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Old 22-12-2007, 22:32   #1
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Hello to all, seeking advice

First my name is Nate and this is my first post here. I have been reading the posts here for six months or so. I am 21 and looking to get into sailing. I have wanted to start sailing for a long time now but my budget does not afford boats and houses at the same time, so i have decided to liveaboard. I am currently looking at a 35 ft 1964 Cheoy Lee Lion. The big windows sorta worry me. I am looking into financing with Essex. I also don't know how to sail yet, to me this is not a problem. I plan on taking some classes and bribing the old salts with wine and a combo of free diving services and carpentry work. I figure the sailors down at the marina will be willing to teach me all i need to know. I live in Port Angeles WA, and the marinas here seem to be fairly cheap and friendly to liveaboards. Any advice you would have would be appreciated especially on the choice of sailboat as i am still just looking around.
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Old 22-12-2007, 22:39   #2
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Don't know much about choy lees but I can say that you need to watch out for anything with teak decks. get the book by Don Casey called Inspecting the Aging sailboat and you will learn alot by reading it. From there hire a professional surveyor.
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Old 22-12-2007, 22:47   #3
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I will defiantly get a professional inspection.
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Old 22-12-2007, 23:01   #4
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Nate - You are young and making mistakes is OK for a while. I think you should go ahead but understand that it may not work out like you think.

Unlike a house, a boat will not likely appreciate over time. So, while you pay "rent" when you buy a house, you stand a good chance to preserve you capital and your investment over time. The house will require maintenance but so will a boat.

The boat will depreciate over time. You can buy a fixer upper and put labor in it but you are also investing in pretty expensive equipment over time as well.

If you are making payments on a house and making payments on a boat, you are more likely to end up with a boat worth less than the note than a house worth less than the note.

I don't know why big windows would worry you over anything else there is to worry about. If you are going to live aboard you want to make sure that you enjoy the atmosphere.

You don't really mention what kind of sailing you want to do. Or is this just a place to lie and sailing is not a big deal?

Your sailing desires might make a big difference on boat selection.
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Old 22-12-2007, 23:23   #5
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I am not really looking at it as an investment. I just really want to go sailing. I only live 10 blocks from the platypus shipyard and i can hear the horns on the container ships at night, its like they are calling me to the water taunting me in my stick framed prison.

I am looking for a boat the is bluewater capable yet not to pricey I am a carpenter and can only afford to spend 30-60k on a boat right now. I am not looking for somthing to overhaul but I can look around some rough edges. The windows bother because they are big holes in the side of a small boat.

I am looking to stay here in Port Angeles until I can get my instructor scuba and captains license. I make good money at my current job here and want to make sure i can sail proficiently before i set off to the islands. I am thinking a couple years before i will be able to leave given i get a boat this summer. Then I plan on going to the south pacific or wherever sounds like a good time. I plan to work on the way as a scuba pro, poss salvage diver or carpentry work.
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Old 23-12-2007, 08:54   #6
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The basics of this boat being from 1964, at 35 ft length and a 24 ft water line leaves it potentially not such a great buy and clearly not a serious performer.

The biggest problem with Choy Lee's are the variations in quality especially the equipment / hardware. It could be anything from maybe not too bad to hideous. The latter is more likely. Electrically anything from 1964 not 100% rewired should be. It may require removing a lot of the interior to run all the new wires and secure them in place. Plumbing should be included as well as inspection of all tankage. Not that you could not do this but if the goal is to be sailing then maybe this isn't what you want. This boat needs a very careful survey.

The large amount of wood may present you with many problems. At least living where you do the UV isn't as big a problem. A total refinish on this much wood is about a month long job (every day all day). You'll being doing it if not now then later and repeating it every 6 years or so.

You may do better with a newer boat for the same money. That is perhaps the most compelling argument against it. It appears a lot has been done already to it but there could still be a lot more left. On the surface it looks good and has some nice refitting for the engine, but the pictures are small resolution and not many showing the deck, just the nice wood below.

Unless you have experience I really think a 1964 boat is not something you'll do well with compared to the alternatives. Some people love the old boats just to have them and day sail on them. I can appreciate the beauty and the desire to do such things. There are a lot of reasons for buying any boat so making your goals line up with the boat is the key to enjoyment.

