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getawaygurl 11-01-2002 11:04 AM

Sail vs. Power
We''re planning on purchasing a sailboat and just started researching. Perhaps a 40-50 ft and for possible living abroad - or charter. Can someone pls give us some insights on the advantages/disadvantes of owning a sailboat vs. power? Many thanks!!

jbarros 11-01-2002 11:36 AM

Sail vs. Power
ok, I have a friend with a motorboat. this is their routine.

wait a month. get a spare $100.

pack a lunch.

go to fuel dock, fuel up. ($100 spent)

run out to the islands as fast as possible bouncing all over the ocean, eyeballs in the back of your skull with wind ripping your clothing to shreds.

oh yhea, and lots of cold, wet spray too.

sit at island.
drop anchor.
have lunch

come screaming back in asap.

My same routine:

save $5.
go spend 3.50 on a sandwich for lunch.
spend $1.50 for fuel in case I decide to motor back in if the wind dies down.

tack out of the harbor.

spend the morning gently rocking out towards the islands. get sidetracked, try to sail with the dolphins, tack up next to a beutifull sailing vessle and ask the helmsman about her, eventualy get out to the islands.

drop anchor,
eat lunch.

casualy come back, docking silently under sail as the sun sets.

both are legitimate, and both are alot of fun if you''re in the mood, and incredibly annoying if you arent.

right now I couldnt afford the maintenance on a motorboat, let alone the fuel costs, so I''m a sailor.

likewise, when I can afford it, I''ll probibly still be a sailor, as you are forced to be a bit closer to the sea that way, and it''s calming and realy cool to me.

but diffrent boats for diffrent boaters.

have fun whatever you''re in, and for chrissakes keep the wake down in the harbor if you get a smokepot.


-- James

Denr 11-01-2002 11:52 AM

Sail vs. Power
If you donít have a burning desire to sail you wonít be happy owning a sailboat. Compared to the amount of work (pleasure in the case of most of the participants of this bulletin board) to get somewhere, the stink boat will get you there faster and with less sweat. One cannot be in a hurry to be somewhere else when in a sailboat. When the going gets rough, I would much prefer to be aboard a sailboat rather than a stinker but then again youíre not going to be the first one in port or at the anchorage. Either boat in the size range you refer to is going to be a handful to operate with a small crew for quite some time until you get sufficient experience, read several years. The fuel cost of operating a stinker in your size range is a sizable chunk of change: think of it as gallons per minute for the powerboat versus hours per gallon for the sailboat. I would guess that maintenance and repair/replacement costs will probably be about the same for either boat.

There is nothing more satisfying to most of us than making a long passage using nothing but the wind, our navigational skills and our mental and physical abilities.

getawaygurl 11-01-2002 12:10 PM

Sail vs. Power
James - (LOL) thanks a lot for the candid thoughts! Very much appreciated.

henryvand 11-01-2002 12:17 PM

Sail vs. Power
Denr is absolutely correct - you must want to sail otherwise you are looking for transportation in which case you will probably be happier with a power boat. Typically sailors will be happy to spend the day on the water without actually going anywhere and most often returning to their home port. When the opportunity to cruise from location to location presents itself this is a plus but again is not an essential requirement for most sailors. I suggest you hitch a few rides with some sailors -you must enjoy the journey otherwise sail is not for you.

tsenator 11-01-2002 02:05 PM

Sail vs. Power
In a motorboat you are always in a hurry trying to get somewhere. But while sailing you are "already there". In a motorboat its about getting there as soon as you fast as "bone-jarringly" possible, in a sailboat the journey is as enjoyable as the destination

I have done both, (as a bet most on this have list), but there is something about arriving just by the wind in your sails that makes sailing just an incredibly special experience. Most can''t say that (in general) about motorboating....Try finding someone who is really into sailing/cruising and ask to tag along for the weekend with no time frame....just go and sail, anchor, explore. I bet you will have made your decision one way or another, by the weeks end.

tarmand 11-02-2002 02:02 AM

Sail vs. Power
Just to add to / reiterate some of the great comments on this thread:

I was raised on powerboats, but always had a burning desire to sail (we had a sunfish). When I told my parents I was buying a sailboat, you would''ve thought I told them I had adopted some other kind of alternative lifestyle!

Anyway, when I take members of my family sailing, they''re all still powerboaters, five minutes in they''re starting with the "are we there yet?" line of questioning. I have to explain to them that "sailing IS what we''re doing today". Eventually, they get it and enjoy the ride, but always end the journey with comments like "that was fun, but we could''ve gotten here a lot faster". Bottom line is that they don''t have the burning desire to sail, and if one does not have that desire, sailing doesn''t make a damn bit of sense.

I ended the season having used 3/4 of my twenty gallons of diesel fuel on my 36 foot sailboat. EACH of the twin 454s on my brother''s 39 SeaRay burns my season''s worth of fuel in an hour. Different strokes, I guess. But when we NEED to get somewhere, who''s boat do we take?

Lastly, have you considered a trawler? Some would say best of both worlds: fuel economy without the work. I would say worst of both worlds: slowness without the sailing. But then again, for better or worse, I have that yearning to sail...

Good luck in your decision.

RobGallagher 11-02-2002 06:18 AM

Sail vs. Power
I come from a family of powerboaters. I as a kid I used to look at sailboats and wonder.

You have to try it a few times to make a fair comparison. Find someone who is willing to take you out and show you the ropes. Once won''t be enough as you will want to experience many types of conditions and even better, a couple of different sailboats. If you can go out for a Weeknight race as crew as well as sail a full keeled cruiser you will see different worlds of sailing.

Two years ago I took sailing and navigation classes.

Last year I purchased a 30 foot sailboat (racer/cruiser type). I''m 37 years old and I don''t think I have ever had this much fun.

Good Luck,

slipacre 11-04-2002 07:29 AM

Sail vs. Power
As everyone has said it depends on who you are. If it is your nature to take walks in the park or woods without a particular destination and schedule - then I would guess you are inclined towards sailing. If you absolutely have to have a washer dryer and room for a pair of large dogs you need a power boat (and a large trust fund.)
To me being on the water is healing. Especially when the engine is shut off and the quiet sound of the hull slicing through the waves is all you hear.
The advice to try it is very good. You will soon know if it is for you - then come the next round of questions - what type of boat?
Good luck
In either case you are still a long ways for

getawaygurl 11-04-2002 09:30 AM

Sail vs. Power
You guys have been incredibly insightful. Thanks so much for the helpful info. As a 28-year old resident of NYC, am beginning to feel like I need an escape from the realities and troubles that we''re plagued with. The city-life is definitely becoming tired here on land, so are the people. Donald Trump is running out of places to build skyscapers which tells me our city is becoming way too crowded and popular!! Am excited to see where sailing takes me and how far away I can get!!!:-) I am visiting Belize in the next few weeks. I plan on doing some ''hands on'' sailing down there, hopefully. This forum has been officially ''bookmarked'' for me...GREAT site! I will keep you posted. I must warn also, in the next few months, I will have lots of questions so I would appreciate any feedback on my new venture! Even with the ''simple'' ones!! Again, THANKS MUCH for your time!!!

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