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Old 17-09-2010, 20:27   #1
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Irwin 34 for Liveaboard / Coastal Cruiser - Value ?

Thanks everyone for this great forum! I like this forum becease people seem to be respectful and more forgiving of us newbies! So onto my question

1981 Irwin 34 Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

I made a bid on this boat for use as a live-aboard for single person and possible eventual coastal cruiser and island hoper and I am wondering what people think is a good price for it from the ad and pictures. I have taken a bunch of pictures of it, but I dont think they came out very good. I am fearful I bid too much but still have time to make adjustments on the trial by sea before I get a survey. Other than maybe a water maker and a radar I hope it doesn't seem to need a lot. The rigging is rather old and it needs a lot of cleaning, a new bottom coat, the two large windows need to be reseated. There are some hair line "spider cracks" and the back seems to have had some repair fiberglass work. Assuming a few things like the engine starting and running well (im guessing it hasnt been run much if at all in a couple of years) .

In addition if anybody would like to accompany me on the sea trial, if the bid is accepted, I could get you nice dinner, cover your gas or something and a copy of the survey if I get it.

Thanks!

-Don

PS I have more photos, but maxed it out.
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Old 17-09-2010, 21:49   #2
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Looks clean..if it surveys well and every thing works as intended..I dont see how you could get hurt at the asking price...let alone what less you may have offered.
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Old 17-09-2010, 21:57   #3
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Thanks "Raining". It is ok that I posted pictures of the boat? I didnt think about that till after I had originally posted it.
PS Thanks for your input elsewhere as well i have notice a lot of your posts elsewhere!
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Old 17-09-2010, 22:11   #4
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If you don't have a sailing buddy who knows a fair bit about about marine construction, fiberglass, rigging and mechanics, I would ask the surveyor (licensed, I would hope) what he would charge additionally, to accompany you on the sea trial. You should get some price comparisons of similar vessels in roughly the same condition in your area to make sure the price is competitive. Share with your surveyor your concerns before he does the survey, show him your photo album to give him a heads up. Once you get the survey, the real negotiations begin. Don't plan on stealing the boat but nothing wrong with asking the seller to rectify any deficiencies the surveyor turns up or get estimates on repairs that can be applied against the selling price. Remember, you and the surveyor will miss some things that you will have to fix down the track. Make sure the boat is inspected out of the water as well. Wait until you have sailed/lived aboard for a while before adding nav aids you think you might want. your priorities will change with experience. Just a few things to think about, not an inclusive list but those are some of the main issues. Good luck and welcome to the boating world... Capt Phil
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Old 17-09-2010, 22:29   #5
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From the pics & description looks lie good deal.marc
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Old 17-09-2010, 22:56   #6
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I agree with Cap't Phil about the sea trial. But like Stillraining says it's a heck of price for a photogenic boat.
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Old 19-09-2010, 21:51   #7
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Get a surveyor before the bidding starts..

Being that I am in the survey business I need to first caution you. You need to simply pay the money for a pre-purchase and valuation marine survey before you make any serious bid on a vessel or sign any paperwork with a broker or seller. Lately I have had a series of prospective buyers (all first time boat owners) who have told me that certain yacht brokers are telling them to put in a bid before having a survey on the boat. Nothing can be more backwords or further from the truth. How can you make a reasonable bid (especially as a first time boat owner) without a survey in front of you that spells out the current condition and value for the vessel? You can not ask for an estimate on a vessel based on its year and a few photos. The vessel's market value depends on several things: Year, make, model, condition, seaworthiness, and where the vessel is located all make up the vessel's proper valuation. Two Irwins side by side with the same make and model can have two completely different values thousands of dollars apart from each other based on the above mentioned factors.

