Cruisers Forum
 


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 02-03-2020, 10:03   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2020
Posts: 7
How to buy an east coast boat from the West? (Great Loop question)

I'm thinking about maybe doing a Great Loop trip someday, and I'm wondering about the mechanics of buying a boat for this purpose. I've never owned anything bigger than a small ski boat, so this is new territory for me. I live on the West Coast of the USA, so to do the Loop I'd need to purchase a boat somewhere along (or near) the loop. I plan to buy used, and maybe/probably sell the boat when completed.

How is this best done, and how long does the process take? Is it best to hire a broker, let them take care of everything (survey, sea trial?) and just fly in for final inspection and signing? Or do I need to do this in person, and plan to spend some time in the area I want to buy? It seems one can start the loop from just about any location (provided it's the right time of year), so is there a particular area, or time of year, that might be best for purchasing?

(I realize there are considerable costs associated with doing the loop and will budget for these, but I'd like to minimize the cost of the buying process, without getting taken for a ride.)

Thanks,

KJ
MaybeSomeday is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2020, 10:19   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2020
Posts: 7
Re: How to buy an east coast boat from the West? (Great Loop question)

Anyone?
MaybeSomeday is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2020, 10:32   #3
Registered User
 
Cheechako's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Skagit City, WA
Posts: 23,113
Re: How to buy an east coast boat from the West? (Great Loop question)

For the loop (although I haven't done it!) I would think maybe just a powerboat cruiser would be adequate. Pick a state to register in that you wont have to pay sales tax on the boat. (how to do that is a long story) Although the expenditure for a smallish (24 - 28 ft?) power boat shouldn't be huge if that is adequate for you, so the tax shouldn't be huge like buying a big sailboat or etc. . If you live in a state that has no tax do it there. Don't tell them the boat is not in the state. They may not let you register.
When it comes to gas powerboats, it's all about engine, outdrive and tankage. Engines wear out early due to it's heavy service on engines like that, tanks rust or corrode under the floor. Getting one with a GM engine like a 350 is a plus. There are tons of parts and etc cheap. Ford and Chrysler engines are less available. A rebuilt engine for a GM 350 was only $1600 bucks last I looked. Cause there are so many out there. Watercooled exhaust manifolds are a weak point to watch for also.
Could be a great trip.
__________________
"I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard











Cheechako is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2020, 16:54   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Ensenada
Boat: 1970 Willard 36 Trawler
Posts: 1,110
Re: How to buy an east coast boat from the West? (Great Loop question)

Quote:
Originally Posted by MaybeSomeday View Post
I'm thinking about maybe doing a Great Loop trip someday, and I'm wondering about the mechanics of buying a boat for this purpose. I've never owned anything bigger than a small ski boat, so this is new territory for me. I live on the West Coast of the USA, so to do the Loop I'd need to purchase a boat somewhere along (or near) the loop. I plan to buy used, and maybe/probably sell the boat when completed.

How is this best done, and how long does the process take? Is it best to hire a broker, let them take care of everything (survey, sea trial?) and just fly in for final inspection and signing? Or do I need to do this in person, and plan to spend some time in the area I want to buy? It seems one can start the loop from just about any location (provided it's the right time of year), so is there a particular area, or time of year, that might be best for purchasing?

(I realize there are considerable costs associated with doing the loop and will budget for these, but I'd like to minimize the cost of the buying process, without getting taken for a ride.)

Thanks,

KJ
Missing some important information. Budget, how much time do you have, number of people, etc.

Google "great loop boat" and spend some time on AGLCA and you'll have a ton of info. Finally, TrawlerForum.com had a decent for sale column with trawlers and such which tend to be preferred boats due to height and comfort.

Peter
mvweebles is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2020, 18:46   #5
Registered User
 
Jammer's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,731
Re: How to buy an east coast boat from the West? (Great Loop question)

Quote:
Originally Posted by MaybeSomeday View Post
How is this best done, and how long does the process take? Is it best to hire a broker, let them take care of everything (survey, sea trial?) and just fly in for final inspection and signing? Or do I need to do this in person, and plan to spend some time in the area I want to buy? It seems one can start the loop from just about any location (provided it's the right time of year), so is there a particular area, or time of year, that might be best for purchasing?

Hi KJ


A few Facts to Consider.


