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Old 20-11-2011, 06:43   #1
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Potential Purchase Options

So my wife and I have narrowed down our boat of choice to one or two specific builder/models. I recently had a chance to take a look at several instances of one of the builder/model combinations. We could use some advice with respect to the various trade-offs when comparing say three similar model's of a used boat. Having little boat maintenance/repair experience and even with all of the reading such as Don Casey's "Inspecting the Aging Sailboat", we aren't sure which issues are small/manageable or which issues should causes us to eliminate a particular boat from the list. So assume there are three boats, A, B, and C all versions of the same boat from the early to mid-1990's. The boat details:

Boat A
-Inside is well maintained; owner clearly oiled the teak
-The boat bottom is very well maintained
-The topside of the boat is where the issues are; The teak has raised grain on the large teak toe rails; the lifelines look rugged; and it seems as if the fiberglass is more worn (doesn't have a sheen or smoothness); seals and bedding look worn, etc.
-Oldest of the three boats by 4 years; seems to show that way
-Low engine hours

Boat B
-Inside of the boat is well maintained; has some extra features like a large chartplotter at the nav station
-Boat has upgraded electronics including radar unlike the other boats
-Has leisure furl in boom furler (I've heard these are expensive)
-Bottom of the boat looks nice due to painting but needs some work; probably not quite as much as Boat C
Nice folding prop
-The topside looks very nice; toerail teak needs a small amount of work; mostly cosmetic
-Low engine hours
-Boat B is around 25k more expensive than the other two boats (roughly 20%)

Boat C
-The interior is clean and very well kept; interior teak is well maintained
-The bottom needs to be stripped/sodablasted and re-barrier coated/painted; lots of chipping; some exposed gelcoat; could be sailed for a season with a coat of anti-fouling
-There is a 11" square fiberglass repair that is barely noticeable; has very small blisters; told directly that it needs to be redone; above the waterline on the starboard side; gelcoat damage was the result of a docking pylon rub/bump
-The teak toerail needs to be sanded down and such; but is in much better condition than on Boat A (i.e. no raised grain)
-Boat C is cheaper than Boat A by around 5k
-Low engine hours
- Been out of the water for the last year and half

So the big question here is:
Based on the incomplete information above, which boat would you go with?

Boat A feels like the topsides are going to need money/work to make the wife happy

The extra stuff on Boat B doesn't seem to justify the cost relative to the other boats; not sure if we want leisure furling

The issues on Boat C seem to be fairly minor/cosmetic and/or standard maintenance one would expect on on older sailboat (i.e. eventually stripping the bottom).

Currently leaning towards Boat C

Thoughts?
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Old 20-11-2011, 06:50   #2
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Re: Potential Purchase Options

jump in and get a survey done on boat C and read the outcome...............
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Old 20-11-2011, 06:53   #3
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My advice, since all three seem to be more less overall in good condition, get rid of the Broker, sit in each one for a while together with your wife, and see which talks to you the most ;-)

In the end, when she's lying at anchor, and you are both in the dink on the way back to her, there must be some pride in seeing her sit there...

Just my 2c YMMV

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Old 20-11-2011, 07:04   #4
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pirate Re: Potential Purchase Options

Quote:
Originally Posted by TassieBloke View Post
My advice, since all three seem to be more less overall in good condition, get rid of the Broker, sit in each one for a while together with your wife, and see which talks to you the most ;-)

In the end, when she's lying at anchor, and you are both in the dink on the way back to her, there must be some pride in seeing her sit there...

Just my 2c YMMV

BLoke
+A1...
lets face it... inside is your 'Living Space'... as Bloke says feel her out..
Be a buga if 1 month down the line you convince yourself the extra 2" legroom in the other boats double woulda made all the difference to quality of life...
The outside maybe just needs a good buffing and wax... or even a spray job... doubt that'll cost more than a peel...
Go for the one that the Missus loves inside and you love topside...
or the next best compromise for YOU..... if she's happy.. your in clover...
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Old 20-11-2011, 07:45   #5
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Re: Potential Purchase Options

Survey time

If one of the boats has blisters then all of the boats given same builder ..... may be suspect as regards blisters

If you went with boat "C" my thinking would be that the blisters should be addressed before putting it back in the water. The problem and therefore the fix is only likely to get bigger, secondly if the boat has been out of the water for that period of time then the hull may have had a chance to partially dry out. The answer as to which boat would be best would in part depend on what skills you have and if you are prepared to spend your time doing the work. Get a survey and a quote to have the work done professionally if for no other reason than to negotiate on price. Just as the price differs for each of the boats you can be sure that the willingness of the owners to negotiate on price will differ.

