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Old 16-05-2015, 17:47   #1
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Need advice on boat buying in Florida

Im moving to from Alaska to Tampa to buy a liveaboard boat in 3 weeks (My first one sank in St.Thomas during a hurricane) and am not sure where to start when I get there.Im a disabled Vet with a service dog and wont have a vehicle,which complicates things.

My last boat was a Cal27. Im looking for something similar in the 8-10k range.
There are so many on yachtworld that Im not familiar with that I get more confused by the day.I'm looking for some good advice/ideas.

Also,Im not familiar with Tampa and have to rent an inexpensive hotel room for a few weeks while I boat shop,any ideas.

Theres to much I dont know at the moment that its taking all the fun out of it,which sucks as it took me 3yrs to save the $

Thanks-Tom
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Old 16-05-2015, 19:22   #2
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Re: Need advice on boat buying in Florida

Hi Tom and welcome to the forum.

I'm slightly familiar with Tampa so can offer some assistance. First, most of the marinas are around Clearwater or SW St Pete. Of course no guarantee that that's where you'll find a boat but guess it couldn't hurt to look for a place in one of those areas.

I would try shopping on Craigslist and also checking with some of the boatyards and marinas for orphaned boats. Lots of cheap places to stay but check the neighborhood as some of the cheap places aren't in the nicest locale.

I did a quick look and found a couple of nice sounding boats. Several under $5,000. A Pearson 35 for $10K that needs a mast but the photos of the interior don't look bad.

C&C 29 Sail Boat for Sale. $5,000 in improvements!

Bristol 30' Sail boat

1976 pearson 26 ft. sailing vessel sail boat

1987 Catalina 27 Sailboat

** 27' Catalina **

Pearson 28 sailboat

** 27' Catalina **
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Old 16-05-2015, 19:45   #3
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Re: Need advice on boat buying in Florida

does it need to be Tampa? We are in marathon and there are some cheap boats needing a home, taxis are $5 for anywhere on the island, plus it is very live aboard/ cruiser friendly. City Moorings are $300 a month (roughly) and require you to live aboard.
Anyways, I will get a listing of the boats here, plus listen to the cruiser net in the morning and pm to you.
Cheers and good luck on your boat shopping!
Erika

PS
Sorry about your Cal, those are great vessels.
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Old 16-05-2015, 20:01   #4
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Re: Need advice on boat buying in Florida

Hi Tom, I just went through this with a similar budget, so may be able to provide some help.
First, if you could share what you intend to do with the boat: cruise it, liveaboard it, harbor hop on the gulf coast only, we could probably be more useful to you.
Second, there is a lot, and I mean a lot, of trash in Florida. The best first question to ask someone before going to see a boat is when the pictures on the advertisement were taken. A lot are dated, and even if they aren't, photos hide a lot of flaws. You must invest the time to learn how to accurately self-inspect boats. Boat poker runs a great tutorial for this on his site, and there are others as well. I put together a checklist based on three different sites and it would take me four hours on each boat to run through it. If you need the sites that cover this and can't find them, let me know. I found boats with batteries in the bilge covered with water, boats that had never had engine mount bolts installed so the engine just floated in the rear, wet decks, rusted chain plates, etc. and all on boats that were advertised as being ready to go.
Third, figure out what you need and don't need within your budget. For instance, Are you going to sail a lot and do you want an autopilot? It will be much cheaper to add one to a tiller steered boat than a wheel steered boat.
Fourth, get an idea of what risks would end your dream, such as a hurricane in the USVI (sorry, too soon I'm sure). What I mean is that an old sail isn't necessarily a bad thing. Just don't push it and learn how to sew. If you need to replace it, on this size boat it's not a huge expense. A blown inboard diesel though, as has happened to me recently, can destroy your cruise.
Fifth, don't be afraid to offer less than asking. Most of the boat prices you'll see are inflated. Call, don't email, and offer a good amount less, subject to inspection/sea trial/survey etc. Email gives the owner time to think, calling demands an answer now.
Sixth, there will be costs besides the purchase price. Florida will want their tax if you intend to stay here past 90 days. Look into boat registration as with older boats you can get a much cheaper antique registration in FL. Insurance will add too. And then there's the cost of commissioning. I bought mine for $8k, and laid out another $3k in insurance, boat year, etc.
If you look at threads I've commented on, you'll find one where there was a good discussion of buying boats here in FL. well worth reading. Finally, consider that the prices of boats in the range we're talking about are inflated in Florida as in many areas, Tampa included, people will anchor any derelict they can get their hands on and live on it to save on rent. Boats that would be free or junkyard material anywhere else sell for $2,000 plus here because for the buyer it's a great financial decision when they realize what they're saving on rent. If I can be of help with any questions o clarifications, let me know.


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Old 16-05-2015, 20:04   #5
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Re: Need advice on boat buying in Florida

Second Ocean Girl, there was a Morgan 30 OI that just sold recently here in marathon for what seemed a good price. For a lot of the best deals though, you have to be here waiting for it and ready to snap it up from someone who owns two boats, is retiring from sailing, etc., which obviously costs. Otherwise, it's back to prospecting.


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Old 16-05-2015, 20:36   #6
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Re: Need advice on boat buying in Florida

You can check out the various Florida Craigslists from where you are in Alaska, so start boat shopping and apartment shopping now.
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Old 16-05-2015, 23:01   #7
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Re: Need advice on boat buying in Florida

If you are retired military or 100% disabled military there is an air force base in tampa that can provide relatively inexpensive guest housing. but you still have a transportation problem. there are reasonably priced motels all over and finding an area that you want to shop in and then getting a motel in the area could save you some money.
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Old 17-05-2015, 07:45   #8
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Re: Need advice on boat buying in Florida

I better start by giving some more details on my situation.BUT FIRST I want to thank everyone for the posts,ideas and good info,its a big help.

