Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 18-03-2009, 15:14   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 25
Contessa 26 Budget

Hi. I have never owned a boat and I have minimal sailing experience, however I am in the market to buy a sailboat. This may very well end up being the stupidest thing I have ever done, but I have spent some time on boats and loved it, spent several years living out of a backpack in the Caribbean and loved it as well, so I have no reason to believe that I would not love living on my own boat in the Caribbean (Roatan specifically). I am a dive instructor and owning a boat would open up new job possibilities as well. There are a host of other reasons I want to do this, such as how green of a lifestyle it will allow me to live and that it will eventually open up a number of places I can realistically travel to. With that being said, I have a lot that needs to be accomplished before just pulling up anchor and sailing down there: mainly to buy a boat and learn how to sail it! I know that it would be far more logical to simply take classes for a few years and then make the purchase, but I feel that I will do a lot more sailing if I have a boat of my own, and since I will live aboard the first few years it will save me on apartment costs.

I have narrowed the search down to the Contessa 26. It fits my budget which is just under $40,000, it is beautiful and it has proven itself to be bluewater capable. I also like the fact that the hull and decks are solid fiberglass, as one of the major fears I have is having the decks rot out. I am not limiting myself to this boat, but right now it is at the top of my short list.

A newer engine is a priority, as I don’t expect to learn, or be capable of major diesel repairs anytime soon. The rest of the boat should be in sound shape as well, as I plan to sail the boat a lot in the next few years, so it can’t be laid up, not to mention that I really do not know what I am doing and would rather just pay up front for a boat that is already refitted.

I found this boat online a few months ago.
1984 Contessa Sloop Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

It appears to be in wonderful shape, has a relatively new engine and seems to be exactly what I am looking for. The only major expenses that I believe I am likely to need are a new electrical system, dinghy, windvave, etc. I was hoping I could run some prices buy you guys to let me know if my budget for this thing is in line or if I am forgetting anything. I would rather set aside more money than is necessary, than find out that I don’t have enough money to complete the job.

Upfront Costs

Boat: $20k. He is asking $25k, but I am hopeful that I can get the price down. Even at 20k, this would be more than most Contessa’s go for. I do not think I will go up much from here. I know it has been on the market 6 months, and with the economy the way it is I feel that waiting for a price I am really happy with is realistic.

Shipping: $2876 Would need to be shipped from San Diego to Chicago. This is my best quote so far.

Haul Out for Survey + Packing for travel: $800 This is approximately what I will have to pay to haul the boat and have them ready it for shipping.

Liveaboard Fee: $1600 for the summer

Insurance: $191 annually. BoatUS quoted me this over the phone. It was much cheaper than I was expecting.

Taxes and registration: $1250

Surveyor: $325

Launch Boat w/ Crane: $156

Restep Mast: $325 This is the price if they need to tune, it will probably end up costing less.

Trip to San Diego: $500 I would need to see the boat in person to feel comfortable purchasing it.

1st Year Maintenance/Upgrade Costs

Electrical System: $1500 This is the one major system I do not really know the state of. It apparently needs “minor troubleshooting”, so who knows. I am hoping $1500 would be enough to take care of a total rewiring, not including the batteries and solar. If the system is really screwed up, I can rely on shorepower for the first year(s) anyway. This should give me time to learn how to wire a boat and then totally rewire it. This would be worth knowing anyway, but I am not sure about the total costs and amount of time involved. A lot of both I guess.

Batteries: $750 My electrical needs will be small, just running GPS, lights, VHF, possibly an autopilot, though presumably the engine would be running then. And I also would need to charge my computer at times. Maybe a small stereo. That would really be the extent of it. Thinking this is enough to budget?

Solar Panel(s) and charge controller: $1000 This would cover 1 x 80 W Panel or maybe 2x 55 W and a charge controller.

Windvane: $2000 I think I will go with the Windpilot Pacific Light.

Charts and Books: $500

Dinghy and Motor: $1000 Haven’t decided on this one yet. Will probably get a used setup. I would prefer a hard dinghy, but I am not sure about having room on deck.


