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Old 14-04-2012, 15:04   #1
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Advice on long-term plan

I live inland about 400 miles and own a Catalina 320 on a lake. Learning to sail on lake and building general experience. Plan to charter on east coast, bvi, etc...to gain some cruising experience over the next 5 yrs. Over the next 5 to 10 yrs, dream (like a lot on this forum I'm sure) is to set off on bluewater boat and sail east coast in the summer....caribbean in the winter. Studying boats, looking at Tayana, Tartan, Liberty, etc....really not asking for boat advice at this point. Here's my question....would it make any sense to buy my long-term boat sooner rather than later, put it on the lake close to my home so I can spend time on it getting to know the boat and properly outfitting the boat for longterm cruising....then have it moved to the open water whenever I'm ready to take off??? Would it damage the boat to move it like that....or there be any downside? Advantage would be I could spend a LOT of time on the boat, really get to know it, learn to fix things and take my time to get it fully outfitted. I understand there's a big difference in lake and ocean sailing....but I'm just too far away to practically do what I'm thinking and keep to boat at coastal marina.

Thoughts?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions or advice.
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Old 14-04-2012, 15:31   #2
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Re: Advice on long-term plan

I've read more than 1 warning that advised not to buy 5 or 8 years early, mainly because the storage cost. That same 8 years money in the bank collecting interest is a large chunk. 8 x 3000 = $24,000.
Now if you know nothing about boats, that time is probably needed on board. If you own for that long you'll alsohave time to prep things, which will cost a bunch more. Not cheap whatever way you go. If you can buy it, sail it, fix it, and prep it for cruising. Do it.
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Old 14-04-2012, 15:54   #3
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Thanks RR. Couple additional points. On storage costs, I'll have that either way as I'm paying marina for Cat 320 slip (which would hold larger boat) and will be either way. Figure it'll take me 2 yrs to fully research, find, etc long term boat....so that will burn some time itself. One other consideration, I'll likely be buying my longterm boat on the coast....moving it inland.....and then moving it back out when ready. Other than the obvious costs of moving the boat, which is offset by convenience of proximity and cheaper inland marina slip rates.....that would be TWO moves in all. Just something else to throw in the mix.

Thanks a lot for response and thoughts!
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Old 14-04-2012, 16:30   #4
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Re: Advice on long-term plan

Sorry I misread the question (or maybe that whole first paragraph )

Let me rephrase that....

I'm thinking it would only make sense to buy a year or two out, not 5 years, Unless you're buying a 'fixer upper'. Then you gotta plan on a few years of 'getting used to' the boat. Or if you were planning on relocating and needed the boat to live on... No reason to buy a different boat until you actually need one. And adding shipping costs is not a small thing, plenty of boats on the coast to shop for in the next 5 years..
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Old 14-04-2012, 16:32   #5
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Re: Advice on long-term plan

Shipping a boat isn't that expensive. Just pad any loose metal so it doesn't chafe against wood or fiberglass. Uship let's you get bids. Here's a guy going 390 miles:

How to Ship a Weekend Anchor Sailboat 32' Aloha 32 from Winthrop Harbor to Cleveland

But finding your perfect boat is sorta like finding your perfect woman (or man as the case may be). Research isn't that much help - you need sailing/cruising time on a variety of boats. As you gain experience, your idea of the perfect woman (err, boat) is likely to change.


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Old 14-04-2012, 16:40   #6
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Re: Advice on long-term plan

The double move. interesting. Any idea on how much that cost? I've seen truck shipping be pretty reasonable, twice seems like a challange. I go through 11 locks and unstep, step my mast twice a year so I guess nothings to crazy for getting on the water.
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Old 14-04-2012, 17:17   #7
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Re: Advice on long-term plan

It is all person / case specific. You will judge by your own circumstances.

Buying early may expose you to X years of unjustifiable costs. However, should these costs be offset by profit or other benefits (e.g. buying now at an outrageously good price), buying early may be the way to go.

From our own experience (no to be used for navigation): we bought her in October (winter here) moved onboard in May, sailed away in June.

