Jump to content

40' Sailboat or East Coaster Powerboat WTB


Recommended Posts

Having a hell of a time deciding.  Grand Banks 39, J-120, Sabre 38. All have their perks.  The 120 could do a race but the powerboat is easy.  Where is the value?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have owned both power and sail for many decades. I have about the same distance covered on sailboats as sailboats: over 80k nautical miles each.

There are certainly reasons that powerboats are "better."

There are certainly reasons that sailboats are "better."

My powerboats burned a LOT of fuel, as all normal powerboats do: and mine were intentionally more fuel efficient that most. A typical weekend is $1K in fuel. Powerplant maintenance is a similar number per hour of operation, but it comes in $10K to $30k chunks instead of $1K chunks, but they certainly come along. In other words: every three weeks, I can afford to buy another carbon sail for the same budget as fuel and powerboat powerplant maintenance. My powerboats were always maintained with an open checkbook with the very best, most famous, mechanics available. These are real numbers over many boats and many decades.

Other huge problems include that powerboats are BORING. While cruising on a powerboat, one gains almost no fitness. The noise and vibration prevents that zen like peacefulness we all enjoy when sailing: Never happens on a powerboat. The reason people want to go fast is because the experience itself is unpleasant.

If one chooses a round hull for efficiency, sure one does get about double the fuel efficiency. But then you MUST get active stabilizers and/or gyro: yet another serious maintenance item. There are many without, and the fun is just not there.

The thing that is much better about a sailboat is that they hardly burn fuel. I took the next step, and removed the fuel during all together: I have not needed to look for a fuel dock since pulling the diesel and switching to electric. Very nice! Much less hassle, more peaceful, and fundamentally more reliable. But I get that lots of people do want to have the option of just pushing throttles and being very, very bored all day.

I would suggest a motorsailer, and not a powerboat. Something like a Cal 46: power at 6-7 knots on a gallon per hour, low hp so low NVH, big engine room for easy access, and still a sail plan for stability and range.

  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Amati said:

What sailboat with a motor isn’t a motor sailer?

64F49E59-4996-45F4-BB52-482A436C691D.jpeg

Well, that is kinda true. Just powering around instead of setting sails is how many people in fact use their sailboats. In charters in the Caribbean, it seems boats are far more often powered than sailed. Between LA and Catalina, one of the most guaranteed pleasant day sails in the country, most sailboats power to and from the island.

The thing motorsailers bring to the party that is similar to what powerboats bring to the party is visibility from below. Big windows. Big volume living spaces. Big volume engine rooms. Big load carrying capacity.

The thing motorsailers bring to the party that is similar to sailboats: dramatically lower NVH (noise vibration harshness) because dramatically lower power requirements: burning 40 HP, 2 gph, instead of 800 HP, 40 gallons per hour. Also, the spar slows rolling dramatically, and hoist sails basically stops rolling, reduces pitching, while increasing speed.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Didn’t Bill Garden do version of Tlingit with a largish steadying sail?

a pint per hour, bury the engine beneath the cockpit floor....

I know, length bad....

 

 

808BF916-9CEF-4AAE-BC52-8364463E3EF7.jpeg

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/16/2020 at 9:24 AM, Hitchhiker said:

Power.  As Bud Tretter once said to me.  “Pulling a string to make a boat go faster is just silly.”

I’m currently looking for a power boat.

Miss Bud.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The point CarCrash made regarding operating expenses is a good one. I'm sending this from the deck of our 40' Osmond Beal downeast longliner. With a 900 HP Cat she uses 20 GPH at 16 kt. cruise. If you get untaxed non-road diesel you might pay $2 per gallon, so we basically pay $2.40 per mile to cruise around.

 

A really efficient 40' trawler might do 2 MPG. The trade-off is that you're in displacement mode and going only as fast as a sailboat would. I personally hate how badly the trawlers I've seen and been on have rolled and pitched in any kind of sea; the lack of a ballasted keel makes a big difference. Of course I've never been on a boat with active stabilization or the like so I can't say how that would work.

 

If you're only going for 40-50 mile trips at most a powerboat would certainly be more convenient and you won't be breaking the bank. But if you decide to go for a long cruise at any point in your boat owning career? Better whip out that wallet...

 

Of course, all of this is predicated on the silly ideas of logic and finance. If you just so happen to love the act and feeling of sailing, then the only solution is to get a sailboat I'm afraid :)

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/18/2020 at 1:39 PM, Commercial Boater said:

A really efficient 40' trawler might do 2 MPG. The trade-off is that you're in displacement mode and going only as fast as a sailboat would. I personally hate how badly the trawlers I've seen and been on have rolled and pitched in any kind of sea; the lack of a ballasted keel makes a big difference. Of course I've never been on a boat with active stabilization or the like so I can't say how that would work.

If you're only going for 40-50 mile trips at most a powerboat would certainly be more convenient and you won't be breaking the bank. But if you decide to go for a long cruise at any point in your boat owning career? Better whip out that wallet...

That is correct: the efficient trawlers still burn a lot of fuel, often about 1.5 to 2 miles per gallon.