Ok, that is the budget. Is there anything clearly amiss or left out? Any advice? This is clearly a major decision and I want to be as well informed as I can be. Thanks -Jake
__________________

__________________
somasized is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-03-2009, 15:38   #2
Senior Cruiser
 
Cheechako's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Skagit City, WA
Posts: 19,363
The Contessa 26 is one of the prettiest little boats on the water. I had one in the late 80's. A couple words of caution though. They are essentially a folkboat, narrow, tender (initially), very low headroom (i'm 5-8) and a very wet ride. I'm amazed that the used '84 you show listed is asking so much money. I think mine sold for about $12000 in 1991, it had a trailer, many upgrades for cruising and was squeaky clean. For the money you could get a lot more living accomodation and a more comfortable ride. For the above reasons, it may not be an easy boat to re-sell... although they have a good reputation thanks to Tania Aebi. The mini diesel will not handle a very big alternator (is it a 6hp bukh?) I kow how it is, sometimes you just have to have a certain boat, I just thought I would pass this along. There are 30 footers with more accomodation, amenities and much drier rides...
__________________

__________________
Cheechako is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-03-2009, 16:05   #3
Long Range Cruiser
 
MarkJ's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Australian living on "Sea Life" currently in England.
Boat: Beneteau 393 "Sea Life"
Posts: 12,828
Images: 25
Jake,

Contessas are fine boats... but there must be hundreds of suitable boats in the Great Lakes for you to chose from and save all that transport cost.


Sailing is NOT rocket science. 2 sails controlled by a brain tis all it is.

I'm not from the USA but I've picked up a boat from Muskegon on Lake Hoolamagang (or something) and sailed it to Nova Scottia.

The place is flooded with boats... go find one in any of the Great Lakes and learn to sail by bringing it home



Quote:
This may very well end up being the stupidest thing I have ever done,
Garbage. It will be the best thing you have done... and if the whole deal goes to hell in a handbasket you have only blown $40k and a bit of work. Thats nothing

All the best

Mark
__________________
Notes on a Circumnavigation.
OurLifeAtSea.com

Somalia Pirates and our Convoy
MarkJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-03-2009, 16:10   #4
Do… or do not
 
s/v Jedi's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: in paradise
Boat: Sundeer 64
Posts: 9,198
Jake,

I see you as an ex-backpacker / scuba instructor who want to switch to living aboard that Contessa 26 in the Caribbean and you have $40k. I'll base the following on these assumptions:

Go for it! Visit the boat and if you like it, sign the contract pending survey. Hire a surveyor to do the survey right there (broker will help you, standard procedure). If all is well, you transfer the rest of the money and ship it to Chicago if you really need to spend more time there. Ship it south-east if you can skip Chicago!

Now, I understand that you plan to live on it (in Chicago) for a year? great, because you can install the needed propane installation + stove + BBQ yourself. See if you can fit a stove/oven combo or a BBQ that can be used as oven (rectangular one, not round). You need to make that install safe but it's easy, ask west marine / boat-US etc. Go for at least 2 aluminium 10-pound tanks. Practice baking bread, grilling fish and additional fish dishes like soups, stews etc. This will be necessary and/or save lots of money later.

Don't spend a cent yet on electrical installation, nor batteries, nor solar panels, nor windvane. Get some charts and books, fishing gear (trawling line + lures + small spear gun and Hawaiian sling) and search for nice dingy + outboard (biggest one with internal gastank + connection for external tank. If you plan on scuba diving from the dinghy, select inflatable. I think you are best off with a high pressure inflatable floor. Find a place to stow it while underway.
Make room and a rack for your scuba tanks, check out the wiring or ask another cruiser to check/comment etc. Only fix what needs fixing, save money. Check reefer... convert to fridge with little freezer compartment. You need to keep the fish fresh for a couple of days!
While living aboard, see how the batteries are. If okay, save the money.
Go for iPod + docking station for stereo. Spent as little as possible but if you buy, select good stuff that lasts.

Don't buy the windvane, save that money. There's 2 auto-pilots aboard so at least one should work okay. Check alternator and buy bigger one with good regulator if that's not done yet.

