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The Alaska
Boating Forum

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Tolman skiff trips
Posted by Paul H on Jan 30 2006
Not saying that a Tolman skiff is the best boat for such uses, but they have been used on some amazing small boat trips.  Check these out:

https://www.nas.com/boat/tales.html

https://www.duckworksmagazine.com/s/vintage/sbj/016/index.htm

Range varies alot by boats, ie how big the engines, how heavy the boat and how big the fuel tank and not to foget water conditions.  In dead calm water running with a tide, you can get some serious miles without burning much fuel, but run against a strong tide in the chop and wind and you'll be sucking alot more fuel.

Based on others experiences, I expect my 22 1/2' tolman with a suzuki 140 horse to give me a conservative 200 mile range, that with a 62 gallon internal tank, and three 6 gallon portable tanks and 1/3 fuel reserve.  That would allow me to run say 3 days 4-5 hours per day burning 4 gallons per hour.  Many cabin cruisers are hard pressed to go 150 miles before they run dry.

The 26-28 foot boat you ask about will be burning 8-10 gallons an hour at cruising speed, thats 40-50 gallons for your 5 hour/day cruise.  If you carry alot of gas for a gas burning boat you have both the safety issue of carrying all that gas, and having poor initial mileage as your engines are working hard to carry all that extra weight.  

Honestly I think for a month long trip a smaller sailboat with inboard diesel is the way to go.  It will be much more comfortable for an extended trip, you have sail power when conditions merrit, and many of them have upwards of a 1500 mile range under power.

The advantage of the cabin cruiser power boats is they are relatively fast, if you want to get out into the fishing waters for a day or weekend, you can cover 30-50 miles and still have time to fish.  The tradeoff is you don't have great range, and they burn alot of fuel to cover that distance in a short amount of time.  If I were to have a month or two to bumm around Prince William Sound, Southeast or other such waters, I'd definately go with a motor sailer.  6-7 knots is plenty when the journey is more important than the destination, and you can be out for a month or two without worying about refueling.

Keep your head down over there and come on back for a well deserved trip!

Previous: Trailer boats range? Tracker Jan 27 2006
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