1) The amount of money you plan to spend is a factor. Some looper boats are inexpensive enough that many buyers do not obtain a survey or utilize the services of a broker.



2) As a general rule, boats are cheaper in Florida than elsewhere on the Great Loop, because of the many boaters who decide to retire in Florida. The market there does not appear to have much seasonality


3) While everyone's situation is different, I would find it a worthwhile tradeoff to devote the time and airfare necessary to be present for the purchase. Most people find the purchase to be part of the fun, and there are fewer things to go wrong if you are present and can see things for yourself




Enjoy the journey
Jammer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2020, 14:25   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2020
Posts: 7
Re: How to buy an east coast boat from the West? (Great Loop question)

Thanks for the info!

Jammer, I'm trying to do this for minimal $$, so I'm guessing I'd spend between $30K and $100K (is this a reasonable expectation?), and hope to recoup as much as possible on resale. (There's only 2 of us cruising, so a smallish boat is fine, though it would be nice to have room to berth a couple guests from time to time).

Are you suggesting that one might find a boat such as this for sale, negotiate some sort of deal, long-distance, pending inspection and trial, and then fly in for a few days for final inspection/purchase? I thought a survey was more or less standard on a boat of this size (and most likely age). Especially for someone like me, whose knowledge only extends as far as small freshwater ski boats.
MaybeSomeday is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2020, 15:27   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Ensenada
Boat: 1970 Willard 36 Trawler
Posts: 1,110
Re: How to buy an east coast boat from the West? (Great Loop question)

Quote:
Originally Posted by MaybeSomeday View Post
Thanks for the info!

Jammer, I'm trying to do this for minimal $$, so I'm guessing I'd spend between $30K and $100K (is this a reasonable expectation?), and hope to recoup as much as possible on resale. (There's only 2 of us cruising, so a smallish boat is fine, though it would be nice to have room to berth a couple guests from time to time).

Are you suggesting that one might find a boat such as this for sale, negotiate some sort of deal, long-distance, pending inspection and trial, and then fly in for a few days for final inspection/purchase? I thought a survey was more or less standard on a boat of this size (and most likely age). Especially for someone like me, whose knowledge only extends as far as small freshwater ski boats.
Difficult to do the deal long distance. Pictures lie. It's a buyers market and will be for a long time. Use your internet surfing time to identify a launch point - Florida, for example. When you're ready, buy an old van, load up your worldly possessions, and head east. Within a month or so you'll have found something to buy and can complete the sale with you in close quarters to learn and steer the transaction in a comfortable direction. Then sell your van and off you go. When you're done, do the reverse, though will take much longer to sell the boat than to buy it.
mvweebles is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2020, 19:42   #8
Registered User
 
Jammer's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,731
Re: How to buy an east coast boat from the West? (Great Loop question)

Quote:
Originally Posted by MaybeSomeday View Post
Thanks for the info!

Jammer, I'm trying to do this for minimal $$, so I'm guessing I'd spend between $30K and $100K (is this a reasonable expectation?), and hope to recoup as much as possible on resale. (There's only 2 of us cruising, so a smallish boat is fine, though it would be nice to have room to berth a couple guests from time to time).

There are plenty of boats suitable for once around the Great Loop in that price range. If you are looking at sailboats, you'll have no trouble. My current favorite for a possible loop trip would be a Pacific Seacraft 37 -- they're big enough but (in the wing keel version) are shallow draft, and the mast is deck stepped and easier to carry for the low-clearance portions. There are certainly many less expensive choices.

If you're thinking of a trawler, you may have to be more careful. Most of the Grand Banks and similar are going to be out of your price range, and the many less expensive imported trawlers from the 70s/80s are turning out to be of widely varying and unpredictable build quality.



I think you would find that there is a pretty wide consensus that it is worthwhile (and feasible) to go through the full broker+surveyor dance at $100k. As the purchase price goes down, a point is eventually reached where that doesn't work or isn't worth it. For example for a $5000 boat, the commissions plus a full survey including haulout, launch, and sea trial would cost nearly as much as the purchase price -- and the results wouldn't be especially meaningful. But it's only $5000, so you pays your money and takes your chances.

