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Old 15-12-2014, 18:42   #61
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Re: Help - how old of a boat should we buy?

Well, I convinced the wife that we could live with just 2 cabins for a couple of years and it allowed me to look at boats a little bit smaller and more manageable.

We decided to go for an older, well maintained boat as a starter with intentions of selling and buying a 2-3 year old dream boat in three years.

In the past 2 weeks we have looked at 9 different boats, all about 15 years old and below $100k. I was surprised to find what appear to be well cared for boats in that range and boats that look like the owner could not care less. Marine Survey 101 was extremely helpful.

We made an offer on our favorite this past weekend, and after a little haggling, put it under contract.

It is a 1995 Carver 355, and we are paying $59k. It is a perfect fit for our current needs, two cabins, not too big for a novice, a little older than we wanted, but the price was great. And, it appeared to be extremely well maintained. Although I am sure it was prepped for showing, it was immaculate. I could not find a single thing wrong anywhere. New risers, new batteries, new corian counter tops, barrier coat with 3 years left on warranty, etc.

We are hiring a surveyor to find everything I missed. Hopefully it comes out well. Unfortunately, we are told a sea trial can not be done until March so we will not close until then.

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Old 15-12-2014, 19:30   #62
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Re: Help - how old of a boat should we buy?

Why do people try to apply investment logic to boats? Mechanical logic certainly... The rest is a combination of emotion and utility...consider the entire thing sunk cost..then go sailing and enjoy. Its not about the money.
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Old 15-12-2014, 20:20   #63
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Re: Help - how old of a boat should we buy?

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Why do people try to apply investment logic to boats? Mechanical logic certainly... The rest is a combination of emotion and utility...consider the entire thing sunk cost..then go sailing and enjoy. Its not about the money.
I think you missed the point of the thread. We are looking for a starter boat to see if we enjoy the lifestyle enough to make the big investment in our dream boat. We want to make sure we are spending wisely, so as to have more more money available for the next purchase. I am a Tax Accountant and a Financial Adviser, I know a boat is never an investment.
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Old 16-12-2014, 19:02   #64
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Re: Help - how old of a boat should we buy?

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Ain't that the truth! In fact, that is how we plan to justify paying for this boat, by re-arranging all the other money we blow on sports cars, family vacations and eating out every other night.
Well yes for 42 years there haven't been new cars, or professionals hired to do anything, or anything fancier than a dinner at $14.95. We don't do Vegas, we don't fly anywhere or buy designer clothes. We have fun fixing up boats. We are very weird.
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Old 24-12-2014, 00:53   #65
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Re: Help - how old of a boat should we buy?

The survey went very well. A small delamination issue on the swim platform (about 8"x8"), one of the vacu-flush toilet vacuums keeps running (most likely a bad switch), the trim tabs are not functioning (hopefully low on fluid) Otherwise it came through with flying colors. I am now deciding whether to offer a lower purchase price to reflect these issues or ask the current owner to fix them and keep the offer as is. All three items will likely be very low cost repairs so I imagine he will want to do the repairs himself. Any thoughts?
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Old 24-12-2014, 03:01   #66
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Re: Help - how old of a boat should we buy?

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The survey went very well. A small delamination issue on the swim platform (about 8"x8"), one of the vacu-flush toilet vacuums keeps running (most likely a bad switch), the trim tabs are not functioning (hopefully low on fluid) Otherwise it came through with flying colors. I am now deciding whether to offer a lower purchase price to reflect these issues or ask the current owner to fix them and keep the offer as is. All three items will likely be very low cost repairs so I imagine he will want to do the repairs himself. Any thoughts?
Probably just as in real estate items to be fixed by the seller are likely to create some headaches at closing. IMO it's much better to knock off some reasonable amount off of the offer and take care of it yourself.
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Old 24-12-2014, 08:03   #67
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Re: Help - how old of a boat should we buy?

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one of the vacu-flush toilet vacuums keeps running (most likely a bad switch)
A leak is the more likely culprit and this can be time consuming to fix and costly to repair depending on where it is. Kudos to your surveyor for actually testing for this, many don't.
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Old 24-12-2014, 08:38   #68
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Re: Help - how old of a boat should we buy?

You may find as I think that I have, that as you spend some time with it, make a few improvements, that your "starter" boat, just may well fit your needs and wants.

More and more I'm coming to find out that well constructed trumps age and my old boat is in much better condition than I would have thought, and it's plenty big enough.
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Old 24-12-2014, 15:11   #69
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Re: Help - how old of a boat should we buy?

I offered to do the repairs myself if the current owner took an additional $2k off the asking price. He opted to do the repairs himself instead.

One step closer ...
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Old 24-12-2014, 18:56   #70
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Re: Help - how old of a boat should we buy?

