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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi, my name is Rick. I just bought my first boat of any kind. I'm retiring next December after almost 40 years on the job. My wife Prudi and I were looking for a Retirement adventure, and we settled on doing the Great loop in early 2017. Next step was a boat.
I don't want to spend a fortune on gas, so after researching I settled on a live aboard sailboat with an outboard motor. I honestly don't even know if I'm going to take the mast on the boat or leave it at home, seems like it would be more of a hinderance than help with the limited amount of sailing you can actually do on the loop. And the number of times the mast would need to be lowered. But as I said , I bought the boat for its fuel efficiency not it's sailing ability. We settled on a hunter 260 with a 15 hp Honda.
I do plan on learning to sail, and will then decide if the mast stays on , or, stays home ! We will do all the due diligence on the boat in 2016, Coast Guard classes, equipping the boat for the 8 to 12 month trip, and getting proficient at sailing and stepping the mast, again to see if I want to even take it.
I own a pick up, a Tundra, it's great. But I'm not a member of the truck culture. Don't have a favorite one. On the same vein, I own a Hunter 260, it's great, but I am not a member of the sailboat culture, don't have a favorite one. I say this because I see there are heated discussions on here about this boat or that boat being the bees knees . I've bought the boat, money has changed hands, it is what it is. I joined this forum to hopefully pick some brains in the future. So there it is. They asked for an intro, that's it. Thanks all.!
 

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Remember you're a womble
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Hope it all works out, and don't worry about the boat discussions, you have a boat which is better than a ton of people, heck even a Mac26 is better than nothing ;)
 

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Freedom isn't free
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Do some beefing up the rig on that 260... and sail some of it, you won't regret it.
 

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Sailboats with outboard engines aren't really known for speed or economy. I'd suggest using the SAILboat under sail when you can, or else getting a real powerboat.

Except for confined channels, canals and the like, you should be able to sail and you may even find you enjoy the sound of no engine running.
 

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One of None
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I could be a good discussion on which boat, sail or power, moves with more ease under power and non planing speeds. Welcome to the world of boats Rick!
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Speed is not the issue here. 6 - 8 will be max for the trip. Power boats that are live aboard are for the most part gas guzzlers. I simply can't afford a boat that uses 2, 3, or 4 or more gallons an hour. I've researched this trip quite a bit. And a powered sailboat going the speed I need will give me less than a gallon an hour. Even a trawler with a single diesel is 3 or 4 gallons an hour going at the speed needed. I've talked to folks who've done the loop on both types of boats. With and without sails, and for our budget a motor sailboat is by far the most efficient. As I said earlier. I will learn to sail, and see how easy it is to step the mast, which will need to be done 30+ times for the trip. ( mostly for locks, and a few bridges). So the fact that it's a sailboat doesn't matter to me. A power boat would have been preferable except for the fuel issue. 97 % of the trip is in sheltered waterways on narrow canals such as the ICW, rivers, and Erie Canal. I know that sailors are rabid about their boats and sailing, which is as it should be. I'm that way about my particular passions. Boat type just doesn't happen to be one, to me it's a tool.
 

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I find myself in a very similar situation. I was not aware of having to step over 30 times however. Is there a place on the web I can read about that? My understanding was that it needed to be taken down at Chicago for the 19' fixed, but that it could then be raised again immediately on the other side. This would really only allow you to sail on Barkley, and not again until the gulf. However there would not be a need for taking it down again until the canals, leaving it down until the Great Lakes.

Living here in South Bend, In., 5 miles to the the SE is Univ. of Notre Dame, 4 miles due North to the state of Mich., my trip is set to begin through the Chicago lock, or start just south of it if I buy a trailer able sailboat, Sept. 1, of 2016. I am currently shopping 26-30's, swing keels look good to me as the least amount of draft possible is a top priority. Well researching would be more exact. My trip will be slow and steady, as long as I hit the the Gulf by the time my schoolteacher wife and kids hit winter break will be the only goal. I may leave 4 weeks early, who knows.

due to a few factors, 2 fresh 8-10hp's on the back of a de-masted 28 or 30' would be ideal for my rather unique situation. . I, like you, have read accounts of .4 gph being a reality. Though I have read from many that that is silly, and that people who suggest what you and I propose are crazy and that we should just buy a trawler. My point is, if it is true, how silly is it to throw 2-3 gallons away to reach the same hull speed for 6000 miles? Again, I have no intention of ever going more than 6-8 knots, and wouldn't do 18-22 knots if they paid my fuel bill. Oh, and I wouldn't be throwing it away, I'd be throwing it into those wonderful lakes and waterways wouldn't I?
 

