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Old 09-05-2014, 06:19   #1
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Buying my First Sailboat!

Hi. I'm brand new to the forum and looking at buying my first boat.We have done a couple of bareboat charters before in Greece and the BVI but never owned our own boat. The goal is to play with it and improve our sailing for about 6 months and then head to the USVI to live aboard.

This is the boat we are looking at. Any thoughts or advice by the experts here would be greatly appreciated. Already have a surveyor lined up. We are going aboard for the first time tomorrow.

Used 2001 Hunter Passage 420, Norfolk, Va - 23518 - BoatTrader.com#

Apparently it also has an air conditioner, 200W inverter and watermaker installed in addition to what's listed.

The wife wanted to buy one of the Moorings Benateaus coming out of their fleet but they seem to have too many cabins for what we need (wasted space) and look to be pretty stripped down (expensive to outfit).

Thanks!
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Old 09-05-2014, 06:42   #2
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Re: Buying my first sailboat!

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Originally Posted by atexasex View Post
........................ they seem to have too many cabins for what we need (wasted space) ..........
Welcome to the community! You will likely have some comments here with strong opinions about the choice of vessel manufacturer, but I won't address that issue other than to say I don't see any real negatives.

I was intrigued about this interpretation of "wasted space". I would assume that the space "gained" by having fewer cabins would be having larger cabins; however, I would suggest that the larger cabin space does not produce more functional space, but only a greater air space between where people sit. This may be important "psychological" space for some, but I would consider it wasted. Conversely, the added cabins can supply separate space for other activities,- workshop, private independance, separate storage, nav station, pantry, etc.
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Old 09-05-2014, 07:03   #3
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pirate Re: Buying my First Sailboat!

I'll second the above regards the extra cabin or two..
As to the Bene's being basic.. that's an advantage in a way.. first they're going to be cheaper so later year for the same price or.. significantly less for the same year as the 'kitted out' Hunter.
In 2005 I bought a 2001 Bene 331 from Moorings in Tortola.. asking price was $65K.. I paid $60K.. I then sailed her to St Martin where I had a custom SS solar Arch/Davit built and fitted, 2x130w Solar panels to go on it, an Aerogen wind generator, a 290 inflatable and 5hp O/B for another $10K... including other small stuff like rope and fenders etc..
The advantage.. everything was brand new.. warranted and good for the rest of the time I was to own the boat..
Buy in the BVI's and sail the 80 odd miles and kit her out in the cheapest market around.. its worth one night beating into weather..
http://www.bviyachtsales.com/core/li...=bviyachtsales&
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Old 09-05-2014, 07:05   #4
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Re: Buying my First Sailboat!

I guess what I liked about the 420 was the big aft cabin. The other boats we have looked at online don't really have a main sleeping compartment this design strikes me as more comfortable ofr a liveaboard. It has the forward berth for storage and the whenever any of the kids come down.
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Old 09-05-2014, 08:10   #5
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Re: Buying my First Sailboat!

Quote:
Originally Posted by atexasex View Post
I guess what I liked about the 420 was the big aft cabin. The other boats we have looked at online don't really have a main sleeping compartment this design strikes me as more comfortable ofr a liveaboard. It has the forward berth for storage and the whenever any of the kids come down.
Hi atexasex and welcome to the forum.

I am also a fan of aft cabins but be aware that this can be a hot topic among cruisers. Just slightly below religion, politics, anchors and guns.

The benefits I like are several. As you note, it gives more privacy when you have guests on board. For me even more important, I want a cabin with a bed that I just get into and go to sleep. I do not want to pull out, lift up, drop down or otherwise make a bed every night.

Most sailors in smaller boats use the forepeak as the double bed but it seems 99% of the time the forepeak ends up as a sail locker, fender storage, catchall so you have to toss all that out to find the bed. Plus at sea the forepeak is usually too bouncy for sleeping.

Main recommendation, on any used boat make sure you get a really good survey. I wouldn't sweat the small stuff but focus on the big, expensive issues. Things like electronics are not super cheap but in the overall scheme of things are easily replaceable and most have a finite life span anyway. A long list of minor maintenance issues is also not serious. Pumps, plumbing, minor wiring issues and such are normal and with reasonable DIY skills not that expensive.

Focus on major structural things like hull, deck, bulkheads, keel, rigging. Sails figure about $3-$4k each. New rigging about the same. All doable, just factor into your bid and budget. But if you run into major structural problems; delaminated decks, detached bulkheads, bad hull/deck joint it could cost a LOT.

Good luck.
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Old 09-05-2014, 11:11   #6
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Re: Buying my First Sailboat!

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.......................
........................ Most sailors in smaller boats use the forepeak as the double bed but it seems 99% of the time the forepeak ends up as a sail locker, fender storage, catchall so you have to toss all that out to find the bed. Plus at sea the forepeak is usually too bouncy for sleeping. ..................
We have a fairly large aft cabin, but we would never sleep there when cruising. It's nice with the air conditioning at the dock or in cooler weather, but we do a lot of warm weather cruising and our aft cabin never gets the cool breeze and ventilation that is available in our V-berth while we are anchored an facing into the wind. Many aft cabins are not well suited for good ventilation.
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Old 09-05-2014, 11:41   #7
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Re: Buying my First Sailboat!

