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Old 25-09-2022, 21:26   #31
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Re: Extended Cruising vs. Outboard Power

[QUOTE=Whoosh;3683996]...Wingssails, I don't have the detail any longer.../QUOTE]

That's OK, thanks.

I was just trying to get a feel for how many miles that trip was and how many gallons of fuel it'd take.

In a previous lifetime I spent plenty of hours cruising on our cuddy cabin powerboats around the Pacific Northwest in Washington State and Canada. Even after trying to pick the best planing speed for fuel preservation I was always chagrined when I was planning a cruise; the fuel costs were outrageous. And that was with a pretty fuel efficient big I/O. I wondered what it would be like now with a pair of big OB's. I can't imagine what it's like with the big Whaler 42's with four 450 Verados we have around here.
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Old 25-09-2022, 21:27   #32
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Re: Extended Cruising vs. Outboard Power

I think you can still do the lower unit even with 200 hp.


itís just like anything else that gets bigger on boats as they get bigger. You just need mechanical advantage.

Use a ratchet strap for a come along to bring that lower unit on or off the power head.
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Old 26-09-2022, 04:19   #33
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Re: Extended Cruising vs. Outboard Power

On the running at 8 kts thing, boats with outboards often don't handle great at low speeds. You're primarily steering with thrust, so the less thrust you have, the worse the steering. Depending on the boat in question, that may or may not be a problem (or may only force speeding up in some conditions).
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Old 26-09-2022, 05:20   #34
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Re: Extended Cruising vs. Outboard Power

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One is the greater range for a given amount of fuel. These smaller boats that I'm researching can only offer so much fuel capacity. Add their higher fuel consumption and range is less than I would have hoped. Of course, the offsetting benefit is the speed a large outboard (or two) and planing hull makes possible.
I would say the big difference you are seeing is high HP/high Speed rather than Diesel Inboard vs Gas Outboard.

Yes, diesel is more efficient than gas but...

A little 30hp diesel in a 30ft sailboat chugging along at 5kt will be far more efficient than a 2 x 200hp outboard boat at 25kt but 2 x 200 hp diesel at 25kt will be no where near as efficient as the 30hp diesel either.
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Old 26-09-2022, 07:07   #35
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Re: Extended Cruising vs. Outboard Power

Yup, to look at the higher fuel consumption of large outboards in a vacuum doesn't provide a balanced view, or at least the potential balance I'm trying to work out. My interest in looking at boats like the Antares 9 and Jeanneau 895 - and a number of other recently introduced, big outboard powered 'family cruisers' - is because of the benefits (for my intentions anyway) of having access to planing speeds. IOW the higher fuel costs and servicing requirements that exist for these models is potentially offset by the benefits to me of those higher speeds on occasion. Or at least that's what I'm trying to sort out.

Let me step back for a moment: For extended cruising along the Atlantic Coast and nearby islands to the SE - my 'mission' so to speak - one has 3 basic boat types. I'm not interested in the full displacement hull forms like trawlers: I don't need the size, the ability to carry gobs of food nor the greater mechanical and electrical amenities that end up on those boats. Plus, I'm not attracted to a speed in the 6-7 kt range. I imagine being underway for several months at a time and want to make the most of those times. I'm not planning to live aboard indefinitely and/or making long passages requiring huge fuel stores. And...if it makes sense in other respects, I'd like access to reasonably high speeds at times.

The semi-displacement hull form has pretty much always been the alternative choice for folks like me High'ish speeds are available, sort of, and these are heavily marketed by the manufacturers who build boats like Beneteau's Swift Trawler line and earlier models built by sailboat companies that were trying to move into the powerboat market. But to access the speeds in the low to mid 'teens offered by those boats, one is consuming huge amounts of fuel for the distances covered, and so it seems to me they really aren't as practical for cruising at speed as builders would have you believe. Kinda a 'neither fish nor foul' circumstance. Moreover, the era of the 'tug' arrived with many of these newer models having a floor plan broken up into multiple up & down pieces that I personally don't favor. If I'm trying to end up with a cruising-compatible 30'ish footer, I'd like as much of that length as possible to have a single level living area and gobs of visibility all around to make the most of the limited space. Still, the marketplace that exists makes the claim that these semi-displacement hull forms are the common 'trawler alternative' powerboat cruising choice.

