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Old 22-06-2011, 13:45   #1
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Older boat

I've never owned a sailboat. I've sailed a bit, (chartered once, crewed once, both unpleasant trips). I thought about buying an older boat, the rationale being that if we don't like it, the loss to get out from under will be less painful.

I mentioned this to a dealer/broker, here's what he said:

"You can buy an older boat for $40,000, sail it for five years, and get your $40,000 back. But if you have to put $20,000 into it in the meantime, that money will be lost. Or, you can buy a $100,000 boat, (in nearly new condition) sail it for five years, and get your $100,000 back."

Perhaps a slight (or not so slight) exaggeration/oversimplification, but the thought had occurred to me as well, so it had a ring of truth to it. The flaw in the theory is that if it turns out that sailing is not for us, the cost of getting out (the sales tae will be lost, as well as the broker's commission, and the tax on the broker's commission, 13 % in both cases) will be in the neighborhood of $21,500. That's some neighborhood. I can buy a mid-eighties 30 footer for $30,000, and be not that much worse off if I simply scrapped it if I want out.

I was thinking that if I bought a 30 footer for $30,000, I can sail it for a season, which should give me an idea if this is the thing to do, then move up from there. The cost of getting out will be $6880, or about two week's charter. It has been suggested to me repeatedly to charter, but a week or two will not really give us a good picture of whether or not it's in the cards for us.

Thoughts? (Keep in mind that this is Canada, and the deals available in the States do not appear to be available here to the same degree).

Nomad
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Old 22-06-2011, 14:03   #2
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Re: Older boat

did you factor in dockage or storage
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Old 22-06-2011, 14:07   #3
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Re: Older boat

Welcome, Nomad...
If the Broker guarantees in writing that he will buy it back from you for $100K after 5 years, go for it!
Me thinks he is trying to take advantage of a newbie who is ripe for the pickin's. no offence!
If you have a limited sailing season and don't plan to use the boat through the winter months, you might think twice about puttiing a lot into the boat. If you plan on doing extensive cruising, particularly in southern/warmer waters, and using your boat as a part or full time liveaboard, then the higher investment could be justified. However, IMO, if you are new to boating, go slow, limit your financial exposure and learn the ropes in a limited way. You can have a hell of a lot of fun, learn heaps and not be exposed to a total financial bath. Capt Phil
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Old 22-06-2011, 14:14   #4
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Re: Older boat

No, I didn't, since we are retired, and dockage will not be that much of an issue if we spend most of the summer away from the dock. Storage is not too bad at one marina that we know of where the owner is not so rapacious. I still believe that a whole summer on a boat, (perhaps followed by a trip down south) will give us a better overview than a week or two of chartering.

We chartered once, and the trip went badly. When we got back, we bought our Trojan. If the trip had gone well, we might have well bought a sailboat, which may or may not have been the right thing to do. A trip to a southern paradise won't tell you if you would like to live there.

It has been said that the only way to know is to jump in. It's just a matter of how big a leap to take.

Nomad
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Old 22-06-2011, 14:24   #5
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Re: Older boat

There's lots of older boats for sale around Toronto for under $20,000. Many are private sales not listed with brokers. You should check bulletin boards at yacht clubs.
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Old 22-06-2011, 14:32   #6
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Re: Older boat

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snip... However, IMO, if you are new to boating, go slow, limit your financial exposure and learn the ropes in a limited way. You can have a hell of a lot of fun, learn heaps and not be exposed to a total financial bath. Capt Phil
Thank you, Captain Phil. I ought to have been more clear in my post, but I didn't want it to be too long.

I'm not new to boating, have owned six powerboats since 1975, (last was Trojan F27). It's the sailing that is new. (We've been considering remedial treatment for some time, now.)

Here goes... We started thinking about sailing in about 1991. In 1997, we walked into a large marina near us, blind, dumb, and uninitiated. We asked, "Is it possible to charter a sailboat here?" The answer was yes. (We already owned a powerboat, so didn't want to just go out and buy one). The marina staff was acting as agent on behalf of the flake that owned the boat. We chartered a 26' boat for nine days. The boat was not in good order. The flake was chartering the boat to get the $ to fix it. I had brought my tool tote, which I won't leave the dock without, and fixed/adjusted most of the stuff on the boat. The weather was bad, and there was no dodger/bimini. The trip did not go well. We came back black and blue, and traded our Sea Ray in on the Trojan.

My next adventure came when I got a chance to crew on a 40 footer going down the east coast. That's a whole 'nuther story. That trip did not go well either.

We have looked at both new and used boats, and have been largely dismayed by the quality, or lack thereof, of production boats. We threw in the towel in 2003, when we went to an 'open house' to look at new boats, and saw that they all had water dripping in from leaky portlights.

I really ought to have my head examined, for even thinking about this again. The siren calleth...

Nomad
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Old 22-06-2011, 14:42   #7
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Re: Older boat

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There's lots of older boats for sale around Toronto for under $20,000. Many are private sales not listed with brokers. You should check bulletin boards at yacht clubs.
Thanks, Rick. Why din I thin of that? I guess I was taking the easy route. We don't really want a 'project boat'. Our Trojan had been neglected, and needed some travail to bring it back. Since we have the time, I'll follow your suggestion. This would all be so much easier, if we knew whether or not we can come to terms with sailing. It's not that we can't afford a decent boat, it's the getting out that can be painful. We took a bath on the last one.

