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Old 23-12-2008, 15:40   #31
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Originally Posted by gitarwmn View Post
I'm the other half of Sweet Surrender and we have seen quite a few steel sailboats on the market. What do people on this forum think of steel boats?

Thanks for all the great knowledge on this subject. This is great information.

gitarwmn
OK.........now I'm impressed. If you guys are both taking a big interest in this process, that's HUGE!!!!!

Steel boats have their place. They are typically strong and withstand a lot of abuse (if that's what you're interested in).

Like all boats, steel boats have their issues. If you plan on extended cruising, take a welding class and buy a tig welder. You will have to be constantly on top of rust issues and learn the best ways to deal with them. There are coating products for the exterior of the hull. Staying after interior rust may be the bigger issue.

Most steel boats are "Home built" I think (I may be wrong). I would make sure that I got a surveyor that is very good with steel boats.

I've delivered steel boats. I have even been tempted to buy one. I just think that F/G boats are easier to work on. I guess it has something to do with where you want to cruise too. I know that when I sailed to Antarctica, I wished that I would have had a steel hull. However, I made it through the ice just fine (a few scars).
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Old 23-12-2008, 16:05   #32
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Offer at least 35% less. Maybe try at 50% to start. Offending an owner could be an issue, so just come up with logical reasons. For instance, If you decide on the Union, mention the wet deck core possibilities, tank possible problems etc.. By the way, Dont underestimate those issues for your own evaluation! All that teak to maintain, tank issues clogging engine filters etc etc. It all depends on how much you LIKE working on a boat. If you haven't done much boat work, you might entertain a boat with less exterior work etc. (by the way, there's a Columbia 38 FS in Seattle for $19k asking) Other possibilities: 1980 Downeaster pilothouse Long range cruising cutter for sale in Bremerton, WA: Cruiser (sail) - SailboatTraderOnline.com or Fuji 35 (no teak decks!) at New and Used Boats For Sale seattle, Above all, have fun, take your time and get the best you can to avoid headaches.
We saw that 38 Columbia and liked it. What do you think of that 38 Columbia? Do you think that price is a bargain? We weren't sure what to think.

Love the Downeaster you refer to, but haven't got the broker on the phone yet... That does look like a nice boat.
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Old 23-12-2008, 16:20   #33
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Originally Posted by Kanani View Post
OK.........now I'm impressed. If you guys are both taking a big interest in this process, that's HUGE!!!!!

Steel boats have their place. They are typically strong and withstand a lot of abuse (if that's what you're interested in).

Like all boats, steel boats have their issues. If you plan on extended cruising, take a welding class and buy a tig welder. You will have to be constantly on top of rust issues and learn the best ways to deal with them. There are coating products for the exterior of the hull. Staying after interior rust may be the bigger issue.

Most steel boats are "Home built" I think (I may be wrong). I would make sure that I got a surveyor that is very good with steel boats.

I've delivered steel boats. I have even been tempted to buy one. I just think that F/G boats are easier to work on. I guess it has something to do with where you want to cruise too. I know that when I sailed to Antarctica, I wished that I would have had a steel hull. However, I made it through the ice just fine (a few scars).
Yup, we're both boat nuts finally buying our own boat instead of living vicariously by chartering or taking lessons anymore.

We have heard mixed things about steel hulls, too. I think you may be right that they are mostly custom anyway, which can be good or bad... but I just haven't been on one of these to feel how it sails.
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Old 23-12-2008, 16:33   #34
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Originally Posted by SweetSurrender View Post
We saw that 38 Columbia and liked it. What do you think of that 38 Columbia? Do you think that price is a bargain? We weren't sure what to think.

