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Old 09-06-2011, 21:16   #1
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Opinions needed

I am in the beginning stages of looking for a boat, Here is some basic information about my starting point. ! I am reading everything I can get my hands on regarding cruising. My crew will be myself and my girl friend.I have sailed in the distant past , and we have several short sailing trips planned this summer, and other training on the horizon. What I would like to get input on is suggestions for a first boat, size,type etc. I just need a place to start looking. My mind set is if 1 nail is good 2 is better, so if I do not get a little help I'll end up with a 100 ft boat I can't move. I'm thinking 35 to 40 or so.Let me know what you think.Thanks in advance for the help. BtC
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Old 09-06-2011, 21:50   #2
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Re: Opinions needed

35 to 40 is good. look at boats 1995 and newer. furling jib, lines run to the cockpit and comfortable and you'll be happy.
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Old 09-06-2011, 23:15   #3
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Re: Opinions needed

30' to 32' is better. Go as small as you can be comfortable with, and keep your boat and systems simple. Stay away from furlers and complicated electronics, those things won't help you get good at sailing. Get a boat that requires that you sail her. Get a manual windlass and an oversized anchor hooked up to at least 150' of new G4 chain.

Look for older, strongly built boats - you're going to bang it into things in all likelihood until you've cut your chops for a couple of years. Classic plastics like Tritons or Alberg 30's are perfect for your needs. Don't buy anything that will dent easily or has soggy decks that need re-coring.

Happy sailing!
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Old 14-06-2011, 02:35   #4
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Re: Opinions needed

I have come up with another question I would like an opinion on. I am a person who likes unique things, and the idea of having a "custom" boat built is intriguing. I figure resale would not be as good as a "production" boat, what other considerations are there, Pros and Cons. Thanks. BtC
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Old 14-06-2011, 03:42   #5
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Re: Opinions needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobthecat View Post
I have come up with another question I would like an opinion on. I am a person who likes unique things, and the idea of having a "custom" boat built is intriguing. I figure resale would not be as good as a "production" boat, what other considerations are there, Pros and Cons. Thanks. BtC
A standard production boat will be a known quantity, lots of them about, lots of information and advice available from sails to engines and upgrades. Go down the custom build and you are on our own. Say a custom built steel hull, it might sail to windward or it might not. Unless you can try one or know of another existing one you are hoping the designer and builder did a good job of it.

Choosing a production boat between 30 - 35 feet means you can research the design finding both the good and the bad. If you owned her for 3 or 4 years then decided that you want something else she would be easy to sell and you would then know exactly what you want in a future yacht. Few will make the right long term choice first time around and peoples needs change.

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Old 14-06-2011, 05:20   #6
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Re: Opinions needed

My advice is this.....make sure the boat you choose will please your girlfriend. Because no matter how much you may love the boat, you will be sailing solo very quickly if she is not happy with it. Ask her what amenities she needs....Fridge? Hair dryer? Microwave? Hot shower? None of the above?

I owned a 32' Morgan that I loved. The wife loved the destinations, didn't like the "camping" feel. Sold it, got a Hunter with more amenities, so she loves it. And because she loves it, I love it.

Also, what's your budget? That will greatly assist the incredible wealth of knowledge on this site. Best of luck in your search.
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Old 14-06-2011, 05:21   #7
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Re: Opinions needed

Will need to consider:-

Budget (AKA a reality check)

Availability (more choice in Florida than the DR - but relocating a newly bought s/h boat ain't the same as simply driving off a car lot)

Intended use (Sailing RTW, Sailing off into the Wide Blue Yonder forever or doodling around the bay / islands between life ashore will change the boat that works)
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Old 14-06-2011, 05:28   #8
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Re: Opinions needed

what Chrisncat said, solid advice, stay away from customs and one offs
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Old 14-06-2011, 06:08   #9
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Re: Opinions needed

