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Old 04-03-2014, 13:37   #16
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Re: Purchasing a sailboat for Bahamas trip

You talk about the cost of flying and yet you talk about owning a boat 2400 miles from where you live. Have you really considered how seldom you'll get to use it? Your parents live in that area. How many times a year do you visit them?
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Old 04-03-2014, 14:07   #17
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Re: Purchasing a sailboat for Bahamas trip

Hi Unknown
I am basically in the same position as you except I live in NJ.
I too plan on cruising the Bahamas and the Keys during the winter
of 2015. I am also looking for a 30 sized boat which
seems to be the sweet spot although would consider a 27.
Years ago I owned a 27 and think it would be fine for a crew of two
The Captain and my Admiral. I have been armchair and internet
shopping (It's 17 degrees outside) all over the east coast for a suitable boat and what I have found is this.
I have no doubt whatsoever that
I will be able to find a suitable NON PROJECT boat for around 15K Cash
Stuff will have to be done but not to the point of being a project.
I'm staying away from them and will go down to a 27 if need be.
The good folks here have helped me focus on what's important
and in what order
Hull
Engine
Rigging
Sails
These are the biggies that you want to avoid having to refit and fix
A little tuning, fine, A refit No
I have eliminated a "Wheel" as a requirement
A tiller would be fine
I have eliminated a diesel as a requirement
(after finding Moyer Marine an Atomic 4 would be fine)
And so on
I suggest, as was suggested to me that you read
Don Casey's The Complete Illustrated Sailboat"
I also suggest you read Moyer Marine "Complete Owners and Service Manual - Atomic 4" as well as read up on their website
I make this suggestion because it will be the engine in lots of the
boats you will come by. Many are afraid of this engine and nicknamed it the Atomic Bomb I was in this camp but not anymore after finding a good source of information and support for this golden oldie.

Once the better weather gets here I plan to start some serious
marina, boat yard, dock walking looking for that perfect opportunity
It seems to be a great buyers market and cash always works wonders.
Good Luck and Happy sailing
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Old 04-03-2014, 14:41   #18
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Re: Purchasing a sailboat for Bahamas trip

Great info and advice by all...I love it!

azsailor-Good point on the permits. I always assumed they wouldn't be too much for a smaller boat, but I had better dig deeper on that. Fuel on the other hand would be pricey!

jcolman-thanks for the info on your shopping experience. It helps to have some real life examples.

BannB-The plan would be to do extended cruises on each visit. If after the initial 6 month cruise we still want more we would come back and work hard to rebuild funds for the next 3,4,5 whatever month cruise. It may take a year or two to get back out there but it would be worth it. We are currently selling our house and simplifying our life to free up funds and make this feasible.

Time2go-Thanks for the tips on what to look for. Hope the snow stops for you soon so you can get out there. I have a couple of Nigel Calder's books, Cruising Handbook and the Boat owner's Mechanical and Electrical Manual. Both packed with info that you may find helpful in the quest.

Thanks all!
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Old 04-03-2014, 14:50   #19
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Re: Purchasing a sailboat for Bahamas trip

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Originally Posted by Theunknown View Post
Thanks for your thought rockDAWG. I appreciate you bringing up the cost/work involved with owning a boat.

Taking trips to the east coast and chartering a boat would be ideal for learning and a long term goal. Unfortunately, flying to the east coast has gotten expensive and if I throw in a charter boat cost of almost 2 - 3k per week for a 3 week trip it could easily cost 8-10k with nothing to show but some memories. Yes, it cost more than that for a boat/maintenance, but I think I would still be ahead in the long run with our goals of returning multiple times. Having a trailer to tow the boat 30 miles to the folks place and covered storage should help with cost/maintenance some but definitely won't eliminate it.

The logistics are definitely complicated by living in MT, but I am confident it's doable.

I live just a 20 min drive to Chesapeake bay, but I have yet bough a keel boat on my own. However, I sail 3K to 4K sea miles each year off-shore for other captain and owners, most them were free or with a small pay check.

I have done the time-share boat for a few years. It worked out nicely.
Yacht Leasing and Fractional Charter Boat Rental of Sea Ray Powerboats and Jeanneau Sailboats in Chicago, Annapolis, Miami

They have a fleet in Chicago, so it may be closer to you. You can group your time slots in a week or two.

I totally understand and respect your decision.
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Old 04-03-2014, 14:58   #20
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Re: Purchasing a sailboat for Bahamas trip

Jeff +1 for East Coast - especially FL. Not to say you cannot trailer across the country ( I once pulled a 27" with an old 6 wheel 1960 Ford - it was not fun) but in 1/2 the time, you could visit a bunch of places and find a suitable boat at a reasonable cost.
Our 34 cat was $18K
2 new solar panels, controller and wire was under $1K
fridge under $1K
Used bigger anchor $200
GPS and Bahamas chip well under $1K
few 5 gal fuel containers, one 5 gal water jug and $300 for Bahamas cruising permit, $30 for sunscreen, bring your own fishing pole.
OK, that is $22K but you are under 3ft draft and you are going to love it.
Yes, we spent on other things but the above is all you actually need. the Bahamas water is warm - you don't even need fresh bottom paint - just jump in a give it a scrub once a week.
yes, others will tell you that you need radar, new RIB with 15 hp, anchor alarms, EPIRP, AIS, backup GPS, SSB, etc.....but you are only planning to go to the Bahamas.....just go!! KISS
Ed
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Old 04-03-2014, 16:58   #21
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Re: Purchasing a sailboat for Bahamas trip

BandB-Thanks for the info on the time share deals. Hadn't heard of those, good info. I'll have to look into it.

