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Old 28-11-2010, 15:58   #1
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Wannabee Questions

Hello all,
My husband and I plan to sell out in Colorado in the next year or two and liveabord a powerboat (around 40ft). We want to start in MN going down the Mississippi, then the ICW to the Florida Keys and beyond. Assuming an approx 400 gal fuel tank (diesel) could we go to the bahamas and other Caribbean islands?? Anyone else doing this??? Any help or ideas greatly appreciated!!
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Old 28-11-2010, 16:04   #2
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It all depends on engine size/fuel consumption.... but I don't see why not if its a heavy displacement motor cruiser... wont get you there as fast but it'll be a much more comfortable ride...
Others probably know better.... I'm a stick n rag man
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Old 28-11-2010, 16:24   #3
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We were looking at trawlers, but we like the interiors of the Cruisers Yachts and Sea Ray flybridge type boats much more. Whatever boat we decide on, we will stick with the diesels. In addition to fuel, is this type of boat able to do a bluewater cruise? Hate to sound naive, but we are inland lake boaters right now!
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Old 28-11-2010, 16:43   #4
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I would not really call the Islands 'Blue Water' though it can kick up a bit but if you choose your weather windows and go when things are right... you'll do just fine.... doesn't sound like you'll be on a schedule...
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Old 28-11-2010, 17:12   #5
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I have a 1982 Sea Ray SRV360. It's a flybridge Sedan with dual helms and diesels. I've done 2 1000 mile trips with it. All in the ICW.

I wouldn't hesitate to take it to the Caribbean, but I'd much rather have a trawler.

A trawler might use half the fuel. It'd handle much better in rough water. When trying to run slow to reduce fuel usage, the Sea Ray "wanders" (it doesn't hold a straight line). A similar size trawler would have at least the same amount of fuel (400 gals), but many have more. The trawlers usually have single or dual 4-cyl in-line diesels. That reason alone makes the engine room much roomier. And then, most if them have bigger engine rooms anyway. Easier to do the daily maintenance. Much easier to do oil changes.

I really wanted a trawler, but couldn't find one in decent shape for my budget, so I ended up with the Sea Ray. It does the job, but I'd get more use out of the trawler.

I'll leave at that for now, but I could go on. I like the layout better. A 36' trunk cabin trawler will have about 50% more interior room, etc., etc.

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Old 29-11-2010, 06:15   #6
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I'd try to avoid the "bleach-bottle" boats (Sea Ray-style) for lengthy cruises and live aboard cruising. They are great boats for a lot of purposes, but unless you are going for the really big girls, have a LOTS of money to spend on fuel, and can afford to always have someone else keep those engines running in tip-top shape, I'd opt for a trawler or motor yacht for this application. Find a good DeFever, Hatteras LRC, Symbol, Viking, Grand Banks, Eagle, or similar.

You'll need to change you take on the interiors though. Those European designed layouts and decor are designed for that modern flare, but over time, the warmer appeal of the classic trawler makes for a more comforting journey. I far prefer an aft cabin for a calm night's sleep over the V-Berth configuration of the express cruisers.

Those boats can also be very rock-and-rolly at anchor and don't handle large or following seas very well. They are designed to get you places in style and very fast. And burning many, many dozens on gallons of fuel in the process. They don't do slow very well. Sure, I drool over a 48 Sundancer when I see one, or a big Sedan Bridge, but for that kind of money, there are far better options for the task you have specified.

That's just my opinion... Someone told me I was wrong once. :-D
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Old 29-11-2010, 07:47   #7
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As I said earlier.. the heavier displacement are better suited... for comfortable liveaboard...
Sunseekers look sexy as hell flying past... but you rarely see them anchored out... come early evening its up anchor and of to a marina...
A friend I made while in the States had a trawler... very nice.. well laid out and things did not bounce of tables etc underway..
Also you see so much more at 10-12kts than you do at 20 - 25kts...
All you look like at that speed is some flash yuppy trying to impress... but only succeeding in pissing off everyone you go past..
But I would recommend a twin engine boat... easier to manouvere in tight spaces and reliability/independence in case one fails for some reason... you can still make port without shouting....HELP....!!!
But in the end its your choice.... Cruise there or Trash there..
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Old 29-11-2010, 16:31   #8
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DeFever, Marine Traders,Krogens are the everyman trawlers of the bahamas.
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Old 01-12-2010, 14:21   #9
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Although we a planning hull trawler type now, we spent a lot of time cruising the Bahamas in various Sea Rays (a 320 and a 410 as an example) and had no problems. 400 gallons is plenty.

have fun.
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Old 01-12-2010, 17:24   #10
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Thanks everyone for your comments. We are now thinking about trading in our 22' cuddy cabin for a larger cabin cruiser that we can use now and then eventually use going down the Mississippi. We figure our best bet for deciding on a permanent boat will be to look at as many as we can as we cruise, and eventually trade up. We are so isolated in Colorado that it is a major trip just to get to a coast to look at boats!
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