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Old 11-05-2018, 18:07   #1
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We're going to actually attempt this...

After a couple of years of lurking and doing what seems like endless research, taking an ASA course, crewing on many boats in the marina races, my wife and I have decided to move forward with our dream and start sailing away. We would like to leave San Diego on the Baja Ha Ha at the end of October. From there, we hope to stay in La Paz and continue cruising the Sea of Cortez until we end up hopefully either crossing over Panama to the Caribbean or West to French Polynesia. Anyway, we have about $50000 we can use towards the actual purchase price and maybe about $30000 for upgrades. When my eyes were bigger than my wallet, this: 1977 CT Ketch Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com , is what I deemed proper for a long trip like we are planning but we cannot afford it. I would love to have that ship but alas, not this time around. Anyway, I would like to do some further research but with your assistance. What would you sailors be looking at, 40ft+ @50-60k which could be somewhat turned into that 1977 ketch with the money left to spare. I have looked at these boats for so long I'm seeing crooked and feeling overwhelmed, i feel a fresh pair of eyes of two can lead me into a proper direction and I hope you can help. Thank you for reading.
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Old 12-05-2018, 02:51   #2
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Re: We're going to actually attempt this...

Greetings and (belated) welcome aboard the CF, FEC.
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Old 12-05-2018, 03:12   #3
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Setting your departure from the W Coast does somewhat limit your options and choices.. and as a result your VFM.
Welcome to CF.. good luck with your hunt.
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Old 12-05-2018, 03:19   #4
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Re: We're going to actually attempt this...

FEC, this type of boat & of this age imho really is the proverbial "hole in the water" with incalcuable follow-up costs. you better be well prepared to spend endless $$ & time to get it rtw-ready. it is not necesssarily so but quite likely. particularly a tight budget calls for buying a relatively short & young, simply equipped boat
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Old 12-05-2018, 04:31   #5
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Re: We're going to actually attempt this...

When I first started boating I wanted a boat just like that but never worked out. After a few years boating that style moved way, way down on my list. FYI even among owners boats of this age and design are referred to as "Leaky Teakies". You can guess why.

One of the worst are the teak decks. In a 1977 boat the odds are 90% that, unless they have already been replaced" they will be leaking and probably rot in the subdecking. Teak decks are beautiful, are the best non skid but are very hot in the tropics, a bit of work to maintain and a LOT of cost to replace. Speaking of maintenance, all that teak around the outside of the boat will be a non-stop, ongoing job to keep looking good.

All that being said, boats of this style have a classic look and the wood is gorgeous. For the right person who is in love with the style and wood and loves the care and feeding of exterior teak trim they are fine. For those more interested in cruising and less interested in pretty wood there are many better choices.

With your budget there should be plenty of boats to suit. I will second the idea to consider east coast instead of south CA. In addition to a lot more options for boats on the market you can find much, much cheaper places to keep a boat in the SE US like north FL, GA, NC, etc.
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Old 12-05-2018, 08:21   #6
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Re: We're going to actually attempt this...

I second some of the above comments regarding looking for a boat in Southern CA. With your budget there would be alot to choose from on the east coast. Something a bit newer that requires less maintenance, might be a good choice.
Boat searching can be fun, enjoy!
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Old 12-05-2018, 08:31   #7
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Re: We're going to actually attempt this...

Never fall in love with a boat BEFORE you buy it! Bad decisions will follow. (I am sure there is a general life lesson in there somewhere, but I am not going there...)

I once had a 1976 Northstar (later sold as Hughes) 40 foot ketch that was in your price range. Excellent boat. There are relatively few boats that size and age that have been well maintained and are good buys, but when you find one it can be a gem.

In general, you'd be better spending the $70K to get a boat that is "ready to go" than planning on a major refit which will always, always, always, take longer and cost more than you think.
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Old 12-05-2018, 09:14   #8
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Re: We're going to actually attempt this...

