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Old 05-12-2007, 17:22   #61
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another hijacked thread

Ah, crap-p-p-p. Another thread hijacked by the assinine and never ending "multi vs mono" argument. Jayzus!! Enough!! They've both got their good and bad points and if ya want to argue about them do it in a thread for that purpose.

Here's something to chew on:
I checked through my financial management software to compare what it cost to run our previous stinkers vs our current ragbagger. I am comparing boats that are virtually the same age/size/purchase cost. We spent 3 times as much per year on the stinkers, most of that was fuel. And that was at fuel prices in the early 90's I shudder to think what it would be now. We spent enough on outdrive repairs and engine overhauls to buy a new suite of sails every 4 years. There it is. Speculate and theorize all ya want, I go by what my experience is. In my world, sail is cheaper.

Note to reader:
Your mileage may vary. Don't blame me if it does. If you can run a stinker cheaper than ragbagger then good on ya! I'm just sayin' what my experience is.
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Old 05-12-2007, 17:42   #62
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Originally Posted by cat man do View Post
Which boats are you using for your comparison?

Thats fine if you totally ignore this comment



And totally ignore the $60,000+ initial expenditure on rig, sails and deck hardware for a boat like mine.

Obviosly that is much less on a smaller boat, but that would not fit my requirments

In an earlier post I suggested re-investing the rig and future sail/maintenance cost's which would go a long way towards paying for fuel as well.

Dave
I understand your argument, Dave, but it is one that is couched in the terms that you are choosing. Not to say that you are wrong within that frame of reference, but it would be erroneous to assume that because, perhaps, your argument is true in that case, it must hold for all cases.

Look at it another way:

I bought my boat for $70,000. It was about 25 years old and it is 40' long. When I bought it, it was 100% fully functional & usable. It came with a mainsail, 2 x #1, #2, #3, #4, 3 x spinnakers, storm jib & trisail. The motor worked fine. In short is was ready to sail.

Assume, for the sake of argument, that you also bought a $70,000 boat, but yours is motor boat, of a similar age & size in a similarly ready-to-use condition (I don't know what the price comaprison would be for a 20 year old 40' motor boat, but this is all hypothetical, so bear with me).

2 years later and none of my original sails have been thrown away and are all still being used (I have actually accrued a spare main, spare #1 & spare #2 for, as previously mentioned, for a total cost of $400, but this is just forward planning, and could be viewed as unnecessary expenditure). I have also spent, in those 2 years, about $400 on fuel, tops. I have used the boat for probably 100 days in those 2 years, and probably covered around 3000-3500 mautical miles

Assuming that you had used your boat for 100 days in those 2 years, how much fuel would you have used?

In this case, would argue, I would be better off. Now in this example, sail is cheaper than power. However, this example doesn't mean that your example is false. What it does do is show that just because you can give an example where power is cheaper than sail, doesn't mean diddly-squat outside of your example (and the same is true in my case).

So, for me, with my boat and my attitude to sailing & life, sailing is the cheaper option. Your mileage, of course, may vary
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Old 05-12-2007, 20:29   #63
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I understand your argument, Dave, but it is one that is couched in the terms that you are choosing. Not to say that you are wrong within that frame of reference, but it would be erroneous to assume that because, perhaps, your argument is true in that case, it must hold for all cases.


So, for me, with my boat and my attitude to sailing & life, sailing is the cheaper option. Your mileage, of course, may vary

Totally agree, I just feel that some on here have blinkered views.

They see for eg; your boat or their boat and then they see some stinker that does 30 knots and uses 20 litres / nm and compares the 2.

Unfair comparison

The fair comparison would be their boat or yours as it sits with rig sails hardware and motor, and then the same boat WITHOUT the rig sails and hardware.

How much diesel would they be able to purchase for that new gear.?
How efficient does the boat motor now?
How efficient would the boat motor - rig (weight & windage)?
How much lead could you lose to make her even more efficient.?


Then you would have a fair(er) comparison

Dave
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Old 05-12-2007, 21:13   #64
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Very interesting discussion but comparing a mono to a cat is like... well, comparing a mono to a cat - LOL.

