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Old 10-06-2015, 19:45   #91
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Re: Cruisers: How Much Fuel?

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There is nothing wrong with using a sailboat like a trawler. It is not a perversion of nature. I did a few calculations and find that a new diesel engine costs less per mile than sails (not counting the cost of fuel). You can get 30,000-50,000 miles out of one good $10,000 diesel engine. Try getting that far on one set of $15,000 sails. When you factor in cost of fuel and lube oil they are about equal or sails come out slightly ahead but it's not be a factor of 2:1.
That is essentially what most people do coming down the ICW. I see nothing wrong with trawlers - in fact a friend had a Selene and boy was it nice!

I was referring to the thread leading in the direction that unless you have hundreds of gallons of fuel, your boat is not capable of crossing oceans.

BTW - our sails are 27 years old and they still move the boat fine. They are getting threadbare and its time for new ones but still... 27 years.
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Old 11-06-2015, 02:58   #92
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Re: Cruisers: How Much Fuel?

My thoughts are you should have 100 hours of fuel as a minimum when on passage. More if you have the space. If your travels keep you close to fuel then as long as you can get yourself to safety then carry less.

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Old 11-06-2015, 07:24   #93
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Re: Cruisers: How Much Fuel?

In these comparisons we are omitting fuel costs. A set of sails may last 20k miles which is 2500 hours on a 8 knot trawler. I am guessing at that speed 3 gallons per hour minimum? So 7500 gallons x 4 dollars per gallon is 30,000 dollars. Several sets of sails right? And if it's really 5 gallons per hour than we're talking 50,000 dollars. Yikes.


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Old 11-06-2015, 07:55   #94
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Re: Cruisers: How Much Fuel?

I have done the math and for the cost of a new set of OEM level sails I could buy enough fuel @ $4/gal to motor 20,000 miles @ 5 knots.

But without the sails I could only do in 500 mile jumps with my current tankage, which is the question. But I feel that's a reasonable distance amount.
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Old 11-06-2015, 09:43   #95
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Re: Cruisers: How Much Fuel?

The OP asked this question in the context of ocean passages but I will chime in (as a coastal gunk holer).

If you are in a cool area and are a temperature wimp (like me), don't forget the fuel used by a furnace. I've got what I think is a fairly efficient set-up yet I can easily burn a gallon of fuel per day keeping the cabin nice and toasty.

I carry 90 gallons. Possibly overkill - even for my eventual trip up the inside passage to Alaska as fuel can be purchased all along the route. For the fairy-tale adventure thru the Northwest Passage, I would be wishing for double that amount.

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Old 11-06-2015, 10:48   #96
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Re: Cruisers: How Much Fuel?

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In these comparisons we are omitting fuel costs. A set of sails may last 20k miles which is 2500 hours on a 8 knot trawler. I am guessing at that speed 3 gallons per hour minimum? So 7500 gallons x 4 dollars per gallon is 30,000 dollars. Several sets of sails right? And if it's really 5 gallons per hour than we're talking 50,000 dollars. Yikes.


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Sails require a lot of additional stuff (mast, running & standing rigging, blocks, winches, solar panels, maintenance and the list goes on) that trawlers don't have. The economic equation is not clear cut between trawlers and sailing unless you sail in a survivalist mode (no engine, no water maker, no air conditioning, no fridge/freezer, etc.). In that case sailing is a lot less expensive but I guess less than 5% of cruisers worked and saved their whole lives to live that way for years.

Most trawler cruisers don't run at 5 or even 3 gallons per hour. Most "frugal" cruisers try to keep it under 2 and closer to 1 gallon per hour. Even an old Ford Lehman can do that and most new trawlers with efficient diesels can achieve that. They might run at only 6 knots to get that fuel efficiency.