Engine hours don't matter as much as how the engine was used and maintained.

Buy with you head, sail with your heart.

My 2 cents
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Old 20-11-2011, 08:17   #6
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Re: Potential Purchase Options

Just to be clear, none of the boats have blisters per se, Boat C has a small repair that clearly needs to be redone. There are two fingertip sized blisters in the square foot repaired area. Frankly, if the broker hadn't pointed it out, I'm not sure I would have noticed.
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Old 20-11-2011, 10:02   #7
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Re: Potential Purchase Options

+1 for Tassie Bloke's idea of listening to the boat. But I would look at B. Radar is very nice and runs about $1k plus installation. A liesure furl runs around $20k for a 40' boat. Chartplotter can be expensive too if it is a large on maybe $4k. You are going to spend a lot of time or money getting a boat in to top shape so the closer you start the better off you are. Seems like a good time to negotiate price anyway.
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Old 20-11-2011, 10:29   #8
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Re: Potential Purchase Options

Too many other possible factors need to be weighed for us to make a decision for you. None of the things you mention on any of the boats is a deal breaker, but there may be other factors that you didn't mention that are deal makers!

Just guessing here, but location can be a significant factor if the boat needs work and you will be doing it.
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Old 20-11-2011, 10:42   #9
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Re: Potential Purchase Options

Quote:
Originally Posted by TassieBloke View Post
My advice, since all three seem to be more less overall in good condition, get rid of the Broker, sit in each one for a while together with your wife, and see which talks to you the most ;-)

In the end, when she's lying at anchor, and you are both in the dink on the way back to her, there must be some pride in seeing her sit there...

Just my 2c YMMV

BLoke
Boat A or boat B.... and what he said! Boat A sounds like it's been in southern lattitudes a lot and the gel coat is pretty sun bleached. It wont hurt anything, but will hurt resale. Blister jobs can be hard to get good work done, expensive and may come back sooner than you think. I would avoid a boat that starts out with a bad case of the pox. I bought a well renowned boat once that had had a complete bottom job /barrier coat. Within 2 years it was back and I discovered the thick hull was so saturated that there were blisters inside the hull below the floorboards! Also, an older boat with low engine hours can sometimes be a bad thing. Engines and mechanical systems need to run to stay healthy.
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Old 20-11-2011, 17:03   #10
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Again +1 on listening to the boat. There is something about fixing a boat you love vs. fixing a boat you dont love. Sort of like caring for a sick relative.

On the practical side -

Expensive stuff = major hull maintenance, standing rigging replacement, sail replacement, engine overhaul, electronic equipment repair, replacement or additions, broken furlers, bad winches, major interior refit

Not expensive stuff requiring labor and love - cleaning up teak toe rails, stainless steel polishing, heads and water systems (not considering tank replacement), fuel system maintenance, running rigging, lifelines etc...

I have used mainsail furling like 4 times both boom and mast. I personally hate it. On each of the three mast furlers one person had to stand at the mast and clear jamming of the sail roll in the slot making sail raising a (deployment?) two person job. I love headsail furlers but on the main I much prefer lazy jacks and a boom bag.

So B would be eliminated by me. The wear and tear on A would not be a concern but C might be my first choice. To make the final decision I would list the features I care about in priority order assigning a numeric value to each priority. 3-6-9. Then on a scale of 1-5 I would assess how each boat meets the priorities. Multiply the priority by the assessment to get a value for each priority for each boat. Higher values are better and more important. Sum the values for each priority to get a total score.

Then after all that baloney buy the boat your wife likes better - LOL
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