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Old 24-07-2012, 23:19   #1
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Total Newb, where can a boat like this go?

Although I have no experience at all on the water (taking courses soon), I'm seriously considering going full nomad and living on a boat next year.

Considering the insane housing costs in this city, and my ability to work from pretty much anywhere with an Internet connection, it seems like a great way to escape the 8 months per year of awful weather here in the NW, at half the price of buying a condo ("benchmark" apt here is $376,200 )

I'm looking at boats on Craigslist just for kicks, but I don't really know what I'm looking at. For a cruiser in the $100-150k range what can a boat like this do?

Bluewater 46' Coastal Cruiser


$157,900.00 - Bluewater 46' Coastal Cruiser
Make: Bluewater
Model: Offshore Cruiers
Year: 1993
Condition: Excellent
Category: Cruiser
Hull Type: Fiberglass
Horsepower: 350
Length: 46'
Sleeps: 6
Engine Type: Gas
Engine Size: 8 Cyl
Speed: Cruise: 18
Location: Richmond, BC
Speed: Max: 24
Engine Hours: 670
Fuel Capacity: 350 Gal.
Water Capacity: 160 Gal.
LOA: 49' 7"
Beam: 14'
Draft: 1' 6"

(Not that I'm looking at this particular make/model, but seems to be fairly representative of boats in this class/price range)

Could this handle going up and down the West Coast? I'd love to winter in San Diego or Mexico or something, or eventually even go down through the Panama Canal and cruise around the Gulf of Mexico.

I'm pretty sure this can't handle crossing oceans (well duh, it's got "coastal cruiser" in the name) but like I said, I'm totally clueless
Sure would be nice to spend 6 months a year in Hawaii, though, but I assume that would be much bigger boat and $mil+?

Feel free to tell me off, or just post a link to more reading material, if this is the same old kind of question that gets asked over and over. I've had a look around but a lot of threads seem to be about smaller boats or sailboats, but I'm looking for something comfy and spacious that I could live on (with my girlfriend and a cat) for a number of years.

Thanks for indulging my cruising fantasies

Skye
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Old 25-07-2012, 04:42   #2
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Re: Total Newb, where can a boat like this go?

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, SkyePN.
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Old 25-07-2012, 05:09   #3
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Re: Total Newb, where can a boat like this go?

Looks like my post was approved, sweet. Glad to be here and excited to get into it!
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Old 25-07-2012, 05:29   #4
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Re: Total Newb, where can a boat like this go?

Been doing research all day. Seems I want a "motor yacht" - seems like a lot more room than a sailboat. Or maybe a trawler. Hatteras seems to be a well respected name, but all the recent models are huge (has that been the trend? bigger and bigger, just like houses?). Which is kind of a bummer because I like sleek modern styling, not awful 80s interiors and outdated electronics. Some of the really primo govt marinas downtown here are max 42' and private moorage above that gets into serious $$

I'm pretty sure I have no interest in open ocean after doing some reading; seems like long periods of boredom with short bursts of terror, at primo pricing for something like a Nordhavn, plus the price of gas is way more than just flying. So, boating around the "Salish Sea" and up and down the West Coast seems just fine for me.

Looks like there's a couple of "Living Aboard" Kindle e-books, I should probably go read those so I can ask more intelligent questions. Need to consider maintenance, fuel, moorage, all that good stuff.

Fibreglass hull, diesel engine seems like a highly recommended combo.

Any rough estimates on what fuel cost would be to take a boat like this (either gas or diesel) from Vancouver BC to San Diego CA at a moderate speed? How many hours? I'm not sure what unit of measure "Speed: Cruise: 18" is in... could be metric
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Old 25-07-2012, 06:03   #5
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Re: Total Newb, where can a boat like this go?

Hate to rain on your parade but there are some things you should rethink in your plan.

For sailing (or motoring) up and down the west coast I would not recommend a "coastal cruiser". Even though you could be geographically close to the coast there are sections where available harbors are far apart and many especially in the NW that are closed in rough weather due to giant waves breaking across the entrance, leaving you many miles from refuge.

