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Old 09-08-2016, 16:33   #1
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New Boater in Washington State

Hi,
My son-in-law and I are seriously considering buying a used power boat in the 30'-40' range. Our goal is to find something that we (and our wives) can live on for a week and to take it up to the San Juan Islands or possibly up to Desolation Sound in Canada.
Although I grew up living on a lake in Idaho with 16' ski boats, I really don't know much about cruising.

My main question is if it's financially feasible. It appears that boats in this size can be found for around $30,000. Is that true or do they have major problems?

Perhaps more important is the question of a yearly budget. I know individual boats and individual boaters can be much different but in general, what kind of maintenance cost should we plan on. ( I can find out about moorage costs but not sure about maintenance.)

Also, any advice about what to look for to suit our needs would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Bob
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Old 09-08-2016, 16:51   #2
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Re: New Boater in Washington State

Welcome. Let's see. Sounds like a small trawler, but 30K? At that price you need an in the water test run with the seller.

I don't know those waters - maybe someone who does will respond. I don't know what the navigational challenges are, and there may be. Maintenance? How much can you do, have time for, and how much will go to professionals at prices that can be breath taking?

I think my advice is that you find a person in a parallel position - owns a boat like you're looking at - and have a talk with him/her. He/she could raise or answer all sorts of questions that are really hard to even anticipate from across the country.

Come on back when you you've reached specific questions someone here can tackle, and good luck with it.
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Old 09-08-2016, 18:43   #3
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Re: New Boater in Washington State

Thanks for your comments. Unfortunately, I don't really know anyone who is a large boat owner. You're right - I'm not even sure of all the questions to ask. Maybe we just start looking at boats for sale with the idea not of buying but of learning about costs of maintenance etc.
If you or anyone could recommend a place to start, I'd sure appreciate it.
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Old 09-08-2016, 19:38   #4
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Re: New Boater in Washington State

As long as you have a sound boat and keep an eye on the weather, the area you want to travel can be done in a boat like you want. Any wind above 20 knots can put up waves that are uncomfortable for people not used to boat movement.
There are many places to go in Puget Sound, Lake Washington and other protected areas while you learn and get use to the boat. After that, watch the weather and currents and the San Juans are easy. Plan your movements with the tides and currents. When I travel, I often gain a couple knots by using the currents. But the currents can kill you, too. When I was young, a tug and barge went missing in Johnstone Strait. Later the barge was found anchored. The tug was the anchor. I've been places where the flood current was 22 knots.
Download OpenCPN. It's a good "free" chart program. Think about donating. You can get free US digital charts here:Chart Downloader for NOAA ENC«
Coast Pilot 7 for Washington, etc. is here: United States Coast Pilot«
Canadian charts have to be bought.
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Old 10-08-2016, 04:00   #5
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Re: New Boater in Washington State

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, bherrington.
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Old 10-08-2016, 05:29   #6
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Re: New Boater in Washington State

Looking at boats that are for sale is a good start. It could give you a feel for minimum size, purchase costs, condition, and just what you like. Comparing one boat to another will help focus your mind. I did that in approaching the question of wanting a retirement boat - it pushed me away from returning to the 40' sloops of my youth, toward trawlers, a minimum size, and finally to building my own because I couldn't find a boat that met my standards that I could afford. That last part is not a path I recommend, by the way.

Do you have a broker in the area who could suggest boats to look at after hearing your goals? An area listing of boats on the market? Marinas that can point you to boats on the market? Bulletin boards?
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Old 10-08-2016, 08:38   #7
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Re: New Boater in Washington State

I have spent significant time on trawlers in that range in the San Juans. 36' is a good size. I would be wary of boats priced at 30K for that size. I'm not up on prices these days but three times that would seem more like it to me. Replacing the engine on my boat would cost nearly that much. Again I am no expert on selling prices these days.

Try to find someone at a charter company in the PNW to help assess maintenance costs. They would have the most experience. Get a good survey as well as a good diesel mechanic to go through the motor and a oil analysis. A Sea Trial is absolutely necessary.

