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Old 16-12-2013, 15:56   #1
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Buying my first boat, thoughts?

Hey all, how's it going? I've been searching for my first boat for awhile and your forum has proved invaluable in answering nearly all of my questions, so I figured this would be a good place to introduce myself and get some help.

I've finally made the leap and am buying my first sailboat, hopefully in just over a month.

A little about me, I've grown up around boats (my father operated a marina for a large part of my childhood) and have always loved them, unfortunately I lived around powerboats my whole life, by the time I was old enough to start enjoying them on my own (read: money) I was landlocked without the ability to purchase a nice boat.

I'll be moving to South Florida and am looking for something I can liveaboard comfortably yet take on voyages once I reach that skill level. No wife or kids so there's no one to please but myself in this decision.

I've got my current selection narrowed down to three based on whats available in the area: a Tanzer 28, a Seafarer 26, and a Cal 34. All are available for under 5k, in various states of disrepair, and come (almost) complete yet seaworthy. I have the carpentry and mechanical know-how to fix everything, and have some neat upgrade ideas I can't wait to float past everyone once the time comes.

So my question is, any thoughts or recommendations on these boats? I have read every page available here on all of these models, and have a pretty good idea of the direction I'm going in, just wondering if anyone had anything else to add.

Thank you much, and happy sailing!
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Old 16-12-2013, 16:04   #2
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pirate Re: Buying my first boat, thoughts?

Bigger is better. Plus the Cal is two three steps up as a sailboat.
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Old 16-12-2013, 16:08   #3
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Re: Buying my first boat, thoughts?

One of the things I forgot to mention, but kind of implied, for at least the time being I will be sailling solo, so I want to make sure I don't get too much boat to handle myself
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Old 16-12-2013, 16:45   #4
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Re: Buying my first boat, thoughts?

How much time and money do you plan to put into the boat and how long do you intend to keep.

The cal 34 would suit me for the long haul, so I would buy that, fix it up and keep it for the long haul. You get a return on the time and money you spend fixing her up.

If I just wanted to learn to sail on a manageably sized boat with the intention of trading up in 3 to 5 years, I would buy the seafarer.
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Old 16-12-2013, 17:13   #5
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He wants to live on it, pretty much means the 34 I think?
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Old 16-12-2013, 17:28   #6
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Re: Buying my first boat, thoughts?

Whatever I buy I'm planning on keeping for quite a while, versus the trade-up scenario. I'm estimating another 5k in repairs, on the very, very low end, to get her truly ready (motor parts, bottom paint, anything else that comes up wrong.) (The more realistic number I come up with is closer to 10k, spaced over the next 1.5-2 years)

Another question, how much trouble am I getting myself into trying to do repairs while she sits in the water/I live on her? Basic carpentry and motor maintenance should be no problem but if something like replacing ports or the rudder comes up, I'm thinking it starts to get a little bit more difficult...
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Old 16-12-2013, 18:36   #7
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Originally Posted by strqaightv8 View Post
Whatever I buy I'm planning on keeping for quite a while, versus the trade-up scenario. I'm estimating another 5k in repairs, on the very, very low end, to get her truly ready (motor parts, bottom paint, anything else that comes up wrong.) (The more realistic number I come up with is closer to 10k, spaced over the next 1.5-2 years)

Another question, how much trouble am I getting myself into trying to do repairs while she sits in the water/I live on her? Basic carpentry and motor maintenance should be no problem but if something like replacing ports or the rudder comes up, I'm thinking it starts to get a little bit more difficult...
As long as you don't need to do work below the waterline, you can do most of the repairs in the slip. For larger projects where the boat will be torn apart for a few days, get a hotel for two or three nights while you're working on it so you don't have to get halfway through something then stop to clean up the boat before bed.
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Old 16-12-2013, 18:54   #8
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Re: Buying my first boat, thoughts?

Yeh.. as others have said , the Cal for liveaboard. Though its going to cost you a lot more money to fix up compared to 26ft boat. Replacing the rigging alone will probably be double, as you need heavier gauge everything and longer runs of it of course.

Work out a budget on repairs then double it! You will be surprised how fast a boat can drain your bank account..
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Old 16-12-2013, 19:00   #9
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Re: Buying my first boat, thoughts?

Supposedly, the sails and rigging are in fair shape, I'm going to take a look at it this coming weekend. It seems the Cal is the winner by far, so my next question is will this be a suitable vessel for long voyages? Bahamas are my first thought as I'll be so close to begin with
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Old 16-12-2013, 19:36   #10
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pirate Re: Buying my first boat, thoughts?

I think I'd go for the Tanzer.. simple to maintain steerage and cheap AP... cheaper on rig and sails.. fair performance and big enough for a person to live on...
Not keen on wheel steering.. if the AP screws up its a real drag at the wheel for long spells.. a tiller however is a doddle.. you can vary styles and positions for a break..
Would beef up the pintles tho'
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Old 16-12-2013, 19:36   #11
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Re: Buying my first boat, thoughts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by strqaightv8 View Post
Supposedly, the sails and rigging are in fair shape, I'm going to take a look at it this coming weekend. It seems the Cal is the winner by far, so my next question is will this be a suitable vessel for long voyages? Bahamas are my first thought as I'll be so close to begin with
My first question is how long have you been looking. It took me six months to find my boat and lots of driving from to several different locations.

Lots of folks would say the most important thing for cruising in the Bahamas, or almost any where for that matter, is ground tackle. While not everyone agrees on what anchor is best everyone agrees everyone you need a good anchor, chain, and knowledge on how to anchor.
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Old 16-12-2013, 19:37   #12
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Re: Buying my first boat, thoughts?

Quote:
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It seems the Cal is the winner by far, so my next question is will this be a suitable vessel for long voyages? Bahamas are my first thought as I'll be so close to begin with
Yes, it's suitable for long voyages.

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Old 16-12-2013, 19:47   #13
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Re: Buying my first boat, thoughts?

I've been looking for just over 2 months, and have visited several already. Of what I've seen so far, nothing has jumped out at me and declared, "I'm your boat!" All three of these might fall in the same category, but from what I've learned so far at least one of them should fit the bill nicely.

As far as anchoring goes, I'll be taking the extra money I'll be saving on rent (minus savings for parts and maintenance) and investing in as many sailing classes and outings as I can
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Old 16-12-2013, 19:48   #14
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Re: Buying my first boat, thoughts?

And as far as tiller vs. wheel goes, I'm waiting to find out the year the Cal was produced, the first model had a tiller (at least according to the internet)
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Old 17-12-2013, 07:31   #15
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pirate Re: Buying my first boat, thoughts?

Really, I am a fan of learning how to sail in a dinghy. However, that is the old-fashioned view these days when 40' boats are no longer considered large. For many, a Cal 34 would be a lifetime boat.

Boatman's comments, as usual, are right on the mark. I sure wish my Cal had tiller steering, and the day that steering cable breaks, it may have. I'd like to have my cockpit back. The wheel placement effectively cuts the space in half. Critical space for a liveaboard ... no biggie for a day sailer.
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