While others may not agree, I would think that $30,000 is in a sort of DMZ where the cost of a survey is a significant part of the acquisition cost and also where the dollar amount of the broker commissions is small enough that the brokers are less willing to invest their time and energy in the transaction. Yet at the same time it is a lot of money to spend on a boat that has not been thoroughly vetted.



Quote:
Are you suggesting that one might find a boat such as this for sale, negotiate some sort of deal, long-distance, pending inspection and trial, and then fly in for a few days for final inspection/purchase? I thought a survey was more or less standard on a boat of this size (and most likely age). Especially for someone like me, whose knowledge only extends as far as small freshwater ski boats.

My first piece of advice would be to find a way to spend some time on the sort of boats you're thinking of buying. Take a class or a lesson, pay for a day trip.


My second piece of advice would be to do some browsing -- both online and in person -- before you make your buying decision. You could plan to spend a few days or a week in an area with many boats for sale, interview some brokers, look at some boats.



Then at that point you would be in a better position to arrange a more final purchasing trip. A good broker could help you make the most of it and have, for example, a surveyor lined up and a day set aside to go over whatever boat you might select.


It takes most people a year to go around the loop. It's worth investing some time up front to get the right boat, even if you know you're going to sell it at journey's end.
Jammer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2020, 22:28   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Santa Cruz
Boat: Boatless Again
Posts: 4,909
Re: How to buy an east coast boat from the West? (Great Loop question)

It took us two seasons to get around the loop, but we were in no hurry. Get a Florida broker. Its a power boat trip, but I considered buying a Gemini 105 and leaving the mast and sails in Florida. If you want to do it with just two people, get something in the 32-34 range so you can push it around the locks by yourself. Otherwise bring a third person. Twin screws or a bow thruster will make your life easier. I ended up with a GB42 that a friend loaned me.
donradcliffe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2020, 01:38   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 8,230
Re: How to buy an east coast boat from the West? (Great Loop question)

Quote:
Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
It took us two seasons to get around the loop, but we were in no hurry. Get a Florida broker. Its a power boat trip, but I considered buying a Gemini 105 and leaving the mast and sails in Florida. If you want to do it with just two people, get something in the 32-34 range so you can push it around the locks by yourself. Otherwise bring a third person. Twin screws or a bow thruster will make your life easier. I ended up with a GB42 that a friend loaned me.
We did the loop in a Gemini and it's a great option. Not much sailing so leaving the mast is a viable option (It will be down for 25-30% anyway).

I would try to find something in the Great Lakes over Florida as Florida's hot, humid, salty weather destroys boats if you don't keep up on maintenance.

Shallow draft and good control docking and locking is important as you will be lots of shallow areas and have to handle the boat in tight quarters regularly. I would recommend something in the mid-size for a couple...small enough for 2 to manage but large enough for 2 to be comfortable (biased but we feel the gemini fits that perfectly).

As far as buying, you can do preliminary via internet but really best to get out and look at the boat before making an offer. It's not a requirement to include a survey as part of the offer but you would be foolish not to include it as a requirement.

Also, if you are looking to buy, do the loop and sell...don't go for a boat that needs refurbishing. Refits bring almost nothing back in terms of resale and can easily eat up months and even years. Get something you are comfortable heading out in immediately and you will be much better off.
valhalla360 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2020, 04:48   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Ensenada
Boat: 1970 Willard 36 Trawler
Posts: 1,110
Re: How to buy an east coast boat from the West? (Great Loop question)

Quote:
Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
We did the loop in a Gemini and it's a great option. Not much sailing so leaving the mast is a viable option (It will be down for 25-30% anyway).

I would try to find something in the Great Lakes over Florida as Florida's hot, humid, salty weather destroys boats if you don't keep up on maintenance.

Shallow draft and good control docking and locking is important as you will be lots of shallow areas and have to handle the boat in tight quarters regularly. I would recommend something in the mid-size for a couple...small enough for 2 to manage but large enough for 2 to be comfortable (biased but we feel the gemini fits that perfectly).

As far as buying, you can do preliminary via internet but really best to get out and look at the boat before making an offer. It's not a requirement to include a survey as part of the offer but you would be foolish not to include it as a requirement.

Also, if you are looking to buy, do the loop and sell...don't go for a boat that needs refurbishing. Refits bring almost nothing back in terms of resale and can easily eat up months and even years. Get something you are comfortable heading out in immediately and you will be much better off.
Good point about resale and refurbishment. As a Florida resident, I can attest that the climate is hard on a boat. There's a reason Midwest or mid Atlantic boats call a slight premium.

