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Old 17-07-2009, 22:00   #1
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Question Advice on Buying a Sailboat

I am hoping to buy a boat by next year but i would like to plan out things for right now. I was thinking how would you buy a boat, on an auction or a dealer? and is there financing available like a car or what? and another thing. is it cheaper to but one thats in good shape or buy one that needs fixing and repair it your self. like for example leaving the inside of the boat empty take everything out and customize the inside the way you would want to. just like you would in a house. or is it as easy or difficult? the boat i would like is a Catamaran with those nets . http://www.aeroyacht.com/Used_Boats/images/WTG_3.jpg what would be cheaper. i saw some on a auction on ebay for less then 70,000. if i buy that a fix it up to something that look close to some over 300,000 that would be cool. any advice?
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Old 18-07-2009, 05:56   #2
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Yep, that is one pretty cat. As far as buying a fixer upper, I have a fixer upper. I think a good rule of thumb is - estimate the cost of refit ( and predict high!!) then double it and you will be close. I am way over my budget. Though I have sailed and worked on boats for many years, I have been land locked for the last eight, so I'm a little rusty - thus I make some costly errors now and then. So maybe add a 10 % rookie fee into the equation (if you are a rookie that is). Hope this helps.
Erika
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Old 18-07-2009, 12:31   #3
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yep im a rookie . is it the same as fixing up a house? the best boat is the one that you make your self that fits your comfort. yea so im thinking of buying one next year. i saw one in the 100,000's the problem with that cat is that there is no eletricity at all due to lightning. thanks for the heads up.
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Old 18-07-2009, 14:54   #4
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Phil: i too am a rookie,but now a very educated one.for the last 6 months i have been looking at boats for sale...just to familiarize myself with the market..the electronics...the rigging...etc....read countless hours on forums like this...just to get an idea.....my wife has her 100 ton ticket..but i don't want to rely on just her knowledge,i guess its a man thing..LOL..... as an X navy avionics tech....im just geeky that way ,got to know how everything works......as i have read here ,planning is everything.....well 6 months ago i thought ,i want to get a sailboat and sail away. leaving all the the land locked crap aft........should be easy enough.........well after doing reserch 4 hours a night for a 1/2 year and i just might be ready to start looking for that sailboat . just remember.....plan the best you can and go for it..............Ed
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Old 18-07-2009, 15:15   #5
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yep. well aboutgone. im studying for computer science, computer geeky as well. but not complete . yea your the same as me when it comes to planning and buying. this site is like the best ive seen, alot of info and quick response not as dead as many others. but anyways yea im going to go to different places where they sale boats, look around ask questions build up ideas and knowledge by the time im done i probaly have enough money to put down for a sailboat. catamana is the type i want. im in the uscg auxiliary and some people there have boats power/sail both and going to get even more. but this site helps alot. thanks ed.

by the way technology well be in all over my boat .
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Old 18-07-2009, 17:32   #6
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I bet someone with more knowledge will pipe up about the effects of a lightning strike, not just your electronics/wiring to explore. I could be wrong, maybe do a search on what to survey on a lightning struck boat...I'd worry about the metals (keel bolts if any, thru hulls, rudder pintal/gudgeons, chain plates) again I could be way off on this.


I think a boat refit is different than a house because NOTHING, and I mean NOTHING, is at a right angle and murphy lives on a boat, and salt water eats that cheap zinc hardware in 3 months, so you have to buy "special" stainless or bronze fittings, they are priced like they are dipped in gold ( not an exaggeration), and they have to be a particular size, and did I mention nothing is a right angle?

But it is your boat, and you will love every corner of her, even though those corners aren't at true right angles

Have fun boat shopping you guys,
Erika
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Old 18-07-2009, 18:30   #7
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Originally Posted by AtomicPhil View Post
I am hoping to buy a boat by next year but i would like to plan out things for right now. I was thinking how would you buy a boat, on an auction or a dealer? and is there financing available like a car or what? and another thing. is it cheaper to but one thats in good shape or buy one that needs fixing and repair it your self. like for example leaving the inside of the boat empty take everything out and customize the inside the way you would want to. just like you would in a house. or is it as easy or difficult? the boat i would like is a Catamaran with those nets . http://www.aeroyacht.com/Used_Boats/images/WTG_3.jpg what would be cheaper. i saw some on a auction on ebay for less then 70,000. if i buy that a fix it up to something that look close to some over 300,000 that would be cool. any advice?
Financing any depreciating asset is the worst way to spend money. When you compound that mistake with the inevitable structural issues unique to boat stresses which are unlike anything typical of static structures, you might do well to start at the beginning and focus on a more realistic set of expectations. As one small example, if you remove and fail to properly tab a replacement bulkhead of suitable strength and composition, especially in a different place, you'll likely be paying off a debt on a dangerous and worthless vessel. This may sound harsh but a bit of reality is always a good thing.
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Old 18-07-2009, 18:45   #8
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thanks illusion and ocean girl, after reading both post gets me thinking about something going wrong. thats the last thing i need, things that salt water eats away, and owe more then what i need to pay. i think i might just buy one thats good. and just add thing that i need to add.
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Old 18-07-2009, 20:52   #9
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I'm glad your looking and you will find your boat. But if this is the first one then keep looking. A boat is nothing like a house, its not built the same and maintenance is not the same. Keep looking, keep reading and asking questions. I bought the first one I fell in love with and lost my butt and my money. The learning curve is steep but it will make sense and come together. Even if you have lots of money you just dont want to throw it away on something you dont completely understand yet. You will find the boat that calls to you and it will be an easy transition, just take your time at first. Best of luck.
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Old 18-07-2009, 21:11   #10
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Unfortunately, boats are not like houses. You cannot flip them for a profit. Think exotic sports car where that 7 cent screw at home depot is 4 dollars for a boat. Sure you can use the 7 cent one, but in three months is will lock solid into the fitting and in six months you will be drilling it out to refit it (with the right one.) Each time you visit the mechanic, you will feel like a kidney stone is being passed when he hands you the bill. As someone pointed out to me, unless you are independently wealthy, you need to learn to do much more than you ever wanted - just to afford the boat.

