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Old 08-04-2007, 20:33   #16
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If I understand the situation....you have a boat that you have refit but it has left you financially strapped, so you need to sell it. You still want to sail. You would like to go long-range cruising eventually. Well - the best thing to do is to work up. Buy a smaller boat right now - pay it off, while working on it. Then sell it, and go out and buy something that costs twice as much. Do the same thing.

Let's say you start with a boat for 15K. You should be able to pay that off over two or three years. If you put 5 to 7K into it, you should be able to sell it for 17.5K Now you have 17K to go out and buy something else for 35 to 40K. Pay this off in three years. Now you can start looking at boats that can be turned into serious cruising machines.

You're not setting yourself back any appreciable amount of time, and the interest that you are going to pay on a 15K loan is a lot less than you'll pay if you go out and get a loan for 50K. You end up farther ahead.

Put in whatever figures work for you, but you get the general idea...

Most people work up to their "dreamboats" this way, which is why it is unusual to see a thirty year with a forty five foot boat.
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Old 08-04-2007, 23:55   #17
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Back of envelope calculations...

Sean

I did some quick calculations with what I have been able to work out of your financial situation and I can see where you are coming from.

If I can venture an observation it would appear that you want to go cruising in one to two years and it is not really possible (short of a miracle occurring) under five years.

Is it possible to develop a five year plan?
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Old 09-04-2007, 00:52   #18
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If you put 5 to 7K into it, you should be able to sell it for 17.5K Now you have 17K to go out and buy something else for 35 to 40K.
I dunno. It's a gamble. It's not often that you can make money on doing up boats. It takes a lot of work.
The first hurdle Sean has to overcome is selling his own boat. He has already tried and only got tire kickers and wierdo's. Selling a boat is hard to do. It's easy to buy a boat but very hard to sell.
If you go the fixup route, then you have to be patient to wait for the right deal and right boat. You need something that will actualy be worth something when you have finished. Actually, not just worth something, but worth what you put into it. I don't often see that happen. Those older boat take a lot of work and equipment and I have never yet seen one sell that has returned to the owner what they have put into it. Sean has already put a lot into what he has now and I doubt he will ever see a return on his hard work. Honestly, I think it would be a step backwards. There simply has to be another way. Or you have to think totaly the opposite and that is go for something real cheap that will be the size you want and just live with it. Doing the old fix up and change but not to the extent that it stps you from sailign and traveling. That's the route I went. We have the boat, we use it, and in my spare time I make changes and improvements. But if I ever have to sell, I will never get out what I put in. It may look great, but it is still a boat that has an "expected market value".
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Old 09-04-2007, 04:23   #19
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Sean,

I appreciate it is always easy to criticise (especially when you have been way more forthcoming about your situation than others would have been)........but I think your numbers only start to "add up" if you exclude the value of your time and effort in your most lucrative day job (I forget what you are now doing - but am guessing that Computer Mumbo jumbo something or other can still be fairly well paid).........I appreciate that your most lucrative day job may not be something you WANT to do........but this, to be blunt, puts you in the same boat as most of the rest of us.

If you are trying to finance a lifestyle revolving around 40 foot boats and cruising off into the WBY purely from doing work you like / when you want it without making some real sacrifices then IMO you simply won't get where you want to be, let alone in the sort of timescale you are after.

If I was you I would EITHER put my nose to the grindstone work wise (no matter how much I hated the day job) for a couple of years and pay off the existing boat......or buy something pretty much ready to go, but far smaller and cheaper (30 foot?) and use the cash you have left over to sail away for a couple of years until the cash runs out. Forget the idea that the new boat has to be the one that you keep until aged 95 - it will work out cheaper as well if when spending money you say to yourself "will this be worth doing when it comes to resale?"........The boat won't be as spacious or tailored to your needs as you would like and you won't make money when you come to sell the 30 footer, but at least you won't be tied to the dock......... come and hit Europe - I'll buy you and the missus a pint or 10

This is meant to be constructive. Honest. (and no, I am not going to share all the stuff I have / continue to struggle with )

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Old 09-04-2007, 08:32   #20
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Love the advice!

