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Old 17-11-2015, 14:47   #46
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Re: How old is too old?

On the age subject, the boat itself will last a very very long time. But the systems will start to fail. Pumps, batteries, fridge, engines, sails, windlass, watermaker, , batteries, rigging, etc, etc. The more systems you have onboard, the more needs to be fixed.


My take is that after the initial shakedown, a boat is probably problem free for the first 5 odd years, depending on usage (wear) and possibly climate. After 5 years, the odd thing will start to fail and it will accelerate from there over time.


I bought a five years old boat, privately owned. The first 18 months I enjoyed 100% problem free, but the odd things (pump, batteries, water heater) has started to fail. And unfortunately, I don't think it will stop but rather ramp up from here.
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Old 17-11-2015, 15:21   #47
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Re: How old is too old?

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Originally Posted by Sail IC View Post
On the age subject, the boat itself will last a very very long time. But the systems will start to fail. Pumps, batteries, fridge, engines, sails, windlass, watermaker, , batteries, rigging, etc, etc. The more systems you have onboard, the more needs to be fixed.

And I had expected seeing the headline to read. "How old is too old with starting sailing and living on a boat ?" :-)

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Originally Posted by Sail IC View Post
My take is that after the initial shakedown, a boat is probably problem free for the first 5 odd years, depending on usage (wear) and possibly climate. After 5 years, the odd thing will start to fail and it will accelerate from there over time.
Salt water and UV are the biggest enemies for any boat. A very aggressivly environment. No material can survive there forever... beside the heavy loads and stresses onto hull and materials while a yacht is rollin through heavy weather pitching from wave to wave.

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I bought a five years old boat, privately owned. The first 18 months I enjoyed 100% problem free, but the odd things (pump, batteries, water heater) has started to fail. And unfortunately, I don't think it will stop but rather ramp up from here.
When you finished repairing your boat arriving at the bow, you then again can begin to refit it from astern... so it goes again and again. Birthing and rebirthing.

imagine, your own body would have to stress all that salt water, UV light, coldness, heat etc. ... I try to see it philosophically: Boats are giving us safetyness and an environment we can survive. Just the right mental attitude (with a big barrel full of money) to keep your "swimming surviving home" in shape. :-)

Its same you have to do with your teeth daily... If you dont brush them, they will got rotten and the dentist will be happy and send you a big bill. :-)

Another aspect to prolong the living of your boat.... buy parts which are used in commercially ship industries. All that equipment for yachties isnt of long duration. Yacht owners are the big "cash cows" for boat industries... while in commercially ship industries must earn money and calculate more economcially.
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Old 17-11-2015, 15:23   #48
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Re: How old is too old?

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Doubt if any serious sailor would buy a cored hull nowadays. .
I laughed so hard when I read that comment that I damn near wet myself.

There is some seriously ill informed stuff on this forum, that one just moved toward the top of my list
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Old 17-11-2015, 16:13   #49
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Re: How old is too old?

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Doubt if any serious sailor would buy a cored hull nowadays. Reality is you just can not keep water out of a cored hull or deck over long periods of time. Seals dry out; stainless bolts do fatigue and disintegrate, especially where they are not exposed to air like in hull/deck flanges; hulls twist and flex; layup gets saturated, punctured, and cracks; and so on. The only coring materials that can be tolerated are rigid synthetic foams that are impervious to water.
Spoken by someone with no actual experience with catamaran design and build.

Certainly there was many problems with deck cores in the USA from poor construction methods but this is a different issue althogether.
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Old 17-11-2015, 16:30   #50
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Re: How old is too old?

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Hundreds of Pearsons from the 70s and 80s still sailing. Have not heard of any problems at all due to the cored hulls.
Sorry, I thought the subject was specifically catamarans.
Since the OP asked about catamarans, and posted the question in the Multihulls section. Why not talk about airplanes, instead? Lots of 50 year old airplanes out there. Not catamarans, but hey, who cares?
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Old 17-11-2015, 16:33   #51
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Re: How old is too old?