Ocean Girl's estimation process is probably on target. I hate that, because it keeps me from buying when I want (but keeps me looking for when I should). BadSanta is right too. Keep looking, keep learning, keep asking. The past year + of looking has shown me many mistakes made by others - and those are good because they teach me for free.

Finally, this is not like automobiles or houses. There is no full disclosure or carfax. You can sometimes find out about a boat if it went to salvage or had a major insurance claim. However, even that is questionable. In the end, it will be 90% of what you know by the time you are ready to write the check, and 10% of what the survey finds. (If a newbie, switch those numbers and expect to pay for a few surveys at $1000 each - still better than a $80k mistake).
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Old 18-07-2009, 23:49   #11
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I keep that in mind, and no way im wealthy nor know anyone in my family who is. im thinking of just buying it instead of building it. But like i said it would take me a long time next year till i buy one. hopefully by next summer after i gain the knowledge of even knowing how to sail. My destination would be the dominican rep. i got dual citizenship so id rest there for a while .
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Old 19-07-2009, 13:25   #12
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I bet someone with more knowledge will pipe up about the effects of a lightning strike, not just your electronics/wiring to explore. I could be wrong, maybe do a search on what to survey on a lightning struck boat...I'd worry about the metals (keel bolts if any, thru hulls, rudder pintal/gudgeons, chain plates) again I could be way off on this.


I think a boat refit is different than a house because NOTHING, and I mean NOTHING, is at a right angle and murphy lives on a boat, and salt water eats that cheap zinc hardware in 3 months, so you have to buy "special" stainless or bronze fittings, they are priced like they are dipped in gold ( not an exaggeration), and they have to be a particular size, and did I mention nothing is a right angle?

But it is your boat, and you will love every corner of her, even though those corners aren't at true right angles

Have fun boat shopping you guys,
Erika
Phil,
Erica hit so many nails on the head she's a master carpenter in my book!
only 1 exception in her summary is there ARE some (hopefully still) true right angles on sailing vessels...drawers & their drawer slides...beyond that if You're going to be re-habbing an interior, BUY an Angle Indicator, worth it's weight in those stainless steel fasteners!

Phil,
I've built boats (small & Large) from scratch, & it's best left to the pros. You'll spend twice as much for half as much. They make a profit, just not a huge 1, You can't compare. There is no way to "beat" the system when they are purchasing in bulk and You can't. As a labor of love, or desire to Know that YOU did "IT" once in this life; so be it. As a "cost saving measure"? Fools play. I've bought a total of 9 unfinished (with everything needed to complete) "projects" from 62' down to 28' & completed them, EVERY Time the Owner had either health problems or lost interest/time available after 3-a dozen YEARS invested in the "project". Building from scratch will suck the life from Your SOUL...I swear, seen it too many times.

IF that there cat had a lightning strike and was properly grounded, AND it wasn't a severe storm, I'd invest in the surveyor and trust his experienced eyeballs. I've seen point blank (& been on vessels) stirikes/struck and they can mean as little as a burned out light in a compass & microwave, 1/2 the stereo speakers (port side only...don't ask me, or the owner, stumped us both) fried; in the other extreme, poorly maintained connections at ground plates caused a burned hole (more like blown) right thru the hull. Lightning is like a car wreck. There are so many variables, the mere "stating a vessel was hit by lightning" means Nothing! Some suffer absolutely NO side affects, others SINK where struck. Nearly every inch of wiring much be examined, burned jacketing is the visible target sought. Checking fuses and operational status of each and every electrical device on the vessel, 110v/220v/12v(<-or whatever series combination above that on the DC side). Yes, it's time & labor intensive. IF they know it was struck, AND they got a survey before now seeking to DUMP same on some unsuspecting victim...I'd ask for a copy of that survey from the broker or them directly so You know Exactly(or thereabouts) what You're getting in to. IF that boat needed EVERYTHING electronic replaced, it could still be a deal, if priced right. FWIW, electronics get outdated faster than any other component (eg:LORAN is getting "unplugged" this summer); like computers, this years model does 2x(or more) what last years' did. If the price is right, that's quite the boat. Don't be fearful of lightning (after the fact); be fearful of whether the Frenchies did a gr8 job on the ground plates (& thereafter the owners didn't slap 27 coats of bottom paint on top of 'em) OR "Not so Much". Surveyors check compression posts, foot, & the biggest problem w/Cats is the deck stepped masts. IF not grounded to the lowest point below the waterline the designer can get away with, You'll have arcing...arcing, with the right bolt will indeed burn holes right thru the hull seeking "equilibrium". Remember we think it comes down...it actually goes UP. The big fat LIGHTNING ROD(s) on our vessels makes us prime targets. Grounding is everything.

Keep looking, figure out exactly Your intentions, price range, skill set, tools available. Don't make an offer w/o a contingency for survey & check out the surveyors. As others have stated, the small investment in their inspection is priceless for knowing "the rest of the story". They ALWAYS find things the existing owners didn't even know.
Good Luck & keep Researching.
BTW, BoatUS has some pretty good discussion boards too.
Most mfg.s owners have groups & websites where they have discussion boards too...when Your focus narrows, go to those sites and search the comments and input on/from every owner of a boat like You seek...You might just change Your mind...OR Not.
Hope this helped,
-Mick
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