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Old 29-01-2015, 21:03   #1
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Who Has Gone From Sailboat to Motor Yacht?

Hi all,
I know this sounds blasphemous, but I am considering going over to the "dark side". My wife enjoys our boat, but points out that we motor a lot of the time, and slowly at that. I confess that when the wind is on the nose, which seems to be most of the time in the Sea of Cortez, I fire up the motor and motor sail if needed.

Recently we spent an evening aboard my buddy's MY on our last trip, and she loved it. She loved the room and living space, and has been bugging me to go look at some boats. While I love sailing, I think I could adapt to a smoker.

For those who have switched from sail to motor, how was the transition? What did you like about the switch, and what did you miss?

Thanks and cheers, Bill


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Old 29-01-2015, 21:26   #2
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Re: Who Has Gone From Sailboat to Motor Yacht?

I loved the simplicity of it. Turn on the engine and go. The extra room was very nice. Because it was a small trawler (32 ft.) it was very easy on fuel (1/2 gal/hr). The visibility was great from the flybridge and great for watching sea life like dolphins. My wife was the one who was not happy. There was no moment when the engine went off and the boat quietly answered to the pull of the breeze and sea. We sold it and bought another sailboat.
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Old 29-01-2015, 21:30   #3
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Re: Who Has Gone From Sailboat to Motor Yacht?

I've owned both and both have their advantages.

For the same length a MB will typically have more room than a SB.

If you want to go faster than sail IE planing or semi-planing hull vs a trawler which will be about the same speed as sail, then get ready to spend a lot of money on fuel. Correct that, a LOT of money.

For the same size I would comfortably take a sailboat out in weather that I would stay at the dock with a MB.

Unless you get a fairly big and very expensive MB you are not going to be crossing any oceans. If your cruising is limited to coastal and short hops offshore then no problem. Want to go to the South Pacific then your MB options are limited.
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Old 30-01-2015, 07:19   #4
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Re: Who Has Gone From Sailboat to Motor Yacht?

Just an interesting note: the folks that built Beowulf (the beautiful 72 foot mono that can be crewed by a couple), now (or at least for some period of time) cruised on a custom built motorboat. They claim the MB is cheaper in the long run.


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Old 30-01-2015, 07:44   #5
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Re: Who Has Gone From Sailboat to Motor Yacht?

If you buy a sailboat thinking you will save money by sailing... I would say 95% of people find out like you have that the wind is rarely of the appropriate speed and direction to get to your destination in a reasonable period of time...so they motor most of the time. The problem is the other "sailors" will all come down on you for admitting exactly what they do.

The one exception is ocean crossing where most power boats don't have the range.

We've actually been debating simply pulling the mast off our boat but it does get really good radio reception with the antenna 45' above the water.
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Old 30-01-2015, 07:50   #6
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Re: Who Has Gone From Sailboat to Motor Yacht?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fallingeggs View Post
Just an interesting note: the folks that built Beowulf (the beautiful 72 foot mono that can be crewed by a couple), now (or at least for some period of time) cruised on a custom built motorboat. They claim the MB is cheaper in the long run.


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This is going to sound silly, but I believe it depends on the amount of actual moving you do, sort of like a Hybrid car, if you drive 10 or 15 miles a day, you'll never break even. If you mostly just sit at anchorages, then a MY will I believe cost less, it's only under sail while burning 0 fuel that a sailboat begins to pay for itself.

If you have goals of the South Pacific like I do, then any MY that can do that, is simply out of my price range, although I can only imagine the costs associated with a 72' S/V too, I assume they are correct.
From my limited experience and what I have been able to determine while searching, if your goal is up and down the ICW, maybe the great loop and the Bahamas, then a MY may be the best choice, unless of course you just like to sail, then it doesn't matter, your sailing, logic be darned.

I fully expect, actually hope the boat after I have to get rid of my sailboat will be a Trawler, but I actually like them, some don't.
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Old 30-01-2015, 07:52   #7
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Re: Who Has Gone From Sailboat to Motor Yacht?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fallingeggs View Post
Just an interesting note: the folks that built Beowulf (the beautiful 72 foot mono that can be crewed by a couple), now (or at least for some period of time) cruised on a custom built motorboat. They claim the MB is cheaper in the long run.


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I would agree but only within certain parameters.

If you are comparing large, expensive boats and only going at displacement speeds then yes it might be cheaper to go MB.

If you want to cross oceans and cannot afford a big, expensive trawler then your only option is a sailboat.
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Old 30-01-2015, 08:09   #8
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Re: Who Has Gone From Sailboat to Motor Yacht?

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
This is going to sound silly, but I believe it depends on the amount of actual moving you do, sort of like a Hybrid car, if you drive 10 or 15 miles a day, you'll never break even. If you mostly just sit at anchorages, then a MY will I believe cost less, it's only under sail while burning 0 fuel that a sailboat begins to pay for itself.

If you have goals of the South Pacific like I do, then any MY that can do that, is simply out of my price range, although I can only imagine the costs associated with a 72' S/V too, I assume they are correct.
From my limited experience and what I have been able to determine while searching, if your goal is up and down the ICW, maybe the great loop and the Bahamas, then a MY may be the best choice, unless of course you just like to sail, then it doesn't matter, your sailing, logic be darned.

