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Old 06-01-2013, 06:04   #1
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Help PleaseóMoving to the Reality Stage

Hello all,

I have finally moved to the “do it” stage as a solo live-aboard/cruiser. After many months of searching I have found three boats that all tug at the heart. I am now in the anxious stage (right boat, will I be able to handle her, etc). While I have sailed for a while (though on trailer sailors and a Nonsuch26) I still question my ability. My big question comes from which boat (if any) would you recommend within my budget (35K max)?
The boats:

1. Southern Cross 31-needs some work but is very nicely equipped. Good: beautiful (in its salty looks),new batteries (5), new windless, new wind generator, three very nice anchors 200ft chain, new roller furling, new air-head toilet, 25 hp Vetus (900) hrs. winterized, portable ac, cold plate, standing rigging appears very new, decks very solid, dinghy w/5hp Yamaha (appears new), removable dodger w/hardtop for solar, price.
(bad): has sat for a year and needs a good cleaning and pressure wash, owner finished and needs updating with about 2 sheets of teak veneer and some counter tops (I have some carpentry skills), there is some compression around mast (not soft though), 200 miles away.
This boat is well within budget and I can afford to do work and a new set of sails, solar, and fix mast compression, bottom job and odds and ends.

2.Allied Sea Breeze (turnkey). Good: beautiful well maintained boat, ready to splash, did I say beautiful. Bad: upper end of price range, needs lots of equipment for cruising, 200 miles away.

3.Allied Princess (turnkey). Good: beautiful, cruise ready, closer to me, 20 miles. Bad: Ketch maybe too much for me to handle by myself, no money left over for anything without dipping into cruising kitty.

After typing this out things are starting to clear up , but I value any and all opinions from those “doing it”. Oh yea, I plan on moving aboard in April, retiring in June, and cruising the East Coast and Bahama’s first then Caribbean after some experience.

Thanks,
Mike
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Old 06-01-2013, 17:26   #2
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Re: Help PleaseóMoving to the Reality Stage

It sounds like you have great options.
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Old 06-01-2013, 17:47   #3
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Re: Help PleaseóMoving to the Reality Stage

I am shallow and oft swayed by superficial matters! - only one boat got mentioned as beautiful twice............

In regard to option 3, I would say no on price (given that other boats don't have that problem) - but not for being a Ketch, as not an issue (plusses and minuses to either a Ketch and a Sloop).
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Old 06-01-2013, 17:53   #4
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Re: Help PleaseóMoving to the Reality Stage

To us the Ketch is a plus! more and smaller sail combos, easier for this old couple to handle. I guess it's the way ya look at things! theres been many miles done on ketchs with just jib and jigger ! makes things nice for running at night with a small crew !! just our 2 cents
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Old 06-01-2013, 18:02   #5
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Re: Help PleaseóMoving to the Reality Stage

I'd go for option # 3; the ketch. Cruising comfortably is worth the extra expense. For a starter, see if you can "sub-charter" from time to time to split operations cost. Many owners take in "bare-boat charter" vacationers for a few weeks, and extend them a discount below charter rates. Just make sure you have the right insurance coverage. Good luck!
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Old 06-01-2013, 18:03   #6
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pirate Re: Help PleaseóMoving to the Reality Stage

I'd go for the ketch as well.. easy to solo... even a 53ftr
But if its not slab reefing walk away...
Try knocking the price down... the SC31 is work that will drag into next year...
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Old 06-01-2013, 18:15   #7
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Re: Help PleaseóMoving to the Reality Stage

Get the ketch. The bit about "sub-charter" must have been a joke right? I'm sure your in super hurry to turn your new boat into a hotel and wait on people all day long.
I enjoy the allied princess very much.
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Old 06-01-2013, 18:28   #8
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Re: Help PleaseóMoving to the Reality Stage

I would go for option # 2.

Option 1 is going to be much more work than you imagine. Even your turn key boats are going to offer up surprises that must be fixed. Buy a project and you will still get lots of surprises and you can count spending a lot of extra time at the dock with tools in hand.

Option 3 will stretch you financially too much.