Good luck
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Old 10-08-2016, 08:45   #8
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Re: New Boater in Washington State

I think you will find most boats of 35-40, for that money, are projects, not reliable and will be a money pit. At 30 ft you may find an exception though. You could find an old Tollycraft 26 in exceptional condition for quite a bit less if that's big enough. that would tell me you might find a 30-34 Tolly for $30k although there are less of them out there. One week is not enough for Desolation Sound really, unless you get a planing powerboat.


By the time you buy and maintain a boat, pay moorage and insurance all year.. for one week's use per year you should charter.
Moorage: $6000 per year
Insurance: $400/yr?
Maintenance: $1000-4000/yr? (the older and the bigger the more this is... could be a lot more than this)


Charter a well maintained boat and no worries... priceless!




Tolly 26, recent motor $15k: http://seattle.craigslist.org/tac/boa/5724783622.html


Tolly 26 diesel! $7500 Needs transom rebuild: http://seattle.craigslist.org/kit/boa/5720094421.html


Tolly 34. $30k: http://seattle.craigslist.org/sno/bod/5703972795.html

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Old 10-08-2016, 11:59   #9
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Re: New Boater in Washington State

perfect timing for you. CYC Seattle (Shilshole) is having a panel discussion on buying a boat at the friday night dinner this week. Come down for a beer and a 6 buck dinner and talk to people, like, in person.
Corinthian Yacht Club of Seattle Upcoming Events ┬╗ ┬╗ New Boat Owner Panel Discussion
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Old 10-08-2016, 12:57   #10
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Re: New Boater in Washington State

You can absolutely get into a 30-40' trawler for $30K +/- but you need to know what you're doing. A good survey is critical but before that you should know what to look for like deck problems. The most economical way to go is a single diesel but you need to make sure it's in good condition which means have a mechanic inspect it. If you're on a limited budget you will also need to be able to do repairs yourself. If you can't do your own repairs the costs will be steep. Here's a few examples of boats that would work for you. I've included some woodies because they're cooler but also because you can get a lot more boat for the money if you go that route. However, if you were to go that route you really need to be able to work on the boat yourself. Any boat is a big commitment but a wooden boat is even more so.

https://seattle.craigslist.org/see/boa/5709510411.html
https://seattle.craigslist.org/tac/bod/5686363125.html
https://seattle.craigslist.org/tac/boa/5706707140.html
https://seattle.craigslist.org/see/boa/5725615838.html
https://seattle.craigslist.org/see/boa/5721209807.html
https://seattle.craigslist.org/see/bod/5719451649.html
https://seattle.craigslist.org/oly/boa/5711923623.html
https://seattle.craigslist.org/tac/bod/5686363125.html
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Old 10-08-2016, 17:38   #11
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Re: New Boater in Washington State

my wife and I own a 60' trawler in the south Puget sound..would be happy to show you around and discus maintenance moorage and fuel costs ..Rick
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Old 10-08-2016, 20:25   #12
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Re: New Boater in Washington State

I have a 42' sailboat at Swantown marina in Olympia $380 a month for Moorage.


Sent from my iPhone using Cruisers Sailing Forum
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Old 13-08-2016, 16:32   #13
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Re: New Boater in Washington State

Don't buy, rent for a couple week cruise. You or yours may not like it. Boats are sort of like horses, easy to buy and hard to sell. The purchase price may be small in relation to the upkeeping price. Trust me I have had both horses and boats and on my second wife. Also easy to get and expensive to get rid of. Good luck from Anacortes slip M39 Cap Sante.
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Old 14-08-2016, 06:17   #14
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Re: New Boater in Washington State

Find a good surveyor in the area you are looking. You can find listings of them in your area. A good surveyor who has been around for many years will know boats well as far as good ones, bad ones, ones that have inherent problems of one sort or the other. Explain to them what you are looking for, what your experience is and what your mechanical skills are re: maintenance etc. And absolutely have a survey and sea trial. A really nice looking boat can have so many problems that the average person would never know about, the purchase price can quickly double with repair costs.
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