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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum > Living Aboard
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Old 06-12-2011
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Sailing vs Motor Yachting?

I have taking an interest in sailing and have been reading and looking at pictures on this site of your sailing experiences. I kind of like the catamaran sail boats. What's the difference between the both when they are in the water, room aboard, etc.
What's the difference in maintenance from a sail boat and a motor yacht? What are normal sailing expenses when living aboard, does a sail boat rock more then a catamaran. I think instead of saving for a motor yacht and spending way to much in slip fees and what not that sailing can be a bit cheaper and still have the same great experiences of being on the water. What do you think, I think this makes better sence. I will need to learn to sail, any good schools in the Sarasota, Fl areas. Thanks for all your help...
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Old 06-12-2011
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With regard to the difference between a sailboat and a motorboat, it's really not a comparison that should or needs to be made. It's like comparing cats and dogs. If you think about it, what's the point?

Sailing's a sport. Bigger sailboats combine the sport with some comforts and the ability to go longer distances.

A motorboat is a boat ride (not a sport).

A sailboat will generally have less maintenance than a powerboat. My 31 foot has a 21 horse, 3 cylinder, diesel engine. A 31 foot powerboat will generally have a pair fr v8 engines at 300 horse each. Do the math.

I can sail north from Muskegon Michigan to the Mackinac bridge and use less than $100.00 in fuel. My cousin goes there and back in his 37 foot Searay and spends about $4,000.00 in fuel. That's easy math.

But, most sailors don't choose sailing because of the math. They choose it for the sport.

Incidently, I suppose, my opinion of powerboats is pretty low for the most part. I can appreciate a 30 foot powerboat with a 70 horse single diesel for getting out on the water. I cannot appreciate what the modern powerboat has become. Overpowered, overpriced, overfast. IMHO they're the boat that people buy when they haven't given it any real thought. Again, that's IMHO.
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Old 06-12-2011
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There are a few differences, mainly in sailing characteristics. A single hull boat will sail closer to the wind than a multi hull.
A multi hull will generally be faster off the wind. Multi hull boats tend to be less comfortable in a chop than a single hull boat. They like to bob and pogo more. The speed of a multi hull in the right conditions is just wonderful.
I would say that Maintenance is roughly equal... all are expensive.
Of course fuel consumpton of a motor yacht is MUCH more than sail boat fuel
fuel consumption.
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Old 06-12-2011
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omaho5
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Can you explain the differance between going in the wind and out of the wind, and what differant hulls have to do with the chop of the water
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Old 06-12-2011
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Also, need to consider the speed of advance factor. Since most sailboats are designed as displacement hulls rather than a ride top of water hull as in moterboats. The speed of advance is figured in part by a formula that takes in consideration the lenght of the sailboat, etc. for examplle on my 27 foot Hunter,the speed of advance in about 7 knots...get used to giving up a LOT of speed when switching to sail....
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most sailboats are designed as displacement hulls rather than a ride top of water hull as in moterboats.

Can you explain this to me. I don't understand the difference. And what the hull difference has to do with ridding the top of the water.
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dropanchor3, you'll find that sailnet's wealth of information runs deep. Not to offend, but you'll probably find it to be of more value when you're able to focus your questions more, which will likely come from some basic reading and research.
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Old 06-12-2011
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Your right, I am trying to understand some of the language, that's why I am asking questions...
I am looking for that wealth of information which is why I am here. I have taken a big interest in this and it is obvious I will be attending a sailing school. I have been going threw this forum and has helped. I seek advise and expertise from those who have/ or are living aboard. Thanks for the advise...

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Old 06-12-2011
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Displacement hull:

A hull that displaces water as it moves forward through the water. As the hull plows forward, it creates a wave. The boat rides in the trough of the wave, and sinks down into it. Eventually, the wave becomes the same length of the boat, and the two move together as one unit, and the boat cannot move any faster. The boat will not have the power to climb over out of the wave. This is called "maximum theoretical hull speed". The longer the hull, the faster you can go.

Planing hull:

A hull that climbs on top of, and planes upon the water. The effect is similar to skipping a stone across the water, or waterskis riding on top of the water, instead of plowing and displacing water.

Smaller powerboats are usually planing hulls. Large power yachts are usually displacement hulls. Older, monohull sailboats are usually displacement hulls. Many modern racing sailboats have planing hulls that allow them to get on top of the water when sailing downwind.

Multihull (catamaran/trimaran) sailboats are displacement hulls, but they don't have heavy, keel ballasts to keep them upright because they have two or more hulls to provide stability.

Keel: The purpose of a keel on a sailboat is to provide stability and prevent "leeway" or sideways movement while sailing. There are many types of keels:

Full, cutaway forefoot, fin, wing, swing, shoal, etc. Some boats use centerboards or daggerboards which are a keel that you can lift up when in shallow water.

Maintenance:

I don't know that I'd say that a sailboat is "less" maintenance, but it certainly is "different" maintenance. I'd rather work on deck, rigging, sails and electrical systems than diesel engines and their associated systems.

You need to decide where you want your maintenance and operation dollars to go: (Power yacht)Engine mechanical repairs, upkeep and fuel or (Sail yacht) deck, rigging, sails and a greatly less significant portion of engine upkeep for the auxiliary engine.

You also need to decide which is more important to you: The destination or the journey. If just getting from A to B is more important, then buy a motor yacht. If the experience of the journey is more important, then buy a sailboat.

I tend to agree with Siamese. Sailing is also a sport and a tradition, not just a mode of transport. It takes a little time and dedication to learn, but it's not rocket surgery. You can do it.

But if the only thing you want to learn is how to get somewhere fast, and the only physical exertion you want to make is the arm that operates the throttle lever, then buy a motor yacht.
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Last edited by BubbleheadMd; 06-12-2011 at 02:59 PM.
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Old 06-12-2011
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Very inspiring response, now this is starting to make some really good sence. I am researching sailing schools as we speak, I am hooked and want to learn everything I can. Thank you for that response, this may sound weird but I have been on this sight for the past 3 hours reading live aboard's life styles on there vessels. Also the adventure that you all have within sailing.
I think the adventure lies within and I am starting to grasp what the sailing experience is all about. Time to go to sailing school...
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