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Old 27-06-2013, 12:34   #16
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Re: Quest for the perfect cruiser

I think once you get beyond 7 years (first decent refit due or fast approaching - likely a bit of both!) you are into the land of crap shoot. So much depends on the PO, and the more of those the greater the likelihood (certainty?!) that one (or more) have taken the deffered maintenance route. and / or have been a moron!

But overall and all things being equal (which they rarely are - especially with boats) is that a genuinely sound boat (that may need a few mod cons upgrade / replaced - bolt off and bolt on style) will usually be a lot cheaper to buy than a doer upper (once the doing up has been done!). and a lot quicker to get sailing over the horizon as well.

The catch is of course is that the older the boats get the less of those genuinely good ones around, until firmly into the realms of hens teeth! But of course the older a boat the more that will be known about the models "quirks" including on the stuff that was not designed / built as well as hoped. On the flip side, 35' of boat built 10 years back will be a lot bigger (inside) than 35' built 30 years back.

Not to say that a doer upper is a bad choice for everyone, for some a labour of love, for others a way (a long hard way!) of getting intimate with a boat before setting off (albeit IMO that degree unnecessary - easier and cheaper ways to gain knowledge) - but for most it is a poor mans finance option as allows the boat to be financed both as cash allows and by "spending" own elbow grease. Like all finance it always costs more in the long run.........the upside is that if done well you will end up with a very good boat (which if you keep her for long enough will mean you get a couple of light years of boat maintenance and then only having to replace everything again slowly!)....the downside is the risk that you sell half a project - after more years than you intended.

Boats is all about choices. In your shoes I would go for something modern 35 - 40' of Beneteau etc that is good to go (except a few nice to have things - not essentials)....the key is to spend the time finding a good one. of course spending time boat hunting also costs money, annoying ain't it!
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Old 27-06-2013, 13:07   #17
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Re: Quest for the perfect cruiser

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Originally Posted by Don L View Post
I think for what the OP says they want to do that the best thing to look at is the space to live on the boat! IMO the best answer is going to be a 90s era Hunter/Benny/Catalina. This would be good living boats, fast, more than enough to go longer distance in the correct season and still pretty new so that it isn't all beat up.

I bet a Hunter 40.5 or a Beneteau 393 could be found in the price range that doesn't need really anything done to it other a new person to love it.
Hunter ! Didnt need anything done to it ! ? ha ha ha thats rich..
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Old 27-06-2013, 13:10   #18
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Re: Quest for the perfect cruiser

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Hunter ! Didnt need anything done to it ! ? ha ha ha thats rich..



you forget the smiling face to show you were joking so I fixed it for you
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Old 27-06-2013, 13:19   #19
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Re: Quest for the perfect cruiser

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you forget the smiling face to show you were joking so I fixed it for you
I didnt forget! ok, yes I did im sorry no im not .ha ha ha
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Old 27-06-2013, 13:31   #20
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Re: Quest for the perfect cruiser

7 years may be an estimate. We bought a 12 year old boat in 1998 that was in immaculate shape. Even had a microwave oven (still working).

What did I have to do? Have to? Get rid of useless 12 year old charger that was killing the batteries, got a new Freedom 15 combined inverter charger so I could keep the batteries healthy and still use the microwave away from the dock, new roller furling and new standing rigging, upgraded alternator and entire electrical system to avoid charging through the 1-2-B switch...oh, here's what I wrote in 1999:

Freedom 15 inverter charger, new alternator bracket, new Oberdorfer water pump">raw water pump, zap stop, new batteries to bring house bank up to 365 amp hours, West Marine Battery combiner, metal sliding shelves in Nav station hanging locker (variation on Al Watson's theme), galley sink foot pump (switched from ice box), hinged fridge top and Nav station with small hatch holders, midship cleats on genoa track, GFCI on AC outlets, mast boot cover (from Ron Hill), Home Depot inexpensive halogen lighting for salon and galley; dripless stuffing box; cummingham led aft; extra drawer in V berth, long D shackle at mainsheet traveler connection, traveller bolts, new Garhauer 5 part traveller, cassette stereo with 6 disc changer and exterior speakers.

