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Old 14-12-2011, 18:00   #1
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Buying boat for 3K?

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!
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Old 14-12-2011, 19:19   #2
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Re: Buying boat for 3K?

First [disclaimer], one $3000 boat is not gonna be the same as another $3000 boat. So no matter what other people have done, you'll have to assess the boat and the situation yourself, and decide what work needs to be done and if it's worth it, according to your own budget, intentions, and abilities.

But to answer your question...
I paid $4k for mine. It was advertised as "good boat", no other information I took the chance and went to see it, turned out to be the best boat I could have asked for. I was planning on spending around $7k on a boat, so I was able to use the money I saved on the initial maintenance and getting it ready to sail.

As for maintenance and other expenses. I bought it at the beginning of winter, and the owner stipulated that I store it in the yard of his choice (he's 86 years old, so i couldn't argue much). So I had to immediately pay another $900 for a haul-out and winter storage. But that certainly wasn't a necessary expense (although you'll have to keep it somewhere). I would recommend a haul out anyway on a boat that's been sitting in the water for some time. Prices at yards vary quite a bit. Shop around...

So, while it was on the hard, I cleaned up the bottom, did some fairing and put a coat of bottom paint on it. Cost about $200. Shoulda put 2 coats... I tuned up the motor and installed a manual bilge pump, probably around $150 total.

The boat really didn't need anything else. I did a few extra's like install 2 new batteries and a solar panel, an anchor and 2 rodes (it already had 1 anchor), a dinghy, a new pressure water pump, A deck fill hose for the fuel tank. And I'm sure a few other things I'm forgetting... Spent almost a full week just cleaning everything, and then spent a week sailing down the chesapeake.

I live aboard full time and the boat is pretty much always ready to sail (aside from being a complete mess most of the time ). I

This spring, I'll need to haul and paint again, but I'll put a few extra coats on so I can get 2 or 3 years out of it. The motor runs well as is, but I'm going to put about $400 into it (starter, alternator, gaskets, hoses) for preventative measures and upgrades (its a 34 year old atomic4, rebuilt in '97. Needs some upgrades...)

I'll be replacing all the standing rigging and associated parts, priced out recently at around $1300, but I'll probably wait until next year (2013) since I have no intentions of going offshore yet and I really want to get south before next winter. The boat is ready to go south right now (via the ICW), but I'm not ready...(gotta keep saving!).

It definitely needs plenty of work, but nothing that has to be done right away. Could use a bit of paint and a little varnish. A better battery arrangement, more solar, holding tank, new water tank, etc... etc... but that's all 'extras' in my mind The boat itself is sound and sailable, and it's even pretty comfortable to live on.
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Old 14-12-2011, 19:48   #3
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Re: Buying boat for 3K?

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.

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Old 14-12-2011, 19:55   #4
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Re: Buying boat for 3K?

Quote:
Originally Posted by callmecrazy View Post
First [disclaimer], one $3000 boat is not gonna be the same as another $3000 boat. So no matter what other people have done, you'll have to assess the boat and the situation yourself, and decide what work needs to be done and if it's worth it, according to your own budget, intentions, and abilities.

But to answer your question...
I paid $4k for mine. It was advertised as "good boat", no other information I took the chance and went to see it, turned out to be the best boat I could have asked for. I was planning on spending around $7k on a boat, so I was able to use the money I saved on the initial maintenance and getting it ready to sail.

As for maintenance and other expenses. I bought it at the beginning of winter, and the owner stipulated that I store it in the yard of his choice (he's 86 years old, so i couldn't argue much). So I had to immediately pay another $900 for a haul-out and winter storage. But that certainly wasn't a necessary expense (although you'll have to keep it somewhere). I would recommend a haul out anyway on a boat that's been sitting in the water for some time. Prices at yards vary quite a bit. Shop around...

