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Old 06-12-2017, 06:15   #1
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New (Used) Boat transportation logistics

I did a search before starting this thread, but I could of easily missed if this was already discussed in detail.

My question is about how people handle the logistics of purchasing a used boat and getting it to its new home.

So, lets say you find what you are looking for up North in the US (Washington DC), and your home port is down South (Savannah). The inspection would give the general green light about the boat being sea worthy, but with old boats some unknown issue is bound to come up.

1. Do you keep the boat on hard until you get familiarized and fix any issues and then sail it down the coast? Paying for storage and travel back and forward while working on it, or supervising the work.

or

2. De-mast and have it trailered by land to its new destination, and then work on things? What is the cost of shipping the boat by land in the US? Lets say 38- 40' boat? Having the boat home, and paying a usual 12 month contract would obviously the financial advantages, plus you don't have to take a risk of a long sail on a "new" vessel.

Any thoughts on cost (de-masting, transport, re-masting) and what would make more sense.
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Old 06-12-2017, 07:09   #2
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Re: New (Used) Boat transportation logistics

We have shipped two boats, and sailed a third. It depends on lots of things, like the condition of the boat and your confidence in her, time of year, costs, time to sail, your skills, etc. OUr first boat we trucked from an inland lake, so that was the only option. Our second boat we trucked from Charleston to NC. Based on the work we ended up doing, and things that broke early on, it would have been a disaster if we had tried to sail her. She ended up being a great vessel that we sailed to the Bahamas and Maine, but in general, those first few days with a boat that has been sitting, you will find lots of issues, hopefully little, that need attention.

The last, our current boat, we sailed from Massachusetts to Annapolis in November. She was on the hard, but mechanically well cared for (cosmetically not so much), and we were on our relative top game skills wise as we had been living aboard and cruising for two years.

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Old 06-12-2017, 07:29   #3
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Re: New (Used) Boat transportation logistics

i donot buy boats stored on hard.
there is always the uncertainty of flotation--will it or will it not float.
i also sought boats in my area. there are plenty to choose from. seems to me that buying in a remote area far from home is a sketchy situation, unless you intend to cruise there, why buy there?
it makes more sense to find a local boat rather than find one distant to your needs
transportation out negates the awesome deal you won by negotiating price to almost nothing. must take into consideration the travel after purchase. now, is your deal such a deal or is it a crock of superficial unnecessary stuff.
my formosa was immediately next to my ericson when i found it. perfect situation.
were i to purchase a boat in a remote locale, i would do that for the cruising grounds.
there are boats everywhere.
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Old 06-12-2017, 07:51   #4
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Re: New (Used) Boat transportation logistics

Well, I am starting to look for a older Morgan, or the like. Not many that I have seen in my area. Something totally local would be awesome, but I just haven't seen any close by. That said, I am at a very early stage of looking around. Just doing my homework at the moment.
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Old 06-12-2017, 07:53   #5
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Re: New (Used) Boat transportation logistics

Yeah, buying a boat stored on hard would be a subject of it's actual flotation.
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Old 06-12-2017, 08:02   #6
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Re: New (Used) Boat transportation logistics

Confirming a boat on the hard will float is not complicated, at least fiberglass boats. Check all the through hulls and hoses and make sure there are no giant holes in the hull then it's pretty certain the boat will float.

Moving the boat can be a totally different issue. A boat sitting for years the condition of the engine can be a concern. Is it locked up? Will it crank? Once it cranks will it keep running? How old is the fuel in the tanks? Can you drain it (and properly dispose of it) put in new and new filters and have a reliable engine? What about the transmission?

Depending on the size of the boat and where you're moving it, the cost for trucking can be a lot more than you think. Don't forget the yard costs on both ends. Search the forum for boat hauling, haulers, moving boat and similar search terms and you'll find many threads on the subject.
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Old 06-12-2017, 08:09   #7
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Re: New (Used) Boat transportation logistics

I recently bought a boat in Texas, that was in the water. I went down from Atlanta, for the survey and seatrial. Then I had it pulled out at a local ship yard and had a new prop, propane stove, and a few other things installed. I also had the engine and gear gone over by a Yanmar dealer. They changed all fluids, the belt and raw water impeller.

Then I had it trucked to rural north Florida. Boat brokers and ship yards all know decent boat transport companies. Get several bids on transport and be sure you know what kind of equipment they will be using to load and haul the boat. Hydraulic trailers are a no no. They put too much stress on concentrated points in the hull for all the bouncing and jouncing the boat takes while flying down the interstate.
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Old 06-12-2017, 09:14   #8
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Re: New (Used) Boat transportation logistics

Sailing it down or trucking it down are both viable options but many factors will affect your decision. Time is a major consideration especially when buying a boat that is not near you. What do you want to bring with you for a trip back home? If you are going to sail her, you'll want tools, foulies, binoculars, charts, spares, etc. You'll have to get all of those things to your new boat or buy them there. Once you think she is ready, you'll need time to provision, and time for a shakedown, even if it is just half a day.

