Voyage of Egret Forums

Peter B. Voss, Krumbach, Bavaria DEU asks:
Hi Scott and Mary,
Thanks for your detailed information about the different handling by
US vs EU voltage. I have another question for you about the fuel consumption in 2004... I have calculated that the NH 46 had burned over 3960 NM in the middle 1672 gals (Satchmo 1731 gal, Envoy 1680 gal, Egret 1606 gal) and the NH40 "Uno Mas" 2168 gal; this is 496 gal (1880 ltr) more! In comparison to sail, the longer Nordhavns are better than the the shorter boats. We in Germany are saying -length runs. Is my assumption right? Best regards,

Scott Flanders from Egret responds:
Peter, I never did learn the different fuel consumptions for the 46s except in Bermuda where Egret burned quite a lot less. There are reasons however with the examples you chose. N46 Satchmo had Naiad Multi Sea II electronic Naiads updated just before the rally and didn't have much practical experience as sea. N46s have a unique issue of being heavy on the port side by about 140 gallons (with full fuel) until they are on even keel. This is about three days running. When we left on the NAR the seas were choppy and Satchmo had the Naiads cranked up to compensate. The Naiads in turn were dragging one fin somewhat sideways the first three days trying to right the boat, thus the increased fuel mileage. Envoy had two issues. One, she is an older boat (46-19) with a 2.5-1 gear that burns a bit more fuel by turning higher RPM vs the later N46s with a 3-1 gear. In addition, Envoy had stabilizer problems making her use the back up paravanes. The net loss between centered stabilizer fins and deployed paravanes is .4 knot so more fuel burn for the same speed. N40 Uno Mas had to run hard to keep up with the longer waterline boats so burned more fuel, however 2168 gallons sounds a bit excessive. An N40 carries 940 gallons of fuel and throttled back gets amazing mileage. An N40 crossed from Mexico to the Marquesas (French Polynesia) a nearly 3000nm trip and arrived with a 1000nm reserve because they did throttle back.

Every boat is a compromise. Egret has a relatively low engine room height than even an N40, much less an N43 or N47, and 30% less interior volume than an N47. That volume comes at a price of absolute efficiency. Most buyers today want more luxury and interior room. Additional fuel burn in the overall cruising budget isn't significant when you consider the initial cost of these boats. The cost to own and operate, and eventually sell a boat is the initial purchase price, cost of maintenance and running, then eventual resale. Fuel cost/mileage is a very small part of that equation. The key is to choose the proper boat initially. Choose poorly and it is quite expensive per cruising mile vs what it could be.

Good luck on your choice. Actually, it isn't luck.

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