Budget long range cruiser fit for Pacific crossing - Ideas ?

Discussion in 'Powerboats' started by KeithO, Jul 5, 2019.

  1. Chuck Losness
    Joined: Apr 2008
    Posts: 311
    Likes: 37, Points: 28, Legacy Rep: 135
    Location: Central CA

    Chuck Losness Senior Member

    I have read through the entire thread and one thing that seems to be missing is a statement of your requirements (SOR) Doing an SOR will focus your priorities and help with making decisions/compromises for your boat. All boats are compromises. Building even a simple boat is a huge undertaking. If you are working full time on the boat you will spend around 2000 hours per year. There are 2080 working hours in a year assuming a 40 hour work week. Starting with an existing hull will dramatically cut down the number of hours for your project.

    To be fuel efficient you will need to travel at a speed length ratio (SL) of around .8 to .9. It is my understanding that this is the SL that ocean going freighters are designed to. The square root of the LWL equals a SL of 1. At a SL of .85 you need 1 hp per 1000 lbs of displacement. At what is often referred to as hull speed a SL of 1.34 requires 1 hp per 500 lbs of displacement. It takes approximately .055 gallons of diesel per hour to generate 1 hp. Playing with these numbers you can settle in on how big of a boat, engine size and fuel capacity to meet your SOR.

    A custom designed boat to meet your SOR is the optimum. But it doesn't sound like you have the budget for that. The most efficient hulls at the SL's to achieve fuel efficiency are sailboats. There will be howls and shrieks of protest about converting a sailboat to powerboat. Based on your budget this is probably your only option. I would look at older ULDB's as a starting point. They are typically fairly narrow for their length and not bad on fuel efficiency. A few years back I helped deliver a santa cruz 50 from Cabo to Dana Point. We averaged 2 gph running at 8 knots or so. The year prior to that I helped deliver a heavy displacement columbia 52 from Cabo to Long Beach. At the same speed we burned over 3 gph.

    No matter what existing hull you choose for your project you will be starting with a completed interior. Another huge time saver. If starting with a sailboat you will need some expert advice on doing the conversion. Again lots of options coupled with compromises on how best to achieve your SOR.

    Best of luck with your project.
     
    Niclas Vestman and KeithO like this.
  2. KeithO
    Joined: Jul 2019
    Posts: 112
    Likes: 11, Points: 18
    Location: Michigan

    KeithO Senior Member

    Chuck, I will certainly keep my options open since I have some time before I start the project except for the design work, which I can start now. So far I have not found any obvious contenders for conversion from a sailboat to motorboat. When I do start the build it will be a full time project and Im sure that I will be spending more than 40 hours a week on it... One of the biggest factors with a project like this is to be organized and have a suitable work space. If one has control over the design, one can send nested hull plating files to your supplier and get the hull plating and bulkheads pre-cut without incurring a huge margin on the price. My local supplier has steel in up to 30' length and up to 8' width available in 1 piece.

    The hull speed question is a bit controversial. If a vessel is built light and slender, it is well known that they can run efficiently well above their theoretical hull speed and of course the longer the vessel, the higher the number. Idlewild has already demonstrated a fuel economy of 5nm/gal with a 55hp engine in a 55 foot boat of 30k displacement. At 7kts one can reliably accomplish 168nm/day and at 8.5kts 204nm/day. Sailboats may accomplish or better that in ideal conditions, but the real average is a lot lower and crew workload is much higher. In bad weather, a lot of cruising sailboats will take down all the sail area and just wait it out. The racing crowd just go flat out until they break something and if they break something important enough, they usually go down without any survivors. Not my cup of tea...

