Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 28-03-2012, 15:42   #1
Registered User
 
msdj69's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2011
Boat: Carver 570
Posts: 17
Which Powerboat to Cruise the Caribbean ?

I've searched the forums here looking for answers to some of my questions. Many of the threads start on the right path and then veer off into political discussions of sail vs power. If I've overlooked a relevent thread, please point me in the right direction. Otherwise, here's my story...

Some background: I'm a 44 year old father of two. My oldest son is 18 and my youngest son is almost 16. In other words, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I've done reasonably well in my career and I'd like to stop the current grind at age 50 (work an alternative job on MY schedule). My wife and I would like to spend a significant amount of time cruising the Caribbean when we 'retire'. Neither of us are sailors. I do own a small sailboat that my son and I play around on during the summer but our primary boat has always been ... and will always be ... a powerboat. Currently, I own a Regal 3060. I'm a fairly experienced power boater with an active US Coast Guard '6 pack' license.

My plan: I'd like to purchase my 'retirement' boat a few years before we actually decide to cut our lines and go cruising. The idea is to have some time to play with the boat, learning the ins and outs before I'm under the gun in foreign territory and/or open water. Once we're ready to go cruising, I'll take/ship the boat from my home port (TN) to a South Florida destination. From there, we'll head over to the Bahamas and start our journey. Around June 1 or so, we'll moor the boat at a marina outside the hurricane zone and head back to TN until November when we resume cruising. The boat I'd like to purchase will be in the 38-42ft range with diesels.

My questions: What kind of boat do I need for this type of cruising? I have no desire to cross oceans. Our cruising will be confined to the Caribbean, the US coast line, and (maybe) the Loop. If the answer is a Trawler, I'm ok with it. However, I've looked at the BoatTest numbers of several 40ft (ish) diesel-powered Trawlers and Sedan Bridge boats and they have similar fuel consumption numbers at low speeds. For example, the Beneteau Swift 44 with 300HP D4 diesels gets about 2.16 NMPG at 8.1 Knots and 3.74 NMPG at 6.7 Knots. The Meredian 391 Sedan with 380HP Cummins diesels gets about 2.10 NMPG at 8.4 Knots and 3.59 NMPG at 7.2 Knots. Pretty darned similar. Will the Meredian do the same job for us (durability, sustainability, manageability, etc)? When do you cross the 'line' where you need a Trawler? Trawlers are sturdy vessels (obviously) but you do lose some interior space compared to the same size Sedan cruiser. Also, they tend to be noticably more expensive -- even used. If the final answer is 'You need a Trawler', then I'm ok with it. I just don't want to pay more money for something I don't need and I don't feel like I know enough to make that decision.15009.28.03.702.492.16

If any of you fine, experienced cruisers can help answer my questions, I'd really appreciate it. I'm also looking for ideas on locations to keep my boat during hurricane season (Atlantic coast of FL, Gulf coast of FL, GA, SC, etc).

Thanks much...
__________________

__________________
msdj69 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-03-2012, 17:16   #2
Senior Cruiser
 
Cheechako's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Skagit City, WA
Posts: 19,369
Re: Which powerboat to cruise the Caribbean?

Well, its a tough one for sure. A 47 foot sailboat with an 85 hp diesel will do about 9 knots under power and only burn 1-1.5 gal per hour. I guess the rub comes when you want the redundancy of two diesels.... and the room on a powerboat. I would venture that a catamaran would do what you want with similar speeds, have 4 or more double cabins and burn less fuel. I'm not sure if your question is about fuel consumption though? Generally my impression is that a trawler's advantage is fuel savings and maybe stability, over a planing powerboat. Probably once you get to a certain size, both a sedan and trawler are retty stable though. An acquaintance of mine has a 51 foot powerboat with Hino diesels. One year his fuel bill was $23000, and that was before the prices went so high. I guess a key question is : are you buying new? If so... would a sedan ordered with trawler size engines (ie; It's not gonna plane) get any worse fuel economy than a trawler? I guess at the speeds you are talking about... why do powerboats have such big engines? windage?
__________________