Sailboats are pretty much the same. I can motor a long way (500 miles) using .75 gallons (3 liters) per hour. If I drop back to 4-5 knots and run just a little bit off a light breeze I can squeeze 1,000 miles out of my tankage (100 gallons) by motor sailing and not getting in a hurry. In that condition I have tons of DC power for making water, ice, running navigation instruments, entertainment, etc. It's actually quite relaxing.
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Old 11-06-2015, 20:09   #97
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Re: Cruisers: How Much Fuel?

I think trawlers are great in theory if you must give up sails. No doubt. Never having ridden one in chop- how are they with beam or quartering seas? Do they tend to roll, being displacement vessels?


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Old 11-06-2015, 21:32   #98
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Re: Cruisers: How Much Fuel?

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Originally Posted by malbert73 View Post
I think trawlers are great in theory if you must give up sails. No doubt. Never having ridden one in chop- how are they with beam or quartering seas? Do they tend to roll, being displacement vessels?
Crossed the Coral Sea in a 40ft Tradewinds trawler in 30 knots and 3-4 metre quartering seas with no autopilot. Lots of roll and as soon as you got more than 10 degree off course either way she would yaw hugely ( not fun at all at night ;( ) I wouldn't do it again!
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Old 12-06-2015, 01:16   #99
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Re: Cruisers: How Much Fuel?

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I have done the math and for the cost of a new set of OEM level sails I could buy enough fuel @ $4/gal to motor 20,000 miles @ 5 knots.

But without the sails I could only do in 500 mile jumps with my current tankage, which is the question. But I feel that's a reasonable distance amount.
$4/gal not in the Pacific, Try doubling that.

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Old 12-06-2015, 06:30   #100
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Re: Cruisers: How Much Fuel?

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Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
I have done the math and for the cost of a new set of OEM level sails I could buy enough fuel @ $4/gal to motor 20,000 miles @ 5 knots.

But without the sails I could only do in 500 mile jumps with my current tankage, which is the question. But I feel that's a reasonable distance amount.

Cool.
I guess even if the math is questionable- losing the engine noise and eliminating emissions is not, at least to me. Someday I'll have a trawler, but only when I can't sail anymore


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Old 12-06-2015, 07:51   #101
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Re: Cruisers: How Much Fuel?

50 gallons in tank, 20 gallons on deck, 43 Hunter with genset FL to Oz no problem


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Old 18-06-2015, 21:55   #102
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Re: Cruisers: How Much Fuel?

Fuel- Cruisers Forum

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Originally Posted by Duckwheat View Post
1. I felt like asking the question, irritating you was a bonus.
2. It is a sailboat, what is 2 weeks?
3. Fresh water, estimated amp consumption taken care of by solar and wind.
4. You are probably not going to motor yourself out of a rig failure. Focus on rigging something/anything to get the boat moving. Or deploy the sea anchor and activate the Epirb if it is that catastrophic.

DW
Everyone's opinion is different, but I've got a bit of a different perspective on this than above, based on some observations in the Caribbean last year and the Pacific this year. I view fuel capacity as having two purposes, safety and it gives us more options.

Rigging Failure:
- We met one boat in the Marquesas this year that did motor out of a rigging failure. They had multiple rigging failures that exceeded what they could jury rig. Most boats are set up to handle failure on one or two failures, but this boat ended up losing all 4 diamond stays. From memory talking to them, they motored over 800 miles with enough of a jury rig to stabilized the mast for the sea state, but not enough to risk sailing). They exhausted their diesel supply, but were able to organize a fuel transfer from one of the other boats crossing via the SSB net they were on. For those jumping to the conclusion it was a crappy, poorly maintained boat, it was a Malo 42 and all standing rigging had been replaced less than a year ago. They're still trying to figure out why the failures occurred, badly tuned after re rigging, bad batch of fittings, etc.
- Another boat was lost this year south of the Galápagos. The couple on it were rescued by a boat we know (a Caliber 40) who had to motorsail hard to windward for almost two days to get to them. They were able to respond without hesitating because they had enough fuel to do it, and still get safely to the Marquesas, still 2000 miles away.

