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Old 23-08-2016, 07:10   #1
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Sailboat or trawler?

Hi myself and my wife and daughter have just sold our house and have moved from saskatchewan and are on our way to BC. Our plans were to buy a liveaboard and learn to sail over the next couple of years and once ready sail south down to Mexico then into the Caribbean for a 3 to 4 year cruise. My dilemma is recently I've been looking at a few trawlers and the liveaboard space us appealing, my question is could I do this trip.safely in a trawler, I'm thinking not but your input would be greatly appreciated. I'm thinking the extra cost of fuel is a downside but that wouldn't be the deal breaker. I would love to have advice from someone who has done this similar thing. Thanks in advance.

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Old 23-08-2016, 08:37   #2
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Re: Sailboat or trawler ???

Why would this be a dilemma? You can get 700-1200 miles in a trawler. Just need plenty of upscale if you want to cross an ocean.

I'm interested too, and looking into brands: Monk, Defeaver
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Old 23-08-2016, 10:52   #3
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Re: Sailboat or trawler ???

A trawler is certainly doable. If you throttle back to sailboat speeds, you won't see much difference in fuel consumption while motoring and surprisingly few sailboat miles are done under sail.


When you factor not having to buy replacement sails at some point, that will likely offset any extra fuel used.


Do be careful when you say trawler. If you see a twin engine boat with a pair of 300hp engines, that may look like a trawler but it likely won't have the range of a single engine trawler with a 150hp engine.
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Old 23-08-2016, 11:01   #4
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Re: Sailboat or trawler ???

I would say that getting to the Caribbean from the West coast is tough, real tough.
You may want to buy the boat on the East side to begin with.
I have not done it nor have I planned it, just going off of what I have read.
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Old 23-08-2016, 12:24   #5
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Re: Sailboat or trawler ???

Probably good input available from the folks at trawlerforum.com (sister site).


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Old 23-08-2016, 12:34   #6
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Re: Sailboat or trawler ???

There are some twin engines that are efficient; some not.

The fuel vs sail cost is sort of bogus argument these days.

What is a consideration is boat cost. A decent long distance trawler in good condition is, I think, going to cost you more than a sailboat that will get you there. I also think it's more difficult to find exactly what brand and year models are good with a trawler. Some of these trawlers were made in the Orient and have shady workmanship.

Still, I think it wise to look at this option. I like the idea of having both an inner helm, a comfortable living quarter, and possibly a nice bridge outside to view from. You also have a constant speed. Bad side is if your engine seizes
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Old 23-08-2016, 13:49   #7
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Re: Sailboat or trawler ???

Quote:
Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
A trawler is certainly doable. If you throttle back to sailboat speeds, you won't see much difference in fuel consumption while motoring. . .
You will see a significant difference in fuel consumption, sailboats and powerboats have fundamentally different hull shapes except in a few cases.

I have acquaintances that took a Nordhaven RTW, averaged about 2nm/gal diesel using a single engine, total cost for fuel was $59k or a bit over $2.00/nm.

I have friends with 40-ish foot sailboats that get about 6-8nm/gallon. Even scaling to a sailboat with living area comparable to the Nordhaven I don't see mileage dropping below 4-5nm/gal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
and surprisingly few sailboat miles are done under sail.
I would like to know where that tidbit comes from. The folks I know that make coastal and offshore passages tend to sail 90% or more of the time. There are places such as the ICW where sailboats do motor a majority of the time but those special cases.

Quote:
Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
When you factor not having to buy replacement sails at some point, that will likely offset any extra fuel used.

You could replace the sails and all the rigging and pay for fuel on a Cal48 for less than $40k which would be enough to get you RTW and you would still be money ahead.

Don't try to justify with economic arguments what is essentially a personal preference decision.



A house is but a boat so poorly built and so firmly run aground you would never try to refloat it.
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Old 23-08-2016, 14:03   #8
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Re: Sailboat or trawler ???

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I would like to know where that tidbit comes from. The folks I know that make coastal and offshore passages tend to sail 90% or more of the time.
Cruising the coast of QLD for decades and rarely saw a yacht sailing if breeze was under 10 knots.
Wind more often than not does not pick up to above 10 knots until after lunch and as most achorages are 45 miles or so apart, motors are on to make miles so as to arrive before dark.
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Old 23-08-2016, 14:08   #9
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Re: Sailboat or trawler ???

I've seen single screw Trawlers with 1.2 NMper Gal up to 4.5 NMPer Gal (twins) at a cruising speed of 8 knots. The problem is gallon capacity.

Yes, I've seen time and time again (not just the articles) logs that prove sailors don't sail 100% or anywhere near that. If you are in the trade winds, maybe you might have good results. But most motor 50-60% of the time. I certainly have that experience.