If plan is to resale after the loop, consider popular brands that have a proven following. Buy a good example at a fair price and you'll sell relatively quickly at a fair price and not lose too much. For power, a Mainship would be hard to beat - there are several models and sizes to suit your needs. Solid boat for the loop.
mvweebles is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2020, 05:20   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Rochester, NY
Boat: Chris Craft Catalina 381
Posts: 1,318
Re: How to buy an east coast boat from the West? (Great Loop question)

There are tons of gas powered cabin cruisers out there. At this point, there are so many that they're cheap even in good condition. You'll spend more on fuel for the loop and they're not the easiest boats to sell. But if you find a good one, it's already pretty much bottomed out value-wise, so it won't be worth any less when you're done with it. Good ones are often out there for $40 - 60k depending on what the boat is.

So if you're finding that the more typical suggestions are out of your price range, that's an option that may give you a bit more size / comfort relative to cost.

Only thing to watch for with that type is that while most have enough range for the long gap in fuel stops on the loop as long as you run that section at lower speed, some would be a bit tight range-wise. Express cruisers tend to carry less fuel, but I'd rule them out for comfort reasons anyway.

As an example, there's a slightly newer (1987) version of my boat for sale on Yachtworld in Florida right now. Just under $60k including the dinghy according to the ad. Looks to be in good shape based on the ad, although engine hours are a hair high (just under 1400). Looks to have a reasonable electronics package at the helm including radar, and they've added a navigator seat next to the helm (which I've been considering doing on my boat). Based on the pictures, I'd estimate air draft on it to be around 15 feet with the radar installed on the arch. I would move the engine batteries and a few things around in the engine room though, as the placement they chose on that boat appears to hurt engine access a bit. Real-world draft in fresh water with a decently heavy load is 3'8" to the props (about 5" below the keel).

On the topic of useful boat features for the loop, look for good side decks for line handling (for docking and locks) and I'd want twins and/or thrusters for maneuverability.
rslifkin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2020, 05:54   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 8,230
Re: How to buy an east coast boat from the West? (Great Loop question)

Quote:
Originally Posted by mvweebles View Post
For power, a Mainship would be hard to beat - there are several models and sizes to suit your needs. Solid boat for the loop.
Always liked the old mainship 34 and you can find them under $30k in decent condition. With a single diesel, you get efficiency and range.
valhalla360 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2020, 13:22   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2020
Posts: 7
Re: How to buy an east coast boat from the West? (Great Loop question)

Thanks everyone, I'm seeing a lot of great advice here.

I hadn't intended this to be a thread on specific boat selection - I have a lot more research to do on that first. But, since it's gone there, let me throw this question into the mix:

Suppose I want to do this for the minimal boat cost possible, within reason ( I need to sleep 2, sometimes 4, comfortably and safely - I'm not doing this in a canoe . Boat cost, I'm guessing, includes something like:

Purchase cost +
Fuel cost for Loop (some boats more fuel efficient than others) +
Repair/maintenenance cost for a year +
Marina costs (probably spend ~30% of nights at Marina? charge is per foot)
minus
Money recovered by selling boat

(I know there are other loop costs, these seem to be the ones most influenced by boat choice)

What would be the best boat characteristics to minimize these costs? I'm guessing the answer is probably going to be some kind of sailboat, but what else should I be thinking? mvweebles and valhalla had good input: "don't put any money into refurbishing" and "buy a brand with a proven following". Anything else?
MaybeSomeday is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
boat, east coast

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Boat Transport from East coast to West Coast of USA stevesailor Atlantic & the Caribbean 2 18-01-2019 12:03
have boat on west coast another on east coast ? arch007 General Sailing Forum 3 04-05-2017 19:01
For Sale: (New) Waterway Guide Great Lakes (with Great Loop) 2015 - $20 skipgundlach Classifieds Archive 5 05-02-2016 15:10
Commuter Cruisers help - Buy/berth a boat on West Coast or East Coast? jimp1234 General Sailing Forum 13 30-01-2016 12:05
East Coast Shipper / Shipping on the East Coast ColdEH General Sailing Forum 2 29-06-2013 06:26

Advertise Here


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 00:50.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.