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Old 02-08-2018, 12:53   #1
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Sailboats vs. Powerboats which is better?

I'm looking at used boats in the 20 to 40 foot range and it always seems like sailboats offer much more room cabin room and length too for the $ than powerboats do. I've even seen some in for sale in the price range of $4500 or $6500. Agree or disagree? What's the catch?

Here's one in Brooklyn or $1500 that's even cheaper than a jet ski and possibly an inflatable plus an outboard.

https://newyork.craigslist.org/brk/b...660266607.html
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Old 02-08-2018, 12:58   #2
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Re: Sailboats vs. Powerboats which is better?

They certainly do. And you usually get a free mast with them too
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Old 02-08-2018, 13:14   #3
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Re: Sailboats vs. Powerboats which is better?

I've come across a number of motorsailors that have removed the rigging and are now are motor boats
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Old 02-08-2018, 13:19   #4
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Re: Sailboats vs. Powerboats which is better?

Lots of cheap sailboats out there man. C&C's are nice. I think you should buy it . My first boat was a C&C 30 I found on Craigslist for $3000. It was a mess, but I fixed her all up and learned a ton.

Honestly, the "catch" is that boats (especially sailboats) are work - and, of course, they cost money to store and maintain.

I am more than happy to devote time to work on my boat and I am willing and able to spend the money to store and maintain it. Many people aren't or they become unable to for one reason or another.
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Old 02-08-2018, 13:44   #5
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Re: Sailboats vs. Powerboats which is better?

To try to answer the part of your question about "which is better" I'll say this: Neither is better. They're different.

I'm going to keep my comments specific to the cheaper boats you'll see on Craigslist.

The cheap, gas powerboats you'll see on Craigslist (the ones that run at least) can be great for getting places quickly, but being gas boats, they generally use a lot of fuel (especially your average American 1980's 20-something footer with a big Detroit V8 (or two) in it and (seaworthiness aside) these boats are generally not a good pick for long trips. They can be great for an afternoon or overnight blasting around the bay, but be prepared to shell out a lot of cash on gas.

The sailboats you'll see on Craigslist are IMHO more likely to be a better bet if you want to fix one up to be capable of small trips. They often have old Atomic 4 gas motors, fuel efficient outboards, or sometimes even older diesels. Also... you can SAIL!! I will say sailboats are generally more complicated in terms of maintenance - you now also have a whole rig to worry about, but if far off tropical islands are in your dreams, I'd buy a sailboat and use it to learn to sail and sharpen your boat maintenance skills.

Good luck.

Edit: Of course, with these Craigslist boats you can quickly find yourself buying something that is unsafe, going to be a major money pit, or both. I suggest you read up on inspecting boats before buying anything. I found this book to be helpful: https://www.amazon.com/Inspecting-Sa.../dp/B006M4CM4K
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Old 02-08-2018, 14:34   #6
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Re: Sailboats vs. Powerboats which is better?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShipOfFools View Post
I'm looking at used boats in the 20 to 40 foot range and it always seems like sailboats offer much more room cabin room and length too for the $ than powerboats do. I've even seen some in for sale in the price range of $4500 or $6500. Agree or disagree? What's the catch?

I have a sailboat in that size and price range, and like it.


The economics of sail and power are different. In that size range, much of the value of a power boat is in the propulsion system. Older power boats with gas engines reach a point where the steering and propulsion system requires substantial rework that may not be economically feasible.


Typically sailboats either have an outboard, which is inexpensive to replace, or have an inboard with a longer useful life and fewer hours of operation per year.


But whether you want sail or power is more a matter of what you want to get out of a boating experience than simply a matter of cost.


Quote:


Here's one in Brooklyn or $1500 that's even cheaper than a jet ski and possibly an inflatable plus an outboard.

https://newyork.craigslist.org/brk/b...660266607.html

So, here's what's going on.


That boat doesn't have a trailer, and the outboard cover is missing in the photo probably indicating that it is inoperative.


It is difficult to find a trailer that will match a particular used sailboat, at reasonable cost. Therefore, the buyer of that boat will have to be someone who wants to keep the boat at a marina and not ever trailer it. The outboard will have to be replaced, probably, at a cost of $2000. I would imagine that there are better deals to be found.


