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Old 01-08-2011, 20:53   #1
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So I Just Bought this Huge Boat . . .

Hi everybody,
First let me say that I know next to nothing about boats. Used to be a deckhand on a couple of fish boats when I was kid, and have since moved inland to Northeastern British Columbia.

Anyway, was peacefully cruising around the net minding my own business when what should I see but a government auction of 75 foot wooden navy training vessels. The price was ranging from a couple of grand up to 16k. So I though, 'Well, I'm not really interested, but if they are giving them away...'
So I lowballed the bid and somebody else won the boat. Imagine my sruprise a few days later when the winner dropped out for whatever reason and the government emailed to say, 'Congratulations! You are the new owner of an ex navy vessel. You have 6 weeks to get it off CFB Esquimalt (the navy base in Victoria)' To be fair they were extremely helpful within the regs they had to abide by.

Now, they couldn't allow anyone to go on the base and work on the engines and couldn't allow anyone to just fire it up and drive away, so I had to get it towed (which is very expensive) and as there was a shipyard just a kilometer away I had it towed there and got the bottom and upper hull fixed, caulked and painted. 14k - now I was beginning to understand why nobody was bidding on those boats! Then I got someone to pilot it from Victoria to Nanaimo where I had a place reserved to park it. But he pooched the landing and hit the dock going in and I had to redirect him to anchorage on an island where my sister knows people who were kind enough to let me put it on their mooring buoy short time. Then I got in touch with a mechanic on the island and he wanted 400 a day to look at the boat and see what needed to be done. So I said no, and started looking around for dock space, which I believe I have finally found, complete with someone to live aboard in case they have to alert the marina if something goes wrong - like water starts coming in. Just getting that organized took weeks.

Good so far, but I can see that using anyone locally in BC is going to cost thousands and thousands to get the deck and superstructure sanded and painted, which brings me to the reason I joined this forum: I was thinking of putting a few grand into fuel and moving it down to Mexico in search of cheaper labor. Anyone here had any experience with doing that? As the hull is done it shouldn't have to be taken out of the water; just need people to work on the deck etc. I was thinking of Puerto Vallarta as I have been there on holidays a couple of times and found it relaxed and fairly safe.

Plan B, after it is fixed up for living, is to rent it out to tourists. Not to go cruising or fishing but just as a place to stay. It has two huge cabins separated by the engine room - one forward and one aft. There are two heads, but only one shower and one galley. Could put in another shower but they would have to share the galley as it would be very expensive to put in another one. Could easily put a barbecue on the after deck though. So the second question is: Does anyone here have any experience with doing that? I imagine there have been lots of people who went to Mexico and had to return home who wanted to rent out their boats like that. Would it be fairly easy to deal with the government down there? Or just not a viable idea?

I did meet some Canadians down there who started their own business so would be able to get someone to look after the details for a price - it is only getting along with the government I am worried about. This would be a strictly legitimate operation - no time or inclination to do anything illegal.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Joe.
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Old 01-08-2011, 20:59   #2
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Re: So I just bought this huge boat

I had excellent work done in Mexico. I had a stainless frame built for my dodger, fiberglass work and other things. Probably about 1/4 the price in the USA, maybe even less. Workmanship was high quality. Even cheaper in the Philippines.
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Old 01-08-2011, 22:02   #3
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Re: So I just bought this huge boat

Congrats.. However I would get the boat surveyed by a qualified marine surveyor first before getting into projects on it..
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Old 01-08-2011, 22:43   #4
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Re: So I Just Bought this Huge Boat . . .

Welcome aboard!.... Nothing like jumping off the deep end to learn how to manage a boat

Having done large wooden tug and fishboat conversions in the 80’s I can imagine the scope of work you have in front of you.... and at that size..... the scary costs.

My advice is to live with it for a while, to get a better feel of the structure and engineering needs, before you worry about the cosmetics.

