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Old 26-07-2010, 10:22   #1
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Hello! . . . Sail vs Power ?

Hello,

My wife and I are about 1 month away from purchasing our first boat. It is a 30' Pacemaker that we feel we are getting a good deal on and plan on living on board.

Very much looking forward to getting to know everyone and learn lots and lots and hopefully be able to share our knowledge later in return.

We are having some titling issues so it is possible it could fall through. If it does we are starting to consider other options and have found a potential sailboat that would meet our living needs.

I am sure that asking a question like is Sail better than Power is a totally personal preference. I guess what I am asking is regarding the cost of maintaining, up keeping and operating a sail boat vs a power boat. Which is better?

Hope I didn't ask too much on my first post.

Again Looking forward to meeting and getting to know you all.

Eric and Elena
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Old 26-07-2010, 11:16   #2
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Welcome aboard. I've only ever owned small power boats and larger sailboats so I can't compare beyond saying that it depends a lot on the boat. I think the decision rests far more on whether you love sailing vs motoring and how & where you plan use the boat. Can't make long passages in power boats but if you plan to use the boat where there is little or no wind for long periods then a power boat may be the better choice.
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Old 26-07-2010, 11:29   #3
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i've never owned a power boat, so can't comment on costs of maintenance and upkeep... operation seems like a fairly straight forward one though - the wind is free

not to discourage you in ANY way, but i think most people have pretty firmly landed on one side or the other of the power vs. sail question long before they actually plunk down some money. again, not to discourage you but you might want to spend more time out on both types of boat. after you do, the decision may be much more obvious. because you're right - it's really a personal preference question.

rou-coo makes a good point though - it also depends on your plans. if you're just planning on living aboard, a power boat would give you more space for your money.
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Old 26-07-2010, 11:39   #4
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Aloha Eric and Elena,
I've always enjoyed the concept of using as little fossil fuel as possible to get from place to place and having unlimited boundaries. That's why I chose sail. Its worked well for me but if I were to just liveaboard in a marina it would be hard to justify all the extra rigging required of a sailing vessel in addition to less space aboard for the same length. Most larger sailboats have an engine too but small and only used to get in and out of close quarters or in an emergency.
Good luck in your decision.
kind regards,
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Old 26-07-2010, 11:46   #5
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kb79,

My e-mail shows an additional line to your post that isn't showing up on the thread. You asked "i'm curious how it is that you're ready to buy a boat".

Basically a co-worker of mine proposed the idea of purchasing his 30' Express Cruiser at a very low price and using it as a live aboard. We did the math and it would save us several hundred dollars a month in living expenses. So we started looking seriously at it and fell in love with the idea. Just got done spending a weekend on it and were even more in love with the idea. But there are problems with the boats engines and that may be something we can't over come easily so having fallen in love with concept thought, "Well maybe a sail boat might be more of a viable option."

For the record we are not what you could call practical people and while others would turn away due to financial issues etc... we are very excited about it and figure why not go for it and see what happens. Worse case for us is we have to move off the boat and back to an apartment so no real loss and definitely an adventure now matter how you look at it.
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Old 26-07-2010, 11:53   #6
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yeah, had meant to delete that one before posting because i thought it might have come across as too disparaging. i'm not much of a practical guy either, and i HATE when people start poo-pooing an idea just because it doesn't fall in their little pragmatic box.

everyone comes to boating in their own way, so if you guys want to make a somewhat impulsive jump, i say DO IT

but if i were you'd i'd still suggest going out for a few afternoons on each type of boat. power vs. sail is really a different experience, and you might really regret being tied down to one or the other if turns out you have a strong preference.
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Old 26-07-2010, 12:00   #7
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one other point worth making:

the bump in the road you're running into with the engine is typical of what you'll find as a boat owner. people say they suck up money, but i had NO IDEA how much until we bought ours

we're outfitting for a serious cruise, so all of those issues that crop up for us need to be dealt with. if we were just living aboard and staying in the slip, we could let a lot of stuff slide, so maintenance is something that varies person to person and plan to plan as well. also (obviously) the extent to which you're competent and willing to be working on the boat yourself will save you a lot.

point is when you're calculating dollars, be aware that you'll spend way more than just slip fees if you're thinking about taking her somewhere. it can still work out to cheaper than rent, but something to think about.
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Old 26-07-2010, 12:02   #8
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kb79,

Thanks for the input and good advice. I am sort of leaning personally towards sailing over powerboat. I don't like being dependent on gas and at these prices power boating and pushing a 30' Boat is definitely not cheap.
But I could go either way. Maybe I can find someone to take me out on a sail boat that might make the difference for me. Power boat I already have a good idea about.

Thanks again.
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Old 26-07-2010, 12:17   #9
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It used to be about even in terms of maintenance. It was common to see movement bot ways - sailors as they get older moving into power; and power into sailors. Because of the huge costs of fuel these days, there seems to be a good movement to sail. Add up the costs of a tank of diesel and you will see what I mean.

I looked into trawlers recently, and I still have a heart for one due to internal size and comfort. But when it costs 5k to fill the tanks to go anywhere major...well...no way, although the market seems to be glutted with bargains
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Old 26-07-2010, 12:25   #10
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That is kind of how I am thinking. If I am going to own a boat I don't want to be restricted by my fuel costs. Seems to me the range is much greater on a sail boat. Would a 40' Sailboat be able to make a Transatlantic Crossing? (Not planning that anytime soon just curious). However, a trip to the Bahamas might be something I could do that I could not manage on a 30' Power Boat.
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Old 26-07-2010, 12:27   #11
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Fourty foot sailboats have circumnavigated the world, many times. Its not the length of the boat, its the boat itself and the people operating the boat that determine its safety and seaworthiness.

I have done both for many years. For me, power boats are for work and sailboats are for fun. Both have their benefits and downsides.

For your usage, I would get the sailboat.
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Old 26-07-2010, 12:30   #12
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Depends on the power boat.

PassageMaker Magazine | The Trawler and Ocean Motorboat Magazine

Diesel Ducks Home Page

You would think going for simplicity would give a hand to power boats (1 or 2 engines instead of all those lines, rigging sail etc)
but when you are burning 2.5 gal per hour or more...*sigh
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Old 26-07-2010, 12:41   #13
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The Diesel Ducks Home Page is pretty cool. I don't see any of those currently being in my budget but definitely an idea to consider for the future. Very Cool Thank you for sharing.

Yeah, I think that if the sailboat can make an adequate live aboard then it might be the better investment for us if we want to travel in a more affordable manner.

Eric
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Old 26-07-2010, 12:44   #14
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You might look into motor sailors, although if you are talking florida it may be too hot.
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Old 26-07-2010, 12:59   #15
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Motor sailors generally don't do either very well. I would pick one or the other but not both.
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