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Old 08-12-2012, 15:02   #1
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It seems the more we look and read, the more confused we get about the boat to buy!

Over the last year, we've done quite a bit of reading and looking. What we think we know for sure: under 34 feet, aft head, not a project, simple systems. Initially we decided on under 30, full keel, built to brick sheet house standards, cheaper moorage, less expensive maintenance - we liked the Dana, Nor'Sea, and particularly the Shannon 28. Of course the Dana commands a ridiculous premium and of the other boats available, they were all on the east coast and we came to the decision that shipping costs and duty essentially ruled these boats out for us.

More recently we've been thinking more about some of the lighter production boats - Catalina 28, C&C 29, Aloha 32, Erickson 34. There are a more of these around obviously and the prices are okay but we are terrified they will be too tender, have expensive issues that will be missed in survey that we won't have enough experience to fix... and given the length of time many have been on market, they will be tough to resell in a few years if we find they aren't the right boat to take us further than local.

So the prospect of new has come up. We'd prefer to not take a loan but we could and maybe even look to liveaboard to reduce expenses. Design has come a long way in 30 years and we appreciate some of the new features we have read about but also know it could be a lot of hype. Still there are many folks who have bought newer production boats on CF and circumnavigating that find them just fine.

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.

So, anyone want to share their experiences, thoughts? Anyone? Bueller?
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Old 08-12-2012, 15:20   #2
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Re: It seems the more we look and read, the more confused we get about the boat to bu

most of it is a matter of personal preference. some people like heavy, slow, rides like a freight train. some like quick, and fast (not the same thing). most are somewhere in between. you will get lots of answers, but only you know what you like.

You can do what you are talking about in a benhuntlina that is in good shape.

The boat generally can take way more of beating than the crew.
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Old 08-12-2012, 15:38   #3
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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
Design has come a long way in 30 years
Read that quote to yourself a few times.

Now if you were buying a car would you buy one designed 30 years ago?
A washing machine designed C 1980?
A computer designed in 1980?
A 30 year old seatbelt?

If you were betting on the Olympic 100 meters sprint would you put $5 on a 1980s athlete or one from this year? 1980 Allan Wells 10.25; 2012 Usain Bolt 9.65

If you were in Hospital and they wheeled in the Machine that Goes Bing. would you want the 30 year old one, or the new one?


So why is it that only sailing boats have gone backwards?


Or have they?

How many people with modern boats do you hear complain?
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Old 08-12-2012, 17:54   #4
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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 MarkJ View Post
Read that quote to yourself a few times.

Now if you were buying a car would you buy one designed 30 years ago?
A washing machine designed C 1980?
A computer designed in 1980?
A 30 year old seatbelt?

I
I drive Volvo 240. It was designed more than 30 years ago. It was made in 1989. I bought it for $500 5 years ago. If I choose now the car to last 30 years, I'd look for the best Volvo 240 I can find, regardless of it's year. There are several other models will last, Jeep Cherokee, Mercedes 300, Honda Accord from 90-s, but i can think about nothing in 2012. I'm pretty sure there are some modern boats will last long, i just don't know which one. There is nothing wrong with asking which boat will last. Most modern boats will not...
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Old 08-12-2012, 18:15   #5
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Re: It seems the more we look and read, the more confused we get about the boat to bu

I'm not planning on buying brand new but my next purchase will be 5 years or newer. Speaking of financing, I wonder how finance companies view a loan on brand new versus several years old.
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Old 08-12-2012, 18:18   #6
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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 CrazyRu View Post
i can think about nothing in 2012.
Exactly my point.
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Old 08-12-2012, 18:19   #7
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Re: It seems the more we look and read, the more confused we get about the boat to bu

I'll take a stab here......a number manufactures of cruising boats from 30 years ago are no longer in business. Then there were a number of boats in the 30-34 foot range that people took around the world and still do.

From what I've seen (not much) it looks like the newer boats in that range are designed more for coastal cruising with wide beams and as much room below as possible which I think goes against the design of the type boat that you want to cross oceans on. The new boats in that length are great boats for the conditions they have been designed for and the market they are going after. Would they make a better boat for what you have in mind? I think I'd rather have one of the older boats that has been brought up to a safe sailing state with new rigging, sails, good engine and also updated with solar for what you think lays in your future.

Also I'd think about maybe adding 4 feet or so to the length, into the 37-38 foot range, to make the boat safer yet and also having the added benefit of more storage room for food, gear, water, fuel and such.