Also, winds and seas on the west coast can be pretty serious. Combined with the potential for being days away from port you could easily be more blue water cruising than coastal cruising.

And if you think housing costs in the NW are high wait until you see what marina costs are in south CA.

So all that considered, you are correct that the Bluewater model you're looking at is more suitable for coastal cruising. Going to Hawaii in a power boat is also very problematic because of the distance. You would have to go with something like the Nordhavn to have the range.

Fuel costs. From Vancouver to south CA depending on the boat and your cruising speeds you could easily spend $10-$15,000, Cruising at 18 kts would be a lot more.
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Old 25-07-2012, 06:07   #6
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Re: Total Newb, where can a boat like this go?

By the way, cruising at 18 refers to boat speed in knots, abbreviated kts. 1 knot is a nautical mile per hour or 6076 feet vs 5280 ft for a statute (regular) mile.

So a kt is slightly more than 1 mile per hour.
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Old 25-07-2012, 06:28   #7
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Re: Total Newb, where can a boat like this go?

Mortgage payments on a Vancouver condo, 2000 monthly, moorage, insurance and maintenence on a 45 foot boat about the same, but without any equity gained.
Try loooking into Spruce Harbour, Vancouvers co-op liveaboard marina. There is a 12 year waiting list, but you can often buy a boat already in the marina, and become a member after paying the $50,000 for the shares.
Try both sailing and power before making any decisions. Good luck.
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Old 25-07-2012, 12:10   #8
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Re: Total Newb, where can a boat like this go?

There are a lot more costs associated with sailing/motoring than the initial price of the boat. Insurance, surveys, maintenance, fuel, marina fees should all be considered. A 40 something powerboat is a big boat. Lots of costs.

Good luck in whichever lifestyle you choose but for the boat you are looking at it won't be cheaper than buying two condos. Financing for the condos will be easier.

kind regards,
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Old 26-07-2012, 22:15   #9
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Re: Total Newb, where can a boat like this go?

Quote:
Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
Hate to rain on your parade but there are some things you should rethink in your plan.
By all means, rain away! This is still very much in the planning phase for 1-2 years away; I'm excited about the possibilities, but I'm the type that will make a spreadsheet of costs before committing to anything.

All your comments have been VERY helpful so far, thank you.

Quote:
Fuel costs. From Vancouver to south CA depending on the boat and your cruising speeds you could easily spend $10-$15,000, Cruising at 18 kts would be a lot more.
I didn't plan on that!

So I've reading some "How to Cruise/Live-aboard" books, and I should probably go back to basics and figure out what characteristics I'm looking for first, and then look at what boats fit those parameters.

If I can't afford anything that can venture beyond the Salish Sea, then maybe there's not much point, because the main reason is to get away from the Northwest weather for half the year! (I'm still going to take sailing lessons regardless, have tried that and enjoyed dinghy sailing immensely)

So, to recap, ideally I would like a boat that can sail up and down the West Coast, possibly through the Panama Canal to explore the East Coast as well.

These seem to be the main parameters, comments very welcome:

1. Hull Design - Something that can handle the rough waters along the coast. Options:

Full displacement, non planing? Trawler, passage maker, blue water. 8-9 kts cruising. Optional stabilizers/paravanes?

Or semi-displacement? Round bottom with deep keel and stabilizers? I like the "fly bridge" styling but maybe not appropriate.

Or Planing? Deep Vee? I'm guessing these types are not at all appropriate for going down the NW coast.

So many choices. Comfort in dock is also a consideration, I guess some tend to roll at anchor, which can't be very nice.

2. Construction Material

Best: Solid Fiberglass, strongest before ~ 1983? No delaminating, blistering, cracks. Relatively easy maintenance, easy to fix. Heavy and slow.

If considering a more modern "cored" fiberglass, be careful about composition, thickness, type of resin, inspection, maintenance.

Finally, steel; if maintained well, but always fighting rust/corrosion, noisy, expensive. Heavy but very stable.

Wood: not for me...