I don't agree with the 40k figure.
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Old 23-08-2016, 14:26   #10
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Re: Sailboat or trawler ???

Quote:
Originally Posted by SaltyMonkey View Post
I've seen single screw Trawlers with 1.2 NMper Gal up to 4.5 NMPer Gal (twins) at a cruising speed of 8 knots. The problem is gallon capacity.

Yes, I've seen time and time again (not just the articles) logs that prove sailors don't sail 100% or anywhere near that. If you are in the trade winds, maybe you might have good results. But most motor 50-60% of the time. I certainly have that experience.

I don't agree with the 40k figure.
Fuel consumption varies enormously according to wind and sea conditions. Those numbers are for ideal conditions, and can be many times higher if bashing into a head sea.

In a dead calm, motoring is great, also in a sailboat. It's when you have to make hundreds or thousands of miles in less than perfect conditions, that sail really shines. You don't mind spending power which you are harvesting from the wind, to overcome a tough head sea.

Trawler-drivers do a lot of waiting for perfect weather windows.

I'm not dissing trawlers -- I like them. But they are less and less attractive, the more distance you need to be covering.

For the kind of cruising I used to do with my Dad in SW Florida, a trawler is ideal. Short distances, a lot of hanging out on the hook. Lots of dead calms. Cheap fuel. The space and view of a trawler (or a cat) would have been terrific, compared to being down in the cave of our Pearson 365. Which sailed so badly that we motored 80% of the time anyway.

For what I've done this summer, which is just about the polar opposite, however, it would not be so good. Just the 700 miles upwind leg getting through the Central Baltic last week would have cost probably more than $5000 in fuel. A pretty nice contribution to the new sails kitty. As it is, I will arrive back in the UK after 3000 miles and a whole summer of cruising having used less than two tanks of fuel, including a lot of generator use and central heating.
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Old 23-08-2016, 14:44   #11
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Re: Sailboat or trawler ???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriscook View Post
Hi myself and my wife and daughter have just sold our house and have moved from saskatchewan and are on our way to BC. Our plans were to buy a liveaboard and learn to sail over the next couple of years and once ready sail south down to Mexico then into the Caribbean for a 3 to 4 year cruise. My dilemma is recently I've been looking at a few trawlers and the liveaboard space us appealing, my question is could I do this trip.safely in a trawler, I'm thinking not but your input

What's your budget or financial resources for this? A lot will depend on that.

There aren't many small powerboats that would be safe offshore, but plenty of small sailboats that would be. By small I mean 30' or less.


A house is but a boat so poorly built and so firmly run aground you would never try to refloat it.
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Old 23-08-2016, 14:58   #12
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Re: Sailboat or trawler ???

Thanks to all of you for your input, my budget is up to $100k, it seems up here in BC there are not alot of choices for 40ft is sailboats that are appealing to my wife, I have to keep her happy in a nice space but I also need a seaworthy boat for what we are planning. I just arrived in Vancouver so if anyone has any leads on a good liveaboard please let me know.

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Old 23-08-2016, 15:00   #13
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Sailboat or trawler ???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simi 60 View Post
Cruising the coast of QLD for decades and rarely saw a yacht sailing if breeze was under 10 knots.
Wind more often than not does not pick up to above 10 knots until after lunch and as most achorages are 45 miles or so apart, motors are on to make miles so as to arrive before dark.

Sounds like a specific case similar to the ICW; waters constrained by the Great Barrier Reef that strongly argue against night sailing.

Down the west coast of the US and Central America and especially across the Caribbean there's sufficient wind most the time for sailing. That is the area the OP is talking about cruising.


A house is but a boat so poorly built and so firmly run aground you would never try to refloat it.
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Old 23-08-2016, 15:18   #14
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Re: Sailboat or trawler ???

You might try: Pacific Boat Brokers Inc.: Used Boats For Sale - Power Boats, Fishing Boats, Yachts, Sailboats
The have one of the best online sites. Harry Mose sold me my last boat and went beyond the usual salesman. No pressure. Large selection.
In a ocean cruising motor boat, pick the right engines. I get about 1.2 mpg @ 10 knots and 1.75 mpg @ 7 knots pushing an 83', 80 ton boat. Check the forums, blogs and other boat owners. I don't want to shove my engines down your throat.
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Old 23-08-2016, 15:24   #15
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Re: Sailboat or trawler ???

I would caution that just because a boat has one or two small motors and is slow doesn't mean that it is ocean going.

All trawlers are not bluewater just as all sailboats are not although that argument is endless.

One boat in your price range that could be suitable is a Hatteras 42 LRC but might be hard to find in your area.

http://www.hatterasowners.com/Brochu...42LRA-0177.pdf

http://www.hatterasowners.com/Brochu...42LRA-0277.pdf

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