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Old 24-06-2016, 17:36   #1
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Shopping for a Sailboat, General Question

I'm looking at buying my first sailboat. My budget is under $40k and I'm looking for 30-35ft for Bahamas and Florida. What should I look for and what should make me shy away? Any opinion on manufactures? Any boat that I purchase of that size and budget are going to be from the 70's-80's, and of course I will have a survey done before writing a check. I just want some advise to create a short list. Thanks!
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Old 24-06-2016, 18:54   #2
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Re: Shopping for a Sailboat, General Question

Rent a few for a day or weekend at a time... Learn the different styles of boats and find what you really want.

Make friends with some of the local boat owners and volunteer to crew for some day-sailing. More opportunity to learn, view different boats AND pick the brain of the owner about what to look for.

The more boats you see and actually sail, the better.

Different boats have different things to look for... mainly its wood rot, engine condition (if equipped). Sails condition, general hull condition...
30 to 50 year old hulls.... its all about condition.

One guy might have kept his pristine showroom new looking... with rot under all the paint.
And another might have one that looks like hell but just needs a good scrubbing...

GET THE RIGHT PAPERWORK BEFORE WRITING A CHECK.

Too many boats in Texas that are just scrap because the title trail is lost. Can't find the last person who titled it and you have a planter, not a boat.
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Old 24-06-2016, 19:18   #3
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Re: Shopping for a Sailboat, General Question

Reply #2 here might help you arrange your questions, since it's very like asking your mom which girl you should marry before you've had a first date.

Advice on these two large cruisers: Endeavour 51 and Olympic 47

Good luck.
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Old 24-06-2016, 19:22   #4
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Re: Shopping for a Sailboat, General Question

I know of a great Hunter 30T located in Daytona Beach, FL. The owner is asking $30k for it. I just saw it the other day as I was interested in it. It is in fantastic shape and a good amount of updating done to it. It's a 1992. The only reason why I'm not pursuing it is because I've decided to complete a couple more courses before I buy and would like to save a little money. If by chance, you're interested, message me and I'll put you in touch with him.
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Old 24-06-2016, 20:31   #5
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Re: Shopping for a Sailboat, General Question

Even with a "good" survey there will be problems. Don't spend all your money. You will find unknown problems and need some updates.
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Old 25-06-2016, 09:48   #6
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Re: Shopping for a Sailboat, General Question

I would say look for anything with a survey from a good surveyer. And shy away from anything without one. A owner should have one and be able to tell you things like when the bottom was painted last.
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Old 25-06-2016, 09:55   #7
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Re: Shopping for a Sailboat, General Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
Reply #2 here might help you arrange your questions, since it's very like asking your mom which girl you should marry before you've had a first date.

Advice on these two large cruisers: Endeavour 51 and Olympic 47

Good luck.
Yup. If you love boats, then find one you fall in love with. If you just want something that floats, then just go to a boat broker and see what they advise. Might also rent/lease a couple of sailboats to get to know what you like and dislike. Each boat is different.
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Old 25-06-2016, 10:03   #8
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Re: Shopping for a Sailboat, General Question

I would reserve 20-50% of my budget for fix ups and upgrades. Even the best old boat will have some issues. As to model, it is all about you. Stability vs. speed, performance vs. comfort, short vs extended cruises, in-shore vs blue water, headroom, storage and galley space, etc etc. I like my Morgan O/I 33 lots of space, well equipped, blue water capable, not a racer.Is several kids you might prefer a center cockpit set up.
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Old 25-06-2016, 10:14   #9
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Re: Shopping for a Sailboat, General Question

As important as the survey is your own inspection. You need to know what you are looking at. Dont just rely on the surveyor to tell you everything. Frankly, a good surveyor will know a lot more than you and will point out things you missed, but no surveyor will take responsibility for your purchase. So its really up to you to do your research and educate yourself.
Before you look at any boat get yourself this book:
https://www.amazon.com/Inspecting-Sa...aging+sailboat
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Old 25-06-2016, 10:33   #10
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Re: Shopping for a Sailboat, General Question

I'm not sure about the renting or leasing with your limited budget? It is likely to knock a hole in your budget.
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Old 25-06-2016, 14:08   #11
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Re: Shopping for a Sailboat, General Question

Aaron, where are you? I am in Port Orange Florida, and am getting my boat ready to go to the Bahamas. I have a 1988 Nonsuch 30, and would be interested in someone to share expenses of the trip, food, fuel, fees. If you would like to get a taste of open water sailing, let me know. Steve
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Old 25-06-2016, 14:38   #12
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Re: Shopping for a Sailboat, General Question

I would go mainly fairly shallow draft, and preferably a rudder attached to something for FL and Bahamas. Especially in your size it will allow you to go to out of the way places all the big cruisers cant go. Should be great fun. Of course you could go in a Catalina if the boat strikes your fancy. I have known two spade rudder replacements by personal acquaintances cruising the Bahamas though. Probably not the norm.
For reduced costs and risks a non bolt on keel and non cored hull is a good place to start.
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Old 25-06-2016, 15:33   #13
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Re: Shopping for a Sailboat, General Question

There is a lot of good advice above if you know the lingo already. If you do not, slow down and read while following the advice of entry #2. The areas you mention suggests a limitation on draft (five feet or less?) but I am primarily a California and Pacific person and those with specific knowledge know more of the area than I do, and I am certain threads exist on CF.

You are clear on the vessel size, your age expectations, and your budget, but it is less clear and may make a difference if this is going to be a liveaboard, vacation, or every chance I get situation. In the same vein are how many of you, ages, comfort needs/expectations, and anything having to do with safety. Is there a need to know how handy you may be?

There were a lot of boats built for that geographical market, and some are around, although many are not great, but a few truly are.

In my opinion, he two most pieces of advice advice above were a survey and a budget allowance for both known and unexpected needs.

When you find the right boat, enjoy the heck out of it; and it can be a lifetime addiction.
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Old 25-06-2016, 15:55   #14
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Re: Shopping for a Sailboat, General Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
I would go mainly fairly shallow draft, and preferably a rudder attached to something for FL and Bahamas. Especially in your size it will allow you to go to out of the way places all the big cruisers cant go. Should be great fun. Of course you could go in a Catalina if the boat strikes your fancy. I have known two spade rudder replacements by personal acquaintances cruising the Bahamas though. Probably not the norm.
For reduced costs and risks a non bolt on keel and non cored hull is a good place to start.
This is good advice. I would add read as much as you can about boats & look at as many boats as possible. Most importantly don't underestimate the cost & time it takes to repair a boat. What you really want is a boat where someone else has already done the heavy lifting & is taking a big loss.
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Old 25-06-2016, 17:10   #15
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Re: Shopping for a Sailboat, General Question

Steve, I appreciate the offer. Right now I am just getting into sailing and have yet to leave the tiny lakes of Minnesota. I would like to spend some time coastal cruising in open water before I make any commitments. Happy sailing!
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