Love the Downeaster you refer to, but haven't got the broker on the phone yet... That does look like a nice boat.
Guess you didn't read my post regarding the Columbia's. There is more to a cruising boat than just the price to consider.
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Old 23-12-2008, 16:51   #35
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I would avoid starting with a real old boat that is cheap. I mentioned the Downeaster as an example, it's an intriguing design, but I've never seen it high on people's list. Possibly sloppy construction? Maybe someone knows. However, a lot of taiwan built boats have sailed the oceans, what they lacked for skill back in the 80's they made up for with extra glass! I didnt mean to dissuade you from the Union 36. Just use that surveyor if you like that boat and be prepared to walk away if the decks are saturated. It sounds like an awful good starting price.... must be something wrong. The Fuji 35 doesnt have teeak decks. A lot depends on where and how far you want to go. Florida through the carribean?... Heck, I'd be willing to go in a Catalina, Downeaster, whatever. Around the world? Probably full keel of sorts. The basic boat you buy needs to be really solid if you are truly going to sail oceans. If you are not sure, buy a boat in Florida and sail the Bahamas and Caribe to find out how serious you are!
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Old 23-12-2008, 17:17   #36
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Guess you didn't read my post regarding the Columbia's. There is more to a cruising boat than just the price to consider.
You are absolutely correct. I understand your concerns for space considerations regarding the Columbias.

I think I lean towards it because it does look like a decent boat for a decent price... but the price just seems really suspicious...

Should I be strongly worried about discontinued parts when looking at these older boats?
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Old 23-12-2008, 17:18   #37
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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
I would avoid starting with a real old boat that is cheap. I mentioned the Downeaster as an example, it's an intriguing design, but I've never seen it high on people's list. Possibly sloppy construction? Maybe someone knows. However, a lot of taiwan built boats have sailed the oceans, what they lacked for skill back in the 80's they made up for with extra glass! I didnt mean to dissuade you from the Union 36. Just use that surveyor if you like that boat and be prepared to walk away if the decks are saturated. It sounds like an awful good starting price.... must be something wrong. The Fuji 35 doesnt have teeak decks. A lot depends on where and how far you want to go. Florida through the carribean?... Heck, I'd be willing to go in a Catalina, Downeaster, whatever. Around the world? Probably full keel of sorts. The basic boat you buy needs to be really solid if you are truly going to sail oceans. If you are not sure, buy a boat in Florida and sail the Bahamas and Caribe to find out how serious you are!

We're thinking that some posters here are right about the Union not being a viable choice because of the worry about the teak and the space. I know the seller needs to get out of town and I believe I heard that the boat was used twice last year.
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Old 23-12-2008, 17:38   #38
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35 Fiji

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
Offer at least 35% less. Maybe try at 50% to start. Offending an owner could be an issue, so just come up with logical reasons. For instance, If you decide on the Union, mention the wet deck core possibilities, tank possible problems etc.. By the way, Dont underestimate those issues for your own evaluation! All that teak to maintain, tank issues clogging engine filters etc etc. It all depends on how much you LIKE working on a boat. If you haven't done much boat work, you might entertain a boat with less exterior work etc. (by the way, there's a Columbia 38 FS in Seattle for $19k asking) Other possibilities: 1980 Downeaster pilothouse Long range cruising cutter for sale in Bremerton, WA: Cruiser (sail) - SailboatTraderOnline.com or Fuji 35 (no teak decks!) at New and Used Boats For Sale seattle, Above all, have fun, take your time and get the best you can to avoid headaches.
Ok, I found the Fiji 35

That's a nice boat too. We haven't seen that one yet. Thanks for the tip!
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Old 23-12-2008, 17:40   #39
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Boat parts are generic and the age will not be an issue in replacing anything. You may not be able to find the original part but another replacement made by someone else will work nicely and sometimes better than the original.
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Old 23-12-2008, 18:46   #40
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On a 32 foot boat doing a world cruise you will always be wishing for a bigger boat. On a 43 you will just be wishing for a newer boat.

At least you could drift round the world slowly upgrading a big boat, but you can't extend a small one.
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Old 23-12-2008, 18:55   #41
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Question What's wrong with Hunters?

We're going to go see that 34' Hunter mentioned earlier.

If we're simply coastal cruisers, merely running up and down the West Coast, doing the Baha-ha-ha on occasion... would the 34' Hunter still remain a poor choice?

I'm trying to understand the stigma behind the distaste for Hunters. Is it because they aren't super duper high-end? Do they sail like crap all the time in comparison to some really nice boat or do they just suck under weather? I've heard they are good boats, but that was from people who are relatively thrifty.

We look at it this way... This is our first boat and will come packed with learning for us to do. We want to eventually cruise more widely, perhaps even go for the gusto and circumnavigate. However.... we have a lot of learning to do before we take on such a venture.

