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Old 22-02-2014, 14:48   #31
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Re: Opinions sought on newish old vs. older boat purchase

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Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
SAIL what you have on list and see if you like how they sail and handle and then buy.
novel concept.
used to be practice,now is rare...
how can you know how the boat fits you if you dont sail it.
what fits someone else may not be your best choice for you.
Great idea, Zeehag, but difficult to do. When we started this process last summer, we thought we'd go "walk the docks", look at some brokerage boats and then sail the one or two finalists.

In every case, but one, we were dealing with the broker and not the owner. Every broker explained that we wouldn't be allowed to actually sail the boat without making an offer. The sea trial would allow us to test the boat. However, that's usually after you lay out hundreds for a survey. We found this whole process frustrating.

I have read a posting by a seller who was suggesting the buyers offer to split the costs of going out for an hour or so. Offer to pay $100 or so, with the amount coming off the sale price. If more owners would be open to this, we'd be in business.
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Old 22-02-2014, 14:51   #32
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Re: Opinions sought on newish old vs. older boat purchase

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Originally Posted by SkiprJohn View Post
In my opinion there is really no way you'll know about the condition of anything that you cannot see in a boat. It doesn't matter what age it is.

Your best bet is to get a reputable marine surveyor to survey whatever boat you feel the most comfortable with. Have an engine surveyor look at the engine too.

Rather than age as a factor I'd go with condition and care by the owner. I would not rule out 60s and 70s boats unless your lender won't finance them or your insurer won't insure them.
Well said, good advice. I can't dispute what you're suggesting.
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Old 22-02-2014, 14:56   #33
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Re: Opinions sought on newish old vs. older boat purchase

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
A cruising sailboat is a big collection of different systems held together by a fiberglass hull, and all of these systems are time- and/or mileage-limited in lifespan. A little bit like a helicopter.

So well kept by a careful owner doesn't really mean much unless that owner was very active about replacing systems. New, or just after major refit, are the only kind of boats where you have much assurance that most systems will hold up for some time, and even new boats usually need a lot of work.

The worst cases are older boats which are lovingly polished by their loving owners, but which have been rarely used for years -- these look nice but start to fall apart as soon as you take them to sea. The other worst case is a boat which is 7 to 10 years old and well taken care of, but which has not yet had a big refit. A great number of systems wear out at that age, and when the new owner starts to use such a boat more intensively, they start to fail one after the other. Don't ask me how I know about this second case

So as other posters have suggested, reserve a generous amount of money for repairs and replacements the first year. And a boat which has just had a cost-no-object refit is usually a good deal -- the owner never gets his money back out, but you will benefit from his expenses.

So I agree with posters above to leave a very large reserve for repairs, replacements, and upgrades, more or less depending on the exact boat, complexity of systems, etc. I spent 10's of thousands of dollars on my boat during the first couple of years. That despite the fact that she was only 8 years old, lightly used (only 850 hours on the main engine), well taken care of, etc.
What are the major systems you're referring to? Engine, sails, rigging? What did you have to do your 8 year old boat? We live in a Northern climate with fresh water.
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Old 22-02-2014, 15:04   #34
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Re: Opinions Sought on Newish Old vs. Older Boat Purchase

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Hmmm... confused....Is this a coastal cruiser as originally stated or are you sailing further south...?
If you like the look and ergonomics of the newish Beneteaus... you're going to have a hard time liking the older production boats like C&C etc.
One boat often not mentioned is the Dufours. The older ones are really good boats... better than most.
Sailing in Lake Michigan for the next couple of years. 30-70 mile trips.

We would like to relocate to the Southeast in the next 4-5 years. Hence, a shallow keel would suit us better down there. Sure, a deeper keel is fine for now, but not our future plans. We don't want to have to sell the boat when we move.

As for the style and layout, most 36-40' boats are quite similar below. Sure, more modern designs have a wider beam and a larger cockpit. We don't need the biggest cockpit. Actually, down below, we don't favor the Ikea/Euro look. That's why Tartan, Sabre and maybe the older Benni's might suit us well.

I will take a look at the Dufours, thanks.
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Old 22-02-2014, 15:08   #35
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Re: Opinions Sought on Newish Old vs. Older Boat Purchase

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Originally Posted by robert sailor View Post
True the C&C's do tend to be deeper in the keel. If I had my choice between the CS36 Traditional and the Merlin I would take the Traditional if I had any ideas of going offshore. Many of these CS boats have been taken offshore and Ray Wall the designer spent years with Camper Nicholson and knew how to design a good boat. I have personally sailed the CS36T shoal draft (Scheel keel) many thousands of miles offshore and have a very high respect for the design. It does have a shallow bilge but like all boats its hard to have it all. There are some real nice examples of this design out there and they are held in high regard by those that know them and have sailed them....and they are really a 37 or almost a 37, lol.
We may take a trip towards Canada this summer to see a few. Is it true that both boats used the same hull? If so, it shoudn't make a difference between the Merlin and the Traditional. Is this right?
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Old 22-02-2014, 16:30   #36
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Re: Opinions sought on newish old vs. older boat purchase

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Originally Posted by JulieMac View Post
What are the major systems you're referring to? Engine, sails, rigging? What did you have to do your 8 year old boat? We live in a Northern climate with fresh water.
Fresh water is better, but the principles are the same.

