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Old 26-08-2009, 15:32   #1
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If I Knew Then What I Know Now

I am curious about people buying boats and then finding out what they really wanted. What are some of the things you thought you needed or could live without when you were shopping for a boat but then found out otherwise?

I'm sure this will apply mostly to first time owners but I don't doubt the old salts with their dream boats are capable of a little self deception when it comes to yacht shopping too.

I know that after a year long stint on a 38 foot boat that I was under the false perception that I needed a big boat. Now I am ready to downsize big time. I also remember looking on yachtworld and searching for boats with water makers. Since moving onto our boat we have fixed ours twice, pickled it once and used it 0 times! I will be looking for a boat with very simple systems.

...your confession please:
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Old 26-08-2009, 16:01   #2
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Good thread!
I thought I wanted to buy a fixer upper, but what I really wanted was something I could sail right away and tinker with. I thought I wanted a pilothouse but decided I'd like to have a cockpit I could see forward easily from. I thought I wanted a 40+ footer but realized I could be just as happy something under 36. I thought I needed to buy things as they appeared on eBay really inexpensively then bought them to only realize I don't need them anyway (especially electronics that become outdated quickly).
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Old 26-08-2009, 16:08   #3
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I thought I needed a centerline walk around berth and air conditioning. Of course I don't (and didn't get). Thought I needed a large storage (mine is 38-gal) and I was right because I don't like the idea of having to worry about fuel running.
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Old 26-08-2009, 16:09   #4
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Never, ever, ever, underestimate what "those few things that need fixed or replaced" will take in time and money. Bargains at the Marine Swap meet, second hand Marine store, etc will only work in your situation about 1 time out of 10. (That means figure it's costing you 10x what you paid!) The size of the boat doesnt matter, the condition and design does. You make due with what you have. (had as much fun on my 30 footer with only refrig when motoring and no gps as any other boat)
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Old 26-08-2009, 18:11   #5
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Nic and I keep saying to each other that we don't think anyone else could have done what we have done for the price, and the budget along the way, and have come as far or as well as we have.

So theres no real: 'I wish we knew then...'

I think we could have played a little more hard ball with the broker and maybe got Sea Life an extra $5k off. It was important at the time as there was a currency slip between the deposit and the full payment and we lost the cruising kitty!

I am glad:
I am glad we didn't buy a fixer upper.
I am glad we bought away from home - we got ours 10,000 nms from home so as soon as we got it we were cruising!
I am glad we were 'trained' at home to sticking to a tight budget for the early months.
I am glad we have a boat that hasn't failed us in any way Touch wood. Sea Life's engine and all systems have been 100%
I am glad we have never listened to Cruisers negative comments or fear tactics - I just received via my website warning of pirates in Indonesia. I just deleted it immediately.
I am glad we have a monthly income of a reasonable size coming into the account in cash.

I am glad out boat is simple. We have been anchored in bays full of cruisers all working like blow-flies on their boats and the things falling apart.

So maybe all in all I want to say that the right boat can be found and a long cruise undertaken successfully. It doesn’t require much money but it requires MORE money than many first time posters on CF seem to think. And it requires a fairly modern boat. Finally, I think it requires NOT to be one of those large, heavy, old, 'blue water' boats people here love. But thats just my opinion

People really need to have the 'reality' glasses on. You will NOT be in a hurricane at sea. You will NOT be attacked by pirates. You mast and rigging will NEVER be stressed like a race boat. However all mechanical things on the boat will take your time from Touristing, snorkelling, relaxing and boozing.


It can be done!


Mark
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Old 26-08-2009, 19:05   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
People really need to have the 'reality' glasses on. You will NOT be in a hurricane at sea. However all mechanical things on the boat will take your time from Touristing, snorkelling, relaxing and boozing.


It can be done!


Mark
I like this, I think as an ad on to this, I am often amazed at how little attention people pay to the sails they are buying with the boat and how well those sails and rig perform in light air. Every cruising book says "don't forget that you need to know how to keep your heavy displacement cruiser moving in light air" and every first time boat buyer (myself included goes) goes "yeah yeah yeah we'll deal with that later. right after we sail through the roaring fourties Slocum style!" If the boat you are buying has crappy sails then the seller needs to take the price of those sails, or something comparable, off of the boat.
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Old 26-08-2009, 20:20   #7
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We fitted out Exit Only with very few bells and whistles. We didn't go over the top in getting ready for our circumnavigation. Almost everything nautical that we placed on board was either used or was important for dealing with an emergency.

What would I do different?

I wouldn't put a second holding plate in one of our refrigeration compartments. It gave us a freezer that we never used. Instead we used that freezer as a pantry/dry storage area.

I wouldn't buy a Collision Avoidance Radar Detector. We never used ours when sailing offshore.

