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post #1 of 21 Old 08-08-2012 Thread Starter
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New Member (in need of a few opinions :) )

First, sorry if this is the wrong section or annoying... but continuing on:

Hey there guys, pleasure to be a newbie on Sailnet and if you guys could be so awesome to give your opinions on a few things, I'd love that!

So I'm a youngin' now (highschooler) and am not in any state to "sell it all and cast off the lines" now, but that's definitely in my future! (Or well, that's what the dream is. Cruising for my life as a freelance writer)

I am in need of some opinions though, mostly on the boat type.

I know most people around here are either strictly Sail or strictly Power, but I can't seem to decide. I've been on both, but I haven't gone long distance on either. I can indeed drive a power yacht and as far as sailing goes, I am quite proficient (even winning an award for my performance in a regatta (Dinghy racing in a 420 dinghy).

I can't seem to decide between the two boat types for my future boat!

If I go sailboat, I'll be traditional and do what everyone else does for sailboats. Though, if I go powerboat; I'm ditching the big engine and going electric engine. YES, I know this is significantly slower than power, YES, I know it'll require lots of solar panels and wind generators, but low maintenance and virtually free movement is a BIG ++ for me!

Pros and cons (that I know of) for both:

Sailboats -
Pros:
- Theoretically more seaworthy (lower c-of-g, more ballast, etc. I don't know for sure, this is just MY theory, so please correct me if I'm wrong)
- Virtually free movement with sails
- Quiet operation
- A little less expensive
- Faster
- Virtually unlimited range due to virtually free movement

Cons:
- Not much room
- Requires more energy to sail than to "push the throttle"
- Significantly more maintenance due to having all the rigging and sails to maintain

Electrical Power Boat-
Pros:
- More room per foot of LOA than sailboat
- Virtually free movement and unlimited range
- Much lower maintenance cost
- Easier to drive

Cons:
- Not as seaworthy (in my theory)
- Slower
- A little more expensive

Keeping in mind that both boats will be under or around 40' and for one male (and maybe a feline/canine companion) and that ocean-crossing capability is preferred (but not mandatory. I don't mind island hopping at all), which boat would you choose to live on?

Last edited by Ogele; 08-08-2012 at 09:59 PM.
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post #2 of 21 Old 08-09-2012
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Re: New Member (in need of a few opinions :) )

That's like asking for opinions on which supermodel to date. You need to decide whether you want the blonde or the red-head. I also grew up on powerboats and raced 420s. I don't live aboard, but nothing is better for me than getting out on the water, hoisting the sails, turning off the engine and trimming the sails.
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post #3 of 21 Old 08-09-2012
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Re: New Member (in need of a few opinions :) )

Electric power is nice but all the power generation you will need won't come cheap.
A better alternative (if you go power), is a single diesel trawler style boat. One with a slow turning, low HP Perkins or Ford Lehman diesel. They go a long ways on a gallon of fuel.

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post #4 of 21 Old 08-09-2012
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Do the math on electric power. You will not be able to generate enough power to keep moving without regular recharge from shore power (and your range will be limited).

Electric can be a decent auxilliary power option for getting in/out of harbour.
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post #5 of 21 Old 08-09-2012
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Re: New Member (in need of a few opinions :) )

In my opinion, the most important factor is what do you really like to do? What do you prefer? Sailing and motor boating are two different worlds. You make no mention of the joy of sailing such as working with the elements (wind, current, weather ..) to go further and faster. Motor boating is definitively better if your aim is only to go for Point A to B.
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post #6 of 21 Old 08-09-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: New Member (in need of a few opinions :) )

Oh wow Four replies rapidly, thanks for all the support guys!

@jsa
Yes, I also love the feeling of being pulled by the wind and heeling over; and trapezing is a hell lot of fun too! (Even if it's useless on these keelboats )

@chuck

Yes, I have also considered going diesel or gasoline power, but the boat's going to have to be pretty amazing to make up for the fact it has very limited range, and, if I run out of fuel unexpectedly in the middle of a big sea... Well, that's bad Though trawlers interest me. What makes trawler's different from normal cruiser powerboats? I hear trawlers are usually more seaworthy, and that's a big deal to me. Why are trawler's more seaworthy?

@zed

Yes, I have done the math and found that the electric motor will consume more power than will be given. Though I will NOT have to recharge at dock (the beauty of wind generation and solar generation), I will not be able to 24/7 motoring. And that is OKAY! I don't mind having some downtime here and there seeing as I'm getting my movement power 100% free and with low maintenance. I am aware of the limitations of electric, and I don't mind them.

