SeaPiper 35 - Compact Trawler

Discussion in 'Powerboats' started by missinginaction, Sep 22, 2019.

  1. missinginaction
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    missinginaction Senior Member

    I stumbled across this small trawler and the more I looked the more intrigued I've become. As I poked around their website I had to pull out my copy of Deve Gerr's book The Nature of Boats.

    I opened Gerr's book to Chapter 4 where he discusses Sea Bright Skiff design and sure enough the SeaPiper 35 looked an awful lot like a modern incarnation of this classic design. It seems that the people behind the SeaPiper 35 are building a semi-custom production boat. It looks like they've produced about 10 and are contracted to produce somewhere around 10 more so far.

    I'm wondering if anyone on this site has any familiarity with the people behind this boat and it's build quality. Based on the information on the website it appears that they are using good quality materials and components.

    Thanks in advance for any input that anyone might have.

    SeaPiper 35 - Modern Compact Trawler - SeaPiper https://www.seapiper.com/

    MIA
     
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  2. Milehog
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    Milehog Clever Quip

    There is a lot I like about the design. Would like to see one in person.
     
  3. KeithO
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    KeithO Senior Member

    Forward and rearward facing sliding doors on a bluewater boat ? I also don't fancy those deep cockpits, regardless of how fast they theoretically drain... 2000 mile range on 250 gal of fuel ?
     
  4. missinginaction
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    missinginaction Senior Member

    The stated range is achievable at 7 knots with a fuel burn of 1 gallon per hour. The builder clearly states this. The boat has a top speed of 9.8 to 10 knots. It's a full displacement hull form. At full throttle fuel burn is up to the area of 4 gallons per hour. So that extra 3 knots is costing you 4 times the fuel. Expressed as nautical miles per gallon, at 7 knots you'd get around....7 NM per gallon. At 10 knots? About 1.75 NM. An old drag racing buddy of mine (he's still my best old friend) used to say "Speed costs money. Now, how fast do you want to go?" So the range figures work based on speed length ratio and other benchmarks that you can reference by reading some of Dave Gerr's writings on the subject.

    Like you, I wonder how the builder manages to keep everything watertight. I wasn't thinking about the pilothouse doors as much as the hatches located on the center cockpit deck. You do make a good observation. They say they use neoprene seals to keep the hatches and doors secure. That may work when everything is squeaky clean. Where I live though my boats always getting dirty. Between pollen, soot from jets flying over the docks (it's true, jet exhaust is filthy, especially the military's) and just dust and debris blowing onto the boat I always have a film to clean. I'm wondering how well those neoprene seals work in the real world. The builder doesn't show how the doors are designed or the hatches. My experience is that even as an amateur boat restorer I can make a boat absolutely watertight from below. Dripless shaft seals and good seacocks/thru hulls properly installed work great. I have much more difficulty with water getting into the boat from above, window leaks, hatches and the like. I'd have to get an up close and personal relationship with this boat to get comfortable with the idea that those hatches and doors can be sealed up tight and be reliable and consistent over time.

    Hopefully the builder or some of the early adopters will share their experiences. For now I'll give SeaPiper the benefit of the doubt. We'll see how it goes.

    Regards,

    MIA
     
  5. KeithO
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    KeithO Senior Member

    Hull speed should be about 7.6kts based on water line length, which means that economy speed should be slower and attaining 10kts should require a huge increase in power. Perhaps that fuel economy is possible in a dead flat calm, but I cannot see it sustained over 2000 miles. If that were so there would be no reason for longer skinnier vessels like Idlewild, which only had a 55hp engine, a 55ft oal and a beam of only 10 ft. As far as I am aware, no-one has broken the records set by Idlewild yet. Perhaps one of these wonder vessels will set some new records in due course ???

    Based on the Beta 85 performance chart 6.7kts would have to be achieved at about 1700 rpm for the consumption to work out, but I cant see it being a "practical" economy for open water conditions over 2000 miles.

    My concern with the doors is not specifically with water leaks, but with the total loss of the door if struck by a breaking wave. Tracks are notoriously weak ways to attach doors and you can look at any coast guard vessel and wont find any tracked door on it. The only place I have seem them were on floating condo cats.
     

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  6. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    Skinny thing that is perhaps inclined to roll a bit, hence the optional gyro stabilizer
     

  7. missinginaction
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    missinginaction Senior Member

    I guess that the 2,000 mile range is open to some debate but based on reading Dave Gerr's book it should be pretty close. The SeaPiper 35 is remarkably similar to Gerr's "DR Northwest Cruiser" detailed on pages 27 and 28 of his book. Gerr references a 2,000 mile range @7.6 knots for his design although at 300 gallons his fuel capacity is somewhat larger.

    If I were to buy a SeaPiper I'd be pretty careful about taking her out in rough weather until I knew how she performed. With that Sea bright Skiff inspired hull and what would appear to be most of her weight in the center to slightly aft of center of the boat I would think that her bow would take large waves fairly well but I'd need to actually see for myself. If used as a coastal cruiser or for island hopping in the Caribbean range of even 1,800 miles would be impressive to me. I live in New York and the idea of running down to the Florida Keys without needing a fuel stop is pretty appealing. My current boat requires at least half a dozen.

    I'm not getting too many responses to my original question, especially regarding the people behind this undertaking. Maybe there aren't enough SeaPipers out there yet. With any luck we'll see more interest in this boat as time goes on.

    Regards.
    MIA
     
    bajansailor likes this.
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