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One of None
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Geeze, just get the trawler, sailboats can go without sails and masts but what's the point if it's going to only be used to run aground and duck bridges!

People with the idea that leads them to think a sailboat is a barge, sled, or power boat will ALWAYS try to make them go faster! Just think how fun it would be to watch those same people that have no clue of the dynamics working against "pushing" to and beyond displacement hull speed.

I've always tried to be positive and upbeat about "ideas" no matter how daft but, all the "let's use a sailboat as a motor boat" discussions are getting old.

There is no need for keep asking over and over if it's feasible and practical. No one needs anyone's permission or OK. if you want to a sailboat "lead sled" to duck bridges and stir up mud and keep seatow in business by all means have fun!

http://www.trawlerforum.com/forums/s3/steading-sails-get-home-propulsion-3190.html
http://www.boatdesign.net/forums/sailboats/horsepower-sail-area-equivalence-28551-3.html
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hi Denise, the point is fuel efficiency. That's why a trawler is out. I don't want to spend all my money on fuel. This isn't
my idea. I've researched it, and the consensus is that a sailboat master or not is the most efficient live aboard boat to do the trip in.
 

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One of None
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Now that fuel costs are down, it's time to make the trip! In the end, the cost of fuel will not be the ONLY costs.
 

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RK-
Don't know if you plan to store the mast while you are traveling, or buy a boat without one, sell it off, etc. Bear in mind that once the mast is gone and not easily replaced? The resale value of your boat is near zero. That can't be corrected, because buying a mast & rigging is incredibly expensive and difficult if someone wants one "now" and wants the right size as well.

Of course if fuel efficiency really is a concern, you should think about LEARNING TO SAIL THE BOAT. Forget expensive outboards that will never perform correctly on a boat that was never meant to be powered by them, use the engine it was made for: The sails. Yeah, really, they can be used on rivers too and they work very reliably.

Not to be blunt, but you guys talking about de-masting sailboats and bolting on horsepower sound like the old joke about a [warning, old politically incorrect reference coming up] Pollock who buys a fancy new Ford wagon with all the accessories. Car arrives, he looks it over, gets out a tire iron and rips off all the woodgrain trim! Then he turns to the salesman and says "I don't know, I think it looked better in the packing crate."

Don't be too fast to rip off the things you have no understanding of. There are reasons they were built that way. Some of them really subtle, and not explained because like shoelaces, they're obviously (duh!) meant to be there.
 

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OK, you asked to pick our brains. My only suggestion is to try living on your boat for a couple of weeks to see how you like it. 26' is a little tight for me. I used to have a very roomy 30' Catalina with a 16 HP Yanmar diesel. I believe at cruising speed I burned about a 1/2 gallon per hour. If you ever had an inboard, you'd never go back to an outboard unless you went small enough that inboards weren't an option.
The only problem with my old boat was the 5' fin keel which would not be good on the loop. Now had it had the 4' shoal keel, it might have been doable.
 

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One reason the sailboat gets better fuel mileage is they go slower and are narrower. I think if you found a small trawler they will have close to twice the room inside. They tend to carry their width further forward and aft. So you can get away with a smaller boat. I also doubt there is a significant difference in fuel use if you compare similar powered diesels. Yes an express cruiser will get worse mileage but not a true trawler. Albin makes a nice smaller trawler that can be found reasonably.
 

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I will never be wealthy enough to dump 2-4 gph for 6000 miles for no reason. My personal reasons aren't financial as much as it is an issue of waste and environmental. I understand completely how some people could never imagine the ultra slow and steady route. But trust me when I say that gunk holing on Those gorgeous Kentucky lakes and others for months on end with no pressure to move on would be paradise. I also plan on spending this summer swapping out different engine configurations if need be. Testing on Lake Mich. Will tell me all I need to know. I will have the luxury of waiting out any bad weather for however long I need to. If my upcoming surgery doesn't allow for testing this summer I have spring and summer of 2016. If I'm not hitting less than half of reported trawler numbers, I'll change my plan. This is my plan, today. Nice thing about plans, by definition they are not carved in stone.