Budget ...I think total needs to stay close to $100,000.00. I try not to finance anything, so I will need to provision and everything. My plan is to quit in about 2 or 3 years, at some point before that buy a boat and get it ready to go, when I pop smoke I'm on it and gone.
I totally agree and live by "if the wife/girlfriend is happy...I'm happy"
I am super bad with the over kill mind set, like I said in an other post if I do not get a lot of advice I will end up with a 100' boat I can't move.
I'm convinced that a production boat is the path to follow, I'm looking for two state rooms and two heads, solar and wind power, etc. The region would be the caribbean northern and southern, eventually other places.
Let me know what other things I need to answer, all of the input has been helpful. Thanks. BtC
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Old 14-06-2011, 06:24   #10
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With a $100k budget plan on $75k for the boat and $25k for upgrades and you are all set. Look at 30-35' ... Lots and lots in that price and size range. Have fun.
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Old 14-06-2011, 06:27   #11
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Oh, forget the two heads. You won't find them in anything that size. Besides you won't need them.
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Old 14-06-2011, 06:57   #12
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Re: Opinions needed

Here's a nice fixer-upper I found on craigslist.

1995 Beneteau 44 CC - $37500
Not sure what kind of budget would be needed to get this one back in shape.
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Old 14-06-2011, 07:07   #13
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Re: Opinions needed

Good looking boat, I am going to get more info, may work out if I can plant in my yard for a couple years. Thanks for the info.
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Old 14-06-2011, 07:19   #14
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Re: Opinions needed

If I try a do it your self gig, it may fill up the whole 3 years or more, I like the looks of the separate shower though. I would need someone who knows way more than me to look at it and let me know if it is a worth while pursuit.
I for sure need to narrow my search or get a less broad goal anyway.
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Old 14-06-2011, 07:24   #15
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Re: Opinions needed

I would tend to agree with Doodles as well as about heads (nobody really wants 2 heads). You can't afford a nice 42 ft boat in your price range ready to go.

Avoid Craigs List boats and "fixer uppers". These are boats no one would buy so why should you? At this point you don't know enough to avoid bleeding your bank account to death. Many (most) fixer uppers are not worth the money to fix up even when free. Working for free is one thing but all the things you have to buy and replace won't add up to money well spent. Your skill levels are low for boat work now and you could lose 5 years bleeding to death and never leave the slip. It happens so don't get over zealous with your abilities.

If you get a boat basically in good shape you'll still spend another $25K getting it right and maybe a little bit customized. A first class set of canvas and sails and maybe some upholstery will eat $25K pretty much totally. Then all the little things that break a month after you own it. There will still be enough work to keep you at it at least one season if not two. So don't go looking for project boats!

So now that puts you in the $75K neighborhood. You and just about everybody that comes looking for a boat ends up there either from the top down or bottom up. You can adjust the size down to save more money. 36 ft is the start of comfortable on a boat for two. In the 28 ft to 30 ft range you can get costs down a lot but lose the ability to "haul crap". You'll have a lot so you need to think pickup truck not sports car. Size wise you really need something more than twice as long as a pickup truck that weighs triple. That is a modest sized cruising boat. All that boat has to be maintained constantly.

If you can find ways to avoid buying a boat just now and find ways to rent or go along on "other people's boats" for a season you can learn more about boats and how they feel and work and then spend your money knowing more. You really need to know a whole lot more. You have a start, but it goes on a lot longer. You still don't even know half the things you don't have a clue about yet. In the end, it really has less to do with what boat you pick and nearly all about how you get to the point where you know what boat you want and how it works. Invest in yourselves the most for right now and hold off on a purchase.

Taking lessons through an accredited school is good to start out with. Take your girl friend along too and you both should learn. They will supply the boats and you'll sail on the first day. The process of learning should be fun or it won't be fun later on. The cost of owning a boat is not small so not buying one for a bit is a good thing until you get your head right. Just keep on learning as it never really ends.
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