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Old 22-02-2015, 08:31   #1
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Boat advice

Hello all. I am looking to live aboard next summer once my lease is up and need some opinions on the route to go with purchasing my boat. I have a family of three. Myself, my wife and our daughter and i forgot the dog. Anyway, we have been looking at boats and are torn. We definitely like Beneteaus. We have been aboard several and really like the layout. My question is new or used, and if used how used is ok? We are in Southern California so slip fees are high. We are a middle class family so dollars matter. I am of the mindset that we should purchase a newer boat to have fewer problems with wiring, plumbing, rigging, etc. My wife wants us to by an older boat around mid 90's to save money. Her argument is that the surveyor will find any problems and we will have more money for maintenance and slip fees. We are looking in the 41-45 foot range if that matters. Thank you for the help. It is greatly appreciated as I am here to learn.
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Old 22-02-2015, 08:48   #2
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Re: Boat advice

[QUOTE=Surferdude;1756235Her argument is that the surveyor will find any problems and we will have more money for maintenance and slip fees.[/QUOTE]

The surveyor definitely will not find all the problems. If you are lucky maybe he will find the major ones.

There are so many boats. Go onto yachtworld.com and start looking for ones that you like.
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Old 22-02-2015, 08:49   #3
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pirate Re: Boat advice

I think I agree with your wife.. there were some very nice models that era and.. you can get a bigger and better equipped boat for less and spend the difference on any upgrades/additions you may feel you need..
Ideally you want to look for boats with just one or 2 previous owners.. the more she's had.. the more likely the cowboy jobs done on her.. a good maintainance history and reciepts.. and don't get dazzled by the quantity of 'Toys'.. they only add a small... no..
Tiny %-age to the value of the boat
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Old 22-02-2015, 12:21   #4
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Re: Boat advice

I'm in agreement with buying the older, well-maintained boat. There are some great clues in finding the good used boat before the survey.

It smells ok; the owner has maintenance records; the equipment works; the boat has had recent use; the owner will have a list of projects that he sees in the boat's future; the owner has immediate knowledge to answer your questions about the boat.
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Old 22-02-2015, 13:30   #5
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Re: Boat advice

Thanks for the advice guys. Is there a point where the boat is too old and are there any immediate deal breakers to look for?
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Old 22-02-2015, 13:38   #6
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Re: Boat advice

Used are a lot cheaper than new. After 8-10 years boats start to get a long list of things needing replacement.
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Old 22-02-2015, 13:59   #7
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Re: Boat advice

As Cheechako mentioned once a boat is past 10 years old you are into refitting many parts of the boat so its less about how old it is and more about how current the refitting is. There are some boats out there that have basically replaced everything except the hull and mast. If boat A has been well kept and has recently been refitted including new diesel,new sails,new rigging,new wiring and new tanks I would rather buy that boat than one that was all original and 10 years newer. Many of the recent resales are ex charter boats that have high time engines and lots of use plus the layouts below are beds and heads. They certainly are high value but if you can pay more and get a lower time owners version you will do much better on your resale.
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Old 22-02-2015, 16:21   #8
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Re: Boat advice

Get on board as many boats as possible - See if you can crew at a local sailing club. You need to get a comparative baseline.


You also don't mention budget


While Benneteaus are nice don't lock yourself into a boat type. Catalinas, Hunters and Jeanneus are all similar boats.


For living aboard I would lean towards newer - You will get a nicer more modern interior with later model equipment.


If you do go older you can find nice boats but you have to be a bit more savvy on what to look for in terms of issues.
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Old 22-02-2015, 16:58   #9
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Re: Boat advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Surferdude View Post
Thanks for the advice guys. Is there a point where the boat is too old and are there any immediate deal breakers to look for?
Not really. As mentioned, past 10 years or so a lot of incidental systems start needing parts. Bilge pumps break, wiring gets corroded, pumps fail everywhere. But it's just part of the lifecycle. So long as the systems today are fine, then it isn't much of a concern wether the boat is 10 or 20 years old. With the sole caviat that a high engine hour boat (>3000hrs) or a very low engine hour boat (<10/yr) would raise some flags for me. But about equally to be honest.