For those of you that don't "get" my slow approach, just wave when you pass by and please try to not bank me with your wake, I'm good with that. Alternatively, should we meet up as that great ball of fire sinks into East, dinghy on over for some fish and chips and good conversation. Chatting under the light of the moon with good friends will always be paramount to an early start and racing to the next pier.
 

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For those of you that don't "get" my slow approach, just wave when you pass by and please try to not bank me with your wake.
Uhh...this is a sailboat forum. And unless you have one of those hybrid sailboat/speedboat MacGregor 26's, we don't get up on plane and kick up a wake. Sailboats are the ultimate slow and steady approach to boating.
 

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Wow, lots of you need to read the WHOLE thread. Last I checked, a 9.9 hp is perfectly standard for a 28 to 30' sailboat. It is in no way re powering. The reason for the second is redundancy, safety and all that. I wasn't planning, nor did I state I would run together to gain more hp. I do understand hull speed to some degree. OP at no point asked if he should buy, it's bought and that was made very clear from the onset. i don't recall OP, and I know I never suggested selling mast for scrap. My intentions are to buy one boat. My family and I will use the sailboat for 3-4 day SAILING excursions around and on the Lake Mich area. I will then carefully store the mast and rigging in my garage or basement, nice and warm and dry for those of you so concerned about it, and be off on my Loop adventure. Upon returning, back to being used for 3-4 day SAILING adventures. That is of course if the poor boat is still alive after 6000 miles.

"Gas is cheap now, buy a trawler and go" Brilliant idea that is, and how much, do tell, will gas be in 18 months when OP and I plan on leaving? Oh, and regards to the gph that 25hp is wasting as compared to the bastardized and totally ruined for life poor $4k sailboat? admittedly I haven't seen all, but all the trawlers I have seen are around 25hp. And what if I did, my family is NOT going to have the fun on a trawler as they would a sailboat.

You guys are getting so upset about us NOT sailing the Loop. There simply are not very many places for that to happen. If I do buy a trailerable, and considering where I live, as soon as I get back to the Great Lakes, my wife is perfectly capable of trailering that mast to me as soon as I get back round to them, if I am capable by that time of single handing it. I simply can't do that now due to being disabled, part of that disability is that my left shoulder is junk, making my left arm useless. Have a surgery upcoming that may fix some of that, time will tell. But I digress. The point is to get from A to B, to see as much as possible, and to do so as financially and environmentally responsible as possible on the smallest boat that I can comfortably live in for a year. And yes, I know that is more than possible for myself.

BTW OP, I did find a mast reseller, seemed 4-800 per setup , rigging I believe was included as these were all used, in the panhandle area. If I left that mast at home, I thought of maybe buying a setup from them, giving me the ability to sail the gulf for as long as I like, then selling it back to them before hitting the ICW. I don't know, I think once I got used to being able to use all that additional real estate on top of the boat, it would be hard to give it up even for a short term.
 

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Yes Chuck53, I'm aware, someone earlier made a comment about how I would always want to go faster if I dropped the mast for some reason. I was referring to me sitting at anchor and all the world whizzing by me. At the same time making fun of the person who said it because they don't even make a wake themselves. Apparently, :), that didn't all shine through in the manner I intended. Reason why my income isn't derived from joke writing now identified... Check.
 

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Was just looking at a 25' Albin, 30k, with a 30hp engine. Admittedly, states that owner says at boat speed consumption is .75gph. Lots of room, lots of nice features, but personally I can't imagine driving that thing for 6000 miles, all from the inside. And why would I want to pay for all that engine?

So many benefits to using a sailboat for the Loop. An engine goes bad, a brand new one for less than 2k., any major boat damage, a more than suitable replacement can be found for less than 5k anywhere along the route every day of the week.

The goal is to finish. I can sail as much as I like when I get back. I may not be adequately conveying myself, but rest assured, there is no lack of understanding here.
 
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