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Old 01-08-2011, 21:03   #1
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Should I Power or Sail ?

I am planning to take a year off and cruise around the Caribbean. I currently have a Catalina 27' sailboat and am learning the sailing thing but I'm not sure I want to stick with it. Either way I'm figuring on buying a different boat somewhere in Florida and starting from there. I love exploring places and the independence of having my own boat, but the actual sailing part is more of an ends to a means. If I'm going to do this I don't want to spend my time being frustrated with a sailboat just for the quaintness of it.

Reasons for:

-Faster passages, easier/funner
-Safer (if can travel faster)
-Shallow Draft; I would like to pull right up to a beach
-Sexier (a.k.a. easier to pick up girls)
-Easier to singlehand

Reasons against:

-Cost of fuel
-Too easy? (A person does need some challenge after all)
-Engine failure, if the engine goes out I'm screwed.
-Stability - is it practical to anchor in remote areas with a powerboat? Are they uncomfortable at anchor?
-Lifestyle - I really don't want to be just another jerk in a speed boat, or a snob in a sailboat for that matter.


My budget is about $25,000.
I'm thinking about $10k for the boat and the rest for expenses. (Please spare me the budget advice, it's not an issue other than possible fuel expenses.)
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Old 01-08-2011, 22:27   #2
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Re: Should I Power or Sail?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Corpus View Post
I am planning to take a year off and cruise around the Caribbean. I currently have a Catalina 27' sailboat and am learning the sailing thing but I'm not sure I want to stick with it. Either way I'm figuring on buying a different boat somewhere in Florida and starting from there. I love exploring places and the independence of having my own boat, but the actual sailing part is more of an ends to a means. If I'm going to do this I don't want to spend my time being frustrated with a sailboat just for the quaintness of it.

Reasons for:

-Faster passages, easier/funner
-Safer (if can travel faster)
-Shallow Draft; I would like to pull right up to a beach
-Sexier (a.k.a. easier to pick up girls)
-Easier to singlehand

Reasons against:

-Cost of fuel
-Too easy? (A person does need some challenge after all)
-Engine failure, if the engine goes out I'm screwed.
-Stability - is it practical to anchor in remote areas with a powerboat? Are they uncomfortable at anchor?
-Lifestyle - I really don't want to be just another jerk in a speed boat, or a snob in a sailboat for that matter.


My budget is about $25,000.
I'm thinking about $10k for the boat and the rest for expenses. (Please spare me the budget advice, it's not an issue other than possible fuel expenses.)

I've had both. Both were fun. You pretty much laid out the differences so it really comes down to your preference. Power boats are fine at anchor when it's calm and just as rolly as a sailboat when it's not.

Depending on the power boat you will probably be more constrained by weather than a sailboat.
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Old 01-08-2011, 22:59   #3
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Re: Should I Power or Sail?

How much of the Caribbean do you want to see?

Rough, crude guesses -- maybe someone with real experience in a not-too-big not-too-fancy boat can check these:

Auxiliary sailboat -- less than one gallon per hour, fuel-only cost less than one dollar per mile when powering. Sail and rigging repairs and replacement cost maybe something like twenty-five to fifty cents per mile for economy sailors on an older, say 32- to 35-foot boat???

Displacement or semi-displacement trawler cruiser -- one to four gallons per hour, fuel cost maybe a dollar up to a few dollars per mile

Semi-displacement old-fashioned motor cruiser (not particularly fast, maybe about 35'), ten to twenty gallons per hour, maybe three dollars per mile?

Express motor cruiser or cabin speedboat -- fifteen to one hundred gallons per hour; one mile per gallon or four dollars per mile in the 30-foot range, up to ten to twenty dollars a mile for the bigger, 40' or so boats. If you have to ask about fuel cost for long-distance fast motor yacht cruising, then you can't afford it.

Note also that the smaller cruisers (30-foot range) may only have enough fuel for a range of about 250 miles or less at speed, less for rougher weather and more range if moving slowly (but probably uncomfortably; mpg's might double or triple at trolling speed of 5 mph or less). This affects which voyages you can make and your ability to turn around if conditions deteriorate mid-passage.
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Old 01-08-2011, 23:01   #4
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Re: Should I Power or Sail?

Charter. Use airplanes to reach exotic locations where you rent a boat for probably less than hotel costs. Lots less cost than owning, and less stress. I figure if you do a couple different adventures a year you already have enough for 3-6 years.
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