Think about solar panels and compare price and output with wind generator. solar is very nice but all costs are upfront. You will be in the Caribbean so enough wind. With your budget and limited room for panels, I would select a good wind gen like the German Superwind or Trinidadian Kiss. Don't go for those US noise-makers.

Why would you step the mast when you leave? I would assume you come down the hudson and ICW south? I think you need the mast down until NYC?

For area: Honduras Bay Islands and Belize are great, think about where to go during hurricane season.

ps. that Contessa listing looks great!

cheers,
Nick.
__________________
s/v Jedi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-03-2009, 19:26   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 25
Thank you for the replies. I was unclear before, but I just expect to spend this summer (2009) and next summer on the boat. During the winter I will live with friends. As far as finding a boat in the Great Lakes, I have done a lot of searching and cannot find many candidates. While it will be several years before I feel ready to do some serious off-shore cruising, I do want to at least be capable of taking this boat anywhere I please when the time comes. Who knows, I might end up circumnavigating someday and I want to have a boat I can accomplish that in. My current plans are much more tame, but I want a boat that will not need to be upgraded as the plans progress. To make a long story short, I have not found any boats in the Great Lakes area that are blue water capable, within my price range and/or do not need a whole lot of work.

I do not know anything about the alternator, but the engine is a Yanmar 1 GM 10, installed new in 2002.

As far as the hurricane season in Honduras, I would presumably move up the Rio Dulce when it comes. I know that Roatan is normally off the path so maybe going to a maring on the south side of the island s sufficient. I'm not sure, I've got bigger fish to fry before worrying about that

Any thoughts on planned costs and whether or not they are out of line?
__________________
somasized is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-03-2009, 21:44   #6
Registered User
 
Celestialsailor's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: In Mexico, working on the boat
Boat: Hallberg Rassy 35. and 14ft.Whitehall pulling skiff.
Posts: 8,013
Images: 5
somasized:-"This may very well end up being the stupidest thing I have ever done, but I have spent some time on boats and loved it".

Or maybe the smartest thing you've done...
I think the Contessa is a good choice too but it has been pointed out there are other boats too not as tender. A Pacific Seacraft 25 comes to mind and is the same price as the Contessa. You are pretty much spot on with your guesstimates of prices. As far as gear, like Jedi said...No use buying them until you're ready. As far a s windvane goes, Monitor and Aries are tried and true. Good luck.
__________________
"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: Wow - what a ride!"

http://wwwjolielle.blogspot.com/
Celestialsailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-03-2009, 23:12   #7
Long Range Cruiser
 
MarkJ's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Australian living on "Sea Life" currently in England.
Boat: Beneteau 393 "Sea Life"
Posts: 12,828
Images: 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by somasized View Post
Any thoughts on planned costs and whether or not they are out of line?
Piece of string.

As in how much...?

You stop paying out only when it hurts too much.

Or as someone said: A fool and his money are soon parted.

If you pile expensive junk on your boat you will be broke, no matter how small the boat or large

If you are careful its not that expensive.

Mark
__________________
Notes on a Circumnavigation.
OurLifeAtSea.com

Somalia Pirates and our Convoy
MarkJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-03-2009, 08:36   #8
CF Adviser
Moderator Emeritus
 
Hud3's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Virginia
Boat: Island Packet 380, now sold
Posts: 8,929
Images: 49
Somasized,

Your original post was one of the best I've seen from someone new to sailing. Your approach is exceptionally well-reasoned and thorough. I'm betting you're going to nail this one just fine! Time will tell, but I sincerely doubt that you'll be regretting your decision once you get to Roatan.
__________________
Hud
Hud3 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 21-03-2009, 04:23   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: WNA
Boat: Dufour 35
Posts: 3,247
somasized

Best of luck with your plans, I had a similar dream.

I owned a J.C.Rogers built British Contessa 26 for 21 years,
living onboard for 16, and basically did all I ever wanted to do!!
I hope you will have as much fun as I had.

While I'm not familiar with the construction details of the Canadian built Contessas, the handling and sailing wouldn't differ.

