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Old 28-06-2017, 17:06   #1
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My boating dreams are dying...

... and they are dying a slow, painful death.

We started out last year with an 18.5' open bow "Sunday" boat. We were the boat that would go around to all the marina's, pick up our liveaboard friends, and play on the water all weekend. Our little boat is still that way, but as liveaboard friends have moved back to land, or gone on their way cruising, we aren't getting her out much this season.

In November we joined a local mariners group who does local cruising and weekend ventures. We knew we wanted to try it out, and we bought a cheap starter sailboat, with a cozy cabin that we were working to make our own. We tried our first trip together a few weeks ago, and we pretty much fought the entire way. I'm the boater, my partner isn't. So when I do something, its followed by a thousand "why's" and other questions. Additionally, we are auto-pilotless, and electronics bare so everything has to be done by hand. Additionally, he doesn't like keeling over in the least. All of this has led to the listing, and hopefully selling of the sailboat.

I've determined that I like going slow, and I think a trawler would be best for my boating dreams. My partner on the other hand, has decided that there isn't any other boat in the world except for a power boat. He's wanting a Sea Ray Sundancer type boat. Some kind of 27-32 foot express cruiser type boat that takes ridiculous amounts of money to fuel, and has a range of basically around the block. He likes the idea that the front of the boat has a sleeping area, cooking area, head, and a/c, while the back of the boat is more comfortable to "play" on and you can walk right into the water. (which doesn't make sense because we dont get in the local water anyway, have you seen Galveston waters lately?)

So what kind of boat would make a happy medium? I dont even know what to look at or research anymore...
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Old 28-06-2017, 17:25   #2
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Re: My boating dreams are dying...

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Originally Posted by TooCoys View Post
So what kind of boat would make a happy medium? I dont even know what to look at or research anymore...
Any boat that makes your partner happy

What sort of trips are you trying to take? A Sea Ray is perfectly fine if you like "staying around the block" or taking short trips and don't mind fuel costs. Most power boats certainly can't be beat for entertaining if that's your thing. I spend about $1500/yr in fuel costs, and get about 150-160mi in range from full tanks at cruising speed. Just because a power boat goes fast doesn't mean it has to. We take plenty of river cruises at a snail's pace and although I can't directly measure it, we probably get 4-5 mpg at a speed just over idle. But then if I want to jet over to the other side of Lake Michigan (anywhere from 40-80nm) I can be there in a couple hours and even come back the same day.

I've also sailed from 30' monohulls to 38' cats before we got our current powerboat because it fits our lifestyle right now. When we move on to long-term cruising we'll probably go back to sail.

But without knowing exactly how you plan on using the boat it's hard to make recommendations. It sounds like you and your partner just have different ideas of what is fun on a boat. See if you can find a middle ground and if your new boat outlives its intended use, move on to another one!

Oh and #1 Rule - never ever fight on a boat!
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Old 28-06-2017, 17:35   #3
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Re: My boating dreams are dying...

Sorry to hear this TwoCoys. I've enjoyed reading your threads over the time you've been here.

The ten years I've been reading here daily have seen many people come and go. Usually without ever knowing why. Hopefully you will find a way to continue enjoying time on the water. For me, I intend to float my way to the end.

To boat type. Express cruisers don't interest me. Too much fuel, too fast, what's the hurry.

Older classic trawlers do interest me. Maybe 35 feet, no flybridge, some nicely varnished teak. Small diesel engine, cruise at five or six knots, may half a gallon of fuel per hour. Like a Marine Trader with a Ford Lehman or Perkins.
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Old 28-06-2017, 17:37   #4
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Re: My boating dreams are dying...

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What sort of trips are you trying to take?
I'd like something that we can overnight in. Most of the cruises around here are all within 100 miles or so. But I'd eventually like to be able to take the ICW down the Texas coast, or over to Louisiana and explore those areas.

We still have a ways to go before retirement so long range cruising is out, but I'd like to be able to take a weeks vacation and boat down to Port Aransas from Galveston or something.
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Old 28-06-2017, 17:42   #5
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Re: My boating dreams are dying...

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Older classic trawlers do interest me. Maybe 35 feet, no flybridge, some nicely varnished teak. Small diesel engine, cruise at five or six knots, may half a gallon of fuel per hour. Like a Marine Trader with a Ford Lehman or Perkins.

We had an opportunity to buy a '78 Marine Trader 34 foot trawler. A friends father (aircraft mechanic) had completely rebuilt the engine and it runs like brand new. It needed some paint, and some deck work, and little cosmetic things, but my partner was adamant that he didn't want anything he had to work on. The sad part is that we could have bought that trawler for $18000 and only increased its value with sweat equity.

We did see a Mainship Pilot 30 last weekend and I really liked it.

I know that I definitely want drive shafts instead of out drives, and I definitely prefer diesel over gas. I dont want to deal with the troubles that leaving out drives in salt water produces, and I prefer diesel mostly because I dont like blowing up.
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Old 28-06-2017, 19:02   #6
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Re: My boating dreams are dying...

A good friend has that same year and size Marine Trader. He's an old off shore commercial fisherman. While I wander a couple hundred miles up and down the coast, he calls from St Pete, then the Keys and then a couple weeks later from Maine. He gets around to say the least. That boat serves him well.

The Mainship trawlers seem to be well regarded by most.

Don't think I've known of any express cruisers doing long distance livaboard duty.

