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Old 08-01-2016, 18:21   #1
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Boat Hunting Tuesday... Florida

Step 1 of our master plan goes into operation on Tuesday when we fly into Miami for 3 weeks to look at some boats and chat to some good people from this and the Trawler Forum.

I have lined up around 30 boats to have a look at, as varied a cross section as I can find from a 40ft Catamaran to a 62ft Trawler, some power, some sails, some old and some not so old...

Hopefully we will get some idea of what we want and what will fit us....

Anyone got any tips for looking at the boats, we are not going to buy one this trip, it's just a look see, I'm after the more generic suggestions rather than the condition side.

Just trying to learn from others experience, is there anything you wish you had looked at / asked / checked when deciding if a boat is suitable?

There is some history of us, and a request if you are about for a chat, on this thread...

Anyone in Florida/Keys/Caribbean in January...

Thanks for reading, we are really looking forward to this next adventure..
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Old 08-01-2016, 20:34   #2
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Re: Boat Hunting Tuesday... Florida

The right boat will feel right to you. Use your phone camera to take pics and videos. Use notes to highlight the pros and cons of each boats.

*When, and how often, will the boat be used? Do you plan boat year-round or only seasonally?
*Where will you operate the boat? In the IWC or on the ocean? Topics or up in the North Baltic?
*How much can you afford to spend? Don't forget the initial cost of purchase is just the beginning. There will be maintenance, updating equipment, insurance, registration fees and the added gear for the area you plan to sail.
*What type of boat suits your personality and temperament? Classic or modern.

I'm in Ft Lauderdale for two weeks before we head to the Bahamas. Give a PM if you are looking here, I can help you some. Do you have a broker representing you, the right one can be a huge help. There are ton of boats here in South Fla. Good luck, remember to have fun.
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Old 08-01-2016, 20:59   #3
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Re: Boat Hunting Tuesday... Florida

Quote:
Originally Posted by Haylands View Post

...............
I have lined up around 30 boats to have a look at, as varied a cross section as I can find from a 40ft Catamaran to a 62ft Trawler, some power, some sails, some old and some not so old...

Hopefully we will get some idea of what we want and what will fit us....
Good luck on whatever you do.

That said, I find this excerpt strange.

Old/new is fine, but why not add canoes?

OK, just trying to learn how you came to this conclusion before you left your home to go to Florida.

Could you not have been more specific in what YOU liked/wanted before you left?

It seems such a WIDE variety.

Help us to help you. What is your cruising goal for starters? Your original link said "in the Caribbean..." Big place, we've heard.
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Old 08-01-2016, 22:23   #4
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Re: Boat Hunting Tuesday... Florida

You're right to talk to folks from the forum. It's very difficult for an inexperienced person to get on a boat and learn much - especially with a sales guy is in tow.

So also walk the docks and talk to people about their boats. Everyone likes to talk about their boats. It's simple to start the conversation - just say "Nice boat".

Tell them you're planning to buy your first cruising boat. You'll probably get invited aboard and be told what they like and don't like about their boat - and probably all the other boat's they've owned.
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Old 09-01-2016, 10:03   #5
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Re: Boat Hunting Tuesday... Florida

Quote:
Originally Posted by puffcard View Post
The right boat will feel right to you. Use your phone camera to take pics and videos. Use notes to highlight the pros and cons of each boats.

*When, and how often, will the boat be used? Do you plan boat year-round or only seasonally?
*Where will you operate the boat? In the IWC or on the ocean? Topics or up in the North Baltic?
*How much can you afford to spend? Don't forget the initial cost of purchase is just the beginning. There will be maintenance, updating equipment, insurance, registration fees and the added gear for the area you plan to sail.
*What type of boat suits your personality and temperament? Classic or modern.

I'm in Ft Lauderdale for two weeks before we head to the Bahamas. Give a PM if you are looking here, I can help you some. Do you have a broker representing you, the right one can be a huge help. There are ton of boats here in South Fla. Good luck, remember to have fun.
Thanks for that, we're just looking at the moment, I was recommended a broker but it seems a bit unreasonable to expect them to set up viewings on loads of boats when we don't really know what we want...