I fully expect, actually hope the boat after I have to get rid of my sailboat will be a Trawler, but I actually like them, some don't.
I bet a full set of new sales for a 72'er will pay for a lot of fuel and they need to be replaced periodically. In addition, the motor yacht set up for long distance will likely have small engines similar to the sailboat, so there is a pure savings in not having to buy a large expensive mast and the associated rigging.

The problem is when you scale it down, it's hard to build a 30-40' boat with ocean crossing range without making major sacrafices.
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Old 30-01-2015, 08:31   #9
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Re: Who Has Gone From Sailboat to Motor Yacht?

Thanks for the great replies so far. I should add that I have scaled back my plans for crossing the Pacific. Instead, I am going to explore the Sea of Cortez, anchoring at the many islands and coves found there. There is enough to see there to keep me occupied for many years.

I was thinking about either a trawler or motor yacht in the 35-45' range. Used Defevers, Symbols, and Presents all look interesting. As with sailboats, they all have different features, and everything is a compromise.

Keep the comments coming.

Cheers, Bill


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Old 30-01-2015, 09:02   #10
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Re: Who Has Gone From Sailboat to Motor Yacht?

Bill,

1. They don't behave the same at anchor. A lot more rolling. No keel and mast to dampen the rolls.

2. Look around: MB leave at dawn to go somewhere else when the seas/water is FLAT. Sailboats don't mind chop so much. Depends on whether you like to sleep in or not!

3. Surprised it hasn't been mentioned yet: on a sailboat "It's the journey." on a MB you use it to get from place to place - less enjoyment in the going...
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Old 30-01-2015, 09:26   #11
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Re: Who Has Gone From Sailboat to Motor Yacht?

If your not planning on long distances and or don't have a love of sailing, it's tough in my opinion to justify a sailboat. Although not to "dis" anyone, but I personally wouldn't consider a MY with twin, large Diesels. I'm sure it would hamper me, I'd be basing my decision on going, based on fuel burned.
I don't mind 7 kts, for me I'd want a single engine trawler, good engine spares and a good towing plan
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Old 30-01-2015, 09:35   #12
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Re: Who Has Gone From Sailboat to Motor Yacht?

gotta take issue with stu--I sailed in the Caribbean in the seventies on a Freya built by jim gannon and loved every minute of it-- fast forward 40 years and I find myself on a 36 ft American tug in the san juan islands. I enjoy getting to the many hundreds of small anchorages every bit as much as being there. also, as I roll into my seventies [hopefully 80s] I will really appreciate stepping from a water level swim platform into my dinghy to go check the crab traps!! cpt steve send not to ask for whom the bell tolls -it tolls for thee
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Old 30-01-2015, 09:55   #13
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Re: Who Has Gone From Sailboat to Motor Yacht?

I have gone from sailboat to solar yacht..for much of the reasons stated, sailing is great but it isn't free and is complicated. I do enjoy the quiet. No way I'll have a diesel engine. So solar is the ticket, with petrol backup.
Gotta have a lightweight boat, a spacious boat (for 2), and a multihull..and low-cost.
Is there anything made like this already? Not really, so I have to build it.
Here are two boats that get close.

XIT


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Old 30-01-2015, 10:02   #14
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Re: Who Has Gone From Sailboat to Motor Yacht?

I like the comparison to the Prius.... How much you move is relevant to whether the fuel usage is an issue.
In the San Juans the trawler definitely has an edge... too much current and poor wind direction to sail anyway. Add dark and grey days to that and the trawler wins.


When I had my trawler, I found myself feeling insecure about what to do if the engine stopped...? With the sailboat I at least had a chance to get somewhere without rolling around in chop.
A dual engine trawler might have solved that insecurity. If I had good tanks and my fuel polished!
The Sea of Cortez can get very rough.. not sure I'd want to be out in some of it in a trawler... but then,... you can usually manage how to not be out there.
Trawlers do offer some very nice living space compared with monos... not so cave-ish for sure.
A sailing cat is probably the best of both worlds.
At anchor the trawler may be lovely.. how much does she like motoring though?
With a sailboat you can motor or sail... and go as fast as a trawler.
Seems a raised salon mono is a good compromise also.
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Old 30-01-2015, 10:09   #15
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Re: Who Has Gone From Sailboat to Motor Yacht?

Quote:
Originally Posted by montenido View Post
Thanks for the great replies so far. I should add that I have scaled back my plans for crossing the Pacific. Instead, I am going to explore the Sea of Cortez, anchoring at the many islands and coves found there. There is enough to see there to keep me occupied for many years.

I was thinking about either a trawler or motor yacht in the 35-45' range. Used Defevers, Symbols, and Presents all look interesting. As with sailboats, they all have different features, and everything is a compromise.

Keep the comments coming.

Cheers, Bill


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You may want to look into a trawler cat. good stability, easily driven, lots of space on deck and below and shoal draft for gunkholing.
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