Live aboard hull design

Discussion in 'Powerboats' started by snachnrod, May 4, 2008.

  1. snachnrod
    Joined: May 2008
    Posts: 2
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: florida

    snachnrod New Member

    Hello all. I'm hoping for some help as my wife and I begin our homework for a new boat purchase. We reside in Florida and plan to spend six months or so cruising the Caribbean each year once we retire in a few years.

    My original thought was to purchase a trawler and after looking at several I have found that many of the newer trawlers are considered fast trawlers which have a different hull design. How does this effect stability?

    I'm also wondering about the sea worthiness of say a 50' to 55' Sea Ray (or other notable brand) fly bridge compared to a 45' trawler. I have been told that a boat like this, throttled down to trawler speed will have compatible fuel usage to a trawler.

    Does anyone have any experience on a 40' plus power cat? I am impressed with the room aboard such a boat and the various layouts but have no experience on one.

    Your advice, opinions and data would be of considerable help.
  2. masalai
    Joined: Oct 2007
    Posts: 6,823
    Likes: 121, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 1882
    Location: cruising, Australia

    masalai masalai

    have a look here and look around this site on "Foreign Affair" - an article in has that boat now in New Caledonia... does around 15 knots at 1.3 liters per Nmile.

    That is one of the best you will find... Just remember, do not carry TONS of stuff as cats are averse to overloading. As this one is set up she will serve very well as a live-aboard and remain independent of the need to call in to marinas except fro the occasional refuelling...
  3. lazeyjack

    lazeyjack Guest

  4. snachnrod
    Joined: May 2008
    Posts: 2
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: florida

    snachnrod New Member

    Thank you both for the information thus far. It is very useful.
  5. Jarrod
    Joined: Jul 2004
    Posts: 43
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: New Zealand

    Jarrod Marine Designer


    We're experienced with larger power catamarans, we also do a lot of work in collaboration with Malcolm Tennant, we've just completed a 72' cruising power catamaran for a Russian client.
  6. maxtorc
    Joined: May 2008
    Posts: 1
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Canada

    maxtorc New Member

    I am looking for a live aboard as well, Since I work overseas 6 weeks at a time I would like to enjoy my time off cruising. I would mainly like to have room for myself and a few friends, where we can enjoy scuba and kayaking excursions while also having room for entertaining.
    For this I will need swim platform (scuba) as well as space for a couple Kayaks (on the bow??).
    I would like an efficient, as cost is more precious than time.
    I have searched a few types I like;46' Wellcraft,40' Albin Trawler,45' Tayana trawler, 45-53 Bluewater designs, 53' Canoe cove, 36' egg harbour, 38' mediteranean convertible.
    I would appreciate any insight.
    thank you
  7. juiceclark

    juiceclark Previous Member


    Personally, I'd buy this boat and make it shine. It's so appropriate for what you want to do...I don't even know where to start. Moreover, you can 'prolly buy it cheap and avoid the depreciation of a new vessel. Don't forget to add a roller furler and bridge hardtop:

    If you must have a power only boat, the sturdiest and most economical are often the cheapest. This boats rough sea handling characteristics and commercial construction makes most mass production boats look like toys. I bet they'd take $80k:

    If you feel like spending over a million bucks on some new and totally customized to your wants/needs, then buy one from me:
    Last edited: May 23, 2008
  8. waterman
    Joined: Feb 2004
    Posts: 24
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Nofolk, VA

    waterman Boat Geek

    Having worked or a production builder at a point in my life, I would say that there are very few production boats that I would buy for cruising, as most aren't sturdy enough for cruising. Most of the structure is hacked away so that more TV's and unnecessary crap can be loaded into it. Look for a boat that is really designed to be used at sea: Sportfishermen, working boats, or custom one off's that were designed for cruising. Yeah, I know its vague info, but Hey, its a quick reply! Good luck on your search!

    The Journey is often the Destination ~ Shakespeare
  9. Willallison
    Joined: Oct 2001
    Posts: 3,590
    Likes: 130, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 2369
    Location: Australia

    Willallison Senior Member

    For full-time liveaboard I wouldn't look beyond a full-displacement boat. Powercats are fabulous in terms of on-deck living space, but as Masalai correctly pointed out, they don't like to be heavily loaded. Finding a place to park for the night (ie marina berths) can be both difficult and expensive too.
    Forget anything that's powered to do more than about 10 knots. As a liveaboard, you won't be in a hurry. Planing hulls don't generally handle well at displacement speeds and their engines suffer as a result of being underworked. They are also not usually built to go to sea.
    There are any number of good boats out there - it really just depends on how much you want to spend and exactly what you want to do with it (for instance, if you like diving you'd be a fool to buy anything without a decent aft cockpit... in fact, IMHO you'd be silly to buy abything without a cockpit period)
    Look at boats like Alaskan, Cheoy Lee, Defever....
  10. mark424x
    Joined: Feb 2006
    Posts: 33
    Likes: 2, Points: 8, Legacy Rep: 28
    Location: Seattle, WA

    mark424x Junior Member

    You might want to take a look at Maine Cat's new P-47. Maine Cat has a good reputation for building solid boats that are don't have excessive fluff. I went for a spin on the prototype last year and was impressed with the company.

    Another up and comer with an interesting layout is the Bear Cat:

    The reports I've read from actual power cat owners have not supported the difficulty finding berthing, etc. Dig around a bit on the cruising forums and lists.
  11. juiceclark

    juiceclark Previous Member

    A neighbor of mine bought a 48 Aventure cat
    and, after living with it for awhile, was surprised at how wrong the boat is for him. He ended up changing almost everything about it. The weight was way too high for the hull and too far forward, it doesn't handle high seas well, gelcoat faded right away, etc. etc. After spending a couple hundred thousand making the boat right for him, lightning struck the ungrounded boat and fried everything electronic!

    You can rent many different powerboats in the Caribbean for a week at a time. Perhaps spending a little time renting would give you some intuition to your preferences. You'll see how necessary a bridge is to see the shallow areas down there and other bits o' info.

  12. masalai
    Joined: Oct 2007
    Posts: 6,823
    Likes: 121, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 1882
    Location: cruising, Australia

    masalai masalai

    or a good "TV" camera where a crows nest would look silly and a big LCD screen which would normally repeat a lot of other instruments....
  13. RHP
    Joined: Nov 2005
    Posts: 840
    Likes: 87, Points: 28, Legacy Rep: 1183
    Location: Singapore

    RHP Senior Member

  14. John Riddle
    Joined: Aug 2008
    Posts: 34
    Likes: 5, Points: 8, Legacy Rep: 63
    Location: Vermilion, Ohio

    John Riddle Junior Member

    Surprised you didn't get much input about trawlers. If trawlers interest you, and you might consider a new build in wood/epoxy or traditional wood, I'd love to discuss it. Send me an email.
Similar Threads
  1. cdates
  2. mlopez0519
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.