Or at least that's what it has seemed like to me...until I began looking at a different set of tradeoffs that is offered by these new planing designs. (It could also be that I'm just somewhat contrarian by nature). And I have a secondary motivation, as well: A number of very large, very successful builders are putting a lot of money and effort behind developing this new fleet of "planing speed cruising boats". The number of these boats in the marketplace is now growing and therefore available at less than new boat prices, yet they are relatively 'young' and so require less refurbishment and upgrading. I've owned a brand new boat, a partially finished new boat we then completed in the backyard, and an older boat that we had to grow from the ground up to cruise internationally. Of those three experiences and my advanced years, I know I'd prefer having that first experience as much as possible.

Just a couple of thoughts I hoped would provide a perspective on my thinking...

Jack
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Old 26-09-2022, 07:37   #36
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Re: Extended Cruising vs. Outboard Power

We went thru a similar process.

We started with a 31ft gas inboard boat for several years...1.5MPG at 25kt cruise speed. We used it for weekending and a week or two cruise each summer. It worked great for that use as we could make weekend trips up to 100miles (often less) as we needed to be back at work on Monday.

When we looked at longer distance cruising, the fuel consumption started becoming a concern (plus layout good for a weekend wasn't so good for long term living) but speed less of a concern. Coastal cruising it's rare that there isn't someplace to stop every 20-30miles. We did a sail catamran with a single 25hp outboard, though really we used it mostly as a power boat with a big antenna. Cruise was 6.5kt with 6MPG.

One option you might look into is some of the lower powered trawler catamarans. Even with lower power, they can often make 15-20kt speeds but slow down and the MPG goes up substantially. Take the PDQ34 power cat with 75hp diesels seems like it would be a good compromise.
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Old 26-09-2022, 11:07   #37
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Re: Extended Cruising vs. Outboard Power

When we were cruising on powerboats (I had several) I always chose a high speed hull shape, one which I thought would be fast but soft in waves. More like an offshore racing hull. My last two were an earlier Sea Ray and a Sea Ray clone built by Reinell. I put big stern drives in them (singles) and expected, hoped for, 50+ knots. I achieved that with the Reinell. When cruising however we generally ran at speeds under 20, and in ocean conditions, just the slowest speed we could go and still be on a plane. These speeds were also the best fuel economy. However I really hated to spend $150 to fill up just for a short weekend hop. And three times that for a longer round trip to the coast and that required fill-ups on the trip. I was using about 25 gal/hr if I recall. (I think it was around 1.25 miles per gallon. My friend's 31 Uniflite with a flat run aft bottom shape burned 31 gal/hr.

What I wonder now is what kind of fuel consumption would we expect from a 28-32' powerboat with 2-3 big v8 or v6 outboards, capable of 50knots but with cruising speeds of under 20?

And with fuel at a marina running $5 gal, would we be looking at $450 for that same weekend trip?
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Old 27-09-2022, 13:15   #38
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Re: Extended Cruising vs. Outboard Power

Interesting suggestion (power cat), Valhalla. The PDQ34 is about twice the boat I'm looking for and also a bit older...but very suitable for cruising and easier to live with on the hook than a planing hull. As I watched a couple of walk-thru's, the term 'palatial' came to mind. I'll have to dig around some more about that idea.

Wingssail, you are bringing up the reality of moving fast, which I surely can't deny. But I guess fuel cost is just one aspect of boat cost, and one inevitably has to answer the question of how much is the expense of owning and operating a boat worth for that person. I could be wide of the mark with my estimates, but owning a boat based in Florida and doing a run out to the Exumas for several months that amounts to 1,000 NM of of distance, and excluding the initial cost of the boat that's owned outright (no finance costs). making that trip would mean the fuel portion of ownership might be roughly in the 20% range of an annual budget. There would be some local operating as well, so the annual fuel cost might be roughly 30% of ownership cost. So altho' a significant sum, it's just a minority of the overall cost. Using the boat to cruise the Chesapeake for several months one year and using it in the islands the next year is appealing enough to me that the fuel costs actually seem irrelevant and so worth the benefit. But of course the devil's in the details.

