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Old 27-09-2010, 17:16   #46
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If I have offended any folks, it was not my intent and in my review of this thread I did not see any words implicating such. However, based off your comment..I can only assume I have.

You assume a lot. But to be clear about it, I have not been offended by any of your posts. I have found them to be pretty one-sided, though, and wanted to air a somewhat different opinion.
Jim,

One-side..o.k..sure..cause I feel based on my price-range and size of cat that I am looking at. My theoretical knowledge of diesels & gas motors (I have worked on & taught both technologies)..mind you have 0 actual boat usage knowledge of diesels and saildrives, but have read A LOT on these forums and yahoo groups from actual owners. I took all that info and put it on paper and decided that I would be more comfortable with an outboard..again in my range of size of cat.

So yes, I am currently pro outboards for that application. However, just as the thread is titled...I am trying to see if I may be mistaken and partake of this communities great minds and realistic feedback. With that, I can make a even better determination if my thoughts are correct or mis-guided.
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Old 27-09-2010, 23:02   #47
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I've owned a tri with outboard and two tris with inboards. This is black and white to me....

Racing sail multihull or day sailor = outboard is better
Cruiser = inboard is better

All the pluses to outboards have already been described here, but people are too easily dismissing the cavitation and alternator weaknesses that go with an outboard. They are also noisy and some will vibrate your brain until your eyeballs bounce (I actually had that experience on a Maine Cat 30).

In order to avoid cavitation in big waves and upwind you need to have the prop beneath the aft portion of the hull(s). NOT hanging from under a bridge-deck or off the aft cross beam.

Diesel is more economical (in fuel consumption), more reliable under sustained load, produces heat (great for the snowbird motoring the ICW), hot water, and can support a high-output alternator to support "systems" for navigation and comfort, including radar, autopilots, communications and the ubiquitous laptops everyone uses these days.

A cruising boat with inboard diesel involves the fewest compromises of all the alternatives, with today's technologies. Emerging technologies might change that but we're not there and won't ever be with outboards, 'cause the prop is in the wrong place.
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Old 28-09-2010, 03:38   #48
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SailFastTri,

Appreciate your real-world experiences and feedback. If I may address your responses and see if you agree/disagree. Hell...i know there is no right or wrong answer (Coke vs Pepsi). Although as mentioned my mind was focuses on an outboard, the feedback from this thread has impacted my thoughts on the matter.

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Originally Posted by SailFastTri View Post
All the pluses to outboards have already been described here, but people are too easily dismissing the cavitation and alternator weaknesses that go with an outboard. They are also noisy and some will vibrate your brain until your eyeballs bounce (I actually had that experience on a Maine Cat 30).

In order to avoid cavitation in big waves and upwind you need to have the prop beneath the aft portion of the hull(s). NOT hanging from under a bridge-deck or off the aft cross beam.
Cavitation - You are correct, it will never be elimated for outboards, unless they build a longer lower unit than 25. I have read where a user put a dol-fin to help with this matter. Since I have yet to embark on this journey, do you see many days where you would have those conditions while coastal cruising the ICW on the east coast?

Alternator - Power weaknesses from the outboard motor. You..I think the 9.9 Yamaha has a 6 amp output...yuk. However, I believe a few hear have commented that with proper solar panels, wind generators and supplemental gas generator (Honda 2000) they live comfortably.

Noise & Vibration - can't fix this...not in this HP range..however larger outboards with fuel injection and enhanced sound shielding are available.

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Originally Posted by SailFastTri View Post
Diesel is more economical (in fuel consumption), more reliable under sustained load, produces heat (great for the snowbird motoring the ICW), hot water, and can support a high-output alternator to support "systems" for navigation and comfort, including radar, autopilots, communications and the ubiquitous laptops everyone uses these days.
Economy - Diesels win if all you put in the equation is actual fuel consumption and leave out initial cost, possiblities of leaks through hull and maintenance (motor and saildrive)

Produces heat - Yes, and some have to run from time to time to make their hot water. Where a propane instant heat (tankless) jot water heater works great and saves energy. Since you would HAVE to start the diesel to make hot water. Inboard diesels also produce heat, noise and CAN produce smell in the aft cabins if they are mounted under the bunks.

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A cruising boat with inboard diesel involves the fewest compromises of all the alternatives, with today's technologies. Emerging technologies might change that but we're not there and won't ever be with outboards, 'cause the prop is in the wrong place.
I believe that is a valid statement with possible caveats. As always...appreciate the feedback and look forward to educated, logical, methodical conversation on the topic.
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Old 28-09-2010, 05:15   #49
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SailFastTri,

Appreciate your real-world experiences and feedback.
It certainly appears that you've already made up your mind as to what you want and seem to be looking for us to endorse your decision. This in itself isn't unusual on this forum.

Unfortunately what you want and what you will need might in fact, be two different things.

Incidentally, if you are looking for a live aboard / cruiser, you ought to be researching vessels with a solid history of ocean crossings. I haven't seen you mention any of them. Those boats will have the engine issue already solved.
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Old 28-09-2010, 05:32   #50
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My mind is made up don't confuse me with the facts.

When you're trying to motor into 5+ foot chop (not uncommon in 20+ knots of wind with 40+ miles of fetch) your "extra long" leg outboard will cavitate to a point of being frustrating and nearly useless. An inboard with standard shaft or sail drive will not have an issue, although the Admiral still won't be happy. It won't be fun in any boat, but sometimes you find yourself in conditions you didn't plan for.
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Old 28-09-2010, 05:40   #51
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It certainly appears that you've already made up your mind as to what you want and seem to be looking for us to endorse your decision. This in itself isn't unusual on this forum.
Tropic cat...not endorse. Although I have admitted many times my thoughts and that yes i am pro outboards for all the reasons mentioned by me and others..along with actual yacht manufactures who have and still do employ them. What i was looking to do is strike up conversation as to WHY MORE cat builders do not do it. We've already seen a couple of custom builders who still offer it and Seawind. I do not need anyone to tell me what to do and I never asked that. However, since I have never sailed (powerboat yes) the ICW and Bahama's (not looking to cross an ocean (except 9-10 hour trip to Bahama's))...was looking for pro's and con's I might not have thought of. This way i can research the alternatives, if any.

