Hello world! First post. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
My wife and I are tech professionals in SF and beginning to plan a liveaboard
year at some point down the road (likely within the next couple of years). We're not in a rush to buy, but we are starting to do our homework.
I've got some questions below that I'd love to get answered (or if anyone knows of existing posts about these topics, would love the links)
1) We have a family
of 4 adults and 1 young child. We're thinking that a 45' cat is the right size for us. We've chartered some 39-40 foot cats and they seem too small. Wanted to get everyone's thoughts on size. Ideally we'd like to find the newest, smallest boat we can afford.
2) The new Alpha 42
seems like a very interesting cat, with composite materials and built in USA. Does anyone have any experience with it? Is their approach using composite materials really all that much different from other boats? We wish it were a bit larger though; does anyone know if they're planning a bigger 45'ish boat?
3) The boat we think
we're most interested in is either a new Lagoon
450S, or a used Lagoon 440
. How would anyone compare those two boats? Would you recommend buying
a bristol(ish) condition used Lagoon 440
(i'm thinking 2010 range) over a newer 450? Or even a new 450S over both those options? How important is it to buy a new boat vs. a well maintained used boat
? We generally prefer to buy used but the Lagoon
resale market seems strong which is making us consider buying
4) Are there other cat brands people would recommend over the Lagoon? We'd like to keep the purchase price
under $500k, and if we can keep it under $300k (like for a Lagoon 440) that would be ideal.
5) Does boat buying work like real estate, where the commission is split between selling and buying agents? And if an owner is selling w/o a broker, how much does a buyer's broker charge to engage their services? Did most of you buy with or without a broker?
6) We plan to liveaboard
for a year. Do people recommend a galley
up or galley
7) We're open to buying a boat in the US or outside the US. We're flexible with where we start our liveaboard year, so we'd like to use that flexibility to minimize the cost of buying and registering a boat. What's the most tax and fee advantageous way to buy and register a boat? For example, one person told me that registering a boat in the BVIs costs $6k and there are no other taxes
. I have no idea if he was right about that.
Also, related: If we buy and register a boat outside the US, liveaboard for a year while sailing around, and then choose to return to the US, what are the costs of “importing” (is that the right word for this use case?) the boat to the US? And in that case, can we register it in any state, or would we have to register it in the state where we're living? And which state is best to register a boat in?
As you can see, we have lots of questions, with more sure to come!