So, while it was on the hard, I cleaned up the bottom, did some fairing and put a coat of bottom paint on it. Cost about $200. Shoulda put 2 coats... I tuned up the motor and installed a manual bilge pump, probably around $150 total.

The boat really didn't need anything else. I did a few extra's like install 2 new batteries and a solar panel, an anchor and 2 rodes (it already had 1 anchor), a dinghy, a new pressure water pump, A deck fill hose for the fuel tank. And I'm sure a few other things I'm forgetting... Spent almost a full week just cleaning everything, and then spent a week sailing down the chesapeake.

I live aboard full time and the boat is pretty much always ready to sail (aside from being a complete mess most of the time ). I

This spring, I'll need to haul and paint again, but I'll put a few extra coats on so I can get 2 or 3 years out of it. The motor runs well as is, but I'm going to put about $400 into it (starter, alternator, gaskets, hoses) for preventative measures and upgrades (its a 34 year old atomic4, rebuilt in '97. Needs some upgrades...)

I'll be replacing all the standing rigging and associated parts, priced out recently at around $1300, but I'll probably wait until next year (2013) since I have no intentions of going offshore yet and I really want to get south before next winter. The boat is ready to go south right now (via the ICW), but I'm not ready...(gotta keep saving!).

It definitely needs plenty of work, but nothing that has to be done right away. Could use a bit of paint and a little varnish. A better battery arrangement, more solar, holding tank, new water tank, etc... etc... but that's all 'extras' in my mind The boat itself is sound and sailable, and it's even pretty comfortable to live on.
Do you mean it needs a NEW holding tank? Or doesn't have one at all? If it has a head and no holding tank, it's not legal to be used in most waters.
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Old 14-12-2011, 19:58   #5
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Re: Buying boat for 3K?

I purchased an Erickson '27 for $2500 two years ago- motivated seller- he had 2 boats and this one had been on the hard. I was motivated due to our name coming up on the town moring list after 12 years. The boat was ready to sail with a lot of elbow grease, and some minor work on systems. I have continued to work on it. Sure, we could use a new set of sails, better electronics and the like, but for the coastal sailing that i do, it has been great. Would I like to have a bigger/newer boat? You bet, but does this one do for now- absolutely.
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Old 14-12-2011, 20:12   #6
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Re: Buying boat for 3K?

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Originally Posted by MarkSF View Post
Do you mean it needs a NEW holding tank? Or doesn't have one at all? If it has a head and no holding tank, it's not legal to be used in most waters.
It has a brand new jabsco head, plumbed to a flexible tank with no pump out option. It's legal, and usable. But I hate it because I have to empty it like a port-a-potty. ANd I don't like where it's located (in a v-berth locker). It's on the to-do list to tear out the head area and install a tank behind the toilet that will gravity dump offshore and pumpout inshore. But that's for another year
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Old 14-12-2011, 20:24   #7
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Re: Buying boat for 3K?

1975 O'Day 27 Sloop Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

Here is one of many boats in that price range. But, it will need a little work on it to set it up to work for you. I'm sure there are others that are in different conditions and sizes.

I would still want a digital chartplotter personally and a head.

Nature's Head (?) - Seriously . . .
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Old 14-12-2011, 20:28   #8
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Re: Buying boat for 3K?

Did it this year..paid 3500..about 2000 of that was the rest of the years slip (already paid), had done a lot of research on that and no discounts around here until after July 4th(you will pay for the whole year)...so we counted it in the boat price as we looked..bought it at the end of June. Repairs..0$ ...upgrades..maybe $1000 put that is being crazy cheap, and using Ebay/craigslist/this forum and doing everything myself..added a stereo(AM/FM/CD/DVD/Ipod), origo 2 burner stove(alcohol/electric), AC power with cord(all new), chartplotter, Magna grill, solar lights for cockpit,radar, battery charger(built in unit-forget the name now- its $1000 new, got it for free..one new resistor soldered in- good to go)...Maintaining.. $100...teak oil, varnish, etc.
Sailed every weekend and more on Lake Erie, had 1 y/o ablative bottom paint.good for another year now, and new topside paint- deck is on us....Maintained crazy good..roller furler, good (old) sails, etc..
My buddy bought an Erickson 27at the end of Jul/beginning of Aug- very little money upfront.. had to move it, got a deal then on a slip..Needed more work(repairs, but I don't think he spent more than 3K to get it sailing..slip fees not included in his total.

