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Old 18-06-2011, 07:15   #31
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Re: Motor boat versus sail boat

Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
Thanks. I thought mine were quite well worked out.
My apologies, I should have said most

Yours is a pretty specialised motor boat. I haven't seen any like yours doing long cruising. An exception doesn't break a generalisation.
No, but it is a generalisation
Look to the vessel in my sig
50 foot hardwood trawler, probably weighs in excess of 40 tons, very comfortable and owned by ex yachties, so 12 volt fridges, solar etc
It does
After cruising the boat for twelve months we are consistently getting 7 - 8 litres per hour at 7 knots (1100 RPM)
there are many of this style of vessel in operation.

If you do it cheaper than me, fine.
Different boats Mark
Do you have heaps of freezer fridge space and power to run it, King sized bed, 12 ft dinghy etc etc?
This is the last boat I will build and I was not about to compromise on these

All I have asked on these threads is a fair comparison, like for like
Not vessels at opposite ends of the spectrum.

Perhaps a vessel like this is more what should be compared against
37 foot ex trawler
500kg Plus Snap Freezer
60hp Gardner diesel
she will cruise at 7knts only using 5.5 LPH at 1000 RPM

Cheaper than your yacht, do you think they are doing it cheaper than you?

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Old 18-06-2011, 07:28   #32
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Re: Motor boat versus sail boat

as i do not need a new mast-- both are fine, and i do not buy new sails or anything new if i can help it. my formosa DOES sail in 5 KTS--NOT FAST, BUT MORE THAN 3 dont pan my brick until ye have sailed one. she is PERFECT cruiser.

my engine only uses .8 gal per hour at 2800 rpm and makes 7 kts..LOL

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Old 18-06-2011, 07:52   #33
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Re: Motor boat versus sail boat

It is obviously not a one is cheaper than the other answer. There are many variables that can make it either.

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Old 18-06-2011, 08:12   #34
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Re: Motor boat versus sail boat

I think it's not only the type of boat but, also the propusion system. I got rid of my 27 hp diesel four years ago along with a lot of maintenance and operating costs and problems:

I was amazed at all the stuff I was able to pull out of the boat in doing the conversion:
THE BIANKA LOG BLOG: Going electric: Part 1: The why and how

My boat is usually on a mooring or at anchor. I also run a freezer 24/7 when cruising and have solar and a wind generator and a Honda 2000 for bulk charging the battery bank and then letting the solar and wind generator top things off. Used seven gallons of gas in six months including some for the Honda BP 2 outboard which is a gas hog compared to the 2000 generator. Worked out to about 50 nautical miles per gallon. Yeah, I'm not going to be going five knots under motor alone for long with this set up. But, can do three knots for as long as I need to. But, I also won't be looking for and stopping at fuel docks very often either as it is primarily a "sailboat". I can also quietly "electro sail" just turning the prop enough to negate the prop drag when sailing. Something I would never do when I had a diesel installed. I can also make my own fuel (energy) when cruising. For example I did a little test run around the harbor the other day under electric propulsion only running at speeds from 1 to 5 knots for about a half hour. Went a little over 1 nm and used about 10 amp hours from the battery bank. I stopped the test at 10 am by the end of the day my solar panels had reduced that to about 4.4 amp hours under an partly sunny sky using the solar panels only. To me it's like money coming in and not money flowing out when I had to run the diesel. While this system will not work for those who always "gotta, gotta, gotta get there" As far as maintenace and operating costs it has reduced them dramatically and made the cruising experience much more enjoyable for me.
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Old 18-06-2011, 08:21   #35
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Re: Motor boat versus sail boat

To my mind, (warped as it sometimes is) it seems to me that the question comes down to which is more sustainable. I don't see fuel getting any cheaper or more plentiful in the future. I can do without any fuel on my sailboat, but can a motor boat do without fuel?

Certainly sail boaters pay for the rig and the sails, just as a power boater pays for the engine, overhauls, parts and fuel. But when my sails end up unserviceable I can get new ones. Perhaps not the ultimate laminated or synthetic materials after a while but certainly usable fabric sails. Once fuel is gone or priced beyond reach or held for the military, a power boat becomes a floating cottage, forever moored in one spot.

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Old 18-06-2011, 08:51   #36
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Re: Motor boat versus sail boat

In my opinion and experience maintenance usually happens in large chunks, i.e winter yard times or longer lay up periods. The costs at these points is usually extremely high when compared to cruising and also depends on what you can do yourself and what you have to out source.

Professionally i run a large fully displacement motor yacht. We have 2 1200hp diesels engines, 2 generators, watermaker etc. etc. I also run with 6 crew, including a proffessional y4 engineer. However in general all yearly servicing of watermakers, generators, fuel pumps, engines etc. has to be outsourced to keep manufacturer warranty.

Yearly it costs my boss around 10% of the Value (from New) of the Yacht to keep it managed, fueled and maintained to a proffessional level. Of this 10% around 4% is maintenance, 1% is wages 1% is food and provisions and 2% is berthing and insurance and the remainding 2% is fuel for our 3 month cruising period.

When compared to my Sailing yacht where 100% of the maintenance is done by myself and not outsourced my costs are still around 10% of the value but this is only on ´new´ items, berthing and insurance.

My point is is that generally most competent sailing yachtsmen can maintain there yacht fairly free of charge for large parts of year, most cruisers will do all there fouling painting varnish etc. However how many competent motor yachtsmen can strip and rebuild large diesel engines, or service the membranes on their already expensive watermakers??
Generally on a similar sized motor or sailing vessel you will find that by far the motor yacht has a much larger volume, and generally more expensive machinery, and as Cat man doo mentioned he requires certain elements on board to make his cruisng more enjoyable which is the same on most motor yachts (television, satellite comms, large generator, 2 engines etc.) When maintained well these items are fantastic and will last many many years.