In short, you are the buyer. If you are willing to pay for a vessel survey than the seller knows you are serious. There is no law anywhere that says you can not have a survey on a vessel before making the bid. It is worth it's weight in gold when negotiating a deal. Do not let a broker or seller tell you that you first must bid on the vessel then get the survey if the seller agrees to your bid (that is a bunch of horse dung if they tell you that). It is only adventagous to the seller for you not to have a survey before you're locked into an offer. It is your money, spend it wisely. Only a qualified surveyor being at the actual vessel can give you an accurate estimate or the value and condition of the vessel. Do not rely on anyone else with a BUC book or a subscription to soldboats.com to give you a price range. That is only one side of what goes into a vessel's valuation.

When purchasing a boat, it is definately a "buyer beware" situation. Good luck however with your plans and fair winds...
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Old 20-09-2010, 10:00   #8
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Good advice, Capt John... particularly for a first time buyer. I have bought probably 20+ boats over the years and spent many years at sea. In the early years, buying smaller boats (under 20 feet), I just tried to get the best deal I could if the boat appealed to me. In latter years, buying vessels up to 55 feet, I have checked out the boat as best I could, sailed on her and spent at least a day poking around before making an offer I considered fair but the offers were ALWAYS contingent upon a survey satisfactory to me by a licensed surveyor. Several deals cratered because the survey turned up issues that I hadn't picked up on and the seller wouldn't agree to rectify. I haven't been burned yet. I agree completely that a Qualified Marine Surveyor is the best source of competitive pricing and the best judge of the condition of the boat. Even with a lot of years around boats, a number of years in the delivery business, as well as living aboard and maintaining boats, I wouldn't consider purchasing without a survey. Capt Phil
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Old 21-09-2010, 20:02   #9
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Thanks for the replies. I thought it was standard to make an offer first, when dealing with a broker, then test sail, then survey? Personally I dont like the idea of survey first. If the seller is unwilling to come anywhere close to my price range, and surveys seem like an expensive way to rule out boats close to my price range. My initial offer got declined, so I am waiting for a counter offer, but I think I may up my price range and get something a little closer to what I "really" want.
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Old 21-09-2010, 20:21   #10
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Originally Posted by dr3v01ution View Post
My initial offer got declined, so I am waiting for a counter offer, but I think I may up my price range and get something a little closer to what I "really" want.
What do you "really" want? If it is a bigger boat, you may not need bigger. If it is a nicer boat in the same size range that's different. Most anything you select will need work. The "good" kind of work is all elbow grease and replacing running rigging. The "bad" kind of work is fixing engines, osmosis, standing rigging, interiors etc.

At that price it looks like a nice boat. I don't know how much lower you offered but I wouldn't "low ball" this boat, of course I haven't seen it either. If you consider upping your price range consider that that money could be used to make some really nice upgrades on this boat.

We spent 50% of the purchase price in the first year on repairs and upgrades.

We made a written pre-purchase offer before anything else. With a contingency to offer lower or request to have things fixed at owners cost based on survey results. The initial offer gets you in the ballpark. If the survey turns up anything you have the option to negotiate the defects or walk away with your deposit back. The pre-purchase also specified when the boat would be available for survey and sea trial and how the boat would be operated at that time.

I have a copy of the pre-purchase agreement you can have if you send me a PM with email address.

I also have a sample survey checklist that you may find useful as you look over boats yourself. I did not have a survey done but the boat was on the hard when I saw it and I went through the checklist completely myself.

Good luck on your search and survey.
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Old 21-09-2010, 21:10   #11
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Thanks ex-califf, oh what i want... dangerous question My priorities are in rough order are descent shower, shoal keel (wing, CB, etc), dinette, and the big thing hurting me in this price range is a second separate cabin birth. So unless I jump to at basically double the price it doesn't seem like its going to happen, which I can handle, but we see if the banks agree with me As for the elbow grease, I prefer a boat needing some work as it will get me closer to what I want in my price range and get me to know the boat. I was looking at a cat 36 with some "delamination and moisture in deck coring and blisters below waterline" 1984 Catalina 36' Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com but its not shoal so even if i wanted to risk it with the owners being motivated I dont think I want to give up the shoal draft as I want to do island hoping, but it is the right size. (Yes i know wrong coast for shoal drafts which is why I have started to look over there and thinking about moving back to the east coast to grab something)

What is this 50% of price paid on repairs in the first year? I keep hearing huge figures like this but are this more of needs or wants? What does it entail. Ive figured more than a few repairs into the cost of the irwin so i can see where some of that comes from, but assuming the survey is sound (ie the hull and engine) what costs that much?

