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Old 20-07-2011, 16:51   #1
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Need Advice on Buying a Boat

Disclaimer: I'm a n00b

Introduction
I've had this dream to sail independently without much income by means of natural energy (solar and wind), maintaining the boat myself, and perhaps fishing. Living in the Caribbean where it's cheap was my ideal.

Realization
I realize though, that this is a goal best achieved (or approached) one step at a time. This means living at a marina on my boat, fixing it up until it is seaworthy (if it is not).

Big or Small?
I hear that it's better to get a small boat because it's easier to learn sailing, but my concern is that if I go this route, it would not be easy to transition to a bigger boat with all the investment put in the smaller boat. I could do with anything larger than 27', but I am now thinking I'd be a bit more comfortable in a 30 footer, but no larger than 32'. I think I might not be sailing for a while, so the size in that regard, isn't going to be an issue. I figure I'll eventually learn.

What kind of boat should I get?
  • Must be a monohull sailboat between 27' and 32'.
  • What kind of common problems would I run into, and which problems are imperative to be fixed before living aboard?
  • Similar to the above question, are there any legal requirements to 1) own a boat, and furthermore 2) liveaboard?
  • I've increased my budget to $20,000, but like anyone, I would want the most I can possibly get for the least I can possibly pay.
  • what are the bare essentials of a liveaboard vessel?
  • Where can I do some research about boats? There seems to be a crap-ton of manufacturers. It would be nice to refer to their reputation.
  • I prefer having storage space aboard.
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Old 20-07-2011, 17:18   #2
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Re: Need Advice buying a boat

All these answers and more can be found in searching though older threads. You will probably not get a lot of good response until someone posts an answer that can be used to start an agruement.

Didn't you almost ask the same questions a week or so ago?
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Old 20-07-2011, 17:42   #3
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Cool Re: Need Advice buying a boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Lucas View Post
All these answers and more can be found in searching though older threads. You will probably not get a lot of good response until someone posts an answer that can be used to start an argument.

Didn't you almost ask the same questions a week or so ago?

Meanwhile, you could do worse than looking up the $500 a month thread and particularly pp28-36. Most of us live and make our decisions by this thread.
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Old 20-07-2011, 18:10   #4
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Re: Need Advice buying a boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Lucas View Post
All these answers and more can be found in searching though older threads.
I think everything can be found by searching. That's a fact with nearly every forum. I don't mean to be snarky, but from my point of view, my choice could go one of two ways:
  • get someone willing to help
  • spend a much longer time weeding through search results which don't necessarily equate to answers
I could, in theory, never have to interact with the forum to get my answers; this partially defeats the purpose of having a forum.
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Old 20-07-2011, 19:23   #5
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Re: Need Advice buying a boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt. lulz View Post
I think everything can be found by searching. That's a fact with nearly every forum. I don't mean to be snarky, but from my point of view, my choice could go one of two ways:
  • get someone willing to help
  • spend a much longer time weeding through search results which don't necessarily equate to answers
I could, in theory, never have to interact with the forum to get my answers; this partially defeats the purpose of having a forum.
You are correct that often a search may not give you the answer to your question, but in this case, your exact question has been asked and discussed several times at in great detail. At least in regard to which boat, I am certain you will find all the information you need with a minimum of effort.

Once you decide on a boat then you will have more specific questions. For example, you ask what common problems you might. That is a very good question and obviously important.

Prioritize the problems by cost to repair. The top few in my opinion, major structural issues like: damage, soft decks, loose bulkheads. Then major maintenance and repair issues like sails, rigging, engine.

Add the cost to address these to the cost of the boat to get the true cost of buying the boat.
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Old 20-07-2011, 19:29   #6
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Don't buy a boat ...

Just to save you some time, anguish and money - don't buy a boat until you are certain what your plans are and what you need to carry out those plans.

General questions are very hard to answer, specific ones not so.

This is a discussion Forum so if your plans are chiseled into granite then there is very little to be gained here.

