Working with a 38 ft Cigarette Boat

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by big-boss, Apr 17, 2008.

  1. big-boss
    Joined: Mar 2008
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    Location: Exeter, CA

    big-boss Junior Member

    Trying to go Ocean Crusing with a Cigarette:
    If a guy repowered a 38ft Top Gun. Working to keep the speeds low- 20- 30 knots. Will the hull ride good and will it get reasonable economy? I am just learning the different hulls and want to make a fun coastal cruser for the norther coast of California. Morro Bay north. This boats are becomming quite a bargin.
  2. kach22i
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    kach22i Architect

    Does a Cigarette Boat under hump speed/planning speed consume more fuel than over hump/planning speed?

    Bigger the boat, the better the ride, right?

    I've never even been on one, wait for an expert to chime in.
  3. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    The Top Gun 38 isn't designed to be particularly efficient nor comfortable, it's just not a large consideration, in the performance envelope of this vessel.

    Yes, running slower will make things more comfortable, but you're still stuck with what you're working with.

    Reasonably economy is a relative term. Folks that own Top Gun 38's generally aren't especially worried about "reasonably economy", just how fast they can go and how fine their wife will look, lounging on the pad. The hull type and design goals make this one of the worst hulls for economy.

    You have to be careful with these types of yachts, many have been beaten to the point of laminate fatigue and delamination. Have a qualified survey performed before purchase. They can only take so much pounding before they start to come apart at the seams (literally).

    For what it's worth it takes quite a bit of HP just to lift that hull type out of the water and run in the mid 20's. This kind of HP drinks fuel like I do beer on a mid August afternoon and I real like my beer.
  4. big-boss
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    big-boss Junior Member

    That is what I needed to know, thanks. I am looking for some kind of "practice boat" I would be better of with like a 30ft bayliner fish boat I suppose?

  5. charmc
    Joined: Jan 2007
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    charmc Senior Member

    For "practice" and general cruising at speeds around 15-20 knots, even a bit faster, stay away from the Cigarette types. They are designed to go very fast in choppy seas, but they chug fuel always and handle very poorly at lower speeds. To cite one example: most weight is concentrated aft, which is great for riding over waves and going airborne without stuffing the bow, but at low speeds there is very little freeboard at the stern. Several boats of this type have sunk when following seas broke over the transom. One I know of sank when the operator chopped the throttles suddenly and the boat was swamped by its own wake.

    There are many good used boats available at reasonable prices. Some more detailed info about what you plan to do and what things are most important to you (e.g. large family sleeping aboard, maximum comfort for just 2 people, ability to navigate very shallow water, ability to go offshore fishing, etc. - whatever is important to you) might help forum members make more specific recommendations.
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