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Old 16-10-2013, 14:29   #16
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Re: Question Regarding Purchase

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Originally Posted by LakeSuperior View Post
I have come to the conclusion that every boat has to be worked on independently of age! Yes that means new boats, one year old boats, two year old boats, etc.
After 35 years of owning boats that were new, old and in between I have come to the same conclusion. In theory there may be a boat that is ready to load stores and sail away but I have never seen or even heard of one. Some may take a lot less than others but.........
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Old 16-10-2013, 14:42   #17
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Re: Question Regarding Purchase

Hi Hellbent.

Here's my take on the various options, and I have tried most.

1. If you have the budget buy a boat that is in as good a shape as you can afford. It will still take time and money to get it ready to go but will take less of your time. The money aspect will depend on what additional "stuff" you want to add or update.

2. If your budget is very tight consider getting a fixer upper and spend your spare time putting in sweat equity. But a couple of suggestions.

- Park it close to home. Long distance boat ownership is expensive and while the boat sits waiting for your next trip down more stuff will quit working from neglect and corrosion, so put you in a two steps forward, one step back or even at times one step forward, two steps back.

- I you have to pay to park it, unless it's really, really cheap then all the savings from buying a fixer upper will be eaten up by storage costs. If you have a big back yard and room for a truck to back up you can have the boat dropped there. I did this and it has save thousands and thousands in storage and travel.

- You will probably end up spending more on a serious fixer upper than buying better boat but the costs can be spread over a longer time and you should be able to end up with a better boat. For me I spent about 20% below market for mine and will end up spending about 15% over market when I'm done. But I will have new rigging, sails, plumbing, inverter/charger, alternators, pumps, hoses. Plus I now know ever single nook and cranny in the boat.

3. My wife also is more into the travel aspect and does tend to sea sickness. I will do the passages with friends and she can fly over.

4. Boat rule of thumb. Any project or repair on a boat will take twice as long and cost twice as much as you estimate. And you can't get away from this rule by making an estimate and doubling that because it will then cost you even more.
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Old 16-10-2013, 14:54   #18
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Re: Question Regarding Purchase

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Originally Posted by LakeSuperior View Post
I have come to the conclusion that every boat has to be worked on independently of age! Yes that means new boats, one year old boats, two year old boats, etc.

With a new boat the first several years are shake down, getting the rigging right, adding a water maker, solar panels, canvas, sail handling equipment, etc.

After the initial first few years, because the rate of deterioration of the subsystems is so phenomenal, your new boat is now aging and you are stripping and varnishing, working on the generator, chasing leaks, greasing the anchor winch, etc.

I guess the point is you can find a boat in good condition but it will still require a whole lot of work to fix the bugs and keep it functional. I would rather learn short cuts and idiosyncrasies at home with a local support net than when I am on my own cruising in a foreign country.
I agree wholeheartedly with you on this one, no matter how well equipped, I've yet to own a boat that didn't need work, even new ones, unless your buying in the high end of the market where a guy named Biff comes to fix it under warranty, personally, I don't have that kind of money, if you do I'm definitely jealous.
Of course if you look hard enough and long enough you can find one that is 85% there and the way you like it, which is as good as it gets, but it'll always need something redone if only to fit your particular needs. Of course you don't want to buy a boat that needs a ton of work or head offshore in an unfamiliar vessel, it's no fun, trust me.
Any boat over 5 years old will at least need electronics if your planning to sail away to distant locations, the older they are the more systems that need attention and I don't mean major systems, it's usually a thousand little things that kill you.
As for ocean passages, there are several outfits that offer the "offshore experience", in reality they are usually charter firms that work the Northeast in the summer and then transport their boats to their island charter bases in the fall. There's a Swan charter fleet out of Newport as well as others that do this, they charge passengers who move the boats with them to go along on the ride and participate in sailing and navigating the boats, they also offer some instruction along the way. It might be a good way to get you and your wife on an ocean passage that's not too long but long enough to get a feel for it and see how she does. Even better is that your doing this in the company of seasoned sailors.
Of course you'll want to get more sailing time in overall before then.
Sounds like your wife has the right backbone though, renovating boats is much like renovating houses, just with more uncomfortably small spaces to get into and a lot of sticky compounds to deal with, I won't even mention fiberglass dust in the shorts.......
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Old 16-10-2013, 15:15   #19
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Re: Question Regarding Purchase

Buy a fresh water boat in the Great Lakes now ! Move onboard now !
By the time you are ready to leave you will be intimately aware of all her flaws.
....... the boat that is.
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