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Old 08-02-2015, 20:41   #61
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Re: Opinions on my "short" list?

I'm in the same position as you, looking at a sub $25K boat that's pretty close to ready to go. My biggest learning is that in this price range, even a $5,000 difference in asking price gets you a MUCH better boat (assuming it's not just an inflated price). My second-biggest learning is that many of the owners that are personally selling a boat in this price range NEED the asking price (and sometimes seem to be living on the boat at anchor), and aren't willing to recognize reality. Broker-sold boats, however, and there are a number of them, actually, in this price range (I don't know how brokers survive selling these either, I think they're retired and looking for something to do), generally have owners that just want to get rid of them because they are a burden. Don't be afraid to use yachtworld vs sailboatlistings or Craigslist. Brokers will usually be pretty direct as well about the price that will move the boat (which has been, in my experience, a 33% deduction from the YW listing), and if you offer less than that, they still are contractually obligated to take it to the owner.

Whatever you do, call and ask as many questions as you can before you go down. Frequently, the listings for the boat are outdated or plain wrong. It'll say things like: "full cruising suite and new electronics!" or "fresh bottom job" then you call the broker and ask about it, and they say, "well, that was true a year ago, but then this or that fried or was stolen," etc. So, make a checklist of what you'll need (e.g. newish standing rigging, good sails, autopilot, etc.) find a boat that has all of it and call to make sure it's there. Under most circumstances, it will be cheaper to buy this stuff as part of an already put-together boat than to have to tack it on at the end. I can send you my checklist if you'd like.

Also in this price range, figure out what you don't need, because few boats will have all of it. If it doesn't have a chartplotter, figure out how to use OpenCPN or mobile apps (or paper, if you really want to). If it doesn't have an autopilot, it's much easier and cheaper to add a tiller pilot than a wheel pilot. Plus there's less than can go wrong with the tiller. Few of the boats in this range come with a dinghy or outboard, and buying them new will be $3,000 easily, and used maybe a third of that. Can you get by with a 2-person kayak until you find a great deal on a dinghy?

Finally, if you don't want to limit yourself to Annapolis as your northern border, there are a number of beautiful Dutch-built yachts that were imported in the 70's in New England. As a class, I'd say they tend to be more tender, but are just absolutely splendid to sail and well-balanced. If your sailing just in the Bahamas and will mostly just be daysailing rather than passagemaking, I'd much prefer them. My favorite is the Albin Cumulus (at 28' it's too small for you). They also will be a bit smaller, however, than what you're looking for. On the plus side, however, they'll have a lot of inbuilt storage in their gorgeous woodwork
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Old 08-02-2015, 20:46   #62
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Re: Opinions on my "short" list?

p.s. Don't start shopping for two weeks, I don't want you driving the prices up! On the plus side, you can buy whatever I'm selling in six months when I'm done with it
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Old 09-02-2015, 10:54   #63
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Re: Opinions on my "short" list?

Brownoarsman - Thanks for taking the time to respond with such good details. I appreciate all the buying advise. I too was amazed a the difference a few grand makes in the boat market. Maybe I have to up my search amount a bit and hope to settle on a price in our range. I'll definitely look a bit further north. It may add some delivery cost since I may not be able time wise to sail it a great distance south this spring, but I can factor it in the equation.


Thanks again,
Jeff
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Old 09-02-2015, 10:55   #64
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Re: Opinions on my "short" list?

...oh, and what's your plan for a six month boat purchase??? Sounds like you may be going south as well.
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Old 14-02-2015, 06:04   #65
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Re: Opinions on my "short" list?

Howdy,
Yup - I was going to buy in one of the islands, but my initial thesis (that boats down there were cheap and easy to come by due to absentee owners who could not or did not want to get back down to take care of them, or cruisers who were now at the end of their cruise) did not prove totally accurate. They are there, usually when a cruiser has a back-home financial or personal emergency and needs to sell fast, but you've really got to be on the correct island when they come up, and they are are usually in a size range that I was uncomfortable with (36'+). The rest are overvalued liveaboard junkers. That said, I did have one offer on a Miura 31, but it was already under contract (unbeknownst to the broker I was dealing with).

So, I've been making offers by phone down to Florida. Currently have one out on a Pearson 323. If it's taken, I'll fly down, inspect, survey, and hopefully close.
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Old 14-02-2015, 08:11   #66
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Re: Opinions on my "short" list?

Very happy with my 323. Four years live aboard now.

Me, never married single hander. But I think it would be a great couple's coastal boat. Paperwork onboard indicates it has been been sailed as far north as Nova Scotia and south as far as Trinidad. Hoping to do the same over the coming years.

I do all maintenance and would be happy to try to help with any questions you might have.
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Old 14-02-2015, 08:42   #67
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Re: Opinions on my "short" list?