A few quick comments:-
1) I don't recall any suggestion that the Caribbean is cheap. Some of our members on the other hand ...
2) Some consider "natural" energy to be expensive.
3) There have been reports that the locals in some areas don't take kindly to Cruisers fishing. Some places require licenses and others prohibit it.
4) Living in a marina is usually expensive. Fixing a boat much more so.
5) Some enjoy living on very small boats. Me, I'd go crazy.
6) You're considering living aboard in a marina. Among the key considerations would be :- Does the marina allow livaboards? Will the boat sink? Does the holding tank meet requirements?
7) Some boats are beyond feasible repair.
8) Within your stated budget most available boats are so old the current condition of the boat is much more important than the reputation of the manufacturer.
9) Storage on boats 27' to 32' can be very limited.
10) There are very few cheap, small, old boats that would be considered seaworthy enough for cruising.
11) There are a large number of unfixable derelict boats available. I'd strongly suggest that you not buy one.
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Old 20-07-2011, 20:21   #7
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Re: Need Advice buying a boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt. lulz View Post
Disclaimer: I'm a n00b

Introduction
I've had this dream to sail independently without much income by means of natural energy (solar and wind), maintaining the boat myself, and perhaps fishing. Living in the Caribbean where it's cheap was my ideal. Although I am a WestCoaster, I have been getting the vibe from the EastCoasters that the Caribbean is not as cheap anymore as most people think.

Realization
I realize though, that this is a goal best achieved (or approached) one step at a time. This means living at a marina on my boat, fixing it up until it is seaworthy (if it is not).

Big or Small?
I hear that it's better to get a small boat because it's easier to learn sailing, but my concern is that if I go this route, it would not be easy to transition to a bigger boat with all the investment put in the smaller boat. I could do with anything larger than 27', but I am now thinking I'd be a bit more comfortable in a 30 footer, but no larger than 32'. I think I might not be sailing for a while, so the size in that regard, isn't going to be an issue. I figure I'll eventually learn.

What kind of boat should I get?
  • Must be a monohull sailboat between 27' and 32'.
  • What kind of common problems would I run into, and which problems are imperative to be fixed before living aboard?
The only imperative to move aboard is that the boat continues to float. To that end make sure all the thruhulls are in decent shape and the seacocks work easily. Check that the cockpit drains are free flowing and that the propshaft seal (and rudderstock if wheel steered) are dripping at the appropriate rates. For a real packing gland it should be about a drip a min.
  • Similar to the above question, are there any legal requirements to 1) own a boat, and furthermore 2) liveaboard?
To live aboard in a marina you need the marina's permission, which will usually cost you a premium of $20-200 depending on the marina and location. Living aboard at anchor will be less convenient to prepping the boat for a voyage, but lots cheaper. The legality of anchoring out for any extended period will depend on the jurisdiction. Anchored or slipped you will need to deal with onboard sewage. If you are using the head on board, you will have to regularly take the boat to a pumpout or pay for a service to regularly come and pump the boat out. Dumping sewage within 3nm of shore will get you all sorts of problems if caught. Grey water is another matter, but regulations are in flux right now if I recall correctly. At a marina with toilettes, showers and laundry you are set.
  • I've increased my budget to $20,000, but like anyone, I would want the most I can possibly get for the least I can possibly pay.
$20k should be just fine to buy, repair and outfit an older 27-32' boat. Cruising funds will be inexcess of that. If $20k is buy, outfit and cruise then that changes things considerably but will not kill the dream, just some of the particulars.
  • what are the bare essentials of a liveaboard vessel?
Boat floats, head with holding tank, motor to get to pumpout, Battery/controller/solar panel for house and anchor lights, Alcohol or propane stove & oven (if you want to live cheap don't skimp on the oven, baking bread/cookies/cakes is lots cheaper in the long run than buying, means you also need to learn how to cook/bake), enough berths for every person in the crew, fans, heater (1500w electric space heater if at marina, propane or better kerosene/diesel if anchored.). If anchoring out several anchors, anchor light & dayshape and a dinghy with oars.
  • Where can I do some research about boats? There seems to be a crap-ton of manufacturers. It would be nice to refer to their reputation.
Sorry, no single place to get a read on a manufacturer's rep, sailing world is too small. The smallest auto maker in the US makes more cars in a year than the largest sailboat maker has made ever so data can't be drawn from large numbers of vehicles for reliability comparisons.



