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Old 15-01-2014, 19:23   #1
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Cruising Plans NOW Boat Selection

Hi Friends,
After getting some good feedback and some good advice.
I have modified my plans for next Winters Cruise. (leaving Jan 2015
returning may 2015)
I now plan to Start in Florida, Cruise all of the Bahamas and then on to
the either the DR or BVI as my southern most destination,
then back to Florida. I had planned to go all the way to Trinidad but the wise salts here suggested that this was an ambitious plan for a 4 month cruise, which is going to be my first
As I stated in my first post I have a good grip on sailing and navigation
and am a very safety conscious guy. Iím not too concerned about the actually sailing but am finding out that buying a boat is a little more complicated. I have only owned one before (27í Ericson bought in 1996 kept for 2 yrs) There are some many choices in my size and price range Itís making my head spin

My Requirements
Up to 20,000 & Canít be in need of major refitting, Around 30í
Diesel Engine,
Roller Furling Jib
Shore Power Hook Up
Wheel Steering
Auto Pilot
Head
Galley
Good Water and Fuel Capacity
Lines led to cockpit (would be nice)
Sleep 4


What follows is a sampling of my preliminary search, all late 70ís to mid 80ís
And all are claimed to be in good or better condition and have good pics.
Could all be baloney and of course and all subject to still being available andcapable of passing a survey, but this is what I have come up with:

Allied Seawind ll Ketch 32 1977---------- 19,500
Eicson 30 1984 -------------------------12,500
Cape Dory Ketch 30 1977 -------------- 12,000
Catalina 30 (Many Boats) all 80ís ------- 15-20,000
Heritage West Indies 36 1979 ----------- 19,000
S2 9.2C Center Cockpit 1984------------- 14,000
Hunter 31 1984-------------------------- 18,000

It seems to me that the asking prices are all over the place and that
We are truly in a buyers market. Is this the case now?
Are any of these just too good to be believed? or just
a great deal?
Are brokers more or less honest ? (got my suit on for this one)
As there would be considerable travel required to see these boats any suggestions on witling this down? I donít have my heart set on anything in particular Iím really more focused on the doing then on the ďIn WhatĒ


A few basic questions:
Which would you chose and why?

If I can sail a sloop, how difficult to transfer to a Ketch?
Whatís the real practical differences between a deck
and keel stepped mast?
Does it make any difference for my purpose (Caribbean and US East Coast
(No Ocean Passages)
What are typical costs at a yard to step a mast and set up the rigging?
Whatís the proper way to test an engine on a boat out of the water?
If an engine runs out of the water with a hose feeding it cooling water
once itís in the water will the added torque of the prop make a difference? Water pump in the above scenario?
What are winter cones?
Does it make sense to spend more and buy from a dealers used inventory? If yes, Is there anything like a short term warranty? Can they be negotiated? Will surveyors, survey boats of this age and size?
Would it be worth it? Can A boat be judged by it's cover, ie: It looks
like ****, must be ****? looks great, must be great Think Home staging?

Iíve got a million more questions, but this is enough for now

Once again
Thanx in advance to all here for their advice
The decision to go has been made, now itís all in the planning
I plan on attending the upcoming Atlantic city show
If any body wants to meet for donuts and stories Iíll Buy.
PS: How do I get my picture up?
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Old 15-01-2014, 20:00   #2
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Re: Cruising Plans NOW Boat Selection

Wow. That is a lot of questions. My 2 cents:

Sleeps 4? Adults? All the time, or maybe once for a few days?

If this is really important to you, for sure go for one of the bigger boats (look at waterline length and beam) such as the Catalina 30..

I think you need to worry less about which type of boat, and focus more on finding a well outfitted boat in good condition in your price range. I would focus on a boat with a working autopilot, decent engine, decent sails, etc. and look for that. This is the difference in value among old boats. Take two boats:

1980 Catalina 30 - Daysailed. Not recent updates. Original diesel and sails.
1980 Catalina 30 - Much loved. Bottom job 2012. Re-powered 2003. New Sails 2008. New Standing rigging 2011. Autopilot with spares.

The second boat is worth over double what the first is IMHO. It is the second boat you want if you can afford it. Look for a well cared for and updated boat that already has most of what you need. Especially the expensive stuff like bottom job, diesel, sails, standing rigging.
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Old 15-01-2014, 20:55   #3
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Re: Cruising Plans NOW Boat Selection

That whole schedule thing is going to come back to bite you in the @ss. Winter time down this way sees allot of fronts come through and that means rough passages. I could spend years just exploring the Bahamas and mind you I have been going for years. You stated you want to cruise all of the Bahamas.. Wow in 4 months? While you can probably do the trip you will be waiting for one weather window after another to do each leg. A 30 foot boat is going to be hard pressed to give you more the 4.5 kts average and the Bahamas are spread out over 100s of miles. You stated you have a budget of 20K for the boat but it needs to be well fitted out. While it is entirely possible to find a boat in this price range that will meet most of your needs it may not be very comfortable while meeting those needs. Things like refrigeration, Solar and wind power generation and water makers make life off the grid much more comfortable. If you are just hoping from one port to the next those things aren't as important. All the other post so far I agree with get the boat that is in the best shape fix what needs to be fixed and go have your adventure.
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Old 15-01-2014, 21:10   #4
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Re: Cruising Plans NOW Boat Selection

In addition, a ketch rig on a boat only 30' doesn't make much sense to me. You're not going to have much room to begin with, and I wouldn't want to clutter it up even more by adding a mizen.

