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How much does size matter?

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by smaehr, Oct 9, 2010.

  1. smaehr

    smaehr New Member

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    We are considering a larger trawler style yacht for a part time live aboard and extensive cruising of inland waterways, the ICW, and some open water. We are looking in the 65 to 75 ft range. I would appreciate any feedback on whether this size range creates problems in finding slips while traveling.
  2. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I wouldn't say that that size causes too many problems on the ICW, most marina's can accomodate it, reservations help. If you're going to do the great loop, which I did on a 75' MY, the part from Chicago south can be tough as few marina's can accomodate either the size or draft.
  3. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    on the ICW/east coast and bahamas, length isn't a major issue as many marinas have face docks for transients but there are a few which you may not be able to find room at. Yes, reservations help although not always critical

    draft is probably more of a concern. If you can keep it under 6' you will have more options and less headaches. the 70 footer i run draws 6 1/4 fully loaded and it can be a PITA in some places.

    But neither LOA or draft woudl be a deal killer if you find the "perfect" boat for your needs.

    another critical thing to consider is having easy access to your spring lines from the lower help and also engine controls on the aft deck/cockpit if lower helm visibility is restricted. i'll take an 80 footer with convenient setup to a 50 footer with a lousy layout.
  4. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Once you get over 45' reservations are a must. A typical 100 slip marina might have 20 slips that will fit a 46 and 3 or 4 to fit a 50 but only 1 or 2 if any to fit a larger vessel. The marinas that have 100+' on a T or face dock will often have it occupied by a vessel for several days. There can also be power problems if you have twin 50Amp service. I've also run into situations like at Coinjock where Lewis left space for a 50 (my boat- last in) and a 45 (2nd to last boat in for the night). Anybody who's been to Coinjock know that Lewis packs them in with bows overhanging sterns. Well, the 45 was to nervous to make it into the alotted space and so took my spot. With the 50 I was able to take the other spot with about 1" at my bow and stern. Not sure I'd want to do that with a 75. Draft also becomes an issue. Not that you can't do the route, just that you have to be a lot more careful and less relaxed. Another problem is wake. The bigger you are the slower you have to go or your radio will be crackling all day long from ticked off people. For me the ideal combination of comfort vs; convenience on the ICW is about 50'.
  5. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I tend to disagree here, and have never had any issues going north or south on a 65-75' with dockage. Yeah I've occassionally had to take the fuel dock without a reservation but rarely. A lot of marina's have slips for a 65-75' and considering 40% of the yachts in that size range have been sold and exported out of the country over the last 4 years, the marina's aren't nearly as tight as they used to be.

    Wake is not a problem with the majority of 65-75' MY, the larger length gives a higher displacement speed, which also means you can go faster before you start rolling a wake......for example on a 75' MY I've run a lot, I can do 8.5 knots in a slow speed minimum wake zone and be throwing a 6" wake maximum.

    I would be concerned and try to stay under 6' of draft. The difference between 6' of draft and 7' of draft is huge and really really limits where you can go.
  6. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    "Another problem is wake. The bigger you are the slower you have to go or your radio will be crackling all day long from ticked off people. For me the ideal combination of comfort vs; convenience on the ICW is about 50'."

    the longer the LWL, the faster your hull speed will be and the smaller the wake... i dont' think I've ever ticked off anyone, and the only times slower boats call me after a pass is to thannk me for the slow pass.

    beam and hull shape affects wakes as well, if not more than LWL
  7. cabobo09

    cabobo09 Member

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    Capt J

    I am interested in your comment that 40% of the yachts 60-75' have been sold and exported out of the US in the past 4 years. Specifically, in your opinion, was it this size only and were did they end up.

    I have seen a lot of big yachts, over 100' come on the market in the past 30 days in Europe. Is this due to the poor charter season or ?

    Everyone jump in if you have a view on this.
  8. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I do about 3 loadings a month for one of the shipping companies as well as here and there on the others. I also manage 8 yachts here in South Florida. Of all of the yachts I've been loading and managing that have sold they're all going out of the country. A lot to Italy area, Norway a few, Vancouver a few, a few to China, Thailand, 1 to Vietnam, a lot to South and Central America........the destinations seem to change every few months depending on the exchange rate, however I see none coming this way. Florida boat registrations were down over 40% this year over last year.

    I'm not sure about the over 100' range, but I'd say it's a combination of a weak charter market which subsidized the cost of ownership, and the weak economy eventually hitting the 100'+ range owners. Costs of ownership have also gone up between, dockage, insurance, fuel, etc....... I would say the VAT tax in Europe is probably another leading contributor.

