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Old 17-08-2015, 13:43   #1
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Choosing and buying the boat

I'm actively shopping for a liveaboard/cruising boat on a limited amount of money. I'm retired, single and on a fixed income so I don't need to work and can wander as I please. I just don't have a lot of cash available, five or six thousand to start with. I have few expenses so I would have money available to put into upgrading a boat and I would like to not borrow. I have extensive boating experience on diesel powerboats, both operating and maintaining/repairing. I have very little sailing experience and would be interested in some input regarding what boats might be good to consider. I'm looking in the 26 to 30ft range, I've spent quite a bit of time living in a small space offshore and this size range seems to me to offer adequate accommodation for one and still be relatively inexpensive. I don't mind mechanical repairs, no matter how extensive, including repower. I don't like outboards or gas engines and I own several small diesels that could use a home. What I don't want is fiberglass work, like replacing a cored deck or significant hull damage. I would like to do some rigging work so I could gain some experience, sails though should be in good shape. Well I'm rambling so I'll leave it there, I appreciate any suggestions. Thanks.
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Old 17-08-2015, 14:27   #2
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Re: Choosing and buying the boat

I always wonder about people posting to this and other forums (there have been a few other examples): Why choose sails? I simply mean that your previous experience is geared toward power (pun intended), yet when it comes to living aboard, you turn to wind. For those of us who've sailed all our lives, I can understand the dream of doing it full-time and living under canvas. Is it the cost savings and additional range of sailing yachts? Surely, a similarly aged, slow motor trawler would be about as economical after factoring in the additional costs of rigging and sail replacements that we have to save for annually. Long-term live aboard members, please correct me.
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Old 17-08-2015, 14:32   #3
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Re: Choosing and buying the boat

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Originally Posted by fish53 View Post
I'm actively shopping for a liveaboard/cruising boat on a limited amount of money. I'm retired, single and on a fixed income so I don't need to work and can wander as I please. I just don't have a lot of cash available, five or six thousand to start with. I have few expenses so I would have money available to put into upgrading a boat and I would like to not borrow. I have extensive boating experience on diesel powerboats, both operating and maintaining/repairing. I have very little sailing experience and would be interested in some input regarding what boats might be good to consider. I'm looking in the 26 to 30ft range, I've spent quite a bit of time living in a small space offshore and this size range seems to me to offer adequate accommodation for one and still be relatively inexpensive. I don't mind mechanical repairs, no matter how extensive, including repower. I don't like outboards or gas engines and I own several small diesels that could use a home. What I don't want is fiberglass work, like replacing a cored deck or significant hull damage. I would like to do some rigging work so I could gain some experience, sails though should be in good shape. Well I'm rambling so I'll leave it there, I appreciate any suggestions. Thanks.
I know the perfect boat for your situation. Grampian 26. Its big for a 26. You should come in under budget and they are really nice, simple old, easy yo sail boats.

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Old 17-08-2015, 14:39   #4
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Re: Choosing and buying the boat

I've looked at a Grampian 26 but the one I saw only had an outboard. Do they have an inboard option? Thanks
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Old 17-08-2015, 14:44   #5
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Choosing and buying the boat

You'll find a lot of Pearsons in Maine, I imagine. I'm on a 28-1, which has had its settee berth stripped out and cabinetry and counter space built on top. Massively improved its live ability.
If you're willing to go up to 31', a Pearson 31 will get you a shower in the head.
There's a fellow on here selling his Pearson 30, well equipped for not very much money (for the boat). It's in on the Great Lakes if you fancy a delivery.

I should also add that the standard reply to threads like this is the Morgan Out Island 30. In these small length ranges, having the wider beam and carrying it farther back will give you a much bigger (though less performance-oriented) boat.

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Old 17-08-2015, 14:54   #6
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Re: Choosing and buying the boat

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Originally Posted by John_Trusty View Post
I always wonder about people posting to this and other forums (there have been a few other examples): Why choose sails? I simply mean that your previous experience is geared toward power (pun intended), yet when it comes to living aboard, you turn to wind. For those of us who've sailed all our lives, I can understand the dream of doing it full-time and living under canvas. Is it the cost savings and additional range of sailing yachts? Surely, a similarly aged, slow motor trawler would be about as economical after factoring in the additional costs of rigging and sail replacements that we have to save for annually. Long-term live aboard members, please correct me.
There are way more sailboats on the market than trawlers and most trawlers have larger engines and steeper price tags. The few trawlers I've looked at that I could afford required a ton of money and lots of work. Now a motorsailer has a lot of appeal, a nice Fisher 30, but out of my price range. I'm not too familiar with annual costs of a sailboat that gets used a lot, but I suspect that a 100hp diesel run 300 hrs. a year is going to cost approximately $2500.00 to fuel and maintain, that doesn't include repairs to the boat or engine. If we assume cruising at 6 kts. that's only 1800 nm, I was hoping to cover more water than that. Thanks
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Old 17-08-2015, 15:03   #7
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Re: Choosing and buying the boat

