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Old 27-08-2009, 08:36   #16
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I wish I had waited for the next model that came with a solar vent in the head.
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Old 27-08-2009, 08:43   #17
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One more thing,
cruisers very rarely encounter really heavy weather
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Old 27-08-2009, 08:50   #18
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Good thread and I do not even want to go there right now.
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Old 27-08-2009, 08:56   #19
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I am glad I know now what I did not know then.....


THat I am SO glad I bought my Pearson Ariel. The work she required was what I needed to do to make her my own, and to fit her for cruising. I am SO glad I did not buy any of the 30-40' boats I looked at (and even entered into negotiations for).

Having sailed her every week, and sometimes nearly every day (yes, you read that right) for a couple years before we left to go cruising was a big advantage once we got 'out there' since I knew her and could anticipate what was going to happen in differing conditions.

The 'go small, go now' idea is a good one, but the 'go now' part ought to include some time to get to know your ship. Since the smaller boats are the ones more likely to 'get known' I think the idea of cruising in the smallest boat you are comfortable on has more benefits then just to cost savings.

I know some will disagree, that is why there are many differnt boats to choose from. For me, I am very happy with what I have and knowing what I know now would choose her all over again.

If anyone is interested, here is a link to our 8 month cruise. I hope to be back 'out there' soon.

Fair Winds,
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Old 27-08-2009, 09:23   #20
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I'm only five weeks in on my first boat, but here's what I wish I'd known beforehand. I lot of it was just due to the fact that I wanted a boat, the price was great, and I didn't even bother to give it a thorough inspection before jumping on the deal.

- No, it won't just take one weekend of scrubbing to get all the mildew and crud out of a boat that sat neglected and occasionally full of rain water for who knows how many years.

- No, I can't just replace the flooring. If one bit of wood is rotten, most likely ALL the wood is rotten. Even if the wooden walls are still fairly solid, if one or two layers are separated and rotting, they still make the entire boat smell like mold and no, I can't get all the carpentry finished in one weekend.

- Synthetic, mildew-treated fabric can be found for as cheap as $11.99 a yard. However, there's no way around the fact that new foam is freaking expensive.

- While I was confident in my ability to revive a waterlogged electrical system and did so with very little trouble, I really should have checked to see if some key components were even on the boat. Didn't realize it was missing four light fixtures and the battery charger until it was too late. That goes back to my first regret of wishing I'd done a better inspection.

- Wish I'd priced Westerbeke parts before thinking a diesel would be an easy rebuild. Most of my Porsche parts don't cost that much. It looks like we'll be paying almost $300 in filters and various other piddly things just to see if the motor will start. If it does, the gamble paid off. If not, there's no telling what it may cost.

- Wish I'd been more realistic with my monthly repair budget. My brother and I both agreed we'd each spend $250 a month of parts and repairs with the goal of having the interior refinished, the electrical working, and the motor running, and all the running rigging replaced and working by October. We blew through that budget in the first two weekends. Do you know how hard it is to stop progress to let the budget catch up? Luckily, there's still plenty of mold to be scrubbed and deck/window leaks to be found, but I'd much rather be finding out of that diesel runs.

- Wish I hadn't used the head that one morning I had just downed a McGriddle on the way to the marina and was having some stomach problems from a bit too much drinking the night before. In ten years of ownership, the previous owners had never used it. Thankfully, it was at least hooked up to the holding tank. I was able to flush the mess with a bottle of water I'd brough on board. But yeah, not the way to test the plumbing system. The smells also made it quite a rough day to work in the cabin.

- Wish I'd had a more realistic view of my patience and work ethic. The first two weekends, I spent all day Saturday and Sunday on the boat and several night during the week working on things at home. The next weekend it was one day. This past weekend it was about four hours, and I haven't lifted a finger this week at home to finish the carpentry.

- Wish I'd known that when girlfriends say they want to help with the boat, they really mean, they're happy to spend an hour or two scrubbing in an attempt to impress you, but after that, the boat better run or they're done with the whole thing. (FYI, I've found it's necessary to bring a different girl down every Saturday because they only work on their first visit. After that they just lay out and complain about the heat. This has started to become a little confusing to the two staff members at West Marine I undoubtedly see every weekend, but neither has made a comment yet.)