What is 2 Weeks: Normally nothing, but close friends of ours had a significant medical emergency this year on their crossing from Galápagos to the Marquesas that didn't give them that luxury. He used over 200 gallons of diesel (50 ft aluminum monohull w/ 100 hp Volvo) motorsailing through light spots including motorsailing the last 2-1/2 days as his wife was near collapse as Tahiti had determined it would take the same length of time to organize an airlift as for him to motorsail hard the last 500 miles. He's an emergency room doctor so Im comfortable his assessment of her condition and the urgency wasn't exaggerated.

Wind/Solar Power: The one word you used there that I noticed was estimated. As a lot of your sailing will be downwind, I would estimate virtually zero contribution from the wind generator. That is based on my observations of our and discussions with numerous other boats about theirs. Our wind generators were great in the Caribbean at anchor and reaching/beating up and down the chain, but as soon as we started sailing downwind, our generator time spiked substantially. I've now got lots of solar (to the point I'm thinking of ditching the wind generators in NZ), but I've noticed that underway I get a lot less out of them than I do at anchor. Particularly in the S Pacific I've noticed that by mid afternoon the shadow from the sails significantly cuts down our solar output. That's been a common observation of many boats both with panels on davits and on biminis. This may impact your fuel usage for charging more than you're currently estimating.

Options: Having a bit more fuel capacity has allowed us to leave a few times on less than ideal forecasts. For example we left Galápagos this year as a big 'hole' was developing. I was able to motorsail about 18 hours out of the first 48 hrs to keep ahead of it and get into the trades. Having some reserves gave us the ability to use some fuel early in the trip yet still have confidence we'd have enough to cover potential issues later. Our choice would have been to leave a day or so earlier, or wait longer, but there were a couple of dives we wanted to do and we wanted to wait for the fresh market day (once a week) in Santa Cruz. After getting the fresh produce, we wanted to leave as soon as possible to maximize the time out there with good food. Then when we arrived in Hiva Oa, no diesel was available (for about two weeks) so lots of boats were hanging out, waiting and delaying their jump to the Tuamotos. By the time we'd worked our way north to Nuku Hiva, diesel was available, but if it hadn't been, we'd have still been able to leave for the Tuamotus with what we had. Finally, I was discussing this thread with an Island Packet 38 anchored close to us (90 gal in tanks, 10 gal in jugs), and their comment was that coming down from Puerto Vallarta this year, it was nice to be able to motor a couple of days through the ITCZ rather than bobbing between and extending their time around the associated thunderstorms. Options are nice to have IMHO, particularly when I have family aboard to consider.

Lots of people will point to the Pardey's and that they sailed for decades with no diesel, so it's obviously not necessary....you're a sail boat. Having met them, I have tremendous respect for them but also think they are much more 'hard core' than 99% of the cruisers out here. There were places they weren't able to visit as they just couldn't sail in, they are clearly more risk tolerant and patient than most of the cruisers out here, and they have a very different expectations on getting assistance from others. They didn't have an SSB, just a portable receiver so had no expectations of anyone coming to help them if they got into trouble. When you talk about setting off the EPIRB, I think your perspective or philosophical position is already very different from theirs. Neither is wrong, I'm just not convinced you can only adopt part of the philosophy.

Finally, all this discussion has centred around the long crossings. However, I noticed you're in the PNW and you're talking about the Atlantic first and then the Pacific. Does that mean you're going down to Panama and then up to the Caribbean? If so, you've probably got a lot of motoring ahead of you getting from Panama to the Virgins or St Martin to jump off for the Atlantic. One thing to consider is that with lower fuel capacity, you're going to then have to take fuel on at lots of places you'd probably prefer not to (price and quality). Make sure you've got a bulletproof filtration/water separator system and a good Baja filter for filling as there is some pretty crappy fuel out here.

For the record, we've got an Amel Super Maramu (100 hp Yanmar) with 160 gals in the main tank and another 25 gals in Jerry Cans in a locker over the chain locker. Less than I'd like, but ok, particularly now that we've reduced our reliance on the generator substantially. I've got 825 watts of solar on the davits and 2 Air-X wind generators on the mizzen mast. That covers most of our energy needs at anchor and minimizes generator time to about an hour every other day underway.