You could get a boat 20 years newer for the same money and avoid some of the really expensive upgrades. Just to throw out one number. Assume all the winches are shot (you will find no spare parts any place for these). You could be looking at $6,000 just in the hardware not to mention the process of installing them. That is just one minor item. The water and fuel tanks might be a mess as well. Pulling those and replacing them is a big job.

The electrical seems suspect given there is little to no electrical equipment aboard yet it carries two group 8 batteries. Something seems very odd.
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Old 23-12-2007, 12:28   #7
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I worked on a Choy Lee that was very similar to the one you are looking at. I am not sure if it was a "Lyon" or not but it looked about the same. Very pretty boat but for a boat of that size it didn't have much more room than our 26' boat does. I repacked the stuffing box and it was a nightmare to get to. I had to remove the exhaust hose and squeeze in over the engine. Then I was nearly standing on my head to reach it. We also recommisoned it. The rigging was different than anything made today and I doubt any parts could be found for it. If the standing rigging has not been updated it would need to be and would be pretty expensive. I also put a depth tranducer in. This was quite a trick since there is nowhere on the hull that is any way near horizontal. In fact its nearly vertical and requires a hand made fairing block inside & out. As others have said any boat that old is probably a wireing disaster and that can cost a lot of time & money to upgrade. Those old teak decks look good but always leak and there are hunderds of holes for the water to drip into the cabin. New teak decks are bonded on and don't give as much trouble.

BUT other than that is is a very good looking boat. I really really like it but I wouldn't want to own it Unkess you really want to spend a lot of time working on it I would keep looking.
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Old 23-12-2007, 14:13   #8
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I will defiantly get a professional inspection.
Heh . . . You rebel.

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Old 23-12-2007, 14:40   #9
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Nate
See if you can find an old friend of mine Paul Koch owner of the sailing vessel Kalise. Last I knew he was in Port Angles but I have lost track of him. He has quite a bit of experience refitting older boats and is a wonderful person to know. Tell him hello from me if you find him.
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Old 23-12-2007, 16:16   #10
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thanks for all the advice. I have been looking at boats from the 80s as well but in the 30-60k range they look like floating travel trailers not something i would want to trust my life to. does anyone have any suggestions on sailboats around 30-35ft that would be a exceptional blue water cruiser. seaworthiness and livability are my top priorities in finding a sailboat. I plan on staying in fairly deep waters so draft is not that big of a deal.

The trouble i am having is it seems like every brokerage will try and sell you a Catalina and tell you it will sail around the world. I just haven't been able to find any reliable information, on the quality of construction and sailing characteristics.

Pblais, thanks for the advice. I have heard many whom warn about the maintenance of wood. and i think i will try to steer away from it now. It looks beautiful but i would rather spend my time enjoying a boat than sanding and varnishing.
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Old 23-12-2007, 16:21   #11
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any thoughts on this boat 35' Columbia Sloop Wide Body I am thinking of going to Everett to give it a look in a couple weeks.
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Old 23-12-2007, 16:29   #12
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The trouble i am having is it seems like every brokerage will try and sell you a Catalina and tell you it will sail around the world.
Well, they're not lying to you, lots of them have sailed around the world even a 27. But is one right for you? Prolly not. This web page will give you a start at what boats you might consider if you really want an offshore boat:

Mahina Expedition - Offshore Cruising Instruction

You've got a steep learning curve ahead, good luck!
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Old 23-12-2007, 16:37   #13
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thanks a lot that was just what i have been looking for.

Also i have heard of Catalina's going around the world, I am just not sure I would want to be on that trip.
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Old 23-12-2007, 16:39   #14
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thanks a lot that was just what i have been looking for.

Also i have heard of Catalina's going around the world, I am just not sure I would want to be on that trip.
Me either!
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Old 23-12-2007, 16:45   #15
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Aloha Nate,
Welcome aboard!! Was just up in Port Townsend in Sep for the Wooden Boat Festival. They have a really huge marina and I know there are lots of boats for sale in your area. I'd go aboard as many as they'll let you and get an idea of what you really might like to liveaboard. Learn to sail as soon as you can. Sailing characteristics are hard to change once you've decided on a certain boat.
Older Cheoy Lees are ok but many do need maintenance especially in their glass over plywood decks and cabin tops. I like Columbias because the older ones are built like a tank. There are several models so make certain you pick the ones that have the least amount of keel to hull problems.
Good luck in your search. You should be able to find something in your price range even if you have to go to Shilshole to find it.
Kind Regards,
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