Cruisers Forum

Join CruisersForum Today

Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 30-06-2013, 17:01   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Blairsville
Boat: Roger 24
Posts: 8
Looking at power or sail

We are experienced with motor boats. Not so with sail boats.We want a rather large boat, which ever one we get, should be over 45'. We just want to get off land and onto water. I assume most would say the sailboat is best, less gas consumption. I was wonder on average, how much can a person burn in gas or diesel per mile, how would one find that out?? Also was told gas was hard to find on the islands, that diesel is easier to find, is that true???

In regards to sailing, we need to find a place to get lessons. Some expression used is confusing. Like sailing down through Fla on the Atlantic side, they have frequent storms, minor ones that pop up. One would have to learn which sails to leave up if any?? It is that kind of stuff we need to find out, thanks alot

woodcutter43 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-06-2013, 19:37   #2
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Oct 2007
Boat: Endeavour 42CC
Posts: 1,182
If you are going long distances off shore, the fuel use is a big issue. But for coastal cruising it becomes less so. If you find an honest coastal cruising sailor, he'll tell you he motors much of the time. Of course I'll get ripped by the exceptions. But we cruise coastal east coast usa and most of the sailboats we see are motoring.
A sailboat will get better fuel economy if you compare lengths. But if you compare space, it's much closer. IOW, a 38' trawler has the space of a 45' sailboat. So dock space, haulouts, etc are cheaper.
So is the total cost of running a 45' sail cheaper than a 38' trawler? Hard to say but I suspect they are close. Some will do better than others. Some will sail more than others.

But there are other reasons besides cost to go sail instead of power. Our biggest one is stability in rough seas. The trawler will roll like crazy in 3' beam seas while we heel over a bit and ride comfortably. The quiet of turning off the engine is sweet.

Lots of variables to consider

gettinthere is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-06-2013, 19:51   #3
Senior Cruiser
skipmac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: 29 49.16 N 82 25.82 W
Boat: Pearson 422
Posts: 13,002
Re: Looking at power or sail

Fuel consumption will change dramatically depending on your speed. A 45' trawler at 8-9 kts might use a few gallons/hour. A 45' cabin cruiser at 25 kts might burn 10-20 times more.

Costs will depend on how far you cruise or how much time you spend at the dock.

On large power boats, unless you're talking about a 100 mph race boat, diesels are the only way.
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
skipmac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-06-2013, 20:14   #4
Registered User
kthoennes's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Sioux Falls, SD
Boat: Carver 3207 Aft Cabin, 32'
Posts: 289
Yep, all depends on how you're going to use it. We're powerboat now, and we'll be power for the Great Loop, but after that, sail. Many people assume that sail is far, far cheaper (wind is free after all) but as the other posters have said, a lot depends how you use it and how often you motor the sailboat. It's a closer call than many people think if you stay coastal. We saw the best, fastest sailor in our marina come back with a blown mainsail yesterday - combination of an old sail and 35 knot winds. Might be $2000 to replace that sail.
kthoennes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2013, 05:22   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 5,463
Re: Looking at power or sail

I would look at where you want to cruise and other features first but...

You can get a single engine trawler (maybe 150hp) and keep the speed down around 6-7kts and you will get very close to what the sailboats (maybe 50hp) get motoring. The problem is with 3 times the HP of a similar size sailboat, most people can't resist bumping up the speed to 8-10kts and they pay for it in fuel economy.

If you are doing the ICW, I wouldn't bother with a sailboat unless it has other features you really want. For example, we moved from Twin engine power to a Gemini sailboat not because we wanted to sail but the layout was what we wanted and really liked the shallow draft capability. In 1 1/2 times around the great loop, we sailed less than 5% of the time. Next spring when we head out for our next big trip, we plan to leave the mast in my brother-in-law's pole barn.
valhalla360 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2013, 06:28   #6
Registered User
Suijin's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Annapolis MD; currently in Oriental NC
Boat: Valiant 40
Posts: 3,325
Re: Looking at power or sail

You seem to be hinting that you'll be living aboard, or taking long trips. That, and what your lifestyle is are pretty key to your decision making.

As noted, A 45' powerboat, of pretty much any configuration, is going to have dramatically more interior space than a sail boat of equal size. Start going aboard some for sale and visualizing yourself living in the space.

I would generally say that if you're considering moving to sail out of cost concerns that you should probably stick with power. Sailing is fun and tremendously rewarding, but it comes with it's own laundry list of complexities and costs. And a 45' sailboat is a lot to handle for novice sailors. There are forces at work, with that much sail area, that can lead to serious injury if you're using it as a platform to learn on.

I would argue that the amount that coastal sailors motor is a function of their schedule. If they are transiting along the coast and need to be somewhere by X date and the wind is not cooperating, they are going to motor. If they have some latitude in their schedule, they are going to sail. I only motor when I have to.

As a cost data point, I moved my 40' sloop from eastern Connecticut to Annapolis a few weeks ago and due to schedule and a persistent SW wind motored almost the entire stretch. I burnt @ $175 worth of diesel, about 1.2 GPH.
Suijin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2013, 06:37   #7
Registered User
denverd0n's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 4,068
Images: 6
Re: Looking at power or sail

Sailing is a passion. If you get a sailboat just because you think that's the way to save fuel costs, I think you are going to end up seriously disillusioned.
denverd0n is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2013, 07:03   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Blairsville
Boat: Roger 24
Posts: 8
Re: Looking at power or sail

Thank you all for your response. We do want to live on a boat. Looking at several older models. Love the old wooden boats. Both the larger boats are floating in a marina. The one sailboat is great, also floating. Think we will go with the motor or power. As we know about motor boats, and as one mentioned the do have more room. Now to decide on which one

woodcutter43 is offline   Reply With Quote


Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 01:05.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.