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We have a fairly large aft cabin, but we would never sleep there when cruising. It's nice with the air conditioning at the dock or in cooler weather, but we do a lot of warm weather cruising and our aft cabin never gets the cool breeze and ventilation that is available in our V-berth while we are anchored an facing into the wind. Many aft cabins are not well suited for good ventilation.
That can certainly be an issue. I have lived on a aft cabin boats that had very good and very bad air circulation in the aft cabin. My last boat had a large companionway but no hatch at all in the aft cabin. Got warm at times until I added a hatch.

Learned to sail on an OI36, little sister to your boat. Been several years but as I recall the ventilation in that cabin wasn't bad.
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Old 09-05-2014, 11:45   #8
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Re: Buying my First Sailboat!

If you've fallen in love with that particular boat then your search is over.

I'll just state that there are so many, many more different makers and designs for sale and it is a buyers market.

kindest regards,
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Old 09-05-2014, 11:46   #9
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pirate Re: Buying my First Sailboat!

The trick is.. use the fore cabin on the hook.. cooler and the chain warns you when the wind shifts or picks up..
Use the aft cabin while under way.. quieter and more comfortable..
Its what I used to do.. though more often it was a quarter berth..
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Old 09-05-2014, 11:49   #10
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Re: Buying my First Sailboat!

Since the subject of aft cabin ventilation came up, from the photos it looks like the Hunter you are looking at is a center cockpit, aft cabin with a bit hatch in the cabin. I

chartered a Hunter once with aft cockpit, aft cabin and the cabins had very little ventilation. In warm weather they were uninhabitable without running the air conditioner.

By the way, I have to make a confession. When I first looked at your handle I read it as a-tex-a-sex and wondered what it might imply. Second look I realized it should be a-texas-ex (anything to do with the George Strait song?). Guess I need to think cleaner thoughts.
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Old 09-05-2014, 12:03   #11
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Re: Buying my First Sailboat!

Pre survey stuff for your first visit

Boat Inspection Trip Tips - SailboatOwners.com
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Old 09-05-2014, 14:17   #12
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Re: Buying my First Sailboat!

I checked out the photos and there seems to be a very large electronics display hindering your view of everything you need to be watching. Did I misinterpret the photos? I'm not fond of center cockpit boats with high freeboard because when you look forward you don't see the whole boat and to have the view intererrupted with a plethora of electronic displays hinders your ability to sail well even more. Just my opinion of course.
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Old 09-05-2014, 15:11   #13
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Re: Buying my First Sailboat!

Quote:
Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
Since the subject of aft cabin ventilation came up, from the photos it looks like the Hunter you are looking at is a center cockpit, aft cabin with a bit hatch in the cabin. I

chartered a Hunter once with aft cockpit, aft cabin and the cabins had very little ventilation. In warm weather they were uninhabitable without running the air conditioner.

By the way, I have to make a confession. When I first looked at your handle I read it as a-tex-a-sex and wondered what it might imply. Second look I realized it should be a-texas-ex (anything to do with the George Strait song?). Guess I need to think cleaner thoughts.
I went to the University of Texas back in the day and our alumni association is called 'The Texas Exes' I get the same thing from my Texas football forum where I am sometimes referred to as atexas-no-sex.
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Old 09-05-2014, 15:30   #14
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Re: Buying my First Sailboat!

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I checked out the photos and there seems to be a very large electronics display hindering your view of everything you need to be watching. Did I misinterpret the photos? I'm not fond of center cockpit boats with high freeboard because when you look forward you don't see the whole boat and to have the view intererrupted with a plethora of electronic displays hinders your ability to sail well even more. Just my opinion of course.
Not sure I quite understand what you're saying.

The center cockpit boats I have sailed I thought the view of the boat better than my aft cockpit boats but maybe you're referring just to the large electronics pod? Fortunately I was never rich enough to own a boat with a giant display like that.

The only thing I couldn't see from the center cockpit without turning around was the back deck and transom. I did have to tilt my head back a little further to look at the main to check the trim. Otherwise sitting higher up I felt like I had a better view.

When docking the view from a center cockpit was great. I had a 65' aft cockpit ketch and usually had no idea where the bow was and what it was doing when I was docking.
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Old 09-05-2014, 15:40   #15
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Re: Buying my First Sailboat!

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Originally Posted by SkiprJohn View Post
I checked out the photos and there seems to be a very large electronics display hindering your view of everything you need to be watching. Did I misinterpret the photos? I'm not fond of center cockpit boats with high freeboard because when you look forward you don't see the whole boat and to have the view intererrupted with a plethora of electronic displays hinders your ability to sail well even more. Just my opinion of course.
My thoughts exactly. the console seems to block your view from the helm. Hopefully its just the angle from the photo but I'll know more tomorrow.
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