I have been buying boats on the west coast since 1974. Some fixers some fully found. There are more good cruising boats for sale than you could ever see if you decided that instead of cruising you just wanted to look at boats every day the rest of your life. For us, when we decided to move aboard and cruise my wife wanted a pilothouse, partly for comfort and partly because our dermatologist thought that after a lifetime in the sun cruising south was a bad idea. Pilothouses are rarer in Southern California so I went to Washington, and after two weeks in a Motel 6 found Mana. For the record though, she passed a survey with flying colors, but a lot of stuff broke in a full storm a hundred miles WSW of Neah Bay, and we limped into Ventura a week later. It was a full year before we took off for Mexico, and I knew people of many trades in Ventura and had repaired many boats. But getting a boat ready and becoming familiar with it is a slower process than you might think. But it was a good time for us. Cruising was my dream since my grampa gave me a copy of " Peter Freuchen's Book of the Seven Seas" when I was in the 5th grade. My wife liked sailing but went along anyway. We lived aboard in Ventura and she loved it. There is no closer community in my opinion than a dock full of liveaboards and she really enjoyed having neighbors that we shared so much in common with. And one last thing, the Sea of Cortez is a really forgiving place to begin cruising. And if you go with the Ha Ha, while you miss the best parts of the Pacific coast of Baja because they only stop at places that will accommodate 130 plus boats, when you get to the Sea of Cortez you will have made plenty of friends that you will see over and over, here and there. If I had listened more carefully over the years I would have had a trailerable boat in maybe La Paz 40 years ago, and when we are done with Mana, we will find a free boat on Craigslist and do just that until it is too much work for old people. That is my opinion and I am sticking to it.
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Old 12-05-2018, 10:07   #9
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Re: We're going to actually attempt this...

I have been sailing/cruising for over 40 years, have owned several boats and have lived aboard for 22 years. I currently have a well found sailboat that I have sunk a large amount of money in over the years, even though the purchase price was moderate. It's very easy to do, but I like to think I've learned a few things in that time.
I'm sure you'll find what you are looking for so go for it. But I would set my sites on a simpler rig such as a sloop or cutter, maybe a little smaller boat in the 35 to 38 foot range, it will lower your costs substantially. I would also look for a boat with very little wood on deck, unless you like endless hours of wood maintenance, especially in the tropics. I would not give up looking on the west coast and would start your cruising as you have planned. You don't want to miss going down the west coast through Mexico, the Sea of Cortez and Central America.
Check out boats in Mexico and the Pacific Northwest as well.

Good Luck!
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Old 12-05-2018, 10:09   #10
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Re: We're going to actually attempt this...

Thank you for welcoming me. I love this site!
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Old 12-05-2018, 10:11   #11
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Re: We're going to actually attempt this...

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
Setting your departure from the W Coast does somewhat limit your options and choices.. and as a result your VFM.
Welcome to CF.. good luck with your hunt.
Thank you Boatman for that advice. It did occur to me to look on the east coast, maybe far up the coast like RI or Maine and sail down the entire east coast to Florida and hopefully just keep going. Although I heard that is a bash the entire way down.
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Old 12-05-2018, 10:15   #12
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Re: We're going to actually attempt this...

Quote:
Originally Posted by double u View Post
FEC, this type of boat & of this age imho really is the proverbial "hole in the water" with incalcuable follow-up costs. you better be well prepared to spend endless $$ & time to get it rtw-ready. it is not necesssarily so but quite likely. particularly a tight budget calls for buying a relatively short & young, simply equipped boat
Good morning Double U. I appreciate your comments about the boat being too old and maintenance costs for such an older boat being "incalculable". It had also occurred to me to find something smaller and with less stuff that will require fixing in the future but yes, that will take my search to the east coast.
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Old 12-05-2018, 10:24   #13
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Re: We're going to actually attempt this...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailorlou View Post
I have been sailing/cruising for over 40 years, have owned several boats and have lived aboard for 22 years. I currently have a well found sailboat that I have sunk a large amount of money in over the years, even though the purchase price was moderate. It's very easy to do, but I like to think I've learned a few things in that time.
I'm sure you'll find what you are looking for so go for it. But I would set my sites on a simpler rig such as a sloop or cutter, maybe a little smaller boat in the 35 to 38 foot range, it will lower your costs substantially. I would also look for a boat with very little wood on deck, unless you like endless hours of wood maintenance, especially in the tropics. I would not give up looking on the west coast and would start your cruising as you have planned. You don't want to miss going down the west coast through Mexico, the Sea of Cortez and Central America.
Check out boats in Mexico and the Pacific Northwest as well.

Good Luck!
I will look some more and you are right, the ketch rig seems a little more complicated to me who has never sailed one. Initially I wanted a sloop because it's what I race on in the marinas but damn, those ketches look beautiful when all sails are out.
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Old 12-05-2018, 10:28   #14
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Re: We're going to actually attempt this...

Thanks guys for the new direction, I will set my sights lower and that would seem to be the better course of action for the future $$ as well. I will keep you posted on my search, hopefully I can get more words of wisdom from those much wiser than me.
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Old 12-05-2018, 10:38   #15
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pirate Re: We're going to actually attempt this...

Quote:
Originally Posted by FEC View Post
Thank you Boatman for that advice. It did occur to me to look on the east coast, maybe far up the coast like RI or Maine and sail down the entire east coast to Florida and hopefully just keep going. Although I heard that is a bash the entire way down.
I would suggest only head as far S as Beaufort NC then jump across to Bermuda and the I65 down to the islands then head W to Panama..
Much less bashing..
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