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Old 30-01-2010, 21:04   #1
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$100K and Looking for a Good, Solid, Safe Cruiser / Liveaboard

Hello All,

I am new to sailboats and need some help in finding a boat around the $100-150K mark. There are 2 of us and we intend to live onboard and island hop for a couple of years.

I have been at sea 18 years and am Captain of a large merchant vessel so, I am well versed in navigation, safety and seamanship etc.

However, I am not familiar with the sailing/cruising world with regards to yachts.

My priorities are safety, build quality and durability with some good living space and a little character thrown in.

I would like to do some ocean cruising later, so must be able to handle adverse weather conditions when required. Safety first.

Some manufacturers names and any handy hints to avoid getting ripped off.

Thanks and Bon Voyage

Captain Nathan
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Old 30-01-2010, 21:46   #2
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Take your time looking, dont be impulsive. If you search the magazines you will probably overspend. Search the smaller name yacht Brokers. Do on-line searches for for sailboats under 100k and not less than 36'. Looking for specific manufacture names will severely handicap your search unless you have a specific ideal in mind. In my search I even looked at Canadian flagged vessels (but I live close to Canada). I searched for sailboats in the 25-50k range but I didn't have 50k to spend, but the search gave me a great knowledge of what was available in the lesser priced yachts and what was a realistic expectation. I really like the 42' Steel Colvins for there design and character but I was told they are quick to heel. I ended up purchasing a 37' ketch from an older gentleman living in Montana that was old enough to know when to put his boat into long-term dry storage. I saw it sitting in the yard and called him (he was my diving customer) and asked if he wanted to sell it.....he did. I bought it 6 months later for under 4k after very careful evaluation My wife has since taken a sailing class and has thanked me for getting our boat. The family loves it. I have taught myself to sail a ketch and that didn't scare me away from what I saw as a great purchasing opportunity.
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Old 30-01-2010, 23:27   #3
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I'm biased, but I think a Tayana 42 would meet your listed requirements well.
Good build quality, a respected designer, proven to be all-weather tough, good "salty" looks and character, beautiful and roomy below-decks, and within your budget.
Do some research, though. There are some known trouble areas (water and fuel tanks for example), but a well-maintained boat will have already had these issues addressed.
Good luck, enjoy the search.
John
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Old 30-01-2010, 23:45   #4
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In that price range you will have lots of choices. The tradeoff will be living space vs durability and seaworthiness. Also, you do not want a boat that can't be handled by two people without mechanical aids like electric winches. Therefore I would seriously consider a ketch.

I would suggest two books: Vigor's "The Seaworthy Offshore Sailboat" and Hal Roth's "How to Sail Around the World." Roth's book has a chapter on boat buying and IMHO his advice is pretty good.
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Old 31-01-2010, 00:05   #5
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Captain Nathan,
I'd humbly suggest that the next thing you will want to do is to determine the type of sailboat you want. For instance, Fisher's are good quality motorsailors, but, do you want a motorsailor? As you mentioned that there are two of you - I'm assuming you & your significant other - what is/is not important to each of you? Perhaps, each of you should make a "wish list" (from fixtures to hull/deck materials, etc.), view accomodation plans on various sites to determine length, and post your findings in this thread. Otherwise, you may be led astray by one's/several people's enthusiasm for a particular make & end up with something that doesn't work for you. Hope this helps.
Mike
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Old 01-02-2010, 16:26   #6
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The first thing I would suggest is to delete anything comming from an armchair sailor.. stick to those that do or have done and learn from their examples.. you're not new to the ocean life so you can easly pick through the crap...
Without calling any names of boats, I tell what I've found from experance, the boats I've seen cruising and those tied to a dock..
Cruisers of years ago put to sea in heavy weight boats and completed the trip in spite of, rather than because of the boats.. Slocum today would jump at the chance to trade in his "Spray" for a fiberglass performance cruiser..
Yachts no longer need to be heavy. Modern materials and building meathods backed by a vast increse in design knowledge have changed this. Today, a cruising boat is far stronger, safer and last longer than those built decades ago..
And just a few points to concider..
Excess weight detracts from from performance which means longer passage time, poor windward ability, more water, more fuel, more food and other stores. which is turn means more weight, which requires more balest, and heaver rigging to push the weight and on and on...
Heavy boats move less in a sea way but the inertia has to go somewhere from the waves and if the boat wont lift in a wave, it breaks over the boat which gives you a wet boat and very uncomfortable..
On the other hand, a very light weight boat will bounce around in heavy seas and give a uncomfortable ride..
Sence heavy is slow and unsafe, and light is over-lively and a poor load carrier, a resonable compromise is to balance the performance, safety, and comfort..
you'll find this in a modern mono-hull in a 35 foot range of 11,000 to 16,000 lbs.. a 40 foot 15,000 and 22,000lbs, and a 45 footer between 20,000 and 30,000..
as far as the type of keel, and the rudder.. I, from experance, would NOT sail a full keel boat with a rudder hung off the rear of the keel.. You'll hear that they are better in case of a grounding.. they are also harder to pull off a grounding..
With your experance, you know you dont give lightly to shallow waters and to buy a boat based on how it will attack a coral reef is no to be concidered ..
If it were, we'd all be driving tanks up and down the hy-way..
There a vast amount of boats out there sailing the waters of this world.. do some checking on the Atlantic cruises, ARC and also the Puddle Jump.. join some of the different lists and see what people are cruising in..
And I say cruising in.. not setting at the docks wishful thinking that someday they'll go.. Look and see whats out there..
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Old 01-02-2010, 16:50   #7
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I will also use that advice.....randyonr3
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Old 01-02-2010, 17:22   #8
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which one:

