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Old 15-05-2014, 20:55   #1
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Searay or Cruisers boats?

I am looking at all types of boats. I am new to big boats having owned small inland lake runabouts.

I want to cruise from Florida to the Bahamas and beyond.

Two boats that I like are the 38' Cruiser Yachts and the Searay boats the same size.

Of these two boats is one better than the other?

Or what else should I look at in the used 100k range?



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Old 15-05-2014, 22:19   #2
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Re: Searay or Cruisers boats?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tuffr2 View Post
I am looking at all types of boats. I am new to big boats having owned small inland lake runabouts.

I want to cruise from Florida to the Bahamas and beyond.

Two boats that I like are the 38' Cruiser Yachts and the Searay boats the same size.

Of these two boats is one better than the other?

Or what else should I look at in the used 100k range?

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Well, two things for cruising those areas that are necessary, the boat and the experience to operate it. Hope you're not planning on just jumping in and heading out to the Bahamas and beyond.

Generally both of the boats you mention are going to lack the range for offshore cruising. Furthermore, while in a perfect weather window they'd be capable of handling the water to the Bahamas, they're neither one rough water boats or ocean going vessels.

Why do you like these two? Have you thought through what you want in a boat? That's really the first step. Those would both be nice boats for inland lakes and both nice for cruising the ICW. But not Bahamas and beyond.
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Old 16-05-2014, 18:50   #3
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Re: Searay or Cruisers boats?

A few things I am looking for in a boat.

1. Comfort for the wife.
2. Diesel engine(s)
3. Sea worthy
4. Can get a nice one for 100k

What type of boats would you recommend?

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Old 16-05-2014, 19:10   #4
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Re: Searay or Cruisers boats?

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Originally Posted by tuffr2 View Post
A few things I am looking for in a boat.

1. Comfort for the wife.
2. Diesel engine(s)
3. Sea worthy
4. Can get a nice one for 100k

What type of boats would you recommend?

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Sounds like a Trawler to me, older one. You can go to Yacht World, advanced search and enter Trawler. I'd say under $70,000 as it will require work.

Now, i'm going to say this again. There are two parts to sea worthy. The boat and the Captain. What do you have planned to make yourself sea worthy?

Also have you budgeted annual costs of owning such a boat?
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Old 16-05-2014, 19:36   #5
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Re: Searay or Cruisers boats?

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SNIP

Also have you budgeted annual costs of owning such a boat?
The cost of a trip from South Florida to Bimini may be more than you expect in terms of fuel. The cost of going other places in the Bahamas will be even more. A lot of folks are shocked to find out just how expensive it is to cruise in fast boats like the ones you seem to want.

On the up side if you pick the right weather window you will be in the islands quickly and safely with little effort.

A trawler will be slower but still able to get you to the Bahamas fairly quickly and at a lower cost. Probably also have more room and comfort for your wife. Definitely not as sexy.

I tend to think the biggest mistake most folks make is not knowing just what they expect/want/need their boat to do. Your comment that you want to go to the Bahamas and beyond kinda means to my you don't yet know what you want to do with your boat. How long will you be cruising in the Bahamas. Will you be fishing, diving, drinking, or something else? How far is beyond?

Answering these questions and figuring out your cruising kitty will make it easier to pick the right boat.
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Old 16-05-2014, 19:58   #6
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Re: Searay or Cruisers boats?

You say $100k initially. What is your annual budget max?
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Old 17-05-2014, 10:41   #7
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Re: Searay or Cruisers boats?

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Generally both of the boats you mention are going to lack the range for offshore cruising. Furthermore, while in a perfect weather window they'd be capable of handling the water to the Bahamas, they're neither one rough water boats or ocean going vessels.

Why do you like these two? Have you thought through what you want in a boat? That's really the first step. Those would both be nice boats for inland lakes and both nice for cruising the ICW. But not Bahamas and beyond.
Just curious how you are making the assessment of a Sea Ray or a Cruisers boat not being acceptable for anything but inland lakes and the ICW?

I will agree that having more fuel on board would be nice but in reality, the 350 gallons that I have on board my 42' Sea ray aft cabin (45'LOA at 35000lbs) will get me at least 350nm at a hull speed of around 9-10kts. I personally have been out in a short period 6-8' set in the GOM and it handled just fine.

