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Old 25-12-2008, 23:19   #46
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Buying a boat - help!

Take two asprin and Call your psychologist now!..
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Which boat makes you think that?

SS: That was just a pun welcoming you to boat ownership...had nothing to do with your boat choices...Good Luck.
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Old 26-12-2008, 07:11   #47
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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!

g
With these statements the Hunter can be an attractive item. Use it, and learn to sail in all weather. Save your money, and sell her when you are ready to cruise. I have found Hunters to be a wee bit tender, but good performance.

I have chartered them, and sailed them in the Bahamas with some snotty weather. What I experienced I would prefer something else to do passages. Although you see them everywhere. A good & prudent sailor can sail just about anything anywhere......i2f.....BEST WISHES in figuring it out....
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Old 26-12-2008, 07:23   #48
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Gitar,

I think that if you are looking for a "starter" boat it would serve different needs and you would treat it differently. For one it will be the boat to hone your sailing and boat handling skills in mostly protected waters. Good idea and a non offshore boat like a Hunter which is less expensive from the get go.

And then, you can experience some of the "systems" which you'll be wanting to be more bullet proof in a cruising boat, but not critical in a starter boat. So you won't be spending the big bucks in upgrades that you won't get back when you sell and step up. On the other hand you WILL do maintenance and some replacement/refit and that will get you into the technical/mechanical self sufficiency which you'll need for a cruising live aboard yacht. You'll learn what works for you and what doesn't so that when you have to upgrade/refit your offshore live aboard yacht you won't be asking so many questions.... tackling these with knowledge you gained from the starter boat.

I think a Hunter, Catalina or similar makes sense. You can get a newer hull which is not a fixer upper for an affordable price and be sailing!
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Old 26-12-2008, 14:28   #49
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Aloha both of you,
Don't buy anything without a survey. Has that been said? The Fuji 35 is a strong boat but in my opinion they are asking a bit much for it. I had a Mariner 35 which is the same design only in all wood. They are good strong ocean boats and are great liveaboards. The survey will point out all the areas where dry rot might be lurking. Even the fiberglass hulled boats have some plywood with glass over that might be prone to dry rot where the weather includes lots of rain. For maintenance free living and sailing an all fiberglass boat is the best. Good luck on your choice. My opinion (only my opinion) would be to stay away from Hunters unless it will be just a learning boat for in the sound.
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Old 26-12-2008, 15:20   #50
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I don't want to add confusion here but I disagree with the "Starter boat" concept.

Stepping stones to a bigger boat can be really expensive. It isn't very often that you hear of someone breaking even on the purchase and subsequent sale of a boat. Also getting used to one boat then outfitting and cruising with a different boat doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

If it were me, I would find the boat that I want to take cruising, spend the ensuing months, years, whatever, learning everything that I can about and installing & improving systems on that boat.

Boats are not cheap to buy, maintain and upgrade. I would want all of my hard earned $ & time to go into the boat that I want to cruise in.

Now, if you are not really sure if you want to do long distance cruising, that's a whole different kettle of fish. By all means, buy the smaller boat. That Hunter is a great day-sailer. It's even a fine cruising boat on a budget. As long as you learn about weather and cruising patterns that will keep you going down-hill most of the time, you're good to go anywhere, as long as you keep it between 35N and 35S.

We had some good friends that have a Hunter 34 in the Bahamas. It's an ideal boat for that area.
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Old 26-12-2008, 18:42   #51
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The Admiral Says....

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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.
So we like the 34' Hunter, but we're not in love.

We keep looking at other options thinking we could get more bang for our buck.

The boat that Cheechako mentioned, the 1980 41' Downeaster, has been popping into my head (and my blog). I finally got the broker on the phone tonight and if the snow has melted enough to make the marina where she's at accessible.... we are going to look at her tomorrow.

Does anyone have any thoughts about this particular boat before we go take a look and get all emotionally attached?
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Old 26-12-2008, 18:49   #52
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Great words of wisdom - Thanks Kanani

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I don't want to add confusion here but I disagree with the "Starter boat" concept.

Stepping stones to a bigger boat can be really expensive. It isn't very often that you hear of someone breaking even on the purchase and subsequent sale of a boat. Also getting used to one boat then outfitting and cruising with a different boat doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

If it were me, I would find the boat that I want to take cruising, spend the ensuing months, years, whatever, learning everything that I can about and installing & improving systems on that boat.

Boats are not cheap to buy, maintain and upgrade. I would want all of my hard earned $ & time to go into the boat that I want to cruise in.

Now, if you are not really sure if you want to do long distance cruising, that's a whole different kettle of fish. By all means, buy the smaller boat. That Hunter is a great day-sailer. It's even a fine cruising boat on a budget. As long as you learn about weather and cruising patterns that will keep you going down-hill most of the time, you're good to go anywhere, as long as you keep it between 35N and 35S.

We had some good friends that have a Hunter 34 in the Bahamas. It's an ideal boat for that area.
Your voice was echoing in our heads while we looked at the Hunter. We are reconsidering that option and looking at a 1980 41' Downeaster tomorrow.... if weather permits access to the now snowed in marina.

We think you're absolutely right about not getting a starter boat. It makes sense to get acquainted with the boat in the Pacific Northwest over the next few years and then take her to our more adventurous routes we've mentioned. It just would not make sense for us to buy one and then buy another when we are ready to leave for our big adventures cruising.