However when they go wrong it can get horrendously expensive and therefore i believe that in the long run you will find motor yachts eating up vastly more money because when that port engine requires a rebuild and needs to be removed and you have to cut a whole in the hull to get it out... your going to spend more money than a similar sized sailing yacht has spent in the past 10 years!!!!
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Old 18-06-2011, 09:18   #37
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Re: Motor boat versus sail boat

I think Gracie's post brings up some very good points. One is that we've been comparing dollars vs dollars and that isn't a fair comparison because boats are different. If I can get a Folkboat from Ca to Hawaii with $200.00 of beans and rice it's hardly a fair comparison to list what the trip would cost a 60' trawler in fuel. Percent of value is a much better yardstick.
One thing not mentioned yet is that if you've run out of money you're not going anywhere on a powerboat unless you can figure out how to steal fuel without getting shot. If you only have say, $200.00 and you need to get somewhere, you can do it on a sailboat generally. You won't have very good food but you can do it as long as the mast is up.
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Old 18-06-2011, 09:20   #38
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Re: Motor boat versus sail boat

Something that has not been discussed is the location of your cruising area and what kind of vessel would be appropriate. I have a sailing catamaran in the Eastern Caribbean. It is a compromise and for my uses and desires works well in that location. True, it does not point as well as most monohulls and so I usually motorsail to windward. But there is nothing better than emerging from the lee of an island, turning off the engines and let the trade winds carry you along. This past season I travelled over 1500 nm. and still used less than 200 litres of fuel. In fact I spent more for gas for the dinghy.

I am now looking for a small trawler to be based in Georgian Bay. From there I can explore the Small Craft Route along the east coast of the Bay, the North Channel (which is great in any kind of craft). From there it is close to the Trent Severn Waterway and Rideau Canal with its low bridges and locks. Even the Erie Barge canal and the Finger Lakes are not all that far.

So indeed, intended use can be a major factor in determining what is the best kind of boat.
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Old 18-06-2011, 09:41   #39
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Re: Motor boat versus sail boat

I agree, intended use is far more important than the costs involved, and therefore it is almost impossible to say to the dollar for each size bracket what is more expensive.
I mean even comparing motor yachts to motor or sail to sail. A 12m Ciggarette Top Gun with 2 mercruiser supercharged inboards, where they have to be serviced every 50hrs is going to be hugely more expensive than the 12m ex fishing llaut with one 20hp diesel inboard. So i think really this thread is a lost topic because there is NO ANSWER!
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Old 18-06-2011, 10:11   #40
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Which are Cheaper: Apples, or Oranges?

If apples cost more, but you just can't get enough of them, and you didn't like the taste oranges, then would you buy oranges and force yourself to eat them because they were cheaper?

For me, wrong question.
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Old 18-06-2011, 10:13   #41
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Re: Motor boat versus sail boat

Yep, comes down to how much you use it and how far you go. If you're comparing trawler vs sail, it depends on how much you sail also. In the carribean, I imagine I had the engine on about 50% of the time any way. (getting out of harbor, charging batts and making water, motorsailing to get a decent heading etc) cost of rigging, sails, winches etc etc would be pretty hard to overcome I imagine on a new boat.... but what's the cost of a used Trawler vs sailboat...maybe the rigging cost disappears!
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Old 18-06-2011, 10:43   #42
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Re: Motor boat versus sail boat

Of course its a silly question for which there is no easy answer.

We've enjoyed sailboats over three decades and some years when we've been lucky in buying / selling - they've cost us nothing. But in other years other sailboats have cost us lots.
I've seen one cruising period where our costs averaged US$30,000 a year in sails, berthing, fuel, maintenance and of course depreciation.
We've only just got a powerboat of a similar size so we can explore inland waters and it's looking like this old girl will cost us maybe US$5,000 on berthing, maintenance, fuel etc. It's not just a different boat, but different locations that lead to some of those reductions.
So on this basis I have to say my powerboating is looking to be cheaper than my sailing............but that answer is just as daft as the original question.
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Old 18-06-2011, 10:52   #43
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Re: Motor boat versus sail boat

Steve Dashew, who built big, complicated sailboats for many years, has switched to building big, expensive power boats as he has edged into the later years. I remember him stating that the power boat was a bit less expensive to run, all things included. Mind you, these were boats with EVERY convenience, system and do dad that is out there. I imagine a cheaply run sailboat, when traveling, will be always cheaper than the power boat, and can go many places that power cannot. Go to your average marina that has both power and sail boats. Think, how many of these sailboats could be outfitted and sailed across an ocean. Then do the same for the power boats, and compare notes.

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Old 18-06-2011, 10:59   #44
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Re: Motor boat versus sail boat

Real sailing= seduction
Both get you there.
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Old 18-06-2011, 11:52   #45
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Re: Motor boat versus sail boat

I'm leaving in a few minutes to look at a Catalina 470 for $230,000 (1999). In Ventura there is a 2004 for $249,500. Just looking. My question is, what possible powerboat in that year and distance capabilities exists? My goal is to travel the West coast of the US, then down to maybe as far as Panama and then across the Pacific. The Nordhavn 40's are double to triple the cost.

Shorthanded? Looking for someone to help you for a day sail in the Long Beach to San Diego area? Feel free to Email me. I'm available weekends.
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motor, sail

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