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Unfortunately what you want and what you will need might in fact, be two different things.
This is a true statement. However, I think even you'll agree peoples wants/needs change based on many outside factors. Moreover, a need sometimes is actually a want in disguise. I've read in this htread and many others people monitoring their power needs and being comfortable. i've heard people state A/C is a need and others say it's not needed.

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Incidentally, if you are looking for a live aboard / cruiser, you ought to be researching vessels with a solid history of ocean crossings. I haven't seen you mention any of them. Those boats will have the engine issue already solved.
Unfortunately at first I was looking for liveaboard, especially after this deployment. However, my wife's input has changed that. So this is why I am only looking for a ICW smaller boat in the ranges I have stated. Weekend cruising with a 1-2 night sleepover. Followed by two 2 week vacations a year to the BVI/USVI & Bahama's. These are my initial plans..which based on any number of limiting factors could change. Time is precious and fluid for me at this point

Thanks for your time sir
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Old 28-09-2010, 05:42   #52
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My mind is made up don't confuse me with the facts.
I ran a 9m catamaran with an outboard for over 20 years. Coastal cruising with this set up is a reasonable compromise, especialy if you had (as I did) a diesel outboard with an ultra long leg and a hydraulic lift.

However, whilst appreciating the ability to lift the leg out of the water, the downside of limited electric power proved to be more of a nuisance despite haveing a massive solar panel.

An alternative approach which still allows you to lift the leg and prop out of the water is to go down the silette sonic route used by a lot of prouts. This also swings a much larger prop more slowly, and is mated to a decent diesel engine, so solves the power generation problem.

BTW I am getting ready for long distance, and my new boat has two inboard saildrive diesels.
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Old 28-09-2010, 05:47   #53
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PDQ and Heavenly Twins (British boat) are the only catamarans I'm aware of with engine wells well forward of the transom. Neither are thought of as passage boats yet the Heavenly Twins have circumnavigated.

Any cat with outboards hung at the rear of the boat would have the issues SailFastTri already covered as well as inadequate charging capability as Talbot mentioned, and reliability issues, but these are Blue Water concerns. They would make great day sailors and probably fit your revised requirements.
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Old 28-09-2010, 05:58   #54
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However, whilst appreciating the ability to lift the leg out of the water, the downside of limited electric power proved to be more of a nuisance despite haveing a massive solar panel.
Talbot, was a Honda 2000 or larger Yamaha 3000 ever an option to supplement your power concerns?

Thanks for your input
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Old 28-09-2010, 06:00   #55
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My mind is made up don't confuse me with the facts.
LOL...not trying too, I thank you for your input
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Old 28-09-2010, 06:03   #56
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Unfortunately at first I was looking for liveaboard, especially after this deployment. However, my wife's input has changed that. So this is why I am only looking for a ICW smaller boat in the ranges I have stated. Weekend cruising with a 1-2 night sleepover. Followed by two 2 week vacations a year to the BVI/USVI & Bahama's. These are my initial plans..which based on any number of limiting factors could change. Time is precious and fluid for me at this point
You may want to look closer at the Victory V35 for this type of cruising. It has a tremendous amount of living space for a 35' boat. It will sail well if you do not overload it and the Sonic Leg outdrive will raise while under sail. With practice you will find it very maneuverable with the single engine and with a 16' beam it will fit in many slips. My wife and I have been living aboard our Victory since 2004 and cruising full time since 2007. We cruise the East Coast US and Bahamas. If you have any questions, I will be happy to try to answer them.

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Old 28-09-2010, 06:06   #57
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Talbot, was a Honda 2000 or larger Yamaha 3000 ever an option to supplement your power concerns?

Thanks for your input
I carried a 1kw generator as well. Got lots of muttering about useing it although it was great for running the hoover! Thats why I went for the large solar panel.
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Old 28-09-2010, 06:09   #58
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PDQ and Heavenly Twins (British boat) are the only catamarans I'm aware of with engine wells well forward of the transom. Neither are thought of as passage boats yet the Heavenly Twins have circumnavigated.

Any cat with outboards hung at the rear of the boat would have the issues SailFastTri already covered as well as inadequate charging capability as Talbot mentioned, and reliability issues, but these are Blue Water concerns. They would make great day sailors and probably fit your revised requirements.
The Seawind 1000 has the outboards mounted well forward of the sterns. Since we added 4' to the sterns of our Seawind I can count the times we have cavatated on one hand.
With the advance and price drop in solar and wind generators I find it ridiculous that anyone should have to run their diesel to charge their batteries, especially on a cat where there are many options for mounting solar. We carry a Honda 2000 and rarely have to run it to charge the batteries.
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Old 28-09-2010, 06:22   #59
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SMJ,

Do you still have the Seawind? Just curious cause your profile has you with a Solaris.

Thanks for your feedback. I too agree about Solar Panels. matter of fact, wonder how many people truely realize the increase in efficiency the panels have come lately ALONG with the decrease in price.
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Old 28-09-2010, 06:23   #60
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T.....I find it ridiculous that anyone should have to run their diesel to charge their batteries,....
2 cloudy days and you've got dead batteries when depending on panels, Unless you crank up a genset.

I prefer to charge batteries while motoring.
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