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Old 04-06-2022, 10:01   #1
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General strategies for finding a small cruiser...

I have a small budget, about $14,000, and I would like to find a small cruiser. I have a basic understanding of what to look for. I would love to find a cape Dory 26, 27, Albin vega, triton, or anything comparable. I don't mind if it needs a little work but I don't want a project boat.



The difficulty seems to be finding one. I look daily on craigslist (for all of Florida) and Facebook marketplace. I tried casting a wider net with Google searches, but the pickings are pretty slim. I missed a chance on a cape Dory because I hesitated. That thing was gone in a day.



Just wondering if there's method or strategy I'm missing.
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Old 04-06-2022, 10:29   #2
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Re: General startegirs for finding a small cruiser...

In Florida there are 21 sailboats listed on Boat Trader between 1,000-15,000

https://www.boattrader.com/boats/typ...ce-1000,15000/
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Old 04-06-2022, 10:33   #3
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Re: General startegirs for finding a small cruiser...

I think your price point, boat family and minimal project desire is a little misaligned. Although in Florida you might find something with time .
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Old 04-06-2022, 11:26   #4
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Re: General startegirs for finding a small cruiser...

I know, I'm hoping to get a little lucky.


I didn't mean to say that I can't do any work to it, just that I don't want something that has to be completely gutted and rebuilt from the ground up. I am finishing up restoring a cal 20 that needed literally everything. Blisters all over the whole, keel had to be dropped and reattached, bulkheads rotted needed to be torn out and replaced, deck hardware all needed to be rebedded, and the list goes on. I just don't want something like that. I don't mind if I have to do the bottom paint or replace some standing rigging or fix a little bit of cosmetic or TLC type stuff.



But I realize that may still be unrealistic.
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Old 04-06-2022, 13:37   #5
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Re: General startegirs for finding a small cruiser...

A worthwhile book.

www.twocansail.com

Their five step plan to boat ownership asks a lot of very good questions
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Old 04-06-2022, 13:51   #6
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Re: General startegirs for finding a small cruiser...

Are you in Florida and thats why you are looking there?
If yes, i would suggest being more proactive.
Go to boatyards and marinas and talk to people, ask around, also make up a flyer to hand out and post on bulletin boards with what you are looking for.
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Old 04-06-2022, 13:55   #7
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Re: General startegirs for finding a small cruiser...

Quote:
Originally Posted by cyrano138 View Post
I have a small budget, about $14,000, and I would like to find a small cruiser. I have a basic understanding of what to look for. I would love to find a cape Dory 26, 27, Albin vega, triton, or anything comparable. I don't mind if it needs a little work but I don't want a project boat.

The difficulty seems to be finding one. I look daily on craigslist (for all of Florida) and Facebook marketplace. I tried casting a wider net with Google searches, but the pickings are pretty slim. I missed a chance on a cape Dory because I hesitated. That thing was gone in a day.

Just wondering if there's method or strategy I'm missing.
I don't think there are any shortcuts. The Internet is just one source with multiple listings plus craigslist, ebay, facebook, salvage boat sites, etc. Local sailing/boating magazines. Yacht club and marina billboard postings. Just walking marina docks for boats that the owner has a posted For Sale sign up. At that price point you are not likely to get much broker interest. Boat owner forums if you are set on a specific make. Putting the word out that your interested in buying to all these that you have visited. Marina boat auctions for unpayed bills. Lastly, there is nothing wrong in asking an owner of a boat you like if they are interested in selling it.

You just have to be persistent. Don't give up.

Good Luck.
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Old 04-06-2022, 14:12   #8
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Re: General startegirs for finding a small cruiser...

They are ALL project boats.


I am not being sarcastic. I am not pulling your leg.


We have all heard: "A boat is a hole in the water, into which you throw your money." These are some of the truest words you will ever hear.


Know this. Accept this. Internalize this. Do not delude yourself. It is like Heroin. If that is O.K., then proceed.



A $20,000 small cruiser that is NOT a project boat, Is open. About 15 1/2 feet long and is called a Drascombe Dabber. It will remain...NOT a project boat about one season. It is small, open and not a project boat because for $20,000 it will be new. Of course it's tiny, has no amenities and no cabin.



The DAY you buy a used boat, ANY used boat I assure you, it is already a project boat. Boats operate in a savage environment that will actively seek to corrode, rot and decay every single item on the boat from day one.


Other than aircraft and racing cars. I cannot think of another hobby so guaranteed to be a continuous and ongoing project.


On the upside, there is nothing else like it.
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Old 04-06-2022, 14:19   #9
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Re: General startegirs for finding a small cruiser...

??????race horses? (for another expensive hobby)

I really sympathize with not wanting another total restoration! I think prowling marinas is a good idea to help the OP, both for looking for boats, and with the marina management, for auctions for boats with unpaid bills.

Good luck with it.

Ann
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Old 04-06-2022, 14:39   #10
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Re: General startegirs for finding a small cruiser...

https://www.sailboatlistings.com/cgi...atching+Boats+
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Old 04-06-2022, 14:49   #11
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Re: General startegirs for finding a small cruiser...

I found my boat on sailboatlistings.com. I paid $5000 and have got a little more than that into it in 3 seasons. It's a New Horizons 26, and while I've done some work, it's mostly been upgrades that aren't strictly necessary, like solar, LiFePo4 batteries, a windlass, roller furling and a new headsail.
I can't think of a single thing I've had to do, other than change a coil, that has been strictly needed.
I bought it at the very beginning of the pandemic though, and the seller was pretty motivated. It was about a 4 hour drive from me, but it had a tandem axle trailer in good shape included. I made a trip to look and put down 10% deposit and returned a few days later to bring it home.
There are bargains out there if you are patient and open-minded.
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Old 04-06-2022, 14:58   #12
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Re: General startegirs for finding a small cruiser...

I suggest reading Fatty Goodlanders Buy, Outfit and Sail before deciding on a paticular type of boat. Cult brands that you mention command a 2-3x higher price than other production models and are not as roomy, fast, or seaworthy than more modern designs, IMHO (sorry to stir a bees nest). While Fatty is against fin keels, I will differ with him having cruised extensively on both. Project boats are those with soft decks, serious osmosis common to pre 90's builds, sunken, no engine, etc. However most serious projects can be completed with common skills, time and a little money. How seaworthy your new boat will be depends more on your preparation and knowledge, than the design.
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Old 04-06-2022, 15:02   #13
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Re: General startegirs for finding a small cruiser...

https://www.yachtworld.com/boats-for...y/?length=0-27
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Old 04-06-2022, 18:11   #14
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Re: General startegirs for finding a small cruiser...

While looking for my boats I just spent a great deal of time perusing the boatyards. My first boat was being listed by a76 year old gentleman that wasn't savvy with the internet. I believe I would not have found such a great boat had I gone the accepted routes. I'm in a place where my options were very limited because there are so few yards to visit. If you are in Florida there must be hundreds of places to look. Good luck with it.
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Old 04-06-2022, 21:29   #15
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Re: General startegirs for finding a small cruiser...

Agree with all the comments about asking around marinas. There are some good deals out there but you won't see them with yachtworld or a broker. Don't know if the pricing is realistic but with the right boat.....
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