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Old 22-08-2009, 02:22   #1
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Advice on Purchase

Alright.

I'm going to do something impulsive in the next month or two.

My job allows me to work at home and I find myself sitting at home for days at a time without much reason to go out. I'm single (obviously).

Some weeks, I'll be traveling the whole week out of town.

So, my requirements are: reasonably reliable Internet at home port and reasonable access to an International Airport.

I'm looking at a liveaboard and hoping to find mooring in Santa Barbara or nearby as I have a large number of friends there. Living on a hook seems OK for a few months.

My budget is very tight. I've seen some decent boats in the $10k range. My only issue with the ones I've looked at were the lack of a shower facility. Even with limited fresh water, it drives me a bit batty not to be able to at least rinse off.

Here's my criteria.


1) It floats. No sinking is preferable. The pacific gets cold sometimes and some of my electronics aren't waterproof. Swimming over a mile to shore in sub-60 water is also no fun. I've done it twice. ;-)

2) It sails. Both upwind and downwind. (or at least one of the two) Motors piss me off anyway.

3) A motor. I have paddled a 25 foot cabin cruiser before. It works, but it's slow and leads to general soreness in the upper body.

3) Electricity. I have a solar panel that can run my laptop an cell phone, but I'd prefer the boat helps me store some of that.

4) Water. I've been pretty dehydrated before, but I recall seeing knights jousting in the wall. We'll have none of that. Showers rock too, if possible (yes, one-minute, half-gallon showers are fine).

5) No loan. If it breaks in half and sinks, I'd rather not owe someone for something that's resting on the bottom of the sea.

6) Dinghy. Gotta get to shore somehow, eh? Rowing a dinghy sucks too.

7) A shower. I could park at a marina and have shower facility, but the idea is that I want to live off the grid (for the most part), but still need to go the airport sometimes and not smell like death.


I'm a nerd. I have access to lots of raw materials for geek-hood, such as industrial solar panels for nearly free and the experience (and tools) to wire them up. I have lots of high-gain antennas for wireless communication. I can build one out of a pringles can, a coat hanger and a few washers, in a pinch. I can probably build an antenna array for close to zero as well, to pull in GSM signals from miles off-shore too. Hooray.




Anyone have a boat for sale in the sub-$10k range that.... doesn't sink and can hold fresh water?

How the heck do I qualify a purchase like that. I'd rather get something that can actually go down the coast from Washington to Southern Cali, rather than being stuck on the hook and constantly worried about folding it in half in light seas.

I've looked around on craigslist and found some boats. A particular 30' Maple Leaf design in Bellingham captured my eye, but it didn't have a shower. Damn. Would have been perfect other than that. Except that it's in Bellingham and would take a few weeks to get down to SoCal.

I'd rather not get a boat that needs to be on the hard for months after i buy it.

I don't really know how to go about this particular search. I don't imagine there are too many "brokers" who deal in $5000 boats. :-) If there are, do they charge huge fees?

I know the standard advice is to get a thorough survey, but how much does that cost and is it really worth it on a $5k-$10k boat?

I know it's wacky and crazy, but I need an adventure.
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Old 22-08-2009, 02:54   #2
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Here's one:

1979 30" sailboat



I'm interested in hearing your opinion, if I only have $10k to spend and don't have weeks to work on it, is it even reasonable to buy something like this? :-)
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Old 22-08-2009, 03:03   #3
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One more:

1976 Ericson 29 for value sale

Hmmmm...

Singlehanded to Hawaii on a 29? ahmm.
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Old 22-08-2009, 08:04   #4
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This is just my option but when shopping for a boat first you need to decide what you want out of the boat ( not just today) do you want it to sail? do you just want something cheap to live on? how much room do you need? are just some of the things to keep in mind.

From what i have read you want something cheap to live on, If you live on the hook you need to keep in mind that it will limit your electic and water, refrigeration will use alot of electic, cooking along with you would still need a place to park your car. Your friend could not just come by for a visit, shopping is harder when you have to digh the food in the rain. My point is living off the grid is not as easy as it seams.

Slip fees run from $5 to $18 a foot, some come with elec,water club house but some charge more for live aboards.

Yes you can find a number of boats for under $10K and you can find some very nice deals, just think about what you will do after you find the boat.

When i got my boat (33' Morgan O.I.) 18 months ago i was very lucky I jump in with both feet and found my boat for under $10K I did not get a survey but did check the boat out very carefully testing everything. Although the boat came with new sails and the motor ran I needed to move the boat about 500 miles to where i planned to live, I ship the boat by truck because I was new to sailing and I did not know the boats history therefore did not trust it to sail that far.

After getting the boat home I found that the boat was much better than i thought so I was lucky.

My advice is to find a friend that knows boats to help you, think about living in a marina at first until you know the boat and have your ducks in a row.


Best of luck,
Dutch
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Old 22-08-2009, 09:04   #5
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As the last post says - you need to look not only at the slip fees.

But you also need to look at availability, and specifically, availability for liveaboard!
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Old 23-08-2009, 15:27   #6
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At 10k you may find one, esp. in the US.

Do go for the shower - it may seem trivial now but when cruising or anchored out - you will love to have the shower.

-good design,
-sound structure, rigging, sails,
-sound engine,

all very desirable

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Old 23-08-2009, 16:07   #7
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Found a Columbia 30 for a good price. Makes me a bit suspicious about the condition because it's fitted so well otherwise.

But I think I'm going to make a tentative offer on it, pending an inspection.

Any experience with the Columbia? I know it's a bit small on the inside, but it's faster than most and at 30', it's not too bad considering i'm looking at a lot of 25' and 27' for the money.

As a liveaboard, I'd love to find a Hunter for the extra beam, but I hear mixed reports about the seaworthiness and quality control on them and I need it to meet criteria #1 (no sinking allowed) and I imagine it would barely pull 6 knots given the design.

I really adore this Maple Leaf 30 I found for sale outside Seattle, but no head, no shower. The rest of it is an awesome package, but a porta potti just doesn't seem like it will cut it for full time use.. and the lack of a shower. Yikes.

Thoughts?
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Old 23-08-2009, 16:09   #8
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oh, and how much would a survey cost on this type of boat?

Can a surveyor do it remotely (I'm not in California right now). Is that practical?

Anyone in the LA area around here with that sort of experience who might be willing to check it out for me for a little $$?
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Old 24-08-2009, 22:28   #9
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Maybe someone knows of a good surveyor in the LA Harbour, Wilmington, Long Beach area that I could give a ring to.

Otherwise, it's the Yellow Pages for me. :-)
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Old 25-08-2009, 09:36   #10
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Good idea use a surveyor - but an option is wait, learn, and go for the purchase when you understand boats better. I mean - with 10, 20 or 30k to be spent on the boat the surveyor's pay will become quite a percentage.

I do not know American standards of pay but it elsewhere (NZ, Sweden, Germany) it takes about 30-50 hours of work (both on the boat and then working on the report in his/her office) to get the most basic survey report even on a relatively simple 30-35 foot sailing boat. And the boat has to be lifted, etc..

Another option - any sailing friend with plenty of boating / maintenance experience??? I have met many sailors with excellent knowledge of design / maintenance issues.

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