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Old 27-08-2014, 11:20   #16
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Re: Great Loop with a $100k Budget

We've done the loop and in a sailboat (Gemini sail catamaran).

You need to pull the mast for the stretch from Chicago to Kentucky Lakes (mobile if you have a tall mast) and from Troy NY till you get into the Great Lakes. It's not that hard and there are marinas that do it regularly.

I would put more emphasis on shallow draft over mast height. While you could do the trip with a 10' draft, you will be limited from going into a lot of side locations and many marinas. I would shoot for 3'-4' draft but 5' isn't too bad. More I would discourage unless you had another reason for getting such a deep draft boat.

Being capable of anchoring out is neccessary and there are some great places to do so but for the most part the trip for us is about visiting the destinations and that means getting to shore and it's much easier to do from a dock. In large portions of the route, marinas are very reasonably priced.

$100k is plenty if you are reasonable to buy a used boat and travel for a year mostly staying in marinas. You have to make a few trade offs but very doable.
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Old 27-08-2014, 18:33   #17
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Re: Great Loop with a $100k Budget

I will add that twin engines make maneuvering in the many locks easier. If going with a single engine a bow thruster would be nice.

Our trawler draws 5 feet and we did much of the small boat route of Georgian Bay with no issues. Still, less is more when it comes to draft.

I agree that by being very conservative about weather any boat could do the Loup but you will cross several large bays, a corner of the Gulf of Mex. and some big water on the great lakes. We waited several days at Oswego NY while waves crashed over the impressive breakwater. When we finally crossed it could have been done on a pontoon boat or a 12 foot alum. skiff. Patience is a virtue.
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Old 27-08-2014, 21:10   #18
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Re: Great Loop with a $100k Budget

Thanks for all the great input. I have been dreaming/planning this so long it's killing me. I'm a sailor by nature so really want to do this on a sailboat. I know there isn't a lot of sailing but I feel like it's my destiny.

Although the older we get the more appealing a nice old Trawler sounds. But I usually come back to a sailboat after thinking about the cost of diesel and the roar of the big engine.

The current boat I am thinking of is the PDQ 36. Seems like a very solid boat with the benefit of sailing plus the stability of a catamaran. I also like the idea of shallow draft to add flexibility to where we can go. Just wondering how the slip availability and cost will be as it has a wide beam.

Well thanks for all the ideas and I will keep researching and dreaming.



Tim
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Old 27-08-2014, 22:50   #19
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Re: Great Loop with a $100k Budget

Forget the diesel AND the sails, how about a trimaran with solar:

Solar only trawler hits half way mark on Great-Loop
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Old 28-08-2014, 06:24   #20
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Re: Great Loop with a $100k Budget

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Originally Posted by Tfoster100 View Post
Thanks for all the great input. I have been dreaming/planning this so long it's killing me. I'm a sailor by nature so really want to do this on a sailboat. I know there isn't a lot of sailing but I feel like it's my destiny.

Although the older we get the more appealing a nice old Trawler sounds. But I usually come back to a sailboat after thinking about the cost of diesel and the roar of the big engine.

The current boat I am thinking of is the PDQ 36. Seems like a very solid boat with the benefit of sailing plus the stability of a catamaran. I also like the idea of shallow draft to add flexibility to where we can go. Just wondering how the slip availability and cost will be as it has a wide beam.

Well thanks for all the ideas and I will keep researching and dreaming.



Tim
Fuel costs are more a funciton of speed. If you get an efficent trawler (not the newer semi-displacement boats with twin 300hp diesels) and keep the throttle dialed back to about 6kts (similar to a sailboat), you will get pretty good efficency compared to a sail boat.

The PDQ width should only be a minor drawback. It might put you on T heads more frequently with a longer walk to shore but it's pretty rare to have them try and charge you extra (at 14' beam we fit in most standard slips and have never paid extra for being cat). Otherwise, it is a very suitable boat.
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Old 28-08-2014, 06:37   #21
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Re: Great Loop with a $100k Budget

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Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
Fuel costs are more a funciton of speed. If you get an efficent trawler (not the newer semi-displacement boats with twin 300hp diesels) and keep the throttle dialed back to about 6kts (similar to a sailboat), you will get pretty good efficency compared to a sail boat..
I just completed a 2,000 mile cruise in my small trawler. I used 258 gallons of fuel so fuel costs were approximately $1 per mile. I typically travel at 7 knots (over water).
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Old 28-08-2014, 07:08   #22
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Re: Great Loop with a $100k Budget

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I just completed a 2,000 mile cruise in my small trawler. I used 258 gallons of fuel so fuel costs were approximately $1 per mile. I typically travel at 7 knots (over water).
Sorry, my point was the bigger the engines, the harder it is for most people to resist going a little faster.

Most tralwers I come across cruise between 8-12kts and small jumps in speed make a big difference in fuel consumption.

The main reason sail boats normally get better economy under power is because they really don't have a choice. To get a similar size sailboat with say a 30hp engine to 8kts (the bottom end of the typical trawler speeds), you are basically running full throttle and the engine is screaming. Move up to a single engine trawler with 150hp and you are probably looking at 25% of peak output to generate the same speed and the engine is just purring happily along, so it feels very comfortable (except at the fuel dock).
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Old 28-08-2014, 07:22   #23
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Re: Great Loop with a $100k Budget

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Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
Sorry, my point was the bigger the engines, the harder it is for most people to resist going a little faster.

Most tralwers I come across cruise between 8-12kts and small jumps in speed make a big difference in fuel consumption.

The main reason sail boats normally get better economy under power is because they really don't have a choice. To get a similar size sailboat with say a 30hp engine to 8kts (the bottom end of the typical trawler speeds), you are basically running full throttle and the engine is screaming. Move up to a single engine trawler with 150hp and you are probably looking at 25% of peak output to generate the same speed and the engine is just purring happily along, so it feels very comfortable (except at the fuel dock).
There is the temptation but that's what the throttle control is there for. You are correct about the increase in fuel with the increase in speed, that's why I keep it slow. I could do better if I went even slower but it's a compromise between speed and efficiency.

I think the typical sailboat has a more efficient hull shape than the typical trawler but there are a lot of advantages to the trawler when it comes to comfort and livability. I don't want to get into that argument. It's a personal choice and what works for me might not work for someone else.
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Old 24-05-2017, 18:26   #24
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Re: Great Loop with a $100k Budget

2000 miles, 2 thousand dollars and 258 gallons? So diesel cost more than 7 dollars a gallon? ouch!
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Old 25-05-2017, 04:26   #25
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Re: Great Loop with a $100k Budget

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Stel.
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Old 26-05-2017, 21:36   #26
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Re: Great Loop with a $100k Budget

How do you figure affects of currents on the ICW. I would somehow figure high tide to low tide runs along much of the east leg of the trip. But that only gives you about 6.5 hours of very easy running.
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