I'm in no way giving up, and I'm still very much enthused and in love with the boat, but working in humid, Texas heat that makes it about 115-120 degrees in the cabin wears you out. Friends and family start getting annoyed that you haven't made any time for them in weeks. Every project has some "catch" and takes two or three times as long as you had planned. Everything you clean gets dirty again as soon as you start the next project. All the old equipment that came with the boat that you find is working whether it be handpumps, bilge pumps, microwaves or the air-conditioner will probably die after a few minutes of use.

I'll be back out there for a couple hours to charge the batteries and keep cleaning this weekend, but my glorious dream of actually sailing by October is gone. Maybe December, but sometime in the spring is much more likely.
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Old 27-08-2009, 10:15   #21
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Originally Posted by Jetexas View Post
I'm only five weeks in on my first boat, but here's what I wish I'd known beforehand. I lot of it was just due to the fact that I wanted a boat, the price was great, and I didn't even bother to give it a thorough inspection before jumping on the deal.

- No, it won't just take one weekend of scrubbing to get all the mildew and crud out of a boat that sat neglected and occasionally full of rain water for who knows how many years.

- No, I can't just replace the flooring. If one bit of wood is rotten, most likely ALL the wood is rotten. Even if the wooden walls are still fairly solid, if one or two layers are separated and rotting, they still make the entire boat smell like mold and no, I can't get all the carpentry finished in one weekend.

- Synthetic, mildew-treated fabric can be found for as cheap as $11.99 a yard. However, there's no way around the fact that new foam is freaking expensive.

- While I was confident in my ability to revive a waterlogged electrical system and did so with very little trouble, I really should have checked to see if some key components were even on the boat. Didn't realize it was missing four light fixtures and the battery charger until it was too late. That goes back to my first regret of wishing I'd done a better inspection.

- Wish I'd priced Westerbeke parts before thinking a diesel would be an easy rebuild. Most of my Porsche parts don't cost that much. It looks like we'll be paying almost $300 in filters and various other piddly things just to see if the motor will start. If it does, the gamble paid off. If not, there's no telling what it may cost.

- Wish I'd been more realistic with my monthly repair budget. My brother and I both agreed we'd each spend $250 a month of parts and repairs with the goal of having the interior refinished, the electrical working, and the motor running, and all the running rigging replaced and working by October. We blew through that budget in the first two weekends. Do you know how hard it is to stop progress to let the budget catch up? Luckily, there's still plenty of mold to be scrubbed and deck/window leaks to be found, but I'd much rather be finding out of that diesel runs.

- Wish I hadn't used the head that one morning I had just downed a McGriddle on the way to the marina and was having some stomach problems from a bit too much drinking the night before. In ten years of ownership, the previous owners had never used it. Thankfully, it was at least hooked up to the holding tank. I was able to flush the mess with a bottle of water I'd brough on board. But yeah, not the way to test the plumbing system. The smells also made it quite a rough day to work in the cabin.

- Wish I'd had a more realistic view of my patience and work ethic. The first two weekends, I spent all day Saturday and Sunday on the boat and several night during the week working on things at home. The next weekend it was one day. This past weekend it was about four hours, and I haven't lifted a finger this week at home to finish the carpentry.

- Wish I'd known that when girlfriends say they want to help with the boat, they really mean, they're happy to spend an hour or two scrubbing in an attempt to impress you, but after that, the boat better run or they're done with the whole thing. (FYI, I've found it's necessary to bring a different girl down every Saturday because they only work on their first visit. After that they just lay out and complain about the heat. This has started to become a little confusing to the two staff members at West Marine I undoubtedly see every weekend, but neither has made a comment yet.)

I'm in no way giving up, and I'm still very much enthused and in love with the boat, but working in humid, Texas heat that makes it about 115-120 degrees in the cabin wears you out. Friends and family start getting annoyed that you haven't made any time for them in weeks. Every project has some "catch" and takes two or three times as long as you had planned. Everything you clean gets dirty again as soon as you start the next project. All the old equipment that came with the boat that you find is working whether it be handpumps, bilge pumps, microwaves or the air-conditioner will probably die after a few minutes of use.

