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Converting a sailboat into a power boat.

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Jun 7, 2007
875
Pearson- 323- Mobile,Al
Thinking about an efficent trawler that sips diesel a sailboat cames to mind. Remove the mast and cut off most of the keel then add a steering staion protected from the weather. The result might be an efficent powerboat that is comfortable ,efficent and capable of going under bridges and into shallow water. Has anyone made such changes and how did it work out???
 
Jan 22, 2008
1,483
Hunter 37 C sloop Punta Gorda FL
Gulfstar had a 36, and maybe a 40ish that came either way from the factory. 36 sailboat didn't sail all that well. Motored like crazy with a 120 hp Ford Lehman in it.
 

Rick D

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Jun 14, 2008
7,005
Hunter Legend 40.5 Shoreline Marina Long Beach CA
I've seen it done and the result usually looks like garbage. If it didn't, of course, it would have been cheaper to just buy a trawler in the first place. Besides, most sailboats of modern vintage motorsail at trawler speeds to begin with, so what would you gain?
 

Ross

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Jun 15, 2004
14,693
Islander/Wayfairer 30 sail number 25 Perryville,Md.
You could shorten the mast to the equivilent of a double reefed main. Leave the keel alone but find a boat with a shallow draft. Motoring with a small sail is a much nicer ride than with no sail.
 
Oct 2, 2006
1,517
Jboat J24 commack
The wost times of my boat life have been motoring on a sailboat when you could sail as the motion is terrible with the sails down
 
Sep 25, 2008
992
Oday 25 Gibraltar
I'm with you on this. There's thousands of miles of river systems and sheltered waterways there need to be checked out. Besides you'll have more scenery while you're cruising.

Someone posted a short time ago about doing this on a lake up in Canada. I tried to find the thread but couldn't- I'm in a bit of a hurry right now.

Go for it.

Rich
 
Jun 6, 2006
6,991
currently boatless wishing Harrington Harbor North, MD
Just by a trawler

All the benefits of a sailboat under power AND some flat floor space, not so much rolling in the seaway...... That was what trawlers where designed for. Cruising under power.
 

RECESS

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Dec 20, 2003
1,505
Pearson 323 . St. Mary's Georgia
No mast and shortened keel in heavy seas does not sound like a fun time to me. I have owned a 37 foot Egg Harbor. I enjoy the roominess and comforts of a large power boat, but I love to sail. There is something about how a sailboat moves through the water under sail that a power boat can never do for me. I would think it best to have a boat specifically designed for it's purpose.
 
Jan 3, 2009
821
Marine Trader 34 Where Ever I am
Sounds like our Beach House. Uses a little over 2 gallons per hour for our Ford Lehman 120 HP, draws 3 1/2 feet, plenty of room and we can still carry a sail. Chuck
 

Joe

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Jun 1, 2004
7,454
Catalina 27 Mission Bay, San Diego
You've got a lot of nerve, Moonsailor. What you are asking is sacriligious, almost profane...... this is a sailboat owners' forum, man. If you want to know whether a sailboat can be successfully converted to a powerbore/trawler you need to ask a POWERBOAT owner..... there you might find someone who actually would be demented enough to make such a conversion and find others who might mysteriously think it's cool.

You know, of course, that even thinking of going over to powerboats automatically destroys any credibility you may have had on this sailing forum.... and once you actually make the conversion... you're 86'd. heh heh
 
Jun 7, 2007
875
Pearson- 323- Mobile,Al
Just thinking out loud. But talking to trawler people they use a lot of diesel. My sailboat uses less than 1/2 gallon/hr. I agree that sailing is the best but you can't sail up rivers and there can be so many bridges. Sailboats in general have very efficent hulls for a small diesel.
 

Alan

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Jun 2, 2004
4,174
Hunter 35.5 LI, NY
Just thinking out loud.....

:eek:...man you're having a brain fart!!! ...turn to the dark side would you???!!!
 
Jul 28, 2010
914
Boston Whaler Montauk New Orleans
Seems to me, and I'm certainly not an expert, that sailboats would make lousy motorboats, with possibly McGregors being excepted. The hull designs are going to be different. Almost any powerboat is going to be at some point on its hull flatter than a sailboat. Conversely, a sailboat's hull will be more rounded. That would make for an uncomfortably rolly ride, especially in any swells.

By the way, I have it both ways. I've sailed for almost 30 years, and I love my fishing. Lost a Santana 20 in Katrina, and my wife and I are on the verge of getting another sailboat (after hurricane season ends). But I love my Whaler and going fishing in the marsh. I think here in South Louisiana, we don't care which way you go, it's being on the water that counts.
 
Dec 2, 1999
15,184
Hunter Vision-36 Rio Vista, CA.
Those trawlers that have a single diesel engine do not consume much fuel (1-2 gal/hr). It is a much better way to go and you may have something that someone is will to buy from you when you decide boating is not in the cards any longer. These boats will out run a sail boat and have all of the comfort that you may expect in a trawler (not a sailboat).
 
Oct 3, 2006
999
Hunter 23 Philadelphia
Under "hull speed" , the shape of the hull doesn't matter much for fuel consumption. Sailboats get good mileage because they motor slowly - but so would a powerboat, if they had an engine that ran efficiently at low power output. It's not the hull.

"There is something about how a sailboat moves through the water under sail that a power boat can never do for me." ---> A sailboat under motor with no sails doesn't move through the water like a sailboat.

I've got it!!! A sailboat hull with no rig and a canting keel. Then you can be heeled over!
 

Joe

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Jun 1, 2004
7,454
Catalina 27 Mission Bay, San Diego
Under "hull speed" , the shape of the hull doesn't matter much for fuel consumption. Sailboats get good mileage because they motor slowly - but so would a powerboat, if they had an engine that ran efficiently at low power output. It's not the hull.
That's just not true... if it were, boat designers would be out of business. The underwater design of a power boat is everything.

A trawler's hull is designed for stability over speed, true, but it still allows the vessel to effeciently operate at well above the obsolete "theoretical hull speed" concept, whereas an older, full length keel sailboat would suffer from those same steam era limitations.
 

BobM

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Jun 10, 2004
3,269
S2 9.2A Winthrop, MA
Build your own. How about a catamaran based design with a small diesel in each hull and a short mast on each hull? You could have good bridge clearance, drop the masts in a pinch and exceed hull speed no sweat. Have your cake and eat it too.
 
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