Good luck,

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Old 08-12-2012, 18:28   #8
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Re: It seems the more we look and read, the more confused we get about the boat to bu

Marine electronics and water makers have advanced dramatically. You also have to have a holding tank now. We have power efficient LED's. ABYC and European standards are higher. I don't know if a whole lot more has advanced for cruising sailboats over the past 30 years. They are still mostly made from lead, polyester resin, fiberglass, dacron cloth and an aluminum mast, all of which we had 30 years ago.
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Old 08-12-2012, 18:44   #9
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Re: It seems the more we look and read, the more confused we get about the boat to bu

Hiya Terminal! This is what you should do to get your "dream boat". In January, February and March 2013, there will be several boat shows that you should attend. Go there every day, and concentrate on 2 or 3 boats that meet your criteria. Approach the dealers, as soon as the show starts, with bright smiles and a positive attitude. Look at the listed prices, then make an offer 2/3 of the listed price; even if the listed price is the "show's discounted price". The last thing a dealer wants to do, is haul that boat back to his lot/marina. Boats sold in shows are "brand new", but cannot be sold as brand new, as hundred of visitors got inside of them. You can play one dealer against another, if that what it will take you to get a good deal. This strategy works all the time. In the meantime, you'll get to choose a boat from tens on display, at an unbeatable price. (For a bit of comfort, concentrate on a 35'-40', single hull, with under 5' keel.)
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Old 08-12-2012, 18:46   #10
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Re: It seems the more we look and read, the more confused we get about the boat to bu

Niagara 35 seems like it comes close to fitting your bill. Aft head and a layout that just feels right. Even a workbench with a shop in front. Been looking at a lot of boats for the past 4 months and nothing felt quite as natural as that one. A little smaller than I'm willing to go though.
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Old 08-12-2012, 18:51   #11
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Re: It seems the more we look and read, the more confused we get about the boat to bu

Look at a used Island Packet in the biggest size you can afford.

I thought you just had an offer accepted on an '82 Morgan OI 416 ?
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Old 08-12-2012, 18:56   #12
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Re: It seems the more we look and read, the more confused we get about the boat to bu

Modern production boats are built to make money for the builders. The materials used are just enough to pass standards.

Unlike several years ago, they were a bit over built b/c they really didn't know what they could take. Now, they have a good idea and they're put'm together to take a few good storms before seams start opening up.

At least this it what I have found at the boat shows. Take a 40'er for e.g. You walk on the deck and one can feel this slight flexing under your feet. You walk on the deck of my old 32 YO boat and it's like walking on a steel deck.

I may be wrong for some of the more expensive boats but the ones they push at the shows are pretty thin skinned. But in reality it's how they are put together. Even a boat that is thin skinned can hold up under adverse conditions if it's put together right. It's just the impact strength is compromised.

Personally I prefer cord hulls due to their ability to take an impact as well as them being lighter overall. They'll twist a little more but as long as the fasteners and rigging are backed up WELL, they'll just keep flexing, where as a solid hull/deck will start to crack.

These are my personal opinions from what I've seen out there and I'm sure others may have theirs.
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Old 08-12-2012, 19:04   #13
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Re: It seems the more we look and read, the more confused we get about the boat to bu

20 and 30 year old cars have been DRIVEN!! ( mostly a bunch!!) A lot of 20 and 30 year old sailboats have not done much of anything but day sail if that !! To me I feel I can and have found great 30 year old boats! Just bought one! With just some semi- mild wood work(bow spirt and 10 ft of deck coming) she was ready two sail home ! Main engine had less hours then my 2 yr old truck, genny with 250 hrs. I looked at a bunch of much newer boats with much more wear and tear then this 1982 boat!! So don't give up looking, cus theres a lot of good boats out there! both new and old !! Just my 2 cents
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Old 08-12-2012, 19:33   #14
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Re: It seems the more we look and read, the more confused we get about the boat to bu

Thanks all for your thought thus far... We've read that new materials and designs, for example hull shape or kevlar reinforcements have made boats faster and stronger which is a plus over older models but we definitely want a sea kindly motion and confidence she is gonna keep us afloat in tough conditions (although we are total sissys and will avoid even the suggestion of crap weather like the plague). We also appreciate that boats today are about profit and purposely not overbuilt, so that gives us some hesitation. Also the price of new. Youch.

We like the Island Packets defititely but nothing affordable in our neck of the woods and we wouldn't be comfortable on a boat bigger than 34. We refuse to sleep with our head beside the head so layout is a consideration, the toilet beside the companionway is a must. Mostly though, we wanted to know if others had had the same experience thinking through the buying process and if there are things we're not thinking about or thinking too much about. We will be hitting up the PNW boat shows this spring.

And it wasn't us with an offer accepted on a Morgan although we did offer our congratulations on that thread to the obviously happy new owner.
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Old 08-12-2012, 19:49   #15
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Re: It seems the more we look and read, the more confused we get about the boat to bu

One thing I would suggest is take someone with you that has been around boats a lot when you go to look.

And if you plan to keep it here in the PNW, get something with a large dodger or covered cockpit. There are very few days where it's hot enough to not want it, but then you'll want the shade.
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