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Old 13-01-2016, 15:20   #16
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Re: To spend or not to spend(all)

Just want to say thanks to everyone so far taking the time and consideration to reply. There seems to be so many ways to "skin a cat" (to use a dreadful pun) but all sides add to the thinking. My take-out so far is maybe seek a "happy medium" - a boat that has been prepped a bit but leaves enough in the kitty (is that another pun?) to do the inevitable customisation and make-goods. In terms of experience...very little but I am in no rush to go anywhere in particular and will be hiring professionals to help on any passages when I do. Oh and in terms of time frame..the eject button is pressed I am just waiting for the right rocket (ok now I am doing terrible metaphors too!) - and no I am not after a performance boat. I think that essentially if a boat is on my maximum spend, it's actually beyond my maximum spend given the experience here. Even with a maintenance allowance budgeted the consensus seems to be leave a decent chunk of change just for "make-good/feel-good" sort of stuff.
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Old 13-01-2016, 15:33   #17
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Re: To spend or not to spend(all)

By the varied responses, you can see the question you asked is not "Black and White".

As with all things Cruising, there are 100s of ways to do things and everyones tastes and preferences may differ.

Although it would be interesting to see the backgrounds of all the responders. See if Caribbean cruisers suggest different than circumnavigators.
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Old 13-01-2016, 16:02   #18
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Re: To spend or not to spend(all)

From another thread - The Evolution of "Condomarans":

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackduck View Post
Hi there, By "newbie" I mean absolute new to sailing and cruising. So in my naïveté I am assuming I want a living machine I can sail on with an emphasis on happily sail on. My intention is to cruise the world or at least that part between cancer and Capricorn. I had been thinking about a new boat (FP new 40. Bali 4.0 or Open 40) but some horror stories here and some sage advice from others has me now recalibration my boat-spend / living fund to a second hand boat. Again, I know nothing but how things feel to me and the lagoon 440 is on my radar. I love the flybridge ( I have a passion for heights!)
And from what I read here, I think (please correct me if I'm wrong, as is often the case ) you more or less want an 'appartment' that can be sailed too, with pretty much all the comforts of home so your sail will be fairly carefree and relaxed. (Tho how the Open 40 fits in that, I dunno ).

Since you have to do everything solo - sailing, anchoring, docking but also maintenance etc., my personal advice would be to consider for something a little easier to handle solo, especially without any experience.

Secondly, I wouldn't spend it all on the boat -- no matter how 'complete' she is, you'll want to chance things to your liking, and that costs money. Not to mention that whatever nice bells and whistles you have will very likely need to be replaced at some point cos stuff tends to break. So the more bells and whistles you have, the more time and money you'll be spending on keeping it all going.

Once you start sailing you could very well decide you want a completely different kind of boat (or maybe stop cruising all together) at which point selling the current boat and have the funds to start over does come into play.
And yes, I did notice you wrote"let's leave resale aside and fantasize that this is the last boat I will buy" and every now and again, a first boat is the only boat. Usually tho, a first is just that -- even for people more experienced with the day to day pleasures of sailing and cruising
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Old 13-01-2016, 16:19   #19
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Re: To spend or not to spend(all)

I'd be looking for a boat that has already been used for blue water cruising, and whose owners are now retiring or upgrading to another boat. That way you will have most of the necessary blue water and cruising stuff already in place, and their price will relatively low. You might also get a well tested and a more reliable boat than by buying a new one or by trying to build one yourself.

That kind of a boat would be ready to go in the sense that you could sail right away, and add your personal tweaks to it when you feel the need. For those personal needs, and in case you find some problems in the boat, and for all kind of required upgrades and regular maintenance, I support the idea of having a reasonable reserve budget left after buying the boat. In order to minimize the number of expensive problems you will face, hire a good surveyor.
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Old 13-01-2016, 16:40   #20
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Re: To spend or not to spend(all)

Quote:
Originally Posted by reed1v View Post
Always buy a boat that does not need work.
Boy, I'd sure like to find one of those!! A mythical beast for sure...