75ft makes a good sized home, so work off your local strengths and find some reliable handyman caretaker couple looking for an alternate lifestyle of live aboard in return for sweat equity in fixing up the boat. (Wooden boats need heat inside in those cold waters)

Although I am out of touch with BC today, look at cheap dockage solution near a fishing community, where used parts, lumber and expertise are more available

Places like Powell River, Sunshine Coast or Campbell River that allows you to bring the materials and support from your home location.(perhaps others can recommend a good location)

Unless you are already established in Mexico, management costs from Canada would far outweigh labor savings and you run a real risk of bringing tropical wood-boring insects on board during the refit.

Run ads for local talent per the deal I mentioned and choose carefully with the idea that you can monitor the return.

As far as Income..... using it from May to end of September as a portable fishing lodge for 2 couples, following the salmon runs from Hakai to Queen Charlottes..northern coho, would be a more natural market

Good luck!
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Old 02-08-2011, 05:35   #5
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Re: So I Just Bought this Huge Boat . . .

Welcome Aboard Cruisers Forum
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Old 02-08-2011, 06:27   #6
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Re: So I Just Bought this Huge Boat . . .

A YAG 300?
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Old 02-08-2011, 07:37   #7
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Re: So I Just Bought this Huge Boat . . .

This might sound stupid, and its only a contingency thought. But if the project does not work out you could fill it with concrete, sail it or motor it into international waters, over the continental shelf and sink it.


Hope it works out for you.




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Old 02-08-2011, 08:39   #8
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Re: So I Just Bought this Huge Boat . . .

Guaymas and La Paz both have reputable shipyards that should meet your requirements. There is much info on the internet on these two places including here on the CF. Man what a project you have on your hands! Best of luck to you.
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Old 02-08-2011, 17:36   #9
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Re: So I Just Bought this Huge Boat . . .

Aloha and welcome aboard!
Wow! I thought I took on big projects.
Good luck. I think just living with it the way it is for awhile and taking small steps was a good suggestion. There must be someone there with carpentry skills that needs a place to stay in trade for their work.
kind regards,
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Old 02-08-2011, 18:31   #10
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Re: So I Just Bought this Huge Boat . . .

Quote:
I was thinking of putting a few grand into fuel and moving it down to Mexico in search of cheaper labor.
The moving it to Mexico part might be the hard part. It would need to be pretty well hung together to get there and if it could the list of things would be pretty small. The west Pacific coast is not abundant with places to hole up with cheap dockage. So one or two problems along the way would mean huge costs.

You really need to sort out the bulk of the problems closer to where you are in ways that work before attempting a long distance move. I'm more inclined to agree with Pelagic on this one.
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Old 02-08-2011, 19:07   #11
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Re: So I Just Bought this Huge Boat . . .

Quote:
First let me say that I know next to nothing about boats. Used to be a deckhand on a couple of fish boats when I was kid, and have since moved inland to Northeastern British Columbia.

Anyway, was peacefully cruising around the net minding my own business when what should I see but a government auction of 75 foot wooden navy training vessels. The price was ranging from a couple of grand up to 16k. So I though, 'Well, I'm not really interested, but if they are giving them away...'

.........

Good so far, but I can see that using anyone locally in BC is going to cost thousands and thousands to get the deck and superstructure sanded and painted, which brings me to the reason I joined this forum: I was thinking of putting a few grand into fuel and moving it down to Mexico in search of cheaper labor. Anyone here had any experience with doing that?
I too think Pelagic has the best line on how to approach your unusual challenge.

The Mexican option has many hurdles to it. Tho' there are some good craftsmen in San Carlos, Guaymas, La Paz and other Mexican ports, you would need to be the general contractor onsite to ensure a good job. Plus, since you are not an experienced coastal sailor and navigator, you would have to have such, likely by hiring a delivery captain, which would probably run $6k + or -?, with no difficulties enroute, to take it down the usually challenging west coast. Before that could even be contemplated tho' the boat would need to have systems (electrical, fuel, water, through hulls, ground tackle, rigging, etc.) and engine(s) thoroughly checked and serviced or repaired. Again, requiring time and/or $$$$$.