Ten years ago I bought a Tayana 37' that needed attention.

I spend 1 year and a lot of $$ fixing things, and spending a lot of valuable time in my bachelor year doing maintenance, woodwork, and much more.

If I were to do this again, I'd buy a Beneteau / Jeanneau, a production boat that keeps it value and needs a minumum of maintenance and no outside varnish work! easier systems, parts that are better to find and the list goes one.

just my 0.02

good luck, Peter
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Old 01-02-2010, 18:29   #9
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Centercockpit vs Aft Cockpit Monohulls

You also might want to check out a few center cockpit type boats which give you a large and private master berth to aft. Some aft cockpit boats have a master berth to aft as well but not nearly the room as a center cockpit. I just spent the past 3 days hoping onboard and evaluating 15 different boats for a solid live-a-board cruiser here in Florida. Feel free to send me a PM (private message) to discuss some options if you'd like.

Kevin
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Old 01-02-2010, 18:44   #10
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The problem with production boats is that they do not hold their value as well as boats from quality builders. A ten year-old used Mercedes will cost more than a 5 year-old chevrolet, and the Mercedes will be a better and safer car. It's no different with boats.

But you have to find a well-maintained 10 year old Mercedes with low mileage. Beware of the ad that says "This boat has circumnavigated and is ready to go again," because it probably isn't ready without an expensive refit.
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Old 01-02-2010, 19:22   #11
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You'll get a lot of good advice on this board. Your experience also gives you a real advantage - you understand how tough the sea can be - on boats and crew. So a couple of general points:

Many of today's sailboats are not built to be fixed - they are designed for a five year charter program and then to pass survey for the next owner. After that? "After that" doesn't sell new boats. Test 1 - can the engine or fuel tank be pulled without taking destructive tools to the interior? Test 2 - can the interior woodwork be refinished? Increasingly the veneers are so thin (or not even real wood) that they can't be sanded for a new coat of varnish. Test 3- wiring. Try to trace a wire or two. These three tests will throw out an astonishing number of boats. There's nothing wrong with them when new but you may not want to own one after it's 10 years old.

You mention that there are two of you. If your partner is a woman, you probably should spend some time thinking about how to keep her sailing with you. The priorities in your post are quite male. I agree with everyone of them For my wife, the most important items were not a big galley but 1) a stiff boat that stays reasonably upright, 2) a dry and wind protected spot in the cockpit, 3) a boat that feels under control - especially in lumpy or following seas 4) Electric winches (if the boat is 40'+) - because this allows her to manage the boat under sail. 5) A comfortable and fairly "home like" head.

Good luck with your search. It can be a lot of fun.