Objective or at least advertised data can be found at: http://sailboatdata.com/firstpage.asp
  • I prefer having storage space aboard.
Bigger the boat the more storage. The bigger the boat the more it costs to buy and maintain. The bigger the boat the more it costs to slip at a marina. To a certain extent the solution is to decide how big a boat you are comfortable with financially, accomodation-wise and operationally, then learn to fit everything into that boat, generally do-able unless you have some special requirement for something you absolutely have to have, then things get a bit more complex.
Welcome.
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Old 20-07-2011, 20:39   #8
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Re: Don't buy a boat ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boracay View Post
2) Some consider "natural" energy to be expensive.
I assume it's the only energy you're getting at sea.

Quote:
3) There have been reports that the locals in some areas don't take kindly to Cruisers fishing. Some places require licenses and others prohibit it.
what the hell is their problem? I'm not fitting to make a profit from a ton of fish.

Quote:
4) Living in a marina is usually expensive. Fixing a boat much more so.
I've been looking at a couple marinas (accepts liveaboards) in my hometown, and it seems vastly cheaper than an apartment, but I assume prices you've seen are more expensive.

Quote:
5) Some enjoy living on very small boats. Me, I'd go crazy.
Maybe I would too (I doubt it), and I'd make a bad mistake. Life goes on.

Quote:
6) You're considering living aboard in a marina. Among the key considerations would be :- Does the marina allow livaboards? Will the boat sink? Does the holding tank meet requirements?
I assume a surveyor could tell me these things, but just so I get a good idea before committing too much, how common is it for holding tanks to not meet requirements? What would be a remedy (and price) for that?

Quote:
7) Some boats are beyond feasible repair.
I want to steer clear of it.

Quote:
9) Storage on boats 27' to 32' can be very limited.
I will agree that boats are just small in general, and smaller boats would have less storage. But what I'm getting at here is that I assume some models and/or manufacturers might have designs that prioritize for storage more than another.

Quote:
10) There are very few cheap, small, old boats that would be considered seaworthy enough for cruising.
The way I've heard the word "seaworthy" makes it seem a bit subjective or at least too general for my understanding. Can you give me an example problem of a boat that is definitely not seaworthy, and are there problems less severe that still render it un-seaworthy?
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Old 20-07-2011, 21:48   #9
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Re: Don't buy a boat ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt. lulz View Post
I assume it's the only energy you're getting at sea.

No, there is solar, wind and water generators which I would consider 'Natural' energy source and then there is electricty generated by running the main engine or a genset.


what the hell is their problem? I'm not fitting to make a profit from a ton of fish.

The problem is not you per se, it's the history of overfishing by numerous previous cruisers, and the precedent set, by allowing you they would have a harder time saying no to other cruisers. Establishing a good relationship with the local village and it's heirarchy would go some distance towards getting permission to fish, or even anchor in some places, but it will take time. I don't know about the Caribbean but in some places in the Pacific, the resources are limited enough or seasonal enough, that there really isn't much extra for transients.


I've been looking at a couple marinas (accepts liveaboards) in my hometown, and it seems vastly cheaper than an apartment, but I assume prices you've seen are more expensive.


Maybe I would too (I doubt it), and I'd make a bad mistake. Life goes on.

Right attitude.

I assume a surveyor could tell me these things, but just so I get a good idea before committing too much, how common is it for holding tanks to not meet requirements? What would be a remedy (and price) for that?

The trick is doing a preliminary walk thru of the boat an eliminating any boats with gross structural problems before paying a surveyor. The surveyor should be finding the more subtle and hidden problems, or things that require more knowledge and expertise than the typical owner. Installing a complete head and holding system from scratch should cost less than $1k. Correcting smaller problems are less than that.


I want to steer clear of it.


I will agree that boats are just small in general, and smaller boats would have less storage. But what I'm getting at here is that I assume some models and/or manufacturers might have designs that prioritize for storage more than another.


