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Old 30-05-2014, 14:37   #1
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First Time Sailboat Buyer, with the Intention to Live Aboard (Tampa Bay Area)

Hi, I live in Tampa, FL and have recently come into a small, but workable sum of money. I'm looking into the feasibility of purchasing a sailboat and renting a liveaboard slip somewhere in the area.

I've been on the water regularly all my life, however, I have no experience with actual sailing vessels. Over the past couple months, I found many good deals on sailboats and have found marinas with the proper accommodations in good locations for me to commute from, the St. Pete municipal marina in particular.

My question is, how practical is it to buy a sailboat and rent a slip as my main residence? What attracts me to the idea the most is my ability to resell the vessel. If I were to put down cash for a 6 month lease somewhere, there's no way to get a return on it.

Despite the sailboat market favoring buyers more so than sellers, I can still get something back out of it in the end.

Other than the obvious, learning to sail, living space, required/desired repairs and upgrades, and hurricane considerations, what should I factor into my decision making before becoming a sailboat bum?

Thank you for your time.
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Old 30-05-2014, 14:43   #2
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Re: First time sailboat buyer, with the intention to live aboard (Tampa Bay Area)

Additionally, I should mention that I have no intention of ever taking the boat out of the slip for more than a half-day cruise, but I do plan on keeping the vessel completely seaworthy at all times, just in case.
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Old 30-05-2014, 15:13   #3
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Re: First time sailboat buyer, with the intention to live aboard (Tampa Bay Area)

It's practical in the sense that it's easy to do, but if you are concerned about getting money back from your investment, not a good idea.
First of all, like cars, your boat is likely to be worth less when you sell it then when you bought it.
Secondly, what about all the money you spend in renting a slip?
Better crunch some numbers.
Financially you will probably be better off buying a house in the long term.
For short term rent a boat lol.
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Old 30-05-2014, 15:19   #4
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Re: First time sailboat buyer, with the intention to live aboard (Tampa Bay Area)

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Originally Posted by quinn1991 View Post
Additionally, I should mention that I have no intention of ever taking the boat out of the slip for more than a half-day cruise, but I do plan on keeping the vessel completely seaworthy at all times, just in case.
If you are not prepared to keep the vessel in full working order, forget about making money when you come to sell it. Most people walk away if they see a list of things that need doing unless the money is right.

What type of vessel, size, manufacture and what price range are we talking?

You have to get a boat everyone wants, and you have to purchase it at such a low price that you can do some upgrades/repairs for when you sell it.

Best to have a survey.

Boats ARE NOT a profit maker unless the above is done. Thats why dealers offer nothing because of the work involved. You can only hope to break even or lose a little bit. Usually you will lose a lot.
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Old 30-05-2014, 15:30   #5
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Re: First time sailboat buyer, with the intention to live aboard (Tampa Bay Area)

It's practical in the sense that it's easy to do, but if you are concerned about getting money back from your investment, not a good idea.
First of all, like cars, your boat is likely to be worth less when you sell it then when you bought it.
Secondly, what about all the money you spend in renting a slip?
Better crunch some numbers.
Financially you will probably be better off buying a house in the long term.
For short term rent a boat lol.
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Old 31-05-2014, 13:47   #6
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Re: First time sailboat buyer, with the intention to live aboard (Tampa Bay Area)

I have no expectations that I'll even come close to breaking even when I decide to sell. I will have enough to make a down payment on a piece of property but I don't want to have a mortgage. It's more of a matter of preferring not to rent an apartment or house, and that I think I would thoroughly enjoy the liveaboard lifestyle.

I think I would be happy with something in the range of a 30-35 footer, and I'm willing to spend about ten thousand on the boat, possibly up to another five thousand on upgrades. From what I've seen on Craigslist over the past few months I believe I can get an acceptable vessel for that price range.

On the slip rental, I'm prepared to pay 500-600 monthly. From my initial searching, that seems like a realistic figure.

The way I see it, I'm single with no children or other outstanding personal liabilities; so why should I not make my choice of residence as enjoyable as possible while still being financially reasonable?
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Old 31-05-2014, 13:53   #7
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Re: First time sailboat buyer, with the intention to live aboard (Tampa Bay Area)

And on the subject of repairs/upgrades; I have experience as a carpenter, and I'm a fairly skillful and well rounded handy man considering my age. So most work that would need to be done I would be able to do myself, which would save me a bundle of money.
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Old 31-05-2014, 15:01   #8
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Re: First time sailboat buyer, with the intention to live aboard (Tampa Bay Area)

Quote:
Originally Posted by quinn1991 View Post
I have no expectations that I'll even come close to breaking even when I decide to sell. I will have enough to make a down payment on a piece of property but I don't want to have a mortgage. It's more of a matter of preferring not to rent an apartment or house, and that I think I would thoroughly enjoy the liveaboard lifestyle.

I think I would be happy with something in the range of a 30-35 footer, and I'm willing to spend about ten thousand on the boat, possibly up to another five thousand on upgrades. From what I've seen on Craigslist over the past few months I believe I can get an acceptable vessel for that price range.

On the slip rental, I'm prepared to pay 500-600 monthly. From my initial searching, that seems like a realistic figure.

