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Old 13-01-2013, 08:09   #1
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Completely Overwhelmed



I've been in the real estate investment business for over 13 years and I've NEVER had as much confusion buying a house as I am having with choosing a potential boat. I'm very frustrated at this point. There are so many variables and maybe too many choices. One discovery leads to more research which then leads to another discovery and I feel like I could spend another 3 years on research without ever having viewed a damn thing. I wish that I had the luxury of buying small amd upgrading with experience to learn my real needs, but I just don't. The reality is that I need to purchase a boat as a liveaboard at a marina for a while and I have 5 kids. I do have a small condo that we will also use, but neither full time. I don't want to choose the wrong boat, but there are just so many variables.
I can't even figure out what I should be looking at. I have been at this since the summer. Every time I narrow it down somewhat, I realize that I have missed something or wrong about something. I must be doing something wrong here. There has to be a better way to figure this out. Maybe I need the assistance of a yacht broker. I have spoken to a few, but it seems that they just push what they are trying to sell, not necessarily what I need.
I know that I am going to do this come hell or high water, even if it means purchasing the wrong boat, but it sure would be nice to get the right one. We are so excited about the lifestyle and I am eager to sell my house to achieve it, but I don't want to do that until I have found the boat.
The forums bring both support and naysay, but mostly a bunch of different opinion, which is great. That's what I need, but sometimes, that too brings more confusion, when one person says yes you can, while the other is saying your nuts.
Besides, upgrading with time, has anyone been in a similar situation starting with no experience. How did you decide?
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Old 13-01-2013, 08:19   #2
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Re: Completely Overwhelmed

Galaxy, one of the major issues is that with 5 kids you're looking for 6 staterooms. This means a helluva big boat. 65 feet and above is huge.

You might actually have better luck looking for a small ship, and I say that seriously. Lots of those around. Generally they burn a lot of diesel.

In your earlier post you mentioned a boat small enough to handle. How much experience do you have? Handling a 65 plus boat is not easy. It takes a lot of experience to put something like that into a slip or even up against a pier.

But as you've discovered, a boat is not a house. You will end up having to compromise on virtually everything.

Check around and see if you can charter something the size you think you need and then go. A couple of weeks on a boat will teach you a lot.

Since you are asking these questions, i'm betting you have little or no boating experience. Try a charter
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Old 13-01-2013, 08:29   #3
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Re: Completely Overwhelmed

I agree with all that carstenb wrote above. I would question why you "haven't viewed a damn thing." Research is all well and good, but just going aboard some of the boats that might be worth considering will tell you an awful lot. You simply aren't going to find just the right boat the first time around--I don't know of anyone who has done that successfully. Sure, lots of folks make whatever boat they have work, but I suspect almost all of us constantly think about the next boat a lot. If you are just planning on living aboard as the main aspect of this venture I would strongly recommend a houseboat or a large motor yacht as having more space for the length and being better for living at the dock than most sailboats.
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Old 13-01-2013, 08:39   #4
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A little more info would be useful. Where do you want to keep a boat, how old are the kids, are you looking for a powerboat or sailboat ?
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Old 13-01-2013, 08:43   #5
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Re: Completely Overwhelmed

GG,

There is no perfect boat. You will realize this when you finally live aboard the "perfect" boat that you spent months looking for. Then you will find that what you really thought you wanted at the outset (and found if you're lucky) is lacking in some way. Might be a big thing might be a bunch of little things, but there is always something. So don't worry about getting it right the first time. Folks rarely do.
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Old 13-01-2013, 08:48   #6
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Re: Completely Overwhelmed

No doubt about it! It's confusing and frustrating. As Kettlewell said, get out and look at , sit on, some boats. Look under the floorboards, in the engine compartment etc. Do enough of this and you will get to know the difference and the price market. Also, there really arent any huge bargains out there in any market. There are good deals, but if a boat is priced too good to be true... it is too good to be true.
Many hidden things in boats: poor designs that sail with excessive weather helm, builders who bought a mold but didnt build with the previous quality, water saturated hulls, "just recently epoxied" etc etc. If you want to bypass some of the risk and research, buy a well reknowned boat and pay the little extra. Especially if you dont want to make a "mistake".
In the end it will be worth it!
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Old 13-01-2013, 08:48   #7
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Re: Completely Overwhelmed

