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Old 31-07-2009, 16:10   #1
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Boat Evaluation - Here Goes - First Post

My wife and I have sold our Santana 30 - with which we were very happy, but 2 foot itis has struck and we are now in the market for a larger boat 32 - 36, but are somewhat stymied in terms of evaluation of the quality of the myriad of sailboats available. We sail off the coast of BC - including the west side of Vancouver Island - generally protected waters but there can be hairy situations which we try our best to avoid - fair weather sailors. We have been searching on Yachtworld with parameters: $85,000 U.S. max, fiberglass, diesel, 1980 or newer, location on the west coast (U.S. or Canada). We thought we'd narrowed it down to Catalina 36 - until we went on board one. Then we saw a Bavaria 35 which we liked - but too much cash. Beneteaus, Ericsons, C&Cs, CSs, Tartans, Sabres, Islanders, Morgans, Albergs, Catalinas, Bayfields, et al........ whew!
Internet sites that provide evaluations tend to always "hedge" their comments - even Practical Sailor - always a balancing act between how much a boat costs and what we're willing to accept. Surveyors appear to be dodgy - saying whatever the person paying for the survey wants.
Do the owner sites tell it straight? Where to go?
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Old 31-07-2009, 16:24   #2
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I don't think you'll get a satisfactory answer. If you have a range of size and a spread of years you encompass a universe of choices... not to mention style and rig, and hull form.

If you have the time you need to look and look and build a database of what you like what you don't and so forth and eventually you will zero in on the boat you want and you will start knowing what to look for and become savy on all the same models on the market and can bargain from a position of strength.

It sounds like you want more comfort as opposed to more speed, so I would focus on cruisers and not racers, and boats that are easy to handle with a comfy cockpit and accommodation plans.

You can get a lot of used boat for $85K in this market.

Good luck!
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Old 31-07-2009, 16:49   #3
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I don't think you'll get a satisfactory answer. If you have a range of size and a spread of years you encompass a universe of choices... not to mention style and rig, and hull form.

If you have the time you need to look and look and build a database of what you like what you don't and so forth and eventually you will zero in on the boat you want and you will start knowing what to look for and become savy on all the same models on the market and can bargain from a position of strength.

It sounds like you want more comfort as opposed to more speed, so I would focus on cruisers and not racers, and boats that are easy to handle with a comfy cockpit and accommodation plans.

You can get a lot of used boat for $85K in this market.

Good luck!
I support the above 110%, except for "You can get a lot of used boat for $85K". Even now, in reality you get what you are prepared to pay for, and this appiles especially when it comes to Yachts!

Furthermore, if you don't pay for that so-called "yacht bargain" now, be very assured, you will end up paying for it in the near and distant future!

Regarding Bavaria's you mentioned, there is a joke down-under about Bavarias: "Do you know who really owns the Bavaria company??? Answer: Tupperware!

Bottom-line: They are the Bose speakers of the yachting industry.

There is a reason why I can sell my 11 year old 48 foot yacht for more than what you can pick-up a new 50 foot Bavaria for.

Of course all of the above are opinions, and as I have reminded many, many times on this site: opinions are like assh*les, everyone has one

Regards

William aka 'The PIRATE'
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Old 31-07-2009, 17:16   #4
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Originally Posted by Lyttlebyrd View Post
Do the owner sites tell it straight? Where to go?
As you may infer from reading some of the boat reviews here, everyone's opinion is colored by either their personal experience or just as often, a desire to not admit their choice was a bad one. I would include myself in that as well. How you can sift through the opinions on the internet to identify objective analysis vs. someone wanting to sound authoritative is difficult at best.

Having said that, you can read between the lines at Sailboatowners.com boat reviews to see what owners say about what they have changed, added or improved on their boat.
Everybody thinks their choice of boat is the best, qualified by use and money.
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Old 31-07-2009, 21:30   #5
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All the boats you mention would do just fine for your cruising grounds. Look for one that's been maintained and upgraded over the years and suits your sailing style. Create a matrix of size/features/amenities to help you compare. Look at lots and lots of boats. When the list gets short and make some offers. When an offer gets accepted hire a good surveyor like these guys if the boat is in Washington State. Welcome to Reisner, McEwen and Associates - Marine Surveyors
A good surveyor is good at identifiying problems and knows what to look for.