__________________
"I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard











Cheechako is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-03-2012, 18:09   #3
Registered User
 
Cotemar's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2007
Boat: FP, Helia 44 Evo
Posts: 5,717
Which powerboat to cruise the Caribbean?

msdj69,

How about a Leopard 47 PC (Powercat). They usually have two 150hp cummins engines. I have seen used ones listed in YachtWorld for $350,000. They have three and four stateroom models. My 10 day trip in the BVI was great. We did 7.5 to 9 knots at 2000 rpm depending on sea state. Only used one engine when cruising and two to dock or take mooring or anchor. Only used 46 gal for 10 days.
It has three levels, so plenty of room. Oh did I say we had 8 people aboard for that 10 days. Very sweet boat.

Maybe charter one and try it out for size.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	leopard 47 pc.jpg
Views:	710
Size:	104.7 KB
ID:	39261   Click image for larger version

Name:	Leopard 474PC fuel usage.jpg
Views:	606
Size:	37.0 KB
ID:	39262  

Click image for larger version

Name:	Leopard 474PC fuel usage_1.jpg
Views:	501
Size:	22.7 KB
ID:	39263   Click image for larger version

Name:	Leopard 474PC fuel usage_2.jpg
Views:	458
Size:	21.3 KB
ID:	39264  

__________________
Cotemar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-03-2012, 18:20   #4
Senior Cruiser
 
Sailmonkey's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Houston
Boat: '76 Allied Seawind II, 32'
Posts: 5,781
Re: Which powerboat to cruise the Caribbean?

If you're sticking to sheltered waters/no crossings, start planning where you'd like to go. When you've figured that out, look at distances. Virtually any boat will go where you want to, with the correct weather window, the big variable here as far as I'm concerned is tankage. You'll want something with enough tankage to be able to do the crossings you're considering with fuel left over.
The hat tips towards trawlerish vessels for this usually, but not always. Also keep in mind that a more performance oriented vessel can get better efficiency by slowing down, but it's also harder on the engines to always operate at the lower end of their power/speed potential.
As an aside, think about how you'd use the boat. Lots of anchoring or marina's? Some designs are better suited to carrying heavy ground tackle and supporting wind/solar power. Generally speaking a trawler has a fore-peak built to house chain, faster boats won't benefit from extra weight fwd.
FWIW
__________________
Sailmonkey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-03-2012, 18:29   #5
Registered User
 
cat man do's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Brisbane Australia [until the boats launched]
Boat: 50ft powercat, light,long and low powered
Posts: 4,409
Images: 36
Re: Which powerboat to cruise the Caribbean?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cotemar View Post
msdj69,

How about a Leopard 47 PC (Powercat). They usually have two 150hp cummins engines. We did 7.5 to 9 knots at 2000 rpm depending on sea state. Only used one engine when cruising and two to dock or take mooring or anchor. Only used 46 gal for 10 days.
If you are mostly doing these speeds you could probably get away with motors half that size

msdj69, have a look at the link in my sig, or click >>Converting a fishing boat to a Passagemaker


This 50 ft , 32 tonne trawler with a single Gardner 6lx is consistently getting 7 - 8 litres per hour at 7 knots @ (1100 RPM)
__________________
"Money can't buy you happiness but it can buy you a yacht large enough to pull up right alongside it"...............David Lee Roth
Long Distance Motorboat Cruising – It Is Possible on a Small Budget
cat man do is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-03-2012, 18:33   #6
Registered User
 
markpierce's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Central California
Boat: M/V Carquinez Coot
Posts: 3,416
Re: Which powerboat to cruise the Caribbean?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
... I'm not sure if your question is about fuel consumption though? Generally my impression is that a trawler's advantage is fuel savings and maybe stability, over a planing powerboat. ...
Displacement types (max-speed-being-hull-speed motorboat, or "true" trawler) are also less performance-disadvantaged when carrying heavy loads than other motorboat types. Fuel economy significantly increases if speed is dropped below maximum hull speed.
__________________
markpierce is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-03-2012, 18:38   #7
Registered User
 
Cotemar's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2007
Boat: FP, Helia 44 Evo
Posts: 5,717
Re: Which powerboat to cruise the Caribbean?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cat man do View Post
If you are mostly doing these speeds you could probably get away with motors half that size
I totally agree that 75 to 100hp would be perfect in a Leopard 47 PC.
I had seen one listed with twin 130hp cummins.

