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Minimum crew required for a predator 68

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by captainb, Jul 12, 2014.

  1. captainb

    captainb New Member

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    It seems that the sunseeker predator 68 is the largest size yacht that an owner would want to captain himself without professional crew, but what is the minimal amount of personal (friends & family) that would be required to fend etc to dock safely?

    Is one other person enough to dock this boat at a marina?
  2. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    It really depends on where the boat is used and what kind of marina

    Here in the US with wood pilings at a majority of marina there is no reason when a 68 coils to be single handed especially for short easy trips. Same with floating docks.

    Now if you are in Europe and need to med moor in a crowded harbor I can see where one crew on each side to set and adjust fenders may be a minimum
  3. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    Hi,

    Agree with the above post, if trying to go stern too after 1600 local time in Porto Cervo in August with a cross wind you will find that even with one each side and driving yourself that things get tense.

    If you try the same manoeuvre in December you can do it alone and it wont matter if you end up alongside in the process.
  4. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    How many crew will you need when you're in rough seas or a crowded harbor and the high water alarm starts sounding, or a fire alarm. Do you abandon the helm to work on the problem? How about when the owner has a heart attack? Most competent captains can (while in an open area) set out fenders, and lines where they can be easily worked by one, and "crew" should not be putting themselves between 70,000 lb. boats to fend off. Besides, you have several hundred (if not a thousand or more) "horses" to put the boat where it belongs. Mess up and it's only money. It's all the other stuff that can kill you that you need to consider. Also consider the quality of the crew. The last thing you want to hear when things go south is 'Can't right now, I just got a manicure or I'm busy making a sandwich or I have to watch the kids'.
  5. captainb

    captainb New Member

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    Thank you all for taking the time to reply to my question.

    The yacht would be used in Europe so I presume there would be a lot of crowded marinas with tight slips.

    NYCAP123, the owner of the boat will not be drinking and/or smoking cigars whilst out at sea so the risk of fire or a heart attack will be reduced. ;)

    The reason I asked about the number of crew required whist docking was because I thought that this was the most crew intensive part of yachting?

    Speaking in general terms, is a husband and wife team able to operate a yacht like this? If both were adequately trained off course, the yacht would have a gps joystick (not sure the correct name for this GPS system that keeps the yacht in the exact place no matter on wind or current) so the only difficulty I see is needing another person to help adjust fenders.

    So is a boat like this manageable, or would a smaller boat be a lot more suited?
  6. Capt Bill11

    Capt Bill11 Senior Member

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    In most cases that boat would be manageable by couple no problem. But as noted, depending on the situation it could become a bit of a hand full unless the couple are skilled.
  7. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    It s not just about "tight slips", it s about the setup of the slips. Here in south Florida you have plenty to tight slips where you need to back up with as little as 6" to spare on each side but they usually have wooden pilings. As you back in , your rub rail slide against the wood so you really don't need any fenders. Marinas as crowded as well, as average boat size increase over the years, it's not unusual to only have 10 or 20' clearance to pivot boats in fairways,

    Contrast this with many European harbors where the only thing between your hull side and your neighbors is a series of fenders that need to be set and adjusted.

    Yes technology helps and joystick controls can assist owners. That said like everything it has limits. Fr instance, while joystick controls with pod drives (Volvo IPS) can be relied on, electric thrusters on conventional inboards can only be run for a limited amount of time before they get too hot and shut down. And yes, hydraulic thrusters do not sufferer from this limitation, so if you are going to rely on thrusters, make sure they are hydraulic which is usually pretty rare on smaller boats.

    Beware of enthusiastic salesman hyping the benefit of electric thrusters.
  8. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Docking is crew intensive in med moor situations. In the US, it's one of the easiest things you do. But navigating, taking the helm, and docking are the easy parts of the job for many of us. Handling mechanical and electric issues would be the more difficult, challenging, and the riskiest. And handling the unexpected at sea or when in difficult areas to cruise.

    Also the experience, skill and knowledge of the husband and wife are critical to answering the question. When we were new, we never would have set out in a 68' without a professional Captain. Now we're confident. Still we recognize our limitations and they're primarily mechanical. We can handle most of the issues in normal cruising but major engine problems would be out of our league. We are fully confident in taking our 63' on any normal cruises with maintenance being diligently performed. But this is hundreds of hours and thousands of miles down the road from the day we bought it. And today in Alaska on an 85' we wouldn't consider without crew.
  9. mapism

    mapism Senior Member

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    Generally speaking, I agree that maneuvering is NOT the hardest part of cruising.
    Anyone who think it is, obviously never experienced a rough passage, with the need to handle some sort of inconvenience.

    But here we are talking of a boat designed for daily cruising at 30+ knots in glorious weather.
    Nobody in his right mind would choose a Predator for anything else, because in any sea which doesn't allow the boat to cruise fast, the hull would slam on waves like there's no tomorrow.

    So, in answer to the OP question, yes, one other (experienced) person is enough to dock this boat in a marina, in most (albeit not all) situations.

    As long as the boat is used in conditions where you would be happy to go at sea with a bowrider, that is.
    If you think that since it's a big boat she must be able to cope with properly rough sea, think again, because you're bound to get into troubles, rather sooner than later. And no matter how large and experienced the crew is.
  10. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    The 68' Predator is really a 2 person boat to operate. Visibility is really tough from the helm of that boat to see the stern (you can't) and the aft sides. You need someone good when backing in to give you distances as well as get lines. It takes time to get from the helm to any of the cleats on that boat with any speed.
  11. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    Well that can easily be addressed by installing a set of engine control on the aft deck... The Johnson 70 I run is a skylounge with no visibility aft and also a long walk to the cleats. I can't imagine docking it without the aft deck controls.

    Something to consider for just a about anyone considering a boat which doesn't have a lower pilothouse and side doors. Install engine controls not he aft deck before delivery
  12. captainb

    captainb New Member

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    Thank you everyone for taking the time to reply and sharing your knowledge, very helpful. :)
  13. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Pascal mentioned about pilings between slip, which make things pretty easy. Once a corner is in, you're in. However, remember NOT to put out fenders until inside the slip, and that will probably require a fast moving person or two on a windy day. If you have the fenders out as you back in, and they hook a piling, you'll get a surprise.
  14. nilo

    nilo Senior Member

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    Med mooring

    I am a med owner captaining my boats. I have operated several different sizes up to 100 feet, including a sailboat of this size. Med mooring is very easy once you acquire enough experience. Especially on a 2 engine boat with bow truster, you should not have any concern for side decks once you get the boat between the two other boats siding your boat. The trick is the bow line. If you berth to your usual spot, you can mark your bow line, which will work also as your brake. If you drop anchor and back off, you can always keep tension on the chain and release chain from the cockpit as you back off to the jetty.

    So, one experienced helping hand at the bow line should be sufficient, you can hold the boat in position once you are between the boats, with tension on the bow line; and the same person could throw the aft lines and secure them in due course.