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Old 04-12-2007, 19:35   #16
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Don't get discouraged. Buy a boat for 20k (30-32ft) Put 10k into it. Go now!
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Old 04-12-2007, 19:39   #17
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Go Navy, beat Army. Now that I got that out of my system...

You're set. Lots of good advice in here, but if you gave me $60K I'd spend $30K on the boat in total (including upgrades), and $30K (plus the interest you're going to be making on it) to go sailing for a few years.

Cheap boats = less maintenance costs. Someone told me that you should expect to spend about 10% of a boat's value every year on annual maintenance. It's hardly an exact number, but certainly a good rule of thumb.

Do it, have fun, and make sure you take a lot of pictures. Think about having a kid to share the experience with.
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Old 04-12-2007, 20:20   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
Think about having a kid to share the experience with.
I'm not sure how serious rebel heart is when he suggests having a child to share the experience with, but if you think $60,000 is going to be enough to buy a vessel, refit her, cruise for a few years and provide for the care and feeding of Matt Jr. or Amber Jr., then I suggest you do a Google search for "What Is the Cost to Raise a Child?" In the meantime, here's a link to a recent article in BusinessWeek:

Is Raising Kids a Fool's Game?

TaoJones
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Old 04-12-2007, 22:01   #19
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Keep safe over there, thanks to all of you serving the country, and Good Cruising on your return!
Steve
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Old 05-12-2007, 00:38   #20
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I know one thing...If you spend your time saving money to buy the dream boat, your chances are lessened to go. I have also met many people on expensives boats in harbors working their arses off trying to save and outfit. If you go ASAP with what you can afford to buy(what ever size boat that dictates), with a humble cruising kitty, then do it! Once you have the bug, you will figure out a way to stay with it.
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Old 05-12-2007, 01:27   #21
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Monohulls--Bayfield or Tayana are sometimes available in your price range and are 36-37 feet long and strongly made. You will need to spend all of your money and then some. Good life insurance.

If you are minimalists--there is a nice Wharram Pahi up for grabs for about 35000$US--in El Salvador--the James Wharram website lists it. I kinda like Wharrams--seaworthy and when fitted with deck pods they are more comfortable when it is cold and miserable above decks.

Then there are the steel boats such as some of the Tom Colvin craft listed on Yachtworld--expect to spend ten on them--and you may be lucky and spend less.

You have quite a bit of choice in America--not so much elsewhere. One thing you will quickly discover is that it is very easy to spend a lot of money--but some you must spend because your life depends on a seaworthy vessel. Stating the obvious I know--but the hull is the most important thing followed by the rig, engines and liferaft. Radios etc cost but are comparatively cheap--

Best of luck--

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Old 05-12-2007, 02:00   #22
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Thanks

I very much appreciate all the input and guidance. Thank you. I have an additional question. From your experience, what are the most important things to consider when purchasing a used boat? I have read quite alot about this, but I'm curious to hear what particulars you all would reccommend paying extra close attention to. What things can we repair/fix-up ourselves? What things need to be in the best condition? What do we need to throw out and buy new? Thanks.

Matt
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Old 05-12-2007, 02:06   #23
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Well certainly the boats reputation should be a good one. Secondly, items like sails, rigging and engine are the high dollar items that should be in good to excellent shape. It seems the next generation of electronics come out every five years. So it is unlikely you will be getting any of those type of electronics with your purchase. Next, does it have any standard cruising gear...life raft, dinghy/outboard and self steering.
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Old 05-12-2007, 03:03   #24
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The most important thing is to get a survey done by a COMPETENT shipwright also qualified as a marine surveyor--one who is not in cahoots with the broker listing the vessel and who will give you a proper appraisal.

Steel boats are easy to survey becauise any problems are obvious. Alloy boats can be dangerous and look OK--and ghlass boats will probably have some osmosis which will have to be fixed if someone has not already done so--if made from polyester resin. Wooden boats can have rot which is only detectable by giving the timber a bit of a tap with a padded rubber hammer.

The way to fix osmosis is to grind it out and dry it--then expoxy-repair the damaged spots and replace with epoxy the entire gelcoat, finishing it with coats of two-pot polyurethane. Expensive.