Was impressed also with the 3' 1" inch draft and tunnel hulls for the four blade 21 dia. X 25 pitch props. She tracked straight as an arrow with the auto pilot on and one engine going.

A boat like that can make me change my religion
__________________
Cotemar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-03-2012, 22:43   #8
Registered User
 
msdj69's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2011
Boat: Carver 570
Posts: 17
Re: Which powerboat to cruise the Caribbean?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailmonkey View Post
If you're sticking to sheltered waters/no crossings, start planning where you'd like to go. When you've figured that out, look at distances. Virtually any boat will go where you want to, with the correct weather window, the big variable here as far as I'm concerned is tankage. You'll want something with enough tankage to be able to do the crossings you're considering with fuel left over.
The hat tips towards trawlerish vessels for this usually, but not always. Also keep in mind that a more performance oriented vessel can get better efficiency by slowing down, but it's also harder on the engines to always operate at the lower end of their power/speed potential.
As an aside, think about how you'd use the boat. Lots of anchoring or marina's? Some designs are better suited to carrying heavy ground tackle and supporting wind/solar power. Generally speaking a trawler has a fore-peak built to house chain, faster boats won't benefit from extra weight fwd.
FWIW
Thanks Sailmonkey ... this is the angle I was looking for. Tankage, engine stress, and ground tackle are important factors. As it happens, I do intend to stay anchored a fair amount.

Also ... in regards to the Moorings 474 ... I did charter the smaller powercat last year. I believe it's the 372. We toured the 474 at the Moorings base in the BVI and REALLY liked it a lot. I do love catamarans but I hear that dockage fees and maintenance-type tasks can be quite expensive for such a beamy boat. If memory serves me, the beam on that particular boat is 24ft. Opinions?

What is everybody's take on the 'fast' Trawlers (like the Beneteau and Mainship models)? I like the idea of being able to 20-25 knots to outrun weather ... or just get to my destination faster. I've read that the diesels on these boats were designed for both fast and slow speeds. I'd like to get all of you to weigh in...

Thanks for everyone's thoughts.
__________________
msdj69 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-03-2012, 22:52   #9
Registered User
 
msdj69's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2011
Boat: Carver 570
Posts: 17
Re: Which powerboat to cruise the Caribbean?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cat man do View Post
If you are mostly doing these speeds you could probably get away with motors half that size

msdj69, have a look at the link in my sig

This 50 ft , 32 tonne trawler with a single Gardner 6lx is consistently getting 7 - 8 litres per hour at 7 knots @ (1100 RPM)
Wow. I just read the story. That's amazing. What a cool and unique vessel...
__________________
msdj69 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-03-2012, 23:07   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Mackay,QLD, Australia
Boat: planning a approx 45ft cat
Posts: 3,651
Images: 3
Re: Which powerboat to cruise the Caribbean?

Quote:
Originally Posted by msdj69 View Post
Wow. I just read the story. That's amazing. What a cool and unique vessel...
Typical of smaller fishing trawlers (prawns/schrimp/scallops)working on Queensland coast adjacent to GBR.
__________________
downunder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-03-2012, 00:05   #11
Registered User
 
markpierce's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Central California
Boat: M/V Carquinez Coot
Posts: 3,416
Re: Which powerboat to cruise the Caribbean?

Quote:
Originally Posted by msdj69 View Post
What is everybody's take on the 'fast' Trawlers (like the Beneteau and Mainship models)? I like the idea of being able to 20-25 knots to outrun weather ... or just get to my destination faster. I've read that the diesels on these boats were designed for both fast and slow speeds. I'd like to get all of you to weigh in...
Fast trawler? That's an oxymoron. Don't you mean a "sedan cruiser"?

