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Old 04-01-2013, 19:01   #1
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Where do I start?

So I know I want to buy boat and that's about as far as I have gotten. I have crewed before on J-24 and a C&C, but it's been over a year and I am still very green as far as sailing goes. But this is something I've wanted since I was a kids and I'm a marathon-running Type A personality. Thus, when I want something, I really go for it.

I'm told unless I want a money pit I should avoid wood completely. I caretook a wooden ferry boat a few years ago which was constant work but had so much character.

I'd like something with blue-water and live-aboard capabilities and could sleep 4-6 comfortably.

My budget is about 15k.

What do I do now? Go to a boat show? Salivate over yachtworld.com?

What are the, say, top five questions I should ask anyone selling their boat?

Any resources would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 04-01-2013, 19:07   #2
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Re: Where do I start?

Craigslist has some good finds and there are apps for your smartphone which will search every city. I search for things like bowsprit, gaffer, full keel, boomkin, bluewater, topsail and such.
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Old 04-01-2013, 19:14   #3
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Re: Where do I start?

15K is a low budget for liveaboard, bluewater, sleeps 4-6. I'd look for some older, like 1970s and 1980s, fiberglass golden oldies in the 30-34 foot size range. Name boats like Pearson, Bristol, Cal, Cape Dory, Ericson, will have owners groups and the chance of getting stuff like used sails, equipment, and advice. Since you're in Alexandria and near the Chesapeake start prowling and asking around boatyards in your free time. The sort of boat in your price range you are looking for won't be pushed hard by brokers, but it might very well have a faded For Sale sign hanging on it in the boatyard. Go for the dirty ones needing cosmetics, but maybe lightly used and structurally sound. I'd even go up to folks with boats in the size you like and ask them about their boats. A lot of boaters are aware of similar boats, maybe ones they've looked at, that you might be interested in.
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Old 04-01-2013, 19:25   #4
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Re: Where do I start?

Or a westsail
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Old 04-01-2013, 19:28   #5
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Re: Where do I start?

Kettlewell hit the big ones. CL and back of marinas. Alot of the boats in the very back are owned by the yard, could be had for a song.
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Old 04-01-2013, 19:39   #6
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Re: Where do I start?

$15k for a boat, or to buy a project?
I don't feel you will find a boat to do what you asked for $15k. Sorry that's the way it is. You may be able to find a project to start working on beganning at $15k.

As you suggested go to yatchworld and see for yourself.


PS - any boat at sitting in the corner of the boatyard that you can get for $15k, well there's a reason for that
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Old 04-01-2013, 19:49   #7
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Might be a better idea to buy something smaller to learn on at first. Not just how to sail, how to maintan a boat, the cost associated, etc etc. Its amazing how much I've learned from my little boat in the last 8 months, a lot of it has nothing to do with actual sailing.
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Old 04-01-2013, 19:54   #8
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Re: Where do I start?

I've seen Pearson 26 that a couple of French fellas bought and are cruising around, living it up from the time we met them. They bought the boat for a grand from www.crabsailing.org that I mentioned to them while @ GYB looking around. I had already looked at these boats before I bought, well same day actually, as I bought my Centaur. My boat was built for the North Atlantic. CRAB had a 24 Bristol that was well founded with newer ob for 2500. Another blue capable pocket cruiser. He could back off on the blue and coastal/icw cruise on many more boats for that amount and way less. IMO.

Edit: They have a Hunter 30 and a Catalina 30, right now that could fit his bill. For a 1/3 of his budget resevered for what it needs. Hunters, they get to go in the ocean?
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Old 04-01-2013, 19:55   #9
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Re: Where do I start?

Get something cheap, small, and fun on a trailer and practice while you look and save for a bigger boat.
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Old 04-01-2013, 20:05   #10
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Re: Where do I start?

If that is your budget, I would second Kettlewells' advice and check out ship yards in your area with some old, neglected cosmetically challenged boats that the yard had repossessed for lack of yard payments. Remember to get someone with some knowledge about boats to look it over so you don't get burned too badly. A licensed surveyor will cost you $ but if you're not experienced, you'll need some advice IMO.... good luck with your search... Phil
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Old 04-01-2013, 20:12   #11
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Re: Where do I start?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lightstays View Post
So I know I want to buy boat and that's about as far as I have gotten. I have crewed before on J-24 and a C&C, but it's been over a year and I am still very green as far as sailing goes. But this is something I've wanted since I was a kids and I'm a marathon-running Type A personality. Thus, when I want something, I really go for it.

I'm told unless I want a money pit I should avoid wood completely. I caretook a wooden ferry boat a few years ago which was constant work but had so much character.

I'd like something with blue-water and live-aboard capabilities and could sleep 4-6 comfortably.

My budget is about 15k.

What do I do now? Go to a boat show? Salivate over yachtworld.com?

What are the, say, top five questions I should ask anyone selling their boat?

Any resources would be greatly appreciated.
Go buy Don Casey's "Complete Illustrated Sailboat Maintenance Manual"
Read the first section on inspecting an aging sailboat.