I agree with the other guys. You really need to go to a boatshow and climb on board. The Chicago boat show ends today if you're near there. Check out boatshow.com . Go charter a large catamaran then try a large motor yacht. One thing that I find curious about your search is you don't mention budget. Boats range in price from $1,000 to many millions. Boats are not just expensive to purchase but to own and maintain as well. Whats your budget? Where do you or will you live? The people on this forum are loaded with very good advice if you provide a roadmap of where you want to go. Big question you must answer yourself is Motor vs sail. Then if you chose to sail is it mono vs multi.
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Old 13-01-2013, 08:59   #8
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Re: Completely Overwhelmed

Quote:
Originally Posted by GalaxyGirl View Post
The reality is that I need to purchase a boat as a liveaboard at a marina for a while and I have 5 kids. [and no experience]
Sorry, that's not reality, that's the outline for a Disney family film.

Assuming you will live close to the water, buy/rent a good home for your family, and then look for a boat big enough that the whole family can be comfortable on a weekend outing. This could be something around 30' to 34', which is affordable and reasonably easy to learn on.

THEN, after you've confirmed that you and the family want to do this, splurge for the liveaboard-sized vessel.
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Old 13-01-2013, 09:02   #9
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Re: Completely Overwhelmed

Sounds like your looking to fill your romantic nautical dream, rather than just doing it. Its not going be what your hopping for, Its going to be way less for sure. Unless you have millions, you wont find a boat that fits all your needs. To know what you need in a boat, you need to have a boat. Going onboard several boats will be far more helpfull than any internet advice. I bet the reality of boating life is far different than what your mind thinks it is. If your goal is to live on a 40' lagoon, at dock, pluged in using house hold 120v stuff, and not going places. Then the learning curve is much smaller. A mono, at anchor, with a dink ride in any weather, off the grid, is a different story.
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Old 13-01-2013, 09:16   #10
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Re: Completely Overwhelmed

I really don't understand why You would "need to purchase a livaboard boat at a marina for a while?". Sounds like a house boat would be more appropriate with five kids. You also didn't mention the ages of the kids? Single parent? Etc. There are lot's of safety issues to consider.
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Old 13-01-2013, 09:25   #11
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Re: Completely Overwhelmed

Quote:
Originally Posted by GalaxyGirl View Post


I've NEVER had as much confusion buying a house as I am having with choosing a potential boat...There are so many variables and maybe too many choices. One discovery leads to more research which then leads to another discovery and I feel like I could spend another 3 years on research without ever having viewed a damn thing.
The reality is that I need to purchase a boat as a liveaboard at a marina for a while and I have 5 kids.
I can't even figure out what I should be looking at. I have been at this since the summer. Every time I narrow it down somewhat, I realize that I have missed something or wrong about something. I must be doing something wrong here. There has to be a better way to figure this out. Maybe I need the assistance of a yacht broker. I have spoken to a few, but it seems that they just push what they are trying to sell, not necessarily what I need...
How did you decide?
What you need is SOR, a statement of requirements, what you expect to have. List them, put them in the order of importance, if possible have some numbers (like number of staterooms, price range etc) to start with. Take then a bit search boats that match best to the SOR (you can't have all you want) think what you can live without and take the best match you can find.. Should be simple.. in theory
BR Teddy
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Old 13-01-2013, 09:47   #12
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Re: Completely Overwhelmed

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Originally Posted by TeddyDiver View Post
What you need is SOR, a statement of requirements, what you expect to have. List them, put them in the order of importance, if possible have some numbers (like number of staterooms, price range etc) to start with. Take then a bit search boats that match best to the SOR (you can't have all you want) think what you can live without and take the best match you can find.. Should be simple.. in theory
BR Teddy
Teddy, thanks, this was the best advice. I have been doing this and I have a few items on the list that I know for sure:

trawler
4-5 staterooms
clean interior
not too dated and stinky
flybridge
aft deck
the ability to travel to the Caribbean comfortably (enough fuel and stability)

That's it. That's my list.
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Old 13-01-2013, 09:49   #13
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Re: Completely Overwhelmed

Quote:
Originally Posted by GalaxyGirl View Post
There are so many variables and maybe too many choices. One discovery leads to more research which then leads to another discovery and I feel like I could spend another 3 years on research without ever having viewed a damn thing.
There is lots to learn and many variables and choices - how long to get at least the questions you need to ask (of self and each boat) is up to you. how confused you get likewise .