Precipitous decisions like yours don't always end poorly. In fact, in my experience, many of them open new and amazing doors. But they all demand attention and a offer a steep learning curve in the process. Good luck.
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Old 02-08-2011, 19:39   #12
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Re: So I Just Bought this Huge Boat . . .

If you are looking for accessible anchorages on Vancouver Island take a look at Cow Bay or Brentwood Bay/Tod Inlet. There's a lot worse boats than yours tied up in both those places. Brentwood in particular is easily accessed from the ferry or the airport. As others have suggested, you're probably not ready to go to Mexico and by the time you are ready to go you probably won't need to.
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Old 02-08-2011, 20:11   #13
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Re: So I Just Bought this Huge Boat . . .

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Originally Posted by JoseJoe View Post
Good so far, but I can see that using anyone locally in BC is going to cost thousands and thousands to get the deck and superstructure sanded and painted, which brings me to the reason I joined this forum: I was thinking of putting a few grand into fuel and moving it down to Mexico in search of cheaper labor. Joe.
My wife and I stayed in the Newport Oregon marina last month for a couple of days of crabbing. The seas were 8 foot swells with 3 to 4 foot wind waves.

Two large boats pulled in to get out of the seas. One was a 75 foot from Huntington Beach California, aprox 1100 land miles from Oregon. While talking to one of the men from that 75 footer he told me they used 1500 gallons of diesel fuel to get from Huntington Beach to Newport Oregon. I don't know how many miles it is from Huntington Beach Ca do where ever you have in mine in Mexico but I'm sure it's going to cost you more than "a few grand" into fuel cost. The cost of diesel last month was $4.30 a gallon.

Good luck!
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Old 02-08-2011, 20:42   #14
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Re: So I Just Bought this Huge Boat . . .

Just like to say a big 'Thank You' to everyone who has contributed so far. I have at last found a dock for it; although nothing is certain until it is actually docked there from my experience. Should that be the case however, I will get a chance to fly down and actually see this dream, and maybe even fix a few mechanical things while I'm there. As Pelagic said, the natural market may be to rent it out to couples in BC who wish to do some fishing. I don't want t fortune, just to make it pay for itself.
That said, if there were the opportunity to dock it in PV and make the big bucks renting it to tourist - why not?

A lot of people here have said that it may not be so easy to just 'run it down to Mexico' and they may be right. What if I got to somewhere in the States and had major mechanical problems? It could sink me right there without water ever having to come on board. Still, Bucerias and renting out two suites for say 800 a week each certainly has a lot of appeal.

Even as I write this someone has put up a new post saying that fuel in the States is 4.30 a gallon, so figuring basically one gallon per mile to Puerto Vallarta, I have to agree that a 'few grand' for fuel is way low. I looked on Google and as the crow flies it is 2200 miles. So let's say by sea it will be 2800 miles. Times 4.30 per gallon equals 7224.00 for the trip. That's a LOT of money to gamble. Maybe it would be best to see what I can make of it in BC.... The engines at cruising speed of ten knots burn about 5 gph, so that's 10 gph for both engines, or about 1.15 miles per gallon. figure in .15 for Murphy's Law and you're looking at one gallon per mile. Yikes!
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Old 02-08-2011, 20:55   #15
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Re: So I Just Bought this Huge Boat . . .

I once Knew a fellow named Shawn. He owned? and operated a B+B out of a large anchored wooden vessel at Hot Springs Cove Vancover Island. It was a kool and remote outpost. Don't know if he's still there. Might be a good cause for a vessel such as yours if other plans don't work out or if they do. No offense intended. Shawn did have his nemesis in the harbor however. Never did understand all of what actually transpired. Something about Indians and burning boat houses anchored in the bay.
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