turning a sailboat into a motorsailor

Discussion in 'Motorsailers' started by Dave Gudeman, Dec 12, 2009.

  1. philSweet
    Joined: May 2008
    Posts: 2,298
    Likes: 166, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 1082
    Location: Beaufort, SC and H'ville, NC

    philSweet Senior Member

    What is cheap?

    For 50K you could cobble something together out of any of dozens of 38'ers that will run 5 knots on about $1.50 an hour and cost about 3K to maintain per year.

    for 500K, you could adapt a used fifty footer and get close to 8 knots at $10 hour and spend around 10K a year on maint.

    Don't forget to add slip fees and insurance to these figures if applicable.
     
  2. viking north
    Joined: Dec 2010
    Posts: 1,865
    Likes: 88, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 1146
    Location: Newfoundland & Nova Scotia

    viking north VINLAND

    I agree it's always difficult to post on a subject like this without knowing the budget for the project. In most of my lifeboat to motorsailer conversions--I estimate the average experienced tool worker/quazi experienced boatbuilder/ wheeler dealer should be able to get the job done for a max. of $20 to $25 thousand. The big saving factor here is the price of the bare hull,fiberglass lifeboats going for between $1 to $5 thousand. The other big factor is engine size and cost. The 30hp. liquid cooled marine diesels I use in the lifeboat conversion range between $3500(used to $10,000 new) plus an extra say $2000 for coupling, shaft and prop. Any air cooled engine that might come with a lifeboat is useless for a closed in motorsailer, likewise for the shaft,prop and it's location. Today it's a 75% buyers market in the boating field and will only get more so. In hindsight had I known this 5 years ago i would have definately searched out a used slightly run down vessel rather than another conversion. Again it depends on the budget and the capability of the individual--build new--convert--fix up. Remember in boating possibly more than any other sport/activity often a penny saved is a dollar cost :mad:

    A yacht is not defined by the vessel but by the care and love of her owner--
     
  3. Dave Gudeman
    Joined: Nov 2009
    Posts: 135
    Likes: 27, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 359
    Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

    Dave Gudeman Senior Member

    I appreciate all of the advice I got on this. My two major goals were conflicting --I wanted to be able to motor at sport-fishing speeds but also be able to sail. Since there were no boats that let me do that, I was going back and forth between motor and sail. Rising fuel prices eventually made up my mind for me and I ended up buying a sailboat.

    I'm not thrilled with the compromises I had to make. I have to give up dreams of living on-board in the south San Francisco Bay and regularly spending weekends in the delta. Even weekends in the north bay are not very convenient.

    There seems to be a major gap in the market at this point: a sailboat big enough for living aboard that can be quickly and easily transported from place to place, either by land or sea. Well, I should amend that to say that there is nothing in the used market that fits this profile since I didn't look at any new boats.
     
  4. viking north
    Joined: Dec 2010
    Posts: 1,865
    Likes: 88, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 1146
    Location: Newfoundland & Nova Scotia

    viking north VINLAND

    Ahh but Murphy is at his best now that he knows you have made a comprimise purchase--that little ship you were looking for will suddenly appear at the right price. Just close your eyes and walk on by :) Never fails it's like someone up there is a jokester. Anyhow good for you and good luck with the new vessel---Geo.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. brian eiland
    Joined: Jun 2002
    Posts: 4,938
    Likes: 175, Points: 73, Legacy Rep: 1903
    Location: St Augustine Fl, Thailand

    brian eiland Senior Member

    You are asking an awful lot there...liveaboard & trailerable
    .....then sport fishing, power & sailing :eek:
     
  6. Dave Gudeman
    Joined: Nov 2009
    Posts: 135
    Likes: 27, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 359
    Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

    Dave Gudeman Senior Member

    That's not what I meant. I just want it to be practical to move it from place to place. If it were trailerable, that would one method. An alternative would be if it had a cruising speed of, say 15 or 18 knotts. I'm not asking for both. Also, the speed is the only thing I was comparing to sport fishing boats. I didn't mean that it has to actually be a sport fishing boat.

    So do you think it is impossible to make a liveaboard-size boat that can sail and can also do 15 to 18 knotts under power? Couldn't you in principle just take a power catamaran design, widen it a few feet, and add a mast and dagger boards? (I'm trying to describe a design here; I'm not suggesting doing this to an existing boat.)
     
  7. Dave Gudeman
    Joined: Nov 2009
    Posts: 135
    Likes: 27, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 359
    Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

    Dave Gudeman Senior Member

    Thanks for the warning. I'm going to remove yachtworld from my bookmarks and not look at it again for at least a year. :)
     
  8. Stumble
    Joined: Oct 2008
    Posts: 1,896
    Likes: 71, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 739
    Location: New Orleans

    Stumble Senior Member

    Dave,

    You could buy an Andrews 70' put a large enough motor in it to plane, and that would do it. But at what cost?

