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Old 15-01-2011, 12:26   #1
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Motorsailor

I have read alot of threads on what is a motorsailor and what is not. While on these sites I have read about newer sailboats with bigger engines that are put into this category. This is giving me second thoughts on buying what I think is a true motor sailor, I was wondering if anyone out there would like to give me their thoughts. I have a bead on a 43' cheoy lee Robert Perry design motorsailor. How does this 30yr old design rate with modern motorsailor designs? Do you have any designs you are fond of? I am not made of money looking @ or below $100,000, and am looking to live aboard with my wife for an extended period of time cruising from Alaska to south America. Thanks in Advance. Dave.
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Old 15-01-2011, 14:44   #2
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Send Bob Perry a PM, he's on this forum.
He can tell you better than anyone else..
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Old 15-01-2011, 16:06   #3
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My wife and I owned, lived aboard and chartered our Island Trader 47. Teak inerior joinery is amazing. Comfort of queen size bed and ensuite bath are hard to beat. Don't be in a hurry to get anywhere. 600 gallons of deisel and 300 gallons of water with gross tonnage of 81. 6 cylinder Ford Lehman for the most economical cruiser you've experienced. The only vessel I ever made money with.
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Old 15-01-2011, 18:10   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveWalter View Post
I have read alot of threads on what is a motorsailor and what is not. While on these sites I have read about newer sailboats with bigger engines that are put into this category. This is giving me second thoughts on buying what I think is a true motor sailor, I was wondering if anyone out there would like to give me their thoughts.
As you have seen, what is defined as a motorsailor is not perfectly clear. There is no rule that draws a line at some point based on length/volume/engine that says one boat is and one isn't. When I was selling sailboats it was generally accepted a "motor sailor" was a boat that was bigger, shorter rig, more HP than a "sailboat". Just putting a larger engine in a low freeboard, narrow beam boat would not make it a motor sailor.



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I have a bead on a 43' cheoy lee Robert Perry design motorsailor. How does this 30yr old design rate with modern motorsailor designs?
Rate in what regard: room, performance under sail or power, quality of build, good deals on the market?

Have you decided on your priorities for a boat? For example, are you willing to give up better sailing performance to get more room? Motorsailors usually have larger engines with higher costs for maintenance and repairs. Have you allowed for that in the budget?
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Old 16-01-2011, 06:34   #5
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My wife & I also lived aboard an Island Trader motorsailer. It made a great liveaboard and coastal cruiser..but I would`nt take it too far off soundings. The free-board exceeded the vessels draft. The louvered companionway and huge saloon windows would be really dangerous in any sort of sea. Like all motor-sailers its a compromise...they wont sail well and wont power well,so the motor is usually running while under sail.
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Old 16-01-2011, 12:15   #6
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I see that the Island Trader is a popular choice in this category. Looking at it closer it is roomy and does have a high freeboard and I have to agree with you, it looks like it would be a good choice for a coastal, and island live-a-board. I think the 43' cheoy lee sits well in the water and it looks like it has more sail ( ketch rigged ) they are comperable in tankage. I don't have enough knowledge in this area but I think the cheoy lee would be a better open water passage maker. What would be typical preformence for the Island Trader under typical sailing conditions?
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Old 16-01-2011, 12:44   #7
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Practical Sailor had a good look at the 37/38 IT. Might be worth a read.
Island Trader 37/38
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Old 16-01-2011, 12:55   #8
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It's analogous to when a boat becomes a ship. There is no numerical definition.

For some a motor sailor is a perfect fit for how they would like to use a boat.
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Old 16-01-2011, 13:00   #9
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It is problematic to differentiate exactly when an auxiliary sailboat becomes a motorsailor and a motorsailer becomes a powerboat with assist/stabiliizing sails.

Doesn't really matter what you call it, however. When choosing a boat, it is the characters/nature (relative performance under sail versus power, hull form, etc.) of the individual boat and how they coincide with the potential buyer's wants and needs that's important.
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Old 16-01-2011, 13:13   #10
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I'm a big fan of motorsailers. I think it's helpful to "unpack" some of the worries:

Offshore - If you pick your months and stay out of the high latitudes, you don't need the same boat as someone who plans to circumnavigate the southern ocean.