My boat's engine manufacturer, John Deere, says to not idle (30% of max. RPM) the engine longer than five minutes at a time. Have continuously heard that diesel engines prefer to work "hard." My engine seems "happiest" at about 75% of maximum RPM although fuel efficiency is signifantly better at 60%.

Dragging an unpowered prop on a dual-engine boat with an engine operating at low RPM doesn't seem to be an optimum use of one's assets. You're dragging along a lot of spare parts, subject to twice the engine maintenance expense, and perhaps abusing the engines.
__________________
markpierce is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-03-2012, 01:15   #12
Registered User
 
cat man do's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Brisbane Australia [until the boats launched]
Boat: 50ft powercat, light,long and low powered
Posts: 4,409
Images: 36
Re: Which powerboat to cruise the Caribbean?

Quote:
Originally Posted by markpierce View Post
My engine seems "happiest" at about 75% of maximum RPM although fuel efficiency is signifantly better at 60%.
Dont know enough about them yet but wouldn't peak torque usually be the best spot?
For mine that's 1600rpm out of 2600 rpm at full noise.

Quote:
Dragging an unpowered prop on a dual-engine boat with an engine operating at low RPM doesn't seem to be an optimum use of one's assets. You're dragging along a lot of spare parts, subject to twice the engine maintenance expense, and perhaps abusing the engines.
I specifically spoke to ZF about this and they said no real issue for the gearbox free wheeling a prop as there are no moving parts while engine is off (Hydraulic) especially how I plan to which will be 3 to 4 hours on one, then start up the second and shut down the first.

How would it be abusing the engine if it isn't running ?
__________________
"Money can't buy you happiness but it can buy you a yacht large enough to pull up right alongside it"...............David Lee Roth
Long Distance Motorboat Cruising – It Is Possible on a Small Budget
cat man do is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-03-2012, 01:18   #13
Registered User
 
cat man do's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Brisbane Australia [until the boats launched]
Boat: 50ft powercat, light,long and low powered
Posts: 4,409
Images: 36
Re: Which powerboat to cruise the Caribbean?

Quote:
Originally Posted by downunder View Post
Typical of smaller fishing trawlers (prawns/schrimp/scallops)working on Queensland coast adjacent to GBR.
Getting hard to get ones with the 6LX in them now.
__________________
"Money can't buy you happiness but it can buy you a yacht large enough to pull up right alongside it"...............David Lee Roth
Long Distance Motorboat Cruising – It Is Possible on a Small Budget
cat man do is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-03-2012, 02:00   #14
CF Adviser
 
Pelagic's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Boat: Van Helleman Schooner 65ft StarGazer
Posts: 6,895
Re: Which powerboat to cruise the Caribbean?

Following on sailmonkey’s excellent advice you should consider if your planned schedule and voyages will allow you to wait until optimum crossing weather (between islands) or if a higher level of seaworthiness is needed in order to achieve your goals?

Once the Xmas Trades kick in it can be quite lumpy all over the Caribbean, for extended periods.

Are you happy to just stay put or make the usually less windy night passages with the use of stabilizers or steadying sails?

How far down the Caribbean Chain do you want to explore?... these are all factors to consider in choosing your design type of powerboat
__________________
Pelagic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-03-2012, 02:26   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Mackay,QLD, Australia
Boat: planning a approx 45ft cat
Posts: 3,651
Images: 3
Re: Which powerboat to cruise the Caribbean?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cat man do View Post
Getting hard to get ones with the 6LX in them now.
Agreed.
__________________

__________________
downunder is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
Caribbean, cruise, caribbean

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Problems on a Race from China to SF Bay John A Health, Safety & Related Gear 8 10-05-2012 19:19
36 Volt Solar Panel , 250 watts - Can I Connect to 12V Solar Regulator ? surfmachine Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 53 19-04-2012 18:32
60 Feet on the Chesapeake DSDman Dollars & Cents 87 03-04-2012 17:09
Anyone upgraded from ZF10 or HBW100 to larger hurth/ZF? sgtPluck Propellers & Drive Systems 11 01-04-2012 21:04
Cruising from California to Vancouver ngwalkabout Sailor Logs & Cruising Plans 2 31-03-2012 22:31



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 21:45.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.