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Old 26-02-2014, 18:18   #61
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Re: Opinions Sought on Newish Old vs. Older Boat Purchase

In general, I think you will find that older boats are built with more glass and resin. More likely to have a stronger keel and rudder. Tabbed in bulkheads etc. Even... or maybe.... especially, the taiwan boats. It's a generalism for sure, but frankly, it's prettty rare to even find older type construction for sale at all. Some o f the best boat builders I've seen went out of business, why? Because people who dont understand boats often buy them and the Catalina was a lot cheaper and the builder of the best boat wouldnt compromise. If you ask me who would survive in blind testing running a Taiwan built Baba 30 (or an old Pearson) on the rocks at full speed or a 30 ft USA built Bene. I dont think there is much question. That's all I'm saying... NOT saying one is better for your given task than another.
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Old 26-02-2014, 18:44   #62
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Re: Opinions Sought on Newish Old vs. Older Boat Purchase

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
If you ask me who would survive in blind testing running a Taiwan built Baba 30 (or an old Pearson) on the rocks at full speed or a 30 ft USA built Bene.
Is this how we judge a good boat?

With all these technology and new composite materials, we fail to build a better boat than the old Mom and Pa shops. Today's hull is lighter, tighter Torrence, more efficient and more rigid.

Granted if you only want to spend less than $80K for a boat to sail around the world, then get an old solid boat and work slowly to fit her for the voyage.

I understand we all complain and say: "They don't make cars the way it used to"

I would love a 911 Porsche from the 60's, but I take a new 2014 911 in a heart beat.
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Old 27-02-2014, 05:26   #63
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Re: Opinions Sought on Newish Old vs. Older Boat Purchase

My SO and I were stung by the sailing bug five years ago (we were initially going to go buy a 65' RV and go travelling across the US) after seeing sailboats up in Maine and talking to some of the owners, we decided to go buy a "boat".

We live in Miami, came back and made up our minds to buy a brand new sailboat. So we went to Annapolis looking for a brand new Benny 45. We were shocked at the quality of construction. Doors falling off of the hinges, rough fiberglass coming down the gangway, etc. Then came the sticker shock - I'm still LMAO.

We came back to Miami and joined a local sail club - great resource of knowledge and a lot of beers. Everyone had their opinion, one of the members pulled me over and "..do you want to sail or do you want to look good on your boat". He walked me over next door to an organization called Shake A Leg of Miami - who take physically and mentally children sailing. Seems people donate their boats to them and they had about six boats to pick from. I immediately gravitated to a 40 Morgan.

Ned shook his head, grabbed me by the arm and walked me over to a 1976 23' Sea Sprite. I paid $3,000 for her and sailed her for two years. I learned a lot about pulling a boat out, doing a bottom job and replacing all the running rigging. I redid all the electric and bought a Sailrite sewing machine and fixed the sails.

After two years, another of the members introduced me to a 1972 33' Pearson - I paid $15,000. It has a 4 foot draft and a drop keel that takes it to 7.5 feet for deeper waters. The boat had been kept in pretty good shape and I've spent about $5,000 adding and replacing "parts" - added an Airhead composting head (no holding tank on the Pearson), one Isotherm Fridge (yes, the beer is always cold), a Webasto AC (ever been in Miami in Jul/Aug?), a new deep sink (my SO and I couldn't deal with a sink that held two cups and one dish), a shower in the cockpit, some solar panels, a Honda 2000i generator, and a few other items. We've made the boat ours.

We've been sailing the Pearson for two years. We've sailed to Savannah, Key West, the Dry Tortugas, Bimini and next is the Bahamas.

I still go to the boat shows - most recently in Miami - to see what's new, sit on the new boats and smile.

I'm doing what Ned said I should do - Go Sail!
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Old 27-02-2014, 06:15   #64
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All boats are compromises. You need to figure out what's important to you considering where and when you'll be cruising.

My wife and I decided that we would cruise the Bahamas and maybe the Caribbean. We wanted sailing performance, shallow draft, a separate shower, minimal exterior teak, and a reasonably comfortable motion. Our budget was similar to yours.

We considered a lot of boats in the 36 to 42 ft range and ended up buying a 1983 Ericson 38.

I really liked the Pearson P40 but the wife hated the cave like interior. We liked the Tartan 37, CS 36T, Brewer-Morgan 38x, and spent some time on those boats too. Our friend's Morgan 38 was ok (a little too much teak) but compared to the Ericson, it handled like a slug. Probably the difference between semi full keel(M38) and fin keel (E38). We never found a T37 or CS 36T we could afford and we both thought their showers were smallish and cramped.

We wanted 4ft draft but compromised on 5ft. The Ericson did not disappoint on sailing performance. She was very light and responsive on the helm and fast enough to finish in the rum in every race we entered.

We also considered a 1980s O'Day 39 but the one we saw in our price range, had water damage to the hull core below windows set in the hull below the sheer.