    It would be cheaper to buy two 40' boats one for sailing and one for powering. Or get a decent fast weekender for those trip and live aboard the sailboat.

    Perhaps one of the cat guys could chime in here, but I don't thing a large power cat could easily be fitted with a sailing rig, or vice versus. The designs as I understand them are just to different.
     
  9. FAST FRED
    Joined: Oct 2002
    Posts: 4,519
    Likes: 109, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 1009
    Location: Conn in summers , Ortona FL in winter , with big d

    FAST FRED Senior Member

    AS noted the problem is the only way to go "fast" on the cheap is a huge LWL.

    One solution could be a mooring for the boat , rather than use a slip.

    You pay for say, a 13 ft whaler slip , and usually will have watering and pump out aviliable at the fuel dock, if you don't abuse it.

    A boat like Mr H's Marco Polo 55ft, was considered a 10K cruiser , and with today's tiny /efficient diesels and light GRP cored or aluminum construction would be roomier and cheaper to operate.

    Next hurricane to hit FL or the Gulf coast will have hundreds of underwater (value) boats being "sold" to the insurance folks.

    Should be easy to find a hull, re engine and motor to where you prefer to be.

    FF
     
  10. Dave Gudeman
    Joined: Nov 2009
    Posts: 135
    Likes: 27, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 359
    Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

    Dave Gudeman Senior Member

    Yes, I've seen various threads on here about people building very long boats but outfitting them as much smaller boats so they get the cruising speed but not the expense of a big boat. Sounds like a great idea for long-range cruising, but not for a boat that you want to use for just cruising around the bay. The problem is that I want to take the boat out a lot, dock at public docks and moor/anchor in popular areas. All of that is easier and more convenient with a smaller boat.
     
  11. brian eiland
    Joined: Jun 2002
    Posts: 4,938
    Likes: 175, Points: 73, Legacy Rep: 1903
    Location: St Augustine Fl, Thailand

    brian eiland Senior Member

    In general what size boat are you speaking of....what is your min lenght to live on??

    And what sort of money...what is the max you would want to spend?
     
  12. Dave Gudeman
    Joined: Nov 2009
    Posts: 135
    Likes: 27, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 359
    Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

    Dave Gudeman Senior Member

    As I said, I already bought my boat, so I'm no longer in the market (although I'll probably want to upgrade in a couple of years), but I think the principle applies across a wide range of sizes/prices. Naturally, if you are going for both sails and big engines, I would expect boats of this type to be more expensive, but I wouldn't think it would be that much. What would sail rigging and extra reinforcement cost on, say, a 40' power cat? I'd guess around $15,000. Double that to give the builder a profit and you are talking about a $30,000 premium on a new 40' cat. Not much relative to the overall cost, and for me it would be well worth it.

    For 15 knots under power, I'm more than willing to give up a couple of knots under sail, but maybe I'm unusual. I suppose it's possible, maybe even likely, that most people who want to sail are purists who want maximum sailing performance and don't mind spending three hours to get to a destination only 15nm away and that most power boaters have no interest in sailing.
     
  13. Wavewacker
    Joined: Aug 2010
    Posts: 696
    Likes: 21, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 226
    Location: Springfield, Mo.

    Wavewacker Senior Member

    Probably already mentioned; McGreggor 26X, one could live on it. Two on Ebay now under 12K.
     
  14. Steve W
    Joined: Jul 2004
    Posts: 1,817
    Likes: 58, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 608
    Location: Duluth, Minnesota

    Steve W Senior Member

    Lancer made just what your after on the used market, the 27 was a sailboat whith huge outboard and the 44 was a quite good looking high speed motorsailor with pilothouse configuration and aft cockpit like a powerboat, i dont know if you were looking for something that big though.
    Steve.
     

  15. Wavewacker
    Joined: Aug 2010
    Posts: 696
    Likes: 21, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 226
    Location: Springfield, Mo.

    Wavewacker Senior Member

    Couple articles about this, might search "Terminal Trawler" and "Strawler" about converting a sailboat to a trawler. One was nicely done adding a pilot house, looked good.

    Some boats are better than other to convert, obviously. You can get an old Ranger for next to nothing, but it's so round and the cabin slope and curved roof would make it hard to get a good looking house on top. I saw an older Morgan with more square lines that would be easy to build to and blend in a new top.

    The plus side to this is that you can get a much nicer sailboat with amenities for cruising for less than buying a comprable motor cruiser! Trawlers are expensive and will cost more to run than a low hp outboard...or so I have read.
     
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.