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Old 22-07-2011, 13:43   #1
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Yet Another Newbie Says Hi

Greetings All!

My wife and I are moving closer to our jobs, and want to move into a boat. Sadly, our time-table is greatly truncated from what it should be, and to make this dream happen, we will need to move quickly.

Right now, we need a boat. Neither of us is a sailor, but we have friends that are. Our budget is 200k, and my preference would be for a 40' boat (since the dock fees go up if it is beyond 40'), but anything up to 50' would be fine. She should be sea-worthy for open ocean travel, and comfortable enough for two people to live aboard. My personal preference would be for a used-boat from a well-respected brand, such that it does not depreciate too quickly in port, and is somewhat dependable.

We have ABSOLUTELY no idea what we're doing. I don't even know which brands are good. I hear good things about Hylas, and bad about Hunter. I hear good things about full-keel boats, and also about fin-keel. My wife is reading up on live-aboard information, and I'm working on the other hardware/finances/laws/...

Ideally, we'll have our boat purchased within the next month.

That is our situation, and any advice/assistance that could be offered would be most welcome.

-Harrison
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Old 22-07-2011, 13:55   #2
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Re: Yet Another Newbie Says Hi

Rent a boat that is already in a marina. Any money you invest in a boat is pretty much gone, and there are tons of boats that are just sitting in marinas that owners can no longer afford. Boats are not like real estate, they do not appreciate in value, and take a bloody fortune to maintain, like 10 to 15% of there value per year. Anything you pay $200,000 today will be worth $30,000 in ten years and you will have spent another $200,000 to maintain and store it.
Just pay rent and let the owner take the bath.
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Old 22-07-2011, 13:59   #3
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Re: Yet Another Newbie Says Hi

Welcome aboard.. where are you moving to?
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Old 22-07-2011, 13:59   #4
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Re: Yet Another Newbie Says Hi

My current economic model assumes a 3% annual depreciation. As far as maintenance, should I expect 10-15% of the boat's (value or purchase price?) per year just to leave it in the marina? I understand that many components are expected to fatigue quickly when it is used frequently, but I'm not clear on the expected maintenance while in a marina.

200k is our expected economic break-even point compared to renting an apartment (assuming 7% market appreciation mean 10% std. dev., a 50' boat in the port, and ~2k/year for dry-docking and barnacle scraping)

What would you consider reasonable values?
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Old 22-07-2011, 14:23   #5
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Re: Yet Another Newbie Says Hi

Thanks for the well-wishes. We're living in the SF Bay Area. Plenty of harbor spaces available around the bay, but to avoid moving to an apartment, and then moving yet again, we need to move quickly.
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Old 22-07-2011, 14:28   #6
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Re: Yet Another Newbie Says Hi

The market right now is flooded with boats sitting in a marina that the owners can no longer afford and cannot sell, and I don't believe the situation will get better anytime soon. That presents a good opportunity to live on a boat on someone else's dime while you figure out if you like it, and what kind of boat you would buy for yourself if any, without risking a bunch of money on a market you know nothing about.
Renting an appartement is also a good deal right now, as you could pay up to three times as much to buy the same unit without the security of appreciation.
Boating is basically an old peoples sport for those who can afford it and don't care what it costs.
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Old 22-07-2011, 14:39   #7
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Re: Yet Another Newbie Says Hi

If you want to live in a really great little SF neighborhood check out Teddy St. We were paying 2k / mo for a nice house / parking and wonderful food on San Bruno Ave.
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Old 22-07-2011, 15:25   #8
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Re: Yet Another Newbie Says Hi

Quote:
Originally Posted by kungfoo View Post
My current economic model assumes a 3% annual depreciation. As far as maintenance, should I expect 10-15% of the boat's (value or purchase price?) per year just to leave it in the marina? I understand that many components are expected to fatigue quickly when it is used frequently, but I'm not clear on the expected maintenance while in a marina.

