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Old 11-01-2018, 10:35   #1
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Which would you choose? New boat decisions...

Hello all,

My fiance and I are beginning the long and tedious process of changing our lifestyle to accommodate our dreams. I am 57 she is 51 and while we both have sailing experience (She sailed at Nationals in college), we are taking classes with OCSC to hone our sailing skills now. Our goal is to sell the house, buy a smaller home AND a sailboat. We intend to live aboard part of the year. She wants a new boat and has a list of upgrades, like solar, boom furling instead of mast furling and a water maker. We have been aboard the new 2017 Catalina 425, and are also looking at the Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 440. The question is this... given our budget of roughly $400-$450K with all of her upgrades (the list keeps growing), what other boats should we be looking at? We want open ocean/blue water ability as we have aspirations that include travels to Hawaii from California.

Comfort for liveaboard is important. Reliability, seaworthiness and quality construction as well. I can fix most everything, and we intend to be actively involved once committed to this new adventure. Have been lurking here and decided now that we should get some feedback from the seasoned members who have already gone where we are heading. Hate to make the same mistakes others have already learned from!

Thanks for your input... there are no wrong answers here...and we look forward to hearing from you!
M and L
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Old 11-01-2018, 10:42   #2
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Re: Which would you choose? New boat decisions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Limi View Post
Hello all,

My fiance and I are beginning the long and tedious process of changing our lifestyle to accommodate our dreams. I am 57 she is 51 and while we both have sailing experience (She sailed at Nationals in college), we are taking classes with OCSC to hone our sailing skills now. Our goal is to sell the house, buy a smaller home AND a sailboat. We intend to live aboard part of the year. She wants a new boat and has a list of upgrades, like solar, boom furling instead of mast furling and a water maker. We have been aboard the new 2017 Catalina 425, and are also looking at the Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 440. The question is this... given our budget of roughly $400-$450K with all of her upgrades (the list keeps growing), what other boats should we be looking at? We want open ocean/blue water ability as we have aspirations that include travels to Hawaii from California.

Comfort for liveaboard is important. Reliability, seaworthiness and quality construction as well. I can fix most everything, and we intend to be actively involved once committed to this new adventure. Have been lurking here and decided now that we should get some feedback from the seasoned members who have already gone where we are heading. Hate to make the same mistakes others have already learned from!

Thanks for your input... there are no wrong answers here...and we look forward to hearing from you!
M and L
My 2 cents- if I had that budget I would purchase a nicely maintained used Bristol, Tartan, Hallberg Rassy, etc in that size range for 200-300, and spend the rest of your budget (150-200K) on a full refit (sails, engine/genset, rigging, cosmetics/awlgrip). You'll end up being happier for what you are describing as your needs in terms of build quality, comfort, lack of issues compared to cheaper build mass production yacht. Also, a lot of the blue water gear will already be on board at someone else's expense and the troubleshooting will be done.

If you plan to sell within 3-4 years, then that plan won't be great. But my guess is that at the 10 year mark resale on my suggestion will be higher than of a used Jeanneau, Catalina, Bene, Bavaria, etc.
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Old 11-01-2018, 12:37   #3
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Re: Which would you choose? New boat decisions...

I more or less agree with Malbert. Depreciation on a new sailboat is generally outrageous. Also buying new is no guarantee of perfect, everything works, no problems. More than a few horror stories of new boats that had major problems and delays, including serious structural issues. Also, lots of the options are dealer ad-ons and while it usually works out, not always.

Look for a boat just a 2-3-4 years old. Unless it's a lemon, all the bugs will be worked out and you'll save a ton. Then invest the money saved in a few more options and making it look new.
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Old 11-01-2018, 13:27   #4
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Re: Which would you choose? New boat decisions...