You obviously really love the Sea Breeze and life is too short to spend it on a boat you don't love. Well maintained has value - lots and lots of value.
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Old 06-01-2013, 18:48   #9
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Re: Help PleaseóMoving to the Reality Stage

in any case, make a really low offer.

your problem is that you're in colorado. not exactly a sailing mecca for cruising boats. retire, move to florida (east or west coast) or maybe the chesapeake. must be similar places on the west coast but i'm not familiar with them. then begin seriously looking. whole lot more choices, i would think.
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Old 06-01-2013, 20:01   #10
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Re: Help PleaseóMoving to the Reality Stage

Quote:
Originally Posted by onestepcsy37 View Post
in any case, make a really low offer.

your problem is that you're in colorado. not exactly a sailing mecca for cruising boats. retire, move to florida (east or west coast) or maybe the chesapeake. must be similar places on the west coast but i'm not familiar with them. then begin seriously looking. whole lot more choices, i would think.
I'm with onestep - have you factored in the cost of shipping a boat to the east coast? Including hauling and launching? As opposed to buying one already there?
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Old 06-01-2013, 20:24   #11
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Re: Help PleaseóMoving to the Reality Stage

Option 3 is what I would go with.

Ketch is going to be easier for you. It's turn key, it's close.

i have enough trouble keeping up with the maintenance on my boat that was in pristine condition when I bought it. I would never even consider a "project boat" if I wanted to go cruising.

From what I've seen, you can either choose to live and work on a boat in a port (project/fixer-upper) Or you can live and work on a boat whle cruising (turn-key).
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Old 06-01-2013, 23:58   #12
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The people that vote ketch, all love and most likely sail a ketch sailboat. I am no different .

These boats are close to you, but you are moving southeast to Florida?

I would dream, skeem, plan, plan, plan, but getting a local boat and then moving the boat to the coast? What length and beam are these sailboats?

Purchase closer to where you are going.

Moving a major sailboat a major distance is a major expense. An expensive chapter in your book you do not need to pen.

I moved my ketch from LA CA to Nebraska because my state did not know what a 32' sailboat was, none here. My beam is 8' so no big deal. Move a 12' beam sailboat across a bunch of states and you have a task on your hands.

The economy is in freefall. It is about bolt the doors time, who goes there? If you have cold hard cash to spend on a sailboat, bid about fifty boats you love and cannot afford, at around 50% asking price if they have been lowered already, and 70% if just listed, and the ten offers you get back, pick the best one. It is a buyer's market like never before.

Any extra cash left over from your budget, turn it into gold, melt it into your bilge and paint it lead in color. Sail away and don't look back.

Enjoy retirement.
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Old 07-01-2013, 01:30   #13
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Re: Help PleaseóMoving to the Reality Stage

I wound not be put off by a project boat, even the turn key princess is a 70's boat right? Turn key in advertising means it was all new and working when the last owner went sailing. Time flies and now its ten years later, sure most of it works. But it wont be hard to spend $10,000 on a light clean up/refit. I've spent $20,000 a year, 3 years running to bring comfort and quality to my '76 boat. If your a skilled tech even the hard stuff is quick and easy if you can spend the cash. Anti project nay-sayers tend not to be the super skilled car restoration or build a kit airplane type. It took me a while to realize that all sorts of people get the sailing bug, and for every mechanicly gifted guy, designing watermakers, rebuilding diesels. Theres also a guy who wont pick up a screw driver.
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Old 07-01-2013, 10:34   #14
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Re: Help PleaseóMoving to the Reality Stage

Thanks all for the great replies. I currently live in South Carolina and 2 of the boats are 200 miles away and the other (ketch) only about 20. I made an offer on the SC31, quite a bit lower than asking, but with the time, effort, and money involved to update it is all I am willing to pay for her. If offer is rejected I'm going to take a very hard look at the ketch (maybe not perfect, but could leave tomorrow for distant shores) and maybe throw out an offer that I can live with, all they can say is no, same for the Sea Breeze. I did mention the SeaBreeze was beautiful (twice) but I believe price-wise was too expensive and although not a fan of black hulls, this boat was very pleasing to the eye, in fact, I'm not sure I've seen finer looking lines on the water. In fact all three were pleasing to my eye and I'd be proud owning any one, but then again I loved the appearance of my Nonsuch
Mike
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Old 07-01-2013, 18:10   #15
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Re: Help PleaseóMoving to the Reality Stage

the sea breeze is a centerboard boat. not that that's bad, but it needs looking into to make sure it's ok - check function and mounting hardware.

i'm not a big fan of the ketch, particularly in smaller boats - say, under 40+ feet. reason is that they take up space in the cockpit. liveaboard friends have a 38' ketch and that's what he disklikes most. likes sailing it, but most of your life as a liveaboard involves staying in one place...
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