We plan on pottering around the Bahamas and the Caribbean, don't plan on spending too much on a boat and I do appreciate the purchase is just the start

I'll PM you if we are around there in the next couple of weeks, Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
Good luck on whatever you do.

That said, I find this excerpt strange.

Old/new is fine, but why not add canoes?

OK, just trying to learn how you came to this conclusion before you left your home to go to Florida.

Could you not have been more specific in what YOU liked/wanted before you left?

It seems such a WIDE variety.

Help us to help you. What is your cruising goal for starters? Your original link said "in the Caribbean..." Big place, we've heard.
I plan on doing all the work that will inevitably be needed myself, the boat we chose will be more along the lines of the one I will fit in/under/around etc... I'm 6'5" not of slim build, a repaired broken back from years ago, two new hips and a patched up knee... not quite able to do most yoga positions these days....!!!! So we have to find the "right" boat, hopefully we will have a short list but it's impossible to tell just by looking at photos and the type of boats available out there aren't really available over here.... some in the med but it's as expensive getting down there as it is to pop over the pond.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarlF View Post
You're right to talk to folks from the forum. It's very difficult for an inexperienced person to get on a boat and learn much - especially with a sales guy is in tow.

So also walk the docks and talk to people about their boats. Everyone likes to talk about their boats. It's simple to start the conversation - just say "Nice boat".

Tell them you're planning to buy your first cruising boat. You'll probably get invited aboard and be told what they like and don't like about their boat - and probably all the other boat's they've owned.
Thanks, I'm pretty good at ignoring sales guys and having my own agenda, I do hope people are approachable because we plan to do what you are suggesting, if you try that over here they think your a nutter and call the police...!!!

I know we should probably take a few years and charter some boats we fancy and try them out etc etc but I live for the moment these days and just want to get on with it...

Impatience costs you money, but heck, you can't take it with you....
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Old 09-01-2016, 10:13   #6
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Re: Boat Hunting Tuesday... Florida

Quote:
Originally Posted by Haylands View Post
So we have to find the "right" boat, hopefully we will have a short list but it's impossible to tell just by looking at photos
//
I know we should probably take a few years and charter some boats we fancy and try them out etc etc but I live for the moment these days and just want to get on with it...
You can't really tell from having a look around a docked boat either ...
For that, you really will have to spent some real time on a boat, in different conditions.

Also, make sure that whatever boat you end up with, both you and your wife feel comfortable you can sail / handle the boat alone.
Should one person get sick, the other has to be able to get the boat (and partner) back to shore safely.
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Old 09-01-2016, 10:35   #7
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Re: Boat Hunting Tuesday... Florida

Quote:
Originally Posted by Haylands View Post

1. I plan on doing all the work that will inevitably be needed myself, the boat we chose will be more along the lines of the one I will fit in/under/around etc...

2. I'm 6'5" not of slim build, a repaired broken back from years ago, two new hips and a patched up knee... not quite able to do most yoga positions these days....!!!! So we have to find the "right" boat, hopefully we will have a short list but it's impossible to tell just by looking at photos and the type of boats available out there aren't really available over here.... some in the med but it's as expensive getting down there as it is to pop over the pond.....

3. I know we should probably take a few years and charter some boats we fancy and try them out etc etc but I live for the moment these days and just want to get on with it...

4. Impatience costs you money, but heck, you can't take it with you....
1. Good approach, actually quite necessary when you're "out there." I believe those traits are required even for "weekend warriors" since altogether too many think Tow Boat or Sea Tow is the answer to problems they created by not knowing enough or not doing preventative maintenance.

2. This is CRITICAL. Really. Your condition and height will have a HUGE impact on the boats you can actually live upon/in. Many of us, in our younger days, had boats with less headroom than our heights. While perhaps OK for weekends and short vacation trips, living aboard would be the kiss of death. I had a Catalina 25 for 13 years, and developed what the C25 guys said was the "C25 stoop." It literally took me two years into our Catalina 34 before I got over it, and I'm only 5'-9"!!!

As a result, may I recommend to you the use of the search engine on this website/forum, upper right, scroll down to the Google search box, and type in headroom or height below or other search terms that come to you. Also consider using Google itself for longer search terms. It has been discussed here, and on other boating forums.

With the rest of your "issues" some might recommend forgetting about a sailboat completely and going with a trawler.

