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Old 23-02-2015, 12:32   #16
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Re: Buying First Boat...need opinions!

Hi all,

I am debating whether to invest and get the boat I really want that would maintain it's value ($15K- $25K, assuming that I don't mess it up) or to get a cheapo boat (under $4K) that I won't cry about if I seriously mess it up.

I will be living on this boat, though so am concerned that a cheapo boat will need rebedding/ recoring of... well, everything, to stay dry and has the potential to make life more uncomfortable.

I'm considering full keeled, under 27ft boats with head not under vberth. Nicer ones wld be Vancouver 25, PS25, Flicka, Albin Vega, Contessa. Cheaper ones would be e.g. Cape Dory 25, or other types of keels like Pearson 26 or Catalina.

I think the boats I am considering as "nicer ones" are boats that if in good condition, will maintain their value in case I decide that I don't want to own a boat. Is this a wrong assumption? But I might be more afraid of doing something wrong in those boats when repairing them...

So what are your opinions? Go cheap for first boat or get what I really want...and hope I don't mess something up big doing the repairs.

And at what price level would you hire a surveyor? Anything over $2K?


Hi,

I am intrigued by your inquiry, because I am "in the same boat", at the other end, at 80, wanting to downsize, for a short "Last Hurrah".

Your first question is difficult to answer: cheapie starter or the real thing? Buying and selling, especially selling, is a complex and protracted business. I would personally be inclined to try and go for the real thing. If it turns out to not quite be right, it will be just as easy -- or hard -- to re-sell as the cheapie one, and not as urgent.

Now, as to your general approach, I find that, coming up with the perfect choice, in an ideal world, may work, of you are buying a new boat, based on a catalogue. If you are shopping for a used boat, as you and I both are, then it all depends on where you are and what's on offer. I've been at it for a year and a half, looking in British Columbia.

Your price and size range is realistic; you can get a decent boat within those parameters. You say: "I'm considering full keeled, under 27ft boats with head not under vberth. Nicer ones wld be Vancouver 25, PS25, Flicka, Albin Vega, Contessa. Cheaper ones would be e.g. Cape Dory 25, or other types of keels like Pearson 26 or Catalina."

You will find very few full-keeled boats in that size range, that will also give you standing headroom, an enclosed head with vanity sink (which is one of my obsessions). The Bayfield 25 would be one, though no vanity sink by the head. Not a fast boat but very solid (Canadian) quality. The Contessa -- and all folkboats, being full-keeled -- are impressive, but very unliveable belowdecks. Whatever you are considering, Google the model under "Sailboatdata" and usually they'll give you the cabin layout as well as all the specs. You may well compromise on the full keel, to get everything else you want. The others you mention I am not familiar with, except for the Catalina, which I would stay away from. Extremely popular, because cheap, sails well, but otherwise disappointing, with irritating design flaws and low quality. I would also insist on propane for the galley. Everybody seems to be gung ho on alcohol. I've had both: hated alcohol and loved propane.

The favourite boats I have owned were a C&C 25 -- very solid and fast, a delight to sail, but not quite all I want belowdecks -- an Aloha 34 (Ted Brewer design), awesome, and, in the UK, a Westerly Centaur, a lovely boat which did require some modifications for live-aboard comfort, but is extremely poplar in the UK, solid as the proverbial brick outhouse, built to Lloyd's requirements. It has twin (bilge) keels, which are only 3 feet deep. I found it a bit difficult to keep on track with a following sea. Otherwise, I'd get one again.

You may wish to look at a Nonsuch, if there is one on offer in your area, another extremely well built and roomy Canadian boat, on the pricey side.

One last thing I might suggest is that you consider mooring, maintenance and transportation costs and options, before you jump. And a survey is a very good idea in almost all cases.

Good luck for your search!
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Old 23-02-2015, 13:55   #17
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Re: Buying First Boat...need opinions!

Well friends, I'm kicking myself big time. The Vancouver 25 I was looking at was sold last week for virtually nothing... I should have bought it when I first saw it but NEVER thought he would take so little because it wasn't in bad condition. Guess it wasn't meant to be!

To answer your questions:

1. Headroom isn't really an issue for me.
2. I've seen all of these boats in acceptable condition (with survey available) for the price range I stated.
3. I do not want to go up in size. I am a very small individual who conveniently enjoys small spaces so a small boat fits not only to my physical size but also my sailing experience and personal preferences.
4. I am a DIYer.
5. I want a full-keel boat that is blue water capable.
6. Looking in New England area despite the 8ft of snow! hahah.

