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Old 15-10-2016, 08:47   #16
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Re: Do I want to buy a boat?


The most repeated fallacy I hear from people in the process of purchasing a boat is how there friends and family will be joining them for the adventures. For the most part it just does not happen. Also the further you are from your home the less the chance anyone will visit you. Have been keeping a beautiful sailboat in Europe for 3 years and not one person who said they were going to come sail has actually shown up. Finding crew members in other countries is very difficult and time consuming. I would not choose to do that again unless I had a wife that was going to come for every sail. A very good alternative is to sail locally and join in on the local activities. Also, the further you are from home the more out of control you will be of the situation. Something serious breaks that you cannot deal with yourself and your a sitting duck for bills that will quickly eat up all of your sailing money. I Just paid $10,000 in Lymington, UK to have a cutlass bearing replaced on a quote that was $2,500. You can yell but your still screwed. Keep it local and as much as possible under your own control. Happy sailing.

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Old 15-10-2016, 08:49   #17
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Re: Do I want to buy a boat?

I don't know of long term charters. Your plan is good but your budget is too low unfortunately. You can do it in maybe in a 32 footer if you can find the right boat/condition and keep it simple expenditure wise. But even then you are going to have $ problems.
Take baby steps. Maybe get a boat you can afford and can afford to get in condition/outfitted. Spend a season in the Bahamas, it's close and easy and in my opinion better than the rest of the E. Caribe anyway.
There are boats that come up that people have been preparing for their dream for a few years but then they don't go. These are usually a good deal.
I have had friends and family join us several times over the years, but not as often as one would guess.

"I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard

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Old 15-10-2016, 09:09   #18
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Re: Do I want to buy a boat?

There are 36'-40' boats for 25k available that are not definitively project boats, but they are going to be much older and in need of constant (and expensive) maintenance. I think it's fairly safe to say that any boat of that size at that price could easily take an equal or greater investment right out of the gate to make her sound and safe, or else she would not be selling at that price. That said, there occasional deals out there that are eyepopping, but they are rare and you would need to have considerable knowledge to assess what you were getting into.

Here's an example:

Beautiful boat and looks well kept, but at that age numerous systems probably need to be replaced. On top of that, pictures of boat invariably look better than what you find in person. If she had a new engine and up to date electronics she'd probably be selling for 50-100% more. You could spend more than the price of the boat on those two items alone.

There are no "Rent-a-Wreck" sailboat charter operations out there for the simple fact that insurance would be impossible to get. The liability issues would be enormous. Part of the cost of a charter is ensuring that boats are safe and services that surround that, both in terms of maintenance as well as vetting/educating clients.

Someone said your annual costs would be ~$10k. That's probably right, but they could go much higher in any given year. I just put in a new fridge system and new batteries on my 40' and that was $5,000 right there. I have to take the stick down this month and that's $800 just for the crane, operator, and supervising rigger, not to mention the materials I'll need for rewiring, new sheaves, etc. If I was not knowledgeable about the work that needs to be done and not doing it myself it would cost me considerably more.

Long story short, if you're in love with boats and doing work on boats, then it might make sense. If you're looking at it as a means of saving money over chartering, you're smoking crack.

As an aside, if you end up moving forward with your plan, don't rely on a surveyor to give you a comprehensive and exhaustive assessment of a boat's condition and the costs of repair/upgrade various structural and mechanical systems. Furthermore, if you don't know enough to ask the right questions and interpret the information you get during the survey, as well as doing your own inspection, you're setting yourself up for disillusionment.
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Old 15-10-2016, 09:23   #19
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Re: Do I want to buy a boat?

If you are planning on living on it......Buy it.
If you will use it a lot SAILING, just SITTING on it having TEA and COMPANY, or just MESSING around on DIYS projects and have EXTRA BUCKS for slip fees, etc...Buy it.
If you are fair weather sailor, not much experience and may tire of it quickly.Rent it.
Remember like horses boats are easy to buy and hard to sell.
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Old 15-10-2016, 09:44   #20
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Re: Do I want to buy a boat?

The pro's? you have a boat! very cool!
Con's? you own a boat and all that entail's.
It's been said that the two happiest days of your life will be the day you buy your first boat and the day you sell your last boat. LOL
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Old 15-10-2016, 09:48   #21
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Re: Do I want to buy a boat?