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Old 28-09-2022, 13:50   #39
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Re: Extended Cruising vs. Outboard Power

Perhaps it's time to wrap up this thread and offer my conclusions based on the helpful discussion here. Given the definition of 'extended cruising' I had in mind - transiting to and spending several months cruising the Chesapeake, the Atlantic coast and/or the full range of islands in the Bahamas and perhaps Provo as well - my conclusion is that these 'weekend cruising boats' with their limited tankage, planing hulls and outboard service requirements would nevertheless be a workable, perhaps even desirable choice. No, they are neither offshore boats nor liveaboard boats in my mind. But they are 'big & capable enough' to satisfy a person who finds a 30 footer an acceptable size and has the uses in mind that don't extend beyond what is stated above.

The are some qualifiers, of course. The range of navigation & communication equipment to insure safety and real time weather forecasting info would be needed. And several inadequate systems would need to be improved on. Two obvious targets are to add some solar and additional battery capacity, and to add more water tankage. (For the latter, a gravity flow tank restrained to the side cabin bulkhead in either the 895 or A9 would be a simple way to do this). Both these additions would be pretty easy and, given the acronym 'BOAT' in financial terms, not add much cost. A third would be to increase the amount of secure food stowage available on the board; there is almost none.

As for living with the maintenance needs of these larger 4-cycle outboards, the only significant requirement that seems warranted is to integrate one's cruising calendar with the outboard's service schedule. Doing a 100 hr service before heading to the islands would probably be all that's needed, so long as I carried the parts and fluids should a fresh service be needed while cruising. The exception (for me) is the required water pump/impeller service. I personally don't feel I would want to attempt that service while on the hook somewhere, so that would be a 'must do' before heading to the islands. Fortunately, that usually is done every 24 months.

My thanks to everyone who chipped in. This was a very helpful discussion for me.

Jack
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Old 29-09-2022, 04:35   #40
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Re: Extended Cruising vs. Outboard Power

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But they are 'big & capable enough' to satisfy a person who finds a 30 footer an acceptable size and has the uses in mind that don't extend beyond what is stated above.

The are some qualifiers, of course. The range of navigation & communication equipment to insure safety and real time weather forecasting info would be needed. And several inadequate systems would need to be improved on. Two obvious targets are to add some solar and additional battery capacity, and to add more water tankage. (For the latter, a gravity flow tank restrained to the side cabin bulkhead in either the 895 or A9 would be a simple way to do this). Both these additions would be pretty easy and, given the acronym 'BOAT' in financial terms, not add much cost. A third would be to increase the amount of secure food stowage available on the board; there is almost none.

You might like to rummage around in the innards of a typical 30' boat like that... to see how systems are fitted and consider how you'd perform service or repairs.

Generally they're optimized for user space, which puts pressure on space for systems. And on access to those systems. For example, access to a water heater might be difficult but doable in a 40' boat, next to impossible in a 30-footer.

Adding tankage, batteries, accessible food or spares (or other) storage, and useful solar might be possible... but might not, depending on how much free real estate actually exists. And the additional weight of whatever stuff you can add on or shoehorn in would likely impact performance, too.

An alternative for examination might be to upsize your same idea into a 35' (or whatever) that already has those same improvements designed in... perhaps available in the secondary market... and then compare pros/cons of each.

