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Old 06-01-2015, 09:20   #31
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Re: Cheap boats for the Keys

Start with flying over to the Bahamas and renting a boat, after two weeks you both feel this is right then you are ready.
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Old 06-01-2015, 10:18   #32
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Re: Cheap boats for the Keys

If I had that kind of schedule and money I would. I am to busy throughout the week to take off long enough to make a trip to Florida worth it. My plan is to practice on our lakes here in central texas and as many day trips over the weekend to Galveston, Corpus Christy, Port Aransa, etc. Once my dad and I feel competent and have all the supplies I want to schedule a month to sail the keys and to the Bahamas.

My wife will probably come with us on the trip so I want a boat that can comfortably sleep three people. We are all rugged experienced backpackers use to sleeping in tents up in the mountains and deserts. So, cramp quarters aren't bad. I don't except to sleep more than 2 days on the boat before docking somewhere to stay in a hotel or set up a tent. This is why a 26' seems fine. And being able to trailer the boat means I can drive the boat down to the keys when we're ready, instead of sailing across the Gulf or along the coast. I would think a 26' is a little small for 3 people out to sea for 5-7 days straight. Not impossible, just not that comfortable. I kind of think of the sailboat, for the trip I want to do, as a SUV on the ocean. We're going to use it to hop from one island to the next. Maybe after this trip I'll consider a larger boat and a trip to the Mediterranean
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Old 06-01-2015, 11:46   #33
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Re: Cheap boats for the Keys

I saw a Macgregor 26 on Ebay last night. It's not a boat I'd ever recommend but if that's what you want you might want to check it out.
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Old 06-01-2015, 11:55   #34
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Re: Cheap boats for the Keys

Rather than looking for a specific boat, you might try just trolling craigslist 2-3 times a day and when a great deal pops up on a boat in your size/price range, do some quick research on that make/model and jump on it because they go quick.

I've bought 4 sailboats this way and just finished purchasing my first cruiser the same way.
I jumped on it within a day of it being posted. The previous owner said they were getting so many calls they quit answering while waiting on me to get the cash. People even figured out the location from the pics and just started showing up when she had quit answering, so you definitely have to act fast when it's a good deal.

picked up a 28 footer, got a brand new engine for it, new gps/fishfinder/chart plotter, new batteries, rewired all the DC wiring to fit my needs as well as a whole bunch of small things and cosmetic repairs and I am just now getting to around 5,500 for the whole project.(not including slip fees of course)
It's not something I would cross the gulf with by any means, but it's great for the bay. I've yet to try it out on the coast but I'm sure it would do fine.

Like someone else said if there's a will there's a way. You just need to be patient a wait for deals and when outfitting/making repairs, a lot of times used stuff is just as good or better than new(with the exception of electronics maybe) from my limited experience.
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Old 06-01-2015, 12:04   #35
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Re: Cheap boats for the Keys

Well, you have posted the ultimate challenge here... a trailerable, shallow draft beachable boat that can safely take 3 somewhat inexperienced folks to the Bahamas.. and be really cheap too. That's a tall order. Does it have to be beachable? Macgregors are cheap for a reason and I think they were really designed only for sailing on lakes. If you are close to Galveston and Corpus Christi it might be wise to shop around there. Don't mean to be too discouraging, but don't skimp on seaworthiness is my advice.
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Old 06-01-2015, 12:13   #36
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Re: Cheap boats for the Keys

Maybe I missed it, but what's your price range?

I'm asking because mine is docked in Kemah and I drive by boats for sale multiple times per week.
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Old 06-01-2015, 13:27   #37
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Re: Cheap boats for the Keys

Price range under $5k. I was hoping to get one for around $1000-1500 and put another $4-5k in fixing it up or improvements. I have read several article of people getting free boast and fixing them themselves, DIY.

I have read several posts and blogs of people sailing the keys/bahamas in the 26 macgregor. There is a video of the 26m out in gail force winds with 10-15 foot seas. This is the powersailer with water ballast. I am not saying I would want to be out in those conditions, just that it appears the boat can handle it.

Since I am not an expert sailor I will not suppose to give any lectures, but pose some questions for thought. People are sailing blue water with mini/pocket cruisers 15-20 foot boats. Flat bottom, no keel. No toilet, no motor, no nothing. Something that floats and has a sail. They appear to be doing this safely, not just taking a huge risk. I have more often than not heard from "experts" in a field that certain things are just impossible only to find out they are very doable and many people are doing it.

(We are remodeling our master bathroom and have had this happen many times. Each expert you ask you get a different answer. As I am not a plumber i had to spend hours on the computer and talking to plumbers about how to fix our special problem. I eventually got it done myself).