I've been curious about putting a boat into charter when I get closer to retirement. From what I understand, you buy the boat model they use and then they do the maintenance and insurance and make payments to you that should cover the loan payments while it is in charter which seems to be four years. You could use the boat for some number of weeks each year as well.
Then there are secondary charter companies that might take the boat for another 3-5 years or you would keep or sell the boat.
That's about the only way I could see myself on a new boat although most of the time you could use the boat would be in the off season to avoid cutting into the charter income. The downside is the wear and tear of charter operation and you would be limited to the charter version of the boat.

Otherwise I would stick to smaller boats that are less expensive to maintain and store. My current 26 foot slip costs me $200 a month compared to a 40+ foot that would run $500-600 and there are a lot less slips for larger boats. Anchoring out would be a definite budget saver for a larger boat.
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Old 15-10-2016, 09:59   #22
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Re: Do I want to buy a boat?

if you're billionaire, buy a boat, sure you'll be millionaire ..
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Old 15-10-2016, 11:59   #23
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Re: Do I want to buy a boat?

Do your homework, buy a boat. Keep in mind that a lot of folks on this forum pay to have about everything done on their boats. That is expensive. You say you are handy and don't mind getting your hands dirty once in a while, you will do fine. There are a ton of boats out there in your price range for sale, if you look hard enough you can find a gem. Shop for dockage on the internet. You can do it!
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Old 15-10-2016, 12:01   #24
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Re: Do I want to buy a boat?

You are going to buy HUGE amt of charter time before you arrive at the cost of a modest cruiser.

And you do not have to take care of all the garbage in between your sailing stunts.

Go the charter way.

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Old 15-10-2016, 12:30   #25
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Re: Do I want to buy a boat?

At 25 to 30K you could get a well found boat around 32 to 35 feet. With replacing standard item like standing rigging, hoses and what not you may very well be in a good position. Always keep in mind the bigger the boat the higher the ownership costs. I always look at the 90% when any purchase is made. What will I use it for 90% of the time. My O'day 27 is used for 90% daysailing and weekending and 10% cruising. Perfect for me and a small crew if a bit cramped 10% of the time. Spacious as hell for the other 90%. Also cheap to maintain. 1 gallon of bottom paint lasts 2 years. I sand and paint every year to keep the bottom smooth. Dockage is low and so is winter storage, 950.00 and 823.00 for everything including dropping the mast and restepping every year. Consider also the cost of sails. Those suckers seem to increase in price exponentially with size. The most expensive I have is my 140% at 1400.00. My 40% jib was 450.00. I also have a 100% 1100.00, an Asymetrical at 1300.00, and the main at 1350.00. I use hank on jibs so a window shade would be pricier but would eliminate the full shebang by a bunch. Lots of stuff to consider but not insurmountable by any means. And no one ever, ever touches YOT for anything beyond haulout and launch. My OCD prevents that.
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Old 15-10-2016, 12:51   #26
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Re: Do I want to buy a boat?

There is an old saying amongst pilots who are also sailors: If it flies, floats or fs, rent it, dont buy it.
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Old 15-10-2016, 21:34   #27
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Re: Do I want to buy a boat?

Great info, keep it coming.

OK, we looked at a nice '80 C&C 34 today, but my wife instantly said it was too small, especially if friends joined us. I had told her to go down below and imagine spending weeks on the boat at a time. I had to agree with her. Of course then I read that they rarely come, which does seem likely. Our sons would probably come, but we would pay their way.

I'd say now we are looking for a great value gem in the 38-40 foot range. Would $30-40K be a budget where we could get something that would not need another 30-40 K in repair? Assuming we have a year to look. The posters who gave examples of their repair expenses were very helpful.

Thanks tkv for the tips on long term charters.

My buddy bought a '78 Erickson 34 or 35 a couple years ago for around $18K. He has done some wood refinishing and changed a water pump and that's about it so far. He said his annual expenses for slip and insurance are about $3K. Feel free to comment on those numbers, but that was off the top of his head.

My Don Casey book showed up today and I have already read a lot of it.

If anyone knows a realistic estimate for how long it might take to sail from N.O. to St. Thomas, please advise.

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Old 15-10-2016, 23:30   #28
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Re: Do I want to buy a boat?

Originally Posted by Bullshooter View Post
I'd say now we are looking for a great value gem in the 38-40 foot range. Would $30-40K be a budget where we could get something that would not need another 30-40 K in repair?
My buddy bought a '78 Erickson 34 or 35 a couple years ago for around $18K.
At 40k, it's certainly not impossible.

