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Old 12-07-2021, 08:35   #1
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Buying Leopard Ex-charter: What do I spend my $ on first?

I'm buying a Leopard 48 ex charter and will have a limited budget to make it a full time live aboard. I want to make it blue-water capable but where do I start? My plan was to sail it to the US to avoid shipping costs of batteries, solar panels, etc. I plan on doing all the installations myself with a budget of 10-15k.

What are the necessity items that need to be purchased and in what order? Obviously a dinghy first. It has a generator that will need replacing soon.

Spares?
Bigger Anchor?
Tools?
Watermaker?
Electronics?


Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 12-07-2021, 08:43   #2
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Re: Buying Leopard Ex-charter: What do I spend my $ on first?

Where is it based now
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Old 12-07-2021, 08:49   #3
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Re: Buying Leopard Ex-charter: What do I spend my $ on first?

It's in the BVI
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Old 12-07-2021, 15:08   #4
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Re: Buying Leopard Ex-charter: What do I spend my $ on first?

Sorry to say, but budget is your limiting factor. New electronics alone could eat that 10-15k
Priority depends on what is currently aboard and functioning vs desires.
A good anchor is a huge priority to me, but if you rarely anchor out it goes way down the list.
Same with batteries and solar. Dock power or generator gives you the same effect.
Once you move aboard the priorities will show themselves. Start with using the boat as is, ideally for a year or so.then see what you cant live without.
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Old 12-07-2021, 15:37   #5
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Re: Buying Leopard Ex-charter: What do I spend my $ on first?

Thanks Chris..I definitely sleep better with a good anchor. What comes standard on a Leopard 48. Electronics are not high on the list for me except for Autopilot. I've been ballparking the following:

Watermaker $5-6k
Anchor?
Spare windless?
Tools - $1k
Lithium Batteries $3k (600ah)
Charge Controllers - $500
500 Watts solar - $500
Caulks, ropes, etc - $500
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Old 12-07-2021, 18:43   #6
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Re: Buying Leopard Ex-charter: What do I spend my $ on first?

That's a good starting list. We got the rainman watermaker for that price, many cost more, so it depends on what you want. I dont really know about lithium, but that seems low to me.
Solar is a good budget at 1$ per watt, but 500 watts is low. We had 650 last season and it covered our needs on sunny days. We upped it to 1050 this year. dont forget about all the wire. It's always the peripheral stuff that brings the costs up.
Spare windlass is at least 1k, probably closer to 2. And spare lines add up quick as well.
I really do recomend spending some time aboard as is before adding much. Things we feel we need, when at home, dont end up being as important once aboard. Other things we never even thought of become very important! Spare bilge pump, fresh water pump, engine water pump, ect. Those 3 alone can add to 1k. So it all depends on the boat, what it comes with, and what breaks.
Spend a year local, or at least coastal and push the boat and yourself. If something breaks, buy a replacement and a spare.
With ex charter, I would focus on the heavy use/abuse items. Engines, sails, props, upholstery... check the keels well on haulout. I've seen many charters push right to the beach and ground.
Good luck
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Old 13-07-2021, 08:13   #7
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Re: Buying Leopard Ex-charter: What do I spend my $ on first?

The hard part will be sailing it back to the BVI from the US as once you get to the Turks and Caicos the wind will be hard on the nose for the rest of the way. You might want to read The Thornless Path to Windward. ( You can also do that route in reverse, I know as I have done it.) You could ship the stuff you want marked Yacht in Transit and that would get it in duty free to the BVI or wherever. Or just ship it to the USVI and pick it up there.
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Old 13-07-2021, 08:19   #8
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Re: Buying Leopard Ex-charter: What do I spend my $ on first?

Spare windlass? Thatís an odd one.

Youíre low On the lithium too.
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Old 13-07-2021, 08:22   #9
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Re: Buying Leopard Ex-charter: What do I spend my $ on first?

All I can say is the 48 is a really nice yacht. Easy to sail. You can sail single handed if you need to.

Good luck and enjoy.
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Old 13-07-2021, 08:31   #10
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Re: Buying Leopard Ex-charter: What do I spend my $ on first?

Hope you have another spare $10-30k+ for unexpected repair items. How old is boat? 5+ years and you may be due for running rigging, coming up on standing rigging, engine repairs/replacement, etc. Some charter boats are used very hard. And what about safety equipment, dinghy, insurance. etc? 48 is a beautiful boat, but limited haul out facilities, docking, and mooring. Don’t know your overall situation, but you might want to look more in the 40 range and have a bit more funds for upgrades/spares/repairs/etc.
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Old 13-07-2021, 08:36   #11
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Re: Buying Leopard Ex-charter: What do I spend my $ on first?

What did your survey show???
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Old 13-07-2021, 08:37   #12
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Re: Buying Leopard Ex-charter: What do I spend my $ on first?

As said above. Move aboard and get to know the boat 1st. Inventory any parts it comes with and don't throw anything out until you're sure you'll never need it and have identified it and what it does.

If you're going to anchor then obviously get a really good anchor. Condition of the chain and /or rode? Spare windlass? That would be very far down on the list for me. LiFePO4 batteries. Yep. Putting those in now BUT, these are NEVER just a drop in replacement. Yes, they are 12 volt if you buy one premade but that's where the similarities end. LiFePo4 are part of a system and that gets complicated, labor intensive and expensive. In the long haul they are the cheaper way to go if you're spending lots of time on the hook. Going out for a few days here and there, not. You'll need to look at and modify charging systems, monitoring systems, new cut off switches, alternator regulators etc..
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Old 13-07-2021, 08:43   #13
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Re: Buying Leopard Ex-charter: What do I spend my $ on first?

former charter boats usually have high engine hours.
My first priority would be a good look at engines and do maintenance like adjusting rocker arm gaps, fuel hoses and filters, coolant hoses and system, exhaust system, engine oil test, check any anodes in the system, water pump">raw water pump and impellor, etc.
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Old 13-07-2021, 08:56   #14
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Re: Buying Leopard Ex-charter: What do I spend my $ on first?

Guys, lots of guessing here, lets hear what the survey revealed.
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Old 13-07-2021, 09:16   #15
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Re: Buying Leopard Ex-charter: What do I spend my $ on first?

I'm picking mine up in December so in the exact same boat as you...'scuse the pun.

My list so far:

- upgraded safety (AIS, PFD's, check liferaft as I've heard stories of Moorings' life rafts)
- watermaker (rainman)
- solar and lithium
- new props
- downwind sail
- tender (moorings boats don't typically come with tender unless you've specified in the contract)
- new anchor and chain
- running rigging and misc.
- I've got some unnecessaries in there like transom lights and radar too.
- washing machine as we live aboard

And, I know half of this forum will tell me how much cheaper they could do it, thats going to be setting me back around $100k. Lithium and solar the largest of that.

The thing is, if you're going fork out that much on the boat you really don't want to cheapen for a later sale so you've got to fork out and dot properly.

Good luck and I'm sure we'll see you out on the water.

Cheers
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