Hi dingoman and welcome to Cruisers Forum.
The issue with buying
in the SEA region is really one of selection. The market is very small for cruising boats and the supply is weak. For local buyers it is a matter of staying ready and then buying
when a boat that meets most of your criteria comes on market.
This search link is one I periodically browse through. It is sailboats in the Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Philippine markets. You might consider expanding your search to Australia
and sailing the boat up here.
Sailboats for Sail in SEA
There are quirks to buying in any of these places and you may have a challenge to register a boat in any of these countries if you are not resident. I don't know how it would work to buy a boat in Asia
, register it in the USA without the boat actually going there and then keeping it here. Most countries have a max stay for foreign registered boats.
I do know of a 38 foot steel boat for sail here. It is not being advertised yet and the owner is motivated. The boat is well known here in Singapore. It was built in New Zealand
and sailed to Asia
. The owner then discontinued cruising plans and sold the boat into the local market here.
owner is a friend of mine and I have sailed her a couple of times. I have attached a few snaps from a recent sail. We were short sailed and pulling 7+ knots in about 15 knots of breeze. She is not perfect and could use a bit of tlc but the hull
is sound, the motor
is new and the sails
are average. Current
owner doesn't have time to sail her.
If you are interested in more info post here or send me a PM.
Now - Just an observation - Boats deteriorate just sitting still. If you plan to leave a boat in Asia for 8 months a year and then sail for 4 you might reconsider steel. There are a couple of river moorings and the brackish water
results in less fouling but plastic boats can be wrapped/covered and I have seen several boats left for a few months. I reckon plastic will survive better left untended.
Another option is to get a caretaker or partner in the region to care for the boat with a 6-month/6-month type of arangement. I have seen airplane partnerships like that. As a resident he/she can then be the registered owner. But the legalities and trust of a partner are hard to forge long distance.
Another option is to think about putting your money
into a charter
boat like moorings or sunsail. I understand you can do the deal in the US and actually swap your "owners" weeks for boats in the network. Sail magazine has an article this month by a couple who do that. The downside is you are limited to the local cruising ground pretty much. There is a flourishing sunsail operation in Thailand.