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Old 09-12-2012, 11:03   #46
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Re: It seems the more we look and read, the more confused we get about the boat to bu

You may want to check out and look for an S-2 9.2 Center Cockpit sail boat. That was the first boat we bought and it meets all the Criteria you set. The head is at the bottom right of the companionway, it has a nice separate state room aft with a queen size berth. They were built very strong and sail well. They are not complicated boats. You can find them often used for liveaboards because they are so roomy.
We have one for sale but unfortunately for you it is on the east Coast....but you should be able to find one near you or in the Great Lakes.
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Old 09-12-2012, 11:07   #47
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Re: It seems the more we look and read, the more confused we get about the boat to bu

The OP never mentioned boat buying budget? How can anyone give advice new boat vs old boat etc without knowing how much cash is available? What if only $10k is the total budget? Needs and wants always need to be measured against budget.

For what it's worth: One of my friends bought one of those 30-40 year old tanks that so many on this forum seem to worship. He's grown to really hate just how slow the Formosa crawls from port to port, and now can't unload the turkey to buy a decent boat. Besides being a real slug, the 40 year old tub is always in need of some major repair.

In most cases, newer is better... just like cars.
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Old 09-12-2012, 11:20   #48
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Re: It seems the more we look and read, the more confused we get about the boat to bu

zeehag has a Formosa and loves it.

Horses for courses, since she loves how it tracks and works in heavy conditions. Would sound great for that trip down the WA and OR and N. CA coast.
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Old 09-12-2012, 11:28   #49
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Re: It seems the more we look and read, the more confused we get about the boat to bu

tcgirl, some things get better with time, others get worse. My hiking boots are traditional European alps "klettershoes" aka butterfly stompers and all the new lightweight boots from China are inferior to this simple hundred+ year old design. The nice GoreTex liners are a change, the bulk of the boot is not. And at nearly 30 years old with some routine maintenance, my car is still in better shape than some only five years old.

New boat with kevlar fiberglass? Sure, and some beancounter will have said "That means we only need two layers instead of ten to get the same strength, look at how we can cut the costs!" so the net advantage may be zero. or worse.

New boat, boat loan, liveaboard with no land address and guess what? No boat loan, they'll call it if you become a vagabond in their eyes. Loan will require insurance, insurer will require address, the two talk...again, no advantage.

" but we are terrified they will be too tender," There's form stability, where a boat doesn't rock when it is sitting still, like a catamaran, and there's dynamic stability, where a boat rocks when still but once in motion, it puts a shoulder into the water and "locks in" at a low point of heel and doesn't top around much if at all. Old or new alike, and a newer lighter boat is just more likely to rock around when it is not moving, as dynamic stability is more likely.

Or you may simply be waiting too long to reef. More sail, more wind, more boat plays rocky-rocky.

Bottom line is that you'll pay more for a boat in good condition with desireable characteristics. Old or new.
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Old 09-12-2012, 11:28   #50
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Re: It seems the more we look and read, the more confused we get about the boat to bu

Quote:
Originally Posted by terminalcitygrl View Post
We're just wondering if other folks have gone through similiar thought processes and research and how they eventually decided which way to go. We are looking to spend a few years crusing weekends and holidays in BC and then head to Mexico and perhaps beyond once our skills and bank account will let us. We dont want to be buying and selling ideally, we'd prefer to make the right decision first and spend a few years getting to know and outfit the boat. We know every boat is a compromise. Getting out and sailing on different boats is not an option for us.
Hi terminalcitygrl, just popped into the conversation b/c, well, it's winter up here and I need a distraction. Looks like it's turning into the typical "my way is the only way" discussion. To try and bring things back to your question, I certainly empathize with you about how to make the decision. We bought our current boat three years ago, and went through a similar roller coaster. We eventually found a way through using this method:

To remove as much of that emotion as possible we decided to analyse all our possible choices against numerical standard. We developed a spreadsheet of all the factors we considered important for our cruising boat. We then created an "ideal boat" column, and went about comparing all possible boats against this "ideal." This created a comparable ranking for each boat, as well as a cost estimate. This then allowed us to quickly zero in on the boats worthy of further research.

It took us some time to develop the criteria list, and then how to rank each one. But I think this is probably the best part of this process. It forced us to specifically identify what we both needed and wanted, and then to make a determination as to the relative value. It was a long process just coming up with the spreadsheet tool, but once we had it, we could analyse possible boats quickly and easily.

