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Old 09-11-2015, 09:53   #1
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Talking HELP! - Thanks but we don't need any... Serious, need help...

Hi,

The above: "HELP!" will be recognised by any fan of the fab four as being from "Yellow Submarine" (the animation) - the opening of the film.

I hope non here will say "Thanks but we don't need any...".

It is the time where bonuses and other perks are coming up and I can seriously consider getting out of my Hongkers Shoebox in the mid levels advertised as "spacious studio with all mod cons and close public transport" (it is under 30sqm net and 15 minutes from the Mid levels escalator) and head for one of the Marinas and get me a boat to live on. I wanted to do that ever since I saw "Miami Vice"...

Disclosure - I used to sail 420 and 470's and crewed on racing Omega's in my youth, so I have my sealegs (shows up everytime I'm on a ferry in Hongkers and it blos up a wee bit) and remember most rules of navigation.

Ok, not being an HSBC investment banker those 28m Sunseekers, 68' fairline or even 60' bondway liveaboards are out.

Of course, Hongkers is the only place on earth where you move to a 35' boat to get a lot more living space. Swing morings with shore power and water run 3k Kong Bucks a month, sampans are the water taxis in the typhoon shelters and run 24 hours for small money, so as a lifestyle it has attractions where 15k get a shoebox studio in an unfashionable part of town.

So my first priority is liveaboard.

I do want to sedately skipper around Hongkers on days off if the weather is fair (who wants to cruise in rough seas and rain - ugh) as well, so cocktail/fairweather boat and movable party/shag pad are high on the list.

I hope once the boat is sorted I can take a semi-retired consultant role, for less pay.

If I do it would totally hippatitis style (terminally cool) if I could skip the hong kong winters and motor down to Boracay or a place like that and spend the off season off shore... That will definitly take a serious costal cruiser, if not bluewater boat though.

I have kinda narrowed down my options. Being fairly poor either option will be a bit of a project boat.

1) A 20 to 35 Year old appx. 50' glassfibre power boat (say 45' - 55').

There are a fair few on the market at prices I can probably armwrestle my bank managers to agree to and if it is a 50' or less I can drive it on the "small" licence which is basically just a theoretical examen. Of course, boats at this age are like teenage girlfriends... Given that I am close on the girls ages, having a boat with a similar character may be too much.

Advantage - those boats usually have solid GFP hulls and if they stood up to HK weather till now the deck cores have likely been revisioned or the original yard did a decent job. So the structure should be sound and moderatly low maintance.

Disavantage - I suspect most of the systems will be shot - and to a degree where just replacing all piping and through-hulls and an engine rebuild will be the least of the work. And I aways hear that spares for marine systems are seriously expensive. Like "Marine Oakum" at 5 Bucks per lbs, while "shore grade" oakum runs more 5lbs per buck.

2) A teak wooden Jonque in need of TLC - usually also 50' - ish.

These can be very cheap (like 1/10 of a comparable size GFP powerboat) and Hongkers has active shipyards that can repair these at relatively affordable cost. These pack usually 150 HP or so Gardner of Birmingham Diesels that where made into the late 90's to the same pattern from the 30's and can be rebuild almost infinity and these are working engines, not racing ones, so they should last.

Ok, you will skipper along at 7 knots at top rev's, not 27 knots (so Boracay is out - but not cruising around hongkers) but fuel for a few trips and engine rebuilds are probably about equal to an oilchange on the big powerboats. And a Jonque of course has seakeeping that makes your average bathtub with a small outboarder look seaworthy.

Jonques usually are very beamy (an 18' beam on a 52' boat is not unheard of), and with such a small engine, tanks and engine rooms take less space. So you get loads of space.

Advantages - less than halve of GFP Boat by the time it is revisioned fully (including engine) and floats back on the water. For that it is a bit like an empty flat. No need to install marine systems, most fair weather + liveaboard Jonques in Honkers pack domestic aircons, fridges, washing machines etc.

Having minimal existing "liveaboard" systems we can take advantage of latest trends and for example cover the substantial roof area with flexible solar cells (at wholesale price from china just north of the border a 1KW+ roof is on the cards), add prismatic FiFePo Batteries as house batteries, do all lighting as low voltage LED and so on. Much of this gotten directly in China and installed DIY can be ridiculously cheap (and yes, I know how to do it safe on land even in corrosive industrial conditions that make marine use look a cakewalk).

Disavantages - wooden hull needs constant maintainance, annual bill on haulout likely 30k vs. 3k on GFP boat. Limited range and speed. You do not want to be out in the open when seas get rough.

