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Old 12-11-2009, 05:53   #1
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Finding a Budget Boat in Australia - Kan Walker Herreshoff H28 ?

I am an Australian new to the offshore sailing thing and probably laughably trying to find something that is going to get me safely outside the harbour and at least up the coast if not around the Pacific for under $35,000 Australian (approx $32,500 US) without having to start selling too many posessions. The problem is that there seems to be all sorts of really nice blue water capable boats for sale in the US & Americas, but in comparison the choices over here are really skimp and corporately very expensive.

One of the more classic boats getting around over here at almost the right price seem to be the H28 Kan Walker Herreshoff model. In particular there are a couple of fibreglass/GPR ketches up north and there is also a very well priced single mast model in New Zealand that might be worth considering.

The one thing I did find on this site was an obituary to Kan Walker that stated,
“Best know for his Walker 28 of which many where built and are still highly prized. A little boat that has circumnavigated and kept many safe when bigger boats may have suffered”.

So I am assuming they are a worthy investment? The only other similar boats common over here seem to be the Compass’s and Clansman of a similar length and design and a couple of very highly priced S & S.


Slightly off the point, why do boat prices in Australia seem to be so much higher than the US? For the same price as the well appointed Herreshoff’s it seems I could get myself a half decent Westsail 32 amongst the myriad of other blue water capable boats that seem to be going cheap.

The biggest problem for me is that once I factor in the cost of getting overseas (and maybe home) plus having enough money to be self-sufficient (and running repairs!) the overseas purchase my just be too far over the horizon.


Thanks, Shane
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Old 12-11-2009, 06:08   #2
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I have always liked the Walker H28 (GRP). To my mind he took the classic H28 and improved it. Of course, the design might seem dated but so what .
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Old 12-11-2009, 06:14   #3
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I have always liked the Walker H28 (GRP). To my mind he took the classic H28 and improved it. Of course, the design might seem dated but so what .
Thanks - as long as I could find one in decent survey the date is no where near as important as the seaworthiness!

It is kind of like how I keep reading stories about how those daggy old Westsails survive prefect storms after being abandoned where there are some nightmare stories about the lack of seaworthiness of some of the flimsier production boats.
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Old 12-11-2009, 06:18   #4
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Factor the Aus Gov charges before you get too far!!
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Old 12-11-2009, 06:25   #5
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Factor the Aus Gov charges before you get too far!!
Bill - thats the real problem as I have a daughter and would eventually need to come home, which would involve paying import tax.
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Old 12-11-2009, 13:46   #6
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I have to say that if your budget is relatively low (and $35k is), then in my personal opinion, looking overseas is a false economy. The real costs of getting a boat from overseas to Australia are significant, and, as has already been pointed out, the government wants their pound of flesh too. It would not surprise me if a 35k boat purchased in the USA cost another 35k to get home.

My advice - Keep scanning yachthub and boatpoint. Yes - Australian boats are more expensive than elsewhere, but bargains do come up from time to time
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Old 12-11-2009, 14:40   #7
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To import a boat it's 5% duty, 10% GST if you sail in. If you freight the boat in then add that cost to your boat for duty and GST costs. The unknown factor is AQIS (Quarantine) apart from their Pratique inspection cost, which varies depending on who you talk to, there is the timber inspection. NSW will do them together if advised in advance. Qld are two separate inspections. If the boat has more than 10%timber, Qld, or 20%, NSW or come from 'high risk areas' then a Termite inspection by sniffer dog is required at your expense. If over 50% timber in Qld or from high risk area then the sniffer dog may have to be accompanied by an Entomologist. ( Presumably they discuss the issue of your craft and advise each other) Once again at your expense as is the berthing/mooring fees for however long it takes. In Qld after the initial inspection a report is sent to head office, who decide if you are a risk or not. Then you find out if you need further inspections, so in reality you could be holed up for 2 - 3 weeks, although they try to do it quicker (last bit's a quote fron Qld AQIS). Going to import, get your clearance done down south as they seem to have their act together better than Qld, and it's cheaper. By the way sniffer dog cost from $650.00 upwards to $1500.00. Haven't a quote for the dogs offsider (Entomologist) but I bet it's not cheap.
One other thing of interest. Customs answer your emails with facts in black and white, Quarantine give you a phone number, so no written answer to your queries.
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Old 12-11-2009, 14:47   #8
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I have to say that if your budget is relatively low (and $35k is), then in my personal opinion, looking overseas is a false economy. The real costs of getting a boat from overseas to Australia are significant, and, as has already been pointed out, the government wants their pound of flesh too. It would not surprise me if a 35k boat purchased in the USA cost another 35k to get home.