Now , thats not ready for cruising , its ready to sail..they are not the same....
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Old 14-12-2011, 23:57   #9
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Re: Buying boat for 3K?

You might try looking at Crag's List that's where it's free to list your stuff and in $3000.00 price range up to about $30,000.00. We sold our 07 MacGregor 26M for $29,000.00 last Feb using Crag's List and it didn't cost us anything to advertise. There's a 29 ft sailboat in my marina that sold twice last year for $2,500.00 but I've never seen the sails up . Lots of folks buy a cheep boat and use it as a water front cabin and never leave the dock much, just go hang out at bars and brag about there yacht.
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Old 15-12-2011, 05:27   #10
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Even if a boats free, out could cost alot. If u need new running rigging, standing riggi ng, sails،،، safety gear etc. one free boat needed all this plus the water tank and diesel tank started leaking , then it needed thru hulls, then wiring, then sails, a boat sitting can hide tons of issues.. Pay now or pay later,, I see people oftenly buying boats for next to nothing then after spending lots sell them as they cant afford to.finish. Id recc be honest and real with what u can afford. I recently surveyed a powerboat they were asking low nada retail on and it needed 4k worth of repairs just to make it right. Bring a friend or someone knowledgeable to give u an objective view..... My 2cents
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Old 15-12-2011, 05:46   #11
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Re: Buying boat for 3K?

Quote:
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!
Yes. but a long time ago. and she was small - but the basics were sound (even if needed some cosmetic TLC, not all of which she got )......in fact I (knowingly) overpaid! My problem was that she was a boat I had known since I was a kid and day dreamed about (boats appear bigger when 4 foot tall!)........funnily enough I later pretty much got my money back, within a week of putting her up for sale . Despite the boom falling off during the sea trail ........and I still have the Avon Dink and the tiller autopilot.

Always a deal around (but not always easy to find when you want) - but unless you luck onto a forced seller (in which case need to be sure no debts secured on the vessel) will be the usual trade off between size vs condition (and equipment).....a 40 foot yacht may be a good liveaboard (somewhere secure!) - but at $3k (or even free) will likely be a waste of future money and time.....and that goes for smaller vessels as well.
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Old 15-12-2011, 06:31   #12
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Re: Buying boat for 3K?

I paid $2400 for a 24' seafarer ready to lake sail, it came with electronics and auto pilot and some older sails. Needed some cleaning up but it does sail on a inland lake fine. Not for show!
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Old 15-12-2011, 06:39   #13
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Re: Buying boat for 3K?

My first boat was a $400 Helms 25 with a tandem axle trailer. The decks were soft in some areas, but she was a great learning platform and served as good weekend get-away for my family and I. I probably put about another $500 into paint and upgrades.

My best advice would be to ask around at boatyards and post a few "wanted" ads on Craigslist. There's plenty of boats sitting around that folks don't use and don't even know they want to sell until they're approached by a buyer.
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Old 15-12-2011, 16:37   #14
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Re: Buying boat for 3K?

thanks for all the helpful info. Has anyone done this in the Caribbean, specifically the Virgin Islands? I'll certainly be scouring Craigslist before we arrive and walking around marinas when we get there. Just trying to do my recon work to see if there are good deals to be had around St Thomas
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Old 15-12-2011, 16:55   #15
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Re: Buying boat for 3K?

rookiemoon - did you read post#51 on your "Are we crazy?" thread? Those 2 boats are off of the Virgin Islands Craigs list for $5k and $2.5k.
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