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Old 05-05-2009, 09:30   #1
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I Want to Get a Sailboat and Live Aboard . . .

I posted this in a diffrent section of this site... Got no helpful responses... so im trying here now...

I am a 23 year old male, who has become disenchanted with the world around me. I have always had an affection for the water, and when I am away from the ocean, it is almost like i become a diffrent person.

Here i am, in the middle of California, near the capital, and i need to make a move. My lease is out in several months (Sept), and when that happens, i plan to leave California behind, or at least, start making plans to.

I do not have much money at all, and can scrape together a few thousand dollars, i have been looking at Catalina's and Oday's as a starting point, in the 25 foot area, big enough to sail anywhere, small enough for 1 man to handle.

I have sailing experience from when i was younger, just sailing around in small sailboats, such as Sunfish.

Seeing the very helpful members, and staff, i felt compelled to registar, and post my story. Now the bad part... I do not know any people who are sailors, and have no connections to the sailing scene.

Having monitored Boat prices for several to many months, i think this is the time for me to start entertaining the thought of buying a Sailboat on the Cheap, bast case, for 2-3 grand, or cheaper.

Essentialy the plan is to get some experience on the docks, and hopefully on the sea. Find and buy a sailboat, and prepare to sail to the American South-East (if buying boat in Northern California) or to travel to the South-East, and buy a sailboat there, but i need to get my plan down by September. My mother is from the caribean, and i have loved the islands my whole life. I would want to sail around the islands, to get my sea legs, for as long as it takes. I also plan on writing at least one, if not several books, as well as having an unhealthy amount of books onboard.

Now about me, i am fiercly independent, well suited to being alone, and have a very quick mind. I am willing to any work nessicary, and am eager to learn skills. I am also somewhat of a minimalist.

My point in posting here, is to share my thoughts with those that are more knowledgeable then me, and far more Experienced, and then to get their reactions, to either my gross niavity, or general incompetence. Or maybe there would be someone who needs some work done, or someone that is looking to get a crusier off their hands.

I would also appreciate any input on the Types of sailboats? And which would be best as a live-aboard, and a crusier, with eventualy sights on long inter-continental voyages.

I basicly would appreciate any input, of any kind, even if it is a joke at my expense (as long as there is a point to it)

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Old 05-05-2009, 09:57   #2
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I think your gonna have a VERY hard time find a boat that floats and can go anywhere for $3k- its certin to need a ton of work- S. Florida may be your best chance in finding a boat cheap

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Old 05-05-2009, 10:02   #3
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I envy you! Your young and have your whole life ahead of you. You can go and do anything.

If I were you...I would offer to crew on any boat that will let you on board. It's a great way to get experience and travel.

Best of luck!!
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Old 05-05-2009, 10:23   #4
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I encourage you to look at Tritons & Ariels. Good, solid boats, often at very reasonable prices. You can do it. I got my plastic boat from my marina when somebody abandoned it. It was one of four boats that could be had for little or nothing. Walk the piers. A friend once bought a 53' Chris Craft houseboat for $4k by doing that. He later bought 6 abandoned boats, between 22 and 28 feet in length, from his marina for about $300 total. Marinas often have abandoned boats & would love to make some money on them. The only hitch can be the process of getting a title for your new boat. That process varies from state to state so I can't tell you much about it.

Do it.

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Old 05-05-2009, 10:48   #5
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Aloha TKain,
I guess you got one response to your other thread because it was placed under the monohull section. Its sometimes hard to find which section to place a question or comment. Try a subject under the crew section like, i. e. "SF area eager novice needs sailing experience"
You might cut and paste a couple of the items in this thread under meets and greets too.
I think you can do what you want with a few thousand dollars. Boat prices in the LA area are pretty low. First though, you should be hooking up with other sailors to get yourself some experience. There are lots of docks to walk and marinas to check into in the SF area. Sometimes independents (I'm one) have a hard time meeting strangers but that's what you need to do to meet sailing contacts. Clubs are another option but they might be expensive.

Check out this link Atom Voyages | Voyages Aboard the Sailboat Atom -* Good Old Boats List - choosing a* small voyaging sailboat

Good luck in your quest.

Kind regards,
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Old 05-05-2009, 10:56   #6
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You need to face the fact that, with no real knowledge or skills concerning boats and the sea, and with no money, your intention of doing something in such a short timeframe is not realistic.

Your best bet, IMO, is to combine some kind of opportunity to gain some knowledge and skills with an income producing activity, and then start saving. I think you would be making a mistake by buying a boat at this point, because for one thing a boat is going to be a cash drain, even if you are able to buy one in decent shape. Boats have to be maintained and stored somewhere and that will cost money. And your lack of knowledge and skills will likely make you buy the wrong boat.
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Old 05-05-2009, 11:02   #7
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Have you thought about volunteering for a crew position as a learning opportunity? Latitude 38 Mag. has a free crew list feature: Latitude 38 - The West's Premier Sailing and Marine Magazine
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Old 05-05-2009, 11:18   #8
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Originally Posted by TKainZero View Post
I do not have much money at all, and can scrape together a few thousand dollars, i have been looking at Catalina's and Oday's as a starting point, in the 25 foot area, big enough to sail anywhere, small enough for 1 man to handle..... i think this is the time for me to start entertaining the thought of buying a Sailboat on the Cheap, bast case, for 2-3 grand, or cheaper.
I think you will find it a challenge to find a boat capable of the kidn of cruising you mentioned for the price you mentioned. You may find a boat such as the O'day or Catalina 25, you mentioned that you could live on and learn the basics of sailing, cruising and living aboard for that, but not cast of for far away destinations you mentioned.