     
  3. Chuck Losness
    Joined: Apr 2008
    Posts: 311
    Likes: 37, Points: 28, Legacy Rep: 135
    Location: Central CA

    Chuck Losness Senior Member

    Keith
    I am not suggesting that you sail instead of powering. What I was suggesting is that you look for an older ultra light displacement sailboat (ULDB) as a starting point. Take the santa cruz 50 as an example since I mentioned it above. 50' LOA 46' LWL 12' beam 16,000 lbs displacement with 8,000 lbs of ballast. The hull is very slippery. Remove the rig although you may want to just shorten it so you can raise a steadying sail in certain conditions. And replace the deep fin keel with a shallow keel at half the weight or less. A NA will have to weigh in on this to get it right.
    Here are some examples of ULDB's after a quick search on yachtworld..
    1990 Santa Cruz 70 Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com https://www.yachtworld.com/boats/1990/santa-cruz-70-2850116/
    1990 MacGregor 65 Pilothouse Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com https://www.yachtworld.com/boats/1990/macgregor-65-pilothouse-3085024/
    1990 MacGregor 65 Pilothouse Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com https://www.yachtworld.com/boats/1990/macgregor-65-pilothouse-3248894/
    1997 Sundeer 60 Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com https://www.yachtworld.com/boats/1997/sundeer-60-2796663/
    1990 Schock 55 Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com https://www.yachtworld.com/boats/1990/schock-55-3498261/
    1983 Hunter 54 Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com https://www.yachtworld.com/boats/1983/hunter-54-3240035/
    1981 Hunter 54 Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com https://www.yachtworld.com/boats/1981/hunter-54-3235409/

    You mentioned steel as a possible construction material. Steel is way too heavy to achieve what you say you are looking for.

    It is true that long narrow light boats can exceed what is referred to as hull speed. But it will take bigger engines burning more fuel to do that. Say you want to achieve a SL of 1.6. You will need 1 hp per 300 lbs of displacement. Like I said above you need to come up with a SOR and work from there on the compromises to meet your SOR.
     
  4. Rumars
    Joined: Mar 2013
    Posts: 297
    Likes: 75, Points: 28, Legacy Rep: 39
    Location: Germany

    Rumars Senior Member

    Keith, maybe I was not clear enough in my previous post. The two big advantages of motorboats are space and speed. Any motorboat will have more space than a similar sized sailboat. This is true even if you go long and lean on the motorboat. That's because a motorboat can have a pilothouse and cockpit arrangement that is not constrained by sailing aspects.
    Most big cruising motorboats are designed for 10kn cruising speed. It's difficult to get the same average of 10kn under sail alone without big expense so the motorboat has the advantage. But if you are willing to compromise on the speed then this advantage goes away. Most big sailboats are going to average 6kn in the trades without drama. And when the speed drops you can always motorsail, wich is more efficient then pure motoring. Big sailboats can take a lot of fuel, and that fuel will last a lot longer.
    IMHO building a long, lean, low powered motorboat with a small interior and a cruising speed under 8-10kn is not efficient. The boat will roll badly (every long lean monohull does) so you either get active stabilizers or steadying sails. In bad weather the boat will be underpowered and all you can do is maintain steering.
    What about price? Sailing gear is expensive but lasts a while. Fuel is not as cheap everywhere as in the USA. For long trips there is no practical difference between sail and power.
    If you are contemplating a 40' sailboat interior into a 60-70' motorboat then just get a 50'-60' older sailboat with adequate tankage and new motor. With a watermaker you can convert some of the water tankage to diesel.

    As to the price of odd boats, as if just to illustrate my previous post this video came up yesterday about a 68' Buehler custom sailboat. It's educational.

     
    Angélique likes this.
  5. KeithO
    Joined: Jul 2019
    Posts: 112
    Likes: 11, Points: 18
    Location: Michigan

    KeithO Senior Member

    Angélique likes this.
  6. Angélique
    Joined: Feb 2009
    Posts: 3,005
    Likes: 317, Points: 83, Legacy Rep: 1632
    Location: Belgium ⇄ The Netherlands

    Angélique aka Angel (only by name)

    Bill states he didn't built Vamoose all by himself in the 15 years it took . . .