@Michel

I do indeed have a love for sailing! But realistically, seeing as this will be a liveaboard, I also have a love for more space per-ft of LOA, and I also love not being at the mercy of the wind. And realistically, seeing as most cruisers say they spend 90% of their time at anchor, the sailing wont be all that prominent... Plus I enjoy sailing small 420's far more than sailing large keelboats, so really, I could go either way as it even's out.
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post #7 of 21 Old 08-09-2012
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Re: New Member (in need of a few opinions :) )

Where did you hear that trawlers have limited range? They are built for long range but let's back up...what are your cruising dreams? What kind of range are you looking at? With proper planning, you will never run out of fuel.
Are you going up and down the coast or planning on crossing the Pacific?
What you are planning on doing with your boat will greatly alter the answers you need.
Seems you are concerned with the economy of travel. If so, and you are planning on putting lots of miles on that boat, you want diesel, not gas.

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post #8 of 21 Old 08-09-2012
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Re: New Member (in need of a few opinions :) )

Big question....what kind of budget are you planning on?

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post #9 of 21 Old 08-09-2012
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Re: New Member (in need of a few opinions :) )

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ogele View Post
Yes, I have done the math and found that the electric motor will consume more power than will be given. Though I will NOT have to recharge at dock (the beauty of wind generation and solar generation), I will not be able to 24/7 motoring. And that is OKAY! I don't mind having some downtime here and there seeing as I'm getting my movement power 100% free and with low maintenance. I am aware of the limitations of electric, and I don't mind them.
Typical goal of whatever solar/wind combination is to keep up with a limited amount of electronic toys in a day's output - not recharge a huge bank of motor batteries (which will be drained in just a few hours' motoring time). Unless you plan to stop for a week (during which you consume no electricity) after every part-day's travel ...

Nothing (yet) beats dead dinosaurs for energy density.
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post #10 of 21 Old 08-09-2012
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Re: New Member (in need of a few opinions :) )

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ogele View Post
First, sorry if this is the wrong section or annoying... but continuing on:

Hey there guys, pleasure to be a newbie on Sailnet and if you guys could be so awesome to give your opinions on a few things, I'd love that!

So I'm a youngin' now (highschooler) and am not in any state to "sell it all and cast off the lines" now, but that's definitely in my future! (Or well, that's what the dream is. Cruising for my life as a freelance writer)

I am in need of some opinions though, mostly on the boat type.

I know most people around here are either strictly Sail or strictly Power, but I can't seem to decide. I've been on both, but I haven't gone long distance on either. I can indeed drive a power yacht and as far as sailing goes, I am quite proficient (even winning an award for my performance in a regatta (Dinghy racing in a 420 dinghy).

I can't seem to decide between the two boat types for my future boat!

If I go sailboat, I'll be traditional and do what everyone else does for sailboats. Though, if I go powerboat; I'm ditching the big engine and going electric engine. YES, I know this is significantly slower than power, YES, I know it'll require lots of solar panels and wind generators, but low maintenance and virtually free movement is a BIG ++ for me!

Pros and cons (that I know of) for both:

Sailboats -
Pros:
- Theoretically more seaworthy (lower c-of-g, more ballast, etc. I don't know for sure, this is just MY theory, so please correct me if I'm wrong)
- Virtually free movement with sails
- Quiet operation
- A little less expensive
- Faster
- Virtually unlimited range due to virtually free movement

Cons:
- Not much room
- Requires more energy to sail than to "push the throttle"
- Significantly more maintenance due to having all the rigging and sails to maintain

Electrical Power Boat-
Pros:
- More room per foot of LOA than sailboat
- Virtually free movement and unlimited range
- Much lower maintenance cost
- Easier to drive

Cons:
- Not as seaworthy (in my theory)
- Slower
- A little more expensive

Keeping in mind that both boats will be under or around 40' and for one male (and maybe a feline/canine companion) and that ocean-crossing capability is preferred (but not mandatory. I don't mind island hopping at all), which boat would you choose to live on?
How about melding both worlds into an electric sailboat!
Then when your electric motor malfunctions, in the middle of the Atlantic, you can still sail by wind.

Being totally dependant upon a motor is a real "con" amongst the comparisons you built.

Good luck, and fair winds!
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