It's all a matter of preference but it helps to spend a lot of time thinking about what's important to you. We loved our choice.
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Old 27-02-2014, 06:33   #65
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Re: Opinions Sought on Newish Old vs. Older Boat Purchase

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Originally Posted by Dale Hedtke View Post
When we were hunting for a boat we hired Robert Perry to help us. It was a service he offered for a few hundred bucks. We would suggest various models and he would advise, often telling us to look at newer boats (and often not recommending some of his own older designs.) Not sure if he still does this, but other NAs might as well.
A good buyer's broker will do this for "free", as well as providing a lot of other advice with respect to purchase, insurance, refit, documentation, and transportation. The operative word here is "good" as there are super brokers and then there are bad brokers and everything in between. The issue for Julie is that they are not in the price bracket where many really good brokers are not going to want to engage with them on a long-term search that sucks up a lot of their time. They will, however, be a good sounding board for advice along the way.

Julie, I think the fact that you are price-constrained and looking for value really means that you should be looking for an older boat that has depreciated significantly, has been well maintained, and has undergone a recent refit. You want low price of entry (older boat), low maintenance costs (recent refit), and minimal depreciation (again, older boat and well maintained). There are these sorts of boats out there, you just have to look hard.

As pointed out by others, the basic hull and interior of many quality built older boats age extremely well. It's the systems that wear out, and those can be replaced, and often improved in the process. It's common to find well and intelligently cared for older boats that are in fact better equipped and in more reliable condition than newer boats.
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Old 27-02-2014, 06:46   #66
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Re: Opinions Sought on Newish Old vs. Older Boat Purchase

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
. If you ask me who would survive in blind testing running a Taiwan built Baba 30 (or an old Pearson) on the rocks at full speed or a 30 ft USA built Bene. I dont think there is much question. That's all I'm saying... NOT saying one is better for your given task than another.
About 6 months ago I saw a video of a Dehler(?) that someone tested by repeatedly sailing it across logs, into piling and finally smashing it directly onto the rocks. Damn thing withstood every single one of these calamitous crashes.

I looked at youtube but can't find it. I seem to remember it being in German.

Anyway the point is that modern production boats can take virtually all the punishment you can dish out. The crew generally fails before the boat does.

Found it! Sorry I can't do an imbed. Here's the link. Three times directly into the rocks with 6.5 knots - no leakage


Worth watching:
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Old 27-02-2014, 06:56   #67
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Re: Opinions Sought on Newish Old vs. Older Boat Purchase

i would not finance a 25 or 30 year old boat. always pay cash for your toys. go for the smallest boat you can possibly live with and realize that fixing one up will take twice as long and cost twice as much as you think. you will not want to sail a fixer upper until it is fixed up. it will always be a compromise
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Old 27-02-2014, 06:58   #68
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Re: Opinions Sought on Newish Old vs. Older Boat Purchase

You aren't trying to round cape horn in a storm, so set aside most of the offshore built like a tank yammering. It simply doesn't apply. If you decide to do that later on, get a different boat. There are a lot of offshore battlewagons that never leave the dock because they bought a boat that didn't fit thier actual use. (That's not to say buy a boat that is unseaworthy but it's a rare production boat where you won't give out long before the boat does.)

Get a survey and make sure there is no stuctural issues but if the boat hasn't had structual issues 20 yrs in, it probably isn't going to develop them unless you abuse the boat.

After that, decide how much emphasis you want on performance, comfort and where you want to travel:
- Being new I doubt you are racers who will want to eak out that extra 0.1kts.
- You will likely spend a lot of time at anchor or dockside. Make sure you don't scarafice comfort 95% of the time for a boat that would be comfortable in a typhoon in the middle of the pacific where you will never be.
- If the east coast and the bahamas are in the cards, go for shallow draft. You can make it work with deeper but its a whole lot easier.

After 20 yrs, the specific boat is less important than the condition and if the systems are up to date. Becarefull of outdated systems that can't be repaired.
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Old 27-02-2014, 07:35   #69
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Re: Opinions Sought on Newish Old vs. Older Boat Purchase

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You aren't trying to round cape horn in a storm, so set aside most of the offshore built like a tank yammering. It simply doesn't apply. If you decide to do that later on, get a different boat. There are a lot of offshore battlewagons that never leave the dock because they bought a boat that didn't fit thier actual use. (That's not to say buy a boat that is unseaworthy but it's a rare production boat where you won't give out long before the boat does.)

Get a survey and make sure there is no stuctural issues but if the boat hasn't had structual issues 20 yrs in, it probably isn't going to develop them unless you abuse the boat.

After that, decide how much emphasis you want on performance, comfort and where you want to travel:
- Being new I doubt you are racers who will want to eak out that extra 0.1kts.
- You will likely spend a lot of time at anchor or dockside. Make sure you don't scarafice comfort 95% of the time for a boat that would be comfortable in a typhoon in the middle of the pacific where you will never be.
- If the east coast and the bahamas are in the cards, go for shallow draft. You can make it work with deeper but its a whole lot easier.

