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Old 28-12-2011, 11:15   #1
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Seeking Advice: Buying a Family Cruiser

I am preparing to purchase a boat in mid/late 2012 and would appreciate any advice. Can I get what I want at my budget?

-Want to spend max $75,000 (plus survey and some smaller initial fixes)

-Cruiser style sloop/cutter for family and business friends around Cape Cod. Desired LOA: 40-50.

-Will often have 4 total on board but would like to be able to crowd in 6 or 8 from time to time (but sleeping 6 or 8 is not mandatory.)

-Should be an easy sailor for crew of two.

-Typical trips will be 2-5 days in northeast US May-October (will probably haul out for winter.)

-Max draft 6 feet, hopefully less.

-No time to oil teak so looking for boat to jump on and sail when I have time.

-Swim platform desirable for children.

-Happy to buy the boat and sail home to Cape Cod from as far away as Tortola but would of course prefer to purchase boat closer to home.

Using these basic constraints I found myself in the Beneteau Cyclades world, a boat that seemed to be made specifically for the charter business. I understand about the dangers of buying a charter boat (who wants to buy their next car from Avis or Herz?) but my constraints, specifically budget, seem to push me that way. They are basic boats and with some patience and luck I believe I can find one coming out of charter in my price range.

One problem with Cyclades is they seem add berthing at expense of living area. I am torn between wanting lounging area and wanting max sleep areas. I write this so you can see how I am thinking about below deck. If forced to choose I would go with formal berthing for 4 and a larger living area (with maybe a drop down table to sleep two more.)

Am I being rational about this potential purchase? Are there other boats I should examine? Would I be best served working with a "buyer's broker?"
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Old 28-12-2011, 13:24   #2
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Re: Seeking Advice: buying a family cruiser

I will leave specific comments about the Beneteau to others. My comment is that I have bought cars from both Hertz and Budget, and they were both excellent values for the dollar. I would not hesitate to buy another car from a rental company, and I would not hesitate to buy a boat from a charter company.

You just have to inspect it carefully, so that you know what you're getting. Yes, they are used hard by people who don't care as much about them as an owner would. But they also get maintained to a higher standard than most privately-owned vehicles.

Just like rental cars, rental boats get cleaned up and all the obvious stuff checked almost weekly. Just like rental cars, rental boats that have problems get them fixed quickly. They get their oil changed much more regularly than most privately-owned vehicles. Their engines and transmissions get the "once-over" by qualified mechanics more often. They are run hard, but they are kept in top condition.

A boat that is coming off charter needs to be carefully surveyed, just like any used boat. But if the survey comes back good then I most certainly would not disqualify a boat just because it has been in charter service.
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Old 28-12-2011, 15:58   #3
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Re: Seeking Advice: buying a family cruiser

If the use you have in mind is the kind a charter boat is designed for, you may be very happy with a clean, sound and well surveyed sample of an ex-charter boat.

Sleeping space may come second to lounge and cockpit space.

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Old 28-12-2011, 16:22   #4
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Re: Seeking Advice: buying a family cruiser

Quote:
Originally Posted by sardasarda View Post
Using these basic constraints I found myself in the Beneteau Cyclades world,

Am I being rational about this potential purchase? Are there other boats I should examine? Would I be best served working with a "buyer's broker?"

What does boat buying have to do with being rational?

There's lots more boats that fit your list of wants! Unless you only plan to buy directly from an owner for a boat that isn't broker listed then .............yes get a broker to help you an let them help guide you (did you use a realtor to buy your house?). Just remember that in the end you make your own decisions on pricing etc.
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Old 29-12-2011, 06:27   #5
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Re: Seeking Advice: buying a family cruiser

