cruising costs, maintenance and price of the boat (sailboats versus motorboats)

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Vega, Apr 28, 2006.

  1. Vega
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    Vega Senior Member

    No, it happens that it is in these fields that, as a (not rich) cruiser I am interested in. As you possible remember this thread began because I was curious about what led Willallison to saying to Fastfred, in a thread that was about cruiserboats : “Many times I've seen the results of studies that show that a full displacement power boat is indeed less costly to buy and own.”

    It seems that you don’t think the same way.
    It looks that to you that regarding cruising costs, maintenance, price of the boat and resale value a motorboat is no match for a sail boat?

    About the boats you talk about, I will pass the Nimbus range ( way too expensive) and look at the Beneteau range of motorboats and to the Antares 980 that you suggest.

    I do not find that boat fit to compare with the Oceanis. That boat is not really a cruiser, at least for me, it has two big hungry motors of 2x225hp, has 1/3 of the interior space of the sailboat and carries only 220l water. Besides the Oceanis is an oceangoing boat (Class A) and this one is not (Class B). On that line of boats (Antares) only the 13,8 has the same amount of interior space and yet, it is still not an oceangoing boat (Class B) even if it has 2x480hp and costs 3 x more than the sailboat (I have seen that there are a huge quantity of Antares 13,8, almost new, for sale, I wonder why?).

    Apparently a more suitable boat for comparison (Beneteau), would be the “ 42ft Trawler ”, that looks like a cruising motorboat but, with 2x370hp in a displacement hull, you may ask what kind of trawler is that?(one more for rich sailors that like to make big bow waves). Besides it is still a non oceangoing boat, and costs also around 3x more than the sailboat.
     

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  2. fcfc
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    fcfc Senior Member

    You did not seem to understand what I said.

    I just took a mainstream powerboat at its best (handling, speed, and draft :say family week end/small holidays boat for coastal cruise, where I am interested in), and asked you what sailboat could compete with it within same overall price range and liveability.

    I never tried to compare the antares 980 with the oceanis 393. The fact the same builder builds boths means they do not compete in the market.

    There is simply no competion from a powerboat where a sailboat is at its best. It would be a foolish marketing from the powerboat builders to try to do this.

    Again, there is no competition from sailboats where powerboats are at their bests. It would be same fool marketing option from sailboat builders.

    Competition sail/power only arises when you want both of worlds: say low draft, ease of handling, speed (powerboats wins) AND seaworthiness and very long range (sailboats wins)
     
  3. fcfc
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    fcfc Senior Member

    BTW, the beneteau 42 trawler is not a displacement hull, it is a fine planning hull (like the antares 12) with trawler look alike superstructures. Much like the new grand banks heritage 44.
     
  4. Greenseas2
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    Greenseas2 Senior Member

    Back to the thread intent

    Vega, I agree with you and believe that numbers are needed. By way of design for a relatively long range single engine power boat, I would start with a more hydrodynamic sailboat type hull that can be propelled at reasonable cruising speed with modest power. If a sail was included in the design, it would be for supplemental power only. There are several good full displacement sail boat designs around. One that I had was Ted Brewers design for the Ted Herman built 32' Lazy Jack schooner and 32' Herman sloop. The boat was easily pushed to 7 knots with a 15 hp engine. It also had sufficient space for 120 gallon fuel tankage in two tanks. The range under power at 7 knots was about 900 miles, more a slightly slower speeds as the S/L of 1:1 was 5 knots.
     
  5. Vega
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    Vega Senior Member

    This thread is about general cruising costs, and it may seem strange to you, but I am not trying to make fun of motorboaters.

    When Willallison says that in a sail boat you have maintenance costs that you don’t have in a motorboat, related with sails and the rig, he is right. Certainly in a motorboat like the ones from Beneteau, only the maintenance of those big engines would be more expensive than the sails and rig maintenance, but that it is not necessarily the case with a more dedicated cruising motorboat.