So, your goal is to find a boat in GOOD to GREAT condition, and then, guaranteed, you WILL find things to do.

Happy hunting.
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Old 27-06-2013, 13:40   #21
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Re: Quest for the perfect cruiser

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I didnt forget! ok, yes I did im sorry no im not .ha ha ha

I'm not going to provide any fuel. All I can say is that I bought a 10 year Hunter that I didn't have to do any repairs that cost more than $100 for the first year. The last 2 years I have had to do some more expensive repairs, but these have all been to non Hunter parts like an autopilot.

To date I have had 0 problems with any part of the boat built by Hunter.

Those are just the facts!
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Old 27-06-2013, 13:42   #22
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Re: Quest for the perfect cruiser

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I'm in a similar situation. I bought a very neglected boat that was 25 years old when purchased. Paid 20-25% less than the same boat in "ready to go" condition. Been working part time and weekends on the boat for three years now and when I'm done will have 10-15% more invested (not counting my time ) than the mythical "ready to go boat". But I will have new sails, new standing and running rigging, new plumbing, new holding tanks, all new pumps, new refrigerator, new inverter/charger, alternator, totally overhauled wiring and more.

Considering all those ready to sail boats might have replaced all that but by the time you buy it they will be at least a year or three or five used and not too far from time to replace again, so I still feel like I got a good deal. Plus as Bluemansailor said, nothing like knowing your boat inside out.

By the way, I really like the HRs. If I had found one in my budget when I was ready to buy I might have a different avatar.
Thank you for the kind words...To be honest and I'm sure some here will agree, that working on a boat is value in itself. Not just saving the $107 an hour a yard charges but working with your hands. I know for me it feels, at times, like it's meant to be. I love the creativity. Somehow walking onto a white sterile Benehunterlina does nothing for me. The boat feels soulless to me unless I have bled in it some. After this HR, I'd like to find a tired, neglected Cabo Rico 38. I know...get in line. Thinking about it, it's kind of like saving a life when you restore them. Alone with my boat, while working on it, I have thought out loud..."Well Joli Elle, I hope you appreciate all this TLC that I'm giving you".
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Old 27-06-2013, 13:59   #23
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Re: Quest for the perfect cruiser

I'll begin with: you can go on anything...how comfortable you are will determine when the fun will fall out.

Yes, you can cruise a 35 to 40 year old boat. Price will be right, but there have been huge advancements in design ergonomics in the past 35 years.

I'm in a great boat hunt right now...sold the Islander 36 and am now looking for the next great boat. Over a few years we put about $30K into the boat in upgrades...new sails...new electronics...custom mattress, etc. etc. ANYTHING on the market that's a palatable price will need upgrades. Period. No questions.

I know a few of the crusty sailors are about to make me walk the plank for this but...there's something to be said about a Beneteau "bleach bottle" over an Old Man Boat. Allow myself to explain myself.

Anything with a V-berth will break you. I'm in my 30s and partner's in his 40s and both of us hated having to dismount the parallel bars just to get out of bed in the morning. We're fit, too, and it was like a jungle gym to get out. We're now dead set on a centerline aft cabin with a queen bed.

Old man boats have a ton of teak...yes, I love teak just as much as the next person, but it's a pain in the tail feathers to maintain. The bleach bottle boat doesn't have teak - just a boat brush and a hose once a week and you're set.

I could go on and on.

And no, I'm not a good candidate for a power boat...I used less than 30 gallons of fuel from Ensenada to Cabo. My rule is we're sailing until boatspeed goes under 2 knots.