Sardasarda
There are plenty of boats in the northeast that fit your description.
I don't think you need to focus on a charter boat. I agree, there is nothing wrong with purchasing a former charter boat as has been mentioned they are usually well maintained plus you will likely get a newer model boat -- but then its not how many years old it is, it's how many miles and sleeping days it has and how its been used.
Another consideration with a charter boat is your price point -- you will want to be there for the survey plus I think you would want your own surveyor that you know and trust--think of airfare and hotels and add that to the cost of the boat.
Then if there is something wrong with the boat you are out not only the survey cost and haul out but airfare too. Are you willing to do this a time or two? Again cuts into your boat fund and at the price point you are looking at can rapidly cut into a good percentage of what's available.
There are plenty of boats in the northeast for sale right now in the range you are looking for. We recently bought a boat. Researched options and models of boats for over a year. Had a great broker who was committed to helping us find the right boat. I spent a lot of time on Yachtworld and other sites and a lot of time talking to dozens of people who owned boats.
In the end, when we bought the boat, we had a few things we had to correct on the boat before the took acceptance and it was nice to have it within a couple hours drive so we could inspect and get the boat ready. (Even this got old after a few weeks).
Others can comment on whether you should look at one of the "big three" production boats builders - Beneteau, Catalina, Hunter or whether you should look at other types of boats available. But if you take your time, boat shopping can actually be a lot of fun -- after we bought our boat I was in withdrawal not feeling compelled to search the web for my perfect boat. But then now I am already searching for the "next boat."
Good luck in your search. Oh, and if you are in the RI area I can recommend a good broker.
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Old 29-12-2011, 09:42   #6
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Re: Seeking Advice: buying a family cruiser

Given your criteria and max price, you're might want to look at something along these lines:
1988 Morgan Catalina CSY Center Cockpit Sloop Sail Boat For Sale -

These boats are not designed as a "serious" bluewater boat, but are supposed to be a decent performer and the layout is certainly appealing.

Disclaimer: I have no relation to the listing above, nor have personal knowledge of the Morgan 44, just thought it could work.
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Old 01-01-2012, 18:13   #7
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Re: Seeking Advice: buying a family cruiser

Thanks for your thoughts. I was hoping to not hear a bunch of horror stories about buying a charter boat! I plan to find a broker to act for me, the buyer, and then interview some surveyors.
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Old 01-01-2012, 18:15   #8
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Re: Seeking Advice: buying a family cruiser

I believe the expected use of coastal cruising for generally one week max trips should fit roughly with the charter model. And yes, the balance of sleeping v living room is something I will probably never solve.
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Old 01-01-2012, 18:16   #9
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Re: Seeking Advice: buying a family cruiser

Thanks. I certainly plan to find a broker to act for me, the buyer (although for my last home I did NOT have a buyer's broker working for me which was probably not the best way to go.)
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Old 01-01-2012, 18:20   #10
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Re: Seeking Advice: buying a family cruiser

Thanks for the feedback. I am in no way fixed to a charter boat it was simply that the Cyclades kept coming up as looking like a good value point for me given my budget and desires. It would be of course wonderful to buy a boat closer to home to save time and money and yes, I would be interested in brokers. I live in MA and will keep the boat at Cataumet, Cape Cod so RI is not far. Feel free to suggest a good buyer's broker.
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Old 01-01-2012, 18:22   #11
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Re: Seeking Advice: buying a family cruiser

Interesting listing; thank you. How much should I worry about and "older boat?" Electronics, heads, engines, galley, rigging? Is there a reason why a 1998 boat is more desirable than a 1988 boat, other than of course simply the age and "milage?"
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Old 01-01-2012, 18:36   #12
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I too have had excellent service from used Avis "non-smoking" vehicle. Maintenance on rental units are always top notch. While older boats can have their issues with dated electronics, rigging, etc. That is not usually the case in a recently retired charter.

While 40-50 ft can be handled by two, it does get more difficult as we age and everything is more expensive in this class of boat. Be sure to understand your yearly maintenance cost for a vessel that size.

Good luck with your search.

Don
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Old 01-01-2012, 18:37   #13
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Re: Seeking Advice: buying a family cruiser

When I was searching for my last boat, I had about the same needs as you. I ended up with an '87 Beneteau 432. I love the layout and the way she sails.
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Old 01-01-2012, 18:43   #14
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Re: Seeking Advice: buying a family cruiser

Understood! Thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dandrews View Post
I too have had excellent service from used Avis "non-smoking" vehicle. Maintenance on rental units are always top notch. While older boats can have their issues with dated electronics, rigging, etc. That is not usually the case in a recently retired charter.

While 40-50 ft can be handled by two, it does get more difficult as we age and everything is more expensive in this class of boat. Be sure to understand your yearly maintenance cost for a vessel that size.

Good luck with your search.

Don
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Old 01-01-2012, 18:44   #15
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Re: Seeking Advice: buying a family cruiser

Cool; I will check that out. I have not looked at that one yet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaunJ View Post
When I was searching for my last boat, I had about the same needs as you. I ended up with an '87 Beneteau 432. I love the layout and the way she sails.
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