Boats is all about choices and compromises. No such thing as perfect for every use you will ever want the boat for.

Budget is usually the most important thing that affects choices - and mostly (but not exclusively) about length. In your case I would forget the ocean capability and spend the money elsewhere (onboard or on living!) simply because likely trans ocean will happen once or twice (and she can go cargo, if you still want to) - whereas living onboard will happen every day. and most of your voyaging will also be coastal and can be done inside weather windows 3 days under power in a straight line will get you many hundreds of miles even at displacement speeds, with only the occassional longer run, unless you are intending to go very much "off piste" to the back end of beyond.

Layout is a personal choice - more cabins is less open plan (see, another choice!) and if those cabins are also for sleeping then less room for other stuff, even if only dull stuff like storage. I presume that you have already discovered that "Stateroom" in boat marketing speak does not usually equate to a Penthouse at the Ritz - and by the time you are on 2nd, let alone 5th! "own cupboard" might be the more appropriate term. Own cupboard for budding gymnast . Personally I would have the kids double up. at least ......living onboard is gonna involve sharing a lot more personal space than onland anyway.

Anway, I think time you got onboard a few boats - as many as you can of all shapes and sizes, ages and conditions. And not just those which are suitable or within budget (yes, become a tyrekicker!) - yer want to get a handle on what is good and what is rubbish, and also what you really really don't want to get lumbered with.....in your case that will revolve heavily around the mechanicals (google up cost of replacement engines(s) and associated horror stories ). Always gotta remember that if buying something like boat that originally sold for $500k 10 ir 20 years later for $100k there is always a reason for the drop in price, and it ain't because everything onboard got better with age . or it simply went out of fashion.



Quote:
I know that I am going to do this come hell or high water, even if it means purchasing the wrong boat, but it sure would be nice to get the right one.
The wrong boat being bigger or smaller than you need or only in design / layout is one thing. the wrong boat because you have bought someone else's problems is very much a different ballgame . Boats - proof that you can sometimes polish a turd . and that always somebody willing to sell you one.......

Anyway, above might sound a bit unhelpful - not meant to be, indeed I think you recognising that still short on knowledge and that also you are going around in circles a tad is a good thing . The easy qyick "fix" is to simply write a cheque and learn afterwards. The hard and expensive way.
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Old 13-01-2013, 09:51   #14
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Re: Completely Overwhelmed

Get inside several boats by visiting a few boat shows. Charter a variety of boats for a few weeks. Attend sailing classes and learn the fundamentals of seamanship; 3 courses minimum. Be patient and don't rush into buying anything yet. Your equation is a little complicated, as you have children who need to attend school and may need a nearby medical facility; logistics must be resolved, prior to buying a boat. Old Salts, on here, will guide you along the way. Good luck! Mauritz
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Old 13-01-2013, 09:51   #15
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Re: Completely Overwhelmed

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No doubt about it! It's confusing and frustrating. As Kettlewell said, get out and look at , sit on, some boats. Look under the floorboards, in the engine compartment etc. Do enough of this and you will get to know the difference and the price market. Also, there really arent any huge bargains out there in any market. There are good deals, but if a boat is priced too good to be true... it is too good to be true.
Many hidden things in boats: poor designs that sail with excessive weather helm, builders who bought a mold but didnt build with the previous quality, water saturated hulls, "just recently epoxied" etc etc. If you want to bypass some of the risk and research, buy a well reknowned boat and pay the little extra. Especially if you dont want to make a "mistake".
In the end it will be worth it!
Thank you. Good advice. I am waiting right now for a broker to get back to me to view a 65' Hat in my area. I think that part of the problem is that I live in New England. It seems that the boats that I am interested in are so far away. There is one in Cali and a couple in Fl. I do plan on travelling to see them, but I want to be sure that it is a good contender before I start running all over the place.
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