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Old 17-11-2012, 08:23   #166
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Re: I'm Walking Away from my Boat

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Originally Posted by atoll View Post
even doing stuff your self you still get stung from time to time.

i made the mistake of buying from a "marine hydralic supplier" near me who sell mainly to the trade.

12 x 3/4 hose clamps
2meters of clear braided hose
1x 1'1/4 stainless elbow

after a 10% discount the price was £71 or $115 !!!!!

i knew the elbow was going to be expensive,but ss hose clips at $4.80 each!
and 2m of bog standard tube at $16 was really taking the piss!

FWIW, some "stainless" hose clamps (especially in the smaller sizes), have common zinc-plated moly steel screws. The stainless clamps that also have stainless screws are always more expensive... and in the project's I've done, worth it.

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Old 23-11-2012, 08:06   #167
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Re: I'm Walking Away from my Boat

This was the first thread I read, and this is my first post on CruisersForum.

I read the first page and the last two and promise to read the entire thread soon.
Advice I read seems very good and I'm glad to know that the OP returned to express
additional information.

We raced and cruised a C&C 26 on Lake Michigan for six years after cruising a Paceship Eastwind 25 for six years. We haven't owned a yacht since 1983 when we sold YOT II and I left to take photographs professionally at the America's Cup in Newport RI.

There's no question that the following are handy aboard any cruiser:

electrical genius
machinist
inventor
rigger
seaman
reader
navigator
sail repairer
people familiar with your boat or very similar boats
janitor
friends

If you don't have room for that many crew, you should develop many of the necessary skills yourself.

It's true that starting at a young age with dinghies and developing knowledge by sailing on a variety of boats before deciding own a boat for cruising is a BIG PLUS.

We never blew out a sail, never had an electrical or electronic failure. Perhaps those were miracles. At least 90% of our friends experienced such failures aboard their yachts.
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Old 23-11-2012, 09:00   #168
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Re: I'm Walking Away from my Boat

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Originally Posted by Larry Moran View Post

There's no question that the following are handy aboard any cruiser:

electrical genius
machinist
inventor
rigger
seaman
reader
navigator
sail repairer
people familiar with your boat or very similar boats
janitor
friends

If you don't have room for that many crew, you should develop many of the necessary skills yourself.
Welcome to CF Larry. Sounds like good advice. I'm working on learning some of those skills myself. I like trying to figure out things myself to have no doubt what was done and how.
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Old 23-11-2012, 10:04   #169
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Re: I'm walking away from my boat

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I'm the OP and I feel a little silly now that a little time has gone by and my frustration has lessened.

I'm really touched by all the encouraging posts. It was quite unexpected and very much appreciated and while I won't be going back to do any serious work on the boat for a while, I think you guys (and gals) are something pretty special.

As far as doing "due diligence" before I bought the boat, I spent a year obsessively studying and asking questions of the people here on CF and on the Westsail Owners Assoc before I bought the boat. I was very aware of the potential pitfalls of buying a boat in need of a refit so I bought a boat that was ready to sail to,the Caribbean. Well, that's what the surveyor said when I asked him anyway. Without minimizing my own culpability in the boat purchase fiasco, I will say that I was grossly misled as to the actual condition of my boat. Honestly, the surveyor said it was in great shape but on the survey marked everything as "serviceable". My ignorance cost me a crap load of money and of course negatively affected my future for several years. I have enjoyed much of the work on my boat though. It just seemed for a minute there that I would never get her back in the water.

Long story short, it's been a year on the hard and besides being royally cheated by the on site contractors, and totally frustrated at my own lack of aptitude and then having another fairly major project and expense crop up on top of the several projects I had yet to complete, having to deal with some health issues, I just got overwhelmed. I'll save some more money this winter and when Nigel Calder's book arrives I'll start studying electricity in ernest.