I've got myself an Ericsson 35 for the same kind of money as your buddy, and she was fine and dandy for coastal cruises in nice weather right after signing the bill of sale. Which we did for two years, while getting ready for the big trip.

On top of regular maintenance and a bunch of nice-to-have projects, I had to replace standing rigging, sort out steering (unknown to me at the time of purchase) and actually ended up replacing her vintage diesel with a new one. Could I go without any of these? Yes, but sailing on the ocean with worn out rudderpost bearing would be miserable, running ahead of a gale for two and half days with the past due standing rigging - downright scary, and that ancient diesel could pick a very interesting place to die of old age.

If I were you, I might try to find a bargain in the islands, while I was on a charter this winter. You know, people expensively outfit a boat, go on a cruise, it somehow doesn't work out and the boat is stranded wherever they managed to get to. These scenarios do happen. Although you'd have to somehow mitigate the risk of buying a lemon - it's not easy, when you don't know what big hidden problems look like.
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Old 16-10-2016, 00:35   #29
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Re: Do I want to buy a boat?

Fun topic. My buddy, much wealthier than I, signed a charter cat agreement with Sunsail. I never asked the particulars. But Dave has plenty of us sailing buddies. Used to beer can race with him in Long Beach Harbor in la la land. He'll call up and say, "u want in on this trip?" Where to I ask as my heart races to hear where. We are doing the east side of Greece for two weeks. I'm hooked up. That is one way to go, sir! Sunsail is slot like a time share arrangement. Put a boat into charter with them and sail in many different primo places around this planet. Carib, Tahiti, Croatia, Oz, and many more. You can also do a fractional ownership with a limited liability corporation being set up. People are amazing, buy quality boats set up llc and take all of the tax advantages of such and defray ownership costs amongst the group. This trend has really expanded over the last 10 years

Also, there are boats like Farrier f31 that are trailers le boats and fun as hell. Drive from N.O. To Lauderdale and drop her in. Spend a month in Bahamas and put her back on the trailer. Don't want to to cross. Put her on a ferry going over. Want to go up to Chesapeake Bay next fall... drive up.... repeat. How about Great Lakes, Baja, Maine, San Juans, I think it can't be done better. Once on the trailer she is out of the brine and pretty much rent free during snotty weather. They are small but toilet, stove, fridge are all there.

So many choices. But the last thing I want to say is it can be tricky business to sell a boat so be fully aware of how easy it is to get hooked and how difficult it is to get unhooked. Best of luck.
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Old 16-10-2016, 05:35   #30
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Re: Do I want to buy a boat?

Sometime this past week, I believe in the past 5 days or so, there was a thread on cost of ownership. I tried searching for it but forgot the title and darned if I can't locate it now.

However, buried in that thread was a link to a website with a free download of an Excel (XLS) spreadsheet. Really neat because expenses were broken down by category and entries were expenses per month. Formulas were built in so when you altered a figure the totals for that category, and overall operating/owning expense, for a year changed for that category and then down to the grand total at the bottom.

I've had fun playing with it but not knowing what I don't know some figures I entered were pure guesstimates! For instance, once we buy we are outta here and spending 1st year or two in the Carib. No schedule, no rush. But we plan on being on the hook as much as possible, mooring as 2nd and tied to a dock last. So I went in an eliminated all the stateside live aboard expenses such as cable, dockage, etc. But then I bumped up other expenses which I believe the creator of the spreadsheet had as low to very low, i.e. maintenance.

The hard part was trying to be realistic on monthly mooring & dockage as: #1 I don't know those fees in the Carib and I'm sure they vary widely by island nation and time of year; #2 I don't know how often I will use those services vs on the hook. Lots of the Bahamas will hopefully be the hook and the others I'm not so sure.

Anyway, fun to play with and may help you actually come up with figures as you make your decision. I even took one of the "Other" lines and entered monthly estimate on food. But again, how much is "food" $$$ in the islands and how many times will we sample the local fare?

I downloaded this to a MacAir so not sure if it will change the dynamics of the XLS or not. If so maybe you can have more luck searching for the thread where I found it.

PS: The designer of the spreadsheet gave definitions to the 5 categories of boats listed and if I remember the Speedy 40 was a powerboat. You could probably use that for the size boat you are thinking about but eliminate the majority of the fuel expense, otherwise just use the 45 category which is what I did.
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