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Old 31-03-2014, 11:02   #31
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Re: Sailing for Economy

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Originally Posted by Horror Hotel View Post
Not to nit-pic but I was mainly speaking to the long distance cruisers. There are plenty of sport fish boats that could go from canada to key west but don't cause it would cost a ungodly amount . I would know some people with that bigger boats that burn 5-20 gallons per hour per engine. It's hard to imagine 900hp not using 10k in fuel during one season. Say you went from key west to rio dulce Guatemala?
Yes, that's a key point. In answer to the "how far do we go" questions... usually we're ranging no more than 60 miles north to 60 miles south, 120 mile "radius" (of sorts), simply due to the nature of the Chesapeake... and to The Admiral's pesky day job.

OTOH, we do go to the ocean occasionally. Even so, we don't often need to run on plane... seldom actually use all that HP... and it doesn't cost us all that much to go out to Lewes (for example) and back.

We brought our last (gas) boat up from Dania Beach, mostly at "sightseeing" speeds, spent $2609 in gasoline at about half what it costs today... so say $5200. If we'd have been in this current diesel boat, it probably would have cost about 2/3rds of that. And really at trawler speeds for the whole distance (went offshore on plane a couple times), probably half of that.

If we were full-time cruisers... I doubt we would consider distance as a useful target. I could leave here and almost never get to anywhere as far away as Guatemala.... too much to distract me along the way... especially in Key West

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Old 31-03-2014, 11:05   #32
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Re: Sailing for Economy

Instead of either/or, how about the best of both? Solar electric. With 10 kw of solar and 50 kw-hr of batteries, M/V Sun 21 crossed the Atlantic with an average speed of 5.5 kt (132 nm daily 24 hour runs) in silence.

transatlantic21: Boat

Or a bit more luxury, 8000 miles and no fuel burned.
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Old 31-03-2014, 11:11   #33
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Re: Sailing for Economy

I don't agree that solar is the best of both worlds, it might work in speciality boats but Im not the least bit interested in it.
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Old 31-03-2014, 11:21   #34
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Re: Sailing for Economy

Fuel cost isn't the only advantage to sailing. In fact, i think the initial cost for a sailboat is greater, and in many ways the maintenance; fixtures, fittings, sails, running rigging....... it gets bloody expensive! The three main things that keep me sailing are:

1) Not having to listen to an engine, or breathe in diesel fumes.
2) Flexibility. Sure, getting from A to B in a sailboat is marginally more challenging than turning on a key, programming an auto-pilot and going in a straight line, but if i had to skip going to even one little island in the south pacific because i was worried about not being able to get fuel, or because i needed parts for an engine or whatever it would defeat the whole point of the trip for me. It's also a lot easier to fix a problem with a rig than to fix an engine in some parts of the world.
3) A fifth element that i can't quite put my finger on would be missing from a motor yacht.
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Old 31-03-2014, 11:25   #35
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Re: Sailing for Economy

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Surely you can buy a lot of diesel (well not in Europe) for the price of a set of sails plus standing and running rigging every 10 - 15 years.

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+1

There has been a fair amount of discussion and various analyses on here about this. I think in general sailing is not cheaper than motor-boating. At least, if you compare like for like in terms of volume and accommodation, and if you are comparing average usage rather than ultra-long-distance cruising, ocean crossing, etc. (which probably less than 2% of sailors do).

A 45 foot Marine Trader will have accommodation similar to my 54' sailboat. A set of decent sails for my boat cost $50,000 or more. Standing rigging with all the labor, mast out, etc., is $10,000. If you replace all of this every 10 years, you will have $6,000 a year more for fuel, that what I already spend on fuel, which will probably cover the average Marine Trader 45's annual fuel. And I'm not even getting to all the other parts of the rig -- running rigging and all the bits and pieces which are constantly wearing out. And we sailors don't save much if anything on in propulsion gear maintenance and depreciation, since sailboats have all the same gear.

You can't compare a 45' trawler with a 45' sailboat, which has a completely different level of volume and accommodation.

Moreover, if you are willing to travel as slowly as we sailors do, you can have a low-powered full displacement hull single-engined trawler which uses even much less fuel. You can't actually compare motoring in a fast semi-displacement motorboat, which is a totally different level of speed, to what we do.