Go look at this boat: 1968 CAL 36 sailboat

If there aren't any obvious to you problems with the boat like ripped out furniture, dry rot in the bulkheads, soft spots in the deck or hull or engine that is dead then...

Find a registered surveyor in YOUR area from
http://www.namsglobal.org/
or
The Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors, Inc.® - (SAMS®)

Yes pay for their travel time, better that than someone who lives near the seller.

From the photos, the stove looks dead, so what that's a $500-1000 item, the items listed above are $2-10k items that will mount up pretty quickly. At least some of the 10 sails on the boat should be usable for a while. With your price point, size and stated intention to go offshore any boat you get will be a fixer to some extent. This boat doesn't look that bad from what little I can see.

If I was on that coast I would have snapped that boat up about 6mo ago.
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Old 04-01-2013, 21:06   #12
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Re: Where do I start?

Take a look at these sites and see what's out there available.
Sailboat Listings - sailboats for sale
Sailboats for sale from Sailing Texas, buy or sell your sailboat, free sailboat ads.
Ad Hunt'r - Search ALL of Craigslist™ and more!
Kettlewell, mentioned some good ones that I was going to suggest as well. A boat is going to be a project no matter what you get. The big thing is how big of a project do you want to take on? Do your homework first on what you want, what features you want in the boat. What accessories? Does a boat your interested in have GPS or need upgrades in systems or are they still good?

If you look through those sites I mentioned and narrow down what you are interested in, look for owner groups for those boats. You might be able to find a good boat that won't be listed anywhere else. At least, that's how I got mine.

I got a pretty good boat. I expected to do a few things and be ready but still have a list of things to do to get it in the water.

Good luck in your search and Welcome to Cruisers Forum.
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Old 04-01-2013, 22:38   #13
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Re: Where do I start?

Don't listen to all this BS. It seems you have the skills from working on a Wood Ferry boat. If that didn't turn you off...nothing will. I've built 3 steel boats...2 of my own and resorected 4 F/G boats. 2 of them under $15k. All of them over 34 ft. and good cruisers.
As mentioned, craigslist is a good source and also harbors which have auctions. Call a few up. They'll be happy to tell you when they may have an auction. Most likely with a fixer for $15K, you will spend another $15K and a few years making it into something useable. It doesn't have to have a condo interior like the newer plastic looking bars of soap in the water you see now-a days. It can be simple, functional and inexpensive...Good luck to ya.
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Old 05-01-2013, 06:14   #14
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Re: Where do I start?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lightstays View Post
I'd like something with blue-water and live-aboard capabilities and could sleep 4-6 comfortably.
I think the "top 5 questions" to first ask should be to yourself (rather than a Boat seller).

I would start with:-

1) do you really need a "blue water" boat? (by which I read, go pretty much anywhere for extended periods - including off the beaten track).

2) do you really need a boat that can sleep 4-6 "comfortably?" Most boats will have at least 4 berths - 6 not unusual, but sleeping that number onboard is one thing - living together onboard is another. The more people the bigger the boat needed simply to avoid needing to strangle folks . If you are thinking of a boat for a couple (with occassional guests?) would be better off settling for good berths for yourselves and having occassional crew settling for the less than ideal (most boats will have the extra berths) rather than you living around the accomadation needs of guests (space onboard is always at a premium - and involves compromises).

3) where are you really likely to be voyaging? At least in the foreseable future. Everywhere (from a sunny afternoon in the bay to Capehorn in winter) is expensive. A neccessary expense if you are actually needing it, but otherwise not. IMO buying a boat for vague long term plans when you have not yet discovered your own desires first hand is optimistic, some do buy the "forever" boat first time out, but most not. Given your budget (and starting point) the odds are that even if your plans do one day include Cape Horn etc that you will have different boat ideas by then. and your own, gained by personal experiance .

4) what timescale are you looking at for any extended voyages? - both to first set off and to be "out there". With a tight budget choices do need to be made - the longer the bye bye date the less perfect you can buy if willing and able to put some sweat equity into a boat (but see the link in my sig about "projects"). The longer "out there" the better condition / equipped the boat needs to be in (or is simply useful!) to start with, fixing and equipping "on the hoof" tends to be more expensive (as well as a PITA), especially when things break unexpectedly. and you can probably live with less "Mod cons" onboard. Everything adds up $$$. Boats is all about choices.........

5) What will be your annual budget? (boat and you!) - the bigger and more complicated (mod cons!) a boat is the more expensive to maintain. IMO no point in buying 50' of boat loaded with everything from a Jacuzzi to Sattelite TV if it leaves you with a budget for only a diet of beans and rice .......no matter that you may be eating them whilst sitting in a Jacuzzi watching HBO .

Of course a squillion other questions to ask! - a large part of what CF is about is helping folks come up with own questions and assist with puzzling out own answers. But sometimes there are also actual answers. sometimes .
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Old 05-01-2013, 09:01   #15
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Re: Where do I start?

Thanks for the thoughts everyone. You've opened doors in my thinking not to mention highlighted my own naivete! Cheaper and smaller would probably be wiser as my entire longterm floatplan is based on, well, dreams more than anything else. We'll see where this goes and I'll check out some yards along the Chesapeake.
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