Engines need to be checked by a proper diesel machanic--but usually they last a long time. If it is burning a lot of oil it may be glazed up from being run at idle to charge batteries--one can add catalyst to the fuel and run the motor under load instead of raising the sails to get rid of the glaze--lotsa luck--

Rigging needs to be checked by a yacht rigger--and all blocks in the mast need to be free and properly lubricated or even replaced. Halyards may need to be replaced. If the mast has to come out for re-finishing the rigging wire might require replacement too. Learn how to lock-splice rigging wire over thimbles and serve it with marline and oversew with painted canvas--much better than compression fittings, although Talurit is certainly quicker.

There are a lot of shippy things you can do yourself. You can fix a basic glass or foam sandwich hull yourself if you read up on it and are quite meticulous but I would rather earn money doing the things I do well and pay someone else to do the things they do well--and better than I could. I will look on though--so next time I will know how.

Steel vessels require frequent touch-ups to paint. This requires a hot water rinse, brush off of paint--quick flash with a blowlamp and while warm a good dose of zinc rich epoxy primer. Repaint to match surrounds with same paint sequence.

Perhaps you could work in a shipyard to pick up a few skills while being paid--

As a yachtie you will need not only the basic knowledge of how to sail--not that difficult in itself--but you will need to learn seamanship, which is what survival is all about. You need to have basic mechanic's skills and understand your engine. You need to know how to bleed the injector pump--because if it gets air into the fuel lines it will stop and refuse to start--usually when you have a rising sea and a lee shore--

If you read up on the fitting out of vessels you will soon learn what needs to be done--then you need to watch someone competent to see how they go about it.

You will also need to know the idiosyncracies of your own boat--because even identical vessels from the same manufacturer seem to have subtle unexplainable differences--perhaps a slightly more slippery hull or a slightly better cut or shape to the sails. Mine has a tendency to surf down waves and bury her nose--so she has to have some ballast moved aft so she will drag her bum a bit if things get gurly out there.

I think you will do fine--just make sure you trail a dead man's rope with catspaw loops for feet in it at two feet intervals along the rope, and always wear your harnesses when above decks and keep them clipped to lifelines permanently rigged.

All of the ancillary work, fitting deck lockers etc you can do. They double as spray guards and seats as well as a stash for fishing gear, extra ropes etc. You need rudimentary carpenter skills and a few clamps and a sanding machine. A lot of blocks, deadeyes, fairleads and roller tackle items you can make yourself--some love to do this kind of thing. I use Australian hardwoods such as Tallow wood, but I am sure there are American timbers suitable.

Sanding and rubbing, painting and antifouling can all be done by unskilled people. I know--
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Old 08-12-2007, 08:01   #25
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Matt ~ Amber Welcome from USMC Vet, Thanks for keeping the tradition.

I have friends who left California sailed down to Mexico, crossed the pacific, visiting the Islands along the way to Sydney, Aus where they sold their boat for a profit.
1.They had no sailing experience when they left California
2.they crossed uneventfully
3.sailed a 32 ft "Westsail"
4.sent pictures home

Just do it. Life is too short not enjoy yourselves.

as far as what is important in a boat,
In my Opinion #1 is stability at sea.
check out Capsize Formula you can enter the numbers of the boat your considering as a purchase there, and get information on stability etc.

After that, pretty much what ever you think is important, will be important. All boats are a compromise. Comfort, sea kindlyness, storage space, cabin space, cost of purchase, and since you will be at sea for an extended period if you are crossing oceans, water and food storage will major considerations.
Perhaps joining up with one of the organized sailing "Rally's" would be best for the first time. Usually, they organise boat safety inspections, weather briefings, route plannings and offer the comfort of like minded people doing the same places at the same times. "ARC" comes to mind. (Atlantic Rally Crossing?) I don't know if www.pacificcup is still operating, but you get the idea.

What ever, just follow your dreams, and send back some pictures, ehh?
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Old 08-12-2007, 17:44   #26
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Here is another option. When I was in my 20's, I was a climber /hiker who took a job on Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. I worked a lot, but was also able to learn substantial sailing and scuba diving skills in a fantastic wilderness area that happened to contain a military base. That would be the Kwajalein Missile Range, which is run by the Army (AMCOM in Huntsville). You might want to check with them to see if you could fit one of their slots. Getting paid while you are acquiring the skills for exploring Micronesia and the other Pacific Islands is a nice way to go.
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