I'll be back out there for a couple hours to charge the batteries and keep cleaning this weekend, but my glorious dream of actually sailing by October is gone. Maybe December, but sometime in the spring is much more likely.
Oh dear sound like you've got a serious project boat there. Good luck keep up the good fight
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Old 27-08-2009, 10:36   #22
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jettexas: reality has struck I guess, It's a great post, well written and will help others understand what they might get into with a "Bargain". You'll get there...
I have to say I have a lot of respect for "MarkJ": "Buy a boat that works and go!" Bought a Beneteau, went out and put 16,000 miles under the keel. Those modern boats are comfortable and well laid out.
The reality as stated above is that everyone sits around and worries about the perfect storm or making everything perfect. Want to be a Sailor or a mechanic?
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Old 27-08-2009, 11:15   #23
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Being an avid do-it-yourselfer, I spend a lot of time at instructables.com. I stumbled across Tim Anderson's series entitled "How to Get a Free Yacht." I wouldn't say I got suckered into the project, but he does a bit of glossing over the cost and time it takes to fix these old neglected boats up. I mean, he even makes it sound fun and exciting when the marina called to say his boat was sinking and on fire.

If you've never read his instructable, it's pretty entertaining. How to Get a Free Yacht

But yes, I'm very ready to be a sailor instead of a mechanic.
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Old 27-08-2009, 11:30   #24
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Your boat is never perfect, so at some point you have to go.
and you will never know what is good and whats not until you sail her.
THe myth that it is possible to buy a real project boat and save money is just not true, but what it does do is allow you to spend money as and when you have it as opposed to one large chunk... but many times it will cost you more and in reality most people are better off sticking them cash in a high interest account until they fins a boat. You can either spend time working on the boat or saving money for a decent boat thats not a project
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Old 27-08-2009, 11:46   #25
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I really should have checked to see if some key components were even on the boat.

- Wish I'd been more realistic with my monthly repair budget.
Same, same on these two. I didn't realize that I was missing the bimini frame and a few other items.

Also, survey failed to pick up that the refer wasn't cooling adequately and I didn't realize it either until later.

If I had had more time (I was returning from overseas and determined to step into a liveaboard), I would have opted for a slightly different interior arrangement -- less nav station, more salon comfort.

I would not again under-estimate the condition of the sail wardrobe.

It's my second "big" boat, btw, so we are all always learning.
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Old 27-08-2009, 11:48   #26
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if i knew then what i know now--ida bought my gay neighbors formosa 41 and kept it in good shape----LOL----he died just a few yrs after i met him and i donot know whatever happened to his awesome boat---had a lot more beautiful carvings in it than mine does...ida been sailing in my own boat already LOL....otherwise---
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Old 27-08-2009, 12:01   #27
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Frankly, I've been pretty lucky with this boat - although I have owned enough of them over the years to have developed a fairly keen sense of what I do and don't need. The problem was with the last boat: I spent a fortune on her with the intention of keeping her indefinitely and using her for a circumnavigation - then, quel surprise, my plans changed.

I bought a small beachfront property on Isla Margarita that I am developing and all of a sudden, a catamaran made much more sense than an offshore equipped, pilothouse monohull for my immediate needs. The upshot is that I spent way more money (and hence, lost way more money) on my last boat than I would have, if I had anticipated re-selling her without having used her for extended offshore voyaging.

The lesson learned? Buy and equip a boat for your immediate needs and, never assume that it will be your last, or ultimate boat.

Brad
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Old 27-08-2009, 16:19   #28
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I thought 27ft was big enough.

Until we have sailed around the world and started LIVING in the boat. Now I think a well laid out 32-34 footer was what we needed.

In other words, we found some 5 feet of our perfect boat missing.

b.
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Old 27-08-2009, 18:00   #29
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By reading this thread I've learned that I'm not the only one who has learned a few lessons from project boat ownership.
Jetexas, I feel your pain!
Again, great thread!
regards
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Old 27-08-2009, 20:45   #30
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I'm afraid I'm still in the then and not in the now, you know?
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