But for Blackduck, beware the ~3-5 year old boat that is "like new", for in reality it is not like new, even though t he owner feels that it is. Time alone will degrade many parts of a boat, let alone normal usage wear and tear. It is an easy trap to fall into, eg I still think of our ~8 year old dinghy outboard as "the new motor" because I bought it to replace "the old motor". I've noticed that it looks kinda beat up for a "new motor" but that's still my mindset!

So, IMO the best target boat is one that is on the order of 5-10 years old, but that has been well maintained. There will be some (perhaps many) bits that need refitting or replacing, but that should be reflected in the price paid. When you have used the boat for a while, you will develop some personal ideas about what best suits your needs, and this will be a guide for replacement. When you do the replacement, it will truly be 'like new"... for a while! But it will reflect your own personal needs, not a PO's.

I'm not an experienced cat sailor, but the flybridge setup sure looks like one not well suited for single handed operation to me. And as others have said, the big Lagoons seem far larger than ideal for a single hander in general.

You have had a lot of conflicting advice here (as usual), and I hope that you can make some useful sense from it. CF represents folks from widely varying backgrounds and experience levels and their points of view vary accordingly. It must be awfully confusing for the newbie, so good luck with sorting it out before you finally buy your boat.

Jim
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Old 13-01-2016, 17:12   #21
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Re: To spend or not to spend(all)

Quote:
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Always buy a boat that does not need work.
Does such a thing exist?
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Old 13-01-2016, 18:11   #22
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Re: To spend or not to spend(all)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lizzy Belle View Post
From another thread - The Evolution of "Condomarans":



And from what I read here, I think (please correct me if I'm wrong, as is often the case ) you more or less want an 'appartment' that can be sailed too, with pretty much all the comforts of home so your sail will be fairly carefree and relaxed. (Tho how the Open 40 fits in that, I dunno ).

Since you have to do everything solo - sailing, anchoring, docking but also maintenance etc., my personal advice would be to consider for something a little easier to handle solo, especially without any experience.

Secondly, I wouldn't spend it all on the boat -- no matter how 'complete' she is, you'll want to chance things to your liking, and that costs money. Not to mention that whatever nice bells and whistles you have will very likely need to be replaced at some point cos stuff tends to break. So the more bells and whistles you have, the more time and money you'll be spending on keeping it all going.

Once you start sailing you could very well decide you want a completely different kind of boat (or maybe stop cruising all together) at which point selling the current boat and have the funds to start over does come into play.
And yes, I did notice you wrote"let's leave resale aside and fantasize that this is the last boat I will buy" and every now and again, a first boat is the only boat. Usually tho, a first is just that -- even for people more experienced with the day to day pleasures of sailing and cruising
This advice has been offered multiple times. I IMPLORE you to give it a bunch of thought.

Hiring professionals is fine, but will not solve the anchoring, mooring, docking challenge when they are not around. I know.. I have a 40 foot cat and I won't do that by myself. I recently had that issue trying to get my boat hauled out. I lost my crew and couldn't move my boat to the travel lift by myself. It sucked.

There are many boats in the Caribbean being sold for this exact reason. Over buying is SOOO easy to do when coming from land life.

In fact, there are a couple of IS40s (same boat as mine) for sale in Florida right now. They are known for feeling like a 44 foot boat packed into 40 feet. Maybe check them out.
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Old 13-01-2016, 18:25   #23
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Re: To spend or not to spend(all)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackduck View Post
will be hiring professionals to help on any passages when I do.
Oops, missed that part.

I'm not sure you'd enjoy sailing all that much when you have to hire a crew every time you have to move your boat or when your anchor drags etc. etc. ... Not even sure how you'd manage getting them on board quick enough?

You'd need a permanent crew on board, which would definitely not be my choice. But I guess that's a very personal thing, and you might not mind sharing your boat with a live-in crew at all.
You'll have to to up the monthly budget a bit tho, cos I doubt $3k will be enough for you and a crew / captain.
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Old 13-01-2016, 20:30   #24
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Re: To spend or not to spend(all)

Seems to me a 38-40 ft. Lagoon would be ideal for you. Less money, easier to single-hand. Charter one for a week and see.
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Old 14-01-2016, 00:08   #25
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Re: To spend or not to spend(all)

Blackduck, welcome aboard matey!