3. Power

Twin diesel seems to be the best choice for safety (considering remoteness/wild weather on NW coast), longevity, fuel efficiency. More expensive to maintain but longer lasting.

I'm not going to even think about all the fun gadgets and farkles at this point. Once I have these basic parameters nailed down, that should narrow the potential MY's down considerably, so I can start building a budget.

For older boats, I'm guessing 25-50% of the purchase price will probably be spent on restore/refit, just like old cars.

Thanks again! I should have started this process years ago

Skye
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Old 26-07-2012, 22:34   #10
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Re: Total Newb, where can a boat like this go?

First, understand I am biased towards sailboats. Have owned power boat as well but like sail. If you want to cross oceans you will need to buy a pretty serious power boat to carry fuel for 3000-4000 miles. Sailboat range is limited only by the food and water you can carry. But if you plan on running up and down the coasts, through the canal and up the other side you can get by with a trawler with a lot less range. But fuel costs.

In a larger trawler if you stick to hull speed you might burn 4-6 gallons/hour and 7-9 kts. For very rough calculation say you burn about a gallon per mile so 1000 miles = 1000 gallons. You exceed hull speed fuel consumption could double, triple or more. So if you cover some miles power can get expensive fast and don't see diesel costs getting any cheaper.

Other considerations, power boats are generally a lot roomier than the same size sailboat. Typically 50% larger but could be double.

Maintenance usually more. In addition to all the same systems you have two large engines that run a lot. Can add up.
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Old 26-07-2012, 22:38   #11
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Re: Total Newb, where can a boat like this go?

Just a comment here but you are showing photos of powerboats which cost a lot more to cover longer distances than sailing vessels. Yes, they have a lot more room on the interior and make great places to live. Have you gone to boat shows in your area. I've been to the one in Seattle many years ago and it was a good way to get introduced to the different types of boats. You might experience that and then come away with a different idea of what your needs will be.
Sailing classes are a wonderful idea for you and your significant other. That way you'll know if you really want to be out on the water in a boat of any kind.
kind regards,
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Old 26-07-2012, 23:13   #12
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Re: Total Newb, where can a boat like this go?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkyePN View Post
Although I have no experience at all on the water (taking courses soon), I'm seriously considering going full nomad and living on a boat next year.
Apparently you are loking for a powerboat. The Trawler Forum might suit you better:

Trawler Forum
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Old 27-07-2012, 15:47   #13
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Isn't this the "power boat" forum?
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Old 27-07-2012, 16:11   #14
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Re: Total Newb, where can a boat like this go?

I will certainly check out sailboats too before making any decision, but I think I'll need the max space possible if I'm going to live aboard for a number of years with my S/O without killing each other. Sailboats just look too small. Romantic, but I like the idea of being up high on the flybridge with all that glorious HP at my fingers too

Thanks for the fuel calculations, I did some research last night on something like the Hatteras 48 LRC which has big tanks and pretty good mpg if you cruise around 7 kt, rough estimate around $5-6,000 for the trip from Vancouver to San Diego (hmm, SF is sure closer) but it would take like 4 weeks. Things to consider. Too bad they didn't make very many of those LRC's they look pretty awesome. I've attached the 48 LRC performance/mpg table from a period review, just for interest.

Thanks for the link to the Trawler Forum, that seems like a good resource.
My questions about hull design above sort of lead to this. To repeat:

Is what I'm looking for a Trawler? Or is it just a marketing term?
Is a Trawler still defined as a full displacement cruiser?
Are all full displacement boats Trawlers?

Or can a semi-displacement hull be appropriate for up and down the West Coast?

I do not want to cross oceans. I want to go up and down the West coast of North America, and possibly the Carribean.

I'm guessing a planing hull is inappropriate for this.

Sorry to repeat myself, but all these terms are very confusing to someone that hasn't grown up with boats, and I'm trying to figure out the parameters of my boat search.

Thanks,
Skye
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Old 27-07-2012, 16:17   #15
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Re: Total Newb, where can a boat like this go?

Quote:
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Isn't this the "power boat" forum?
Just sayin'- It's all big powerboats, all the time over there. Very active forum.
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