My apologies for behaving like a drama queen.
Some people live to just "work on the boat" and the sense of accomplishment it brings. Ditto for restoring a vintage car. Either way you are usually out a lot of money in the end.
It's not for everyone is the key lesson here. If I were you I would just get everything below the water line done. Then get the boat out of the hands of the yard and those contactors that rip you off. In the water, you can choose anyone you want to do the work. Thanks for geting back with us.
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Old 23-11-2012, 10:22   #170
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Re: I'm Walking Away from my Boat

It's too late now, but I always tell people interested in a major project boat that the #1 most important factor is to figure out where you are going to keep and work on the boat. It has to be cheap, because everything is going to take a minimum of twice as long as you anticipated. It has to be close to where you live and work, so you don't waste time back and forth. It has to have good access to shopping of all sorts: marine, hardware, WalMart, etc. It has to be a place where you can keep it indefinitely, because again it always takes much, much longer than you anticipated. Of course, there are many other considerations: power, water, weather protection, climate, etc. In any case, any potential project boat has to take these factors into account, no matter how great the actual boat is.
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Old 23-11-2012, 10:57   #171
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Re: I'm Walking Away from my Boat

Just started a major refit ready for retirement cruise. Trouble is boat is in UK and I am working in Norway. I really wanted to do a lot of the work myself, but it was a question of working and earning whilst employing people to do the work, or retiring early and attempting it myself. It makes better financial sense for a number of reasons to continue working. I have also employed a project manager to oversee the work and provide a turn-key finished article.

Downside - I will not know the boat as well as I should, and I will not have that pride of accomplishment.

Upside - When it is raining and cold, I can do a few more hours overtime, thinking of my crew doing all the work!!!
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Old 23-11-2012, 11:33   #172
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Re: I'm Walking Away from my Boat

I feel your pain as well. I think all of us have tried to save a few bucks on a project and ended up blowing far more in the end. I am an avid sailor but would never own my own boat. I charter all the time and happily give the boat back at the end of the cruise. We always take the newest boat in the fleet and even with these late model boats there are always heaps of problems along the way. Almost every time the charter company ends up flying a mechanic out to whatever remote island we are on to repair something major, while I and the crew happily sip umbrella drinks in the beach bar. I, personally, think you all are crazy to own your own boats! I can have the newest boat on earth anywhere in the world whenever I want it and spend far less in the end then someone that owns an old junker. I never worry about painting the hull or paying slip fees. I can be in the Caribbean one month and South Pacific the next with no difficulties whatsoever. I am sure there are people who love owning and living full time on their boat. I am just saying, this will not work for everyone. Sailing, to me, should be about sailing, not spending years and every last cent you have fixing up some rust bucket that will never make it so any of the places you dream about anyway.

Hopefully food for thought.
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Old 23-11-2012, 11:38   #173
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Re: I'm Walking Away from my Boat

The typical charter fee for a week is more than my boat costs me in upkeep per year.
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Old 23-11-2012, 11:45   #174
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Re: I'm Walking Away from my Boat

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Originally Posted by Kettlewell View Post
It's too late now, but I always tell people interested in a major project boat that the #1 most important factor is to figure out where you are going to keep and work on the boat. It has to be cheap, because everything is going to take a minimum of twice as long as you anticipated. It has to be close to where you live and work, so you don't waste time back and forth. It has to have good access to shopping of all sorts: marine, hardware, WalMart, etc. It has to be a place where you can keep it indefinitely, because again it always takes much, much longer than you anticipated. Of course, there are many other considerations: power, water, weather protection, climate, etc. In any case, any potential project boat has to take these factors into account, no matter how great the actual boat is.
But the OP bought a boat that he thought (and was told by a professional) was ready to sail to the islands.
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Old 23-11-2012, 12:03   #175
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Re: I'm Walking Away from my Boat

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But the OP bought a boat that he thought (and was told by a professional) was ready to sail to the islands.
I understand that, but I am saying that any boat, even a brand new one, requires work to get it ready to go. I usually figure a minimum of two months of work on weekends for any boat new to me before I launch her. In any case, it is worthwhile to figure into your plans needing time and money to get your boat ready to go, no matter what a survey says. I once met someone having a brand-new, top of the line catamaran commissioned by the manufacturer. It was in the water, but so many things were not working right that every day for two weeks there was a full crew onboard working on the boat. I later ran into the boat again, after a few months, and they had cancelled their trip south because the boat was still being worked on. This is one of the big arguments for keeping it simple.
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Old 23-11-2012, 16:38   #176
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Re: I'm Walking Away from my Boat

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Hopefully food for thought.
For sure .

