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Old 08-10-2011, 09:07   #1
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Before I Buy, What Should I Know ?

Hi all! I have a friend who offered to sell me his '72 Catalina 27 next spring. (he's looking for a bigger one) We won't get into the fact that I know absolutely nothing about sailing- that's for later. What I need to know is what are the costs that I don't know about.

I know there's the boat sale price, the slip price, marina maintenance fee, insurance and gas. All the rigging and whatnot is relatively new on this boat and the motor's in good shape, so aside from whatever might come up in that department, are there any regular running costs I'm missing? Our budget is fairly tight, but I'm thinking that once we spend on the getting of the boat, the day-to-day costs of actually using it might be reasonable. (I hope, I hope)

Whadda ya think?
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Old 08-10-2011, 09:44   #2
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Re: Before I Buy, What Should I Know ?

You'll change oil and fuel filters regularily, haul the boat for cleaning and bottom paint as part of the maintenance and things will need repair. In general you need to allocate money on an annual basis for maintenance and repair, some for the stuff that happens on a regular basis but some just on speculation. The amount will vary depending on how much you do yourself and how much equipment the boat has and you want. Some years you may not spend much and other years you'll spend a lot but it's easier if you plan.

Expect the unexpected seems to be the best plan for boat maintenance. I'm guessing but on a boat that size allow at least a couple of thousand extra a year for things that come up and if you don't spend it add it to the next years budget.
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Old 08-10-2011, 10:05   #3
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Re: Before I Buy, What Should I Know ?

Plus 1 for what hummingway has said very well.
Edit....welcome to the forum.
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Old 08-10-2011, 10:09   #4
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Re: Before I Buy, What Should I Know ?

Daily costs of "using the boat" are really only the cost of fuel and food/drink.
- - As hummingway mentioned there are a lot of "fixed costs" of owning a boat, most of which you listed. Although you might consider also the cost of State Registration for the boat - and - if your State has Personal Property Tax, that cost.
- - As to the value of that particular boat you can search the internet by boat manufacturer, size and year. You will get an idea of what the "asking price" of that boat is currently. Then take into consideration the condition of the the boat as compared to others you have seen on line. The "asking price" can be much higher than the actual "selling price" so don't get discouraged. Depending upon the boat and the owner trying to sell the boat, the "selling price" can vary down to almost half of the "asking price." How much is up to your bargaining skills and a professional evaluation by a "marine surveyor" as to the value of the boat.
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Old 08-10-2011, 10:28   #5
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Re: Before I Buy, What Should I Know ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lippysyd View Post
Hi all! I have a friend who offered to sell me his '72 Catalina 27 next spring. (he's looking for a bigger one) We won't get into the fact that I know absolutely nothing about sailing- that's for later. What I need to know is what are the costs that I don't know about.

I know there's the boat sale price, the slip price, marina maintenance fee, insurance and gas. All the rigging and whatnot is relatively new on this boat and the motor's in good shape, so aside from whatever might come up in that department, are there any regular running costs I'm missing? Our budget is fairly tight, but I'm thinking that once we spend on the getting of the boat, the day-to-day costs of actually using it might be reasonable. (I hope, I hope)

Whadda ya think?

Even from a friend, you should get a good marine survey (and include the engine -- they run until they don't ...). As a newbie it will help put your mind at rest and your insurance company will probably want it.

DO NOT SKIP insurance. Sailing is inherently dangerous and a slip-and-fall is more likely on a boat than on your front porch.

DO NOT SKIP towing insurance.

I would also have a rigger go over the rigging.

A Cal 27 is a good boat to start with, but make sure that someone who really knows how to do it teaches you how to dock it. You could go out one day and the wind picks up. Your crew slips and sprains an ankle. You have to be able to dock the boat by yourself.

I just had to bring my boat in (with Boat US's help) without any steering.

I had a double-ended spring line set up at my slip. I grabbed it with the boat hook and now I could position the boat forward or backward with it. It has a carabiner on it and a latch on the tow rail to catch the carabiner. Once that line was snapped in place the boat was going nowhere scary. I could then put the rest of the lines on at my leisure.

Make sure you have extra lines. I have "destination" lines permanently fixed to my boat on both sides so I can tie my boat off in a different slip, either because of emergency or as part of the travel plans.

Sail on as many boats as you can between now and then. See what equipment those owners have on their boats that they really value. Start getting an idea of what you would want to add to the boat so it really suits your preferences.

The BIGGEST expense on any boat is not having what you need to go sailing easily, whether it's a bimini for comfort, or extra lines, or towing insurance, or maybe you can't live without a refrigerator. Things that keep you from sailing are the most expensive because then you're paying slip fees, etc. on a boat you can't use easily. Figure out what compromises you're willing to make and what are truly "must haves."
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Old 08-10-2011, 10:29   #6
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Re: Before I Buy, What Should I Know ?