Im my 5 years of ownership I have replaced, just off the top of my head:

calorifier (a PITA)
fresh water pressure pump
entire electronics/navigation system ($$$)
windlass motor/gearbox
autopilot hydraulic pump
electric toilet
manual toilet (twice)
bilge pump
all standing rigging ($$$)
bow thruster drive leg ($$$)
battery charger
batteries
main engine fuel injectors
generator heat exchanger
cutless bearing
propeller overhauled
navigation lights
vhf (failed & replaced with new Icom M604; subsequently Icom failed)
fresh water tank sensor
black water tank sensor
exhaust elbow (upcoming)
one sea cock (rest of them upcoming)
replaced all interior lighting with LED
replaced entire gas system; then new regulator failed and was replaced; then new solenoid failed and was replaced.
hydraulic ram fixings for transom platform failed several times; finally were removed and platform was converted to manual operation
multiple failures of electric davit mechanisms.

That's just off the top of my head. A cruising sailboat is a sophisticated machine which requires constant maintenance, repair, replacement of different systems.
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Old 22-02-2014, 16:34   #37
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Re: Opinions Sought on Newish Old vs. Older Boat Purchase

I'd like to take time to fully express my opinions on this topic but my dinner needs tending to so I'll try to keep it brief.

Have a look at this boat: 1986 Beneteau First 375 Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com It's ours, and it's for sale, but before you tune me out ... I'm afraid you're in the wrong part of the world to be a potential buyer. (unless you'd like spend your vacations in the Med... )

I think you're on the right track with your choices and thought processes.

Every year we go to the boat show & look at the new Beneteau on show and agree that we wouldn't trade our 1986 model for the brand new one. Our old Bene has thick glass, thick gelcoat (& polishes up to shine like new), thick & real teak. The interior joinery is real wood, thick & lots of it, beautifully curved. It was made with quality and has been well maintained. I don't believe that even with good maintenance the new products would last & look as good because of the quality or perhaps lack of quantity of the new building materials. We were at the boat show a few days ago & again looked at a brand new 34' Beneteau--asking price $159,000 Cdn. That's almost twice what we're asking for our 375--but you couldn't give me that boat!

A friend in our marina has a brand spanking new Bavaria. We weren't surprised at the poor build quality of the boat because that seems to be the case with all the new production boats, but what really surprised us were the poor designs of various items on the boat--like the fuel filler inside the cockpit over teak, and the small board over the engine controls that are in the way whenever trying to dock. We'll take our much older Beneteau or Jeanneau any day over the new Bavaria.

I don't know of any of the newer production boats that I'd call well made when compared to boats built earlier than say, 2005. Some may be; I just haven't encountered them. In about the early 2000's Bavaria flooded the market with 'affordable' yachts for everyone. At that time the other production builders made a pretty good product, but afterward they all had to water down their quality to compete with Bavaria.

We have finally moved up to a larger boat because now that we're retired we are spending a lot of time on board, and wanted more space. Our new boat is a 2002--newer, but still old enough to have lots of real wood and a good build quality. Short story: I wouldn't rule out an older boat that has been well maintained. Finding it is the hard part. I would rule out a new boat. A well-maintained boat in the early 2000's was the way we went, and you may find boats of that genre a good choice as well.

My apologies if this post is a bit rushed. By the way, there are two 375s for sale in Halifax--they look really rough on the photos though.
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Old 22-02-2014, 16:46   #38
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Re: Opinions Sought on Newish Old vs. Older Boat Purchase

But, Im bored and tired of old boats today though, so i will yelp new ones.

I like the Jeanneau Odyssey 349 and 379 Price: $106k / 157k base MRSP
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Old 22-02-2014, 16:53   #39
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Re: Opinions Sought on Newish Old vs. Older Boat Purchase

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Originally Posted by JulieMac View Post

1. We would like to relocate to the Southeast in the next 4-5 years. Hence, a shallow keel would suit us better down there. Sure, a deeper keel is fine for now, but not our future plans. We don't want to have to sell the boat when we move.