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Old 29-09-2022, 07:05   #41
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Re: Extended Cruising vs. Outboard Power

Well given your range of proposed cruising activities I feel I could manage most if not all in my 28 foot trailable yacht/power cruiser. A hybrid is not to everyoneís liking I know but it does open up a huge range of cruising destinations.
We can float in 1 foot of water, motor in 2 feet and sail in as little as 3 whilst preferring 4/5 whilst being easily trailable opening up a huge range of unique cruising destinations along with most of the usual inshore or short hop crossings. Not for significant offshore stuff however.
Our 115 outboard can push us fully laden for cruising to about 18knots which we rarely use except when in a particular hurry to get somewhere, through something (like rivermouth breaking bars) or away from weather or the like.
We have most of the facilities of generally much lager craft like standing headroom ( at the galley) , hws, enclosed shower/toilet, completely covered outdoor cockpit area (if required), swim platform, two generous long double beds and a dinette for 6 that isnít used for sleeping.
We also have largish solar array and a suitcase generator, both agm starter/house batteries and 300amp of very fast charging lithium with high powered sine wave inverter. We rarely need the generator (in itís designed for rear compartment) despite cooking via electric induction, electric hws and our fridge freezer being compressor with the solar and outboard alternator generally supplying adequate power
Due to heavily loading supplies primarily down very low we donít generally need or use our water ballast giving us an addition 1500lbs of provisions cruising capacity whilst staying above our design waterline.
This goes a long way to solving the overloading problem faced by many smaller craft.
We carry 210 litres of fuel and the same in drinking water.
We generally sail removing both the noise and fuel consumption costs from our cruising equation meaning our fuel carrying capacity doesnít generally limit our range or time cruising.
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Old 29-09-2022, 10:10   #42
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Re: Extended Cruising vs. Outboard Power

That's an interesting mix of posts just above. It is indeed inviting to move 'up' for all kinds of reasons, as Ranger is pointing out. And yet Grith makes the alternative case, doing a great deal with not as much (and even in South Oz waters, which is very cool). Ranger, I would adapt your general point and specific examples into a mental checklist for the smaller boat first, before concluding bigger is necessary. E.g. in the most popular models we've been discussing, the water heater is immediately, fully accessible simply by opening a locker door. While they have their disadvantages, powering with outboards opens up gobs of storage in the hull where in the past I've had to squeeze myself around a hot diesel. One hatch lift and the batteries are completely accessible. But I do take your point, which IMO in these boats especially applies to food stores.

Grift, a question for you. I can see you have multiple power sources and lots of stored electrical capacity. But assume for the moment (perhaps a week of rainy weather and your inverter generator is on the fritz) that you have to rely on the outboard's alternator to keep up the house bank. What kind of output can you expect from it while on the hook? In the past two boats, I just upgraded to replacement high output alternators with a controller, and could generate heaps of charging current at a high idle rpm. But I would expect the tight packaging of these V6 & V8 outboards will not allow for that. (I did notice Mercury is now advertising a 'high idle' that automatically increases charging current when it reads a low voltage from the house bank...but their idea of 'high' is still pretty meager).

Jack
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Old 29-09-2022, 10:32   #43
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Re: Extended Cruising vs. Outboard Power

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Ranger, I would adapt your general point and specific examples into a mental checklist for the smaller boat first, before concluding bigger is necessary.

Yep, didn't mean to imply bigger is always better, just things to consider.

In some case, the maker even decides to stuff in a whole extra stateroom or another head or whatever in a boat -- by increasing OAL 2-4' or some such. And that sometimes ends up being a step backwards in the whole size vs. service access issue.

Lots of systems on boats: water heaters as an example, yes... but also freshwater pumps, ACs (with raw water pumps and strainers), freezers, fridges, icemakers, batteries and battery chargers, windlass, thruster(s), electronics, engines, generators, sea strainers, lighting, etc... plus stuff that runs throughout a whole boat (plumbing, wiring)... thighbone connected to the head bone...

And boat makers often perceive the market as needing ALL of that in a 12' boat, with three staterooms, two heads, split showers...

Which in turn means you can't find or fix anything without moving or dismantling half of the boat first.

I exaggerate, of course, but you probably get my drift...