The difficulty arises from trying to describe a fair comparison. What works for me, and the only one that works for me is interior volume.

LOA, price, etc. are not valid comparisons to me because, really, who cares. To live and cruise the number one requirement is how much cruising and living space do I need.

After that I start looking at boats that will accomodate me in the way I want to be accomodated. Then I can start comparing prices, sailing speed, upkeep costs etc.

And on the original topic of motor vs sail? No one will convince me that motoring around the world is cheaper than sailing.

BTW the number one attraction of a cat for me is the view. I can also get a comparable view with a pilothouse so that is really my dilemma.
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Old 05-12-2007, 21:30   #65
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Dave, That makes sense again. But on the other hand; If you were to couch it in terms that are equally as "fair" (whatever "fair" means)...

You have exactly 100,000 dollars to spend in your kitty. With that you have to buy your boat on which you will live aboard, and with whatever is left over you have to pay for food, fuel, etc for a round the world cruise. In this case, will a sailboat or a powerboat get you further around the world?

I'm guessing that a sailboat will win hands down, both in terms of how far you would get, and the level of comfort you will spend.


Having said all that, you are obviously 100% correct - people will see what they want to see, and couch the argument in terms that favour their preferred view; it is just human nature to do so. I think that sailboat-crusiers should worry less about motorboat-cruisers and vice versa (ditto for mono verus multi). If you are having fun, you are having fun, and frankly, there is enough fun to go around for everyone.

I may have mentioned it before, but even if it were proven to me, categorically & inequivocally, that motor was cheaper than sail, I would still own a sailboat, because the decision runs far deeper than mere dollars and cents, and frankly, if the decision were made purely in rational economic terms, I wouldn't own a boat at all.
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Old 05-12-2007, 22:53   #66
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and frankly, if the decision were made purely in rational economic terms, I wouldn't own a boat at all.
And with that said, I think the original poster is looking more at $$$ for his situation.

Quote:
To be in context, we are thinking of getting a 36-40' new to nearly new catamaran and primarily staying in the Caribbean and/or Gulf of Mexico. Not married to the catamaran, just our thought at the moment.
and not looking at the overall picture. No newbie ever knows how far they will go once they get out there. As a three year owner a powerboat maybe a better option. But if going long term a sail would get him farther distances.
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Old 05-12-2007, 23:05   #67
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Having said all that, you are obviously 100% correct
I don't think I'm 100% correct at all.

What I do believe is that in MY example a 50 ft performance sailing cat and a 50 ft cat like I have built, both with similar levels of comfort will have cost pretty much the same dollars to get to the "before rig, sails and deck hardware stage".

That rig sails and deck hardware would cost about $60k

They both would have had twin diesels, except that one uses them less, so it could be argued that they may well rot like a lot of sail boat motors that get started, ran for 5 minutes and shut down before they are warmed up.

I will use it like most decent/serious yachties use there boat's, not attached to a marina, but do a few hundred miles to a good spot and then sit in the one place for a few weeks , then to the next. I will then do my exploring in a 11ft hard dinghy with a decent sized motor (something a sailing boat usually won't be able to carry)

Because it is a light boat, has long waterline length and small motors it will use bugger all fuel and I have $60,000 from rig, sails and deck hardware that I don't have to find NOW.

Thats $60,000 that I can spend on fuel, (or invest to help mitigate cost's) but again, I don't need to find the money now.

If sailing, I would.

The MAIN part of the decission for me was that a sailing vessel is not going to be able to comfortably get to the areas I want to cruise in.

For example, how well will your yacht sail out at Gannet Cay over the last week? Latest Weather Observations Gannett Cay

How will you have got the 200NM out there to enjoy the glass out?

I certainly don't want to be going out there in 20 knots (which you'll need to make miles) and then being battered in a lagoon not being able to leave your vessel through fear of dragging and it being to rough to launch a dinghy anyway.

How well will you be sailing through the currenty/reefy areas of there and say Torres Straight ? Latest Weather Observations Horn Island

I imagine, like most cruising yachties I have seen, you will be motoring as a lot of the time you will be at the mercy of the currents.

I have done plenty of sailing, but I have also missed seeing many wonderful places because I need plenty of wind to get there and I have sailed past many places because it is to rough/dangerous to get in.