My advice - Keep scanning yachthub and boatpoint. Yes - Australian boats are more expensive than elsewhere, but bargains do come up from time to time
Weyalan,

I agree about the costs of the overseas boat. No doubt I would have to sell up and treat the voyage more like the beginning of a cruising lifestyle with the view of NOT coming home. This might have been Ok when I was younger, but neglectful when I have a young daughter (and a politely speaking “slack” ex-partner).

I have been doing the yachthub and boatpoint thing and actually put a deposit on a smaller boat a while ago – a Quest 8 in apparently very good condition. However, I fear the completion date will end before my funds materialise. It seems like a fairly seaworthy boat for coastal cruising and would leave me enough cash for a stress free cruising holiday on purchase. Regardless, when I get it back I then have to look at marina or mooring costs.

Like anything, I am looking at the options and have seen there are a few other boats getting around not much dearer that would almost be capable of liveaboard and/or circumnavigation. Worst case scenario I am amongst other things a qualified chef and might end up taking a year off for a working holiday.

Sorry to spill my whole life story, I just feel if I am honest about my situation I might end up making the right decision.
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Old 12-11-2009, 15:21   #9
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Honest is good.

If I may speak frankly, you should also bear in mind that the very act of sailing, presumably single-handed, from USA to Australia, in a smallish boat is not a stroll in the park exercise. Bear in mind that you would be taking a boat with which you are not at all familiar. Not to say ot couldn't be done, but, within your limited budget, you are unlikely to get a boat that is in good condition that might have some of the gadgets and systems that would make such a trip more plausible... autopilot, watermaker, HF radio, etc. (not to say that you 100% need these things, but they might well be considered desirable).

Unless you are a particularly experienced sailor, I would say that buying a local boat that is going to be capable of coastal cruising (maybe with your daughter some of the time), might be more realistic than going boot n all for a bluwater cruiser to bring back from overseas.
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Old 12-11-2009, 15:52   #10
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How does that look?
Van de Stadt 32
Bet 35k would get it
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Old 12-11-2009, 16:13   #11
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@ Blu – thanks for the valuable factual information.


@ Weyalan - Thanks for being sensible,

I totally agree – if I took the overseas option it would still be with the view to doing some coastal cruising, getting to know the boat and hopefully finding some crew. Again, this might involve spending a lot of money especially when the deficiencies in the boat start to materialise and the costs Blu mentions start to add up.

On the other hand, I have done a fair bit of coastal professional fishing from here to the north coast so am confident I know the weather well enough to slowly meander home from Queensland with a boat. Knowing most of the ports along the way, I would treat this more as a de-stressing exercise than anything else. Good thing too is that I am picking up the sailing skills I missed when fishing.

I have already had my daughter out on the Hunter 19 and friends bigger boats. She takes to sailing like a duck to water. No doubt in a few years she will be a reliable crewman. The realistic thing also is, as the Hunter has some major issues and I am keen on offshore trips including Tasmania, I need a more seaworthy boat that is worth putting money into outfitting.

I will have to have a look at the link
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Old 12-11-2009, 16:21   #12
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How does that look?
Van de Stadt 32
Bet 35k would get it
Thanks again - It is a nicely appointed little boat and actually a lot similar to a more recent version of the H-28s in the same price range. I have been trying to steer away from timber due the extra maintenance costs. Regardless, one of the nicest trawlers I worked on was timber and the boat was very well constructed and easy to maintain

Well I suppose the timber v fibreglass thing is entirely another thread?

(I better do some work!)
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Old 12-11-2009, 16:27   #13
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The walker 28 is a solid little boat. Kan designed in reponse to a request many years ago. If you would like more information you can contact the H28 fleet in Victoria who sail both the traditional wooden H28s and the walker fiberglass versions. Yes the walker 28s have circumnavigated. They have much higher freeboard than a traditional H28 and a suprising amount of room for a 28 footer. You could do worse ! Sadly Kan died a year or so back after a very long career as a boat builder/sailor/designer.

There is a W28 for sale in the Gippsland lakes at the moment. They do come up from time to time because so many where built.

One of the boats I currently own is a very early design of his a "nutcracker" . well over 40 years old built in ferro and still going strong.....
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Old 12-11-2009, 17:53   #14
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H-28. Ok for small sailing. And for offshore if one knows how to fix them and small crew (2?).

Easy boats.

b.
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Old 12-11-2009, 18:08   #15
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Thanks above- now it is just a matter of finding something at the right price, which both the Clansman and H-28 seem too just fit!

@ Cooper - I also saw in the obituary that Kan was a big supporter of ferro concrete construction.
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