Help - What should I buy


New member
26 Oct 2001
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Having, at last, convinced the wife that we need to make a 'life change' and buy a boat, the next question is what fuel/power type..I am repeatedly told not to go near petrol or outdrives etc, but how true is that? I want a boat which will sleep two adults/two young children and living in Jersey, capable of reaching France for weekends or longer holidays. Realistically, I also think that my wife/children would prefer to get there reasonably quickly as well. But do I really need to fear the 25ft. plus petrol 'beasts,' or as one post said, realistically consider the option of buying the initially cheaper petrol powered boat, but later lose out by taking the financial 'hit' at the pumps? Obviously money is the main influence, and your experiences would be much appreciated,


Re: Help - What should I buy- think LPG

Buy a boat with LPG to get petrol purchase price but run at diesel costs - Am selling a searay with LPG which my wife and 2 children toured the Channel Islands this Summer in which runs on Petrol or LPG(@32p per litre). Email me for more info on LPG option (


16 May 2001
Any Pub Lancashire or Wales
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Mabe in Jersey the cost, diesel V petrol is not great and for short trips around the Island in a smallish boat there should be no problem as long as you've worked out where and when you can refuel with some sort of ease.
In this situation out drives are probably the best option as Jersey has many drying harbours.
LPG could also be an option although the availability issue still applies and not much gain in Jersey.
But theres a big difference between a boat capable of day trips around your home port and one capable of extended cruising over a few days. which is what you asked for and to which my other reply was aimed.
There becomes greater need for safety equipment ie. radar GPS ect, extra ropes and fenders, spare anchor and a dinghy.
And then theres the comfort thing for the wife and kids. The weather can change very quickly overnight and your planned
weekend trip to France might turn out to be a fortnight. You and the boat will sometimes have to cope with much worse weather than expected.
Ask Kim or Colin.
The coast of Britainy is one of the most hazardous there is and you need the boat, equipment and experience to cope with it.
So for your intended purpose IMHO you need a twin diesel powered boat 28ft plus.
However there could be a greater problem for you.
I cant remember whether its Guernsey or Jersey but one or the other, you need permision from the harbour master to buy a boat in the first place because the harbours are all full and no more room.
Enjoy your boat which ever you chose but be prepared to make compromises.



Just a few thoughts, assuming you want speed and accomodation for 4:

If you want to stick your toe in and see how you like it, a couple of friends have had Falcon 23SPC single Volvo 205. OK accommodation for w/e, and a single petrol won't guzzle too much at Jerzee prices and range s/be ok with return trips to Carteret/St Malo/Treguier (although spare can might be sensible). See recent MBY article. Seem to sell quite well. Be ready for a few bumpy rides.

Two engines will guzzle getting on for twice as much (Targa 27/Searay 280 with twin 205s wll do 1.25 - 1.5 mpg) but you'll feel a lot more secure and the extra weight of boat will give you a somewhat better ride- but you'll still get plenty of bumpy ones! (You may go in a 3 but have to come back early in a 4) You'll get a bit more space, but be paying £30k ish for the boat instead of £18-£20 for the 23.

None of these will give you family boating in anthing more than a 4 round your way but if you choose your weather (fat chance, eh?) both will give you lots of fun. But don't forget 10 year old boats will be heavy on the maintenace. Be prepared for the odd £3-£4k bill every now and then, and a rebuild can make your eyes water.

Up the ante and the prices go up; if you can afford diesels and don't mind the performance of some of the older ones, then you'll probably keep the boat longer
I'm told the turbo/supercharged diesels are pretty nippy.

For a first boat, I wouldn't be fearful of petrols. Do your sums to do your return trips, plus plenty of spare. Targa 27 has a 90g tank so will do a 100 mile round trip and, hey, what else do you spend your money on? At £1.50 a gallon, simply think of it as £1.75 ish a mile. Now that's not so bad is it.....