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Old 24-07-2011, 13:23   #31
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Re: Sail or Motor for Liveaboard ?

Can't we all just get along? LOL!

Hey, anything I said about power boats being the "dark side" was said strictly tongue-in-cheek. I love the friendly rivalry power-boaters and sail-boaters share. It's all part of the fun! This is only the second thread I've posted on since joining this forum, and I certainly don't want to upset anyone. Power-boaters are great people and so are sail-boaters.

By the way, does anyone think my opinion that there are definite personality types involved here? It's just my personal observation. And it's not a bad thing. I just think certain characteristics that draw an individual to one form of boating over the other. I guess that's getting off topic though.

I agree that there are advantages and disadvantages to both types of boats, but some of the comments I've read seem to make the assumption that when it comes to living on a boat, the bigger the better. I have to take exception to that view, just like I would take exception to the view that a larger house is always better than a small house. And while replacing sails on a 40'+ yacht is quite a large expense, it's not nearly that expensive to replace sails on a sailboat in the 25-30' range. If the size of the boat and the amount of square-foot living space is the key determinant in choosing a live-aboard, then buy a houseboat! I'm quite happy living on my 26' sailboat and I really believe 32' would be about the maximum length I personally would want in a boat, mainly because with every additional foot of length and breadth of a boat, all costs increase exponentially. I like a small boat for that reason and also for the reason that it makes the boat much easier to single-hand. Again, I'm not running down anybody's choice of a bigger boat. Not at all, so please don't be offended. I'm simply stating that there are definite advantages to owning a small sailboat when it comes to costs. I don't believe that the bigger the boat the better, and I think a small boat can be a very happy sea-going abode while being much cheaper to own and operate than either a power-boat or a large sailboat. Of course if your pockets are deep and you want a bigger boat, then more power to you (no pun intended)!

By the way, feel free to lambast my comment! I welcome all attempts to enlighten my feeble brain!

In the end, I guess asking the question "which is better; power or sail"? Is kind of like asking the question: "which is the better color; blue, or green?" (please let's not have a thread on that)! But it's still been fun to toss around thoughts on the subject and that's what the op wanted, right? Hope it's been helpful.
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Old 24-07-2011, 14:46   #32
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Re: Sail or Motor for Liveaboard ?

Well said, Stratosailor!
"Oh, give me land lots of land with the starry skies above, don't fence me in."
"...and all I wish is a tall ship and a star to steer her by."
or... "I must down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky" and all I wish is a big box with a lazy-Boy inside.
'different strokes....
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Old 24-07-2011, 23:56   #33
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Re: Sail or Motor for Liveaboard?

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Originally Posted by JoeDiver View Post
So after all that you have to also consider all the expenses of life...and if you're down to $750 a month you're starting to get into pretty frugal territory....less than $200 a week.

And that doesn't include a car, insurance, saving, investing, cost to refurb boat, going out with friends, dating...etc....etc.....
Just to clarify, $1500 a month is boating expenses only. Docking fees, maintenance, fuel (or sails ), insurance, etc...

Food and social things are in another "budget" if you will. Sorry, I should have been more clear.
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Old 25-07-2011, 00:03   #34
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Re: Sail or Motor for Liveaboard?

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Asking this kind of question on a forum is useless. You get answers from people who will use all kinds of rationalization to justify their own decisions and rarely a balanced discussion. It really all comes down to you. Do you really need this in order to make a decision for yourself? If you do, you might want to take a close look at yourself and your motivations. Get out there and try all types of boating. That is the only way you will be able to make an informed decision.

The reply above about educated, interesting people is just dead wrong in my opinion (and that is all it is). I have read blogs from all kinds of boaters and have seen interesting, curious and talented people in everything from probably row boats to very high end expensive trawlers. And power boats don't hold the lock on drunks, bigots or closed minded ignorant people.
Okay people, lets get serious for a second. I'm not really going to make a decision based on THIS THREAD ALONE! Come on. I'm looking to spend a reasonable amount of money on something I'm looking to live in everyday. Trust me, the decision will be well researched, based on MY own preferences, and will have to fall within my financial constraints.

Please don't think I'm going to read this thread and go out and buy something.

I'm looking to get some new perspectives of those who have been there and done that while having a little bit of fun. Fair?
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Old 25-07-2011, 00:17   #35
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Re: Sail or Motor for Liveaboard?