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Sorry, I thought the subject was specifically catamarans.
Since the OP asked about catamarans, and posted the question in the Multihulls section. Why not talk about airplanes, instead? Lots of 50 year old airplanes out there. Not catamarans, but hey, who cares?

There weren't a lot of catamarans around 50 years ago, could be the reason.


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Old 17-11-2015, 17:26   #52
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Re: How old is too old?

I have seen a 15+ years old cat sailing the Pacific happily as well as another one that was very very old (an early Catalac). So age no issue ... or?

From my experience working with boats (many many boats) 5 years is a fine point to buy. Beyond 15 years most if not all systems require replacement and upgrade.

I would give a 10 years old boat some chance of 5 years of relatively trouble free sailing. But I would buy only either a younger boat (3-5 y.o.) or a way older one (and rip it open, fix, replace, sail on).

There is no one rock hard recipe as every boat is different - even when they are the same make - simply some boats spend their days in a fine hangar, others live 365 in a marina. Similarly, some owners are masters of boat zen, others are less blessed with skills and funds. Etc.

I am afraid I might have added some to your confusion. Apologies for that. Once bitten twice ... ;-)

Good luck buying!
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Old 17-11-2015, 19:25   #53
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Re: How old is too old?

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Originally Posted by Canibul View Post
Sorry, I thought the subject was specifically catamarans.
Since the OP asked about catamarans, and posted the question in the Multihulls section. Why not talk about airplanes, instead? Lots of 50 year old airplanes out there. Not catamarans, but hey, who cares?

The OP wasn't talking about 50 year old boats either. Only 5-10 year old.

There are plenty of excellent cat's of that age available. I'd suggest the majority would be of cored construction and still fine.

But it seems reasonable, when you get comments like "no serious sailor would buy a cored boat" to remark on facts like how old some cored boats are, and still going strong. Even if most of the older ones are monohulls.

"Red Jacket" for instance. Balsa cored, 55+ years old, still going strong.

And presumably "SERIOUS" sailors wouldn't touch boats like Sundeers for example...
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Old 17-11-2015, 19:28   #54
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Re: How old is too old?

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I laughed so hard when I read that comment that I damn near wet myself.

There is some seriously ill informed stuff on this forum, that one just moved toward the top of my list
Sad to say, it's well down my list...
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Old 17-11-2015, 19:48   #55
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Re: How old is too old?

Look at a new outrémer 50. The one at the Annapolis boat show was not much above yor budget, and you will have no refit costs which may add 50 to 100 k on top of whatever you pay fo a used one
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Old 18-11-2015, 01:10   #56
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Re: How old is too old?

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Look at a new outrémer 50. The one at the Annapolis boat show was not much above yor budget, and you will have no refit costs which may add 50 to 100 k on top of whatever you pay fo a used one
I will look at the outremer thank you. And thanks everyone for the candid views.
I'm no stranger to boats or any of the systems on them, although I'm new to the forum and some folk have assumed I'm a newbie.
I've run 8 fishing rigs, rebuilt diesels, outboards, generators etc.
I'm just new to big cats and as I live in a landlocked country, don't get that much chance to spend time on the sea. Having said that, I own a 21' fishing cat / ski boat with twin outboards so I'm fully aware of how satanic salt water is. We go down to the coast about once a year.

Anyway, back to the subject, what would you say is the best age to purchase a cat where depreciation per year has maxed out but before too much rot sets in to negate any depreciation advantage?
Sounds like somewhere between 5-10 years? Anyone got a closer idea?
Lastly, the 10% per annum running cost, if you do most of the work yourself, do you think this is accurate? I'm not scared of it, just sounds a bit heavy. Does anyone have a maintenance schedule for a 50'cat or similar that they could share so could get a better idea of what's involved?

Regards
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Old 18-11-2015, 09:03   #57
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Re: How old is too old?

