Blue water and coastal navigation

Discussion in 'Powerboats' started by franco, Oct 6, 2020.

  1. franco
    Joined: Oct 2020
    Posts: 4
    Likes: 0, Points: 1
    Location: western australia

    franco New Member

    Just need thoughts from others about a crazy idea.
    I am semi retired electronic engineer in Australia and seriously thinking to buy a decent size boat for coastal and blue water sailing with the ultimate goal (one day) to be under way to Fiji and maybe venture further after building up enough -under the belt- experience.
    I am not talking about buying a vessel and immediately thinking to go ocean crossing neither I am "dreaming" without considering every aspect of such a task.
    Idea is to buy a boat similar to this one:
    Harriscraft 48 Launch: Power Boats | Boats Online for Sale | Fibreglass/grp | Western Australia (WA) - Perth Region WA https://www.boatsonline.com.au/boats-for-sale/used/power-boats/harriscraft-48-launch/220935

    Get to know the boat with several hours navigating it (about 2 years) and running through the process of adding a water maker, hydro generators (mounted on hull) equip the boat with proper navigation control and most probably rip the engines out and fit new engines, gear box and propellers.
    I am quite good with engine management and in electrical and wife is not afraid to get dirty if need be. My idea is to make the boat as safe and reliable as possible and equip it for long passages being self sufficient for extended period of time even if we are not planning to do a passage longer than 3 days at this stage.

    I know there are few post in here about people asking similar questions but I believe some just don't think enough about the requirements.
    I understand that the boat price is just the beginning and around 10% of the cost is spent every year just for maintenance and running cost can get quite high if boat is not designed properly.

    I was recently involved in a job where a local yard is selling a boat exactly like the link for 95K (I probably can deal a lower price) and hence I decided to ask here if it could be worth doing what I am planning.

    I have 4 years before I can permanently retire and that would give me enough time to learn how the boat behave in different conditions spending the last 2 years in upgrading it.

    Would this kind of boat be ok or we should move to something different?
     
  2. bajansailor
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: Barbados

    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    Welcome to the Forum Franco.

    The Harriscraft in your link should be fine for coastal cruising - however I doubt that she would have the range to undertake a long sea passage to (eg) Fiji.
    They do not mention what her fuel capacity is in the advertisement that you linked to, but in the link below they mention that her capacity is 1,500 litres - which is approx 400 gallons, and even if you are cruising slowly I doubt that you will do better than 2 miles per gallon, so maybe 800 miles range with no reserve.

    Harriscraft 48 LAUNCH For Sale | | Ben Lexcen Marine Brokers https://www.benlexcen.com.au/boats-for-sale.php?dealer=benlx&cate=Power&de=157480&ToDo=show_details

    Probably the most important thing to consider is how much is available in the budget for buying the boat?

    If your heart is set on 'long range' then you might be better off looking for a 'trawler' type of motor yacht, rather than one that is apparently capable of doing 15 knots.
     
    fallguy likes this.
  3. fallguy
    Joined: Dec 2016
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    Location: usa

    fallguy Senior Member

    I would encourage you to also consider a motorsailer. You don't have to be a gifted sailor to advantage the wind in long passages.
     
    Will Gilmore and bajansailor like this.
  4. brendan gardam
    Joined: Feb 2020
    Posts: 318
    Likes: 33, Points: 28
    Location: east gippsland australia

    brendan gardam Senior Member

    Harriscraft are a nice boat. They built a lot of cray boats and had a good reputation. If you drove that boat at 8 or 9 knts the volvo motors would be economical, around 10lph per engine. The ad says there are 2 spare fuel tanks that are not plumbed up so the fuel capacity can be increased. perth to fiji around the bottom there are lots of ports to top up fuel as well. the only thing I don't like with a powerboat is getting caught in big seas on the beam; it makes life uncomfortable especially if it lasts couple of days. That's the good thing about sailboats. Have you thought about a cat, they have the best of both worlds. Especially stability.
     
  5. franco
    Joined: Oct 2020
    Posts: 4
    Likes: 0, Points: 1
    Location: western australia

    franco New Member

    Thank you guys for your input!

    Bajansailor, a trawler is out of the equation due to cost unfortunately and you are right, -as is- this vessel does not have the range due to fuel capacity.
    Our budget right now cover 2/3 of the cost to buy it. We are both working full time and can easy manage the cost and (waste) a bit extra in fuel to get to know how she behave in the water. We not attracted by the speed (which is relative anyway) but we want to make sure that by the time we can embark into cruising full time, the boat is converted to our needs, including longer range fuel tanks

    Fallguy, I don't know much about motorsailers. Now I think you put me in trouble with the missus :( as she did sailing in her younger days and loved it while I am more of "engineer on board" and like my engines. Wife keeps bringing up the sailing but to be honest I feel more comfortable with my daily checks and maintenance. I will do some research on motorsailers too.

    Brendan, we may be moving to QLD in a year or so with the intention to reduce our working hours and spend more time... on the water! Yes on the west coast we have several Harriscraft ex cray boats for sale and my idea is to drive at the sweet spot of the engines for maximum efficiency. I am not familiar with Volvo engines but got a fair bit of experience with Fiat/Iveco engines but I believe it's a matter of finding the sweet spot, Volvo certainly have good reputation.
    Same as above, I need to do more research about cats as long as we can stay within our budget. You are right about hopping port to port and refuel. For sure our journey will be enjoyed with lots of fishing snorkeling and diving with lots of night navigation and day rests at anchor. Contrary to many, I find night navigation great, it's only you the ocean and the stars above. My only concern is the passage Rockhampton to Noumea and Noumea to Fiji but we will not do it until we are both skilled enough.

    To me, our trip/cruise started the day we decided to start in this adventure. The research, studying, reading and the idea to get a boat and slowly convert it to what we want is part of the trip. Hard to explain.
    I guess my eyes are on the Harriscraft but I am not skilled enough to judge if the boat itself is able to handle rough sea when you are crossing. Or it is all in the experience of the skipper?

    Franco
     
  6. fallguy
    Joined: Dec 2016
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    Location: usa

    fallguy Senior Member

    Sunden 37 Swedish Hand Crafted Motorsailer: Sailing Boats | Boats Online for Sale | Fibreglass/grp | Queensland (Qld) - Mackay/Whitsundays Region Airlie Beach QLD https://www.boatsonline.com.au/boats-for-sale/used/sailing-boats/sunden-37-swedish-hand-crafted-motorsailer/229949

    Someone sailed this boat successfully for many years. It doesn't have the sexy big diesels, but neither the cost. You need to understand the cost to fill 1000 gallon fuel tanks is not low. Checks for $4000 to fill the boat are not budget friendly. That $4000 might equal the cost of an annual slip, also a consideration...

    I am building an economy cruising cat, but the beam is jist under 17' and so I am running into slip issues as so many are smaller. Our mpg is about 3-5 and fuel is 128, so our range is about 500 miles; not an ocean crosser.

    I think motor sailing will be the best for you if you want to cross oceans. There is still a ton of engineering aboard a motorsailer.

    You need to focus on vessel range and costs per mile more.

    All the best.
     
    bajansailor likes this.

  7. bajansailor
    Joined: Oct 2007
    Posts: 1,244
    Likes: 340, Points: 83, Legacy Rep: 37
    Location: Barbados

    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    +1 re Fallguy's excellent suggestion above.
    And the vessel in the link provided would be more like a 100/100 motorsailer, rather than a 50/50 motorsailer - she has a decent amount of sail area, and you should be able to sail for a lot of the time without the assistance of the engine.
     
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