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Originally Posted by stratosailor View Post

Power boats use a lot of gas! I mean a lot. And as you know, gasoline is not exactly cheap these days.
And how about the ones that use diesel, with engines comparable in size to those already found in a sailing boat?
How do they fit into your pidgeonhole?
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Old 25-07-2011, 00:19   #36
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Re: Sail or Motor for Liveaboard?

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Read the thread "Power Boat Circumnavigation" currently running.

Asking this kind of question on a forum is useless. You get answers from people who will use all kinds of rationalization to justify their own decisions and rarely a balanced discussion. It really all comes down to you. Do you really need this in order to make a decision for yourself? If you do, you might want to take a close look at yourself and your motivations. Get out there and try all types of boating. That is the only way you will be able to make an informed decision.

The reply above about educated, interesting people is just dead wrong in my opinion (and that is all it is). I have read blogs from all kinds of boaters and have seen interesting, curious and talented people in everything from probably row boats to very high end expensive trawlers. And power boats don't hold the lock on drunks, bigots or closed minded ignorant people.
Well said Sir
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Old 25-07-2011, 05:11   #37
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Re: Sail or Motor for Liveaboard ?

Good point, cat man do. Perhaps I was being a little too forgetful that there are power boats that don't use the big automotive-type gasoline engines. God knows there are many types of power boats. But usually when someone says they are considering a power boat, they are talking about a high-performance craft. I admit that I am not tremendously knowledgeable about power-boats, and am still learning. However based on my own observations when people talk "power-boat" they're talking power. Someone who owns a trawler with a diesel engine usually says "trawler", right? Irregardless, even a "power boat" with a diesel engine comparable in size to one used on a sailboat is going to have to use that diesel engine to propel his craft 100% of the time his craft is under way, whereas with a sailboat with the same size diesel it is used a fraction of the amount of time the boat is in motion, thus using much less fuel than the diesel-powered "power boat". That is, if the sailor is sailing his craft as it is designed to do and not motoring all the time, and I don't see much sense in owning a sailboat if you're going to spend all your time motoring (just my opinion).
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Old 25-07-2011, 05:31   #38
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Re: Sail or Motor for Liveaboard ?

SeaAir - Nobody thinks you're going to go out and buy what we tell you to. If you do then I also have some beach-front property you might be interested in...You must have known this topic would be provocative! Personally, I just enjoy the conversation. I like what deepfrz had to say. He offered his own perspective and he made some good points.

Good luck SeaAir - Whatever motive force you choose, you will be living a unique and very rewarding lifestyle.
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Old 25-07-2011, 05:40   #39
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Re: Sail or Motor for Liveaboard ?

Ah yes...... those hooligans in their motor boats, no sense of style or decorum.


Sailors on the other hand..........



tongue firmly in cheek before you blow a gasket or sheet, depending on your preference.
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Old 25-07-2011, 06:04   #40
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Re: Sail or Motor for Liveaboard ?

Nice, Artif. What is that on the bottom, a bloated whale carcass?

Check out this beautiful power-boat:

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Old 25-07-2011, 06:30   #41
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Re: Sail or Motor for Liveaboard ?

And if you really can't choose between power and sail, buy one of these! By the way, this is the best photo of a MacGregor I've seen yet! The darn things are unsinkable (yea right, so was the Titanic). The crew just finished stepping the mast and the skipper realizes he might be a little heavy on the water-ballast. LOL!

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Old 25-07-2011, 06:32   #42
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Re: Sail or Motor for Liveaboard ?

That mast must be heavy
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Old 25-07-2011, 06:53   #43
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Re: Sail or Motor for Liveaboard ?

It's a sailboat...It's a power-boat....it's a submarine!
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Old 25-07-2011, 09:05   #44
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Re: Sail or Motor for Liveaboard ?

After 30 some years as sailing boaters we have just gone to the "dark side" and are now trawling.

We have about 10000 miles under our keels of sailboats up to 47 feet. We loved that experience, but gave it up when the foredeck work and other things became more than we wanted to handle. We took a break of three years and looked for over a year to find a trawler.

There are myths about each option that all of us buy into depending on how each of us expects things will be good or not. A myth of sailing is that it is not power boating. With a few exceptions, that simply is not the case as almost all vessels are auxiliaries with all the same maintenance issues of power boats. And often the auxiliary is the only way to charge the batteries and so you end up using it quite a bit.

