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Old 10-09-2012, 07:44   #1
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Looking to Buy a Boat

Am ready to buy my first boat and I will ask the million dollar question, which one?
I looked ay a 1973 islander but it needed a complete retrofit and I'm not up to doing this, I also have my eye on a 1995 beneteau 32 first which I know is a completely different boat but I think it's more what I'm looking for. I am new to sailing so I will be costal sailing in the beginning in costa rica where I live, after lots of time when ready I would want to start visiting other places like isla del cocos and eventually the Galapagos islands then who knows?
My budget is in the 30k range, the beneteau is listed slightly higher but as most these days a motivated seller. I will have to buy the boat in the states as there in no selection down here. There is a 30% import tax in costa rica so I may register the boat in Canada as I am a Canadian.
Any thoughts are appreciated
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Old 10-09-2012, 17:14   #2
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I would not think the First would be a good offshore boat or a good first boat. Is is a racer, lightly built and minimal interior. There are thousands of boats out there. Take your time and get the right one for your circumstances.
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Old 11-09-2012, 15:45   #3
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Re: Looking to Buy a Boat

Do not think that bigger is necessarily better. Bigger boats are more expensive to maintain, to slip, to keep in a berth, to insure. They are (generally) harder to sail and more expensive to buy sails for. Older boats will invariably need some money poured into them to get them up to scratch. If your budget, realistically, is $30k, then I'd advise on setting an absolute maximum purcase price at $25k, figuring on the other $5k for necessary improvements / repairs, etc.

Unless you particularly like working on your boat, It might well be better to buy a 28 footer for 25k in relatively good condition than a 35 footer for 25k in relatively poor condition.
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Old 11-09-2012, 15:48   #4
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How would a 28ft be in the Caribbean?
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Old 11-09-2012, 16:28   #5
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Pick your weather and you can be fine with a 28 footer. With that said I'll add a quality 28
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Old 11-09-2012, 17:26   #6
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Re: Looking to Buy a Boat

Get something solidly built, you'll feel safer when conditions aren't as nice as the weather guy said they'd be. My specifications always were - keel stepped mast, skeg hung rudder, encapsulated keel (no bolt-on keel) and not a fin keel - and solid, sturdy construction. Plus, you're going to want opening ports as well as the hatches.

Good luck - hope you find a great boat.
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Old 11-09-2012, 17:57   #7
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Re: Looking to Buy a Boat

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Originally Posted by sloopygirl View Post
Get something solidly built, you'll feel safer when conditions aren't as nice as the weather guy said they'd be. My specifications always were - keel stepped mast, skeg hung rudder, encapsulated keel (no bolt-on keel) and not a fin keel - and solid, sturdy construction. Plus, you're going to want opening ports as well as the hatches.

Good luck - hope you find a great boat.
that excludes a lot of high end and very well made boats.
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Old 11-09-2012, 20:07   #8
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So what makes should I look at that have these qualities? I have heard bad things about hunter, is the Catalina a strong boat?
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Old 12-09-2012, 07:14   #9
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Re: Looking to Buy a Boat

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So what makes should I look at that have these qualities? I have heard bad things about hunter, is the Catalina a strong boat?
Hunter is no better or worse than any other production boat with which they compete, ie., Beneteau, Catalina, etc... They are all made to the same price point, the same standard of quality and composition with similar hardware and equipment although Hunter seems to have the edge on hardware and accessories.

What you hear often is the so-called internet experts criticizing Hunter and other boats or their designs, e.g., fin keels, deck stepped masts, etc.., with no real basis other than subjective opinion. Many of the boats these "experts" criticize sail around the world and do so safely and comfortably and arguably much faster and more enjoyably than some of the heavy wallowers the experts think are better.

