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Old 04-04-2010, 12:27   #1
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Fixer-Upper or Ready-to-Go ?

Being new to sailing I am not sure which way I should go, buying a boat that is ready to sail or one that needs some tlc before it can sail.
I can see some benifeits to a boat that needs repair but I also see some disadvantages.
I would hate to by a boat only to find out it is not structually sound.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 04-04-2010, 13:37   #2
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Aloha,
This question has been asked here before and most who have had the experience seem to think that it is better to buy a boat that is sailable now. The general opinion is that you will spend more in repairs and the boat may not be able to get you out on the water as much as you'd like if you bought a project boat.
For any boat, it is a good idea to hire a marine surveyor to give you a good idea of what repairs are likely to be needed prior to your purchase of the boat.
My own experience is that I would have been much better off to purchase a sailable boat that would need just a few minor repairs because now I am many years and dollars into a project I haven't sailed and there is no turning back.
The question is: "Do you want to sail or do you want to work on a boat?"
You might do a search for this topic in the search engine after my signature.
Good luck in whichever way you choose.
kind regards,
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Old 04-04-2010, 13:40   #3
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I think the answer usually depends on how much 'fixing' the older boat needs and a study of cost comparisons.

But in your case I'd go with a newer boat because you apparently don't have a lot of experience with boats. You could end up with a serious money pit.

You need a fair amount of boat knowledge to dive into a fixer-upper. Tread very cautiously
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Old 04-04-2010, 13:51   #4
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Ready-to-Go, assuming it is still fairly current for the items.

The fixer-upper always will take more than you figured, plus the time. And the ready to go boat isn't going to get all the money back someone else spent to made so and probably is a budget in this regard.
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Old 04-04-2010, 14:35   #5
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My experience is that boats advertised as needing "some work" need a lot of expensive and time consuming work. Boats advertised as "ready to go" need some less expensive and less time consuming work.
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Old 04-04-2010, 14:46   #6
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Depends on whether you want to spend your time fixing a boat for free or sailing. Some people really want to work on a boat even more than they want to sail. Some people want to sail more. Some people can only afford a low buy in fixer-upper and devote more than the boat is worth. Some of those understand that it's costing them more than it would have to buy a boat in the long run. They finish the boat. Some people don't understand that it's costing them more in the long run, they never finish.
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Old 04-04-2010, 15:02   #7
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Buy ine ready to go, then keep it up yourself, this way you will learn how to fix things as you sail
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Old 04-04-2010, 15:28   #8
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Buy "ready to sail". Even used boats that look good and pass a marine survey, need some work that will keep you more than busy.
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Old 04-04-2010, 15:33   #9
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buy ready to sail, cause I wager that will still need work, Always best to get on the water so you can enjoy spending the money instead of just spending the money, for all the repairs
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Old 04-04-2010, 15:59   #10
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In favour of small fixer uppers...

Why not a small fixer upper?

Assuming that you're planning a regular (40 odd ft.) cruising mono you'll probably find that even a "fixer upper" in sound condition will stretch your budget.

The initial cost plus the fixing up cost of the project can easily exceed the cost of a similar cream puff. Not to mention the years of work involved.

So why not go for an older, smaller one, say round 30'. These look to be available for not a huge amount of money, most have been raced in one way or another and will come with heaps of extra gear.

Find one with a sound hull , mast/rigging and fully functional diesel engine and fix it up as you learn to sail it. A really good one may not need much more than a serious clean.

Equipment for boats this size is readily available and quite often well priced and it's possible you can "trade" what comes with the boat for what you need.

By the time you've had the boat for a few years (many fixer uppers would take this long, or more) you'll know all about maintaining an older boat, have lots of sea time and (hopefully with good planning) money in the bank. Then sell your (by now) 30' cream puff, buy a cruising boat that meets your exact requirements and go.
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Old 04-04-2010, 19:59   #11
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Thanks to all, I will be looking for a ready to sail.
The way you put it makes more sense to me now, I was thinking af buying a project to work and learn at the same time, I might as well sail and learn. sounds great thanks again.
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Old 04-04-2010, 21:00   #12
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even if you buy a brand-new boat...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ross H View Post
Thanks to all, I will be looking for a ready to sail.
The way you put it makes more sense to me now, I was thinking af buying a project to work and learn at the same time, I might as well sail and learn. sounds great thanks again.
...it will still be a "project to work and learn at the same time."

They are all project boats, every last one of them.
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Old 04-04-2010, 21:33   #13
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There is a good artical on sailnet on what it takes to beat the fixer-uper types.

Confessions of a bottom feeder - SailNet Community

Can you beat a guy like that? Probably not on a $/hr basis, unless you are currently making minimum wage. Remember there is a ballance. Every hr you spend fixing a boat is an hour you can't spend working or sailing. It's probably more advantagous for you to work at your day job, and then just buy a ready to sail boat, instead of trying to do most of the fixing yourself.

Unless you WANT to fix a boat, in which case the repair and building work is PLAY, and everything is good!

And remember, no matter how "ready to sail" your boat is, it's going to need work before your going to want to take it outside of the marina.
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Old 05-04-2010, 00:47   #14
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Even if you buy new

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They are all project boats, every last one of them.
Such brutal honesty is called for.
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Old 05-04-2010, 12:23   #15
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sww914 said it well too.
regards,
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