A myth of power boating is that the people are not as smart or cool as sailors. That has been mentioned in this thread. We are the same people we were on as sailboat owners. Please don't apply generalizations to either type of boater.

As we are discovering what power boating is about we constantly compare our decades of experience as sail owners. So here are some early findings:
1. It is easier...no question. Without a rig the work level is way down.
2. It is a good ride, but different in that beam seas cannot be handled as easily.
3. It is more accommodating. We had a Freedom 45 with 14 feet of beam, two heads, a great galley and salon. The trawler has a tiny galley by comparison, but the salon is much larger, decks are more usable at anchor, and the master s/r is about the same. The single most noticeable difference is that when in the salon we can enjoy a 360 view of all around us...no cave mentality.
4. The aft deck of both boats are large. The trawler deck is really a big back porch and it is wonderful at anchor. The foredeck is also quite large and a great place for eating, and just relaxing. The center cockpit of freedom was large and comfortable. The flybridge on the trawler is way more large and a fun place underway or at anchor.
5. The trawler is somewhat "faster" than the freedom. East Coast sailing usually means about 60% of the time you are under power and at best 7 knots and more often 5 or 6 knots. We just finished a 600 mile passage on the trawler and averaged 7.9 knots. We average about 3 gal per hour at 1700 rpms. Our range is over 1000 miles.
6. Regarding fuel, the comparison clearly favors the sloop. But a fair comparison to sail would include all the costs of the rig and sail maintenance.The gennaker on the Freedom was $4000 item and the new main was a $7000 item. Replacing lines, caring for the rig, winches and blocks all costs money. Fuel on a trawler is not the biggest cost by any stretch. Insurance, general maintenance, per diem travel and other things easily trump the cost of fuel.

I could go on. The experience you desire should lead you to which way to go. If you prefer the challenge and intricacies of sail, as we did for years, then go that way. If you prefer to cruise in more comfort and less challenge then go for power. The community of people does not change. And for us that community is a major reason for boating.

We made our decision based on key parameters. Overall length to not exceed 40 feet. Accommodations primarily for two, with very very infrequent overnight guests. Refrigeration for staying out weeks. Water for at least 10 days. And finally to our surprise we went with two screws. The newer "fast" trawlers with one engine are very attractive, but also suck up the diesel like crazy. Smaller engines going slower was our choice. Cruising is what it is called for a good reason.

There are so many good options on both sides. Our experience taught us that knowing our 3 or 4 high priorities was very key. It took time to discover what those are, but when we figured it out the options quickly narrowed.

Take your time, investigate very thoroughly, take nothing at face value and be prepared to spend more than your budget.
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Old 25-07-2011, 11:11   #45
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Re: Sail or Motor for Liveaboard ?

Well said and agreed, CodaCap. By the way, if I had to choose a power-boat, my personal favorite is the trawler. I've always thought that would be a great way to cruise. I know a lot of the folks who do the "loop" do so on a trawler.

I agree that expenses are relative. The great thing is there really is a lot of leeway in the expense of owning a sailboat. My boat is small. I just purchased an almost new mainsail for $500. You have to shop smart. You have to be willing to do most of if not all of the work on your boat yourself. I admit that I am a proponent of the Larry and Lynn Pardey philosophy of being a self-sufficient sailor. I personally couldn't afford to do it otherwise. And as you stated, most people do use their engines a lot when sailing. There are certain conditions when an engine is a real necessity. Then again, there are those brave souls who proudly sail engine-less. Some even have a set of oars or a sculling oar to propel their boat when necessary. I know these rugged individuals are rare, but I bring it up to illustrate a point. You can be a minimalist sailor or you can go all out with all the highest tech. You can sail with an engine or without. Inboard or Outboard. You can have a water-maker or simply carry water in a tank or in jugs. You can have a refrigerator or an ice-box. You can sail a big boat or a small boat. You can sail with crew or solo. Boating is more diversified and more accessible than it's probably ever been. Boats are cheap right now, have been for a few years. So you can have a quarter-million dollar boat parked in a slip next to a boat someone paid a thousand dollars for. And both are doing it their own way. I bought my boat cheap. It's a "good old boat". Needed lots of TLC. I park a few slips down from the marina owner's 70' fishing boat that I know cost in the millions. Yet we have one thing in common, the love of boating. And I think it's great that there is such diversity and accessibility in our sport. I think it's great that there's room for everybody and so many different ways to make it work. Power or sail.
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