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Old 14-09-2016, 11:19   #16
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Re: Sail vs Power for year long cruising...for newbies

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Power
Sail. We had a Grand Banks after many decades with sailboats. Unless you like having an oil tanker follow you around the world, sailing is lots cheaper. Figure about 4 gallons per hour minimum for all the stuff like moving boat, powering the electrical system, etc. That is about $120 per day or $840 per week just to motor. And 4 gph is being real optimistic. Get up to the 40 foot range and everything doubles easily.
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Old 14-09-2016, 11:29   #17
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Re: Sail vs Power for year long cruising...for newbies

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Sail. We had a Grand Banks after many decades with sailboats. Unless you like having an oil tanker follow you around the world, sailing is lots cheaper. Figure about 4 gallons per hour minimum for all the stuff like moving boat, powering the electrical system, etc. That is about $120 per day or $840 per week just to motor. And 4 gph is being real optimistic. Get up to the 40 foot range and everything doubles easily.
Well now, that is a dose of reality!
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Old 14-09-2016, 11:46   #18
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Re: Sail vs Power for year long cruising...for newbies

Also for comparison, my 42' 28,000lb sailboat with a 44hp engine carries 130 US gallons of diesel fuel. When motoring I burn approximately 3/4 gph at 6 knots. That gives me a theoretical range of about 1,200 miles unsafe power. BUT, if I sail and/or motor sail my range goes way up. I live aboard and travel often on the West coast. I normally top off my tanks once a year and rarely take on more than 80 gallons in a year. Now without knowing my distance traveled that doesn't tell you much but I doubt my distance would be much different than what you described.

I also carry 150 gallons of water. That is another thing to think about.


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Old 14-09-2016, 12:02   #19
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Re: Sail vs Power for year long cruising...for newbies

What is this fascination with turning on a motor. Doesn't sound like this guy will have any time table to meet other than get to the Bahamas by December and back to Maine by June. Sounds like something he could probably do in a rowboat. Have sailed over 10,000 miles in boats with waterlines less than 27' that are not noted for their speed, one is disparagingly compared to a snail. Have averaged just shy of 5 knots an hour with almost no use of the engine. The ICW is a bore and the last place I'd take a sailboat, even a power boat. Being a slave to Driving for countless hours every day just isn't my idea of a way to get anywhere. Instead of being a tied to the wheel as you are in the confines of the ICW with the threat of running aground, barge traffic, and other idiots driving power boats, you can use your self steering to do the drudge work and enjoy the trip sailing outside. Way faster and less tiring to sail 24/7 with occasional jaunts into places like Charleston for some She Crab Soup.

Have done much of that sail going north sailing all the way to Elizabeth City, NC, only using the engine to get in and out of marinas. Did power through the Dismal Swamp because our destination was Norfolk, VA but that was only for a day. Would have gone outside to the Chesapeake but wanted to experience the George Washington's work on the DS canal.

This is a guy who was happy living in a cabin with no amenities. Sounds like a natural to NEED the peace and serenity of sailing especially if it will get him there almost as fast and without burning a bunch of hydrocarbons. There is a bit of Zen in using the wind to propel yourself to a destination without that F*****g engine yammering at you 24/7 or to mortgage yourself to Exxon.

Power boats have their place like the windless summers in the PNW or those who live by a schedule. That doesn't seem to be even remotely an issue with the PO. He doesn't have to feel compelled to make the use of every minute of a 3 day holiday or two week vacation so he can return to the office precisely at 9am on Tuesday. Yes sailing leaves you somewhat at the mercy of the winds but haven't found that to be a big problem when we are talking a loose schedule. The only place I've experienced prolonged windless conditions was the doldrums. Will admit to powering for 24 hours to get out of no wind, 10 foot left over storm swells, 95 degree heat and equal humidity. About the only time I've felt envious of those people with their floating condos and air-conditioning. Other than that entire windless days have been non existant off shore. Yes, winds can be contrary but with the fronts passing through, don't last for long unless you are talking the trade winds or other areas with strong prevailing winds in the direction you want to go. That doesn't seem to be the case for the passage from Maine to the Bahamas.

