. He's a member here, so I'm sure he could give some good advice.

Powerboat Circumnavigation Possible ?
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Old 16-04-2012, 14:42   #9
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Thanks. Hud3 Checked out the blogg very interesting lots be learned.
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Old 16-04-2012, 15:18   #10
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Re: San Diego to Brisbane in a Motor Yacht

The need to pull a barge to carry enough fuel might tend to slow you down or change your mind!
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Old 16-04-2012, 16:03   #11
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Re: San Diego to Brisbane in a Motor Yacht

I'm sure with the right vessel and planing the crossing is achivable and enjoyable as demonstrated by EricGrab mentioned in Hud3 post.
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Old 16-04-2012, 16:15   #12
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Re: San Diego to Brisbane in a Motor Yacht

Know a chap who took his Nordhaven 43(?) from Florida to Brisbane a couple of years ago, we met in Central America.

Have a look at his website, Home Page: Venture at Sea Nordhavn...
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Old 16-04-2012, 16:26   #13
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Re: San Diego to Brisbane in a Motor Yacht

Welcome to CF! In my opinion, the OA is not the class of boat that is suited for such a passage. They are very capable coastal cruisers, but do not have the range you are looking for. And given they are semi displacement hulls, they will neither give you the best efficiency at displacement speeds nor at planing speeds. There are too many compromises in a semi-displacement hull that would prompt me to only stick to well designed displacement hulls for this passage.

The 11 gallon per hour fuel burn rate is way too high to even cut it close. You want at least 1/4 to 1/3 fuel remaining at the end of your passage. A decent displacement hull coupled with an efficient power plant(s) in the 50 ft. range should burn no more than 5 or 6 gallons per hour at 7 knots. At that rate, a 2000 gallon fuel capacity would effectively give you a range of 2100 nautical miles at a speed of 7 knots and leave you with 500 gallons of fuel at 2100 miles. I personally would settle for nothing less.

The boat would become slightly more efficient when you shed weight from the fuel burn, but at the end, it won't have a significant impact on fuel economy due to the inefficiency you experienced when on a full tank.

Hope this helps...
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Old 16-04-2012, 16:31   #14
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Re: San Diego to Brisbane in a Motor Yacht

Thanks everyone. The OA is not the boat for this type of crossing. So its coastal cruising for me for awhile. I'm still interested in doing this one day.
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Old 21-05-2012, 12:43   #15
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Re: San Diego to Brisbane in a Motor Yacht

I'd be curious to learn more about the potential of a trip like this. We are planning a similar trip in a year or two and my wife really prefers powerboats. Cost to ship a mid--30' powerboat from here to AUS is quite expensive (probably at least $20k or more) which doesn't make sense unless it's a really expensive boat to begin with.

Had talked with a few guys who claim they get around 1.5 GPH burn at 7-8 knots if the waves aren't too big. Single screw diesel trawlers. so maybe 4.6 nautical miles per gallon of diesel with a single screw or using one engine on a twin screw?

A lot of these boats have 300-400 gallons diesel capacity. Multiply by 4.6 and that's 1,380 to 1,860 nautical mile range. I guess this would be provided that in rough seas you just hunker down and wait things out.

Vic-Maui is about 2,300 nautical miles.

You've got the currents and winds at your back most of the trip.

So with a lot of the trawlers here you have the fuel capacity to get somewhere between 1/2 to 2/3 of the way to Hawaii. Probably a bit less because every now and then you'd probably want to rev up the negine for a half hour or so to burn off some carbon build up.

What I was thinking about though is that you've got the wind at your back, what about supplementing your fuel capacity with something like an outleader kite? It can go downwind and reach with no mast. Maybe have to install some tracks on the powerboat but that's about it. Maybe something to help with steering. Would be useful after the trip as a get home rig. Maybe try using a kiteboarding rig and adapting it? Doesn't seem like it would take much to go 5-6 knots.

I've been searching around and so far unable to find someone who has installed a kite on a powerboat for cruising, though I do remember seeing one of the "kite for sail" videos of a boston whaler looking small boat being hauled around at very high speeds. I don't see why it couldn't work to haul a powerboat downwind at under hull speed...and the wind conditions from the US to AUS seem ideal for it...

If you could do that, then you wouldn't have to worry much about fuel. Maybe would even make the trip feasible in planing or semi-displacement coastal cruisers.

Been toying with the idea and seems pretty cool...but no powerboat to try it on...
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