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Old 22-06-2011, 14:46   #8
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Re: Older boat

You believed him?????? shame shame shame...He's a SALEMAN for heavens sake..
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Old 22-06-2011, 14:49   #9
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Re: Older boat

My apologies, Nomad... didn't pick up on your boating experience. The fact that you sound handy and are willing to jump in an fix problems aboard gives you a leg up on most folks new to the cruising life.
My advice remains the same, however, unless you plan to live aboard or do some extensive cruising, I would tend go small to start. Particularly if you live in eastern Canada.
Another alternative would be to head to Florida and check out boats in that area. They are plentiful, underpriced by historic standards and weather a bit better than the northern climes.
Having owned both power and sail and delivered many over the years, IMHO sailing is a whole different world and the more enjoyable of the two.
I would also suggest you engage a competent surveyor who would be more attune to problems that sailboats might have over power boats once you settle on one.
Good luck in your search... Capt Phil
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Old 22-06-2011, 16:07   #10
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Re: Older boat

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You believed him?????? shame shame shame...He's a SALEMAN for heavens sake..
I didn't exactly believe him hook, line and sinker. I believed it had a ring of truth to it, (lots of things that SALEMEN say have a ring of truth to them, until you think about it some) since I had already considered that as a possibility. I've heard too many horror stories of people buying older boats, and then having to sink a lot of money into them. A case in point:

One fellow bought a boat for $125,000, sank another $125,000 into it. He ended up selling the boat for $125,000, which begs the question, was it worth anything at all when he bought it? There's still the issue, however I slice it, that if I buy a newer boat, and then decide to sell, of losing 21.5% (tax and brokerage). That's as much as the $20,000 I might have to sink into an older boat. Dunno why I didn't think of that sooner. I guess I picked the wrong week to adjust my medication.

Now I feel schtupidt for even asking the question.

Nomad
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Old 22-06-2011, 16:21   #11
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Re: Older boat

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My apologies, Nomad... didn't pick up on your boating experience. The fact that you sound handy and are willing to jump in an fix problems aboard gives you a leg up on most folks new to the cruising life.
No apology required, Captain Phil. My OP about never having owned a sailboat left room for ambiguity.

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My advice remains the same, however, unless you plan to live aboard or do some extensive cruising, I would tend go small to start. Particularly if you live in eastern Canada.
I do not plan to live aboard. We will be cruising basically Georgian Bay. Our ultimate plan, IF it all works out, is to have a second boat for southern cruising. Given our location, a second boat, as hare-brained as that sounds, is the best solution to the vagaries of cruising both northern and southern waters, without the travails of shuttling a boat back and forth. If we were to shuttle, our annual running time would be about 1750 hours. Might as well get a McJob.

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Another alternative would be to head to Florida and check out boats in that area. They are plentiful, underpriced by historic standards and weather a bit better than the northern climes.
It has been said that Florida boats are no bargain, but I appreciate the thought.

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Having owned both power and sail and delivered many over the years, IMHO sailing is a whole different world and the more enjoyable of the two.
I pray you are right.


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Originally Posted by Capt Phil View Post
I would also suggest you engage a competent surveyor who would be more attune to problems that sailboats might have over power boats once you settle on one.
Indubitably.

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Good luck in your search... Capt Phil
Thank you, for your kind response.

Regards,

Nomad
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Old 22-06-2011, 18:37   #12
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Re: Older boat

Newer or older it all costs, boat bits do not last forever except Perkins 4.108 (touching large peice of teak, hmm feels a bit soft) people very rarely sell their boats in top notch condition, if it is dig deep recent work can hide all manner of sins. Older boats have normaly reached their deprecaition point but the newer production boat will keep going down fast untill about 20 years old. Good older boats can be a joy to work on and you will need to do some work to keep it sea worthy, that amount of work will be the same on a newer boat. New is nice but old has style.
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Old 22-06-2011, 18:57   #13
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Re: Older boat

Nomad,
I'd suggest going for a cheap, older, well-maintained boat, which has been upgraded in the past 5 or so years with sails, standing & running rig, electronics, & low-hours engine. That way, if it's not for you, you have something decent to sell. I'd suggest having your wife make the decision on size, after viewing a few. You can always go larger when the 2-footitis kicks in. Best of luck in your search!
Mike
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Old 22-06-2011, 19:42   #14
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Re: Older boat

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Nomad,
I'd suggest going for a cheap, older, well-maintained boat, which has been upgraded in the past 5 or so years with sails, standing & running rig, electronics, & low-hours engine. That way, if it's not for you, you have something decent to sell. I'd suggest having your wife make the decision on size, after viewing a few. You can always go larger when the 2-footitis kicks in. Best of luck in your search!
Mike
Mike,
Excellent advice. The admiral insists on larger, as a dodger/bimini is a must. We feel that if we are not somewhat comfortable, the whole exercise is doomed to failure. After our charter trip, someone suggested that "If you want to try sailing again, do it in a boat over 30 feet."

I have to admit, though, that the 4-year-old boat in 'nearly new' condition, at about half the cost of a new one (with in-mast furling and an electric winch) sure was tempting.

Nomad
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Old 22-06-2011, 20:45   #15
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Re: Older boat

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Newer or older it all costs, boat bits do not last forever except Perkins 4.108 (touching large peice of teak, hmm feels a bit soft) people very rarely sell their boats in top notch condition, if it is dig deep recent work can hide all manner of sins. Older boats have normaly reached their deprecaition point but the newer production boat will keep going down fast untill about 20 years old. Good older boats can be a joy to work on and you will need to do some work to keep it sea worthy, that amount of work will be the same on a newer boat. New is nice but old has style.
I think I might put that on a card and send it to my kids!... cheeky lil' buggers need reminding. Maybe tattooed on my forehead too...
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