Love the advice, guys. Thank you. I agree that the only way we're going to be able to cruise is through a 5 year plan consisting of more paid work for others.

I have a follow up question regarding fixing up old boats:

I have located a very well built steel vessel that has been neglected to the point of a dozen holes below the waterline, interior filled with dirt (soil, mushrooms?) and rotting wood and generally a boat that's inches from the graveyard. However, it's got a lot of potential and could be made sailable by welding new plates below the waterline, repainting and installing all these new systems:

*water (not including tanks or fixtures)
*electrical upgrade
*refrigeration
*power generation
*house and starting batteries
*windlass

It's old... really old. It looks like garbage inside, but we don't care about that. We are not out to impress people with our interior. Outside, it's a respectable boat, which looks fit to be at fancy docks like the one we're at right now.

Is learning about welding and replating a boat really that much harder than any of the other billion marine-related skills I have learned over my lifetime?

Are there massive costs associated with the steel plates? What about welders? How about the sand blaster? How about the epoxy paints to keep the steel in shape after it's completed?

Can all of the above add up to more than say.. $30 or $40K? I don't see that happening, unless the steel and welder are insanely expensive.

I ask because this boat may be mostly "donated" to us since it is in such bad shape. It's basically ready for a compactor and dumpster if we don't step in. Would that make it worthwhile from the point of view of those who think that it would be a bad idea to switch boats?

To paint a clearer financial picture, we have financed just about our entire boat value (you can see what they're worth on Yachtworld - 1987 Gulfstar Hirsh). This boat could be rebuilt for far FAR less than the amount we owe on the Gulfstar. Plus, it would outlive us and everyone on this forum. Even if we were to spend $50K refitting this other steel boat, wouldn't we be doing better than paying interest and paying off a loan on a nearly $100K loan?

Any more input would be greatly appreciated. Our problem is we tend to go 'round and 'round in circles because there are only two of us. We have no parents (they both disowned us for the most part when we became liveaboards). The advice I get on here is the only input I have other than my wife's... so... it's extremely useful.

Hey, even if you want to write in to call me a stupid SOB, I'm game for it if it helps me to make the correct decision. ha ha ha

Oh, and PS:

Selling our boat has turned into the most simple thing to do. Our asking price is well below market value and we had close to a dozen interested parties (as in ready to put offers and deposits) once we took her off the market in the fall. We have brokers with people already lined up to buy.
I think our most difficult thing is going to be finding the right move and re-fitting yet another boat. Live and learn... ha ha
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Old 09-04-2007, 09:07   #21
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OK Sean - As I understand it you will continue to live aboard your existing boat while you work on this one. You are prepared to spend 50K all in on the new boat and when she's ready to live on, sell your existing boat and with the extra cash then sail away - is this right? In the meantime, you will both continue to work at regular jobs and also work on the new boat.

The way I see it, if you owe 100,000 and the boat is worth 100,000 the only capital you might realize from it is the amount you pay it down by while working on the new boat and your existing boat may go down a bit because it will age as well. Therefor, there will not be much accrued capital value in your old boat. So now you've spent 50 K in the new boat from whatever savings or money from working regular jobs and put that into your new boat which will probably not be worth more than and most likely less than the 50K.

So why don't you do this

1. Keep your existing boat - it is your home and you will make payments on it until the other boat would have been finished - say 2 to 3 years.

2. Take the 50K that you were going to use fixing the new boat and make larger principle repayments on the existing boat loan thereby paying it off more quickly and reducing interest expense.

3. The time you would have spent working on the new boat is valuable. Get a part time job or some other source of income using that time and apply that additional money against the loan. Over that 3 years there would be quite a principle reduction.

At the end of that 3 year period or whatever it works out to be, you will have paid off your loan, keep your existing boat which is already completed and ready for your future voyages and not have had to start over again with basically totally rebuilding an old boat. The cost to operate the old boat will not be much more than the new one and if at that time you wish to downsize and pull out your capital from the old boat, you could but a smaller baot outright for say 50K and have the remaining 50K as your cruising kitty. I just feel there are many more variables and unknowns doing it the other way which could go off the rails or take much longer than originally estimated.