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Originally Posted by edpolton View Post
<snip>
My current thinking is that, as long as I do not go too old (15 years+), I am really just looking for a well cared for boat that fits my needs. If it is on the older side, just be prepared for the higher maintenance but not be concerned about needing a complete refit. If on the younger, expect less maintenance but more depreciation loss. In other words, focus on the quality and survey more than the age.

<snip>
Playing catch up on this thread I was gonna say you got the right idea - having not done the boat thing, get something you can get out of if it doesn't turn out to be the "dream" you thought.

My advice would be don't worry about the year but make sure you can get a boat that you can get out and enjoy (no project) while not blowing the budget.

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Personally, if I were a relatively novice boater and was in the market for a boat that I expected to keep 2-3 years and use exclusively on the Delaware and Chesapeake, I would look for a well maintained, moderately used @ 5 year old monohull. Essentially, you're looking for a starter boat to gain experience on, that will be enjoyable, and which you can unload with modest depreciation.
This is where I would have gone, although not getting stuck on the year model. It's the condition that is more import in my opinion.

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Originally Posted by edpolton View Post
Well, I convinced the wife that we could live with just 2 cabins for a couple of years and it allowed me to look at boats a little bit smaller and more manageable.

We decided to go for an older, well maintained boat as a starter with intentions of selling and buying a 2-3 year old dream boat in three years.

<snip>
Great idea - as a starter boat it will be more manageable, you won't break the bank and you'll decide if 2 cabins is good or you really need 3.

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Originally Posted by edpolton View Post
<snip>
We made an offer on our favorite this past weekend, and after a little haggling, put it under contract.

It is a 1995 Carver 355, and we are paying $59k. It is a perfect fit for our current needs, two cabins, not too big for a novice, a little older than we wanted, but the price was great. And, it appeared to be extremely well maintained. Although I am sure it was prepped for showing, it was immaculate. I could not find a single thing wrong anywhere. New risers, new batteries, new corian counter tops, barrier coat with 3 years left on warranty, etc.
Great solution, didn't spend the kid's inheritance and you will learn a lot. Actually on the finance side you can drive yourself crazy talking about boat values, depreciation etc. - At the end of the day it's an emotional decision and while not getting raped the financial side shouldn't be the prime factor.

You also indicate you like your other toys and vacations. You still may be able to do some of that with a more modest boat but the revelation to you that is coming is that boats take a lot more money to keep up than one initially predicts.

You have the means and you will settle in to the routine but a complicated power boat will eat up some boat bucks unless you are very handy yourself.

355 is pretty below your "target" size and I suspect the final boat will be bigger but you made a good choice as a starter.

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I offered to do the repairs myself if the current owner took an additional $2k off the asking price. He opted to do the repairs himself instead.

One step closer ...
Congratulations (prematurely) and good luck!
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Old 25-12-2014, 21:15   #71
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Re: Help - how old of a boat should we buy?

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Congratulations (prematurely) and good luck!
Thank you for all the feedback. We are feeling good about our decision as well.

We plan to contract for a slip at a local Marina this coming week and start looking for a captain to transport the boat and give us lessons on operating it.

I just finished taking the Pa Boater Safety Course and learned a lot. If anyone has links to other informative web sites or videos I would appreciate it.
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Old 25-12-2014, 22:21   #72
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Re: Help - how old of a boat should we buy?

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If anyone has links to other informative web sites or videos I would appreciate it.
Congrats on the boat.

The best information it to act contrary to normal male instincts, find and read the manuals on the various pieces of equipment on the boat. I have some hard copy manuals and all are in my iPad. Knowing what features the chartplotter has or how the cold plate works is very useful.

But like another male pursuit, until you get in there and "play with the knobs" you really don't know how to work the equipment.

Spend time at the dock tracing the fuel lines, and key electric lines- while you are at it find and practice changing the fuel filters. As well as bleeding the fuel system? Better to screw it up at the dock than on the water.

Of course doing all this will give you an excuse to go down to the boat and get away.
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Old 08-02-2015, 06:19   #73
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Re: Help - how old of a boat should we buy?

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Here's an interesting option that I just found on Craigslist.
2002 Great Harbour N-37 Trawler, Loaded with Factory options Made USA

Is this a sailboat forum or powerboat?
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Old 08-02-2015, 07:04   #74
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Re: Help - how old of a boat should we buy?

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Is this a sailboat forum or powerboat?

???

I'd say "Scuttlebutt/Dollars and Cents" is propulsion agnostic.

Do you not think so, for some reason?

-Chris
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Old 08-02-2015, 08:11   #75
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Help - how old of a boat should we buy?

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???

I'd say "Scuttlebutt/Dollars and Cents" is propulsion agnostic.

Do you not think so, for some reason?

-Chris

I thought the drill down to this forum was via sail but I got your point Chris. For the OP I think the distinction is a valid one though as that pending choice is different for the two categories. Propulsion agnostic oversimplifies it. There's a whole different set of variables to consider if the OP is seeking a sail boat vs power.
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