I am with those who suggest that the quality of the iniitial build, useage and maintenence are far more important than age. Is a five or ten year old boat better than a 12 year old one? Sometimes.

However, consider various cats of that age (FP in particular) which suffer serious problems with osmotic blistering during that 5-10 year time period. My cat is 21 years old and has never had a single blister - she had multiple epoxy barrier coats below the waterline at the time of the build. Vinylester resin also helps.

My boat is also cored and yet the hulls have not suffered the delamination problems seen in many newer boats. My aft deck was the only area showing delam - due to inadequate davits which flexed, bent the base and allowed water to permeate the core. The aft deck was cut out, all core removed, replaced, reglassed with epoxy resin and new davits with additional supports installed. I have also rebedded virtually everything on deck and with proper maintenence, see no reason to expect any further problems with delamination. In some respects, having an 'experienced' boat can actually give you some confidence in that regard.

I have replaced all sails (realistically, required every 7 years or so anyway - right in the middle of your 5-10 year preference).

I had the topsides professionally awlgripped as the gelcoat was understandably tired, but was pleased to note the complete absence of stress cracks (the only one on the boat is on a hatch over the propane locker). Again, sometimes owning an experienced boat can give you a little more confidence in the build. Keep in mind also that at 10 years, a boats topsides will likely have a few scars and the gelcoat will be well into its life expectancy.

I replaced all running rigging except a few blocks on the mast and the Andersen st winches, which had been properly maintained and are still in perfect condition. At 5 years (and certainly by 10), your sheets, halyards, furling lines etc. will need replacement and at least some of your blocks may also be getting a bit long in the tooth.

I replaced the lifelines - again, you will need to do the same within 5-10years.

I replaced all canvas and cockpit cushions. You can expect to do the same.

I replaced all hatches/opening ports - after 10 years in the sun, yours will likely be hazing and have deteriorating gaskets as well.

I replaced all berth cushions ( would you sleep on a 5 year old mattress that had been used by others?). The foam in the seating cushions was fine, but they were reupholstered (and again, expect to do the same every 5-10 years on virtually any boat).

I upgraded most of the electronics (and 5-10 year old electronics are pretty dated).

My diesels/saildrives had relatively low hours (2800 on the starboard, 3700 on the port engine. Nevertheless, I replaced the saildrive seals (required even in the age of boat you are considering), rebuilt the injectors, flushed and cleaned both diesel tanks, replaced the original filter with filter boss systems, replaced the alternators/regulators with Balmar units (keeping an original as a spare) and both starter motors, having one rebuilt and kept as a spare. Even after 5 years, if your boat was used in the charter trade (common in your size range), you could expect 5-6000 hours and....

I replaced all thru-hulls/seacocks and all hoses below the waterline. After 10 years you should really do the same; much sooner if they are brass, as used on various Lagoons/FP's etc.

I replaced all batteries; 7 -10 years being a typical life expectancy.

I replaced all head hoses with the best quality odor free hose (depending on the quality of the original hoses - and builders usually scrimp), expect to do the same.

I replaced all interior/exterior light fixtures/running lights with led units - after 10 years, you can expect hazing on exterior lenses and some tarnishing on all but the best interior fixtures.

I purchased a new RIB/outboard (and after 5 years of regular use...).

Sorry for being so tiresome, but my point is that most of what I did on my boat will be required within 5-10 years on any boat. If you could find a 12 year old boat that had undegone a complete refit in the last few years, you would likely be far better off than buying a 5-10 year old boat that had not.

As to the 10% per annum maintenance cost figure, I believe it to be reasonably accurate for long-term ownership/usage such as you are anticipating. My own experience certainly comes close:

I bought my boat 7 years ago for $80K USD and have spent just under 60K USD for the refit and, admittedly, upgrades to my boat. Due to the recent refit, I expect my costs over the next few years to be less than $8,000.00 per annum, but in the long term, I must still budget for the eventual need to do all of these things (and more) all over again.

