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Old 08-06-2024, 07:47   #1
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Sail to Motor

Hello and thanks in advance for reading and hopefully replying to my post. I'll try to keep it brief and still get the point across. As a base, we would be in a budget range from 300K - 800K but prefer lower if possible. Would be docked in SC. Would travel east coast and Bahamas. We would have a land home as well so not full time liveaboards.

The challenge: Switching to some sort of motor vessel. We've owned two sailing catamarans over the past 6 years - 40' and 50' vessels. We do love sailing with the engines off, but that rarely occurs. Max causing speed has always been about 7-8 knots so it would be nice to go a bit faster than that (maybe 12-13 knots?) Additionally, due to the mast and beam we are limited to where we can navigate. Not to mention the constant elevated risk of a lightening strike. Even at 50' comfort always seems to be sacrificed on a sailing cat. We would like to buy a motor yacht but we aren't very knowledgable of the makes, pros and cons, etc. Here are some items that stick out as concerns.

Concern 1 - engine size. It would make sense that we are trawler folks and don't need or want large 1000hp plus diesels. When I look at the engine rooms for some vessels it's quite intimidating. Is this fear realistic? Aren't they a fortune and huge hassle to replace?

Concern 2 - I tend to like the larger boats - 50' plus with 3 cabins at a minimum. Given that we are trying to keep a nosed t budget this puts us into 20-30 year old boats. In sailing catamarans, you'd never buy that old. Is that true with motor? Ideal budget would be 300k-400k. We can go 800K, but if we did this, the financial outlay becomes more burdensome.

Concern 3 - steering. We are used to engines that are 20'+ apart making docking easier. How much harder is it to dock a 50'+ trawler in a cross wind and current?

Concern 4 - if we buy an older yacht, can you get insurance for it? Both for your vessel and others if you were at fault?

Concern 5 - I know the maintenance schedule for a sailing cat but not sure about a motor yacht - more? less? same? Similar?

concern 6 - Is there a sweet spot for size of a vessel for length and beam?

concern 7 - the reason we had a sailing catamaran was for stability. What equipment is needed to provided the desired stability in most motor yachts? What should we look for?


Thanks for your patience! I look forward to any/all guidance you're willing to offer.
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Old 08-06-2024, 08:06   #2
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Re: Sail to Motor

Here you go https://au.yachtworld.com/yacht/2008...ercat-9406339/ or https://au.yachtworld.com/yacht/2005...ercat-9154111/



If you want a monohull get a 50 ft semi displacement that does about 18Kn that has thrusters for docking. Plenty of them for sale in your price range..
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Old 08-06-2024, 08:19   #3
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Re: Sail to Motor

Thanks Tin Tin,

I was trying to stir away from the motor cats too as they aren't the most comfortable in terms of layouts. Especially the older ones. We did look at a Leopard 51 motor cat. They are nice. The Leopard you sent seems way over priced to be in the 400's and almost 20 years old - yikes. Of course they all beat what I have now, which is nothing .
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Old 08-06-2024, 08:21   #4
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Re: Sail to Motor

[QUOTE=Tin Tin;3906880
If you want a monohull get a 50 ft semi displacement that does about 18Kn that has thrusters for docking. Plenty of them for sale in your price range..[/QUOTE]

I've looked for the above. The question(s) I have are around reliability and potential repairs of something like a 25 year old Hatteras? or something like that? I don't want to get a project boat although I realize something is always breaking on any boat.
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Old 08-06-2024, 09:08   #5
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Re: Sail to Motor

I have gone that route, from sail to power, and have also earned bread as a Captain on various power boats:
The engine room on many smaller boats, say under 50’ can be cramped and service/maintenance can be a pain in the rear, especially since many big motors are shoe horned in.
Yes, engine replacement or overhaul can be really expensive, $50-60k a piece, make sure you buy well maintained boats with stellar service records and regular oil analysis documentation.

If I was buying another tub I would look at a Tiara 3800 Open: High quality, seaworthy, spacious and Cummings diesels.
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Old 08-06-2024, 11:51   #6
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Re: Sail to Motor

Quote:
Originally Posted by LivingWhale View Post
As a base, we would be in a budget range from 300K - 800K but prefer lower if possible.