In my example the running costs on the vessel are comparable (I never said cheaper)

I will be travelling there in lightening winds, I will be at these areas when it is very comfortable to be there and be able to get back BEFORE it gets too rough.

Anyway, each to his own, as stated I have a sailing and boatbuilding background and have done extensive miles in lots of different boats in lots of differing conditions and I know what works in the situation I intend using this vessel and sail 'aint it

Dave
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Old 09-12-2007, 15:41   #68
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So, it seems we have finally reached a definitive answer, and that answer is...



... it depends!
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Old 09-12-2007, 17:32   #69
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While not a cruising cat this blog is one of the better ones at describing the costs of cruising a power boat. This was a pretty in depth conversion and they claim (as of 2001) to cruise on less than US$25k / yr.

Cruising Under Power Southeast Asia in a Converted Fishing Boat

Interestingly they advise to "travel less" and "stay more" so fuel is big in their budget. The also say that maintenance was 18%, Food was 17% and fuel was 13% of the annual budget.

I must observe that in this case "boat and fuel" was 31% of the total budget and this was on a completely refitted boat.

YMMV.
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Old 10-12-2007, 04:27   #70
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Some things in life come down to a personal choice.. as many have already said on this thread you can spend a boat load of money on either sailboats or power boats. It is all in how you live your life. Just as the type of anchor you use is highly personal, so is your choice of transportation. With all of that said, I have had both. Due to my limited financial means, both my power boats and now my sailboat have been a labor of love, But for me, it is without question the sailboat is cheaper to run over the long haul. But my thoughts are certainly tainted by the fact that I am in love with the whole sailing lifestyle. Be comfortable with yourself and that will answer your question of which direction to go.
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Old 10-12-2007, 07:43   #71
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I have never owned or operated a powerboat but do live on my sailboat and have for some years. What I notice is the powerboats ( in general ) sit at the dock and never see their owners for great periods of time. When I sail out to the local islands, I see mainly sailboats at anchor there. Why? I can only make assumptions. My assumption would be fuel cost. Keeping in mind that my sailboat is also a power boat as I carry over 400 gallons of diesel and can motor at 9 kts. I sail my boat frequently and I don't think that I could afford to go out as much with a pure power boat. The wind is free... When it's there. I also notice that sitting at anchor, power boats will generally rock and roll quite a bit more than my sail. Comfort at anchor comes to mind. In addition, the ability to sail if an engine decides to go "on vacation" is appealing to me. I have two modes of power, not one. That argument is taken down a notch by the fact that many / most offshore power boats are twin engine. I can add that a recent cruise our marina put together was approx 140 n.m round trip. I used 35 - 40 gallons for the week long trip (running gen and motoring the entire 140 miles) while a power boater who made the same trip on a much smaller boat used way over 200 gals. He is now trying to sell his boat and has been for some time. It's a nice boat, not a dock queen. He can't seem to sell it while sailboats are still selling. Why? Again I can only assume. The cost of fuel maybe? As a side point, I also observe that the powerboats near me at my marina bob and weave when they encounter a wake from a passing boat while my cutter doesn't so much as twitch. My own opinion overall? If I were planning on just living aboard at the docks and not going anywhere, I would prob do power for the larger open spaces aboard. I haven't seen to many sailboats with full length couches in them and I have seen many power with them. If I intended to go anywhere, sail would be (and is) my choice.
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Old 16-12-2007, 03:49   #72
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What a circular argument, I saw a super tanker take a million liters of diesel on , therefore sailboats are cheaper to run.

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I can only make assumptions. My assumption would be fuel cost. Keeping in mind that my sailboat is also a power boat as I carry over 400 gallons of diesel and can motor at 9 kts.
[snip]
. I can add that a recent cruise our marina put together was approx 140 n.m round trip. I used 35 - 40 gallons for the week long trip (running gen and motoring the entire 140 miles) while a power boater who made the same trip on a much smaller boat used way over 200 gals.
I saw an AC boat down the Gold Coast with probably $500,000 worth of rig and sails therefore my powercat is cheaper to run.

An equally ridiculous statement.