Sorry about your pituitary condition, but headroom is something that only comes with boat size. The Columbia 34 does have some merit in their volume and headroom under the dog house but they've got to be the ugliest piece of junk on the ocean and not very well built. Sorry to offend the Columbia 34/39 owners but it's the truth. The Pearson 365 seemed to have very good headroom and love the shower arrangement in the head, shallow draft but sailing performance was sacrificed to get it. Ted Hood's boats seem to have good headroom which could be because I understand he was quite tall.

I'm an inveterate sailor but can't see a powerboat as a cruiser for distances over 500 miles or so and then mainly in windless areas or if I was tied to a schedule. It's your decision to make but it sounds like you'd be much happier in a sailboat than a powerboat.
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Old 14-09-2016, 12:11   #20
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Re: Sail vs Power for year long cruising...for newbies

With power boats, most have large engines. If the boat is operated at displacement speed, be aware that cylinders can glaze. Need to run near full power for an hour every ten hours. This will vary some by manufacturer and engine model. Also, many diesel engines on power boats have injectors that give maximum power and if you run these at full power, the cylinder wear is excessive, like maybe 500 hours between rebuilds if you are lucky. Do a leak down compression test when you check the engine out. If you go with a power boat, the hulls in bad weather will make for a much more bumpy ride. Watch your weather carefully. Whatever you get, be careful about water in the diesel because estimates of engine stoppages run about 80% for this problem. Use a Baja fuel filter when you take on diesel. Also use a biocide and additives that prevent diesel from aging. When you start checking out boats, get a moisture meter, David Pascoe, Marine Surveyor (Retired), Author, Publisher and

Consider the Electrophysics Model CT33 Pinless Moisture Meter for $155. Just Google it. On the Electrophysics Moisture Meters web site it is $190. I bought the CT33 and have been satisfied. You can always sell it when you are finished with it.
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Old 14-09-2016, 14:21   #21
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Re: Sail vs Power for year long cruising...for newbies

Purchase Surveying Fiberglass Sailboats by Henry C. Mustin. Also Inspecting the Aging Sailboat by Don Casey. There is some redundancy, but not as much as you would think.

Other things to consider besides items mentioned in books listed above

When was the last engine maintenance

What major maintenance has been done and who did it and what is their reputation

Berth size (length and width) and their locations

Shower empty into bilge?

Blow by from crankcase while engine is running.

Engine has raw water cooling, or heat exchanger? If heat exchanger, check pH. If saltwater cooled without heat exchanger, consider new engine. $8575 with 20% off for new Beta Marine (marinized Kubota) 25 HP engine plus installation costs. For every 500 pounds of boat, you need at least one horsepower.

How may engine hours between oil changes?

Check transmission oil for water if heat exchanger on transmission.

Smell for seal softener on engine oil and transmission

Anti-siphon loops for engine, head, sink

Get an oil sample from engine and send for analysis for metals, antifreeze

Check around engine for oil leaks, especially main bearings front and rear

Check bilge for oil from engine, might have mayonnaise color from emulsion

If stove alcohol and can it be pumped up. If propane, check locker in cockpit for proper venting and shutoff switch.

Icebox insulation 4” thick foam, and if refrigerator, does it work?

Does water pump for fresh water tank work. Leaks in tank and plumbing. Consider aquarium air pump to keep water aerobic and fresh.

Cushions OK?

Electronics, turn on to check.

Obsolete electronics?

Gauges work?

Handholds (grab rails) on ceiling for rough weather. What is the length both sides for handholds on topside

Anchor rode and types of anchors: plow, danforth etc

Check battery resting voltage, or with hydrometer, for state of charge

Check charging voltages for both alternator and shore charger.

Hatch pictures and dimensions

Winterization, ask owner what he does, or marina does, cracks in engine?

Winterization of freshwater tank and water system done correctly, check for cracks

Check wastewater tank, plumbing, head, for freeze damage

To keep batteries charged, does marina supply power to run battery charger? Or are there solar panels? Need at least one amp panel with charge controller

Does he have canvas to cover boat?

Use binoculars to check mast

Use mirror and flashlight to check mast

Use flashlight for checking engine for leaks, etc

Check for water in diesel. Drain at bottom of tank or use hose and bulb. Use container to catch diesel, or water finding paste on end of tape measure.