    Take an example, the sails of my 36ft sailboat (150% genoa, main and asymmetric spinnaker) cost around 15 000 euros and I have spent in 4 years about 1500 euros in sail maintenance. Those sails will last probably more 3 or 4 years before being replaced. The sails are of good quality (not the cheapest ones), but there are sails in the market that can easily cost the double (not adequate for cruising in my opinion).
    Then you have the rig. In maintenance I have spent about 800 euros, mainly in a professional tuning of the rig ( in a badly tuned rig the mast can break quite easily), but in some 6 or seven years I would have to change all steel cables of the rig (steel fatigue), to be on the safe side of luck, and that is not going to be inexpensive.
    On the 40ft sailboat all this will cost at least 30% more.

    So, if you pick a boat like the one I have posted in post nº10 of this thread, a boat with 2x89hp, that can do a consumption per mileage about the double of a sailboat on motor, things start to be interesting about cost comparison ( and the motorboat will be probably at least 50% faster).

    Of course it is very important the initial price, and mass produced sail boats have a very competitive price.
    I don’t know of any production motorboat that has similar characteristics of the one I am talking about, that’s why I have asked for help (from cruising motorboaters), but I don’t see any reason to be an expensive boat, except the fact that it is not mass produced. I would guess that the resale value will be a lot better than the resale value of the typical power boat.

    With the present fuel prices (and future ones), probably we are going to see a lot more of these type of boats, perhaps even some mass produced, inexpensive ones.

    Ps. Cruising motor cats are an alternative, and as you know, there are some mass produced French ones. The problem with cats are marina costs and often when cruising, to find a place (at any cost). There are places where they charge about120 euros a night for a cat, and having one here at the marina can cost 12 000 euros annually, and even so it is difficult to find a place. Besides they are expensive boats to produce.
     
  6. Vega
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    Vega Senior Member

    7 knots is practically the hull speed of that boat. It is not “easy” to push that boat to that speed with a 15hp motor. If possible, you certainly need flat water. The “easy speed” to get with the LWL of that boat would be about 5,2 knots.

    It is not in flat water that you have problems with the power of your motor. I remember one time, that I could not make more than 1,5knots, full power with my 29hp motor in my light boat.

    I was trying to go out of the closed bay of Fornells (Menorca). For several days I, and a lot of other cruisers have been shut inside the natural port by +30 knot winds, blowing right in the narrow passage that leads out. On the fourth day I had enough, and with 20+ wind on the nose I have decided to try to motor out of the port.
    With very short period 3 to 4 meters waves on the bow and against the wind I was just able to crawl at 1, 1,5knots, and it took a looooooong time till I was able to clear that cape, turn the boat and fill my sails. Then I turned it off, and went sailing, doing more than 8 knots (very nice sailing day, big sun, nice breeze).:)

    With the Lazy Jack, his weight and his 15hp motor, I would be sailing backwards in that passage.:rolleyes:

    The need of a more powerful Motor has arrived to me, in several occasions, (even if mine is the most powerful available for my boat, having the standard only 19hp).:(

    That’s why, next time, I want a motorsailor, but one that can sail like a sailboat.;)
     

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  7. safewalrus
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    safewalrus Ancient Marriner

    Gentlemen (and Ladies)

    the main problem with the whole gist of this argument is the fact that every person has a different idea of what he wants from his boat! He thus probably has some preconceived notion of what (S)he thinks best and will alter the figures to suit! A sailboat can and does cost more than a pure powerboat can and does cost more than a sailboat can and does cost...... If you see what I mean! I personally (biased towards me see!) think that the only difference is both personnel preference and intended cruising grounds and range! Also type of boat does have its problems - the big engined go faster job - live in Portsmouth - Paris for Dinner back home (across the English Channel) for breakfast is all well and good IF YOU CAN afford the fuel! Conversely a sail cruise/race to new York is all well and good if you can afford the boat! Hope you can see what I'm driving at, to use an old English expression it's 'Horses for courses' (you choose the kind of nag that will run the distance in the time given!) Other than that I believe we could be in for a 'long night' on this....
     
  8. Willallison
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    Willallison Senior Member

    Please forgive my tardiness in entering this debate - been too busy to get into it, and indeed still have too much to do to give it the time and consideration that it deserves:(

    Before comparing any one boat with another, consider this. the construction of two vessels - one sail, the other power - of equal living area will be approximately the same (both will require about the same hp to drive them at displacement cruising speed, so engine size need not be vastly different). The sail boat, however will require the addition of mast, rigging, sail, winches etc. I recently priced a rig for a 45 footer - it was well over 50K AUD. If our hypothetical power boat uses 1L per nautical mile, at say $1 per litre, that's 50,000 n.miles you can travel for free....
    Oversimplified I know, but it's a start.....