Always keep in mind however that a big boat is a depreciating asset unlike a house. And over the long term will end up close to worthless. Further, any money spent on the boat isn't going to return you much when you sell it. So it needs to be money you can wite off for the experience.
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Old 22-02-2015, 17:18   #10
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Re: Boat advice

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Originally Posted by Stumble View Post
Not really. As mentioned, past 10 years or so a lot of incidental systems start needing parts. Bilge pumps break, wiring gets corroded, pumps fail everywhere. But it's just part of the lifecycle. So long as the systems today are fine, then it isn't much of a concern wether the boat is 10 or 20 years old. With the sole caviat that a high engine hour boat (>3000hrs) or a very low engine hour boat (<10/yr) would raise some flags for me. But about equally to be honest.

Always keep in mind however that a big boat is a depreciating asset unlike a house. And over the long term will end up close to worthless. Further, any money spent on the boat isn't going to return you much when you sell it. So it needs to be money you can wite off for the experience.
Hey, Did you see that most important sentence above!

"Any money spent on the boat is'nt going to return you much when you sell it."

This is true and this is your best buy. The old boat that has been well refit and had it's equipment renewed will never sell for the cost of all the good upkeep. As an example, almost everything between my rudder and anchor (and even my rudder and anchor) has been replaced on my 1973 boat. I can never expect to sell my boat for even half of the money I've put into it. My boat is not for sale, but boats like mine sell every day!
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Old 22-02-2015, 22:29   #11
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Re: Boat advice

Wow! Loving all the responses. Thanks everyone! Really! It may sound crazy but I am not really concerned with resale value. Never really been the one to sweat money even when I don't have any. Besides, I have been flushing a ton of money down this drain of an apartment that I will never get a penny of back. Well maybe my security deposit. Anyway, I have shifted my focus to older boats. Specifically '95-'00. Luckily for me I was a diesel tech in the Navy once upon a time so as long as I have a tech manual I feel confident on the engine. But not a clue about sails and rigging. How often should they be changed and how much is that on average? For around a 40 foot sloop rigged boat. I am really digging the forum. There is a ton of info and you guys are so helpful. Most other forums I have been on have more hostility than Redsox/Yankees game.
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Old 22-02-2015, 22:40   #12
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Re: Boat advice

Lifetime of sails is highly dependent on use. Hours spent under sail, exposure to sunlight, etc. Also strong winds are much harder on them than light. Obviously, recent replacement is a good thing. Suggest a careful examination of their condition, stitching, etc, and hoist them and look at the shape.

Standing rigging replacement is a matter of opinion, but every 10 years would be a good start.

I'd estimate sails for a 40 ft boat would be $3 to $4k each, and a re-rig $5k to $10k, depending on how much is done.
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Old 23-02-2015, 18:52   #13
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Re: Boat advice

So tell me again why you want a sailboat? Cheaper than an apartment? Have you spent a week on a sailboat so you can see the actual size when living aboard?

I'd suggest you check Yachtworld for options.
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Old 23-02-2015, 20:23   #14
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Re: Boat advice

Mark S, I have wanted to live aboard for years. I am an avid primitive backpacker so I am comfortable living out of a backpack so a 40 foot boat would be ample room. My wife shares my passion. I also love the idea of a simpler life forcing me to downsize and the fact of not being tied down. I don't mind doing the maintenance and it isn't about money. It is about living the one life I get to the fullest. I loathe the idea of spending my entire life living in the same place.


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Old 23-02-2015, 21:11   #15
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Re: Boat advice

I would second a lot of the advice here and I would say many older boats are the best deal if they have been well cared for. Many of those were originally well made and if they have been owned by knowledgeable owner who has done a lot of refitting you can find a real bargain. I was just looking at an old Columbia 43 (in southern Cal) which was in very good shape and is huge inside. However in your case I think you need a boat big enough to offer your daughter her own somewhat private space or cabin.
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