I definitely do not sail because it is cheaper. I sail because it is magical. There's nothing like sailing. I would pay a hefty premium over the cost of running a motorboat, if it were necessary in order to sail. Which is not to say anything against motorboats -- I love internal combustion engines and actually like motorboats. I would be a very happy mobo'er, if only I had never been sailing . . .
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Old 31-03-2014, 11:25   #36
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Re: Sailing for Economy

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I don't agree that solar is the best of both worlds, it might work in speciality boats but Im not the least bit interested in it.
If you took the entire deck surface of a boat and covered it with the most efficient solar cells in existence and even if you had 100% pure efficiency of electric to kinetic conversion I bet you couldn't average even 50 NM a day.
Solar is a wonderful way to augment your electrical power needs, but for main propulsion?
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Old 31-03-2014, 11:28   #37
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Re: Sailing for Economy

I spent years in the motorsport industry and later in noisy engineering roles.

Sailing for me is peaceful. I also find learning to be a beter sailor a much greater and therefore rewarding challenge than powerboating. But if you need to be at a particular place on time then sailing aint the best option.

Horse for courses i guess.

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Old 31-03-2014, 11:35   #38
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Re: Sailing for Economy

Sailing peaceful? How many of you have stereos blaring in your cockpit?
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Old 31-03-2014, 11:39   #39
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Re: Sailing for Economy

Most any reasonably-sized recreational trawler can get six to seven knots while consuming somewhere between 1.5 and 3.0 gallons an hour.

Rarely see sailboats in SE Alaska (motorsailer here in Tracy Arm).



Sailboats in my waters are as likely as not motoring, even with favorable winds (hate that, denying me the beauty of sail).



Pushing my 14-ton trawler at 6.4 knots, the 4-cylinder John Deere consumes 1.7 gallons an hour.
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Old 31-03-2014, 11:41   #40
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Re: Sailing for Economy

First one looks like a Fisher 37
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Old 31-03-2014, 11:41   #41
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Re: Sailing for Economy

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
If you took the entire deck surface of a boat and covered it with the most efficient solar cells in existence and even if you had 100% pure efficiency of electric to kinetic conversion I bet you couldn't average even 50 NM a day.
Solar is a wonderful way to augment your electrical power needs, but for main propulsion?
What part of Sun 21's Atlantic crossing did you misunderstand? Their daily runs ranged from 120 nm to 144 nm, a bit more than your 50 nm assumption. This was done with heavy lead acid batteries. Since it is a catamaran, just think of the range improvement if using LiFePO4 batteries.
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Old 31-03-2014, 11:53   #42
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Re: Sailing for Economy

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Sailing peaceful? How many of you have stereos blaring in your cockpit?
Nah, I've just got my radio in the cabin. I could turn it up loud enough to jam out in the cockpit if I needed to but then it'd be too loud in the boat and waste all the effort I put into making the cabin sole wide enough to dance on... :-P

All this talk of fuel being cheaper than new sails is a little off base to me, it sounds like I might be in the sort of post where the idea gets sniffed at with all this talk of 50k bargain boats but you're much more likely to get your hands on useful and inexpensive second hand sails than useful second hand fuel....

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Old 31-03-2014, 11:56   #43
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Re: Sailing for Economy

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There has been a fair amount of discussion and various analyses on here about this.

A set of decent sails for my boat cost $50,000 or more.
Wow. A set of OEM quality sails for my boat (and the ones on the boat now are 13 years old) cost $6000 (I just looked it up). I figure I could only motor for around 10,000 miles on that much fuel.

Sailing is definitely less expense for me on a 43' boat!

I'm sure if I got high end sails it would be different and I could sail faster. But for the price I'm happy with the OEM type sails and for the most the only time I could get the extra speed of the high end sails would be at higher winds and I'm mostly already reefed by then.
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Old 31-03-2014, 12:00   #44
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Re: Sailing for Economy

really sail boy? You got that much wind? 50% motoring is average.
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Old 31-03-2014, 12:03   #45
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Re: Sailing for Economy

I don't think anything for 50k is a bargain. Since when has 50k become a throw away amount of money? Is everybody in a 50k boat some bum stealing water and sneaking trash to shore at night. Sometimes it really seems the majority of posters here are white upper middle class retired baby boomers.
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