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post #10 of Old 07-20-2007
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The Dissenting opinion

Ohhh boy, how I love a good discussion and debate. Now comes somewhat of the dissenting opinion:

Cost for cost, it is PROBABLY less expensive on a sailboat. Probably. But I am a fan of trawlers... true, full displacement trawlers. THere are not many of those, incidentally. Four names come to mind: Nordhavn, Kadey-Krogen, Selene (by Marlow Marine), and the Cape Horn (which could classify as a small ship).

I love those boats.

Yes, they burn more diesel than the comparably sized sailboat... but not vastly more. They are full displacement hulls, like a sailboat, thus are VERY efficient - but still limited to hull speed.

The living accomodations between the two are vastly differnt. Sorry guys. You cannot compare a Nordhavn 46 to any 40-50 foot sailboat... I might even throw a Cat into that mix. Very large, very comfortable, and VERY safe. THe Nordhavn and Cape Horn especially are two boats that could be argued to be safer than most sailboats. The N46, for example, has a 1100 gallon fuel tank. Sounds like a lot, right? Well, at cruising speed, that puts its range somewhere around 5000-7000 nm. They are made to cross the Pacific and Atlantic, and have done so countless times.

How many nm you guys get off a tank of gas? We all like to argue how we sail and do not need fuel, but that is not really true. Whether for a watermaker, air conditioning, battery charging, or just to make forward progress in the duldrums, you will often need diesel.

I will also give you some of ole CD's experiences. As a weekender, we always enjoyed going out for a sail. THe boat close hauled, the wind flying through our hair, a little Marley on the radio.

As a liveabord... we HATED going to weather. Crap falling all below, slinging across, oops forgot about the lantern, or our typical, "CRAP! HONEY, WOULD YOU PLEASE SECURE THAT DOOR BEFORE I GO CRAZY!!!" We spent countless hours travelling down the ICW and you almost never sail there - which means mototring. We typically found a nice place to drop the hook and that is where we stayed for long periods of time - preferring to explore in the dink.

I will not say that is how EVERYONE cruises... but that was us. In some respects, being a liveaboard takes much of the fun out of sailing, for reasons stated above. It is the cruising that was fun and the poor little dink got a workout.

Thus, as a liveaboard versus a weekender or vacationer, the argument could be made that there is not that much of a difference. We had no problem going through the diesel... I will tell you that! Still, there is a big difference b/t filling up a 1100 gallon tank and a 40 gallon tank. We just fill up more often.

But those are just my experiences. I will also say that you will be much more comfortable in a trawler. you will spend 99% of your time anchored, 1% going. Plan accordingly.

One other note worth mentioning: With just a few exceptions, the cost of a trawler versus a sailboat is vastly different. The new Nords, for example, are well over a million. That would sure buy a nice sailboat. If I am not mistaken the oldest Nordhavn 46 has not sold for less the around 350-400k or so - and that is for a 1989 model that has been WELL used. You need a deep pocket for a REAL trawler.

- CD

PS I do not own a trawler, I own a sailboat. I just am not opposed to a trawler and think they make sense for the right person.

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