Food for thought. Sounds like finding something in the 1993 to 2003 vintage would work for you and provide maximum enjoyment.
Cheers.
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Old 27-06-2013, 14:55   #24
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Re: Quest for the perfect cruiser

It would be interesting how fun the Bene is going to weather with that flat bottom or how comfortable queen suite is on a tack. That being said, if she is only a dock queen with weekends on the water, I can see the advantage. My HR is all wood inside. Although I intend to re-coat in the near future, she has the original finish of 40 years ago. So if dusting is too much work...that might say something of your domestic skills. Bottom line, if your boat has rigging, sails and a diesel engine...guess what...it will need periodic maintenance.
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Old 27-06-2013, 15:26   #25
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Re: Quest for the perfect cruiser

Many variables but I think if you stick with the simple, you cannot go wrong. A simple, safe and comfortable boat could be a good start. If you want to do some cruising, do the cruising = get a boat that will not ask you to spend months in preps. Avoid over-geared boats full of systems. Systems will fail and stop you from sailing.

Maybe a small cat would be a good choice. Cats are easy to sail and comfortable at anchor. Two engines add some margin should you one day find you must motor rather than sail to a destination. Shallow draft opens many otherwise not possible areas.

My friends sailed a Pearson 365 everywhere in the Caribbean and I like their boat very much. They told me they got the boat for the money they got from sale of their two cars. Over time they replaced the engine, the rigging and the sails, added some solar panels and an autopilot. Last time we met they were one happy couple in a pretty and well looking boat tucked in the sunny corner of the bay.

Many ways to go. Keep it simple.

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Old 27-06-2013, 15:37   #26
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Re: Quest for the perfect cruiser

It's kind of funny how this thread is reflecting the internal debate I've been having for the last few months.

Old man boat vs beach bottle.

I'd like something in the middle. Is there nothing that handles weather, that's also comfortable ( You know, for the wife... heh heh)? Oh, and that I can afford? This is where I live these days.

I KNOW there is a solution out there. I'm more of a sailor than a handyman, but I don't mind a little elbow grease now and then. I'd be very unhappy with all elbow grease and no sail time, however.
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Old 27-06-2013, 15:45   #27
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Re: Quest for the perfect cruiser

Celestialsailor:
I don't think my domestic skills come in to play. My want to not constantly maintain a boat, but rather enjoy it and the destinations it brings me to, does.

My entire interior of the Islander was varnished, and I loved it. Pledge can in hand. However, the outside takes a beating...and I would much rather not have to deal with it.

As for on tack in the queen aft centerline cabin...I have yet to sleep in a v-berth on a tack. I sleep with a lee cloth on the settee when I'm off the shift. Actually sailing is a big part of the adventure, but an even bigger part is all the time spent at anchor enjoying the destination. I would much rather have my aft cabin at anchor than the v-berth any day.

True, flatter bottoms don't go to weather as well...but I'm not racing, so if I have to wait a few extra days for the breeze to shift so I have more favorable conditions, so be it. If I'm out and we're going hard to weather, maybe I'll just have to tack a few more times.

All about personal opinions. Nobody's right or wrong. Just what's comfortable for them.
Cheers.
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Old 27-06-2013, 15:46   #28
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Re: Quest for the perfect cruiser

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.

Old man boat vs beach bottle. What the heck is a beach bottle boat?

I'd like something in the middle. Is there nothing that handles weather, that's also comfortable ( You know, for the wife... heh heh)? Oh, and that I can afford? This is where I live these days. There is, but it is probably whatever you are calling a beach bottle.
.
you my friend are a customer for a modern boat
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Old 27-06-2013, 15:53   #29
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Re: Quest for the perfect cruiser

I'm sure that I could sell my boat for what I have in it. I'll never get a penny for all of our hundreds and hundreds of hours of labor and I'm OK with that.
I've done everything myself but rebuild the injection pump and the crane to pull and replace the mast.
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Old 27-06-2013, 15:56   #30
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Re: Quest for the perfect cruiser

Ya Steve...but because you own what you own...you must be an "old man".
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