Concern 1 - engine size. It would make sense that we are trawler folks and don't need or want large 1000hp plus diesels. When I look at the engine rooms for some vessels it's quite intimidating. Is this fear realistic? Aren't they a fortune and huge hassle to replace?

Concern 2 - I tend to like the larger boats - 50' plus with 3 cabins at a minimum. Given that we are trying to keep a nosed t budget this puts us into 20-30 year old boats. In sailing catamarans, you'd never buy that old. Is that true with motor? Ideal budget would be 300k-400k. We can go 800K, but if we did this, the financial outlay becomes more burdensome.

Concern 3 - steering. We are used to engines that are 20'+ apart making docking easier. How much harder is it to dock a 50'+ trawler in a cross wind and current?

Concern 4 - if we buy an older yacht, can you get insurance for it? Both for your vessel and others if you were at fault?

Concern 5 - I know the maintenance schedule for a sailing cat but not sure about a motor yacht - more? less? same? Similar?

concern 6 - Is there a sweet spot for size of a vessel for length and beam?

concern 7 - the reason we had a sailing catamaran was for stability. What equipment is needed to provided the desired stability in most motor yachts? What should we look for?


Thanks for your patience! I look forward to any/all guidance you're willing to offer.

1) Just find boats you like and that otherwise meet your requirements... then ponder about the engines afterwards. Huge hassle, no. Normal maintenance, yes. replace? Not usually in your lifetime, although it does depend on how they've been treated. (1000-hp diesels suggests you've been seeing either sportfishers/convertibles... or large motor yachts meant to run at semi-planing speeds. You don't have to do that, of course.)

2) Keep shopping.

3) Likely not more difficult at all. Can depend slightly on windage factors, but the heavier the boat the less likely it'll be squirrelly around the dock. Bow and stern thrusters can help if really necessary, both add-able afterwards should it become an issue.

5) Can't compare based on hull form, but would suggest it's more likely about the types and numbers of systems you have (e.g., ACs, thru-hulls, etc. in turn often due to the number of stateroom/heads/anticipated crew or guests), where they're located, and how you access them.

6) I don't think so; think it more depends on how the layout suits your requirements... and then the number of staterooms will largely lead most builders to match the length and beam as necessary.

7) There are stabilizers, various designs and implementations. There's also weather and route planning (i.e, stay in port), which works pretty well most of the time for a non-stabilized boat. You'd likely get more info about that on trawlerform.com (sister site).

-Chris
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Old 08-06-2024, 12:00   #7
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Re: Sail to Motor

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I've looked for the above. The question(s) I have are around reliability and potential repairs of something like a 25 year old Hatteras? or something like that? I don't want to get a project boat although I realize something is always breaking on any boat.
Yeah, there's that.

But some of that also depends on when PO replaced earlier systems. And older boat with new ACs, for example, has new ACs, no problem. Or with new fridges, freezer, other rgalley stuff, ditto. New heads/sanitation hose/holding tanks, ditto. IOW, it's not just the age of the boat, but also the age of the various systems therein.

This can sorta lead to discovering some 20 year old boats (with new systems) are a better choice than some 15 years old boats (with original systems).

If you look at Hatts you'll see up to late '80s (maybe early '90s) they had some 32VDC systems and 2-stroke Detroit Diesels. Neither would be my preference. DDs are said to run forever, but reading suggests maintenance techs seem to be getting a bit thinner on the ground these days.

OTOH, a decent and slighty newer Hatt MY (in our case, a cockpit version would maybe be acceptable) with only 12/24VDC, 120/240VAC, and more modern 4-stroke engines could be nifty. I've heard of people repowering from DD to something new, but near as I can tell that'd only increase residual value by about a dollar and a half. (Well, OK, more than that, but not near as much as the investment would cost.)