I really appreciate all of your opinions! You all have definitely made my mind up to go ahead and get a boat that I consider "high quality." I suppose I should have clarified that when I stated "more expensive good boat" I didn't mean a boat in perfect condition. I meant a sturdier boat with an excellent reputation that holds resell value.

Again, thanks for all your comments so far!
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Old 23-02-2015, 14:18   #18
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Re: Buying First Boat...need opinions!

I have to ask the level of experience you have in boat resoration or rebuilding? The way you talk I think you should be looking for boats in relatively good condition. I had an experience with someone who rebuilt their boat only to have it catch fire and nearly destroyed it, why? Because he "thought" he knew what was doing. He went to a hadware store and bought standard house wire, you cant do that, you need good quality marine wire that costs six bucks a foot! I know I just spent over two hundred for the wire to redo my 35' Pearson. Did I put it in? No, I hired an $80 an hour electrition. Don't mess with doing jobs that have the potential to kill you if you get it wrong! Once again buy a boat in good shape, in the long run it's cheaper.
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Old 23-02-2015, 15:27   #19
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Re: Buying First Boat...need opinions!

Hi,

To answer your questions:

1. I don't do electricals. My father is an electrician and will help with that.
2. My mother is a woodworker and covers that.
3. I have had experience re-coring decks, varnishing, painting bottoms, detailing and basic mechanical (which is where I need to definitely improve).
4. I have no experience in rigging whatsoever nor sail repair nor plumbing.
5. I'm a demolition expert!


Fact is, I learn by doing. I like to think that I'm not arrogant enough to start something before getting info by reading/ studying/ asking around about the right way to do it. I'm getting info here and really appreciate it.

There are a lot of threads and info here and it is sometimes hard to sort through and find the answer to specific questions (even with a good search engine) so I decided to post.
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Old 23-02-2015, 16:34   #20
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Re: Buying First Boat...need opinions!

I don't think your arrogant at all, I did think you might have been tempted to bite off more than you could chew, and, I am glad to hear you have a ready and willing support group, it makes life much easier. I think that redoing a boat can be a very informative experience, one that can be a great learning experience or a frustrating nightmare that will keep your feet dry for ever.
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Old 23-02-2015, 17:16   #21
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Re: Buying First Boat...need opinions!

A Flicka will be roomy but won't get you anywhere very fast. Since I have a Columbia my opinion will be slanted but with reason. If you can find a Columbia 26 Mark 1 in good condition, that would be a good one to check, they were made well and have an outboard well which is not a bad way to go for the aux. It also has a separate spot for the head. Pearson Ariel is good but may have a few issues. What are surveyors charging in your area? A boat that size for $2000 is probably not what you are looking for; you won't need a survey if it is clearly uncared for. If it looks nice and you like it, get a survey. Cape Dories are very nice, well-made boats. Albergs as well. There are a bunch of nice 24s but you need an enclosed head so that probably bumps you up to the 26s. Contessas have a good rep, as do Vancouvers. Boats from the 60s, well cared for are probably the best at holding value.
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Old 23-02-2015, 18:00   #22
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Re: Buying First Boat...need opinions!

Quote:
Originally Posted by shortytravels View Post
Well friends, I'm kicking myself big time. The Vancouver 25 I was looking at was sold last week for virtually nothing... I should have bought it when I first saw it but NEVER thought he would take so little because it wasn't in bad condition. Guess it wasn't meant to be!

To answer your questions:

1. Headroom isn't really an issue for me.
2. I've seen all of these boats in acceptable condition (with survey available) for the price range I stated.
3. I do not want to go up in size. I am a very small individual who conveniently enjoys small spaces so a small boat fits not only to my physical size but also my sailing experience and personal preferences.
4. I am a DIYer.
5. I want a full-keel boat that is blue water capable.
6. Looking in New England area despite the 8ft of snow! hahah.

I really appreciate all of your opinions! You all have definitely made my mind up to go ahead and get a boat that I consider "high quality." I suppose I should have clarified that when I stated "more expensive good boat" I didn't mean a boat in perfect condition. I meant a sturdier boat with an excellent reputation that holds resell value.

Again, thanks for all your comments so far!
I see...ok, well, you have a good thing going for you in the fact that you are in New England where good old boats are a dime a dozen!