You search google for article on the Mac 26 and you get "would never sail one ever" and you also find "I love this boat have sailed it everywhere." As a novice this is very frustrating because you'd hope to find pretty solid advice, objective, that does not sway based on who you ask. The Cal and Hunters are built very similar, material and process, to the Mac so I am not sure why one would be better or worse than the other (I just mean the hull). I can always finish out the boat with better equipment, upgrade what it has.

It seems to me that the most important thing is keeping track of the weather and having a good safety procedure incase anything happens. Calling for help in the event the boat capsizes, which I hope never happens. I have also read that the majority of deaths from sailing occur around docks or from someone falling off the boat without a PFD, not from capsizing. So what is so bad about a Mac 26s out in the ocean?

Anyway, all the advice is welcomed and I really appreciate everyone taking the time to respond to my questions. Thanks.
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Old 06-01-2015, 13:58   #38
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Re: Cheap boats for the Keys

Quote:
Originally Posted by dadsdream View Post
Price range under $5k. I was hoping to get one for around $1000-1500 and put another $4-5k in fixing it up or improvements. I have read several article of people getting free boast and fixing them themselves, DIY.

I have read several posts and blogs of people sailing the keys/bahamas in the 26 macgregor. There is a video of the 26m out in gail force winds with 10-15 foot seas. This is the powersailer with water ballast. I am not saying I would want to be out in those conditions, just that it appears the boat can handle it.

Since I am not an expert sailor I will not suppose to give any lectures, but pose some questions for thought. People are sailing blue water with mini/pocket cruisers 15-20 foot boats. Flat bottom, no keel. No toilet, no motor, no nothing. Something that floats and has a sail. They appear to be doing this safely, not just taking a huge risk. I have more often than not heard from "experts" in a field that certain things are just impossible only to find out they are very doable and many people are doing it.

(We are remodeling our master bathroom and have had this happen many times. Each expert you ask you get a different answer. As I am not a plumber i had to spend hours on the computer and talking to plumbers about how to fix our special problem. I eventually got it done myself).

You search google for article on the Mac 26 and you get "would never sail one ever" and you also find "I love this boat have sailed it everywhere." As a novice this is very frustrating because you'd hope to find pretty solid advice, objective, that does not sway based on who you ask. The Cal and Hunters are built very similar, material and process, to the Mac so I am not sure why one would be better or worse than the other (I just mean the hull). I can always finish out the boat with better equipment, upgrade what it has.

It seems to me that the most important thing is keeping track of the weather and having a good safety procedure incase anything happens. Calling for help in the event the boat capsizes, which I hope never happens. I have also read that the majority of deaths from sailing occur around docks or from someone falling off the boat without a PFD, not from capsizing. So what is so bad about a Mac 26s out in the ocean?

Anyway, all the advice is welcomed and I really appreciate everyone taking the time to respond to my questions. Thanks.
I have been following this for awhile. Great luck with your dream. A McGregor is not the boat. Great day sailor not at all designed for your quest. I don't believe it was ever touted as such. Find a boat meant for or designed for off shore or coastal sailing. Preferable close to home were you can work on it. Again good luck, I don't what to hear you and yours have drowned.

I've been in the gulf with the shallow water running 15 foot. My son worked a 130fter from West Palm to the Bahamas, he has put on his wet suit once.

For what it may or hopefully is worth.
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Old 06-01-2015, 14:31   #39
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Re: Cheap boats for the Keys

Quote:
Originally Posted by dadsdream View Post
Price range under $5k. I was hoping to get one for around $1000-1500 and put another $4-5k in fixing it up or improvements. I have read several article of people getting free boast and fixing them themselves, DIY.

I have read several posts and blogs of people sailing the keys/bahamas in the 26 macgregor. There is a video of the 26m out in gail force winds with 10-15 foot seas. This is the powersailer with water ballast. I am not saying I would want to be out in those conditions, just that it appears the boat can handle it.

Since I am not an expert sailor I will not suppose to give any lectures, but pose some questions for thought. People are sailing blue water with mini/pocket cruisers 15-20 foot boats. Flat bottom, no keel. No toilet, no motor, no nothing. Something that floats and has a sail. They appear to be doing this safely, not just taking a huge risk. I have more often than not heard from "experts" in a field that certain things are just impossible only to find out they are very doable and many people are doing it.

(We are remodeling our master bathroom and have had this happen many times. Each expert you ask you get a different answer. As I am not a plumber i had to spend hours on the computer and talking to plumbers about how to fix our special problem. I eventually got it done myself).