-Chris
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Old 08-06-2024, 12:02   #8
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Re: Sail to Motor

Thank you for the reply and counsel! I tend to overthink things so I’m sure that’s playing into my research here as well. Thanks again!
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Old 08-06-2024, 12:07   #9
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Re: Sail to Motor

Thanks Chris! Great advice and counsel on DD engines and voltage are things I’m looking for. Sometimes it’s “anything after x date is good but before that there were issues because of Y”. I’m no mechanic so I don’t want to get in over my head. I consider myself slightly above idiot though I do drop below at times . Keeping is simple is pretty important. Thanks again for the reply!
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Old 08-06-2024, 12:47   #10
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Re: Sail to Motor

You may also want to check here:

https://www.trawlerforum.com/

I have lurked there from time to time when considering making the move to a trawler. Plenty of people over there are former sailboat owners.
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Old 08-06-2024, 13:09   #11
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Re: Sail to Motor

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You may also want to check here:

https://www.trawlerforum.com/

I have lurked there from time to time when considering making the move to a trawler. Plenty of people over there are former sailboat owners.
Thanks!!
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Old 09-06-2024, 05:22   #12
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Re: Sail to Motor

Consider a Buyer's Broker? I don't believe I suggested that. Anyhow, in your price range you may find one who will actually work for you.
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Old 10-06-2024, 11:01   #13
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Re: Sail to Motor

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Consider a Buyer's Broker? I don't believe I suggested that. Anyhow, in your price range you may find one who will actually work for you.
There are some good brokers out there, but most I don't trust.
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Old 17-06-2024, 08:02   #14
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Re: Sail to Motor

Before deciding on fixed size and performance parameters, look at a few boats then decide what you are comfortable with. Most monohull powerboats have a length to beam ratio of about 3:1 so a 45' boat would have a beam of about 15' although it can vary. As to cruising speed, consider the fuel cost. Years ago I had a trawler that the mfg recommended cruising speed of 10 mph for one mpg but we found a cruising speed of 7 - 7.5 mph would give about 3.5 mpg.
You may find a 38 with everything you want or a 55 might better fit your needs. Look at boats in the middle of your desired size parameters then decide if you want bigger, smaller, or maybe you like the ones you're visiting. Look at several before deciding. As to the main engine(s), yes they're expensive but unless run hard with lots of hours, you can expect many years of reliable service if the recommended maintenance schedule is met. Right now, it's a buyer's market with many good deals available at a significantly lower price than just a couple years ago. .
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Old 17-06-2024, 08:20   #15
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Re: Sail to Motor

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Before deciding on fixed size and performance parameters, look at a few boats then decide what you are comfortable with. Most monohull powerboats have a length to beam ratio of about 3:1 so a 45' boat would have a beam of about 15' although it can vary. As to cruising speed, consider the fuel cost. Years ago I had a trawler that the mfg recommended cruising speed of 10 mph for one mpg but we found a cruising speed of 7 - 7.5 mph would give about 3.5 mpg.
You may find a 38 with everything you want or a 55 might better fit your needs. Look at boats in the middle of your desired size parameters then decide if you want bigger, smaller, or maybe you like the ones you're visiting. Look at several before deciding. As to the main engine(s), yes they're expensive but unless run hard with lots of hours, you can expect many years of reliable service if the recommended maintenance schedule is met. Right now, it's a buyer's market with many good deals available at a significantly lower price than just a couple years ago. .


Thank you and all good advice! I do think it's more of a buyers market, but may become even more so over the next year or two. Of course who wants to wait that long when you want a boat . Unfortunately, we like the bigger boats which means we typically are having to look for the older ones as well. I know you shouldn't buy a boat for the entire family (We have two adult children and 3 grand children) but hard to convince the wife of that. Plus, the smaller boats shrink in every direction, as well as the engine compartments. We like the looks of the Azimut but I know their spaces can be small. We don't mind the look of the trawlers and they are certainly larger, but also more expensive. Ideally, it would be great to have 3 cabins and HP that doesn't exceed 1000 for insurance purposes. Bow and stern thrusters would give peace of mind and dock mate makes it even better. I can dock a boat, but it's always the worst part of the trip and even though I've done it a lot, I still hate doing it (I've never had an incident). Oh I forgot to mention a flybridge. I don't think we would get one without it. Again, thanks for the input and if you have anymore, I'd love to hear it. The 35 year old 65' Hatteras looks great for budget and space, but I feel like there would be a lot of stuff breaking constantly - more than what is normal.
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