Just my thoughts, as always, 'Your Mileage May Vary'. Good luck with your plans and I hope you're able to leave soon.

Mark
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Old 19-06-2015, 00:00   #103
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Re: Cruisers: How Much Fuel?

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Originally Posted by Hobie_ind View Post
Fuel- Cruisers Forum



Everyone's opinion is different, but I've got a bit of a different perspective on this than above, based on some observations in the Caribbean last year and the Pacific this year. I view fuel capacity as having two purposes, safety and it gives us more options.

Rigging Failure:
- We met one boat in the Marquesas this year that did motor out of a rigging failure. They had multiple rigging failures that exceeded what they could jury rig. Most boats are set up to handle failure on one or two failures, but this boat ended up losing all 4 diamond stays. From memory talking to them, they motored over 800 miles with enough of a jury rig to stabilized the mast for the sea state, but not enough to risk sailing). They exhausted their diesel supply, but were able to organize a fuel transfer from one of the other boats crossing via the SSB net they were on. For those jumping to the conclusion it was a crappy, poorly maintained boat, it was a Malo 42 and all standing rigging had been replaced less than a year ago. They're still trying to figure out why the failures occurred, badly tuned after re rigging, bad batch of fittings, etc.
- Another boat was lost this year south of the Galápagos. The couple on it were rescued by a boat we know (a Caliber 40) who had to motorsail hard to windward for almost two days to get to them. They were able to respond without hesitating because they had enough fuel to do it, and still get safely to the Marquesas, still 2000 miles away.

What is 2 Weeks: Normally nothing, but close friends of ours had a significant medical emergency this year on their crossing from Galápagos to the Marquesas that didn't give them that luxury. He used over 200 gallons of diesel (50 ft aluminum monohull w/ 100 hp Volvo) motorsailing through light spots including motorsailing the last 2-1/2 days as his wife was near collapse as Tahiti had determined it would take the same length of time to organize an airlift as for him to motorsail hard the last 500 miles. He's an emergency room doctor so Im comfortable his assessment of her condition and the urgency wasn't exaggerated.

Wind/Solar Power: The one word you used there that I noticed was estimated. As a lot of your sailing will be downwind, I would estimate virtually zero contribution from the wind generator. That is based on my observations of our and discussions with numerous other boats about theirs. Our wind generators were great in the Caribbean at anchor and reaching/beating up and down the chain, but as soon as we started sailing downwind, our generator time spiked substantially. I've now got lots of solar (to the point I'm thinking of ditching the wind generators in NZ), but I've noticed that underway I get a lot less out of them than I do at anchor. Particularly in the S Pacific I've noticed that by mid afternoon the shadow from the sails significantly cuts down our solar output. That's been a common observation of many boats both with panels on davits and on biminis. This may impact your fuel usage for charging more than you're currently estimating.

Options: Having a bit more fuel capacity has allowed us to leave a few times on less than ideal forecasts. For example we left Galápagos this year as a big 'hole' was developing. I was able to motorsail about 18 hours out of the first 48 hrs to keep ahead of it and get into the trades. Having some reserves gave us the ability to use some fuel early in the trip yet still have confidence we'd have enough to cover potential issues later. Our choice would have been to leave a day or so earlier, or wait longer, but there were a couple of dives we wanted to do and we wanted to wait for the fresh market day (once a week) in Santa Cruz. After getting the fresh produce, we wanted to leave as soon as possible to maximize the time out there with good food. Then when we arrived in Hiva Oa, no diesel was available (for about two weeks) so lots of boats were hanging out, waiting and delaying their jump to the Tuamotos. By the time we'd worked our way north to Nuku Hiva, diesel was available, but if it hadn't been, we'd have still been able to leave for the Tuamotus with what we had. Finally, I was discussing this thread with an Island Packet 38 anchored close to us (90 gal in tanks, 10 gal in jugs), and their comment was that coming down from Puerto Vallarta this year, it was nice to be able to motor a couple of days through the ITCZ rather than bobbing between and extending their time around the associated thunderstorms. Options are nice to have IMHO, particularly when I have family aboard to consider.