What about a long lean Mono (lets say 53ft) without the lead and the mast, with the same powerplant as your Spencer 53 ?

Would that be a fair comparison?

How much fuel would it use if motoring at 9 knots like you do in your Spencer 53 ?

How much would a brand new rig, sails etc be for your Spencer 53?

How much fuel would it buy?

That is the comparison I made (similar) Not going to a fuel dock looking at a 50 ft Riviera with twin 500hp Cats load on $3000 worth of diesel that was good for 400nm.




Your Spencer 53 doing 9 knots uses about 1 litre/NM, just like I will, but I won't have to buy a rig, sails aor deck hardware

Quote:
I can add that a recent cruise our marina put together was approx 140 n.m round trip. I used 35 - 40 gallons for the week long trip (running gen and motoring the entire 140 miles
)
Answer: 37.5 gallons (US Liquid) = 141.952 l

141.952 litres to do a 140nm round trip

Dave
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Old 16-12-2007, 03:58   #73
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There are powerboats and there are powerboats. Some don't seem to be able to make the distinction between a highly efficient 50 foot, lightweight, low powered cruising boat, and something like a 50 foot Searay with twin 7.4 litre (or bigger) petrol engines....
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Old 16-12-2007, 04:07   #74
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Got that right.

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Old 16-12-2007, 10:57   #75
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What a circular argument, I saw a super tanker take a million liters of diesel on , therefore sailboats are cheaper to run.



I saw an AC boat down the Gold Coast with probably $500,000 worth of rig and sails therefore my powercat is cheaper to run.

An equally ridiculous statement.

What about a long lean Mono (lets say 53ft) without the lead and the mast, with the same powerplant as your Spencer 53 ?

Would that be a fair comparison?

How much fuel would it use if motoring at 9 knots like you do in your Spencer 53 ?

How much would a brand new rig, sails etc be for your Spencer 53?

How much fuel would it buy?

That is the comparison I made (similar) Not going to a fuel dock looking at a 50 ft Riviera with twin 500hp Cats load on $3000 worth of diesel that was good for 400nm.




Your Spencer 53 doing 9 knots uses about 1 litre/NM, just like I will, but I won't have to buy a rig, sails aor deck hardware

)
Answer: 37.5 gallons (US Liquid) = 141.952 l

141.952 litres to do a 140nm round trip

Dave
Each to their own opinion but saying that a power boat with the same power plant as mine would burn the same amount of fuel is first not only incorrect but also discounts the increased efficiency of motorsailing. In addition, a sailboat also has the choice of motoring OR sailing... OR as previously mentioned, motorsailing. Safer in my opinion. As far as the cost of my sailing rig in this equation, and how much fuel it would buy- my rig will still be doing its job long after the fuel that its "cost" could buy is used up. It has already paid for itself in fuel savings. Now lets factor in engine maintenance shall we? How many hrs do I put on my diesel as compared to a powerboat underway. That's a nobrainer. Range? Another nobrainer. Given the time, I can circumnavigate with the fuel I have onboard. Powerboat? I doubt it. Back to my opening statement, a powerboat with the same engine as my sail would most likely use LESS fuel than I (strictly motoring). A "long lean powerboat say 53 ft" would not be a fair comparison. I don't think the point of this thread was to compare wildy different boats to one another and consider cost differences. I took it as a question from someone asking for thoughts as to operating cost between power and sail given similarity in displacement. Comparing supertankers and AC boats to whatever is useless and has no bearing whatsoever. Either way, if you like powerboats, then run a powerboat. If you like sailboats, run a sailboat. Where I am, there are many people TRYING to sell their powerboats and when asked why they are selling most reply that with the cost of fuel going up they can no longer afford or justify taking their boat out and therefore it becomes a "dock queen". Not seeing that phenomenon with sailboats. Take a brand new 40 foot sailboat and a brand new 40 foot power boat (and we'll even make the joke that they both have the same engine), operate them exactly the same distance over time, same conditions, add up the operating costs after lets say 5 years of this and see who has more money in their pocket. Besides, what fool would put a 40 foot sailboat auxilliary engine in a 40 foot powerboat as a main powerplant?
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