Philip and I are youngly retired, Australian ex-sailors who first ran away cruising in 1981. We cruised a sailing boat for 4 years before deciding we spent so much time with the engine running we may as well get a motor boat.
We first considered long distance passagemaking in a motorboat after reading "Voyaging Under Power" by Captain Robert Beebe. Another valuable resource was George Bueller's "The Troller Yacht Book".
In 1996 and 1997 we cruised our 25 year old, 36 foot, twin engine, semi-displacement, ex-game-fishing boat between Sydney and the Whitsunday Islands. We found that by running at low (displacement speed) engine revs we could achieve fuel economy of 14 litres per hour. We reasoned that with the right boat and travelling slowly (7knots) we might be able to achieve close to 1 litre per nautical mile and 2,000 - 3,000 nautical mile range.
The result was M.V. Lifeline, a working fishing boat we converted into a power passagemaker in 2001. For more than five years Lifeline has surpassed our expectations as a comfortable home and wonderful travelling machine.
This website tells the story of how we converted the boat and our cruising life in her since then. We hope it is useful and enjoyable for others who aspire to long distance powerboat cruising.
POSTSCRIPT (11 April 2010): In December 2008 Philip died. Since that time Lifeline has been berthed at Sutera Harbour in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysian Borneo. I am still living aboard, gradually having Lifeline rejuvenated to her former glory after our seven years of full time cruising. I no longer consider myself "cruising" but rather "living aboard" and have bought a car and a lifetime membership of Sutera Harbour Marina and Country Club. Thanks to good cruising friends, I have learnt to maneuvre the boat - at least in calm conditions - and recently a girlfriend and I completed a two week cruise around the islands at the tip of Borneo. I am currently on the slip at Kudat - my second haulout since Philip died.