The way I've heard the word "seaworthy" makes it seem a bit subjective or at least too general for my understanding. Can you give me an example problem of a boat that is definitely not seaworthy, and are there problems less severe that still render it un-seaworthy?
'Seaworthy' is very subjective. Really, almost anything will do with enough outfitting, care and a little luck. I can tell you that it is almost universally agreed that MacGregor boats (with one exception, Mac65) are not seaworthy, generally they are underbuilt and really are not designed for offshore work in the first place. At the other end Westsails are Usually agreed to be seaworthy. Some people would disagree with this based on their slow speed and the belief that speed is part of seaworthy. I use the ultimate benchmark of would I take it to Antartica, it so it is definitely seaworthy, and there aren't many other fiberglass boats I would do that with. There are plenty that I wouldn't take to Antarctica that are seaworthy, that's just my personal definition of extreme seaworthiness.
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Old 21-07-2011, 04:55   #10
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Re: Need Advice buying a boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt. lulz View Post
I think everything can be found by searching. That's a fact with nearly every forum. I don't mean to be snarky, but from my point of view, my choice could go one of two ways:
  • get someone willing to help
  • spend a much longer time weeding through search results which don't necessarily equate to answers.
So your point is that you expect everyone who has spend time answering this question in the pass to retype/post it for you because you don't want to spend your time reading though the same older info. Nice to have one's time so much more important than that of those you ask of.
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Old 21-07-2011, 05:12   #11
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Interaction is one of the points of a forum, mining information is another. You would be missing out not to search the past threads as a thousand people have produced meaningful content relative to your question. Under search, use the drop down google box, it works well.

Good luck!

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Old 21-07-2011, 05:51   #12
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Re: Need Advice buying a boat

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[/LIST]So your point is that you expect everyone who has spend time answering this question in the pass to retype/post it for you because you don't want to spend your time reading though the same older info. Nice to have one's time so much more important than that of those you ask of.
All I know is that you've not been helpful
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Old 21-07-2011, 06:01   #13
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Re: Need Advice buying a boat

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All I know is that you've not been helpful

Am trying to help you. Your thread has had 183 views as type this and how many answers have you gotten?

Use the search feature and do your reading. We really aren't your researchers for old common threads.
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Old 21-07-2011, 06:09   #14
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Re: Need Advice on Buying a Boat

Restrict me from saying things said before and I'd have no words at all.

Sure, it's easier to learn the fundamentals of sailing on a small boat, but this can be done well with an eight foot dinghy. This would not be a large expense that prevents you from buying a liveaboard boat.
There are huge differences in the costs of living aboard within the same areas wether the Caribbean or the US. I'm currently spending some time at a marina that has a $680/mo. cost for a 45' slip. Just a couple hundred yards away is a marina with similar amenities for a cost of $1,200/mo. You can choose a transient one day stay in Ft. Lauderdale off the ICW for $50 or stay on the ICW for $120. At my "home port" on the St. Johns River I can find liveaboard slips for less than $500/mo. or others at $900/mo. When we are in the islands we rarely spend time at marinas, but choose to live on the hook for no costs other than our dinghy fuel.
The living space and storage that you will be able to adapt to will depend as much on your psychological comfort as physical needs.
We actively crusie a 38 year old boat and have spent little time on new boats during the forty years that we've lived aboard. A sound old boat can be purchased and refit for less than half the cost of new. Many will find comfort in associating a new boat with dependability and safety, but choices made by the captain and crew are far greater factors.
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Old 21-07-2011, 06:13   #15
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Am trying to help you. Your thread has had 183 views as type this and how many answers have you gotten?

Use the search feature and do your reading. We really aren't your researchers for old common threads.

I'm with you here Cap. For those of us in love with boats, the archived threads are a treasure trove. Why wouldn't one want to read them? Don't even have to register to do it! Quite a good deal..

To the OP: I was only mildly joking about the $500 a month thread. There is quite a discussion of boats that are suitable for your exact goal in there. Just a few clicks from here. Why be snarky?

Here's a subject for a FAQ.
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