You search google for article on the Mac 26 and you get "would never sail one ever" and you also find "I love this boat have sailed it everywhere." As a novice this is very frustrating because you'd hope to find pretty solid advice, objective, that does not sway based on who you ask. The Cal and Hunters are built very similar, material and process, to the Mac so I am not sure why one would be better or worse than the other (I just mean the hull). I can always finish out the boat with better equipment, upgrade what it has.

It seems to me that the most important thing is keeping track of the weather and having a good safety procedure incase anything happens. Calling for help in the event the boat capsizes, which I hope never happens. I have also read that the majority of deaths from sailing occur around docks or from someone falling off the boat without a PFD, not from capsizing. So what is so bad about a Mac 26s out in the ocean?

Anyway, all the advice is welcomed and I really appreciate everyone taking the time to respond to my questions. Thanks.
I think your problem is it's the internet. Anyone can do some google searches and piece together a few paragraphs that make it look like they know WTF they are talking about.

Is a mac 26 okay for the open ocean? I have no idea because I've never been on any extended trips in the ocean.
I've sailed IN the ocean in my 14ft laser with 6ft swells and it's did fine. I could have took a video to prove it...hell, there ARE video's of lasers sailing in those conditions.
Hell, I'd be willing to bet you could modify one and equip it to cross an ocean.
You can drive a car with no hands, too.
I think it comes down to how much risk you are comfortable with, really.
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Old 06-01-2015, 15:10   #40
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Re: Cheap boats for the Keys

I think the problem is Walmart. How do you explain to someone that quality matters more than price, especially in a boat.
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Old 06-01-2015, 15:48   #41
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Re: Cheap boats for the Keys

Well I think he probably kind of gets that, but his budget is making him lean toward the mac 26 because he can put it on a trailer.

Here's a serious suggestion:
get the mac 26 and drive to Miami, then go to the Bahamas from there when the weather is good. It will be way safer and your dad will still get to sail to the Bahamas.

Otherwise go for a boat in serious need of TLC that is of higher build quality to begin with.(maybe it needs some large fiberglass areas repaired and you could learn to do fiber glass for example...still gonna cost you for materials though)
Also I am not sure how you would get around the having to trailer it issue...
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Old 06-01-2015, 16:12   #42
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Re: Cheap boats for the Keys

The only thing that seems unsafe about a Mac 26s is being to far out without a way to get back if rough seas and weather strike. And since the 26s has a positive buoyancy, the boat shouldn't sink if it turtles. I never plan on taking it to far from shore.

Bahamas are only 64 miles from Islandmorada, one long sailing day around 12hrs. I guess anything can happen out their, but there are people doing it in Mac 26s. Just google it, or go to youtube and watch the videos. This is not just a paragraph here and there. I like to think I am a thorough person, have a Masters Degree in Sociology and associates in carpentry. I tend to take anything said with a grain of salt and weigh all the arguments.

However, I don't want to make a foolish decision and do something truly stupid. I guess if I get a Mac and sail it around the lakes and then the coast a bit I'll get a better feel for how unstable it may be. If it's not the right one I can always try and sell it and get a better one.
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Old 06-01-2015, 17:33   #43
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Re: Cheap boats for the Keys

Well, you original post indicated that part of your plan was to sail across the gulf which would extremely ballsy.

Islamorada to the bahamas is a lot different than over a thousand miles across an open ocean.

Even then i think it is still a matter of how much risk you are willing to take. Sure it'll probably be okay, but if the forecast is wrong and get stuck out there in a storm, good luck.

I think your idea of sailing it on the coast to get a feel for it is a more realistic idea, but speaking from experience, get ready to take a huge loss if you do decide to sell it instead of making the trip.,.especially if you spend a bunch of time and money fixing up a "free" boat...don't expect ANY of that repair/upgrade money back when you sell.

There is a common saying that goes something like "the most expensive boat you can buy is a free one" and I don't think it became popular for no reason. Just saying...I'm pretty handy myself, but the cost of marine grade materials/products is no joke.
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Old 06-01-2015, 18:52   #44
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Re: Cheap boats for the Keys

Agreed. And yes originally I was thinking about coastal sailing along gulf or straight across. But I quickly realized that would require a much larger boat and more money. Also, after talking with my dad it appeared he didn't really want to be out on open water for a week or more at one time. He's over seventy now and loosing his eye sight. Driving him down to the Keys and using a boat to jump to the Bahamas would make him die a happy man. Not that he's dying anytime soon. And maybe after that trip he'll be a little more adventures. He's getting a lot out of sailing the Holder 14 we own.
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Old 06-01-2015, 19:16   #45
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Re: Cheap boats for the Keys

This looks like a job for a Westerly. Small, stout, slow, roomy, and seaworthy. I know there are Westerly fans on the forum, so they may chime in.
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