Thanks! The broker didn't know much about the condition of the standing rigging/chain plates and mast step, which I understand from the 323 owners group are the common failure points, but please do let me know if there are any other watchouts. Thanks!
Dan
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Old 14-02-2015, 09:08   #68
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Re: Opinions on my "short" list?

I think the chainplates are well designed and executed. And available to inspection.

It's the mast step that is the common problem on this model. Aluminum mast, steal step, and a wet bilge. So a wet step if water rises above lower bilge area. And the mast corrosion that comes with that.

Maybe ask someone to take a pic of the step. Easy to tell if this issue has been addressed. Many have been.
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Old 14-02-2015, 09:37   #69
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Re: Opinions on my "short" list?

Brownoarsman - That must be exciting to have an offer out...I hope it works out for you! We were debating making offers over the phone but started leaning towards a week long trip to view as many boats as possible and then hopefully make an offer. I'll be curious to hear how the process goes for you. Good luck!
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Old 14-02-2015, 09:54   #70
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Re: Opinions on my "short" list?

You might be able to find a Nonsuch in your price range. Good sailing well built boats with a ton of room.
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Old 14-02-2015, 09:54   #71
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Re: Opinions on my "short" list?

Four winds - I was wondering if you could give me an idea on the headroom and v-berth length in your 323? I find a variety of estimates on the web which vary.


Thanks---Jeff
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Old 14-02-2015, 09:55   #72
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Re: Opinions on my "short" list?

Thanks! The offer just was accepted, so I'll be flying down to Fort Myers tomorrow.

Making offers by phone is a bit frustrating. Sometimes the brokers are well informed, sometimes not, and almost always a personal looksee would have answered my questions right away.
My approach has been to have brokers/owners answer questions against a major systems checklist, which frequently requires a lot of back and forth. I've put in three offers now and each one has taken about a week to prepare and ready for.
On the plus side, I'm not paying for hotels or anything, so I don't feel a rush to close which I think helps keep the cost of the hunt down and also psychologically has me deal-hunting vs acquiescing. I should probably have just stayed with my uncle for a week and rented a car though

Fourwinns-I understand the chain plates can look really good, but then fail catastrophically inside the deck. Not sure how common this is, but it was one of the repairs listed on the p323 site. I guess it may be caused by the balsa around getting wet or just moisture in the joint. It's even better for me though if this isn't really a problem


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Old 14-02-2015, 10:20   #73
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Re: Opinions on my "short" list?

Brownoarsman - I just sent you a PM
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Old 14-02-2015, 12:41   #74
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Re: Opinions on my "short" list?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scout 30 View Post
I'd avoid Irwins & Watkins due to build quality. I'd add Cals & Columbias.
For a solid cruising boat, I would say Avoid Irwins, Cals and especially Columbias.
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Old 16-02-2015, 21:42   #75
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Re: Opinions on my "short" list?

@TheUnknown, I guess I have to update the info I posted here and in our PMs. Turns out I was wrong! Phone brokering is difficult, but you hope you at least have a knowledgeable/honest broker/owner on the other end. The Pearson 323 was presented as being in immaculate condition, and I asked about the chain plates and standing rigging, as well as the mast step before heading down. I was told "Bright and shiny!"
Bought tickets, rented car, and knew something was wrong immediately when I saw the boat. Upon inspection, the bilge was an oily, watery mess, so unless that had only happened in the last two weeks, there is no way the broker ever saw the mast step. The chain plates had been painted over, and were showing signs of heavy rust through the paint, and the decks around the chain plates were wet, which, because the chain plates pass through the deck, is basically fatal to them. The owner had put PVC on the standing rigging, and I doubt he ever saw how rusted and pitted (and in one case, cracked) the terminals were. While the engine was sold as new and no problem, the rear motor mounts had been left to float, unbolted. The drive shaft was also corroded. There were a host of smaller issues as well that spoke of an owner who was high on cosmetics but low on effective maintenance. Many thanks to Four Winds for walking through my observations with me last night and describing the P323, as well. So, more expensive to fly to Fort Myers than Miami, I have a rental car from Fort Myers airport I need to return and then get back to Okeechobee some other way, etc. In short, a somewhat expensive mistake.
But now that I'm here, I'm posted up in my uncle's house in Okeechobee, and am making the most of it! I inspected another boat I was interested in in Daytona Beach today, and will look at a few more tomorrow. I guess there's no substitute for being here. For what it's worth, Okeechobee might not be a bad place to base yourself out of. Fairly inexpensive, and it's pretty equidistant from many of the boating centers (Tampa Bay, Fort Myers, Miami region, Stuart on up to Daytona) and is right next to Indiantown where many people store their boats. One of my original plans was to rent an RV and drive around Florida for a week inspecting boats. However, one-way RV rentals were very pricey! I understand that if you come down in October, you get a good discount for delivering it someplace warm, sadly, no similar discount exists in Jan/Feb.
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