    It's not just the 60-75' size, a lot of smaller ones as well. More smaller ones are leaving then the 60-75' range, but some of those are getting replaced by new boats and staying here by the former owners. A few larger ones as well......
  9. Loren Schweizer

    Loren Schweizer YF Associate Writer

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    Assuming that you are a couple in this endeavor, a question begs asking: Why so large a vessel, especially for part-time/inland cruising?
    A few years back, an elderly (with a lot of boating experience) couple I knew took a year to do the Great Loop--in a 32 Grand Banks. Although I accused them of being sea-going backpackers, they maintained that smaller was simpler.

    Now, of course, if you drive a Chevy Suburban around the corner for a can of cat food....
  10. PropBet

    PropBet Senior Member

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    The bigger issue is not going to be LOA/LWL but draft and how many feet of water you draw to safely nav. in and out of some areas. 99% of it you'll be fine with, but it's always that 1% that gets you.

    While not the same waters you've mentioned in your post, we've found that draft is of greater consideration than LOA has been, specifically in the Great Lakes. We have yet to do the great loop which would include the ICW of FL, which we plan to in a few years should we have this same or similar boat for such cruising.
  11. smaehr

    smaehr New Member

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    Thanks everyone for the feedback. It sounds like draft is the major issue and length less important. We are trying to stay under 6 ft draft on the models we are looking at. Marlow, Alaskan, Fleming, Outer Reef, Grand Banks are current candidates.
  12. smaehr

    smaehr New Member

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    Forgot to comment on the draft issue. We currently have a Hatteras 48MY. It does not like to cruise at low speeds and makes an incredible wake at 15 kts. We have learned to be very carefull when near other boats. This results in constant vigilance for fishermen and frquent speed changes to accomodate traffic. We would be content with 10 kts and little wake for the majority of our cruising.
  13. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    At 15kts you re barely on plane and at near max wake speed!

    10kts with 48 footer is almost as wrong and too high above hull speed which is around 8.9 in your case. At that speed or just below you produce a much smaller wake and burn 25% less fuel than you do at 10kts
  14. smaehr

    smaehr New Member

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    I understand. My Hatt with twin Detroit 8v92 735 hp does not like idling. With both engines in gear, will idle at 6 kts. I have been told that long term running at 1000 - 1200 rpm, which results in 8 - 9 kts, will cause cylider washing and carbon buildup and ultimately lead to early engine problems. At 1950 rpm, I am seeing 16 kts but still have a huge wake. This boat is heavy for a 48 ( 52 grt) and has a dep V so I am pushing a lot of water. My hope i my next boat can do around 10kts with a reasonable wake and do it all day without concern for the engines. By the way, this is a great boat in all respects but the engine technology does not lend itself to inland waterways.
  15. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    there are a lot of conflicting theories about running at low speed, but as long as the engines are maintaining proper temperature and not running cool, they will be fine expecially if you spool them up for while every few hours.

    a friend of mine has 8V92 and most of the time runs at 1200, no issues.
  16. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    You can run them at 1000 rpm's for up to 6 hours, then run them at 2000 rpms or even 2050 for 30 minutes and you should be ok. It helps if they run at engine temp at 800-1000 rpm's. But i've put many hours on a set of 12v71 TI's this way without issues. DD recommended this if I was to run it that way, it should be ok.
  17. The Hedgehog

    The Hedgehog New Member

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    Regarding the wake, in the Tn valley area it is more of a function of the perception that goes along with the big boat than the actual wake. I can run my 60 with a nominal wake and get "the call." I don't even try to explain anymore. My friend that is plowing a nice big wake in his 37 does not even get a look when he is trying to catch me.

    We find the same thing in performance boats. They go nuts over a performance boat running with a 6" wake. A bow rider cane come by on a half plane and not even get a look.
  18. I think the comfort level of a bigger boat outweighs the times that you have trouble finding a dock, but for the typical cruising couple 60' is easier than 75 to bring in and out of the dock and wash down when you get there.
    Another thing to consider with the larger boats is the bridge clearance if you plan on the Erie Barge Canal and the bridges in Chicago if you plan the Loop.
  19. smaehr

    smaehr New Member

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    The comfort level is of major importance to the Admiral. I agree that 60 to 65 is the optimum size. We just looked at a 75 that she really liked and appears to be a good boat. It tops at around 25 ft. What is the max you can get through the Erie Canal and the Chicago bridges?
  20. Innomare

    Innomare Senior Member

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    The size is up to you to determine based on how much space you'll need, how much you want to invest and whether or not you want to have crew on your boat (and of course berths, bridges and locks, etc).

    The size of the wake is mostly a matter of hull shape. Steer away from hard chine hulls with large immersed stern areas if you want to spend a lot of time cruising at slow speeds in inland waters. You'll notice the difference in the fuel bill as well.

    So yes, size matters, but not so much for the size of a wake. I've once seen a small pilot vessel side by side with a tanker in the canal to Rotterdam. The 10 m pilot vessel was throwing a much bigger wake than the 200 m tanker travelling at the same speed.