200k is our expected economic break-even point compared to renting an apartment (assuming 7% market appreciation mean 10% std. dev., a 50' boat in the port, and ~2k/year for dry-docking and barnacle scraping)

What would you consider reasonable values?

Something to consider is that boats that are old enough are appreciating. Glass boats are more like houses than other types of boats, they last a long time, long enough to start appreciating. Many boats from the 60's and early 70's are worth more than double what they sold for new.

That said they have to have been reasonably maintained for their lifetime. A house will weather a decade of neglect a lot better than a boat will.

My suggestion would be to look at the economics of the older boats. You pay a lot less for the boat upfront but have to put some or a lot more in to bring the boat up to snuff. But in 10yr you can sell the boat for what you paid or a bit more. You won't recoup the upgrades, maintenance or moorage, but the net return for the whole period may be a lot better.

Next item is to consider what you want to do with the boat:

If you just want to live aboard and go coastal cruising then you are going to pay less in rehab and upgrades and the boat you want to buy will geared more towards living aboard with less consideration towards the sailing parts. Galley, head, berths and general layout will be different. Having a dinette (transverse benches at the table or u-shaped, requires significant effort to convert to berth) on one side and the galley opposite will be just fine.
Example of galley and dinette layout plus: CAL 34 sailboat on sailboatdata.com

If you want to go voyaging then you will need to spend more on outfitting, more light air sails, more anchors, more consideration about the dinghy, more solar panels, windvane and/or autopilot. You will want to chose a boat with a layout geared towards passagemaking. You will need at least one good berth (better would be 2, 1 for each regular crew) in the main cabin, a pilot berth or quarter berth would be excellent and good respectively, a settee (longitudnal bench at the table) that has to be converted every night would be OK. The galley would be best by the companion way, better if sink is on or near centerline. 18-24" sidedecks for going forward in rough conditions also become a lot more desirable. A boat with a high sail area to displacement ratio is also desireable so you can sail longer before resorting to the motor. As the boat is loaded for crusing this ratio will shrink so starting high is good.
Example showing galley and settee layout with quarter berth and a pilot bert:
CAL 36 sailboat on sailboatdata.com

Unless you KNOW for sure you are going to have a lot of guests as livaboards, having a guest cabin is a waste of main cabin space making making a small space even smaller. If you go voyaging, guests will not be common enough to dedicate space to.

Boats to consider if you want to go voyaging:
CAL 36 sailboat on sailboatdata.com
CAL 39 sailboat on sailboatdata.com
CAL 40 sailboat on sailboatdata.com
CAL 43 sailboat on sailboatdata.com
CAL 48 sailboat on sailboatdata.com
COLUMBIA 34 Mk II sailboat on sailboatdata.com
COLUMBIA 36 sailboat on sailboatdata.com
COLUMBIA 39-1 sailboat on sailboatdata.com
COLUMBIA 43 sailboat on sailboatdata.com
COLUMBIA 50 sailboat on sailboatdata.com
RANGER 37 sailboat on sailboatdata.com
ISLANDER 37 sailboat on sailboatdata.com
MORGAN 38 sailboat on sailboatdata.com
MORGAN 41 sailboat on sailboatdata.com
TARTAN 41 sailboat on sailboatdata.com
PEARSON 36 sailboat on sailboatdata.com
PEARSON 39 sailboat on sailboatdata.com
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Old 22-07-2011, 22:41   #9
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Re: Yet Another Newbie Says Hi

Welcome Aboard Cruisers Forum
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Old 24-07-2011, 20:54   #10
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Re: Yet Another Newbie Says Hi

Aloha and welcome aboard!
You'll be getting a lot of recommendations. There are a couple links after my signature that might help. Pacific Seacraft, Tayana, Hylas, Halberg Rassy, Hinckley, Hans Christian, West Sail 42 and there are more that come to mind but shop around and check sailboatlistings.com and Browse Boats for Sale by Category for more.
kind regards,
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