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post #1 of 5 Old 02-21-2001 Thread Starter
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Sail or Power or Motorsailer?

A comparison of cultures: what are the pros and cons of each type of boat (power or sail) for coastal and blue water cruising and live aboard? I am not a very experienced sailor and do not want to spend most of my time messing with the sails or rigging unless there is a big advantage to sails. Is there a comparison of operating and maintenance costs anywhere? Is a sailboat more ''seaworthy'' in rough weather? From what I have read most sailboats spend a lot of time motoring anyway. Do powerboats usually provide more living space aboard? Better comfort? Ease of handling? How much would diesel fuel cost per 1000 miles for a typical 40ft boat at a reasonable 5-10 knots? Is diesel fuel hard to obtain in some areas? Would I need gigantic fuel tanks that require a fortune to fill? I am reasonably handy an would attempt to fix most diesel engine problems. Would I be constanty covered in black grease from keeping the engine(s) running - like in African Queen?
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post #2 of 5 Old 02-22-2001
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Sail or Power or Motorsailer?

In my opinion, if you do not already have a passion for sailing you will be wasting your time getting a sailboat. In my experience, a powerboat will ride better under power in rough conditions then a sailboat under power, generally the sailboat will ride better under reduced sail in the same conditions. If you are planning on cruising great distances you will definately save a bundle on fuel and engine maintenance under sail rather than power. From what I''ve read I get the feeling you would not have the patience to sail point to point which can end up covering 3 times or more distance than taking the direct route under power. In short, generally you have to love to sail to own a sailboat, you only have to love to be on the water to own a powerboat.
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post #3 of 5 Old 02-22-2001
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Sail or Power or Motorsailer?

I wud have to agree with the Centaur. Given the investment of capital, maintenance, and time, sailing is typically a love or hate thing with little middle ground. Sailing, to me, is about the journey while powerboating is all about the destination. A sailboat, assuming that you are not constantly motoring, will be vastly cheaper, in terms of fuel cost and engine maintanence. (The Wind is free!) That being said it is going to take you alot longer to get from point A to point B. No matter which route you go, I would suggest choosing diesel engines; they are typically lower maintenance and much lower burn rate (in fuel $) than gas engines. As for stability, almost any sailboat will be more stable than a powerboat. If you are leaning the powerboat way, you may want to consider a displacement trawler. These boats, between their weight, their keel, and the ability to deploy a riding sail are alot more stable than a planing hull. This stability, however, comes at a cost, as, typically, top speed in a trawler is 8-12 knots. Good luck
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post #4 of 5 Old 02-26-2001
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Sail or Power or Motorsailer?

The other posters have made some very good points. It does not sound like you are interested in sailing, but I could be wrong. And true, sailing is a love.

Some things to consider, given what you are asking for: 40ft powerboat to cruise 1000 or more miles of bluewater, perhaps in rough weather. Generally, powerboats of that size get about 0.75nm/gal, unless you get a single diesel trawler. Single diesel trawler mpg will greatly vary from 2-6 depending on the powerplant, its age and the boat. I would use 2 and a price for diesel of $2/gal (it also varies greatly and can actually be more expensive than gas some places). I would count on every 1000miles costing you $1000.

Powerboats depreciate much faster than sailboats. Many bluewater sailboats go for what they sold for 10-20yrs ago. Powerplants in powerboats can go in 10yrs and the boat may need to be repowered. Re-powering with diesel is VERY expensive, 10''s of thousands.

Stability. A 40ft, cruising type single engine powerboat in a real blow is not someplace I personally would want to be. Many 40ft sailboats,by contrast, can be considered world cruisers and capable of handling just about any weather. A trawler going 10knts will take 100hrs to cross 1000 miles. Thats quite a bit of exposure to changing weather.

Also, depending on a single engine for all your movement in bluewater, to me, is not a good idea. If it goes, you are literally dead in the water and at the mercy of the elements and in need of rescue. Twin engine powerplants are twice the expense both up front, in maintenance, in repowering (count on $50k) and in fuel.

Most likely, if you went to a trawler web site, you might get a different opinion and true there are some VERY good world cruising trawlers (Krogan?, VERY expensive). The above is my personal bias, having cruised off shore in sailboats, crossed big oceans in only big Navy ships, and having run 32-34ft sport fishers.

Motorsailer...maybe a good compromise. I am just not very familiar with them. I do hope this helps.
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post #5 of 5 Old 02-27-2001
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Sail or Power or Motorsailer?

Motosailers are a poor choice; they neither motor nor sail that well.
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