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View Poll Results: What route would you go if you could do it again?
Buy as small as you can comfortably llive aboard (freeing up kitty money)? 20 58.82%
Buy as large as you can afford (because everyone always wishes they had a bigger boat eventually)? 14 41.18%
Voters: 34. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 21-05-2008, 22:35   #1
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Confusion on boat size - First Boat

I am confused, I know everyone enjoys their boats, and I know everyone has opinions, AND everything is relative depending on all sorts of factors, however.......after reading several books, and countless hours pouring over the forums I still have a slight fog in my addled brain about pro's and cons to buying a first boat. So what I have narrowed it down to is based on a fixed amount of $$, say $80k to buy and $40k for outfitting would you.......
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Old 21-05-2008, 22:50   #2
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Over 60 ft is hard to find moorage/slip/guest berth/mooring ball.
Under 40 is easier to find all of the above.
In between is well... in between.

More important is DRAFT. Where you will be primarily boating (water depths) and what type of boating (ie: open ocean/coastwise/inland/canals/ICW) are very important factors.

Not just LOA.

Open ocean or open water (bays/sounds/lakes) is always nicer in a larger deeper draft boat.
Channels, ICW, small bodies of protected water is always nicer in a smaller shallower draft boat. So you can get into those hard to reach, out of the way places.
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Old 22-05-2008, 02:10   #3
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S.W.O.T.?

One of the techniques used at one of the few inservice courses that I attended was to do a SWOT analysis (I forget what for...).

The presenter took a large sheet of white paper and used horizontal and a vertical lines to split it up into quarters.

Each quarter was labeled S-strengths, W-weaknesses, O-opportunities and T-threats and those component of the subject under discussion were written into the quarters.

I suggest that you do a SWOT diagram for each boat type that you are considering.

Your $80k to buy and $40 to upgrade would be realistic provided the boat is in good or better condition so a search on Yachtworld.com should give you some data on available boats.

I am sure that forum members would help you as needed.
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Old 22-05-2008, 04:13   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenman View Post
I am confused, I know everyone enjoys their boats, and I know everyone has opinions, AND everything is relative depending on all sorts of factors, however.......after reading several books, and countless hours pouring over the forums I still have a slight fog in my addled brain about pro's and cons to buying a first boat. So what I have narrowed it down to is based on a fixed amount of $$, say $80k to buy and $40k for outfitting would you.......
Hi Ya - IMO sensible figures for buying and refurb / outfitting, but I would caution against buying a first boat where you calculated in advance that 40k was needed - very easy to get that one badly wrong.

For a first boat I would buy one in good condition, needing as little TLC / updating as you can find (they will all need / or you will want to do stuff!) - and this will mean she is smaller than you could buy - but IMO USD80k is plenty enough to buy yourself into a lot of trouble / future expense by going for size over condition......and it is easy to get sucked into things.......

How big will depend on the market in your area / country (and also the boats intended use / area which will impact on boat model and the onboard gear required). Buy as big as you need and can afford to buy, equip and run - but IMO one of the (many!) keys to happy boat ownership is to be very realistic about the word "afford", IMO not to be confused with the phrase "able to buy".....but on this one I suspect attitudes and cultural differences vary

Remember to also factor in delivery costs even if you do it yourself, having a boat to "do a few jobs on" when located a couple of hundred miles away can be a PITA and way more expensive than being down the road......so be careful with "bargains" accross country.
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Old 22-05-2008, 05:27   #5
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Greenman,

IMO, an 80k buy 40k budget will afford you a wide range of choices.

I agree with Gene, that Draft is an important consideration. I think you have to answer many questions to narrow your options.

Where do you want to sail to? how will you get there: Blue water, inland, near coastal, all of the above, who will be traveling with you ( size of family, crew).
How much can you afford for ongoing expenses.

Style of cruising, anchorages, moorings, transit slips, length of stay. Only you can answer those questions.

Tempest.
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Old 22-05-2008, 06:03   #6
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to me, the poll question is too vague....in my case my first boat was 26ft, and I spent 2K on it....played with it for a few years to figure out what I was doing and if the Admiral would get into it....next boat was 40ft (current boat) and we love it...too many variables to be able to accurately answer the question.....

Bill
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Old 22-05-2008, 06:49   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenman View Post
... I still have a slight fog in my addled brain about pro's and cons to buying a first boat. So what I have narrowed it down to is based on a fixed amount of $$, say $80k to buy and $40k for outfitting would you.......
It would be benificial if you could help narrow this a bit. In other words a coatal cruiser is a bit different boat than a true blue water cruiser. It would also be good to know if this amount is to include the cost of cruising or if you plan to sail mostly in the local area. Same goes for insurance and how you intend to store it (i.e., slip, mooring, anchor out or on the hard) or if you intend to live on it.

Another thing is do you have any preferences? Some people want a ketch or sloop. Some want a multihull. Some want a pilothouse. There is no right or wrong answer here although some are a bit more or less suited to different uses. But you might as well get a boat that you like the way it looks as sometimes that will be the only thing you like about it.

I think for an older boat, you are likely within specs, at least in terms of dollars. The only other initial thing to keep in mind is that a boat rarely makes financial sense and is akiin to renting a flat. So they tend to be emotional decisions. Recognizing that is, in my opinion, an important step.
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Old 22-05-2008, 06:59   #8
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I would say buy the smallest boat that fits your "reasonable" needs. The cost of yachts--maintenance, repairs, upkeep, mooring, etc. increases exponentially with LOA. Systems become more complex and it seems one spends more time working on the boat than just sailing and enjoying oneself. As the baby-boom generation ages and the follow on generations seem to lack interest in sailing there are many good quality mid-sized (32'-38') boats becoming available that are very inexpensive. They may not have all the lastest gear, but I haven't found all the new stuff really adds much to the sailing experience other than complexity.