Based on what you write and the ad you refer to I notice a few things.
Perhaps you have already considered these points, but here you go:

No info about sails. Could be major cost
Need to add dodger/spray-hood.
Need Upgrade anchor equipment/handling..
Need to upgrade ventilation,to keep cool in the tropics.

This particular Contessa is set up for coastal cruising, not blue
water stuff. Two autopilots instead of av wind vane, is one indication. It is difficult to fit an under deck autopilot with Contessas transom hung rudder, so you end up with simpler deck/cockpit mounted units, that are not waterproof.

Thomas
__________________
cagney is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-03-2009, 08:12   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 25
Thanks for the help guys. The seller would not come down enough so I won't be getting this Contessa. Still looking at other Contessas, and maybe a Voyager 26. Either way, knowing that my budgeting is in line is very important. Being new to this I keep think that I must be forgetting things, despite all of the research I have been doing, but it sounds like I have a decent grasp on the reality of prices.

-Jake
__________________
somasized is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-03-2009, 08:55   #11
Vendor
 
witzgall's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Eastern Shore, MD
Boat: Camper Nicholson 44 Ketch
Posts: 1,775
I'll echo some comments already made - avoid buying all of the stuff. You need stuff, but the stuff you need is never what you think it is. Give yourself some time to get to know whatever boat you buy, and trust me the list will change.

Also, if your budget is 40k, and you have a list of 40k worth of work to do, pass that one by, or revise your budget. There will ALWAYS be unforeseen costs.

Chris
__________________
witzgall is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 21-03-2009, 11:31   #12
Registered User
 
Celestialsailor's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: In Mexico, working on the boat
Boat: Hallberg Rassy 35. and 14ft.Whitehall pulling skiff.
Posts: 8,013
Images: 5
Aloha Somasized...In the 2 1/2 years I've been cruising this forum, your posts for a new person to sailing is the most logical, level headed and most methodical I have seen. Usually it's the other way around..."I want a 50ft boat and I'm going to sail around the world when I retire in 20 years, so I'm looking now"...sort of thing. I know if you stick to your dream and put one foot in front of the other, you will accomplish what you want to do. I look forward to seeing more posts in more threads from you in this forum...Good luck
__________________
"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: Wow - what a ride!"

http://wwwjolielle.blogspot.com/
Celestialsailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-03-2009, 17:22   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 25
I'm making an offer on this boat.

1982 Voyager 26 Cutter Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

It has been completely refit by the current owner, and is ready to go cruising with no work. I am willing to offer closer to the asking price on this one as I think the price is pretty fair. Hopefully my offer will be accepted. Thanks for all of your encouragement.
__________________
somasized is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-03-2009, 18:28   #14
Registered User
 
Celestialsailor's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: In Mexico, working on the boat
Boat: Hallberg Rassy 35. and 14ft.Whitehall pulling skiff.
Posts: 8,013
Images: 5
Other than the bimini looking a little high and no chain for the ground tackle, she has some good gear. I'm not wild about a porta-potti but it does simplify things...wear a gas mask! Looks like it might be possible to convert the bimini to a full dodger if you are handy. Good luck on the purchase.
__________________
"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: Wow - what a ride!"

http://wwwjolielle.blogspot.com/
Celestialsailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-03-2009, 00:16   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 25
I was wondering why the bimini is so high. Seemed odd to me as well. And I don't plan on keeping the porta potti, the boat still has all the connections for a holding tank so I am going to install a new one with a lavac head. Other than that, and possibly putting in a new floor in the interior, I think the boat is pretty much ready to go.
__________________

__________________
somasized is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
I'd Be Interested in Hearing About a Contessa / JJ Taylor 26 austi012 Monohull Sailboats 49 17-03-2013 03:03
Budget for Circumnavigation Fishman Multihull Sailboats 18 03-05-2010 21:32
Cost to Rewire a Contessa 26 somasized Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 13 24-03-2009 17:49
furling on a budget? drew23 Multihull Sailboats 10 19-12-2008 16:43
Cruising Budget Islandbound General Sailing Forum 16 17-02-2006 17:16



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 16:15.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.