    ‘‘ . . . . I estimate it took in excess of 50,000 hours to complete this boat. That's equivalent to 25 years of full-time labor. Many of those hours were spent in our basement cutting out the pieces and later assembling. Progress slowed some as business pretty much got in the way. Then many other talented folks helped me complete this project. I will forever remain extremely grateful for their work . Work of this kind is truly a labor of love. Personally I loved every minute of it and will be forever thankful to the workers who made it possible. . . . . This boat is 58 ft long, 14 ft wide, draw 6'6" and weighs 22 ton*. . . . . ’’ * empty I think

    The builder F. William “Bill” Rundquist's obituary

    She looks like George's Seal 54' 8" LOD pilothouse cutter, or at 1' 4" less beam maybe derived therefrom...

    Seal: LOD 54'8" - LWL 47' - Beam 15'4" - Draft 6'5" - Sail Area Ketch 1,513 sq. ft. Cutter 1,471 sq. ft. - Displ. 62,000 lbs.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    ‘‘ . . . . The wood construction version is a combination of traditional methods and modern ideas. Her keel is laminated up, as are the deck beams and half the framing. The main station frames are double sawed. Her skin is a composite of an inner layer of 1 ½" × 2 ½", covered with two diagonal layers of ¼". Her deck is laminated up out of 4 layers of ½" plywood, and the whole hull and deck is covered with cloth and epoxy resin. This type of construction is becoming increasingly popular because it allows the natural advantages of wood; its ease of construction, natural insulation qualities, good looks, and longevity, with lower maintenance than steel boats because of the coatings. Although certainly not original with me, I prefer not to rely completely on epoxies, as the pure cold molded boats do, and instead use a mechanically fastened framework, which the cold molded skin is hung on. When extreme light weight isn't an issue, I think the system described is better. It's simpler to build, less expensive, easier to repair, and possibly longer lived. A single chine steel version was also worked up. . . . . ’’

    P.S. - at about 14' beam and 22 tons maybe the full cabin length pilothouse Vamoose is based on a stretched Otter design, of which Seal is the follow up length and beam, or it could be the 58' of Vamoose is about LOA, which would make her similar sized to the Otter, with a hull built like the Seal ?

    Otter: LOD 50' - LWL 41' - Beam 13' 11" - Draft (loaded) 6' - Displ. at DWL 44,600 lbs

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2019
  7. Rumars
    Joined: Mar 2013
    Posts: 297
    Likes: 75, Points: 28, Legacy Rep: 39
    Location: Germany

    Rumars Senior Member

    So here is a big, well founded sailboat in wich one can go coastal right now and wich would only need another 5-20 thousand for a circumnavigation sitting on the market at 119 000$ asking. If she changes hands for 100 000 it will be a happy day. Why is that so? Maybe because she is homebuildt and Buehler designed with an interior that turns half of those willing to touch her away? The remaining potential buyers all read Buehler and are convinced they can build her in the backyard for a song.
    If she was for free it would be hard for the average Joe to make a profit by scrapping her.
    This my friends is the real world truth about such a boat. It costs a good amount of money to keep her and is worth less then her upkeep.
     
  8. goodwilltoall
    Joined: Jul 2010
    Posts: 814
    Likes: 20, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 31
    Location: nation of Ohio

    goodwilltoall Senior Member

    Rumars,

    Not to be a stickler but, long and narrow requires low overall height, you just cant add bunch of top structure and exspect it not to roll. I wish Tad would gave developed further the 60'x 10' concept but just from first impressions the long pilot house seems problematic. Also bolger's AS narrow sailboats had flat bottoms which offset the inherent tendancy of rolling, this an overlooked aspect that deserves more attention
     
  9. Angélique
    Joined: Feb 2009
    Posts: 3,005
    Likes: 317, Points: 83, Legacy Rep: 1632
    Location: Belgium ⇄ The Netherlands

    Angélique aka Angel (only by name)

    About the rumor Vamoose being 68' as shown in the vid specs, maybe the broker or someone made that up from the top of their head, at ± 0:13 in the video she says the boat is about 58' like the builder says, then at ± 0:52 the vid shows specs of LOA 68'. When the video guy at ± 2:46 talks about a ca. 8' bowsprit and goes lying on top of it to measure and it's way longer than himself, then the side guy says at ± 3:02 it's about 6', of which comment the clearly taller than 4' video guy rightly seems to be a bit disturbed...