I haven't been in a relationship for twenty years, so I'm no help there. But you have a better handle on the boat type than your partner, for your needs.

BTW, a "boat you don't have to work on", that's unicorn territory right there.
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Old 28-06-2017, 19:04   #7
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Re: My boating dreams are dying...

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BTW, a "boat you don't have to work on", that's unicorn territory right there.
It is! And what he doesn't understand is that twin gas screws are TWICE the maintenance, TWICE the fuel, and TWICE expense.
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Old 29-06-2017, 07:12   #8
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Re: My boating dreams are dying...

I have a 1977 43 foot Viking aft cabin that I'm trying to sell. It would be a cross between a trawler and a Searay. Lot's of room so you can be separated during a disagreement. It also has Twin diesels so very fuel efficient. Pm me if you are interested in more details.
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Old 29-06-2017, 07:32   #9
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Re: My boating dreams are dying...

I don't buy the dreams stuff we continually read in these sailing forums. Getting into sailing and boat ownership is a serious commitment. Dreams are fantasies... boats are reality.... work, planning, study, learning. It takes a huge effort and commitment to be able to take a relaxing sail and enjoy it... especially with a landlubber aboard. You need equipoment, skill... and experience which takes time to acquire.

Boats and the sea are not familiar environments to landlubbers with "dreams"... they are challenges... It looks easy and a joy when you see "pros" at it... what you don't see is how they got there and all the hard work it took.

It's like dreaming of figure skating, gymnastics, ballet, play concert piano... Years and years of hard work are what it takes. When the dream doesn't pop for people they get discouraged... as if they could walk through a click their heels and it comes true.
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Old 29-06-2017, 07:35   #10
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Re: My boating dreams are dying...

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I don't buy the dreams stuff we continually read in these sailing forums. Getting into sailing and boat ownership is a serious commitment. Dreams are fantasies... boats are reality.... work, planning, study, learning. It takes a huge effort and commitment to be able to take a relaxing sail and enjoy it... especially with a landlubber aboard. You need equipoment, skill... and experience which takes time to acquire.

Boats and the sea are not familiar environments to landlubbers with "dreams"... they are challenges... It looks easy and a joy when you see "pros" at it... what you don't see is how they got there and all the hard work it took.

It's like dreaming of figure skating, gymnastics, ballet, play concert piano... Years and years of hard work are what it takes. When the dream doesn't pop for people they get discouraged... as if they could walk through a click their heels and it comes true.


Boating started as a boyhood dream for me!!!! Don't discourage people from following a dream. Teach them how to make it a reality. You sound like a boating snob.
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Old 29-06-2017, 07:53   #11
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Re: My boating dreams are dying...

The Searay probably planes and cruises at 25 kts. and you could carry on a conversation, the Mainship could go 16 kts. but it sucks fuel so you cruise it at 6 kts. and shouting at the person next to you is required.
No "project" boats unless that project is hiring someone to polish and wax it.
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Old 29-06-2017, 07:54   #12
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Re: My boating dreams are dying...

It kind of sounds like you have opposite wants and needs from a boat so uh, good luck?

(also agreeing that "boat you don't have to work on" just doesn't exist)
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Old 29-06-2017, 08:21   #13
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Re: My boating dreams are dying...

It depends on the time and money you have. If you are doing weekends then a planing powerboat is good... you can get somewhere and back. It will cost you $100-$300 a day for fuel sometimes though!
You can always drive a boat like that at 8 knots and burn far less like a trawler... but no one does...
A Trawler feels like a real boat, has useable room and a great view while sitting inside.
Say you are going on a 50 mile trip.
-A small trawler at 7 knots will take you 7 hours. At 2 gal per hour That's maybe $45 in fuel.
-A planing boat at 30 knots will take you maybe 1.5 hours. If it burns 18 gallon an hour that's about 27 gallons used. .. Or $81 in fuel.
You pay about $35 to get there 5.5 hours faster. Of course the devil's in the details of a particular boat.
Some people just enjoy being on the sea, and at 8 knots are fine . SOme people have to get somewhere NOW!
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Old 29-06-2017, 08:54   #14
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Re: My boating dreams are dying...

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It depends on the time and money you have. If you are doing weekends then a planing powerboat is good... you can get somewhere and back. It will cost you $100-$300 a day for fuel sometimes though!
You can always drive a boat like that at 8 knots and burn far less like a trawler... but no one does...
A Trawler feels like a real boat, has useable room and a great view while sitting inside.
Say you are going on a 50 mile trip.
-A small trawler at 7 knots will take you 7 hours. At 2 gal per hour That's maybe $45 in fuel.
-A planing boat at 30 knots will take you maybe 1.5 hours. If it burns 18 gallon an hour that's about 27 gallons used. .. Or $81 in fuel.
You pay about $35 to get there 5.5 hours faster. Of course the devil's in the details of a particular boat.
Some people just enjoy being on the sea, and at 8 knots are fine . SOme people have to get somewhere NOW!
Think this is the best reply and analysis of the situation so far.

Yes, you can buy a planing boat and go at trawler speeds and get almost trawler fuel mileage. Some (not too many) people actually do this but you do have the option.

I would say anything to get your partner on the water in a way that he enjoys. Once you get him hooked then.......
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Old 29-06-2017, 09:17   #15
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Re: My boating dreams are dying...

Look into a MacGregor 26m . A lot of videos out there of people enjoying it both ways with these water ballast 50-90 hp gems. Not my cup of tea but worth considering.
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