I'm open to going anywhere to boat shop and only chose Tampa because I read about people buying boats and then not having a place to moor them,and that the Tampa area was more liveaboard friendly.Thanks Ocean Girl.

My old,and first boat was in poor shape and moored at the Weston Resort.The seasonal employees at the hotel used it as a liveaboard so it passed hands more times than I can count,and none of them did proper maintenance,I had to use the kicker and pray like hell.It was an accident waiting to happen,so I have zero sailing experience.The ferry came by 4-5 times a day and the wake swamped my dingy several times,I spent more on replacing outboards than I paid for the "boat".Other than that I loved the life style.When your done laughing read on )
It was a good,albeit costly learning experience and I wont make those mistakes again.And with the help I'm getting here hopefully I wont make as many new ones.
I plan on staying in Florida until I can sail well enough to safely cruise to the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.
As far as my disability its just a bad right arm,too many concussions,poor memory,and some other minor stuff.My service dog (Jill T Dog) seemed to enjoy the lifestyle as well,I just about died laughing the first time she encountered an iguana )

I never had boat insurance and tried calling around to get an idea of what it was going to cost but nobody would give me a quote because I'm still in Alaska and their not licensed here.I didn't plan on such high rates,thanks for that info brownoarsman,more info on the subject would be greatly appreciated.Theirs no sales tax here so I forgot to factor that in as well,what is the tax rate there?Registration fees,etc?

Its 03:30 here so I'm heading for the coffee pot,thanks again to everyone for helping me out.To be honest moving to a big city is scary,I don't have the survival skills for city living and being around even small crowds gives me panic attacks.Thank god for Valium and Glocks

11 Bravo,2nd ID 4yrs
GMM 4yrs, 1.5yrs sea duty aboard USS Canistao A099 as Master at Arms
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Old 17-05-2015, 08:08   #9
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Re: Need advice on boat buying in Florida

Thanks for the update and further info! I volunteered to provide my cost info on another thread, so I'll post it here too when I have it presentable.
Only about $300 of that commissioning number was my $300k of liability insurance, FYI, and that's $300 for a whole 12 months. I went through USAA as I imagine you will (asthma kept me from serving but my dad did) and they farm out their marine insurance to progressive. I've had nothing but good experiences with them. I only added comprehensive, collision, and towing after a particularly frightening night dragging anchor through much of garrison bight.
If you haven't sailed much before, I would recommend marathon as a good home port. It's convenient to get around, and is full of good people who will most likely be happy to take you out on your boat or on theirs. It's also very safe in major storm events.
The one downside is that a lot of things cost more here (restaurants, specialty labor), but between happy hours and Amazon package delivery (do they have that in Alaska?!) it can be pretty easy to keep the costs down.
I know the boca chica naval area is open to former navy as well, they may have some kind of reciprocity with other services. Worth looking into I would imagine.


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Old 17-05-2015, 09:25   #10
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Re: Need advice on boat buying in Florida

Ah, I found the link about boat inspection: Marine Survey 101, Do your own marine survey
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Old 17-05-2015, 09:54   #11
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Re: Need advice on boat buying in Florida

1979 southern cross sailboat for sale in Florida

Hey Tom,
Listing says this Southern Cross is in Florida...but the lister mentions Mexico...anyway I really like Southern Cross sailboats...heavily laid-up full-keel boats with good room below.
Steve
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Old 17-05-2015, 09:54   #12
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Re: Need advice on boat buying in Florida

To BOTH Cabin Fever and Tedowens:

Welcome aboard the forum!

You should see the following site, created by one of the forum members (boatpoker), as it is very helpful, instructive regarding what a marine survey of a sailboat will find and what a surveyor should notice. Good reading!

Marine Survey 101, Do your own marine survey
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Old 17-05-2015, 10:03   #13
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Re: Need advice on boat buying in Florida

Great link thanks.I hadn't thought of checking the bottom of various tanks for rust etc.
Lots of good reading.
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Old 17-05-2015, 10:21   #14
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Re: Need advice on boat buying in Florida

Have sailboat and 12 yo Lab and live aboard. Sailboats are not the most dog friendly. Powerboat or house boat MUCH better for the dog. Also FYI I am on East Coast of FL but I just read that Clearwater, FL ( the town that is) does not allow liveaboards (A growing Fl trend) best check it out fore ya buy.
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Old 17-05-2015, 10:34   #15
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Re: Need advice on boat buying in Florida

How about buying this boat instead of staying in a hotel while you look for something bigger. I am helping a friend sell a 23 foot Grampian, see it on my website, it's $900 without the motor, get a small outboard for a couple hundred and you are ready to go. It's complete, great condition, everything there to be a live aboard, galley, head tanks, etc. It's ready to go sailing today with a new battery, but a battery is only needed when it gets dark. Act fast, my friend is checking on donating it to a church or something as I write this. My website
For Sale 3
The boat is in south Florida, LaBelle, about 200 miles by water to Tampa. I do have a trailer for more money, but it is a nice sail, and the boat is ready for it. I also know of a 4hp motor that is $125 right now, runs good, not long shaft so a bracket would have to be made, not a problem.
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