    George Buehler Otter Vamoose Broker.jpg
    (P.P.S. thought it was the broker shown on the jetty, but at the end of the video it tells its the current owner, who I've mistakenly took for the same but a bit older)
    closed vs. a open attitude the added pic works much better for sales or anything
    posture does a lot.png
    George Buehler Otter Vamoose.jpg

    The broker has the boat listed at the same sizes of Buehler's Otter, but a ½' more draft, if that's right and it's where the mentioned 70,000 lbs displacement comes from, then like a lot of self adapted boats she turned out way too heavy...

    The broker also tells where a part of the built money went, which price is OK as Bill loved to built her like that, and obvious had the money to do so...

    ‘‘ . . . This boat represents his ultimate creation having invested over a million dollars in its creation and 40,000+ hours of labor by a hand picked gang of extremely talented marine carpenters and engineers . . . ’’

    Now to find someone who can afford to sail and maintain her when bought for less than $100k US . . :)

    P.S. - All way too heavy, like George calls for only 30 Hp for this boat, and her structure seems to be fully based or more on the much larger Seal...

    ‘‘ . . . New Yanmar 100 hp in 2013 With only 300 hours.

    This boat has everything!!

    The list is endless.
    (and as a result heavy and expensive)

    Due to the death of the owner boat must be sold.

    Any and all offers will be considered . . . ’’
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2019
  10. Rumars
    Joined: Mar 2013
    Posts: 297
    Likes: 75, Points: 28, Legacy Rep: 39
    Location: Germany

    Rumars Senior Member

    You are not a stickler ar all. Unfortunately everything with those proportions rolls, even sailboats. Of course bad design only makes it more likley. I am not against long lean powerboats, in fact I love them, but this thread is about "long range cruiser" and for that I don't find the advantages compared to a sailboat. Not if we are talking about crossing the Pacific.

    Now coastal cruising that's something else. You keep the boat light and fast with minimal fuel consumption and I am all for it. Nigel Irens just put Wilhelmina on the water and I think it's a brilliant boat.
     
  11. KeithO
    Joined: Jul 2019
    Posts: 112
    Likes: 11, Points: 18
    Location: Michigan

    KeithO Senior Member

    I think very few people want a wooden boat. I have seen a 36' Buehler type boat sell on a facebook forum for $6500, also a wooden boat. If you build a wooden boat, it better be for your personal enjoyment.

    I'm a bit despondent about the feedback on this forum. I suggest I want an economy powerboat and people suggest that I should take the advice of designers who say that fitting out a boat of appropriate size will cost $500k. People suggest that I should get a Nordhavn 46 which runs upward of $350k and is hardly economical nor well known for its great sea-keeping properties. Others suggest that I should buy a sailboat for $107-250k, then modify it to make it a motorboat, in the process tearing up the interior, which was supposedly the point of starting with an existing boat. I feel that some of the proposals may be more appropriate if I was to start with a hurricane damaged boat that had sunk, since such a boat is a prime candidate for scrapping all of the sailing systems, electronics, masts rigging etc.

    This process to me is a lot like buying a house. McMansions have been very popular for a while. Expensive, lots of property taxes, upkeep and utility bills. They may look very flash with all their granite floors and countertops, but clearly that's not what is needed in terms of shelter. Or one could find a county that still allows you to build a 600sq ft home and build it yourself for cash. It might take a bit longer and not have the granite countertops or the fancy zip code. Having saved a ton of money on the house, you might be able to afford a really nice shop with epoxied floor and a lot of fancy lighting for working on your hot rods or whatever your hobby happens to be...

    I think in terms of built time, steel and the composite "cylinder mold" methods of producing the hulls would be the fastest, especially if your steel is pre-cut from your supplier. Composites requires having adequate temperatures to work the material, but the 3 major components (left and right hulls sides and deck) are made in a short enough time that one can simply do it when the weather is suitable and one would need a work party to cover all of the labor in those 3 major tasks. After that, 1 or 2 people can accomplish the majority of the remaining work. Composites are tricky in that the joint details and especially hard points have to be properly designed by someone with a lot of experience and I dont know many designers willing to work on a custom design. The raw materials are more expensive too but if you get it right there would be definite performance advantages based on the weight reduction. I think aluminum is too expensive to really be considered and steel is very inexpensive in the longer length range (60-70' length with 10-12' beam).