I wouldn't buy thousands of dollars of spare engine parts. DHL can get parts to me anywhere in the world, and our Yanmars rarely required parts anyway. I would have only spare impellers, drive belts, alternator, and lots of filters.

I would get a larger capacity watermaker because our small capacity watermaker would have to run for hours to make any significant amount of water.

I wouldn't get an MOM 9 man overboard module.

I wouldn't have a 60 pound CQR because I dragged it in too many locations. ( I would use my 70 pound Beugel anchor)

I don't have many things that I would do differently because I had a good idea of what I needed in an offshore yacht before I got started, and I did those things. I'm surprised my list is so small.
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Old 27-08-2009, 06:38   #8
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I learned a lot from purchasing my first sailboat (Cal-29). I will be in the market in a 1 1/2-2yrs so I will be putting everything I learned from that past experience and from these boards to good use.

Things I wish I knew before purchase:
-No financing of boat(I financed short term for the Cal)
-No complicated systems ie. plumbing, electrical, furling etc...
-Less boat in good shape is better than more boat in neglected condition
-Formal training on navigation, boat handling, etc... (i winged it with the Cal)
-Get survey
-Good set of cushions is worth their weight in gold

When I purchased the Cal-29 Ihad only been out sailing one time. Bought it in less than perfect condition and the owner financed it for a short term approx 8 months. Problem was that all my money went into the payment and living expenses and nothing was left over to repair/upgrade the boat. Frustration set in and dampened my spirits. I did manage a little cruising in the Florida Keys, but I didn`t have the mindset for the cruising lifestyle at that time(1998, I was 25 and starting to get career minded). Sold the boat a year and a half later and made a profit I might add, but that was just dumb luck on my part.

The Cal had a lot of neglected, over complicated, old systems. A complete furling sytems that gave me fits to no end, plus I was so green that I didn`t even know where to begin to fix it. A spaghatti factory electrical system that I ended up ripping most of it out. A plumbing system that was filled with too many problems to list. Sails were in decent shape so that was a positive. Faryman deisel that gave me fits, alot of impellars were used on that puppy. Old standing and running rigging, that needed replaced. Also the previous owner had about 20yrs of junk in the boat and I mean junk. Why 90% of the stuff was on the boat will forever be a mystery.

So in a few years when I enter the market again I hope I can avoid some of the same pitfalls. Looking for a under 30ft. boat with just the basics. I will upgrade/add as I go.
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Old 27-08-2009, 06:56   #9
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Old 27-08-2009, 07:18   #10
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in mast furling

I have bought a 2004 Beneteau and am having trouble with the sail jamming at the top spreader. Any ideas for correction or proper in out procedures?
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Old 27-08-2009, 08:07   #11
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If I knew then what I know now;
I am much happier with the 38 than I was with the 45.
you don't need heavy displacemnt, full keel etc, its a myth generally accepted especially by those buying theor first boat for cruising.
Making your boat a home, i.e. comfortable, is very important.
Good suit of sails is worth more than any engine.
Hard dinks are better than any RIB or inflatable.
Having a few conveniences like a full length mirror, is worth it
you dont need refrigeration- or air conditioning on bluewater cruising boat
Always do a job to the absolute best of your ability
worry about the major systems not the cosmetics
eat well
If you fix a potential problem immediately its a lot cheaper, and easier on the boat.

be present
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Old 27-08-2009, 08:12   #12
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Rumbi;

Start a new thread - instead of trying to hijack this one.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rumbi567 View Post
I have bought a 2004 Beneteau and am having trouble with the sail jamming at the top spreader. Any ideas for correction or proper in out procedures?
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Old 27-08-2009, 08:16   #13
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I wish I would have not bought any electronics for at least a year. I like what I have put on the boat, but I might have thought it out better.

I replaced most of our running rigging with different colored lines. I wish I had gotten all white, with the different colored flecks.

I wish the first issue I took care of was re-doing the coach-side vinyl. It is still drooping.

I wish I had paid a little more attention to headroom. I'm 6'2", and I can only stand upright in front of the companionway. I am SOOO close elsewhere. Not a huge deal, but it does get on my nerves at times.

Chris
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Old 27-08-2009, 08:24   #14
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If you are living aboard think interior in your search, the two parallel settees make for an uncomfortable living room.
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Old 27-08-2009, 08:34   #15
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I wish that the only thing I bought for the boat was the chartplotter.
(It is way too easy to get caught up in the I need this trap)

I wish that the boat I had bought was in better shape.
(I have spent more time working on the boat then sailing I think. I am almost around the corner now)

I wish I had kept the money I spent on the boat in a money market account and that I was in the market to buy now. (More boat less money.)
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