My advice is to keep an open mind when looking at boats and learn all you can from reputable sources about the various manufacturers and designs
- and stay away from anyone who criticizes a specific brand whioch only shows their limited knowledge
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Old 13-09-2012, 16:36   #10
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Any thoughts on a Ontario 32 1975??? Capable? Bluewater?
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Old 13-09-2012, 17:03   #11
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It was made by C&C so it should be well made. (I'm biased, own a C&C) Much better choice for a cruiser than where you started. If you google the boat you will see other threads talking about it. The most important thing when looking at any boat of this age is condition. Its like buying a used car. You wouldn't buy a Mercedes that had been totalled or used as a cab.
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Old 13-09-2012, 18:05   #12
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Re: Looking to Buy a Boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by S/V Illusion View Post

What you hear often is the so-called internet experts criticizing Hunter and other boats or their designs, e.g., fin keels, deck stepped masts, etc.., with no real basis other than subjective opinion.

- and stay away from anyone who criticizes a specific brand whioch only shows their limited knowledge
I think this is because you are tit-for-tat on another thread with another CF member about Hunters. Sometimes it's just best to let go and allow people to have their own process.

As far as the OP here. I will say that the Islander 36 is generally a good vessel. Although some have not had the maintenance or upgrades they should have. But many of them have gone offshore and can be picked up in your price range.
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Old 14-09-2012, 15:27   #13
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So I spoke with the guy selling the Ontario 32, he had a solar panel and wind generator but both are no longer there, am I better off looking at a whole new kit with a new charge panel or just replace the parts?
Also there is no gps or radar what would you recommend and where to buy it?
Thanks
John
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Old 14-09-2012, 17:22   #14
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Re: Looking to Buy a Boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruffriders View Post
Am ready to buy my first boat and I will ask the million dollar question, which one?
I looked ay a 1973 islander but it needed a complete retrofit and I'm not up to doing this, I also have my eye on a 1995 beneteau 32 first which I know is a completely different boat but I think it's more what I'm looking for. I am new to sailing so I will be costal sailing in the beginning in costa rica where I live, after lots of time when ready I would want to start visiting other places like isla del cocos and eventually the Galapagos islands then who knows?
My budget is in the 30k range, the beneteau is listed slightly higher but as most these days a motivated seller. I will have to buy the boat in the states as there in no selection down here. There is a 30% import tax in costa rica so I may register the boat in Canada as I am a Canadian.
Any thoughts are appreciated
How many people as regular crew? Any kids?
Sailing experience?
$30k to buy and outfit the boat not just buy, right?
If your long range goals are Cocos and Galapagos then you probably want to buy on the west coast and sail down from there.
You didn't say anything about living aboard so I will assume not. That means that if you have more than 1 crew (plus yourself) berthing underway start to become a bigger priority than having an aesthetic interior design. Berthing becomes more important the further afield you go and the more people there are on-board.
Any really strong preferences to start with? (full/fin keel, spade/skeg/attached rudder, sloop/cutter/mizzen rigged. For the price you indicated multis are out or I would have included that option too.)
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Old 15-09-2012, 05:38   #15
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Re: Looking to Buy a Boat

Here is a seemingly fair assessment of production boats.

2008 Sailboat Owners Survey - How does your sailboat rate?

As you can see all production boats are NOT equal. These of course are not your only choices. However, if you are looking at older boats a sound diesel and hull integrity would be high on my list of priorities.

In a buyers market it would be wise to wait for the right boat to come along, I did and found my Slocum 37 for under 30K. That said I still expect to throw at least another 10K into her for my intended sailing purposes, which would be Florida coastal waters, Bahamas and the West Indies. In your price range and for your intended purposes finding the right boat will be a challenge but if you are patient you WILL find one.

Being a novice finding a boat can be a confounding experience. Coming to this forum asking questions and going to owner forums concerning prospective buys should be part of the process. Having someone with experience to look at prospects with you, someone with the requisite knowledge to give you a good assessment before survey should steer you away from a poor choice. If that is not possible you will have to rely on your surveyor. Don’t buy a boat without one.

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