In my 32' planing twin engine sport fishing boat, I would burn 250+ gallons in a typical weekend, because I would not go straight, but would pursue whales, vistas, bars, and go around several islands (Anacapa, Santa Cruz, and often Santa Rosa and sometimes San Miguel) on a weekend or even day trip, instead of just doing the minimum trip. At higher speeds, there is the ability to cover more ground, so I would. 200 miles per weekend was a low number. Not a problem, in fact quite fun, when big paychecks are being automatically deposited all the time.

But in retirement, you have plenty of time, but you darn well better be much more careful with those freedom chips.

Active stabilizers are like magic!

On one wild crossing of the Gulf Stream from Jupiter to Bimini, wind 25-30 knots from the north, we had breaking seas higher than the pilothouse on the Fleming 65. We set the autopilot, and laid down on the flybridge/boat deck, looking up at the stars, watching the satellites go overhead. The mast above us remained fixed (laterally) against the star field: zero roll! Some pitching, but not much as it was essentially a beam sea. We were at max range cruise, which was 9 knots.

However, the fins started to overheat, and the starboard fin started ripping away from the structure(!). So I turned off the starboard fin, and we continued with no change in lateral stability. With only one fin working, the heat exchangers could keep up. Some backing plates of increased size were easily fabricated in Harbor Island, so there was no impact on our months long cruise through the Caribbean islands.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/23/2020 at 9:58 AM, Bristol-Cruiser said:

How about a Northeast 400? Motor sailor but with lots of sail area. Add an asymm and away you go.

image.png.a03a383e7a02ed2ea50b010cb2904ee7.png

Asyms are of very little use on a heavy displacement boat.  For most wind strengths, if you are trying to make downwind VMG, the best VMG in a heavy boat is just about dead downwind.  If it's lighter air, a poled out symmetrical kite is the way to go- but if you are on a heavy motorsailor cruising, you'd fire up the engines anyway.  If you are reaching in enough breeze to sail, then an overlapping genoa is just as good as an asym, and easier to deal with.  I just did a fairly in-depth polar analysis on my boat, a heavy 40 footer that weighs 25,000 pounds.  A symmetrical spinnaker is good for downwind, but if the true wind is above about 14 knots, then a poled out genoa is just about as fast.  Over 18 true, the poled out genoa is as fast, and easier to handle.

An asym on a heavy boat has a narrow sliver on the sail selection chart, and it's in a reaching condition in light stuff.  If you wanna limp along in a motorsailer on a beam reach in 7 kts true at 2.8 to 3 knots, then have at it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

We used a fairly full cut asymm on our Bristol 45.5 which cruised around 40,000 pounds. This was for long ocean passages (longest was 25 days) where motoring was not much of an option. We found it quite useful and did better than with the Genoa poled out. When we crossed the ITCZ on the way from Ascension to Grenada we had an odd arrangement going for a few days (the zone was much larger than normal). During the day we used the asymm on one tack, at night we used a poled out penny on the other tack since we did not want to have the asymm up if a squall hit - and they were quite common. Worked surprisingly well in the light, variable conditions we had.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Bristol-Cruiser said:

We used a fairly full cut asymm on our Bristol 45.5 which cruised around 40,000 pounds. This was for long ocean passages (longest was 25 days) where motoring was not much of an option. We found it quite useful and did better than with the Genoa poled out. When we crossed the ITCZ on the way from Ascension to Grenada we had an odd arrangement going for a few days (the zone was much larger than normal). During the day we used the asymm on one tack, at night we used a poled out penny on the other tack since we did not want to have the asymm up if a squall hit - and they were quite common. Worked surprisingly well in the light, variable conditions we had.

ya if you're doing long passages, then having the extra area on a reach from an asym can pay off.  You might be reaching in lighter stuff with the apparent wind angle in the 60 to 120 range for a good chunk of time.  The Bristol 45.5 is also an easily driven hull form for it's weight, with the Hood (Empacher) low wetted surface shape, sort of sneaky quick for a cruiser (great boat, I'd love to have one if I could afford it).   But for a motorsailer type, the asym likely ain't gonna do much.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, bgytr said:

ya if you're doing long passages, then having the extra area on a reach from an asym can pay off.  You might be reaching in lighter stuff with the apparent wind angle in the 60 to 120 range for a good chunk of time.  The Bristol 45.5 is also an easily driven hull form for it's weight, with the Hood (Empacher) low wetted surface shape, sort of sneaky quick for a cruiser (great boat, I'd love to have one if I could afford it).   But for a motorsailer type, the asym likely ain't gonna do much.

Well, unless you square the assym back. The Assym will have a better shape than a Sym, and more power squared back.

Link to post
Share on other sites

When we bought the Bristol it came with a sym that was 2300 sq feet (back in the day the boat had done at least on Bermuda Race). There was no way my wife and I were going to fly that sail by ourselves so we sold it and had a Hood asymm made. They had two sizes, we got the smaller one which was still 1400 sq ft. We had them make it extra full so we could use it deeper than 120°. We were pretty conservative in deciding when to use it (something about there are no old, bold cruisers). Only time it got sporty was going along the south coast of Puerto Rico when the true wind got up to around 20 and the snuffer line untied itself from the rail and way blowing beyond reach to leeward. We almost missed our scheduled stop in Ponce and a chance to stock up at a Sam's Club.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Don't know much about Sabre's and Tartans but they seem like good comp in the 40' sailboat arena.  Also looking at sabre 36 powerboat.  Grand Banks east coast style looks nice too.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...