Hello and welcome Lippysyd, good to see new michigander's here. always have some back up cash in the kitty for those rainy days. sound like you have most thangs covered. And as always good advice from hummingway. ps its starting to get cold here, do the deal in the spring
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Old 08-10-2011, 10:37   #7
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Re: Before I Buy, What Should I Know ?

if you have not been out sailing with the seller, make him take you out b4 you buy. get a feel for the boat. while you wont have any point of reference for comparison, you still need to spend an hour or 2 sailing.

1. motor, transmission and steering works
2. sails exist and are in good visible condition (i doubt you will be able to assess if they r blown out of anything but should b free from holes or patches and the stiching should be in good shape
3. vessel sails 'fine'

aside from some time on the water, take a look at all the dark corners looking for water damage. walk around the boat and feel for soft spots and look for obviously broken things. if this is a friend you are buying the boat from i would expect he would be forthcoming and not try to sneak something past you. if all that goes well, you 'should' have a survey done including a haul out to inspect the boat. that will likely cost you 3-5 hundred which will be added to the total cost of ownership.

as a general rule is would suggest 200% of annual slip fees plus 3K per year.

the insurance, registration and fuel (minor expense as you will likely only be motoring in and out of your slip) and basic maintenance will be covered out of the 2nd half of the slip fee (1-100% for slip fees, 100-200% for everything else) and the 3k will be for replacing sails and rigging and whatever else breaks and the haul out etc.

the budget challenge is that you dont get to plan most of your maintenance. what goes wrong will happen when it happens so you may have a bottom job and sails and deck repair and thru hull replacement in 1 year and no expenses the next. IMO when boats break they cant be used (you can still drive your car with the check engine light on and get around to fixing it when it is convenient but you cant sail your boat if you cant raise the sails).

hope it works out for ya as this is prob a good boat to learn on and enjoy.

-steve
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Old 08-10-2011, 10:38   #8
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Re: Before I Buy, What Should I Know ?

Ok, that's kinda what I was hoping you'd say. Sounds like the day-to-day running of the boat might be rather affordable. My husband and I work for the same company and we work seasonally, so lucky for us we're off all summer. The down side is, we really have to plan ahead since our summer income is lower. But I'm thinking that if we plan ahead we should be fine since there would be money in the regular summer budget to get to the marina and put gas in the boat. I think our tax returns will get us most of the way there. He already has bottom paint and I think he's planning on painting it this spring, so maybe before we buy it.

As far as I know (for now) the only things it needs are cosmetic- the cabin needs a little updating which we'll do ourselves. We're master scroungers, lol. Hubby is very handy but we're both inexperienced with SB's. And of course, at the start we need some sailing lessons.

osirissail, my friend wants to buy a larger boat, so he offered to sell us his for what he paid for it, $2500. I've done some cursory research and that seems to be pretty good. Beyond that I'm in a bit of a holding pattern waiting to see what his next move is. He may change his mind or whatever, so I wanted to make sure I could afford my end of the deal before I got too excited.
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Old 08-10-2011, 10:46   #9
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Re: Before I Buy, What Should I Know ?

Yeah, that's a good price. You've listed the big stuff. Depending on where you would moor it, bottom paint/maintenance is probably one of the bigger items. Figure on doing, or having that done, every couple of years in the salt water.
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Old 08-10-2011, 10:52   #10
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Re: Before I Buy, What Should I Know ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ssanzone View Post
if you have not been out sailing with the seller, make him take you out b4 you buy. get a feel for the boat. while you wont have any point of reference for comparison, you still need to spend an hour or 2 sailing.

1. motor, transmission and steering works
2. sails exist and are in good visible condition (i doubt you will be able to assess if they r blown out of anything but should b free from holes or patches and the stiching should be in good shape
3. vessel sails 'fine'

aside from some time on the water, take a look at all the dark corners looking for water damage. walk around the boat and feel for soft spots and look for obviously broken things. -steve
The only time I've ever sailed was when he took Hubby and I out a couple of weeks ago. We sailed 20 miles to an island and hung out for the weekend, then sailed back. Hubby and I slept in the v-berth. I know the sails and lines are new within the last year and the motor ran fine. I was looking around a lot and didn't see anything that looked bad, but I didn't really know what I was looking for. The only thing I can think of is that there was some 'cracking' on the cockpit floor- is that called crazing? Whatever it was it looked superficial to me. Obviously when he says "I am ready to sell" I will reply, "I am ready to survey"
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Old 08-10-2011, 11:02   #11
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Re: Before I Buy, What Should I Know ?