Regards, Randy

It whatI would do given all the surprises the new boat will hand you including some costly ones not to mention storage, tools etc.
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Old 09-04-2007, 09:37   #22
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Good input, Randy. Thanks. We are definitely considering doing just that. It is our other option, aside from refitting another old boat.

If I were to tell you we are crazy souls that have lived in a boat we refitted before, and would do so again, would that change your advice?

Not only did we live aboard this boat during a huge refit of the interior and exterior, but we also did so in the winter, heating with a wood stove and cutting and splitting all our own wood. We're not adverse to a little hard work.

So given our ability to live anywhere during a refit, our plan (other than the one you outlined and just staying on our current boat and paying it off) was to simply sell this boat and move onto the unfinished hulk of a boat in the do it yourself boatyard.

Wife would head to work part time while I get the boat liveable for us and floatable. This is because I am the only one who can do many of the projects - her mechanical skills aren't there nor does she want to develop them. She would run off to the marine shops and tool stores in her off time so I could work all day every day on the boat. Costmetic projects and rain leaks, etc... would be put off to be done at anchor.

Just a little more background.... since we did not plan to keep our current boat if we purchased another.
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Old 09-04-2007, 09:38   #23
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Sean

It appears to me that you are in great need of a "project". A steel boat rusted through full of shrooms, Wow! On the face of it selling you boat for this sounds retarded. One thing is for sure you add a lot of drama to this forum. Good luck Sean.

Paul
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Old 09-04-2007, 09:52   #24
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OK Sean - yes that alters my input since you could sell the existing boat and pay off the loan you would not have the extra outlay however, is your bride working part-time going to pay for the refit or do you have funds for that already? If so, then yes being resoucefull and stingy will probably make it work. If you are relying on her part-time income unless it is substantial, it will be difficult to fund the repairs and your living expenses just on her income.

I owned a 30 foot steel sailboat that I outfitted to go ocean cruising but the hull was pretty good when I bought her. I sand blasted it and put on the Sikkens coal tar epoxy system - never had a problem. If you had to replate the entire bottom, which it sounds like you will, there will also be frame members to replace or reinforce and possibly some built in tankage to contend with. If you don't have to get sails and rigging for her, you should be able to do it within or less than your projected budget depending on your level of finish..

Other considerations are - do you have a cruising kitty or do you intend to work for a while after you complete the boat to build a kitty up?

Will you continue to do work for money while cruising.

You've been there so you're not doing this blind so just use your best common sense to plan and figure it out and you'll make the right decisions.

Hope this helps, Randy
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Old 09-04-2007, 10:09   #25
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Thanks again, Randy.

That does help a lot. To answer your question, we already have the refit money to splash the boat and make it just liveable enough, which is all we require. The part time work would be to pay only for our food and whatnot as we work on the project.

We wouldn't need sails or rigging for her right away. Probably new sails in a few years though, just like the boat our bank currently has. (the one we are on)

From what I saw yesterday, there was definitely some tankage to contend with. It looks like some of the rust holes are located behind that tankage.

And yes... we do plan to keep on working in a normal fashion for years after we would finish this refit while living at anchor and/or wintering at docks. Just like we do now. We figure we just aren't well off enough to cruise, so we have basically given up on the idea. We will continue to live and work on our boat (which ever one) at anchor and see if someday we'll be able to head off for a few years. That's the current plan.
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Old 09-04-2007, 10:13   #26
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Originally Posted by Morgan Paul
Sean

It appears to me that you are in great need of a "project". A steel boat rusted through full of shrooms, Wow! On the face of it selling you boat for this sounds retarded. One thing is for sure you add a lot of drama to this forum. Good luck Sean.

Paul
Glad to be of entertainment, Paul.