I think you may need to re-define your dream a bit, but that doen't mean giving up on it!

(I also agree with all those who recommended crewing for someone as an affordable way to get some great experience and determine what your needs are.)
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Old 05-05-2009, 12:10   #9
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I think you have a two part dream:

A) Buy a boat to "learn the basics". Live on it. Develop sailing skills. Learn how to take care of a boat (fix it up, maintain it).

B) Cross oceans and otherwise go far offshore.

"A" is very reasonable for you right now. Please don't even think about "B" for a few years. People die trying "B" in the wrong boat or without enough experience (sometimes people in the right boat with lots of experience still die doing "B" ).

For "A" and your budget, try Ebay. I went and looked. A quite nice looking Coronado 25 (with no outboard) in Port Townsend sold a week ago for $510.10

A Bristol 24 (great livaboard boat for 1) in NJ that looks sound but needs a LOT of cosmetic attention sold for $810

Fiberglass boats of this age don't go down in value. They go up if you put a little sweat equity in to them with sandpaper and polish. You'll be able to sell it for more in a few years when you're ready to buy an offshore boat.

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Old 06-05-2009, 17:03   #10
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I agree with Carlf. I bought my Coronado 25 on a no reserve ebay auction for $610. She was in really good shape, except for the outboard. Don't look to far down the road that you get discouraged and give up, but look far enough not to do something stupid and get hurt. Move slowly toword your dream, but keep moving.
Once a sailor now living on the dark side.
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Old 06-05-2009, 20:06   #11
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If your interest is the Caribbean, forget about buying a boat in California. The Gulf coast, especially Florida, is your best bet. Being young and minimalist is good - it will save you lots of money. However, and for whatever it’s worth:

1. 25' is about the minimum length for a cruiser class boat. 27+ is more likely to provide standing head room for normal sized people. Crawling, bending, stooping your way around below decks gets old after a few weeks. Also, bigger boats carry more stuff without being overloaded; and a cheap old boat is likely to want a lot of spare parts, raw materials, tools, etc.

2. Properly mounted outboards are fine for coastal sailing. But, for even minimalist extended liveaboard cruising, inboards have a number of advantages. Among them: they run on diesel fuel and they can charge batteries. Even minimalist cruising requires significant battery power to be safe and marginally comfortable.

3. There are many sub $10K boats available in Florida and the Gulf coast which, if in good condition, would be suitable for a trip to the Bahamas and on to the Caribbean. Eg.:

1968 Morgan Sail Boat For Sale -

No, I don't know anything about this particular boat, and all boats need something (probably many things) before they are truly ready for even minimalist extended cruising. You want a boat which is already in good basic condition. And, while it is possible to find one for $2-3K, it is not likely.
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Old 06-05-2009, 22:52   #12
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I know a friend of mine found a Catalina 27 for a few hundred at a marina auction. They happen all the time. I know the area you are in, so get online and get the numbers of Marina's in the SF Bay area. Call them and ask when they might have auctions for abandoned or in rears of rent. Then scope them out prior to the auction. The hitch is you need to move them from that marina. So it will require you to do some quick work or use vessel assist.
Your plan is doable but requires work on your part.
"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: Wow - what a ride!"
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Old 07-05-2009, 05:10   #13
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You might keep an eye on the following site: eBay Store - Boat Angel: Boats, Cars, Sailboat It's an ebay site where boats have been donated. Many appear to be junk but some appear to be real bargins. I suspect the same people who think they are too buzy to keep up their boats are the same people who think they are too buzy to sell their boats so they get donated (tax deduction?). There are often sailboats in the 25' to 30'+ range in CA. listed there.

Good Luck, Bill A .
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Old 07-05-2009, 05:12   #14
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Originally Posted by TKainZero View Post
I do not have much money at all, and ... as a starting point, in the 25 foot area, big enough to sail anywhere, small enough for 1 man to handle.
Celestial, Carl and others have about pegged it… what you propose is not conformist (even by some boating standards) so you won’t get there by thinking conventionally… that, however, does not mean throwing caution to the wind – far from it… in the meantime, I’d read everything I could on boating safety (how to sail almost anyone can learn along the way, but keeping the boat afloat and you securely on it is the first project – and one that doesn’t allow many errors…). You can buy a “live aboard” on your budget, but it will probably be far more like eccentric camping afloat, than condo living – and will take a bit of effort and further outlay to get ready for any serious sailing… if you’re up for that (BIG “If” for most folks), then you can… recall the distinction between an ordeal and an adventure is often just attitude (check…). You will have to look for your boat in unconventional places (non brokerages generally – try eBay, Craig’s list, Penny-Saver, etc…), and you’ll need to speedily become modestly proficient at discerning what a (your) suitable boat “must have,” because on your budget you won’t be able to rely on more costly wisdom of many marine professionals… I’d look into the USCG Auxiliary or USPS boating safety course (inexpensive quick…) to get back up to speed on safety – won’t teach you to sail, but will certainly help get your head back in the marine game and I’d guess your sailing skills will come back quickly… final word, base on living aboard some years ago… if your total budget is $3K, then initial insurance and dockage/provisioning will eat up half, or there about, so your initial purchase budget is only $1500 – can you still do it, yep… but you’ll be doing your own rigging and sail repair and probably won’t be hanging out at the yacht club…
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Old 07-05-2009, 06:15   #15
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Coconut Grove Sailing Club in Miami just before hurricane season is a good place to look, I know of 4 boats that were given away. Also call all the boatyards and ask about abandonded boats.

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