    It is important in considering all of this that one compares like with like. Obviously the cost of fuelling a large planing powerboat will quickly overtake any costs incurred in operating a sailboat (though even this would be interesting to evaluate, given the number of hours the average boater is actually underway.... but that's for another occaision I think).

    Unfortunately I couldn't find the articles I was referring to in my original post, so we'll just have to do the legwork ourselves. I'm out of time for now, but as soon as I get a chance I'll look up some examples and we can make some comparsions.
     
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  9. Guillermo
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    Guillermo Ingeniero Naval

    :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)
     
  10. Mychael
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    Mychael Mychael

    I'm new and no great boating expert but should we not also add to the equation when comparing costs how much is either type sail or motor actually used "in motion".. I would think that the majority of sailboats actually sail.. so if for instance we were to sail for 8 hrs or were to motor for 8hrs how then would the costs compare. Salis and rigging (I'm guessing) should last for 6 yrs??. Take that as sailing 8hrs a day for 6 yrs.. What would a power boat cost in the same 8x6 equation in terms of fuel and engine life?

    Mychael
     
  11. Greenseas2
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    Greenseas2 Senior Member

    Welcome back

    Your input is needed to get the thread back on the track that Vega started out with.
     
  12. Greenseas2
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    Greenseas2 Senior Member

    Modes of propulsion

    I believe that you have to take both modes of propulsion in to consideration> as an example, in moving to south Florida form New Jersey I had to get my boat to it's new dock here. The wind was against us for all but one 24 hour period. Consequently we had to motor most of the trip. Even with wind in our favor,we still motored. Sails are great unless your the course to your cruising destination is mostly in to the wind. Also offshore you have to take in to consideration the doldrums. No one wants to sit for hours or days waiting for the wind to pick up so economical power comes in to play. One design flaw in both sail and motor is the power budget for electrical requirements. Many of today's boat require either a motor generator, wind generator or solar panels to keep up with the plethora of electrical equipment, both necessary and optional found in mkodern boats. This is another consideration for the design of true cruising boats.
     
  13. Vega
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    Vega Senior Member

    Of course, you are right and I have already said something like that when replying to Willallison:
    Here, I think you are oversimplifying. We are not talking about sailing, but about cruising, and while cruising a sailboat motors a lot.
    I have a light sailboat that sails rather well and I use an asymmetric spinnaker. I would say that for a cruiser I sail a lot and even so I guess that I motor 1/3 of the time, motorsail 1/3 and sail 1/3 (never letting speed go bellow 6 knots).
    So, I guess that when you say “the majority of sailboats actually sail” is a very optimistic statement, at least regarding cruising.

    I also don’t find fair, in what regards cruising, to compare 8 hours of use in a sailboat with 8 hours of use in motorboat. The objective of cruising is to travel to nice places, while enjoying the traveling and the stay.

    Fact is, that to travel the same distance a motorboat takes less time. Depending on the type of motorboat I would say 25% to 300%, so in what regards costs, you have to take in account not the time, but the traveled distance.

    About the pleasure while traveling, I would say that it is a very personal thing: Some don’t trade that 1/3 of the time when it is possible to glide along the scenery in silence, others will find absolutely unbearable to travel 12 hours in a row, when they can do it in 6 or less, in a more kind of lazy way.
     
  14. Vega
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    Vega Senior Member

    I could not agree more!;)
     

  15. Vega
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    Vega Senior Member

    As Greenseas had said, you are very welcomed to this thread and your contribution is needed.

    I agree with you that regarding cruising costs, we can leave powerful motorboats out of this thread. They are simply not adequate to low budget cruising:D

    Regarding the size of the boats, I disagree. To offer the same interior space, providing also the safety of two engines, a motorboat should be about 3/4ft longer.

    About initial costs I will maintain that the best methodology is to find a production motor boat that fits the bill (and see its price). If not possible, we can ask a designer that has the right design, how much would cost to have his boat made by a good builder (If some boats have been built, he would know how much it will cost).

    So please, when you have the time, take a look at the available production boats and try to find one that is adequate to this comparison.
     
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