Your description of the buying process is basically what I had read and what I signed for this offer. Yeah my offer was low ball, but I wanted to make sure I didn't miss anything major as this is my first boat purchase and I haven't done that much sailing.

Anyway thanks again everyone!
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Old 21-09-2010, 22:18   #12
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I was looking at a cat 36 with some "delamination and moisture in deck coring and blisters below waterline" 1984 Catalina 36' Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com but its not shoal so even if i wanted to risk it with the owners being motivated I dont think I want to give up the shoal draft as I want to do island hoping, but it is the right size.
You have a much stronger constitution than I if you will consider blister, osmosis and a wet core. Yes - fixable but I have read about 6-month dry out periods etc. Nah, too many unknowns for me.

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Originally Posted by dr3v01ution View Post
What is this 50% of price paid on repairs in the first year? I keep hearing huge figures like this but are this more of needs or wants? What does it entail. Ive figured more than a few repairs into the cost of the irwin so i can see where some of that comes from, but assuming the survey is sound (ie the hull and engine) what costs that much?
The major items in the first year were a mix of wants and needs:

- All new running rigging + blocks
- Failed a chain plate - replaced all
- Mainsheet traveler failed - replaced
- Completely replaced head and all through hull/seacocks and plumbing
- Installed 3rd battery
- Installed DVD player w/ remote screen in salon and v-berth
- Installed electric bilge pump
- Installed fridge and salon fans
- Replaced cabin light fixtures
- Anti-foul - First one was a big effort to change systems
- New sail cover, bimini & dodger
- New interior cushions

We knew some of this going in. Other stuff was a surprise. Also in the first year I outsourced more labor than I do now.

A lot of the expenditure was "making the boat mine." type stuff as well.
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Old 21-09-2010, 22:42   #13
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You have a much stronger constitution than I if you will consider blister, osmosis and a wet core. Yes - fixable but I have read about 6-month dry out periods etc. Nah, too many unknowns for me.
Well like i said consider but its more of not being able to afford a big enough boat for my "needs". I have adjusted my "needs", applied for a larger loan, and expanded my search region, but there would be no way I could afford a descent boat of that size without some bad problems... So I'm looking closer at a winged cat 34 and a o'day 322 which after selling a kidney I might be able to squeeze into my budget.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ex-Calif View Post
The major items in the first year were a mix of wants and needs:

- All new running rigging + blocks
- Failed a chain plate - replaced all
- Mainsheet traveler failed - replaced
- Completely replaced head and all through hull/seacocks and plumbing
- Installed 3rd battery
- Installed DVD player w/ remote screen in salon and v-berth
- Installed electric bilge pump
- Installed fridge and salon fans
- Replaced cabin light fixtures
- Anti-foul - First one was a big effort to change systems
- New sail cover, bimini & dodger
- New interior cushions

We knew some of this going in. Other stuff was a surprise. Also in the first year I outsourced more labor than I do now.

A lot of the expenditure was "making the boat mine." type stuff as well.
Ok that's a lot of stuff and makes me put this particular boat in perspective.
Alright so maybe 25% or even 15% without most luxuries would be doable?

Ive been reading about owners financing boats, but that's only a possibility if you have roughly 50% down? I can't imagine owners financing a boat with like a 20% down-payment...

Thanks,
Don
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Old 21-09-2010, 23:00   #14
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A lot of the expenditure was "making the boat mine." type stuff as well.
I've spent more on making it mine then having to do it I think though sometimes the lines are blurred. I have to say that I would spend less on some of those things now were I to do it again - but not much. What I thought I needed in a boat changed but then I'm not sorry I got what I thought I needed. Co-incidentally the extra cabin was something I wanted but maybe didn't need.
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