Check for water in oil

Check for freeze cracks, JB Weld, in Block, head, water cooled exhaust & raw water pump

Portholes need replacement?

Check fitting for emergency tiller if wheel steering. Check for emergency tiller.

Check wiring to see if tinned and fine strands

Check access for wiring, does it look like a professional installation

Check air hand pump on alcohol stove if it is pressurized type. Non pressurized is safer.

What is belt size for alternator and raw water pump, check for cracks on underside.

In northern climes it has been the norm to haul the boat in Autumn and let the air naturally dry out the hull until Spring time. As a rule of thumb 18% is the critical point where one should look to take remedial action by removing the gel coat and preferably hot vac the area.

Some gel coats also contain conductive fillers but rarely white colored gel coats.

Put everything aside for a day and give your mind a chance to process what you've found.

If you get a hunch about some equipment or part on the boat, look at your photos and notes.

Don't forget to do a bit of research on the various pieces of equipment you saw on the boat to find what specific problems are common to them.

What to do next? make the offer subject to survey and sea trial?

Remember, if you're married or have a significant other, ask their opinion. Also friends and relatives.


Equipment Needed for Inspections

Batteries for flashlight and camera
Cell phone, Ipad & cords
Contact list for sailboats for sale.
Sailboat descriptions from sailboatdata.com
Problems to check for after search online
Flashlight
Mirror
Multimeter for resting voltage if sealed battery for state of charge, and checking voltage for both engine and shore power chargers.
Paper towels
Cloth towels
Screwdriver of medium size handle for tapping, maybe using blade as a handle, or phenolic resin Hammer-a small one will do. Tap lightly.
Camera with good telephoto lens for mast top pictures
Hydrometer to see if batteries are sulfated
Moisture meter
Bulb with hose to check for water in diesel tank or water finding paste on end of measuring tape.
Small Notebook-reporters notebooks or pocket-sized Moleskines are excellent choices for this.
Pencil-preferably .5mm mechanical for making notes and sketches in notebook
Small tape recorder-preferably with a lapel microphone with windscreen, to record your visit to the boat, as it is often easier to make notes by speaking than writing when looking at a boat
Tape Measure-Preferably a 25-30' tape
Pocket Multitool-Get a good one, like the Leatherman Surge
Small Magnet-preferably one with a lanyard attachment
Awl to check for rotten wood
Waterless Hand Cleaner Wipes
Spray Cleaner (like Fantastic) to clean up diesel drops
Burgundy Scotch Brite Pad
Clipboard, pencil and paper
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Old 14-09-2016, 14:43   #22
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Re: Sail vs Power for year long cruising...for newbies

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Thnaks Adelie, GordMay, denverd0n, a64pilot, Hudson Force, valhalla360 and tomfl, for your responses.



in regards to using a sailboat and just motoring most of the time, or at least down to the bahamas, whats an avg range (going slow) with lets say a catalina 30? whats the cost to refill?



and from what i understand trailing a sailboat is harder then a powerboat, from what ive read most people have to get a company to professional tow it, while with a powerboat i would be able to tow it myself (i have a few diesel trucks.. 7.3 Excursion, 6.2 2500 RAM) is this accurate?

See my previous post, there's not a standard size fuel tank most boats have.

Do the math. 9mpg, 1300 miles NYC To Miami, $3/gal - $430 total. Going somewhere else figure 3-4miles per dollar for fuel in a sailboat.

Any power boat you could put on a trailer and tow yourself you probably wouldn't want to take into the Caribbean. Whereas there are some sailboats that you could trailer and take into the Caribbean, C&C Mega30 comes to mind but you wouldn't want to go offshore with it without a lot of experience.


A house is but a boat so poorly built and so firmly run aground you would never try to refloat it.
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Old 14-09-2016, 14:53   #23
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Re: Sail vs Power for year long cruising...for newbies

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. . . . I carry 57 gls in my tank, and another 50 on deck.
I burn 1 gallon an hour at 6.5 kts, so on a windlass, current less passage I have a theoretical motor only range of 1020 miles. . . .

