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Old 05-07-2016, 16:36   #1
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How to learn to maintain a sailboat without going broke?

I am looking to buy a small sailboat and need to learn how to maintain a cruiser so that I don't go broke owning one. Any good books or classes to learn this? I live in San Diego, CA.

Thanks!
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Old 05-07-2016, 17:36   #2
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Re: How to learn to maintain a sailboat without going broke?

Don Casey's "This Old Boat" and Nigel Calder's "Boatowner's Electrical and Mechanical Manual", a download of the maintenance manual and parts list for your engine, and the internet will take care of most things. Research everything exhaustively before you do it, someone will inevitably have asked the same thing and the answers out there can be checked for cost analysis pretty easily.
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Old 05-07-2016, 17:45   #3
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Re: How to learn to maintain a sailboat without going broke?

Yep, and if you're like most of us, you can start on small, old boats, where the parts aren't too expensive and cosmetics isn't such an issue, and gradually work your way up. Before you know it, you'll be able to patch up just about anything. Better than most of the yard guys.
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Old 05-07-2016, 17:55   #4
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Re: How to learn to maintain a sailboat without going broke?

How to make a small fortune sailing a boat: Start with a large fortune.

How not to go broke if you don't have a large fortune, get a very small boat.

Water, especially saltwater, and the things that live in it, will try to eat your boat, and you too if you're not careful. Most of your time will be dealing with these eating forages by the water and the stuff that is in it.

Get a small sailboat. Dry dock it near the water. Get a pair of VR glasses that show you out on the water. Use them. Your boat will be in pristine condition forever.

Sailing is a lot like leasing a car that already has 100K miles on it. And not everything that costs will be even in the water trying to eat the boat, it will be paying humans to allow you to have the water eat your boat.
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Old 05-07-2016, 18:23   #5
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Re: How to learn to maintain a sailboat without going broke?

Here's your first tip - Those books you were talking about? Only buy them used lol.
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Old 05-07-2016, 19:23   #6
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Re: How to learn to maintain a sailboat without going broke?

Consider a partnership. I have been in on one for 16 years and we each pay $3 per day to own on SF bay. 6 partners in a 30'. I did not want to spend a fortune and still sail as much as I want. It has worked well and I sail about 70 days a year.

http://addiction30.tripod.com/id27.html

Here is some info in forming a partnership. Good luck.


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Old 05-07-2016, 19:32   #7
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Re: How to learn to maintain a sailboat without going broke?

Pay cash, no more than you are willing to loose.
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Old 05-07-2016, 20:34   #8
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Re: How to learn to maintain a sailboat without going broke?

Thanks! Well I am looking for smaller 25-30' sailboats that can be easy single hand cruise between San Diego, Catalina and Ensenada. Liked the Santana 30/30 that I test sailed today quite a bit. I budget under 20k for cash purchase of the boat, plus an extra 10k for maintenance fuel and slip fees per year. Does that sound about right? Planes are more expensive to own.
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Old 05-07-2016, 22:06   #9
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Re: How to learn to maintain a sailboat without going broke?

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Originally Posted by cruisernewbie View Post
I budget under 20k for cash purchase of the boat, plus an extra 10k for maintenance fuel and slip fees per year. Does that sound about right?
Nope. It might if you separated the fuel & slip fees out.

Good luck, good advice so far, including the tongue in cheek ones.
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Old 05-07-2016, 22:59   #10
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Re: How to learn to maintain a sailboat without going broke?

Ok so slip fees here in San Diego are between 450-600/month for under 35' boat.
Thats max of 7.2K, fuel burn 100g per year using bare minimum just to get into/out of harbors.

Slip fees: 7.2k
Annual Fuel cost: assume $11 per gallon x 100 ~ $1200

Repairs/Maintenance: ???

I would be interested in what to expect from folks who own sailboats.
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Old 05-07-2016, 23:10   #11
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Re: How to learn to maintain a sailboat without going broke?

It really depends on the condition of the boat at the time you buy it and what you want to do with it. Since you have plans to sail to Ensenada and Catalina, you'll want to make sure it's in good shape for offshore conditions (maybe beefed up running rigging and purchase of an EPIRB, for example), rather than just bay or nearshore sailing. When you get the boat, just start a list and figure out how to do the repairs yourself. There might be appropriate classes in diesel maintenance and how to apply epoxies and such, but you can find most anything by perusing the internet and talking to your dock mates. This would save you 3-4 times it would otherwise cost you to hire someone else to do the work for you. Also, prioritize the list and use it to establish your budget. Not everything needs to be done right away and it's really easy to get carried away with boat projects
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Old 05-07-2016, 23:52   #12
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Re: How to learn to maintain a sailboat without going broke?

Aside from reading everything that Nigel Calder's written, there are plenty of classes & schools around. I'm a bit out of the loop with regards to those in your locale any more, but in the PNW for example, the Wooden Boat School offers a lot of classes covering different systems on boats. As do many other colleges, trade schools, & vocational programs in said region. Ditto on many other areas.

One way to find more info & POC's, the classic one, is to walk around the sailing & marine service providers part of town, & start chatting folks up. As well as picking up all of the free periodicals that you find there, ditto on scouring the bulletin/message boards (paper type). And of course, once you get a lead or three, there will also be plenty of links to online opportunities & resources. Including crew pools, & local online sailing forums, etc. For example, Facebook, Meet Up, & many others.

Another option is to crew on a racing boat, even if just for the laid back, Wed. night Beer Can Series, & volunteer for every job onboard. To include assisting with maintaining the boat, so that you can get some hands on time under supervision.
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Old 06-07-2016, 00:09   #13
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Re: How to learn to maintain a sailboat without going broke?

I grew up on a farm and we did a lot of work ourselves to keep stuff running only a bit of it translated to boats. We made the decision to buy new as we could afford and it was a tax thing ect. But one of the main reasons is I did not know a lot about how to take care of a boat. Over the past 13 years we have learned a lot.

We have a basic rule - no one works on our boat unless I help. If I don't help you don't get the work. I have a pretty fair understanding now how to do stuff. Unfortunately my age is now catching up with me and it is getting harder to do stuff.

And some stuff I would never attempt. Like we had our auto prop pulled last year and rebuilt as we did our windlass. I have pulled the windlass and changed out the gypse but a total rebuild is beyond me. We kinda know what I can and cannot do but still maintain if you work on my boat I am your assistant.
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Old 06-07-2016, 04:42   #14
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Re: How to learn to maintain a sailboat without going broke?

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Annual Fuel cost: assume $11 per gallon x 100 ~ $1200
Find a new fuel stop!
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Old 06-07-2016, 05:53   #15
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Re: How to learn to maintain a sailboat without going broke?

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Find a new fuel stop!
Agreed!
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