Thanks for the voice of reason
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Old 26-12-2008, 18:53   #53
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SS: That was just a pun welcoming you to boat ownership...had nothing to do with your boat choices...Good Luck.
I think you're right. Getting two ibuprofen now and I haven't even made a purchase!
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Old 26-12-2008, 19:21   #54
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We keep looking at other options thinking we could get more bang for our buck.
I sure would hope you do that much. What good are options unless you have better ones. It also means you need to find something you like. Never buy an ugly boat you don't like. It's not about much else. She will own you more than you own her so choose wisely. You need to feel good if not over joyed. After that it's all just doing the work.
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Old 26-12-2008, 23:12   #55
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I have never sailed on one so take this with a big grain of salt.

The Downeaster 41 would be considered a fairly heavy cruiser with a fairly high LWL to displacement ratio my only concern here is with such a short water line length and generous overhangs she may hobby horse a fair bit but she does statistically carry a high motion comfort rating..which is arguable, as each of us have different tolerances to different motions..i.e. roll verses pitch...so its subjective to each sailor.

The boat will be slow compared to most other 40' boats and slower then most 30 footers for that matter..The sail to displacement ration is not far above a motor sailor...but it should be a safe boat if built well and in good condition as it has a fairly high righting moment or capsize ratio...

Just my opinion having never been on one.
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Old 27-12-2008, 18:47   #56
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Well the Admiral and I are going to go look at the Downeaster next weekend. We'll let you know how it goes. Hopefully we'll be able to get financing which is scary in this economic climate. If we can't then the Hunter may be our only option right now.
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Old 27-12-2008, 20:46   #57
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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!

Were the downeasters laid up in Taiwan? I didn't think so. I think it is a California boat.

The Downeaster - Down East Yachts

I looked at one here pretty seriously for a while. I'd keep it on my list. I don't think they ever got too popular and there aren't a ton around.

One of my priorities is to have a very active and robust owners club on older boats. Old boats need support, IMO.

The first time you need to replace a fitting that is no longer procurable it is nice to have a group of people who may have already crossed that bridge.
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Old 27-12-2008, 21:29   #58
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Another wayto look at it

Never Surrender, sweet or not!

Another wqy to consider the "starter boat" idea:

With your very limited experience,the chances of getting it really right when buying your first boat are pretty slim, notwithstanding all the well meaning advice garnered here.

One can get all the good experience needed in most any boat that continues to float... sailing in varied conditions, maintenance, piloting/navigation skills, provisioning, communications skills and so on. Having a really perfect boat might even reduce your learning experiences (ho,ho).

So, to me the important thing is for you to buy a boat that passes a severe survey, and buy it at a good enough price that when you eventually have accumulated sufficient knowledge of boats and your specific goals,you can recover a decent fraction of your investment. Then, armed with some real and personal experience you can seek that perfect boat for whatever direction you wish to travel.

The good thing about somewhat older boats is that they are well down the depreciation road, and if maintained well keep their value. So, keep an open mind about those inexpensive boats from the late 60's through the 70's. We did 86k miles in our '74 Palmer Johnson, and she's still going strong with her new owner.

So, good luck with it all, and remember, there are a hell of a lot of boats for sale these days, and keep at it!

Cheers,
Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II lying Gladstone, Qld Oz
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Old 27-12-2008, 22:24   #59
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We have two friends, one with a Downeaster 40 and the other with a 32 that have been cruising for many years and love their boat. Eileen Quinn, the singer that specializes in cruising and sailing music has cruised for many years on their Downeaster.
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Old 28-12-2008, 04:31   #60
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The trick is not that you might offend someone but you might not know the real value of the boat. It's about doing your homework so that you do know what the boat is really worth. There really is no rule of thumb that says you always offer half. But you sure as heck might if you found some problems.
Good advice. Unfortunately with boats no easy / simple / quick way of assessing the real value of a boat.....but it is doable and doesn't take rocket science, just takes time to learn / research.

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The key is showing you are a serious buyer. Sending someone else to do it for you only signals you didn't spend the time to learn about the boat or care enough to show up. I might not show up to meet your friend with a deal like that were it my boat. It just begs for a wasted effort.
I would disagree here, not greatly , but enuf to offer a different opinion ...........

.........If I was unsure or simply wanted a second opinion and a freind who was in the Boat industry was available and willing I would not be shy about send him (or her?!) along either with me or alone.

Both for his objective opinion (and proffessional costings!) and as a degree of softening up on the price by his simply identifying stuff that needs attention / repair / further investigation and spelling out the $$$ numbers to the Vendor. And being in the trade adds a certain authority to the figures and especially as IMO all numbers should be commercial rates - any DIY savings are a bonus to the buyer - Vendor had the same option before putting the boat on the market.

As a Vendor I would view the above as a PITA and perhaps a bad sign on price (depending on what I was selling) - but overall as an indication that the buyer was seriously considering.........albeit I wouldn't expect him to be 100% certain (serious?) on buying at that point.....up to me to try and reel him in

BTW if you want a $50k boat ready to sail away then you want to know if you will in fact be starting with a $35k one and then adding $30k.....and either offer accordingly or move on with your search. It's business, don't be afraid to "offend"
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