But it just comes down to cash. 6 months on charter let alone longer would likely be cheaper to buy a new boat every year - and then bin it .
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Old 23-11-2012, 16:50   #177
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Re: I'm Walking Away from my Boat

Approx $3000 a week here for charter. Thats $156,000 a year, Its cheaper to own your own boat,
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Old 23-11-2012, 16:53   #178
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Re: I'm Walking Away from my Boat

Virginia Boy, I've been entirely unimpressed with the surveyors I've worked with. To be fair to them, it is hard to get a really good read on a boat in a couple of hours, but that's me being generous. NAMS/SAMS whatever, they are more boat broker than anything else, although I am sure there are better ones out there.

Buyer beware though, because some surveyors are just lazy, and don't really care how much of your time and money it takes to get your boat ready to fulfill your dreams, but rather how quickly they can be done with your boat and move on. Now that concludes my little rant on under-achieving surveyors. Hats off to the ones that care enough to be really careful, are generous with their time, and have the aptitude for the work to begin with.

Learning how to work with 12 V systems will be a huge asset to you as you start cruising. There is no end to the opportunities to use those skills on a boat in my experience. Kettlewell is right to keep it simple, I have come to loathe complicated systems. Learn to use a basic multimeter, and how to size wire properly, and make good terminations, label wires, and keep it tidy. It is really quite simple, once you learn the rules. Use this forum, take pictures, ask questions, and we'll help you with your problems as much as possible. Honestly though, an LED light strung up serves as an anchor light, and you can buy a clamp-on running light that takes D cells. Add a handheld VHF and a basic cigarette style plug and you can at least go camping on your boat around the bay. I'm sure you're rolling your eyes at me, but I've taken this approach and fixed things on the move rather than have to cancel cruising plans.

Sad to hear about owners of new boats that have to cancel their plans so that contractors can dial it in. I feel bad for those that are completely reliant on contractors to fix everything. Even if you are wealthy, you are at the whim of what contractors are available, if at all, in remote places. Plenty of people do it that way, but for me, I would feel trapped. Not that I'm completely self-sufficient, but when I've needed help, I've been lucky.

Some of my best memories are in boatyards here in NC. Only for week haulouts, never an extended stay, but I've been lucky to find very generous professionals that have taught me tricks that a farmer would just never know.

Sorry to run on for so long, I just noticed you came back and posted. enjoy your winter off, and try to re-invent your working relationship with your boat. Another, perhaps simpler approach, along with some basic skills, could make it way more fun and give you a sense of freedom. But what do I know....
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Old 23-11-2012, 17:07   #179
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Re: I'm Walking Away from my Boat

It's not for everyone, but a friend of mine did numerous transAtlantic trips on very simple boats he built himself. They had no built in electrics--just flashlights and some oil lamps and some dry-cell powered running lights he used sparingly. No head. No plumbing. No engine except for the tiniest outboard on a stern bracket that also served as the dink motor. Navigated with a sextant, a digital watch, a radio, paper charts, some tables, and some plotting stuff. I don't believe he even had a depth sounder. You basically just need a boat that keeps the water out, the rig up, the sails filled, and provides a place to sleep and eat. Most of the other stuff is just luxury.
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Old 23-11-2012, 17:12   #180
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Never trust a surveyor imo. I suspect you might have more sense than me, I should have walked away as well, then tried again. I bought a 'turn key' sailboat for a relative premium price as well, according to the seller and the surveyor at least she was ready to go. The 800+ dollar cost of the survey I consider entirely wasted money, I'd have been much better off using it as toilet paper.


8 months and after spending the same again as I paid for the boat, I think I might get a sail around the bay in a few more, provided I ignore a few concerning issues like an defective sea cock.

I think you are very wise to walk away if needed, myself I'm too far in now, might as well see it through and live with it because I can't afford to buy another anytime soon, and I've put some expensive parts in.


The right boat is out there, and next time you won't likely get caught in the same trap again.
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