BTW, I think we were only able to create a realistic criteria list b/c we had owned and operated a cruising boat for a number of years. It takes experience to learn what you really need. Sailing on someone else's boat is not the same as owning your own.
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Old 09-12-2012, 11:41   #51
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Re: It seems the more we look and read, the more confused we get about the boat to bu

terminalcitygrl,

Your first boat will seldom be the perfect boat for you. And, in fact, your final boat will still not be the perfect boat. There always will be things that might improve your life on a boat. Don't waste your time dithering about the perfect boat. Buy what you can afford and learn. Very few hit the jackpot the first time out. Again, buy a boat. Sail the boat. Live on the boat. Then you might find out what you really want, not what others say you should have.
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Old 09-12-2012, 13:39   #52
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Re: It seems the more we look and read, the more confused we get about the boat to bu

terminalcitygrl

Vasco's advice, "sail on the boat, live on the boat..." is good advice but I think there is a cheaper way.

What you need, sorry to say, is some sailing experience, the more the better, then you will start to know what you like and don't like, what you need and don't need.

Reading about boats, going to boat shows, listening to brokers, etc etc. That won't ever get you what you need, which is time on the water in lots of conditions and various kinds of boats.

How to do that? Start crewing for people. Races for one are a good way to start. Deliveries are another. Any way you can, get out there.

And while you are at it, save your money for a little bigger boat. You will be cramped on a 34' boat, and cruising you won't have room for all the stuff you'll think you need.

A couple more thoughts:

In the end gat a boat which sails really well. Mostly we see boats motoring everywhere with a main up. They don't sail. if it is fun to sail you will enjoy sailing.

Don't worry about the age. Many boats built 10, 20, 30 years ago are fine boats, can sail, and will hold up. They are also cheaper.

A really good surveyor is important though, because there are crummy boats, (new and used) and tell him what you plan to do with the boat.

Don't buy the most expensive boat you can afford, save some cash for upgrades and maintenance.

Once you get the boat, sail the hell out of it before you go cruising. If your first trip is down the coast I can practically guarantee you won't have a good time. A good plan is to go sailing once a month, reguardless of the weather, for half a day or overnight to a local anchorage. Don't flinch if it is rainy or windy or cold. Fair weather sailors get a surprise when they go cruising.
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Old 09-12-2012, 14:02   #53
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Re: It seems the more we look and read, the more confused we get about the boat to bu

Folks, you are absolutely awesome! Lots of great info here, different things to think about and we really appreciate it. Part of the pressure we put on ourselves in decision-making is wanting to make sure we give ourselves the best chance at having a good boating experience. An old, stinky boat that has systems breaking down often and costs a lot for fixing and moorage is not going to be a good experience for us. A boat that flexes underfoot is not going to inspire confidence, and if she is hard to sail, is unbelievably slow or has an unkindly sea motion, well all of these things are going to negatively affect our sailing experience. So trying to decide on the best trade offs. We don't have a huge budget of course but can be a bit flexible for the right boat. But what is the right boat!!? We know it will be an individual thing and at some point we're just going to have to have some faith and make the decision but info gathering and learning from your experiences really is helpful. Thank you!
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Old 09-12-2012, 14:15   #54
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Re: It seems the more we look and read, the more confused we get about the boat to bu

Quote:
An old, stinky boat that has systems breaking down often and costs a lot for fixing and moorage is not going to be a good experience for us.
"Old" and "stinky" do not necessarily go together, and the costs of break downs usually have more to do with the quality and maintenance of the systems installed. Just because it is new doesn't mean there will be less break downs and hassle, because chances are good that the new boat has more elaborate systems. I have met folks on new top of the line boats with major repair problems because the systems basically were unrepairable by ordinary boaters in the field--they needed a factory repair person to diagnose and fix. A warranty doesn't do you much good if you want to sail off to remote locations where getting something fixed under warranty is difficult. On the other hand, if you have the wrong older boat you could have some major structural issues, like a bad rudder for instance like we are seeing in the ARC. You still will be fixing stuff in paradise, no matter what boat you purchase, so that will have to be part of the plan. Just be sure you have a decent budget and some expertise to take care of those things. This is one reason I still think it is better to start smaller, cheaper, and work your way up, so you can gain this knowledge. The cost of moorage should be the same for new or old, just based on length almost everywhere.
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Old 09-12-2012, 14:33   #55
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Re: It seems the more we look and read, the more confused we get about the boat to bu

Lol! Agree with everything you've said Kettlewell. We've just been on our share of old and stinky thus far...
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Old 09-12-2012, 14:42   #56
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Re: It seems the more we look and read, the more confused we get about the boat to bu

One final bit of advice on a used boat:

It's absolutely necessary to have some extra cash on hand following your yacht purchase to take care of immediate needs.

10 year old boat: have 10 percent of the purchase price.

20 year old boat: 20 percent ready

30 year old boat: 30 percent

Etc.

Despite a favorable survey, you will find additional issues needing to be corrected or repaired. On an older boat, have even more cash ready.
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Old 09-12-2012, 14:45   #57
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Re: It seems the more we look and read, the more confused we get about the boat to bu

Stinky is not good!!
A couple things comes to mind. Diesel leaking and mold, which comes from wet bilges. So those are items you'll want to watch for. My boat is old but you wouldn't know it if you were to see it or come aboard, unless you really know boats.