Bottom line, the Jonque is definity cheaper (may not need to armwrestle my bank manager) and much of the needed work to make it livable I could do myself (e.g. electrics, plumbing, some carpentry, painting etc.) and latest systems can probably put the boat mostly "off grid".

An older cruiser is basically fully fitted and if you treat your engines right can go far. Minor structural problems I can probably fix, as I can plumbing, electricity and so on. Engine rebuilds are probaby "ben dover and no ky" no matter if they are Caterpiller, Volvo or Perkins. Aircon and other systems I don't know enough.

So, HELP!...

If you have in any way experiences that can illuminate the path before me, please share them. In the end you cannot tell me what to spend my money on. But I'd rather learn from others sucesses (and failures) than from my own.

Greez SSAL
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Old 10-11-2015, 13:37   #2
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Re: HELP! - Thanks but we don't need any... Serious, need help...

i live on a 32ft racing yacht and i got loads of space - there was loads of space for stuff and it had a double bed and some other stuff like a decent galley before i ripped them out --- deck space is unreal - cockpits are huge (there's normally 6 people in the cockpit of a race boat) and it's self draining.

most 30footers are easy to single hand or with a novice companion they go well last years and years and need minimal looking after -- haul out costs won't be loads either and they can be had for relatively little money too

your 40plus footer - you'll prolly only ever end up using the same space as you would in a 30footer so why pay more for a bigger boat and space you aren't gunna be using ?

your call though - like the sounds of that swinging mooring with shore power - now that is a dream
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Old 12-11-2015, 20:44   #3
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Re: HELP! - Thanks but we don't need any... Serious, need help...

Hi Ruby,

Quote:
Originally Posted by ruby tuesday View Post
i live on a 32ft racing yacht and i got loads
of space - there was loads of space for stuff and it had a double bed and some other stuff like a decent galley before i ripped them out --- deck space is unreal - cockpits are huge (there's normally 6 people in the cockpit of a race boat) and it's self draining. most 30footers are easy to single hand or with a novice companion they go well last years and years and need minimal looking after -- haul out costs won't be loads either and they can be had for relatively little money too
Great advise.

In Hongkers Summers are such that you MUST have indoor areas with Air Con or as Gwailo, you just die. We are talking 90% Humidity at 35 degrees...

Worth, all Gwailos in Hongkers are used to Offices, Shops and Restaurants where AC on full blast create the legendary "Hong Kong Summer" which is known to be the coolest in Asia.

Essentially from May to September you do not want to spend much time outdoors...

Plus I have a daughter from a while ago who likes to stay with me occasionally. A separate Bedroom is on order. It is nightmare right now, I often rent a Hotel suite when she is over at 1K per day.

I would probably also get a Maid. Hongkers is the only place where slavery is legal - you get the poor girl to wait on you 24/6 - she gets 24 Hours per week off and can sleep when not needed - all for less than 400 Quid per month - if you treat them like humans and give them decent hours etc. you have someone to look really well after your stuff and you). The maid needs at least a bed and small room.

Maid, mooring and all that will still be halve of my current rent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ruby tuesday View Post
like the sounds of that swinging mooring with shore power - now that is a dream
You do not know halve. You have daily on-water municipal rubbish collection, getting your holding tanks pumped is trivial, several warf's with slips right there, Asia's biggest floating restaurant (Jumbo Kingdom) and floating small shops to keep you snacks and drinks and so on...



The above from a blog of a guy who lives on a wooden junk in Aberdeen Typhoon Shelter.

Lastly, many of the older Yachts for sale at a lower cost are > 40', very little in Hongkers that is smaller, prices are from 100 to 300 bags of sand (British)...

Nice example:

Boats & Yachts Ltd Hong Kong | Boats For Sale Hong Kong | Yachts For Sale Hong Kong | Tania 55 Plus Gold Coast Marina Debenture (Optional)

This is pretty much at the high end for me and I'm happy with a cheaper boat ans swing mooring in Aberdeen. For this one would I need arm-wrestle my Bank manger, but you have walk on mooring and all...



I take it you have done a lot of work on your boat, any suggestion what the cost would be to revision engines that are expired (and likely have been run at high revs a lot), marine Aircon and other build in systems? Presuming I get sea-cocks and through-hulls and all piping re-done when she is slipped for annual maintenance by the Warf or do it myself. Electrical I can also do as well as much carpentry, small repairs of GRP.

Engine rebuilds and Marine Aircon rebuilds are past my expertise.

Greez SSAL
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