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Old 14-04-2012, 17:57   #8
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Re: Advice on long-term plan

I suggest buying within 1 to 2 years of setting off. This gives you enough time for repairs & upgrades as well as getting familiar with your new to you boat. Familiar is all you need assuming upgrades/repairs/spares/service manuals are completed.

Sail her as much as you can in the year or two and then understand & believe...
You'll get the experience of knowing her intimately after you cast off the docklines.
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Old 14-04-2012, 18:03   #9
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Re: Advice on long-term plan

Shipping a boat is a big job for sure. But , if it's only 400 miles that should lessen the risk of damage anyway. If you want to go cruising soon shipping to the lake is probably the way to go. That way you can get familiar, outfit and be really ready to go. As said above, 2 years is enough time to get the boat ready.
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Old 14-04-2012, 20:34   #10
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Re: Advice on long-term plan

How long it takes to prepare a yacht for cruising depends on how new the boat is, it's condition, and how well outfitted it is for the purposed sailing voyage.

It took us only six months to get Exit Only ready for a circumnavigation because we knew ahead of time exactly what he had to do to set sail. We started with a new catamaran, and so it was mainly a matter of putting additional gear on board.
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Old 15-04-2012, 09:50   #11
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Re: Advice on long-term plan

That's very true, depending on your sailing experience etc. When I moved from a 47 mono to a 42 cat, It took a month! including adding hi amp charging to both engines, converting a 120Volt watermaker to engine drive, adding two extra fuel tanks, one holding tank, and removing a genset. That was a hi paced conversion!
No set time I suppose.....
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Old 15-04-2012, 11:07   #12
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Re: Advice on long-term plan

If you will be paying for a dock anyway, and are also planning on bringing "the boat" to your home (by road) at least for a while then IMO - it don't fundamentally matter which approach you take.

But, if you are planning on buying a doer upper then I would get earlier than you think you will need - given your timescale (pushing off in 5 years?) then I would suggest sometime next year. However if the plan is for something that won't require much by the way of fixing (apart from making things suit you a bit more - essentially bolting "nice" stuff on!) then a year or 2 ahead would be plenty of time, indeed even a few months ahead of time would suffice if you could find the right boat at the right time - and tweek her on the coast for a month or so (as part of your voyage!) therefore saving on the road trip.....but that is a fairly big "if".

My only caution about buying "the boat" now (and keeping her on the lake) is how much fun she would in the local sailing conditions (I have no idea!) - I appreciate that at times lake sailing conditions can be robust! (and own challenges) but nonetheless if the usual conditions dictate something light and nimble then a heavy boat may be less fun, even though not actually unsuitable.

Having said all that, personally I would be looking to buy now / next year - plenty of time to have a good look at the market and to get your own boat on the market. But that is just me!
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Old 15-04-2012, 16:01   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David_Old_Jersey
If you will be paying for a dock anyway, and are also planning on bringing "the boat" to your home (by road) at least for a while then IMO - it don't fundamentally matter which approach you take.

But, if you are planning on buying a doer upper then I would get earlier than you think you will need - given your timescale (pushing off in 5 years?) then I would suggest sometime next year. However if the plan is for something that won't require much by the way of fixing (apart from making things suit you a bit more - essentially bolting "nice" stuff on!) then a year or 2 ahead would be plenty of time, indeed even a few months ahead of time would suffice if you could find the right boat at the right time - and tweek her on the coast for a month or so (as part of your voyage!) therefore saving on the road trip.....but that is a fairly big "if".

My only caution about buying "the boat" now (and keeping her on the lake) is how much fun she would in the local sailing conditions (I have no idea!) - I appreciate that at times lake sailing conditions can be robust! (and own challenges) but nonetheless if the usual conditions dictate something light and nimble then a heavy boat may be less fun, even though not actually unsuitable.

Having said all that, personally I would be looking to buy now / next year - plenty of time to have a good look at the market and to get your own boat on the market. But that is just me!
Thanks DOJ....all good advice. I appreciate it.
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