As Neil Young said, rust never sleeps...

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Old 18-11-2015, 09:52   #58
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Re: How old is too old?

First I was not looking for a Cat, but started looking at boats around 5 yrs old for exactly the reasons you are.
What I found out pretty quickly was two things.
1. a mass production type of boat that was badly treated and improperly maintained can be essentially trashed in less than 5 yrs. Now I need to qualify that statement as I couldn't afford very high quality boats that were 5 yrs old, maybe you could trash a very high quality boat too.
2. a very well built, much older boat that was well maintained or at least not abused is in much better shape that her much newer, but less well manufactured Sisters.

I don't think the number of hulls a boat has changes that, I'd suggest you look at "Top of the line" Cats at whatever the age required to meet your budget is.

In my case I bought what looked to be a beautifully maintained, very well equipped, well loved 5 yr old production boat, only to discover major structural deficiencies that were a result of manufacturing, it failed survey and I only had the surveyors bill to pay, thankfully.

I ended up with a 27 yr old boat, but it has no structural deficiencies, but I am of course having to up-date all electronics etc.
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Old 18-11-2015, 09:59   #59
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Re: How old is too old?

Dave,

My experience is that 7 years is the 'ideal' age as far as depreciation on a boat that has been reasonably well maintained. The major depreciation hot has occurred, any defective systems from the factory have been fixed, and the major gear still has years before major servicing is required, but small things like pumps may need replacing.

As for the 10% figure. It always seems high in the early years. But you don't expect to spend that every year. The percentage is accruing to cover new electronics at 10 years, standing rigging at 8-10 years, engine at 20, sails every 7, etc. on a good condition 7 year old boat I would expect to spend less than 5% the value per year in ordinary maintenance, but in effect you are pre-paying the cost of big ticket items so when they come due you aren't surprised.

Think of it this way, on a 70' cat a new mainsail is likely to be north of $50,000usd and last 5-7 years. By itself this adds $7-10,000 to the annual operating cost even if you don't replace it every year. A new Jib is probably around $25,000, so 3,500-5,000/ year. So on a $800,000 boat that works out to 10-15k, or 1.25%-1.8% the cost of the boat every year for sails alone.

You have some experience in engines and generators, so figure out what the replacement cost of the two engines is and figure 20 years service life. Same for the generator. Wiring will last around 20 years before it needs to be reworked, and that's another big chunk of change.

Add in all the other ancillary systems and it starts to add up pretty fast. And we haven't mentioned bi-annual haul outs for bottom paint, insurance, fuel, marinas, deck hardware, repainting, hotel refurbishing, etc.
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Old 18-11-2015, 12:20   #60
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Re: How old is too old?

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
First I was not looking for a Cat, but started looking at boats around 5 yrs old for exactly the reasons you are.
What I found out pretty quickly was two things.
1. a mass production type of boat that was badly treated and improperly maintained can be essentially trashed in less than 5 yrs. Now I need to qualify that statement as I couldn't afford very high quality boats that were 5 yrs old, maybe you could trash a very high quality boat too.
2. a very well built, much older boat that was well maintained or at least not abused is in much better shape that her much newer, but less well manufactured Sisters.
.
I'm not sure I agree to this.

My boat is a Fountain Pajot a mass production boat built 2008. I compared notes with a guy who owned an Antares 44 built 2007 generally viewed as a quality boat.

We both bought used boats, 5-6 years old. In the first year of ownership I have had no breakages, zero, where numerous items on the Antares had to be replaced or repaired.

I'm not disputing the quality of the Antares, but most of the items that breaks are of the same or similar make in both boats. A battery, waterpump, etc, of the same brand breaks as often in an Antares as in a FP.

His Antares had sailed around the world before he bought where mine had lived inshore protected life in Croatia, ie had much more usage than mine hence the many breakages on the Antares.
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