I think the ideal boat is a used one owned by a knowledgeable and skilled owner who has put in the necessary doo-dads for cruising and already found and resolved the problem areas the boat came with.
If I were going to buy a monohull, I'd look for a Sadler (which would be extremely hard to find on the west coast) or a Wauquiez (also relatively few in California).
That said, there are dozens of excellent designs that would fit the bill. I just wouldn't ever buy a new one when there are so many excellent used ones on the market for much less money.
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Old 11-01-2018, 13:41   #5
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Re: Which would you choose? New boat decisions...

I would get a nice 3-5 year production boat that still has nice sails and rigging etc and for which the original buyer has already installed electronics, dodger, bimini, dinghy etc.

I would skip the internet forum love of buying the 30+ year old boat with outdated design in the misplaced belief that it would be worth more "later". I have a 2001 production boat I've had 7 years, a couple of months ago a guy at the marina I was at brought a 2000 model of the same boat and paid more than I did 7 years ago (and more than those 30+ year boats).
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Old 11-01-2018, 14:02   #6
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Re: Which would you choose? New boat decisions...

I'd buy new if I could afford it. You know what the boat has been through and you don't inherit a mess from the previous owner. Walk the docks and yards and look at what passes for acceptable work....can't beat that new boat smell. As far as the financials go, boats are a poor choice anyway you stack it up so might as well get what you want. Life is short, it's your money....do as you please.
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Old 11-01-2018, 14:20   #7
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Re: Which would you choose? New boat decisions...

Then there's this thread:

Financials of buying an older boat - Cruisers & Sailing Forums
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Old 12-01-2018, 10:40   #8
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Re: Which would you choose? New boat decisions...

I think that is very personal as well. We bought new as we wanted it just so. We got a super low interest rate and everything as we ordered on it. We are just in the place where we wanted to get on and go. I think get the boat you love and that is super comfortable for both of you( especially her) and go with it. We love our boat ,it is a new Jeanneau, and are happy we bought new.
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Old 12-01-2018, 13:06   #9
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Re: Which would you choose? New boat decisions...

two recent articles, one of them already debated on CF, that i thought were applicable when talking about blue water boats;

https://www.cruisingworld.com/9-best...boats-for-2017

And

https://www.sailmagazine.com/cruisin...ewater-cruiser

which was debated here

A Good Article That Addresses The Most Asked Question On This Forum
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Old 12-01-2018, 13:18   #10
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Re: Which would you choose? New boat decisions...

When you buy new, you pay a premium for the newness, both in the depreciation, and in the costs of outfitting (commissioning) the new boat. All the boats we have purchased have been previously owned, and that may color my thinking on this, but I'd rather buy a solid second hand boat, and spend the money on anchor, dinghy, sun protection, and perhaps water maker, depending on tankage.

However, we met some folks with a new Jeanneau and they were quite happy with their choice. It can work out okay.

Another of my prejudices is that I do not want a liner-built boat, because of the difficulties with access to hidden parts of the boat and with serious repairs, as well as the difficulties with making additions like dodgers, etc, which seem to have fasteners pulling out of the outer shell. So, if I were buying, I'd be looking for a very different type of boat. But, life is full of learning experiences, and it may work out well for you.

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Old 12-01-2018, 13:27   #11
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Re: Which would you choose? New boat decisions...

Good thread, thanks for the question. My suggestion is to buy the smaller house. And buy a used boat a little smaller than the 45 you currently envision. Sail it for a few years, taking it as far as you and the boat are capable and comfortable. At the end of that time you will know exactly what boat with what options will fill your dreams. And you will have figured out where/how to buy it right. Should your course change radically in those few years as sometimes happens, you won't have burned the whole $450K plus. And there is always a plus with boat$. 2x...3x...just sayin'
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Old 12-01-2018, 13:30   #12
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Re: Which would you choose? New boat decisions...

First, you are in a very fortunate position which many would envy...with a decent budget for a boat!

I would suggest buying a bit older so that you can spend less. If you spend less on the boat initially, you won't be bothered when it needs a cash injection from time to time.