We aren't so much in great need of a project as great need of a fixing our financial house of cards. ha ha

I appreciate the wishes of good luck. I'm sure we'll need it somewhere along the way.
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Old 09-04-2007, 13:54   #27
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Aloha Sean,
If you want an opinion from someone who has watched friends work themselves to near death and do very little sailing on steel and ferro boats then I will advise that you would be cruising quicker sticking with a (not cored) solid fiberglass hull. The advantage is that even the simplest of people (like me) can repair them. I can weld but not well enough to keep a steel hull afloat for a long time. My friend with a steel German yawl was constantly fighting rust where wet wood was in contact with the steel.
My friend on "My Way" a ferro boat worked for 20 plus years on the boat and never got her sailing. There was rust running down the hull and the ferro was split in many places when I last saw her.
If you like the boat you have then just keep working hard to pay her off. If you are in love with projects, like I am, then get several boats and never finish any of them.
Its good that I belong to a club that has up to 26 foot boats to sail or I would do much sailing for all the work I do on boats.
Good luck in whatever choice you make Sean
Kind Regards,
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Old 09-04-2007, 13:55   #28
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Sean, I hope you know me well enough now to know I am not tryign to poor cold water on the idea. I just want to ensure you have all eyes open.
First fact, Interest is like taking dollar bills and lighting the fire with them. So getting rid of debt is a good thing. So you are on the right track looking at reducing or ending debt.
Welding plants are cheap. You will want a Welder, stick preferable as then you can weld outside in a breeze or wind. You can use Mig and use shielded wire. Mig is fast, easier to use and you don't have the clean up. Mig is a little more expensive than arc, but cheaper to use. You want a gas plant to cut, or spend a little more and get a plasma cutter. Far supperior and easier and leaves a clean cut.
The Steel is not expensive. The working and handling of it is the hassle. Depending on the hull design will determin if you need to shape the plate or use flat plate. Shaping is a lot harder to do.
Without seeing the damage, you may get away with just patching, but I would think more likely you are going to be replacing the entire underwater hull area. Either way, all internals need to be stripped out and the intire hull will need sandblasting and coating. That will be time consuming and expensive. So at worst case if you need to replace all underwater area, I wonder if you should start afresh and build a compleate new hull. Just a thought, but it could be getting that way. Then use all the gear from the old hull to fit onto the new.
You are going to need new rigging.
All in all, this is a major rebuild. If boat is next to free, then maybe it's worth it. Only you can answer this Sean. Go with you gut feeling. If you are uneasy, back away.
If you are SURE you can do it, WANT to do it and feel EXCITED about doing it, go for it. If you don't feel all three of those, back away. Otherwise It will drag you down and destroy your dreams
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Old 09-04-2007, 14:47   #29
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Sean;

Have you read "The Cruising Life" by Jim Trefethen?
From the cover: "How to set sail within five years and live well and adventurously, even if you don't have a boat yet".

It is a good read, and for the most part, his advise makes sense. You broke two of his "Rules" (he does not call then Rules). Bying a boat before you are almost ready to go, and (perhaps) buying too big of a boat. I agree with Alan, at this point, you are most likely better off figuring out how to keep what you got. Or my alternative - buy the best boat you can sail away with for 20k. They are out there, most likely less than 30 feet, but what is important to you?

About the steel boat, honestly, I think you would be making a mistake. If the boat is runted clean through in spots, it is likely to need much of the hull replaced. At that point, you might as well build a boat yourself.

OR buy this: YachtWorld.com Boats and Yachts for Sale=


Or this: YachtWorld.com Boats and Yachts for Sale=

Which is not a Shannon, but Roberts Design, penned by Shannon when he worked for him some years ago.

Chris
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Old 10-04-2007, 07:45   #30
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Sean, I honestly feel you should not get into such a big project of welding and patching a rusted through hull. For one thing, it would take a highly skilled welder and fabricater to do it right and not for a novice with no experience. If the hull has holes and rusted through, then other area's of the hull will be rusted thin. You would also be looking at years and much hard work to get it ready to go.

If your boat is too expensive, then sell it and get rid of that financial burden. Buy yourself a more affordable and less expensive usable boat that you can live on. You might want to look in Florida as there are many boats just sitting that need TLC and for that reason much cheaper than one in pristine condition.

I see frustration ahead of you if you get a rust bucket needing a total refit. So instead of spending your time learning how to weld, spend your time looking for a deal because there are alot of deals out there but you must have patience. For less than half of what your boat is worth, you could find a nice boat and get rid of the stress of making monthly interest payments. I wish you well, Good Luck Chuck.
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