FWIW!

s/v HyLyte
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Old 22-05-2008, 07:31   #9
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Probably the best response on this thread.

Maybe you won't like sailing and would be happier with a garden?

Quote:
Originally Posted by caribnsol View Post
to me, the poll question is too vague....in my case my first boat was 26ft, and I spent 2K on it....played with it for a few years to figure out what I was doing and if the Admiral would get into it....next boat was 40ft (current boat) and we love it...too many variables to be able to accurately answer the question.....

Bill
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Old 22-05-2008, 09:45   #10
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Greenman - how much do you know? Is this power or sail?

My first boat was 12' and cost $150. I was 12 years old. I didn't get my next (slightly bigger) boat for over 10 years. I learned a lot about sailing in those 10 years.

You don't have to do it this way - but if you're a novice sailor, I recommend you start very small. If this is a power boat - never mind.

Dave
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Old 22-05-2008, 10:35   #11
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Yes, I have given Draft a lot of thought and I think I would like to stay under or very near 5 feet. That seems to be a half decent compromise between the ability to gunkhole and reasonable off shore passage.

Am looking at a few boats next week, but I don't think any I have seen in my area on Yachtword or Boats.com are what I am looking for. Just to give you an idea I love

This boat, except the price scares me

1976 Heritage Yachts West Indies - Boats.com

I also really like the C&C Landfall 38 and 42 as well as the Irwin CC 37
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Old 22-05-2008, 11:50   #12
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Aloha Greenman,
Why does the price scare you? Too much? Not enough? In my point of view that's about right for that make and model - maybe a bit cheaper but that's probably due to its location. A surveyor would be able to sort out what its particular problems are.
For a first boat I'd suggest finding a popular older mid-line production boat, i. e. Cal, Catalina, Bristol, Pearson, Alberg to name just a few. These boats will re-sell in case you are not satisfied with them. It is extremely unusual (not impossible though) to find your dreamboat the first time because as your experience matures you will prioritize features differently. I would also suggest something in the range of 32-36 feet LOD, fiberglass with a sloop or cutter rig, diesel engine and aft cockpit. All these features are popular and easy to re-sell. 5 foot draft is a good decision. Don't pay $80K for a first boat. For what I described that is way high.
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Old 22-05-2008, 13:58   #13
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Quote:
Just to give you an idea I love This boat, except the price scares me
Don't let the low purchase price make you think the refit costs won't double up fast. A 38 ft hull is a piece of work just on a per foot basis. Being 1976 it's bound to have fun filled surprises. Don't expect a factory install electrical system that isn't a nightmare. A previous owner's attempt at playing electrician could easily mandate almost all new wires. Rigging would all be suspect even if it sort of look OK. Getting into boats this old isn't for the first time boat owner. Better to be a tad smaller and newer than bigger and older. Big with problems is a very expensive thing. You examine the cost of everything that is sold by the foot and you can see why.

You can still find decent deals on late 1980's boats that may have had a refit 7 years ago. Just be sure to size to suit. Tankage, and displacement means ability to go far with lots of stuff. It's the working definition of cruising. Think low mileage pickup truck with new tires not vintage sports car with precision engine.
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Old 22-05-2008, 15:53   #14
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Thanks all, to clear up some of the questions, I am looking for a live aboard (wife, 2 cats and myself) that is hardy enough do the limited off shore travel required to get from Halifax to The Bahamas (and vicinity?? Centeral America etc.), then gunkhole around. I am a pretty simple dude, my wife....not so much, the good news is she is eager to start the planning for our retirement (now she understands the "You may never work again" thing)

As for the $40K refit cost, I was told to plan up to 50% of the purchase price, and that is how it fits.

This $120K is boat only, and I should be slipping away in 6 years with a $120K ish coastal cruiser, around $80K in the bank as an emerg/rebuild fund and a forever and ever $2.5K a month pension. I am on the freedom 43 plan and I want to ensure it happens. Thats why I am planning now, hopefully my pension is enough to sustain us without dipping into the actual "kitty".

As for the Heritage West Indies, the survey(s) would clear up any concerns (or point them poit I hope) and may leave a lot more $$$ in the Kitty as a reserve, who knows at this point I am just planning. I do LOVE the yellow for some reason though.

I got poll question straight from 2 diametrically opposed opinions from 2 seperate books and was not really concerned with all the finer details, I was just feeling about with people who were actually "living the dream".

So thank you all very much, I as most of you would do (I think), will be looking for some middle ground. I suspect we could survive on a 30 ft Catalina, and could possibly afford a 45 ft Morgan, but will most likely end up with a 35-42 ft boat that I (meaning my wife) loves and surveys well.

Speaking of pick ups, my first was a 1976 Chev Hi Compression 350 with a 4:11 gear ratio. It didn't go fast, but I could pull down a building with it. I loved that truck. Now I have a damn mini van
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Old 22-05-2008, 16:59   #15
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Quote:
but will most likely end up with a 35-42 ft boat that I (meaning my wife) loves and surveys well.
I would say those are the big two criteria. It would be nice if you liked it too but it isn't always required. You need something that works and what works needs to include a lot of things that are more about you and your situation than the boat. The idea is to not let the boat steer the captain. You have a wife to do that<g>.

All the best of luck and when you get a boat you know where you need to be hanging put on line when not on the hook!
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