Blessings on your search!
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Old 09-12-2012, 15:55   #58
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[QUOTE ]

And frankly most production builders are using exactly the same mate rials and methods as boats from this era, ie poly resin, balsa core, and a chopper gun. But they go to great lengths to make it sound like that's not the case.

[/QUOTE]

This debate descends into nonsense because people just start saying things that don't bear inspection, a bit like religious stuff.

Walk round say the Hanse plant. Vinyl ester ( ie epoxy ) modern rovings, better resin control and infusion. Hulls that are right first time. Yet this is a middle market economy builder.

The buyer absolutely does gain. He gets a boat that is affordable. If we continued to build boats like in the 70s , the labour costs alone would make 40 footers 1,5 million dollars. Lets get real. Modern boats are built with the benefit of 40 years of marine GRP construction. For that we have good value boats., which for Us Europeans are built at home and not in Asia.

Then there's the kicker, the reality. A man takes a Benny 393 and sales round the world. He's even on CF , no oil canning, his keel didn't fall off , nor did he abandon the boat. Shock, horror. But hey don't let the truth spoil a good argument.

Sheesh

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Old 09-12-2012, 16:12   #59
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Originally Posted by hellosailor
tcgirl, some things get better with time, others get worse. My hiking boots are traditional European alps "klettershoes" aka butterfly stompers and all the new lightweight boots from China are inferior to this simple hundred+ year old design. The nice GoreTex liners are a change, the bulk of the boot is not. And at nearly 30 years old with some routine maintenance, my car is still in better shape than some only five years old.

New boat with kevlar fiberglass? Sure, and some beancounter will have said "That means we only need two layers instead of ten to get the same strength, look at how we can cut the costs!" so the net advantage may be zero. or worse.

New boat, boat loan, liveaboard with no land address and guess what? No boat loan, they'll call it if you become a vagabond in their eyes. Loan will require insurance, insurer will require address, the two talk...again, no advantage.

" but we are terrified they will be too tender," There's form stability, where a boat doesn't rock when it is sitting still, like a catamaran, and there's dynamic stability, where a boat rocks when still but once in motion, it puts a shoulder into the water and "locks in" at a low point of heel and doesn't top around much if at all. Old or new alike, and a newer lighter boat is just more likely to rock around when it is not moving, as dynamic stability is more likely.

Or you may simply be waiting too long to reef. More sail, more wind, more boat plays rocky-rocky.

Bottom line is that you'll pay more for a boat in good condition with desireable characteristics. Old or new.
This is what annoys me. " at nearly 30 years old my car....." This is completely irrelevant. Your specific car maybe, but in general this argument is generally false. Cars wear out and fail.. In general a modern engineered car is safer more ecomoncal , faster required less maintenance etc and lasts longer these are published facts.

My dad when I was growing up in the sixties typically bought 4 year old cars and kept them till they died. , few made it past 10 years. Usually the body was a mess. Today my wife drives a 11 year old fiat stillo without a touch of rust and not a problem. If my dad was in a crash his chance of survival was 30% less then a current similar size car. The dynamos failed, the water pumps failed etc. today these are rare failures. ( its why manufacturers can offer long warranties )

As to beam counters, there are in boat building since for ever. Lighter and stronger is always better then heavier and stronger. Weight in itself as no benefit, in general

Ps form stability comes from beam. So modern beamy boats tend to have higher initial stability. Modern yachts sail best with minimum heel, keep it that way and the boat goes fast.

As to " desirable characteristics". There are few of these that worldwide sailing nations agree on. There are fewer that even people here agree on my desirable characteristics may not be yours. For me hydrodynamic response and hydrodynamic stabling are primary characteristics , these are not exemplified in long keel ban door rudder types. I also want speed or more importantly light airs ability as this is what you meet most of the time. This is met by large wetted area boats.

Ps the problem with your boats is you bought a cheap piece of junk from China. Where you can still buy European hiking boats, they will cost you the same salary proportion too as they did before. Don't confuse new cheap junk with new quality products.
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Old 09-12-2012, 17:08   #60
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Re: It seems the more we look and read, the more confused we get about the boat to bu

It looks like you have enough advice to fill a couple of notebooks. Start planning your visits to Boat shows. If somehow, you can take with you a Marine Architect, you'll truly be in good hands when you select your boat. Some universities have those architects on staff; most would be willing to spend a day looking at the latest, for a modest fee. The Chicago Boat and RV Show will be held in January. The Dallas Boat Show will be held in February, and the Grand-Daddy/Must See Annapolis Boat Show is in April. Start planning your travel! Good luck!
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