The way I see it, I'm single with no children or other outstanding personal liabilities; so why should I not make my choice of residence as enjoyable as possible while still being financially reasonable?
No body is questioning your choice. You asked a question and it was answered.

For all you are able to do, and many here are far more able than you and I, there are unforseen things that require the boat being lifted out the water for example, It has to be antifouled and other things that require costs that have to be paid in order to get to the thing that requires attention.

If you "think" you can make a profit, then the collective experience says your chances are less than you think. Its like a motor vehicle in depreciation rather than a house.

For living on its a great idea. Cosmetically you can keep it pretty. Why not buy a houseboat proper and dont sail at all? That way people when they come to buy are buying what YOU bought it for and are not looking for a good cheap reliable sailing boat? For a half a day sailing a week or every two weeks, you possibly might break something that you dont need to and be faced with the cost of repair. (Rigging, new lines, fenders, sails etc).

My nephew just purchased a cheap 26 foot Westerly Centaur to coastal here in the U.K. It was about $13K.

Nicely fitted, new sails etc etc. I told him that he had bought into a 'disposable" boat in the sense that it was something he had better be prepared to walk away from in the event of major repairs being required. A new engine is half the cost or more of the vessel for example, or be prepared to overvalue the boat if he likes it, to fix it.

As long as you asked, our collective knowledge has informed you of our experience. The rest is up to you.
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Old 31-05-2014, 16:36   #9
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Re: First time sailboat buyer, with the intention to live aboard (Tampa Bay Area)

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For a half a day sailing a week or every two weeks, you possibly might break something that you dont need to and be faced with the cost of repair. (Rigging, new lines, fenders, sails etc).
That's an interesting point I hadn't considered. I'm more or less dead set on a sailboat, I've always wanted one.

As for hull inspection, I was planning on breaking my SCUBA gear out of the closet and giving it a thorough look over. Is that an unrealistic idea?
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Old 31-05-2014, 16:44   #10
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Re: First time sailboat buyer, with the intention to live aboard (Tampa Bay Area)

Quote:
Originally Posted by quinn1991 View Post
That's an interesting point I hadn't considered. I'm more or less dead set on a sailboat, I've always wanted one.

As for hull inspection, I was planning on breaking my SCUBA gear out of the closet and giving it a thorough look over. Is that an unrealistic idea?
You cannot test for osmosis accurately with a visual or check for other issues under water.

For a $10K boat.... you will already have spent another $400-600 on a survey.. the money drain begins and you might not buy the boat

We have all been there..

Buy cheaply and what you lose chalk up to living expenses......
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Old 31-05-2014, 16:58   #11
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Re: First time sailboat buyer, with the intention to live aboard (Tampa Bay Area)

yes, I've been witness to that all my life. Boats are impractical money pits, especially when you intend to live on them. But I suppose that's the price we pay for having salt water in our blood

I'm not familiar with the anti fouling process on a wood hulled boat, could you estimate about what would it cost to have it done on a 28-35 foot vessel with no outstanding damage?
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Old 31-05-2014, 17:11   #12
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Re: First time sailboat buyer, with the intention to live aboard (Tampa Bay Area)

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Originally Posted by quinn1991 View Post
I'm not familiar with the anti fouling process on a wood hulled boat, could you estimate about what would it cost to have it done on a 28-35 foot vessel with no outstanding damage?
You know very little about boats, so my recommendation is do not even consider a wooden boat. It requires maintenance above and below the water line, beyond just varnishing.

You also don't want to just put on dive tanks and inspect the hull. You want the boat hauled out and checked for water intrusion, cracks, damages or blisters.

A Bottom Job for boats happens about every two years and varies depending on what has to be done. Plan on $30-50 per foot for a normal cleaning, sanding and painting on a fiberglass boat in Florida.
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Old 31-05-2014, 17:12   #13
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Re: First time sailboat buyer, with the intention to live aboard (Tampa Bay Area)

Quote:
Originally Posted by quinn1991 View Post
yes, I've been witness to that all my life. Boats are impractical money pits, especially when you intend to live on them. But I suppose that's the price we pay for having salt water in our blood

I'm not familiar with the anti fouling process on a wood hulled boat, could you estimate about what would it cost to have it done on a 28-35 foot vessel with no outstanding damage?
wood boat?

Oh lord..............
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Old 31-05-2014, 17:35   #14
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Re: First time sailboat buyer, with the intention to live aboard (Tampa Bay Area)

Yes, I barely know a thing about sailboats. My experience is limited to outboard motor sport boats, and that does not do me much good.

The only reason wood comes to mind as opposed to fiberglass is the year ranges that correlate to my price range.

It's an almost reckless plan, I have to learn quite a bit very quickly, but I'm determined and have the cash to back it up.

Thank you all for your help, at this point I just need to do a good bit of study and googling.
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Old 01-06-2014, 13:57   #15
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Re: First Time Sailboat Buyer, with the Intention to Live Aboard (Tampa Bay Area)

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.................... I have no experience with actual sailing vessels. ....... I'm more or less dead set on a sailboat, I've always wanted one. .....
I'm all for your plan, but I would first resolve this paradox. Do some sailing on a sailing dinghy and learn if you have a true passion for sailing. There are plenty of opportunities in the Tampa Bay area.
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