When you are sipping on a strong margarita and the crimson sunset is refracted into a thousand shards of tantalizing photons....ah...ain't it sweet? But then...

The scary thing is the physics when the shizzle hits the fan. You have never (yet) experienced how much fun it is when you get a middle of the night blow and you start to drag anchor. A boat of that size, 45', is probably 3x harder to control than a 35 footer. It is tonnage, windage of rig, height of superstructure, momentum, and panic you are dealing with.

In the Sporades Islands, off of eastern Greece, 4 experienced racers who have raced together for many years worked feverishly to control our charter 50 foot cat when someone's anchor dragged and snagged ours in a middle of the night squall. If it had just been one of us on a large boat...I dunno...but it would have been expensive and maybe worse.

BDuck, it is never a question of if it will happen...only a question of when...and when again...and when again. Any person on this forum will tell you it happens frequently enough that is becomes part of their planning on a daily basis..."what to do if"

Buying a big boat, such as you are contemplating, with no real experience has some serious considerations to work out. I am not trying to throw cold water on your dream. The second thing is size matters. Girls have always know this. But a winch for a 45 boat might cost twice as much as a winch for a 35 boat for example. It is like an exponential...non linear ...equation the supply chains charge for boats.

Buy small...go cheaper.... you'll be happier and less stressful..
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Old 16-01-2016, 17:44   #26
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Re: To spend or not to spend(all)

Again, thanks for all your thoughts, advice and opinions. It is all grist for the mill and food for thought. I appreciate it all.
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Old 17-01-2016, 09:17   #27
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Re: To spend or not to spend(all)

Blackduck,

There is a lot of good advice in the replies that you've gotten. As an owner of a Lagoon 450 who single hand sails her frequently I'll just add a few comments.

Visibility from the helm while docking is the best of any catamaran that I have been on. With the cockpit hatch open you can see all four corners from the throttle controls. This makes it very easy to see what you're doing without having to rely on anyone else telling you how close you are to a dock or pier.

While it is true that it takes more power to move or stop/slow movement on a bigger/heavier boat, the pressure applied to the throttles is pretty much the same regardless of the size of your boat. You won't be relying on your fiscal strength. That is what your ground tackle, lines, wenches, and engines are for.

We are very satisfied with our choice of a Lagoon 450 to go cruising. While it is larger than what many choose for a single person or couple, it is very comfortable and you don't need a crew to go cruising in one.

I would recommend chartering a 450 to see if it is the right boat for you. You could almost get a brand new Lagoon 380 for your upper end price. You could easily find an older one for well within that range. I'm not sure of this but I think Lagoon has produced more 380s than any other cruising catamaran at 800 and counting.


Lucky Larry

Good luck with your choices.
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Old 17-01-2016, 09:40   #28
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Re: To spend or not to spend(all)

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If your max budget is 350k I would leave at least 20% of that for upgrades and repairs. We work on a lot of Cats used and new, there's almost always something that needs to be fixed or added to make the new owner comfortable. Give yourself a decent buffer or your 350K boat budget to go sailing can quickly grow another 50K plus.

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Duckman...

Tellie was spot on with my mental numbers...

Find a boat you love that was recently "refit" for 280ish regardless of year... AND... has no "major" expenses on the horizon like a tired engine...
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Old 17-01-2016, 10:02   #29
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Re: To spend or not to spend(all)

Can't help myself.

Lucky Larry,

Don't ya love it when spell check transposes wenches for winches.....

While I'm here, Id vote for a bit smaller than a 450, but thats me. Seems like many get on just fine with that or bigger. No perfect boat out there. Find one that gets you excited and go for it.

Sorry for the intrusion. Carry on.
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Old 17-01-2016, 11:11   #30
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Re: To spend or not to spend(all)

Can't agree with Larry's suggestion that having 'wenches' on board will negate his need for physical strength.
In fact he maybe left so exhausted that he's incapable of doing anything else!
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