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Old 15-01-2014, 21:13   #5
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Re: Cruising Plans NOW Boat Selection

Thanx Raindog
What you say is absolutely true and was kind of what was in my mind
All the boats I mentioned where all supposedly we'll cared for and maintained
And had similar gear. go figure. It's interesting to me that you mention
Catalina 30's because this was one of the first boats I was thinking about
Nice size in the 30 and they seem to be all over,we'll equipped and we'll cared for and updated and refitted.
However another member raised the question of their using big washers
Instead of backing plates and that's when I started to look at others.
So my question is then Is this an issue for where I plan to go.
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Old 15-01-2014, 21:14   #6
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Re: Cruising Plans NOW Boat Selection

Better yet you could rent a boat that would fit your needs even better. I just so happen to know where one is available. It has all of the cruising requirements. i mentioned in my last post, i.e. Autopilot, wind generator, Solar Panel, Watermaker, genset, new Main sail with a MacPac, Lazy Jacks, and a roller furling jib, the Galley has a 2burner gimbaled stove and oven, a microwave, hot and cold pressure water system, salt water wash down not only at the galley sink but also at the bow and stern. There is a hot / cold transom shower new interior, new bottom paint, dinghy and outboard, air conditioning, plus a walk through transom and sugar scoop for easy access to the water. You do swim right? The boat has all of the charts and cruising guides for the areas you want to see plus a chart plotter, vhf, ipod stereo system and more. PM me for details.
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Old 15-01-2014, 21:20   #7
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Re: Cruising Plans NOW Boat Selection

Quote:
Originally Posted by Time2Go View Post
Thanx Raindog
What you say is absolutely true and was kind of what was in my mind
All the boats I mentioned where all supposedly we'll cared for and maintained
And had similar gear. go figure. It's interesting to me that you mention
Catalina 30's because this was one of the first boats I was thinking about
Nice size in the 30 and they seem to be all over,we'll equipped and we'll cared for and updated and refitted.
However another member raised the question of their using big washers
Instead of backing plates and that's when I started to look at others.
So my question is then Is this an issue for where I plan to go.
Any boat you buy will need you to do some work on it. In the greater scheme of things, adding backing plates to cleats is a pretty easy job.

As you point out, Catalina 30's are readily available in large numbers. I would have no qualms about taking one on your trip. I would plan on beefing up some areas, but that is easy to do.
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Old 15-01-2014, 23:53   #8
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Re: Cruising Plans NOW Boat Selection

I would humbly submit that the simpler and smaller the boat, the more likely plans seem to come to fruition. It could be really easy to overstep $20,000 for a good 30' including refit (which will likely be more than you plan). Whatever you do, keep it as simple as is practicable for you and you'll less apt to go wrong
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Old 16-01-2014, 00:29   #9
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Re: Cruising Plans NOW Boat Selection

I presume the boat prices you show are asking prices. I would expand the Yachtworld search to say $25k and see what comes up. I would think at some point an advertised $25k boat would actually sell for $20k or less.
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Old 16-01-2014, 00:31   #10
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Re: Cruising Plans NOW Boat Selection

just a thought -- the miami boat show is coming up -- why not go down and talk to the brokers about what they have on hand in way of used boats -- don't just talk to one but several as some are good some not so good and some not idea

good luck and glad to see you scaled back the trip but as above keep planning
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Old 16-01-2014, 04:45   #11
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Re: Cruising Plans NOW Boat Selection

Have you actually seen the boats on your list??? I would get the boat I like instead of unknown forum posters.
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Old 18-01-2014, 13:06   #12
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Re: Cruising Plans NOW Boat Selection

Hi Friends,

First I want to again thank all who have given me really on point advice
regarding my cruising plans for next winter (2015). The Bahamas and maybe
as far south as the DR and BVI. if the weather windows come often.
I have spoken to a few dealers and brokers and now believe that the boat
I previously outlined will be obtainable, it truly is a buyers market.
Catalina 30's are mentioned frequently.
My focus has somewhat changed to an order of priority,
Hull, Engine, Rigging, Sails, Electronics.
I think this is a good way for me to evaluate, but once again reserve the right to be
totally wrong and ask for opinions? I have read 100ís of threads but foolishly
didnít write down the names and authors of much recommended
books on the following subjects,

1. Cruising the Bahamas, DR and BVI.
2. Weather interpretation and understanding,
3. 12v marine power systems
4. Used boat evaluation
So if any of you ladies and gents have suggestions Iím all ears.
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Old 18-01-2014, 13:43   #13
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Re: Cruising Plans NOW Boat Selection

Go out and look at boats. See what condition they're in. Listing prices and boats from ads is a waste of time. You can't compare boats from advertisements. All the boats you listed will get you to the Bahamas or the DR or BVI, if they're properly equipped and in decent condition.

The boats you've listed will not be in boat shows. Walk the docks.
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Old 18-01-2014, 14:01   #14
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Re: Cruising Plans NOW Boat Selection

I recognize some of the specific boats you have listed, like the Cape Dory Ketch that is down in Oriental, NC. I think you may be disappointed when you see it as well as the others. I agree with the earlier advice that you look for Boats listed in the $20K - $30K range and then try to score one for significantly less than asking price. I bought a great 1984 Sea Sprite 30' last fall for $15,000. Original asking price was $22,500. The good deals are out there! Check out my blog for some examples:

Best Offshore Cruising Sailboats < $40K
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Old 18-01-2014, 14:07   #15
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Re: Cruising Plans NOW Boat Selection

The only thing I would recommend other than actually going and looking at these boats is I would change the order you evaluate them in. I would go hull, rigging, sails, electrical system, electronics. Your engine, while important, is an auxiliary. You can make do with your dingy's outboard in a pinch. Don't forget your plumbing either. A malfunctioning head and holding tank will quickly ruin your vacation.

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