You don't get to choose the boat...the boat chooses you! Look around locally, and see if there isn't something that you like. You already have a good shopping list. The more boats you view/research, the better prepared you will be to recognize "the right one for you" when you see it. It all fine and good to say get a Halberg Rassy...but if there aren't any on your coast, what's the point?

FWIW, I'm 55 and looking for my "go south" boat for when my kids finally are all off to college...soon. My budget is not nearly as generous as yours. But my theory has always been to spend less, and sail more! Good luck with your search and please let us know how it goes!
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Old 12-01-2018, 13:35   #13
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Re: Which would you choose? New boat decisions...

Limi,

I've been through this 5 times in the past 40+ years. We are now on our 5th [and intended to be last...] boat. Our approach this time around was to define the desired lifestyle and then the accommodations that would suit.

We realize everyone has their own list. These are just some of the things that are important to us- and provided here as an example...

Our list of general requirements is the same for any vessel we would buy. [e.g., sails and motors equally (very) well, 1000+ mile cruising range, A/C, heat, watermaker, clothes washer/dryer, adequate refridgerator and freezer space, good galley, etc.] You get the picture; a floating home...

For example, the other sailboats I cruised were all beautiful and sailed well, all with the accroutrements desired during that period of my sailing life. [Warning: that list grows with age and experience...] All had the usual single helm station in the cockpit. All had adequate to beautiful and very functional accommodations below deck. [e.g., blue water boats included a Valiant Esprit 37 and Tayana 47...]

Fourty years afforded me time to try different floating homes to determine what bets suits me now. And nothing is ever perfect as needs/wants change over time- and location...

This time around we wanted to be able to sit in our primary living area [e.g., salon] and enjoy [see] where we are [while sitting, not standing... e.g., See the view from the livingroom...] We did not want to just the inside of our beautiful boat, the sky, and tree tops... That required a pilothouse sailboat that sails well [S&S design in our case...] We narrowed our focus to such vessels, found the manufacturers and models that met our criteria, and started shopping...

My point is there is more than one list of requirements; one about all the systems, functions, and appliances you desire. Another to outline the features that support how you plan to use and live in it. And so on...

Our approach was to think of it like you might a home; If location is important to you with a home, why block it out when living in your floating home?

Your lifestyle needs are undoubtedly different... We prefer to play in the higher latitudes, so Wx is a constant factor.

My goal is to get you thinking from these two different, yet related perspectives...

I should also mention that, from my experience of having owned and cruised several nice sailboats over the years, I knew we would get a lot more boat for our money by purchasing a historically well found and proven used vessel from someone who lived aboard and could afford to [and did...] maintain/upgrade the vessel as needed. This was key for us. [e.g., Obtain a 7 figure vessel for low to mild 6 figures that has everything you want, and everything works... We shopped for 2+ years to find ours...]

Speaking of perspective, if you are interested, here as a brief [somewhat tongue-in-cheek] blog post summarizing our process. [There are even more details in some of our earlier blog posts...]

In hopes some of this might be helpful...

Best wishes with your pursuits!

Cheers! Bill
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Old 12-01-2018, 15:04   #14
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Re: Which would you choose? New boat decisions...

One vote for a used good quality boat that has already sailed the blue oceans, is well maintained (important), and has most of the required gadgets already installed. You may need to wait some months to find the one that you love. But this way you might get the best value for your money. There are always some good quality used boats on the market, seeking for a new quality owner.
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Old 12-01-2018, 17:32   #15
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Re: Which would you choose? New boat decisions...

I had a somewhat similar dream as yours. Now retired, I'm in the process of selling my house and building a tiny house instead. But instead of buying another cruising boat I'm opting for chartering, so I can pick and chose the best places to sail. Having been at one time a blue water oceanographer I'm not so keen anymore on weeks of sailing the open ocean but would rather enjoy coastal sailing and visiting new places with family and friends. With your budget you could spend years chartering all over the world on different boats, then perhaps in a few years you would know the perfect vessel of your dreams (and could still buy it since you would have invested the bulk of your 'boat budget').
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