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Old 17-01-2015, 08:04   #1
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Boat shop with me!

Since everyone's favorite thing after sailing is boat shopping, I thought CFers might be interested in helping me figure out my boat purchase! I've got everything "at home" settled so that I can start cruising the Bahamas/Caribbean for the next few months, and my buddy and I are aiming to travel to either Florida or Trinidad & Tobago to buy a boat late next week. Funnily enough, due to rental car drop-off fees, it's cheaper to fly one-way to T&T than it is to rent a car and drive to Florida (no repositioning deals available). The dilemma is that the boat deals in Florida are SO MUCH better than the ones in T&T, but I really don't want to have to sail against the wind from the Bahamas to the rest of the Caribbean - so I'm hoping CF can help me figure out if the asking prices in T&T are realistic or just boat-owner inflation where they're actually expecting an offer well below asking. The contenders:

Trinidad & Tobago (talked to a broker who walked me through the purchase process - it's relatively straight-forward with assistance):
1981 Miura 31: $25,000; New sails, engine, paint, wiring, and upholstery in 2012. Antifoul was in 2012 too so will likely need new bottom paint.
1978 Ranger 32.5: $17,900; Refit in 2007 to cross the Atlantic and loaded with "goodies" - but refit in 2007 and an Atlantic crossing may mean that the rigging is ready to be replaced
1984 Hunter 31: $19,900; Refit and relaunched in 2013 - standing rigging and major systems from 2012. Antifoul in 2013 so may need a touch up.

Allmand 31: $12,000; Tall rig with lead keel; new standing rigging, chain plates, and antifoul. My personal favorite, but with the lack of windward sailing ability, the large amount of leeway, and a 16 hp engine, I think she'd be difficult to get East of the Bahamas.
1967 Cal 34: $5,900; New standing rigging and bottom paint. Not sure as to the condition of the mast support beam which can be a pain to replace.
1985 Hunter 31: $14,000; Absolutely ridiculously loaded - I'd have to sell much of the stuff on it just to be able to move around.
Numerous different Morgan 35s, Watson 33s, etc. for below $14,000 with very motivated sellers.

For the most part, the peripherals (dinghies, anchors, chain, etc. but NOT the electronics) are such that they wouldn't move the price a few hundred either way between the boats.

So what's a cash-buyer to do in a buyer's market? Do the T&T prices seem high to anyone else? Thanks for your advice!

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Old 17-01-2015, 08:15   #2
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Re: Boat shop with me!

Go to Mahina Expedition - Selecting A Boat for Offshore Cruising. There's a pretty extensive list of boats there that may help.

Pam Wall knows the Bahamas as well as anyone. You can check her website and see if there's something to help you: Pam Wall | Cruising Consultant | Cruising Consultant | Yachting Seminars | Sailing Advice

Boat shows are going on now and they usually have free seminars. If there are any around you, making some of the seminars can help.

Good luck!

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Old 17-01-2015, 18:11   #3
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Re: Boat shop with me!

Some of those deals in T&T would require close scrutiny. I'll take the 1984 hunter as an example. All major systems from 2012? What's he calling all major systems. A new deisel engine in 2012 would have cost him close to $15000. He's parting with the boat for $19900?. Maybe, but it seems funny.

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Old 17-01-2015, 20:40   #4
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Re: Boat shop with me!

I have sailed a Miura 31 in some nasty stuff and it was a great sailing boat. It was also very well put together. I am not too familiar with the Oceanica, so I can't speak to its quality. If I had to choose it would be the Miura hands down and not even close (minus the Oceanica) . I have known two people to cross over from South Africa to either the US or Brazil in the Cape to Rio race and both of them raved about the boat. One of the guys had a few week sailing course before the trip.

The Oceanica looks interesting though. Could be a sweet boat. Also I believe Adlard Coles writes about sailing a Miura 31 through some bad weather in his Heavy Weather Sailing book. Good luck and have fun.
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Old 17-01-2015, 21:36   #5
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Re: Boat shop with me!

Look for boats in the Virgin Islands as well.
Smaller market than Florida but potential bargains.
(Been there, done that: purchased a boat in St. Thomas in the past)
Also look in St. Maarten.
Not sure about Trinidad, not sure I like that place and not sure I would buy a boat there.
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Old 17-01-2015, 22:05   #6
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Re: Boat shop with me!

Thanks for the tips everyone! Really wanted some indication of whether the price levels in T&T seemed realistic, and it appears that they are too high to others as well. I really like the Miura too-great mix of sailing qualities and berth space.

For what it's worth, I looked extensively over three months in the VI and STM as well, but there were fewer boats available in this quality and price range. T&T was really the only place that had a depth of boats in this category; I think because of its status as a hurricane harbor and a major repair center.

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Old 18-01-2015, 09:32   #7
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Re: Boat shop with me!

The Muira 31 is an amazing boat, really a rubust go anywhere type of yacht. Just need to negotiate the price downwards. In South Africa these have a formidable reputation and sell as soon as they come on the market (sadly, long out of production). This is one 'pocket' cruiser that I would happily take anywhere.
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Old 18-01-2015, 09:36   #8
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Re: Boat shop with me!

I'm biased, as I really like Cal 34s. At that price, it may be worth a look.
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Old 18-01-2015, 09:59   #9
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Old 03-02-2015, 11:44   #10
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Re: Boat shop with me!

Thanks for the help everyone! I ended up putting in an offer on the Miura 31. Unfortunately, however, the owner had privately sold the boat a week before I was even aware of it, and neglected to tell the broker. The broker and I only learned of this after hours of research (on my part) and lots of back and forth. Disappointing as I thought the broker was great and the offer fair, and was really looking forward to getting on it!

I have a discussion ongoing on an Aquarius 24 in Curacao, but it's got a lot of issues (bad wiring, diesel engine ripped out, torn sail - none of which make the boat impossible, just more work) and I doubt the owner will get to a price that makes it worthwhile, plus there's the hassle of buying and repairing outside the US. So, I'll probably fly to Florida next week, rent a car, and spend a lot of time just checking out boats! Thanks again for the help everyone.

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