For the OP, you will not find something in that size for less than $120K. I tried and the best I found was one listed at $99K that needed about 25K in work and had not been in the water in over 3 years.
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Old 17-05-2014, 11:33   #8
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Re: Searay or Cruisers boats?

Sounds like a trawler might be the way to go. I also need to look at motor/sailors.

Question - would a sailboat w/o sails using the diesel engine be a trawler?

As tens of thousands of other people on the eastern part of the country - I would like to see the Caribbean. Been there on commercial cruises and see boats anchored in the coves. I think, now that would be cool.

Now I know it is not as cool as it looks. Being in the wind, sun, salt water, rain, storms, rough seas will not be fun.

I am retired so this is one way I want to spend some time. It might be weeks or it might be years.

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Old 18-05-2014, 14:23   #9
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Re: Searay or Cruisers boats?

BandB - Not sure what you mean by the captain being seaworthy? I view seaworthy as a degree of knowledge that no-one ever reaches.

I doubt that I will ever be as seaworthy as the crew of the cheeki rafiki .
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Old 18-05-2014, 14:46   #10
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Re: Searay or Cruisers boats?

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Originally Posted by tuffr2 View Post
Sounds like a trawler might be the way to go. I also need to look at motor/sailors.

Question - would a sailboat w/o sails using the diesel engine be a trawler?

....I think, now that would be cool.

Now I know it is not as cool as it looks. Being in the wind, sun, salt water, rain, storms, rough seas will not be fun.

I am retired so this is one way I want to spend some time. It might be weeks or it might be years.
Hi,

Nice retirement goal. From the tone of your questions and the "gentle" nature of the responses, so far, may I respectfully suggest that you spend the next few months doing some homework and research. There have been dozens of books written about "How to choose a boat.." for both motor and sail. A basic boating "bible"-type book, like Chapman's Piloting and Seamanship is a title worth buying on the used book market and is a "keeper" that you should get anyway. Find a local chandlerey that has books and browse around, then try Amazon or Abebooks for good pricing.

You see, asking an "open ended" question, like you have, is, essentially, asking: "Gee, I want to drive from NY to Montana, what kind of car would you recommend?"

It gets a LOT more complicated with boating.

Good luck, great dream, enjoy your learning process.
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Old 18-05-2014, 15:48   #11
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Re: Searay or Cruisers boats?

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Originally Posted by k9medic View Post
Just curious how you are making the assessment of a Sea Ray or a Cruisers boat not being acceptable for anything but inland lakes and the ICW?

I will agree that having more fuel on board would be nice but in reality, the 350 gallons that I have on board my 42' Sea ray aft cabin (45'LOA at 35000lbs) will get me at least 350nm at a hull speed of around 9-10kts. I personally have been out in a short period 6-8' set in the GOM and it handled just fine.

For the OP, you will not find something in that size for less than $120K. I tried and the best I found was one listed at $99K that needed about 25K in work and had not been in the water in over 3 years.
Just because they can handle that type water on occasion doesn't make them the appropriate choice for that use. I think Sea Ray is a great boat. My first boat was one. Actually my first two were. I like Cruisers although don't see very many now it seems in areas I boat. But if my primary concerns were seaworthiness and wife comfort and if my intended use was not just Bahamas but throughout the Caribbean, then I would not recommend either of those. There are just too many other boats designed more for that and they are available in his price range, although would be quite old.

Boats have their best and intended uses. The range you speak of is ideal conditions and at 8-10 knots, but when it comes to cruising the Caribbean I'd want more. Your 6-8' is something most boats can handle. But not comfortably. And crossing the gulf stream or cruising the Caribbean a day that started 4-6' can end up at 10' easily. One that was 2-3' at the outset can often end up at 6-8' which in a planing hull and a relatively light boat of that length is not a very pleasant ride at all. And with the limited fuel and range, you have no choice of going any speed but 8-10 knots. And you go at that speed from say the Exumas to Fort Lauderdale, in that water, you're still dangerously low on fuel as your usage could be up greatly and you're talking about 30-35 hours of it. Now you try to avoid those situations. Still within the Caribbean you have some substantial distances and some waters that can change quickly.

When it comes to coastal and loop and river cruising I think the boats you're talking about are great and often underrated. Not for the Caribbean though.
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Old 18-05-2014, 15:49   #12
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Re: Searay or Cruisers boats?