So with that being said.... is the Hunter such a bad choice after all? It's not a MacGregor after all.....
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Old 23-12-2008, 20:11   #42
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Originally Posted by SweetSurrender View Post
We're going to go see that 34' Hunter mentioned earlier.

If we're simply coastal cruisers, merely running up and down the West Coast, doing the Baha-ha-ha on occasion... would the 34' Hunter still remain a poor choice?

I'm trying to understand the stigma behind the distaste for Hunters. Is it because they aren't super duper high-end? Do they sail like crap all the time in comparison to some really nice boat or do they just suck under weather? I've heard they are good boats, but that was from people who are relatively thrifty.

We look at it this way... This is our first boat and will come packed with learning for us to do. We want to eventually cruise more widely, perhaps even go for the gusto and circumnavigate. However.... we have a lot of learning to do before we take on such a venture.

So with that being said.... is the Hunter such a bad choice after all? It's not a MacGregor after all.....
I really don't think that you fully understand what you just said there. It sounds pretty simple but the reality is quite different..

I have done more deliveries around this planet than I care to count. One delivery that I would not make again (unless I was paid by time and not the mile) is up the West Coast of the US. I've done it once and won't do it again unless I have 3 months to kill. That can be one of the toughest slogs there is, against the wind and current. That's not cruising IMHO. The only people that make that passage are the ones that have to, to get home........that's often the end of the cruising carreer after that.

If I wanted to sail to Washington from Mexico, I would do it via Hawaii......I am dead serious about that too. I don't mind long passages. In fact, I rather enjoy them. I hate windward passages against the current.

It would not be a fun sail on that Hunter (or any other boat). Hunters are OK.....They're a light boat with a thin hull. If you want to know what going to windward in a choppy sea is like, stick your head in a 55 gallon drum and have your wife bang on the drum for about 72 hours while punching you in the gut..
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Old 23-12-2008, 20:26   #43
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We sail a Downeaster38. The hull is pretty solid and it's held up well to the years (extremely well in comparison with many we looked at for a similar price). Fair amount of plywood around dressed up to look nice but water tight and a veteran of some long trips with the previous owners and some more with ourselves on board. You should find a decently equiped and maintained model in your price range, of course then you'll be debugging other people's systems - we're been learning about that this last year!
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Old 25-12-2008, 18:03   #44
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Kanani raises a very good point. If you are going to be beating a lot, you want a tough and dry boat. But you DON'T want to be beating a lot.

What you want is to sail / cruise in "agreeable" conditions and this still means you want more than a day sailor or weekend boat. I don't think most Hunters are built with cruising in mind.

And unless you want a starter boat to learn on, I would find the right boat which you can take anywhere. There a lot's to choose from, but you need to either expand where you are looking and have the boat sailed or even shipped to you. And most importantly you need to define they kind of sailing you intend to do.

Even the most well found offshore boats spend most of their time anchored in protected waters and so accommodation is important since most of your time is spent on the hook. BUT getting from anchorage to anchorage is the part where you want a well found, well equipped boat up to the ocean.

My suggestion is to look for a boat in the mid thirties which can be very comfy for two. Over 40 is room but might be harder to handle (in some ways) as the forces involved increase almost logarithmically. And bigger boats means everything on them is more... from sails, to fuel ups, to dock fees, to line, and so on.

Find a good broker and make sure he or she is an old salt and understands what you want to do and have them find the boat.... wherever. That's my advice.

The best is yet to come!
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Old 25-12-2008, 18:40   #45
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SweetSurrender and I are beginners at sailing but both of us grew up around power boats. Even with some boating experience we are not yet confident enough to start cruising off shore yet. I'm still stuck in my 9 to 5 job and we have a lot to learn about sailboats and sailing and figure the Hunter we are considering is a good starter boat for the Puget Sound and maybe up into B.C. a bit. We look at this as our first boat and the fact that we can afford to buy it outright with out getting a loan is also appealing.

We are going to see the Hunter tomorrow and are taking an ole salty with us who knows about sail boats. At the same time we continue this search as there may be something better out there and knowing all these opinions is really a good thing. If we do go for the Hunter, at least now we know what its limitations may be. Thanks to all for your opinions and time teaching us newbies. Happy Holidays!

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