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Old 29-09-2022, 15:32   #44
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Re: Extended Cruising vs. Outboard Power

Chris, to a degree I think what you're describing is self-inflicted pain. The marketing guys at the boat manufacturer decide all this geedunk needs to be added to sell the boat (at a higher price, of course). And so the same marketing guys then go to the boat shows and do show 'n tell to the publishers to promote all this geedunk. And so now we hire a vendor or three to throw on the boat the stuff the builder omitted. Now we've got the issue you describe but compounded: the builder's 'systems' that are stuffed into the boat, followed by what we decide to stuff into the boat. And it may not be large or heavy stuff. Standalone electronics is the first thing that comes to my mind. Box A does one thing, but Box B (bought one generation later) can use A to do a second thing, followed by....and so it goes. Eventually, it becomes a different kind of 'access' issue. The owner simply can't get the boxes to produce what they promised...and woe by the tech who's called in to make the magic happen again. Today this is the bane of existence for avionics shops these days, given the short development cycle of so much really clever kit that's been built for private GA aircraft.

Still, we do have control over this, right? Avoid most of the non-mission related systems, boxes and other geedunk. Hard to do, tho'.

Jack
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Old 29-09-2022, 16:29   #45
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Re: Extended Cruising vs. Outboard Power

Quote:
Originally Posted by Whoosh View Post
That's an interesting mix of posts just above. It is indeed inviting to move 'up' for all kinds of reasons, as Ranger is pointing out. And yet Grith makes the alternative case, doing a great deal with not as much (and even in South Oz waters, which is very cool). Ranger, I would adapt your general point and specific examples into a mental checklist for the smaller boat first, before concluding bigger is necessary. E.g. in the most popular models we've been discussing, the water heater is immediately, fully accessible simply by opening a locker door. While they have their disadvantages, powering with outboards opens up gobs of storage in the hull where in the past I've had to squeeze myself around a hot diesel. One hatch lift and the batteries are completely accessible. But I do take your point, which IMO in these boats especially applies to food stores.

Grift, a question for you. I can see you have multiple power sources and lots of stored electrical capacity. But assume for the moment (perhaps a week of rainy weather and your inverter generator is on the fritz) that you have to rely on the outboard's alternator to keep up the house bank. What kind of output can you expect from it while on the hook? In the past two boats, I just upgraded to replacement high output alternators with a controller, and could generate heaps of charging current at a high idle rpm. But I would expect the tight packaging of these V6 & V8 outboards will not allow for that. (I did notice Mercury is now advertising a 'high idle' that automatically increases charging current when it reads a low voltage from the house bank...but their idea of 'high' is still pretty meager).

Jack
Hi Jack I now have a 12 volt to 48 volt converter which then generates around 400-440w into my lithium power banks at about 1200rpm which is all I need to maintain around 5knots under outboard.
However the reliability of the Honda Suitcase generators is legendary and my EU2.2 can put out around 1800w reliably and barely any noisier than the Yamaha 115hp on that same figure.
My rear mounted factory generator box sits right beside the outboard behind the cockpit and noise and fumes travel backwards over the swim platform to the rear.
On a recent mid winter often cold, overcast and rainy but regardless very enjoyable 6 week cruise we only fired the generator up about 1 hour every second day and I hadn’t then yet rigged for both outboard and solar charging then as I have now.
Following that cruise I have fitted a second ecoflow delta max portable lithium battery unit also in another off the shelf under settee berth location allowing both solar and outboard charging simultaneously (one each) and could justify this further expense as the units are easily unplugged and then used in both my slide on 4x4 truck camper and as my house rainwater water pump power and power outage backup for other household systems when we are not off travelling.
I had to buy a 12v to 48v converter as the ecoflow lithium power box could only accept up to 10amps of incoming solar Or outboard power though can do so at up to 100v hence the converter. My 4 solar panels run in series generating at around 70volts.
Previously the outboard input was limited by this to to about 110w which wasn’t worth having for the effort involved.
The ecoflow units can accept generator or domestic power as well and prioritise taking solar over these sources as shown in the photo of the phone app monitor and remote controller.
Small trailable, generally sail powered but good speed motoring capable and comfortable live aboard for two with very occasional short term guests the Imexus 28 is working well for us in retirement following owning smaller trailable yachts previously.
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