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Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
Hi,

Nice retirement goal. From the tone of your questions and the "gentle" nature of the responses, so far, may I respectfully suggest that you spend the next few months doing some homework and research. There have been dozens of books written about "How to choose a boat.." for both motor and sail. A basic boating "bible"-type book, like Chapman's Piloting and Seamanship is a title worth buying on the used book market and is a "keeper" that you should get anyway. Find a local chandlerey that has books and browse around, then try Amazon or Abebooks for good pricing.

You see, asking an "open ended" question, like you have, is, essentially, asking: "Gee, I want to drive from NY to Montana, what kind of car would you recommend?"

It gets a LOT more complicated with boating.

Good luck, great dream, enjoy your learning process.
Also a good way to really learn about a boat or a range of boats is to charter one for a few days.
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Old 18-05-2014, 16:08   #13
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Re: Searay or Cruisers boats?

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JSNIP

Still within the Caribbean you have some substantial distances and some waters that can change quickly.

SNIP
Not so sure how you define 'substantial distances' but I am in the process of planning my next cruise in the Bahamas. The longest passage will be from Bimini to the North Berrys. Depending I will round Great Issac and depending on the wind go to Freeport or straight to the wind direction dictated anchorage in the North Berrys. Maybe about seventy five miles at most, less if I make it a two passage trip via Freeport. That is the longest passage I am seeing between a marina with gas till Georgetown. But since I am sailing I doubt I will need gas.

I am no fan of power boats, especially ones that burn more gas in an hour than I normally do in a month. But the OP should have no problem cruising the Bahamas in either of the boats he mentions, and a lot of others as well.

I also suspect if he went from Miami to Bimini, spent the night in a hotel, and bought gas , then to Freeport or Chub and more gas and a hotel, and then to the Abacos or South to Georgetown his wife would be a happy camper.

Since he is retired he has the option of choosing his weather window which is the key to easy cruising.
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Old 18-05-2014, 16:15   #14
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Re: Searay or Cruisers boats?

With the fuel burn of those boats and the fuel storage no I don't think they are sutable. They are big weekenders, and while great for that purpose frankly just aren't suited for distance cruising.

The other concern is fuel cost. A boat designed to operate at high speeds with twin engines is going to burn substantially more fuel than a displacement hull even when operating at the same speeds. Just parasitic systems on twin 350hp engines at idle is higher than top end fuel usage of a single 120hp trawler motor.

The other concern is generator usage. If you want to sleep with air conditioning figure another 8-10 gallons/day right there.


Then there is the cost. Diesel in the Bahamas is averaging about $5.50/gallon today, with an upper limit of $6.80. Do you want to be burning $1500/day of running? Compare this to a similarly sized trawler that would be burning ~$50/day.

I like these boats, I even own a similar style boat, but I don't think of them as cruisers, they are costal hoppers.
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Old 18-05-2014, 18:56   #15
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Re: Searay or Cruisers boats?

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Not so sure how you define 'substantial distances' but I am in the process of planning my next cruise in the Bahamas. The longest passage will be from Bimini to the North Berrys. Depending I will round Great Issac and depending on the wind go to Freeport or straight to the wind direction dictated anchorage in the North Berrys. Maybe about seventy five miles at most, less if I make it a two passage trip via Freeport. That is the longest passage I am seeing between a marina with gas till Georgetown. But since I am sailing I doubt I will need gas.
Note that he didn't say "Bahamas". He said Caribbean. Turks and Caicos, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, BVI, USVI, then I don't know how much further he was talking. And yes, you can plan trips to Bahamas through Bimini and then plan the rest to have short distances. But I know very few people who make all their Bahamas trips through Bimini.

If someone wanted to make a trip to the Bahamas in a Sea Ray the size he's talking, I'd say pick a window carefully, jump to Bimini and then jump to your next stop. And do it. But if one was purchasing a boat for the Caribbean, that wouldn't be my choice. We have taken a 63' Riva across and it's heavier, more seaworthy (CE Category A) and carries more fuel, but it I was buying a boat for cruising the Caribbean it would not be the one I'd choose. It barely has the range for a direct shot to Nassau or the Abacos. Doesn't for the Exumas.

One needs to select based on their primary usage and interest. In the OP's case, was only going on what he stated. Comfort for wife, Sea Worthy, Caribbean, Spend weeks, months, maybe years on it.
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