    Anyone who has watched the youtube channel of "Sailing Emerald Steel" is aware of the state of their boat when it was launched (and the circumstances behind that) and they have built and maintained all of the systems on her and cruised for 20 something years now on a shoestring, so I am afraid that everyone who says that one has to spend $350k and up are mistaken. If one spends many years living aboard and cruising, there will be plenty of time to rework the interior whichever way one likes, as has been done by the couple on "Sailing Uma" which they started off with a $3000 sailboat. So long as it is meeting your own needs at the time and fitting into your budget, that's the whole objective.
     
    Niclas Vestman likes this.
  12. Angélique
    Joined: Feb 2009
    Posts: 3,005
    Likes: 317, Points: 83, Legacy Rep: 1632
    Location: Belgium ⇄ The Netherlands

    Angélique aka Angel (only by name)

    Everything was well done from day one on Emerald Steel (a 38' Bruce Roberts Spray). Suzan welded her up when she was 22-23 years old and Julius did the cutting plus grinding and carrying around (more commonly known as Suzie & Jules). They're full time cruising over three decades now. They've launched without a motor and without a mast and without sails and without interior, which is indeed instructive to follow how they did it, kinda like Annie Hill and Pete in their best days (see her books: Voyaging On A Small Income and Brazil & Beyond).

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    ‘‘ Dear Bruce, This email is 29 years overdue. In 1985 we purchased your blueprints for the 38' steel spray and the next year and a half we spent all our time building her in San Diego, Ca. At that time I, Jules, was 35 and my wife, Suzie, was 22.

    My wife learned how to weld for the project and so she did all of the welding. I did all of the cutting, grinding and general encouragement.

    The next 20 years we sailed between 45 south and 55 north in the Pacific ocean. She has been our full time home ever since. She is very comfortable and a safe cruiser during the gales and storms of high latitudes.

    We even went unharmed during Hurricane Iniki in Hawaii 1992. We would like to thank you for the fine design for which we have received many compliments over the years. Picture included.

    We recently posted 3 clips of her on U-TUBE called The voyage of Emerald Steel. You might be interested in viewing them. Thank You again, Julius and Suzie Hanak S/V Emerald Steel San Diego, Ca. U.S.A. ’’


    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    — Jay Benford designed 34' Sailing Dory Badger
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2019
    fallguy likes this.
  13. fallguy
    Joined: Dec 2016
    Posts: 2,072
    Likes: 129, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: usa

    fallguy Senior Member

    There is little comparison to McMansions and bluewater boats.

    If you get 5 miles per gallon and you go on a 5000 mile trip, you are going to need 1000 gallons of fuel. Let's just assume $4 per gallon. Just the trip is going to cost $4000 in fuel. Or, roughly 4 percent of a 100k boat, 2 percent of 200k, or 4/3% of a 300k boat, or a percent of a $400k boat. The point is, if you have to spend a larger and larger percentage of your capital budget, you are probably not going to afford the boat. Then, the slip fees...

    Chuck gave you some great advice. You need a SOR.
     
  14. KeithO
    Joined: Jul 2019
    Posts: 112
    Likes: 11, Points: 18
    Location: Michigan

    KeithO Senior Member

    If the 5000 mile trip is done in 8 months, thats $500 per month. If you have no boat mortgage, expensive insurance, or other excessive living expenses, it should be well within the means of a semi retired person. And I sure will appreciate not having to deal with sails and the constant adaption to the changes in wind speed and direction day and night.....
     

  15. fallguy
    Joined: Dec 2016
    Posts: 2,072
    Likes: 129, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: usa

    fallguy Senior Member

    I think you are missing the point.

    Like I suggested, follow Chuck's advice. Put together a sor and determine where the home is and how much even the home port costs. Bigger the boat, generally the more it is gonna cost you, fuel, maintenance, slips, everything.
     
Loading...
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.