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Old 15-12-2011, 18:55   #16
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Re: Buying boat for 3K?

The price of the boat is really no definitive indication of it's condition. Someone's $3,000 ready to sail boat is someone elses ready to cut up and scrap.

I bought a 29' Ron Holland race boat off of Ebay for half your $3,000 without inspecting. Damn, Ebay is worse than crack. Owner said the Atomic 4 ran fine and had decent sails. Pictures showed a neglected boat without any obvious issues except some oil stains around the hydraulic backstay and control panel.

The reality turned out to be a little gem. Hull had a newish Sterling LPU paint job, Deck was dirty but cleaned up pretty well. More winches than a tow truck but not placed for short handed crewing. Engine runs fine but both aluminum fuel and water tanks leak and need to be replaced. Sheets and halyards are old but high tech synthetic. Leakage from the hydraulic backstay turned out to be seepage that had accumulated over years of not being cleaned up. Cylinder holds pressure and showed no sign of leakage after cleaning up with Simple Green. Sails turned out to be a most happy surprize. Dacron main that had only been used in beer can races. 2nd Dacron main that was very heavily built and very heavily used. Actually still usable but definitely not a racing sail. The 150% Genoas were all 'string' sails. Pulled the first one out and got real worried as the reinforcing patches were tearing out and many patches on teh deteriorated fabric. It was beyond its last legs. Checked another bag and the sail was in good condition with many races left in it. The thrid bag had a brand new sail that looked like it had never been set. Probably worth 2-3 times what I paid for the boat if I had to replace it. There was also a 110% Dacron Jib in decent shape. Three spinnakers of various weights in good condition also came with the boat.

So even though the tanks will cost some money to replace, the deck will have to be repainted after I rearrange the hardware, the running rigging will have to be replaced somewhere down the line, Feel I scored on the boat. Now, the only problem is convincing my wife we need two boats.

BTW, the boat sails really nicely though haven't it out in any rough conditions to test its IOR downwind antics.
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Old 16-12-2011, 06:35   #17
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Re: Buying boat for 3K?

You never really know do ya? That's been my experience...
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Old 16-12-2011, 06:43   #18
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Re: Buying boat for 3K?

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Originally Posted by rookiemoon View Post
Has anyone out there bought a used sailboat for around 3K? Any that were advertised as "ready to sail"? What has your experience been as far as repairs after purchase?

I'm thinking about doing this with a budget of 3K for repairs and plan on using this boat right away to sleep on. Don't really have the means to exceed this budget either.

Cheers!

What does "ready to sail" mean? It could mean that there's two years of barnacles on the bottom but the mainsail hasn't shredded -- yet.

You have to look at it, make sure the hull is sound, the deck is sound, the standing rigging is sound (really important), the sails are in decent shape (although you can get used ones at a decent price, it would still be a substantial investment compared to your $3000 purchase price.

Do you have a friend who TRULY knows a lot about sailboats? Take him or her with you.

The first sailboat I ever looked at -- I had NO idea what I was looking at, a knowledgeable friend went with me. WHILE the owner was telling me "This boat has the weight of two Volkswagens in it's keel -- it's not gonna tip over!" -- AT THE EXACT SAME TIME -- my friend had opened the floorboards and was looking at the bolted on keel.

Two bolts were rusted through and the other six were well on their way. But this guy apparently believed that his boat was "ready to sail."
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Old 16-12-2011, 06:46   #19
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Re: Buying boat for 3K?

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I have never looked at any of these ~$3,000 boats, but I would guess that they would need at least $2,000 worth of improvements and newer equipment to safely sail. At least I would like the equipment to make things easier.

Here is my favorite sailing movie so far. I watch it when it is snowing outside, and ask myself why am I not doing this?

The Anarchist Yacht Clubb: Hold Fast

Exactly. I actually got a good one for $1,000 but I do not think that's typical, and it did not include an outboard motor. That doubled the price right there.

The centerboard was frozen in place and the cable was jammed. With a $1,000 starting price, repairing that would have been a significant amount compared to the sale price. I could go on.

I think you'll find it needs a new battery or batteries, has outdated flares and fire extinguishers, inadequate life preservers, etc. As I said, check the shape of the sails. If this boat has sound standing rigging and decent sails you're already ahead of the game.
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Old 16-12-2011, 06:46   #20
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Re: Buying boat for 3K?

Bought my recent project for 3k. diesel spins trans needs rebuild. needs mast and rudder repair. Im switching equipment over from my current boat including rig so it was right for me. Current boats hull is badly blistered with some delaminated areas but is fully equipped for cruising. Between the two boats Ill have a well equipped cruiser with probably enough money from selling parts that Ill break even on money. Found out from a salvage guy that theres thousands in just the lead from the keel.
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Old 16-12-2011, 07:02   #21
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Re: Buying boat for 3K?

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Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
You have to look at it, make sure the hull is sound, the deck is sound, the standing rigging is sound (really important),
And all still soundly joined to each other

The good news about a $3k boat is that your downside is likely to be "only" $3k, plus time (if avoiding putting thousands in her before getting close up and personal).

Obviously a p#sser if that $3k is your life savings, but otherwise call it money well spent on learning - so that the next boat (especially if bigger) is a better buy (from your own hard won knowledge).....especially if needing some TLC.
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Old 16-12-2011, 08:26   #22
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Re: Buying boat for 3K?

12 years ago I bought my first boat, a 1971 Coranado 27 for $2,500 and it truly was in ready to sail condition. The sails were in great shape, above and below decks were clean and comfortable, what limited systems it had were working and the 9.9 outboard ran great. I did relatively nothing except add a battery to the house bank and buy a handheld VHF radio. It could have used some upgrades, but it was perfect for learning to sail on the Chesapeake. I got lucky, but those kind of deals are out there.
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Old 16-12-2011, 11:36   #23
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Re: Buying boat for 3K?

I would call all the marinas in your area. In my area I know of a few who would give you a sailboat they took for slip fees for little or nothing.
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Old 16-12-2011, 11:41   #24
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Re: Buying boat for 3K?

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Originally Posted by sv.Lonestar View Post
I would call all the marinas in your area. In my area I know of a few who would give you a sailboat they took for slip fees for little or nothing.
That's how I got my current boat. Bought for peanuts from the marina that was given the boat for payment on work and slip fees from the PO.
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Old 16-12-2011, 11:43   #25
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Re: Buying boat for 3K?

i know of a ct 41 that sold for 2500 dollars-- was ready to sail ... after new engine, rig, hull to deck connection issues were repaired..... many boats can be found at that price- but i would expect a fixer upper, rather than a ready to sail item.
same can be said for 10k, or any of the other prices found when seeking a boat for sale--even 100, 000 usd.
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Old 16-12-2011, 16:47   #26
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Re: Buying boat for 3K?

3K is plenty of money and will buy you a good Opti, a s/h Laser, or possibly a small daysailer / pocket cruiser. The dinghies will be probably great boats and the cruisers probably the most basic, and older ones.

Look for a boat that will not require plenty of after-purchase upgrades. You want to sail her.

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