Ultimately, pick the boat you can walk down the dock and say "that's a nice looking boat". In your price point there are some nice boats out there and it will be hard to go too wrong with a good surveyor on your side.
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Old 31-07-2009, 22:58   #6
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Don't forget the Valiants. I saw a cherry Valiant 32 on the market last fall for 60 something.(in Port Townsend) As I sail through the San Juan's, I see boats getting thrown about this way and that from the currents, shifting winds and what not and mine is just gliding though wondering what the trouble is.
I would second a vote for an anal surveyor. Matt Harris is with that group and out of Bellingham. He has treated me right.
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Old 01-08-2009, 00:17   #7
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As you may infer from reading some of the boat reviews here, everyone's opinion is colored by either their personal experience or just as often, a desire to not admit their choice was a bad one.
Damn .... I wish I has said that!
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Old 01-08-2009, 03:40   #8
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Have a close look at a Swedish Yachts or a Halberg Rassy, and you will have something great to compare other designs to.
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Old 01-08-2009, 08:14   #9
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Have a close look at a Swedish Yachts or a Halberg Rassy, and you will have something great to compare other designs to.
I did that, I was depressed for weeks because I couldn`t afford one
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Old 01-08-2009, 08:24   #10
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Thank-you for all of those considered and frank responses. Your suggestions match my procedures - I have been accumulating a database from Yachtworld and storing it in a 3-ring binder, also I've started a comparison chart in Excel. I suspect our next boat which will be our third, will also be our last one, so I want to try my best to avoid a disaster. After all, this expenditure is akin to purchasing a house. One thing that hasn't been mentioned is the reliability of a salesperson. In the past, we dealt with the owner of Harbour Yachts in Vancouver who was knowledgeable, helpful, and trustworthy. In talking with other salespeople, I have been struck by their sincerity and their honesty (at least, apparent honesty). Better prices may be achieved through a private seller, but the availability and convenience of dealers naturally overwhelms the market. Are dealers as reliable as they seem? Is it again a question of homework? I realize that the surveyor is meant to be the purchaser's safeguard, but I have to say that, as yet, I haven't found a survey that doesn't accommodate the person paying the piper.
By the way, we were recently in Port Townsend - taking the opportunity to look at boats - but we only found one sales outlet and he was away in Seattle. Nice town.
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Old 01-08-2009, 08:47   #11
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I know what you are going through, we have sold our boat and are looking for a replacement. Unless you are having a yacht custom made all boats are a bit of a compromise, its a case of picking a make model and being satisfied that you are getting the best that your budget will allow. Dont be over reliant on an apparently charming broker, dont loose sight of the fact he is working for the seller and probably his own commission.
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Old 01-08-2009, 09:05   #12
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If it is intended to be your last boat resale not such an issue, in any event I would be looking for boat makes / models I had never heard of but were the right size and basic shape / displacement you were after without being overly fussy (at this stage) on layout..........could well stumble accross something that is "foreign" to the local market and / or was built in small numbers and long since forgotten by the mainstream - and is priced accordingly, even if the cost includes for you a lot more Googles or visits here BTW I am thinking of proffesionally built boats (probably from low volume Builders long since gone bankrupt) - rather than trying to "luck into" a home built 1986 Ferrocement Catamaran, unlaunched and sitting in central Kansas
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Old 01-08-2009, 09:07   #13
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If you like the Santana so much, why not stay with the make? You can get a Santana 39 in your price range.
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Old 01-08-2009, 10:20   #14
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Originally Posted by BlueSovereign View Post
Regarding Bavaria's you mentioned, there is a joke down-under about Bavarias: "Do you know who really owns the Bavaria company??? Answer: Tupperware!

Bottom-line: They are the Bose speakers of the yachting industry.
I am puzzled by what this means. Does this mean they are overpriced for what you get? ...or something else?
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Old 01-08-2009, 10:49   #15
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I am puzzled by what this means. Does this mean they are overpriced for what you get? ...or something else?
I think that is what was meant. In the world of high fi, many people scoff at Bose because they believe it is very over priced stuff, and not particularly great quality. Certainly Bose does a lot of advertising, so there is no doubt that some significant percentage of one's purchase price pays for a hefty advertising budget.
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