After 20 yrs, the specific boat is less important than the condition and if the systems are up to date. Be careful of outdated systems that can't be repaired.

This one gets my vote for best guidance offered here.

Too many people tend to advise on certain brand names that they like, or whatever boat they bought. It's only human nature.

All boats are compromises. The boat that is ideal for going around Cape Horn isn't so optimal when you're just chillin' and having drinks in the Bahamas. Go to the marina, and see which boats are out on the water and which boats are at the marina getting worked on. It's normal that the older a boat is, the more it's at home getting reworked. After all, every system will eventually need to be replaced.

So figure out what YOUR use will be, and get the right tool for the job. You'll save money and probably have something in better condition. When you're looking at boats, it seems like the boat is the thing. The reality is that the journey is the thing, so save some money for cruising expenses.
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Old 27-02-2014, 09:30   #70
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Re: Opinions Sought on Newish Old vs. Older Boat Purchase

Yeah , I saw that Dehler video. Pretty cool. The real key is not if the boat is still floating, but did the engine bed, cabinetry etc come loose, and are there "smiles" in front or behind the keel.
One thing I do know, spade rudders are at risk in the real world. Frends of mine with a Pearson 38 had to have theirs fixed twice (replaced) just cruising the Bahamas. (yeah, they were not very prudent mariners!) I think all of the boats I've heard of who were molested by whales and had rudder damaged were spade rudders. My point in my earlier post wasnt so much whats "better", but that if you have a limited budget, and buy a (likely) older boat with a protected rudder and longer encapsulated keel, You may have less trouble. I grounded hard... I mean real hard on hard objects twice in My Passport 47, nothing but scraped paint on the keel. a Catalina 42 that did the same thing once sufferred alot of damage to the hull, keel, engine bed and cabinetry.
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Old 27-02-2014, 13:27   #71
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Re: Opinions Sought on Newish Old vs. Older Boat Purchase

Another point to consider, when looking at older boats most people are looking at a different level of build quality and market cost segment. In other words, they're looking at boats that were built and priced at a different level than the production boats in that era, so it's not necessarily an apples to apples comparison, then just as now there were price point production builders and higher cost/quality builders. What a lot of people do is buy older, higher quality boats instead of a newer production level boat because it's the only way they could afford a boat of that quality.
It's not completely fair to compare an older upper level piece to a modern production boat, as always you get what you pay for. I know I could not afford a new model similar in quality and setup as I did buying an older one that needed TLC.
If comparing, it's better to compare that older boat to one of similar cost structure and build quality in a new one, that will give you a much more fair comparison to the actual worth. It might just scare the crap out of you too.
I don't begrudge the modern production builders, they are putting more butts in boats and helping keep the market alive, they build to what the majority of people will use them for. If you want a higher quality, more robust boat there are also builders who cater to that market and charge accordingly, you just have to be willing to ante up the cash.
The boats built today are better, safer and faster than many I ran across in the past, there were some really bad, really poorly built boats produced in the heyday of the sail boom, most of those are now where they belong, in a landfill somewhere. The better ones survived. In newer boats you get what you pay for. That there are a number of affordable production boats capable of transiting oceans is a testament to the ever evolving quality of design if not the quality of finish work in those boats. It varies from builder to builder, model to model but at least there are more choices these days. Our ever increasing focus on safety has also upped the bar on what is acceptable to most people, many boats that did circumnavigate way back when would now be considered unsuitable for that purpose, but yet, they did it.
You go with what you can afford and get the best you can get for the money you have, then run with it.
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Old 27-02-2014, 15:15   #72
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Is this how we judge a good boat?

I understand we all complain and say: "They don't make cars the way it used to"

I would love a 911 Porsche from the 60's, but I take a new 2014 911 in a heart beat.
Yes and have you driven a vintage Porsche lately? By today's standards they are not good cars. No airbags, 8 track, 0 to 60 in 10 minutes, wicked oversteer, etc. That doesn't mean that they aren't fun to drive, I just wouldn't want one for my daily ride. Vintage Detroit iron is even worse. I'd rather not have a car made the way they used to.

Good boats are different. There's no reason that a 60s, 70s, or 80s Perry, King, Brewer, Stevens or other quality designed cruiser can't be a great cruiser today. It's a matter of how well it was maintained and how many times it was rammed on the rocks. I never met a Sparkman & Stevens design that didn't sail well.
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Old 27-02-2014, 16:09   #73
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Re: Opinions Sought on Newish Old vs. Older Boat Purchase

Typically the new production boats (I'm not including the expensive ones) are light weight and have a more lively motion at sea. They can scoot when off the wind but they are usually harder to keep on course in a blow. The more expensive ones are generally heavier displacement (boats tend to cost by the pound) and have a more gentle motion in the same conditions so easier on vanes or autopilots and most sailors. Some folks buy an older higher quality boat to get a little more displacement and a softer ride. You can load a heavier boat much more than a lighter one without effecting the sailing qualities.
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