Pearsons, the Grampian, Rawson 30, Tartan, Columbia etc. Some good old boats out there at reasonable $. Be careful that the big ticket items are good: Hull, Deck, sails (just main and jib), tanks and engine. dont get sideways because you like the added stuff to a boat that doesn't have the good basics. should be some with inboard engines.... which is far better if you are going to do much traveling.
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Old 17-08-2015, 15:07   #8
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Re: Choosing and buying the boat

Take a look through the classifieds right here on this forum
There are a few that would fit
A bit more than your 6k budget but most likely worth it
Stay away from "project boats"
They will cost way more than you think
Many years ago I sold my Ericson 27 to a couple who then lived
On it for 2 years
Cheers
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Old 17-08-2015, 15:12   #9
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Re: Choosing and buying the boat

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I've looked at a Grampian 26 but the one I saw only had an outboard. Do they have an inboard option? Thanks
I think they're mostly outboards. You normally have to go to a G30 for an atomic 4, which are also great boats but might stretch your budget a bit for ones in really good shape.

As for the 26, they are surprisingly good sailors, might not need your engine as much as you think, depending on how fast you like to travel.

I had a G30 before my current boat and the family boat when I was a kid was a G23, 5 of us on board for weeks. Times have changed since then, not too many families cruising on that sized boat any more.

I don't recommend the 23 as a long range cruiser though, they're not in the same ballpark for seaworthiness as their larger cousins.

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Old 17-08-2015, 15:16   #10
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Re: Choosing and buying the boat

I just looked at an Ericson 27, at first inspection it looked quite nice, clean and well kept for $2200.00 OBO. It had an Atomic Four that sort of ran but I've got a Universal M25XP freshly rebuilt with Atomic Four mounts. What I don't like is the spade rudder, I just can't seem to feel comfortable without a skeg, must be the power boat in me.
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Old 18-08-2015, 11:33   #11
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Re: Choosing and buying the boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by John_Trusty View Post
I always wonder about people posting to this and other forums (there have been a few other examples): Why choose sails? I simply mean that your previous experience is geared toward power (pun intended), yet when it comes to living aboard, you turn to wind. For those of us who've sailed all our lives, I can understand the dream of doing it full-time and living under canvas. Is it the cost savings and additional range of sailing yachts? Surely, a similarly aged, slow motor trawler would be about as economical after factoring in the additional costs of rigging and sail replacements that we have to save for annually. Long-term live aboard members, please correct me.
He is grossly underfunded. 5 to 6K won't buy squat today. His length is realistic not expecting 50 ft. I hope he finds his dream.
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Old 18-08-2015, 12:18   #12
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Re: Choosing and buying the boat

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Originally Posted by fish53 View Post
I just looked at an Ericson 27, at first inspection it looked quite nice, clean and well kept for $2200.00 OBO. It had an Atomic Four that sort of ran but I've got a Universal M25XP freshly rebuilt with Atomic Four mounts. What I don't like is the spade rudder, I just can't seem to feel comfortable without a skeg, must be the power boat in me.
Well.... it depends on what "and can wander as I please" means. Coastal US? You can drop the rudder and inspect everything for some assurance. You will likely find it needs work. It's probably more about condition than Spade vs non spade. Although a securely attached rudder is more forgiving for sure.
It takes looking for a while to find out what your real options are, and what a boat really is worth. After you do that, you'll know a bargain when you see it.
During the recession, I could have bought an older Islander 30 with :
-New 3 cyl Yanmar diesel
-new rollerfurler and genoa
-New mainsail and cover
-new standing rigging
-decent Dodger and accessories.


For $5000!
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Old 18-08-2015, 13:20   #13
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Re: Choosing and buying the boat

I'd tell you to re-think your opinion on outboards, I don't like them either, I love Diesels, but they are very expensive and take up an enormous amount of room in what isn't that big a boat to start with, plus they are noisy and bring in a lot of heat in a small boat, and this heat is there for many hours.
Outboards can be bought for pennies compared to a Diesel, and essentially take no room at all.
Now if you were looking at 40', 25,000 lb boats, than that is different
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Old 18-08-2015, 13:35   #14
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Re: Choosing and buying the boat

Tartan 27 is a very livable small boat that was built with an inboard, though probably an A-4 but a lot have had that replaced with diesel. One just sold on the West Coast for less than $4,000 and it was in good condition with a diesel. Another is the Columbia 29. It's a Sparkman and Stephens design so is a good sailor. Originally fitted with an Atomic 4 so should be an easy swap for the engine you've got. A very nice one just sold in SF for around $5,000. Bang for the buck in newer boats, a Catalina 27 is hard to beat though it's a spade rudder.
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Old 18-08-2015, 14:41   #15
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Re: Choosing and buying the boat

I think my "wandering" comment was unnecessarily vague. I would like to go down the ICW to FL and depending on what boat I end up with maybe out to the Bahamas. The great loop is another trip I think I'd enjoy. Of course New England in the summer. Right now I don't envision any great trips offshore, I spent years getting the crap beat out me on the Grand Banks and Bering Sea, I have something more relaxed in mind. Not being much of a sailor and having some inland intentions makes me think I'll be motoring quite often and I don't know how that would be listening to an outboard all day. I stick with Kubota machinery because it's cheap to repair, tractor parts are a quarter what marine parts are and easy to get.
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