Your life, your choice.

3. See #2 above, don't rush too much, 'cuz if you can't stand up COMPLETELY you'll regret your hasty decision.

4. It can also cost you your sanity, as well as exacerbate your other medical issues. Seriously.

Good luck, happy hunting.
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Old 09-01-2016, 10:37   #8
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Re: Boat Hunting Tuesday... Florida

If, like me, you are well past the ability to take yogi positions you had better stress access to engine, bilge, tanks etc. DIY is not compatible with your limits on many sailboat jobs. No matter what you buy you had best budget lots for $100/hr skilled labor. I think you might be best beginning by setting an affordable budget including, purchase, repairs and fitting out. For most used boats I would be surprised if the purchase was as much as 60% of you total costs. That budget will tend to restrict your choices and can save you a lot of time and grief.
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Old 09-01-2016, 10:47   #9
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Re: Boat Hunting Tuesday... Florida

I wish you luck in your search - although you've left your choices wide open your reasons for doing so seem very sane. (If that can be said about a boat purchase).

As for the "Nice boat" and nice people talking about their nice boats; I have been in every US state with shoreline and it has only failed once and that was with an old wooden boat that the owner was paying people to do the oakum/caulking thing. He was rightly concerned about the cost of paying 3 men and didn't want them distracted.

As someone with a pretty unusual boat myself I love talking about it but am more selective now. If someone knows boats I'll have a conversation and perhaps invite them aboard, but if they are just walking the dock looking to pass an hour before their dinner reservation, probably I'll just nod and say thanks.

I think with your exotic "Englishness" and a smile, pretty much everyone will give you the info you need. Please let us know how it goes.
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Old 09-01-2016, 12:13   #10
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Re: Boat Hunting Tuesday... Florida

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Thanks, I'm pretty good at ignoring sales guys and having my own agenda, I do hope people are approachable because we plan to do what you are suggesting, if you try that over here they think your a nutter and call the police...!!!
I walked some public marinas last year while searching for a boat and did have one guy threaten to call the police if I didn't leave. Some people desperately need a role in life - his was self appointed Sherrif I guess. Anyway, wouldn't hurt to pop into the marina office first and introduce yourself.
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Old 09-01-2016, 12:37   #11
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Re: Boat Hunting Tuesday... Florida

You would be able to see a lot of boats at the Miami Boat Show. You should hang around for that.
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Old 09-01-2016, 12:58   #12
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Re: Boat Hunting Tuesday... Florida

When we where looking a boats a few years ago my wife brought her new I pad along . We were able to take dozens of pictures of each boat. The big advantage of a Tablet over a camera phone is that you get to view the pics on a big screen and you can zoom in and so on. You can also make a note on a picture to highlight an issue. Then at the bar later on you can look at your leisure. One of the side effects we learned after the fact was it makes the seller/ broker take you more seriously.We became friendly after the fact with the vendors broker( after the fact) and they thought that we did not like the boat because we took so many pictures . Good luck
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Old 09-01-2016, 13:22   #13
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Re: Boat Hunting Tuesday... Florida

We're flying in Sunday the 17th to look at a Bristol 45.5 in Ft lauderdale and other well maintained off-shore nimble, live-aboard-able, shallow-draft w/ centerboard, mono hulls between 40 and 46 feet. We have sailed,cruised, raced, delivered, and chartered extensively in this size. We won't be able to buy it as a 2nd home. We'll need to rent out our house and move aboard.
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Old 09-01-2016, 14:01   #14
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Re: Boat Hunting Tuesday... Florida

Yea walking docks is a great suggestion. My dad sold two sailboats to people walking the docks. He himself was a great dock walker. One fall in Solomon Island we came out of a restaurant, just boat looking. Dad got ahead of us, then we lost him. Later found him sitting on the biggest boat in the marina. It was a Sunward 48, Walter Cronkite's boat, they talked for over an hour. On boats we are all equal, more so than anywhere else.

Bristol are great boats, one bad drawback is the engine compartments are super tight, might be an issue if you have any limitations.
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Old 09-01-2016, 18:42   #15
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Re: Boat Hunting Tuesday... Florida

To keep it general since your search is varied, my big hangup was it had to have a dry bilge. Along with feeling right, that was a biggy for me.
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