2. As for the style and layout, most 36-40' boats are quite similar below.
1. Then you have a different quandary: you'll want a shoal draft boat, which might be harder to find, regardless of make, on the GLs.

2. Maybe, but some boats have aft heads, which we find superb on our boat: it's not 3 inches away from our heads when we're sleeping in the V berth and away from the aft cabin, too.

Your question is essentially: "Daddy, what car should I buy?" There are so many out there, the question is simply unfair.

I have been reading CF for a few years and this same question gets asked again and again.

The answer, as previously provided, is: Go sail some of 'em. I know, the weather is non conducive to you now, but it will be, soon we hope.

The responder with the long list of items fixed is identical to mine except for the gas stove. We've had our '86 boat since '98. You simply have to know how to fix things. I just replaced our water heater ('85 unit, ten to fifteen year life span) and all the plumbing lines (original); new heat exchanger years ago, a few alternators over the years, rebuilt raw waterr pump, chainplate rebedding, new heads, etc., etc., etc. 2740 engine hours.

Good luck and happy hunting.
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Old 22-02-2014, 16:59   #40
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Re: Opinions sought on newish old vs. older boat purchase

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Originally Posted by JulieMac View Post
What are the major systems you're referring to? Engine, sails, rigging? What did you have to do your 8 year old boat? We live in a Northern climate with fresh water.
My guess from my history of 7 boats, assuming the stuff was decent stuff to start with... much isnt.:
fresh water pressure pump- every 2-5 years
electronics/navigation -depends on how up to date you want to be. say 5-7 years
toilets- rebuild/replace every few years
bilge pump - I say 5-7 years max for most pumps of all types, BP's better, Fresh Water/washdown worse.
all standing rigging -15years
batteries-5 years+
cutless bearing-10years
Prop shaft- 10 years if he boat is used often. Less if it sits alot.
Stuffing box- 3-5 years
navigation lights- 10years
vhf -5-10 years
exhaust elbow 5 years
Hot water tank-5-7 years
Wiring-15years
any tank in the bilge-7 years
autopilots 5-10 years
Sails- 10 years
Hoses 8-10 years
Windlass-10-15 years
Running Rigging- 5 years
Engine-Perkins 10-20 years
Engine-Yanmar 5-10 years
etc etc
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Old 22-02-2014, 17:51   #41
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Re: Opinions Sought on Newish Old vs. Older Boat Purchase

There are thousands of blogs these days. Here's one that has a very good APPENDIX with spares, etc.

ICW and the Bahamas

Click on Journal, left pane.
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Old 22-02-2014, 18:27   #42
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Re: Opinions Sought on Newish Old vs. Older Boat Purchase

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We may take a trip towards Canada this summer to see a few. Is it true that both boats used the same hull? If so, it shoudn't make a difference between the Merlin and the Traditional. Is this right?
Julie: There is absolutely nothing in common between the CS Traditional and the Merlin. Different hull, deck, trunk, keel and different construction methods. The 36T is a much stronger construction.
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Old 22-02-2014, 18:42   #43
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Re: Opinions Sought on Newish Old vs. Older Boat Purchase

Wife and I have been around the block on this one. The boat we sail is a full keel CCA designed yawl. Built in 1965 and mostly original she needed a lot of work to say the least. We put her up for sale and started looking for the type of boat we bare boat charter on, Bennies and Jennies, to cruise and live a board on. After a year long search we realized that any of the newer boats we could afford required almost as much work as our old Pearson needed. When we re-thought our plans we realized that sticking with a boat we knew and doing a complete refit would let us know every inch of our boat and the systems was the path we chose in the end.

I go with what most have posted here in that there is no right answer. Ability, comfort level and financial situation is what should drive your decision. We are in the middle of our refit with thousands of dollars spent and still wondering if we made the right decision; )
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Old 22-02-2014, 23:02   #44
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Re: Opinions Sought on Newish Old vs. Older Boat Purchase

No the CS36 Merlin is a completely different hull design from the CS36 Traditional, nothing about them is the same other than the builder. The Merlin is lighter,flater and faster and is more at home on the race course. The Traditional is a tough boat that is more at home offshore, in my opinion.
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Old 23-02-2014, 05:06   #45
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Re: Opinions Sought on Newish Old vs. Older Boat Purchase

There has been a lot written in this & many, many other threads about how to choose a boat. Do your due diligence, but also trust your gut. Our Bene was the first boat we looked at, and we both knew immediately she was right for us. But the timing wasn't. We weren't in a position to buy just then. So we shopped for two more years, went to boat shows, looked at all sorts of boats, and never found one we likely as well as that Bene. Two years later we were ready to buy, and I went looking for that same boat. Long story short(er)--20+ years later we're still happy with that boat.

Do your research, but don't overthink this either. Trust your gut.
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