Carl
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Old 02-02-2010, 05:45   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
The problem with production boats is that they do not hold their value as well as boats from quality builders. A ten year-old used Mercedes will cost more than a 5 year-old chevrolet, and the Mercedes will be a better and safer car. It's no different with boats.
This doesn't seem to really hold true. People ask the same for a 1991 Hunter as do people with a 1985 Passport. But I guess if a Hunter was right for you then a newer one would be your choice. But then boat prices don't make any sense to stat with!
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Old 02-02-2010, 06:49   #13
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Well, when I look on Yachtworld I see three 36 foot Morris Justines for sale, a 1995 for 278K, a 1986 for 239K and a 1989 at 229K. A brand new Hunter 39 is $195,900 according to the latest issue of Cruising World. Plus, when the Hunter leaves the showroom it loses 20% of its value immediately.

Am I missing something?
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Old 02-02-2010, 09:05   #14
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Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
Well, when I look on Yachtworld I see three 36 foot Morris Justines for sale, a 1995 for 278K, a 1986 for 239K and a 1989 at 229K. A brand new Hunter 39 is $195,900 according to the latest issue of Cruising World. Plus, when the Hunter leaves the showroom it loses 20% of its value immediately.

Am I missing something?
You are missing something...You have to figure the % of the boat and its losses or gains.. Yes the Morris is a pricy boat and sells for much..
But lets look at the other end of the issue and take a small production boat.. The Catalina 27.. not much of a boat and surly not rated as an ocean cruiser,
BUT, over 6000 of them were built so it falls into a production boat.. sold new for a sum of around 7,500 dollars... a C27 in fair condition can fetch as much as 12k on the market today and the average price is around 8 to 10k... more than what they sold for new..
There are a good number of production boats on the market that sell now for more than the cost when new.. so when the % of loss or gain is figured into the individual boat, I would think a production boat holds value at a rteasonable rate..
Any hi-end boat should keep its value up to an extent, but you'll find the high end loses its value as much if not more than the production boat..
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Old 02-02-2010, 09:47   #15
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Hello Captain Nathan,

A quick skim through the above replies does make for some confusion.
More information on your part would also assist in us putting forth helpful information instead of adding to the general static/white noise.
As you search through the multitude of listings I believe you shall find yourself drawn back to a couple that fit your general requirements.
Advances in materials, design systems and techniques, available information and greater understanding of their (the marine architects) results.
Randyonr3 hits on a number of good points, not least of all being the yacht LOA. (I shall return to this shortly)
Therefore here as some questions for you to consider and answer with a good dose of reality:-
What region do you intend to initiate your cruising?
Are your passages going to be from marina to marina?
Mechanical and electrical competancy?
Will this be your "home" for the entire period?
Budget for cruising? (10-20% of the yacht value per year gets bandied about for maintenance alone, not for us to know in general - for you to add to your viability list)
Social butterflies or loners?
Status of health?

Marinas worldwide tend to have exorbitantly higher rates for transient yachts -eg: Cabo San Lucas quote:

Dear Mr. Watts,

Here I am sending the rates we have now, we have a yearly rate if you want to go for the 2 years.
Please check the numbers, let me know if you have any question.
BOAT LENGTH ANNUAL SEASONAL MONTHLY WEEKLY DAILY
50 $2,578.24 $3,372.24 $ 6,165.86 $ 1,634.93 $ 246.37

ANNUAL: RATE PER MONTH/ 12 MONTHS COUNTED, REQUIRE 2 MONTHS SECURITY DEPOSIT,PLUS WATER PLUS ELECTRICAL SERVICES, INCLUDE INTERNET AND TAXES
SEASONAL: RATE PER MONTH/ 3 MONTHS OR LONGER, REQUIRE 2 MONTHS SECURITY DEPOSIT,PLUS WATER PLUS ELECTRICAL SERVICES, INCLUDE INTERNET AND TAXES
MONTHLY:MONTH PER MONTH FEE, WATER, ELECTRICAL & INTERNET SERVICES INCLUDED
WEEKLY:7 NIGHTS, WATER, ELECTRICAL & INTERNET SERVICES INCLUDED
DAILYAY BY DAY RATE, WATER, ELECTRICAL & INTERNET SERVICES INLCLUDED

Best regards,

Norma

End of quote.


With you being a merchant Captain you would have had the opportunity to visit ports worldwide with marinas close at hand. What foreign flagged yachts did you take notice of in those ports?

Regards,
Callum.
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