Often, there are slightly larger boats, in the 28-30 foot range, that no one wants because they are not trailerable. If you want a boat that will be kept exclusively at a marina, and not trailered, you may find that these slightly larger boats are a better deal.
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Old 02-08-2018, 14:41   #7
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Re: Sailboats vs. Powerboats which is better?

If you are just looking at $/sq ft for a liveaboard then small house boats are a better deal than either.
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Old 02-08-2018, 14:43   #8
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Re: Sailboats vs. Powerboats which is better?

Sailboats are better for enjoying the journey.
Powerboats are better for getting to the destination.

They are both PERFECT for having a journey to a destination.

If all you want is a destination fly or drive there.
Either way, sail or power, the journey is part of the destination.

I have a 46' sailboat, and a 17' powerboat. Both are a blast. Neither one is cheaper than weekly therapy but both are more effective, and for more people.

PS ShipOfFools, your user name rocks!
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Old 02-08-2018, 15:13   #9
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Re: Sailboats vs. Powerboats which is better?

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If you are just looking at $/sq ft for a liveaboard then small house boats are a better deal than either.
Preferably with no engine...lowers initial cost...and they are just a maintenance hassle anyway for a liveaboard.
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Old 02-08-2018, 15:15   #10
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Re: Sailboats vs. Powerboats which is better?

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Originally Posted by Peregrine1983 View Post
To try to answer the part of your question about "which is better" I'll say this: Neither is better. They're different.

...
...along these lines: "better" for what? What is your intended use?
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Old 03-08-2018, 04:02   #11
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Re: Sailboats vs. Powerboats which is better?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShipOfFools View Post
I'm looking at used boats in the 20 to 40 foot range and it always seems like sailboats offer much more room cabin room and length too for the $ than powerboats do. I've even seen some in for sale in the price range of $4500 or $6500. Agree or disagree? What's the catch?
I think you're not seeing very much of the whole market, since you're limiting your view by those kinds of low prices.

In general... many powerboats offer 2-3x usable "interior" space than an equivalent length sailboat. If you take cost out of the equation -- look on yachtworld, for example -- you can usually see that.

("Interior" might sometimes mean enclosed, but with canvas and clears...)

Neither is better, by itself. Some are better than others for certain tasks. You pick your favorite tasks.

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Old 03-08-2018, 04:51   #12
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Re: Sailboats vs. Powerboats which is better?

Sailboats and power boats have different mission statements. Sailboats shine for safety at sea and the esthetics of their experience; but if you're on a schedule, or prefer to cross distances quickly, power is the way to go. I would choose what fits the type of boating you want to do, and not get too wrapped up in the economic comparison of sail vs. motor.
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Old 03-08-2018, 05:10   #13
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Re: Sailboats vs. Powerboats which is better?

We just switched to a 42 foot powerboat a year ago after cruising for several years in a 42 foot sailboat.

The sailboat wins when moving, but the powerboat wins at anchor or at the marina. So much more room itís not even funny.

But, we do miss the quiet and zero gallon per hour fuel burn of the sailboat.
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Old 03-08-2018, 08:38   #14
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Re: Sailboats vs. Powerboats which is better?

I prefer power boats too. But where we live, power boats are more expensive (per pound) than sailing boats. I think this is due to bigger and more engines there.


The engine seems to be the only valuable part in most older boats. Except for a lead ballast on some sailboats, of course.


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Old 03-08-2018, 08:50   #15
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Re: Sailboats vs. Powerboats which is better?

If we are talking live aboards, the discussion changes somewhat IMO. Most older sailboats are fairly dark below decks with small cabins. Classic powerboats tend to have large salons and much more glass. The extra room in larger powerboats such as an old Connie allow for most reasonable creature comforts you might desire. If living at the dock is the primary point, the condition of the engines may no longer even be an issue. I have seen a number of great live aboard conversions of old tugs or fishing boats where engines, winches, and the like have been removed and the areas refitted. Quite charming.
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