First, this is so cool! thanks to all of you for chatting with me and answering all my questions. Way to make a noob feel welcome!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
Yeah, that's a good price. You've listed the big stuff. Depending on where you would moor it, bottom paint/maintenance is probably one of the bigger items. Figure on doing, or having that done, every couple of years in the salt water.
Ok, so this is my fuzzy area that's giving me the most worry. I don't wanna turn into a dork just yet and blast my friend with questions, but I probably should since he and I didn't talk about the marina fees too much. (and their website's very simple) He told me that he bought his slip for $1000 and that there's a yearly fee of $800. (maintainance, I think?) The slip next to his was also for sale at the same price. The marina is not in a vacation area, but even still, this sounds cheap. Anyone think this sounds fishy? I'm worried this is where my plan could go all to hell.
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Old 08-10-2011, 13:32   #12
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Re: Before I Buy, What Should I Know ?

Price of $2500 seems fair after looking at the same boat for sale all over the country. They vary from $2500 to $3500 or more in the expensive States. And they look like a really fun boat to kick around in during the summer.
- - But it also appears that the Catalina 27 is powered by an outboard motor. Does this boat have an outboard motor?
- - If so the condition, age, and size of that motor can make a big difference in the value of the boat. A used 9.8hp outboard motor in that size range would cost from $1500 to close to $2000. Which is also about what a new Tohatsu would cost (plus shipping and tax) from Defender - about $2000.
- - So if the outboard motor is in good condition, then the $2500 for boat and motor would be in my opinion a very good deal.
- - Marinas can vary in price dramatically according to their location. For for such a small boat as this one, it is not unreasonable or unrealistic. You can telephone other marinas in your area and ask the cost of a slip for a 27 ft sailboat to be sure.
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Old 08-10-2011, 14:59   #13
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Re: Before I Buy, What Should I Know ?

These boats were developed from the UK Jaguar. There's a busy club site, just try Jaguar Yacht Owners - Home Page . Beware of keel issues with these boats, and get an age if you can, they are balsa cored grp skinned. Poor outer skin can cover big problems if the wet (rain/sea) has got into the balsa.
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Old 08-10-2011, 18:01   #14
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Re: Before I Buy, What Should I Know ?

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Price of $2500 seems fair after looking at the same boat for sale all over the country. They vary from $2500 to $3500 or more in the expensive States. And they look like a really fun boat to kick around in during the summer.
This is why I'm so excited after only one sail. Once I can picture us doing something, I'm done. It really seems like the perfect thing for us to have on a somewhat small budget and it satisfies all our interests- running the boat for my hubby, traveling for me. I tend to not sit still well, so the cabin appeals to me.

Quote:
- - But it also appears that the Catalina 27 is powered by an outboard motor. Does this boat have an outboard motor?
It has an aftermarket inboard. It ran well when we had it out, but so far that's all I know about that. It's near the top of my list of things to talk about when we do get serious about this. For now I'm going to be cautiously optimistic.

Quote:
- - Marinas can vary in price dramatically according to their location. For for such a small boat as this one, it is not unreasonable or unrealistic. You can telephone other marinas in your area and ask the cost of a slip for a 27 ft sailboat to be sure.
I was hoping you would say that!
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Old 09-10-2011, 02:46   #15
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Re: Before I Buy, What Should I Know ?

Break Out Another Thousand! Abbreviates to BOAT. Especially cheap boats.
Perhaps the only thing you need to add to your current headlong charge into boating is an escape plan. Not from sailing, that will never leave you, but from this boat. GRP is expensive to dispose of should the boat prove to be un-viable. Maybe a live aboard would take it off your hands at those mooring rates, and it would house two in economy class.
Otherwise it's so cheap that you should go for it, now, but with the knowledge that the engine, the keel, the standing rigging, the sails, the fuel system, the GRP, will all need some TLC. Not particularly cash expensive but it does take a lot of time and basic DIY skills. A marina berth is usually the best place to get helpful advice from someone who is doing things to a similar boat.
If this boat has a swing keel (hinges under the mast foot with a wire winch under the companion way) then every moving part of it is suspect. A lift out, removal of the keel (over a pit or jacked up on a trailer) and a check on the hinge end, and the bolts at the winch end, and all moving parts.
The mast on mine sits on the cabin roof, which is supported below by a post. This post doesn't go all the way to the keel of the boat. The moulding detail of the cabin is supposed to be adequate for all normal purposes, but if the shrouds have been overtightened, or overlaoded, the vertical GRP beneath the post can bulge when the rig is tightened. Repairable, and not excessively expensive in cash or time, but have a look and make a judgement. A 27ft yacht at those prices is cheap by UK standards, it's fetch 10 to 15k in the UK. (And it's big enough to sail over!)
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