Lots of people will point to the Pardey's and that they sailed for decades with no diesel, so it's obviously not necessary....you're a sail boat. Having met them, I have tremendous respect for them but also think they are much more 'hard core' than 99% of the cruisers out here. There were places they weren't able to visit as they just couldn't sail in, they are clearly more risk tolerant and patient than most of the cruisers out here, and they have a very different expectations on getting assistance from others. They didn't have an SSB, just a portable receiver so had no expectations of anyone coming to help them if they got into trouble. When you talk about setting off the EPIRB, I think your perspective or philosophical position is already very different from theirs. Neither is wrong, I'm just not convinced you can only adopt part of the philosophy.

Finally, all this discussion has centred around the long crossings. However, I noticed you're in the PNW and you're talking about the Atlantic first and then the Pacific. Does that mean you're going down to Panama and then up to the Caribbean? If so, you've probably got a lot of motoring ahead of you getting from Panama to the Virgins or St Martin to jump off for the Atlantic. One thing to consider is that with lower fuel capacity, you're going to then have to take fuel on at lots of places you'd probably prefer not to (price and quality). Make sure you've got a bulletproof filtration/water separator system and a good Baja filter for filling as there is some pretty crappy fuel out here.

For the record, we've got an Amel Super Maramu (100 hp Yanmar) with 160 gals in the main tank and another 25 gals in Jerry Cans in a locker over the chain locker. Less than I'd like, but ok, particularly now that we've reduced our reliance on the generator substantially. I've got 825 watts of solar on the davits and 2 Air-X wind generators on the mizzen mast. That covers most of our energy needs at anchor and minimizes generator time to about an hour every other day underway.

Just my thoughts, as always, 'Your Mileage May Vary'. Good luck with your plans and I hope you're able to leave soon.

Mark
Mark

Very good post from some real experience.

No doubt in States and Carribean you can get away with small tankage. similarly without a watermaker there if you are prepared to cart water.

In areas of pacific such as PNG/indonesia where they are often light winds and currents you will be limited and get tired of chacing often poor quality fuel. Patagonia is another great area where decent fuel tankage is a real advantage. If one was to spend a couple of months diving the Coral Sea amongst the coral you will also value fuel capacity.

So whilst you may get away with small tankage in some areas its often a real advantage to have lots.
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Old 19-06-2015, 05:14   #104
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Re: Cruisers: How Much Fuel?

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............Patagonia is another great area where decent fuel tankage is a real advantage. If one was to spend a couple of months diving the Coral Sea amongst the coral you will also value fuel capacity.

So whilst you may get away with small tankage in some areas its often a real advantage to have lots.
Agree with the penultimate post...after leaving Antofagasta bound west we had about three days motoring in glassy calm looking for wind.

Meanwhile back in the south... I've been working on my log abstracts over the last few days and this may be of interest. These trips between Pto Williams and Pto Montt cover all seasons... and were sailed whenever a fair breeze offered... fewer engine hours have meant far longer passage times and the engine was used to make miles on the calm days...

South bound, 45, 55, and 48 days... engine hours 200, 169 and 131 hours.

Northbound, 45, 72, and 60 days... engine hours 193, 255 and 249 hours.

Consumption between 2.5 and 3 litres per hour... ( MD 17D )

Only one place you can take fuel between Williams and the Pto Aguirre area........

Lots of fuel is good.........
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Old 19-06-2015, 05:46   #105
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Re: Cruisers: How Much Fuel?

Too late to edit.... fewer engine hours *would* have meant far longer passage times.
And also.... on most 'sailing' days between 1 and 2 hours of engine time departing ( in the morning ) and arriving ( in the evening) in assorted caletas.
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