Did you omit something here? I calc your range as about 700nm not 1020.

107gal x 6.5 nm/gal = 695.5nm


A house is but a boat so poorly built and so firmly run aground you would never try to refloat it.
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Old 14-09-2016, 14:56   #24
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Re: Sail vs Power for year long cruising...for newbies

Yeah, I think I probably used 157 and not 107.
Don't ask why, cause I don't have a good answer. Point I guess is don't get discouraged and discount a boat if it has a smaller fuel tank than you want, you can carry extra fuel.


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Old 14-09-2016, 15:05   #25
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Re: Sail vs Power for year long cruising...for newbies

Our Swan 59 feet weighs 25ton, 125hp 6cyl Perkins, cruising under power 7.5knts 2000rpm, 6 L/hour. Very good value for fuel consumption ⛵️
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Old 14-09-2016, 15:15   #26
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Re: Sail vs Power for year long cruising...for newbies

ICW and to the Bahamas... probably power. Either is fine though, a sailboat powers well. A sailboat mast is a problem in some stretches of the ICW. Not much issue though as far as Ft Lauderdale. OTOH, there is nothing like a good sail in 15 ft of clear protected water with the wind blowing off the beam in the Bahamas.
However there's a lot of shallow water in the B'mas that can be explored with less draft.
haha, on the fence.
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Old 14-09-2016, 15:40   #27
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Re: Sail vs Power for year long cruising...for newbies

Take a sailing lesson. My experience was I showed up and didn't know a damn thing. Sailing really has its own language. Mainly I just felt like an ass for the day. Second time out I had studied and we had some really good wind. I've been hooked since then. I don't plan on owning a power boat till I don't have the strength to sail.

Also here is a list of smaller boats (under 36 ft) with taller headroom. Some will fit in your budget, some won't.
Downeast 32 6'6HR
Southern Cross 35 6'4HR
Alberg 29 6'2HR
Rawson 30
Pearson Vanguard 32
Aquarius pilot cutter 24
Baba 30
Coast 34
Pacific seacraft 34
PS Mariah 31
Vancouver 27
Caliber 33
fantasia 35
Spencer 35 6'4
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Old 14-09-2016, 16:05   #28
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Re: Sail vs Power for year long cruising...for newbies

Yes a motor sailor will get much better gph than a motor boat, assuming you can keep the sails up most of the time. Better yet, a real sailboat will not use the engine much, so fuel expenses will be not a consideration.

Our WS43 used about 50-70 gallons per month when doing long distant cruises, mostly for running the generator; but then we had frig, freezer, watermakers, normal electronics, and three kids that needed lots of electric power. If we did without those non essential amenities, consumption probably would be down to 10-15 gallons per month as a guess. We seldom motored, except in port or to avoid dangers.

If you are going to motor across the horse latitudes, then fuel consumption will rise significantly for a motor sailer(no wind, squalls, and counter currents).
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Old 14-09-2016, 17:34   #29
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Re: Sail vs Power for year long cruising...for newbies

I prefer sail: more stable at sea, safer since you could either motor or sail and just more things to learn/do. You will get bored on a motorboat quickly. Powerboats are meant to take you to places while sailboats are all about the journey.

Note the previous advice to stay with diesel. Have a look at the Hunter 31 which I have: 6'3" headroom, lots of space, can be had for less than $20K. I would take mine anywhere.

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Old 14-09-2016, 17:50   #30
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Re: Sail vs Power for year long cruising...for newbies

modifier0, I have one more thought to share with you. A few years ago another boater on my dock was having newer bigger engines installed on his motor cruiser. He was spending tens of thousands of dollars for these engines. I asked him why and he said that with the old engines it took him about two hours to get across to Santa Catalina Island from Long Beach, with the new engines he could get there in an hour and a half. I stood silently for a few moments and then he asked me how long it took me to get there. I answered that it depended on the wind but usually between 4 and 5 hours...but you have to understand that with a sailboat you are already there as soon as you cast off the dock lines. He had no idea what I was talking about.

Nothing wrong with his view. He could afford the bigger engines and the fuel. It's just a different mindset. If you think about traveling by boat the way he did you should get a power boat. If you think the way I do you should get a sailboat.


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