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Old 08-09-2009, 20:42   #1
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Making the Jump to a Boat Project

Unfortunately I've lived away from the water for some time. Recently I've moved to the east coast and now have a renewed ambition to buy a boat and make the liveaboard jump. I've been trying to figure out for some time how to do this and I keep coming back to some advice from a guy I met once who called himself Popeye. He said, "Go cheap, go now!" So I'm looking at cheap boats. Some of them may be called project boats, although even if I had a perfectly maintained new boat I would still have the same problem. Right now, I live in an apartment. I'm a pretty capable able bodied guy but I don't have a place to work on a boat or to store a boat. I figure the first baby step to living on a boat is having a boat to live on. I'm not too picky about the boat itself, I figure it's a blank canvas and as long as it doesn't sink I can do whatever I want with it (my concept of what would be an "acceptable" boat has expanded dramatically in the recent past).

However, supposing I buy a boat, then what? How do I find a place to do the work? What are my options when it comes to this? I know this sounds like a stupid question, but I figure... baby steps... maybe someone can offer some advice. Thanks.
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Old 08-09-2009, 20:50   #2
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Don't let the romance suck you in too deep. The free boat can beed you to death quick as you stand. There are projects and then there are life long anvils tied around your neck.

Best advice spend just a wee bit more to save a whole heck of a lot. Working on boats is not like anything you ever heard of. Don't jump in too quick or at elast with eyes shut.

If you want something enough, you can do the work to figure out how. Do the work is the only advice I can offer. You can find most of the reasons here - if you look.
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Old 08-09-2009, 21:05   #3
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That's a good point. To tell you the truth, the boats I've been considering are all at least floating, and sometimes even "in good condition" according to the sellers . Also, I know that my needs and wants in a boat will evolve and change over time. I don't expect to find that boat that is perfect and sail it off into a permanent sunset. I realize that a boat is transient like a car or a house, so I'm not looking for an anvil and I hope that I'll have the grace to bow out of a project that becomes one. That being said, I'm just not sure, short of winning the lottery so that I can pay for slip fees and also for an apartment (because there's nowhere I can find for liveaboards) how I'm going to make the jump. Just thinking about how much it might cost makes my head spin. I guess what I'm musing about is how can the ownership costs (but not necessarily the maintenance costs) be mitigated? I suspect there's no good answer, but it was on my mind so I thought I'd ask.
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Old 08-09-2009, 21:10   #4
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It's OK not to be sure just don't liquidate the 401K and spend the severe penalties for early withdrawal too soon. Boats are like falling in love - don't let your wife catch you. The numbers need to work and wanting won't stretch the balance sheet any more than expectations will increase the bank account.
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Old 08-09-2009, 21:23   #5
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Long term plan?

To me, a project boat only makes sense if it's part of a long term plan. Say you've got family commitments for the next 5 years (yes, a project boat will take that long or longer) and have lots of spare time then it may work.

Don't think of it as being cheaper (it's not), more like getting the near equivalent of a 6 year old boat, custom built for you, with new engine, electrics, electronics and all structural and rigging issues sorted.

You'd never be able to sell for what you put in.

My suggestions: Work out your current commitments and seafaring skills, how much money you have and you will make in your time frame and how much spare time there is available. Check out boats from 2 to 25 years old. Get a feel for what works for you.

Then upgrade your seafaring skills to Cruiser level.

Remember:- Costs at 33%pa of fair condition value start from the time you write that first cheque...
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Old 08-09-2009, 21:37   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pblais View Post
Boats are like falling in love - don't let your wife catch you.
Yeah, that's probably the best advice yet. I'd better keep it on the down low.
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