Inspired by several threads on cruisers forum, and especially by a wonderful thread continued by David Old Jersey Shoestring Sailors (Cruising on $500 per month - part II)
I thought it would be good idea to offer some comfort to people who dont have hundreds of thousands of dollars and want to go sailing.
Firstly, for those with a little spare cash, but not a lot of it, due to family
commitments or work or whatever, then the emphasis needs to be on quality and reliability
over newness. In car terms, we would all like the Lexus but the Ford is all we can afford, and guess what? It will do EXACTLY the same job as the Lexus.
Do not be put off by the sailors here who talk about their boats and destinations and equipment
costing more money
than your house. That is just the way it is for those that can afford new and wonderful. you/I cannot afford that without selling up everything plus the firstborn. Sometimes in circumstances, we cannot even do that because of mortgages etc.
First establish your use of the vessel. Coastal? Freshwater? Distance offshore
required? Once done you can go looking.
What do all the boats shown at the bottom of the page have in common?
They are all under $7000 dollars. This is only a random selection of vessels for sale
on ebay UK. The owners of the vessels have upgraded and fixed faults along the course of their ownership
Age is your friend. An older vessel like one of these, with a careful survey
will save you thousands upon thousands of Pounds and dollars and Euros.
You will not believe what can come with an older vessel. One that I surveyed, had 9 sails
in good order. New rigging
in 2011, new lines, 8 assorted lifejackets, Full older electronics
suite, bottom had been re gel coated, keels reseated, all new interior
and headlining redone. Came with little used 10 horse outboard
, an inflatable
and a 3 horse outboard
. It was $6K for everything. A fully proved vessel that had been from the UK to Greece
and sailed the Med for 5 years.
1 for the frugal sailor.
Save up to buy the boat outright with no debt.
Do not be making repayments in this price
range. It means you can have cheaper insurance
and every penny you put into the vessel is from choice and not requirement. If it needs to sit in your drive for a while to have work done in it...... it costs you nothing.
You can buy a 24-36 foot vessel in this price
range in excellent condition. If you have more money
to pay CASH, then look around.
Anyone can get into sailing for under 10K. If you were to look at my Westerly Centaur, you would be impressed by the gleam and polished bright work, not to mention the engine
decor. I can only take credit for the polish and attention to detail but the real work was done by the previous owners, and for that I have benefited enormously for a cost of less than £7000. Boating
is my hobby, and right now it takes second place to some commitments I have to fulfil. There is nowhere barring ocean crossings that I would not take this boat
. It is sturdy, seaworthy
, well looked after and fit for the water
. It has full electronics
, spare parts
and safety equipment
. I have spent less than $1500 on additions, which were a personal choice, but not necessary for the vessel. It is kept on a berth for a small amount each month but could equally be at home on a mooring
ball for less than £300 a year.
A sub- $10,000 boat, well chosen and paid for, is a boat that will get all the family
on the water
and depending on what comes with it in complete safety
. It won't be a Lagoon catamaran
or an oyster
53, but if chosen well will be vessel with a huge pedigree and seaworthy
I am hoping that those that live aboard all those either through choice or no choice who opt to be frugal sailor's will add their experiences, comments and observations to encourage those who want to get into sailing but don't have the financial wherewithal to buy a premium vessel.
Remember this. If you are in the Bahamas
in your 27 foot older vessel standing you at $7K looking at a fellow C.F'r in his 35 foot vessel standing him at $150K...... You are still in the Bahamas