One boat that I have been a big fan of for a while that looks like suits your needs that I highly recommend is the Bristol 24...Mooring neighbor has one in mint condition that his wife and him cruise around Buzzards Bay. Nice even lines, good speed and stability and nice accommodations for its size...it is not a design that holds its value well but, you can get one for so cheap around here in New England that re-sell value should not be too big of a deal considering you would probably be buying it close to what you would sell in the end if you did...Here is one in Gloucester: 1967 Bristol 24' Sailboat

Here is the review from blue water boat:
The Bristol 24 Sailboat : Bluewaterboats.org

Good luck in your search! Your boat will find you!
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Old 23-02-2015, 18:11   #23
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Re: Buying First Boat...need opinions!

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Originally Posted by Southcoasting View Post
I see...ok, well, you have a good thing going for you in the fact that you are in New England where good old boats are a dime a dozen!

One boat that I have been a big fan of for a while that looks like suits your needs that I highly recommend is the Bristol 24...Mooring neighbor has one in mint condition that his wife and him cruise around Buzzards Bay. Nice even lines, good speed and stability and nice accommodations for its size...it is not a design that holds its value well but, you can get one for so cheap around here in New England that re-sell value should not be too big of a deal considering you would probably be buying it close to what you would sell in the end if you did...Here is one in Gloucester: 1967 Bristol 24' Sailboat

Here is the review from blue water boat:
The Bristol 24 Sailboat : Bluewaterboats.org

Good luck in your search! Your boat will find you!
Actually, scratch that...I forgot the requirement of the head, which the Brstol 24 has so it won't fit your needs...

I second the Ariel recommendation...I would say my old Tartan 27 too but having a centerboard, some may not qualify for it being bluewater capable, although many have traveled far and they're rugged enough for the steep chop of Buzzards Bay.

I also seen a Cape Dory 25 in CL for cheap...
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Old 23-02-2015, 20:34   #24
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Re: Buying First Boat...need opinions!

The Bristol is a good choice too. Check the 27 and don't be too intimidated by the extra 2 or 3 feet. These "bluewaterish" boats are sea-worthy, sea-kindly and forgiving. Just prcatice with turns out of the harbor because you have to get used to how much room, and speed, they need to make a turn compared to the fin keel/spade rudder youngsters. And choose a boat in really good condition because even as a DIY, every boat, no matter the condition will need something somewhere to be done. Unless you are a boatbuilder, you are going to want to sail this boat right off the bat! Even "little" projects can take a long time and a little money. It will help A LOT if you can find someone to go down to the boat and hold the other wrench or whatever. Columbia made a flush deck 29 called the "Defender" that is a good candidate too, but all flush decks don't take a dodger too well, and it can be nice to have something to hide behind when the cold spray starts coming over the windward gunwale. Good luck! It is fun to ponder your predicament! Tell us what you settle on!
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Old 23-02-2015, 20:45   #25
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Re: Buying First Boat...need opinions!

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Originally Posted by shortytravels View Post

So what are your opinions? Go cheap for first boat or get what I really want...and hope I don't mess something up big doing the repairs.

And at what price level would you hire a surveyor? Anything over $2K?
I think I'd get something I liked, but maybe don't spend every dime you own on it, as you'll likely end up putting some more into it.

I wouldn't let anyone else tell you what they like, however, anymore than I'd let someone else pick your car or house.

Decide the qualities you like, and get something that meets your criteria. Later on, you'll realize there are some features you like, and some you could do without. Your life, your boat, your call.

Assume it won't be your last boat, because it likely won't be, and then it won't be such a life-or-death decision. Life's a journey, not a destination.
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Old 23-02-2015, 20:53   #26
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Re: Buying First Boat...need opinions!

By the way, if you go to the bluewaterboats.org site, have a look at the boats that are still waiting for enough votes to be added to the site. Many of those are really excellent boats too!
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Old 14-03-2015, 10:26   #27
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Re: Buying First Boat...need opinions!

Just wanted to give an update... I've called on a ton of boats. Albin Vegas, Sea Sprites, Dory 25D, Bristol, etc. Apparently I'm not finding them quickly enough because every boat online that I find seems to already have an offer pending the survey (most boats are still wrapped on the hard so cannot be surveyed yet).

Some of these boats that I called within the first week that they were posted online and yet still already had offers so I must not know of some "get foot in the door earlier" trick when it comes to finding & buying...
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Old 14-03-2015, 11:21   #28
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Re: Buying First Boat...need opinions!

Lots of demand for your price range.

Sent from my SM-N910V using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
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Old 15-03-2015, 03:24   #29
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Re: Buying First Boat...need opinions!

How about a Vertue 24?

Looked at any of them? Good rep.

Ann
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Old 16-03-2015, 12:46   #30
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Re: Buying First Boat...need opinions!

Hi There,

Not many Vertues in USA as far as I know. Wasn't this wooden? Difficult to find info online.

Thanks.
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