There's always something that needs repair or adjustment before a trip. If you think the trip will take a week, allow two weeks. You never know what the weather will do, what will break, what will cause a delay.

If time is tight, have it shipped by truck or hire someone to bring the boat to you. If you have the time, do it yourself and enjoy the trip while learning your new boat at the same time. What ever you do, budget extra time and extra money. Figure out what you think it will cost, then double it. You'll have a lot less stress and a lot more enjoyment, and you may even end up with money and time left over.

Good luck!
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Old 06-12-2017, 09:20   #9
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Re: New (Used) Boat transportation logistics

Alex, I think you are more likely to find a Morgan in Florida, like a lot of shoal draft boats.

All the rest is based on your constraints--which you haven't mentioned. Can you take a month off? Are you retired? Got any budget limits?

You don't buy anything without a sea trial, so even if the boat is in a yard, you stick it in the water before you take possession. That sea trial can take a half day if need be and if the broker squawks, tell him he can buy his own lunch.

When the sea trial is over and you've found whatever the survey missed, you decide if you're buying the boat, having it hauled again, or keeping it in the water. You need to find out the options and costs in advance.

Ideally? If the bottom was good before it splashed, you keep it in the water, hand over the money, and start working on the punch list. That could easily take two weeks even if you order what you need that same day, till it arrives, till things get sorted out. Maybe three. Can you stay with the boat that long?

Can you even FIND good help to do work for you? That you can trust to show up and do it right? Who can work this week, not next month?

And if all of that can't be worked out, then yes, you truck it home where you can be hands-on and get the rest done however it has to be. AND you personally witness and sign off on the loading and unloading so there are no mysteries about how that hole got in the bow.

All personal decisions, based on what can be made to work for you.

Unless you're a real yachtsman, in which case you have someone on staff who will deal with those things for you. (It IS so hard to find good help these days.)
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Old 06-12-2017, 09:49   #10
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Re: New (Used) Boat transportation logistics

Shipping is expensive. So it depends on what it is worth to you. There are also a ton of logistics and disassembly etc for shipping. I have shipped a smaller boat twice both times with damage. Not a long trip to deliver the boat by water, but I agree you should become familiar with the boat first.
Also might depend on the draft of the boat and time of year. If shallow enough draft take it down the waterway.
This time of year I would not sail the unfamiliar boat down the outside.
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Old 06-12-2017, 09:51   #11
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Re: New (Used) Boat transportation logistics

I am far from retirement. And cash is limited, so I am trying to make the most of my money.

I can work remote and my office schedule is very flexible. Taking two weeks of is not an option, but long weekends and working remote is.

I guess expanding the rang of my search would give more options to choose from.

Thanks for everyones replies and suggestions.
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Old 06-12-2017, 11:06   #12
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Re: New (Used) Boat transportation logistics

When we purchased our Tartan 37’ from the Chesapeake Bay 3-4 years ago, it was a lot of fun laying out the potential cruise home to Toledo,Ohio while getting quotes on the cost of land transport.
We would have been willing to incur quite a bit more cost on the trip in personal time, fuel, food, dockage, etc. but we were ultimately left unsure about the health of the engine which would have to do most of the trip unassisted with the mast down in the canal.
Since the acquisition, we have replaced the exhaust elbow and had the injector pump rebuilt. Glad we didn’t have to figure out those problems delivering the boat home.
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Old 06-12-2017, 11:09   #13
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Re: New (Used) Boat transportation logistics

I think we paid $2400 for the delivery and $800 to the sellers yard to take down spar, label and secure rigging, and then hoist onto the transport trailer.
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Old 06-12-2017, 11:24   #14
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Re: New (Used) Boat transportation logistics

Alex V,

To me, your experience is key. If you have sailing experience along the route over which the boat will be delivered, and are confident with your mechanical abilities, then why not deliver it on its own bottom? Take a sailing friend with you and go for it, day and night, and pretty soon you are there. You can probably plan on at least 100 mi days, and your friend can be on watch while you fix whatever breaks.

If that is not your situation, you haven't sailed enough yet, so buy it "next door", get out there and get some experience.....and that will inform the choice of your next boat.

It isn't that sailing is difficult, although it is energy intensive to do well, but rather that you may be totally unfamiliar with doing *stuff* on a moving platform, from fixing things, to cooking meals, and sleeping under way. It is much easier to deliver a boat home when all that's new to you is the boat itself.

If you decide to do it yourself, make sure there's room in the holding tank, or install a composting toilet before you leave.

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Old 06-12-2017, 11:38   #15
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Re: New (Used) Boat transportation logistics

Well Cate, I am not exactly sure where my comfort level is. I have sailed in blue water on newish boats, rough weathered it to Cuba on a 27 footer once. But an unknown boat that may start to take on water middle of the night is way past my comfort level.

I am starting to think that a solid motor is a key to a success of a first long distance move. But if it will be around 3K to truck it, well...
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