Inside Steering - Not being out in an exposed cockpit is a huge safety plus offshore. Cold, wet, and tired people make bad decisions.

High freeboard to draft - Commercial fishing boats go out in the worst stuff and have high freeboard to draft. You care about stability. Motorsailers typically are quite stable. Easy for a marine architect to calculate.

Big windows - important but easy to fix with plexiglass storm shutters when offshore. Or upgrade the glass to something stronger. Look at Dashew's thinking on offshore glazing for his powerboat:
DashewOffshore.com - the serious cruising sailor's website

Rolling - Motorsailers have a built in roll control with a little sail up. A lot more powerboats would go offshore if they had a reliable way to control roll.

Upwind performance - Most motorsailers don't sail well upwind. That's your compromise. You either wait for the wind to change ("gentlemen don't sail to weather") or motor. You'll have company motoring. It seems most cruising sailboats motor upwind these days too. And don't worry about the "sail off the dangerous lee shore" argument. It's not 1850. You have GPS and weather forecasts. You would motor off the lee shore if you were dumb enough to get there.

Downwind performance - Motorsailers can reach hull speed quite easily downwind. It's just a matter of sail area and waterline length (I assume you don't plan to plane downwind).

As with any boat but especially an old boat - you care most about initial build quality and quality of maintenence. There are a surprising number of motorsailers that do very well in these areas.

Carl
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Old 16-01-2011, 14:26   #11
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Carl has the right slant on this. The key is what to do you want and what do you propose to do with it? We took our vessel from Ft. Meyers on Florida's West coast to St. Thomas and beyond. We chartered out of St. Thomas for five years, survived six hurricanes, and sailed (motored) in all kinds of weather. We specialized in "Honeymoon" Charter for a couple only.(no children) We were successful, enjoyed it, made many friends and only regret we didn't do it sooner. We averaged 26 to 28 week long charters a year and had a good percentage of repeat business. The vessel is built like a tank, sails like a tub, motors slow but steady. Ford Lehamna is a tractor engine that will run all day at 1800 rpm and you will do between 4.5 to 6.0 knts in comfort. Ketch rig allows you to use jigger and genny for optimum motor sailing.
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Old 16-01-2011, 14:52   #12
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I notice most of your motorsailor discussions are in regard to mono's.
I believe there is a good argument for multihull motor sailors or sail assist multihulls.
Multihulls designed right have a good hull speed.
Two motors offer good manuverability and reliability.
A simple sail rig is used mainly downwind.
Plus you get a shallow draft, no keel or centerboards needed.

I believe in waiting for the weather window and then going as fast (safe) as you can. Have good weather forecasting ability and GPS of course.
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Old 16-01-2011, 14:58   #13
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sounds like a sailing cat with 2 motors. Now your not talking about a motor sailor but a sailboat with motors. Good compromise
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Old 16-01-2011, 15:00   #14
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Thank you gentlemen. My intent is to get my sealegs in the Pacific Northwest over a couple of years, then sailing south to the Galapagos over to Austrailia then back via Hawaii. It's funny I grew up in North Wales U.K. one of the best sailing areas in the U.K. and barely sailed. Never lived more than two miles from the ocean and never learnt to swim. Moved to Colorado now after 20 years realize what I've been missing. I guess it's never to late to figure out what you want!!
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Old 16-01-2011, 15:21   #15
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sounds like a sailing cat with 2 motors. Now your not talking about a motor sailor but a sailboat with motors. Good compromise
No, what I am talking about is different.
Most multihulls are built/designed primarily as sailing boats, with mast and sails costing $25,000 - $ 50,000 with in mast or boom furling/ roller furling etc. Great sailing in conditions of 15-25 knots of wind.
However my wife and I don't like sailing in over 20 knots if we can avoid it.

So we sit in port and wait for 5-10 knots with a following breeze and then go, probably motoring with sail assist at first. As the wind increases over 10 knots we sail (to conserve fuel) we are usually at our next port within a couple of days.

Our boat has a very simple sail rig, controllable spinnaker?which cost a total of $3,000. the twin motors plus lots of fuel give us the safety and reliability we need. However the plan does NOT come with a schedule, you must be prepared to WAIT for the weather window.
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