Sailorman Ed-Thanks for the real world #'s on your purchase. It's great to hear it can be done for that amount especially with a cat. KISS is the only way we can do this!

Looks like everyone votes for an east coast purchase. I really like the idea of not shipping across the country. I still worry about not knowing the boat inside and out before I go, but I can get over that. Now I just need to find the right boat!!!

Thanks
Jeff
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Old 04-03-2014, 17:15   #22
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I agree with the looking in Florida idea- cost saved between hauling and first icw cruise would also mean a few more $$ in your budget for initial purchase. Tons of great boats for sale down here and you would get time on your initial cruise! Lots of us down here as well more than happy to get a visual and inspect for you ( I think- doesn't bother me and hubby as long it's not hours away). Good luck!
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Old 04-03-2014, 17:25   #23
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Re: Purchasing a sailboat for Bahamas trip

Thanks for the offers to take a look at boats for us. As the time to buy draws closer I may have to take you up on it, but only if we can repay the favor with your favorite cocktails when we are in the area!

Amazing people here on the forum!
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Old 04-03-2014, 17:40   #24
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Re: Purchasing a sailboat for Bahamas trip

So, you have been dreaming about sailing? But you haven't done any?

Instead of buying a boat, take a course and then do a charter. If you still like it THEN buy a boat.

As for buying a bost down here in Florida? Just remember there are lots of us that live here and are looking for a boat also....

Its gonna cost you more to look at and buy a boat down here than it will for me.
Case in point....are you gonna buy a boat unseen? How do you know what shape it is in? Oh, you're gonna buy me a beer for spending HOURS looking for you? How do you know I'm honest?

Take the bareboat course while you are on vacation, and next year do the charter... IF you still like it then the 3rd year....COME ON DOWN!
We'd love to have you visit for awhile!

All I am saying is, make sure you really do like sailing BEFORE you invest the time and money buying a boat.

Dreams and wishes can be wonderful, but just remember.....even like a marriage, everything ends in death or dumping!
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Old 04-03-2014, 18:13   #25
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Re: Purchasing a sailboat for Bahamas trip

Miniyot-Questioning my experience right from the start, guess you didn't read the part in my original post where I didn't want this to be a debate over my experience. Yes, I have sailed, but need much more time prior to the trip, hence the almost 2 year departure date.

Thanks for pointing out the cost of travel and competition, those are helpful to my decision.

As far as the beer goes, don't worry I wasn't referring to you. I was referring to the ones that offered because they wanted to help.

Jeff
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Old 04-03-2014, 18:56   #26
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Re: Purchasing a sailboat for Bahamas trip

I will comment on owning a boat and living a long way from it. I live in so cal and have left a 36 foot sloop in s Florida for 8 years now. Also there are tons of Canadians doing the same thing. It is a bit of a chore but you get better at it with experience. Lots of little things to do to boat to get it ready for long term storage that make a big difference when getting her ready to go again. But it is all doable and worth it to me and many others. The previous poster had it pretty right about what equipment is nice to have. Finding the right boat is key.
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Old 04-03-2014, 19:15   #27
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A couple cocktails in a cockpit watching a nice sunset? I'll take that that as a thank you any day. Might have overlooked- what part of montana? Love montana, lived in Wyoming for a bit- but have found winters and cold hurt more and more each year. Much prefer our balmy temps- but your big blue sky country is incredible!
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Old 04-03-2014, 19:22   #28
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Re: Purchasing a sailboat for Bahamas trip

Missoula area on the western part of the state. I agree about the cold!!! We long to venture south more and more each year. We are lucky to live here, but it would be even better if we could escape and see the blue water for a few months each year!!!

Thanks again for your kindness Mknebes!
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Old 04-03-2014, 19:56   #29
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Re: Purchasing a sailboat for Bahamas trip

Brantleychuck-thanks for the comments on long distance ownership. Sounds like work, but I feel it would be worth it as well!
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Old 04-03-2014, 20:45   #30
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Re: Purchasing a sailboat for Bahamas trip

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You talk about the cost of flying and yet you talk about owning a boat 2400 miles from where you live. Have you really considered how seldom you'll get to use it? Your parents live in that area. How many times a year do you visit them?

He makes a good point. If you don 't live near your boat the costs are even more since you have to have the yard do a lot of the work in the end. And if money is tight and you can't do the work yourself the boat can turn into a stressor.
And given you won't have much experience skippering your own cruising yacht by then, and barely know your own boat when you set out, it won't be easy to make your ways to the Bahamas and across the Gulf Stream. Consider consulting a weather router when you head offshore.
But it all can be done, no doubt. I did it 2 years after learning to sail and one year after buying a boat. It was tough and challenging, but best experience ever!
Another point that you should not underestimate is crew dynamics. It often takes a while until a husband and wife become an effective cruising team. The road to get there can be quite bumpy and has often ended in divorce at the end of the trip. Men and women seem to have different romantic ideals about sailing the Tropics. Make sure you both have realistic expectations and are on the same page. In tense situations on the water, avoid screaming. ;-)

There is also a point to waiting with buying a boat until you know more what you want and need. Island-hopping as crew on other people's boat is fun and you don 't have to be constrained to the Bahamas. Take the $5k you earmarked for towing and fly to Fiji or Australia to join a boat there. Crew wanted pages are full of skippers looking for extra help for passages and/or offsetting costs.

Have fun!!
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