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Old 26-12-2017, 03:50   #1
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How much boat can I afford?

Hello, forum!

I'm new, and I have a newbie question. Let's say I have 100 k to spend on a good, used cruiser in the 32-foot range and all that comes with it. (I've sailed all my life but never owned.)

From your experience, what's the most I can afford to spend on the purchase of the boat itself? That is, what percentage is the cost of the boat of everything else I'll need to spend to outfit, update, repair, renew in the foreseeable future?

Though new to this forum, I'm not new to the Internet, so I foresee droll answers like "all of it." But is there a ratio of initial cost-to-expenditures that seasoned buyers use to determine what they can afford?

Thanks,

Ned
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Old 26-12-2017, 04:06   #2
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Re: How much boat can I afford?

Ned, no doubt some people will have numbers for you, and no doubt any two answers will disagree. Problem is, there's so many variables, not the least of which is you: how handy you are, how self-sufficient, how resourceful, what systems you consider essential and which you don't care about.
With that budget, I could easily find a suitable 32-footer and outfit her, but I do most of my own work, and go very light on systems and electronics. And I know what I want in a boat--which is huge, cause it saves time on looking up blind alleys.
Example: a friend found and Ingrid 38 for $40,000 in prime condition: didn't NEED anything. Sails, rigging, engine all good. Launch and go. But those don't come up every day. Another friend found a Allied Seawind for $3000. Needs work, but with $97k left over, I could turn it into a luxury Seawind.
My advice then is: know what you want, spend some time looking around, and be realistic about what sort of systems, features, and upgrades you can't do without. There's deals out there--you just have to find one that's right for you.
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Old 26-12-2017, 04:08   #3
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Re: How much boat can I afford?

You don't say what you plan to do with the boat. If it is long distance cruising then the upgrades will be much more than weekend sailing. Obviously how much you have to put into the boat depends on the condition of the boat you purchase. Does it need a new engine, new sails......?
25% for upgrades is not an unreasonable amount to budget.
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Old 26-12-2017, 04:15   #4
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Re: How much boat can I afford?

Hi Ned and welcome to the forum.

Usually I try to be droll but it's a little too early in the morning. I'll come back later and see if I can do better.

Then to the question, the answer like many, depends.

First $100k should get you a very good 32' boat in very good condition and, with care and a little luck, should take little upgrading and repairs. However several things could impact this.

- How many and how complex systems are on the boat or will you want. A basic boat with basic radio, GPS and maybe small solar panel should be no problem. A boat with everything: integrated electronics with chartplotter, AIS, autopilot, wind, etc, large fridge/freezer, air conditioning, generator will obviously be much more likely to need repairs or replacements.

- How tolerant are you with older systems that are working just fine? Is that OK or do you want to replace that 5-10 year old GPS with the latest?

- A big factor, how are your DIY skills? Expect it to cost at least double or triple and up to 5-10 times more to pay a yard or professional to do a job vs the cost to DIY.

- Another very big one, is this just for the initial purchase and prep or to including ongoing living and boating expenses?

A suggestion. You are not the first person to ever ask this question. In one form or another it probably comes up every month if not more often. A little searching on the forum can yield a lot of information. For example, Sailorboy1 has been posting monthly updates on exactly what he has spent the previous month while cruising.
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Old 26-12-2017, 04:35   #5
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Re: How much boat can I afford?

Thank you for these answers.

I realize that this question is probably asked a lot. I appreciate your patience.

While I was fiddling around I found a long thread started by someone who was pondering cruising for $500 a month. That was a very informative thing.

1) Not handy. My biggest drawback. That, and dyslexia. I'm taking classes.

2) 100k is the whole amount there is to spend for now. Sounds like I'm getting that $,3000 Allied and doing the Spartan upgrade.

3) Planning the idyllic retirement of living on the thing and cruising up and down the east coast, nothing ambitious, for now.

4) I don't need gadgets and I can read a chart, but I would want the basic necessities.
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Old 26-12-2017, 04:39   #6
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Re: How much boat can I afford?

One of those related threads was started with a guy whose annual "passive income" is greater than my overall budget. I'm curious: Who out there is not a millionaire, just someone who'd rather bum around in a boat than on land?
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Old 26-12-2017, 05:07   #7
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Re: How much boat can I afford?

Doesn't it depend on the condition and equipment on the boat. what you want to do with it, and you planned income? I think if you have $100k to spend and are willing to spend it it most likely will cost you $90-110k.
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Old 26-12-2017, 05:21   #8
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pirate Re: How much boat can I afford?

As much as you can afford to lose..
Realistically you should be able to pick up a decent 32ftr for less than $50K leaving the same amount to sort any minor issues with at least $40K of it left over to use as a cruising budget..
The area your cruising is not particularly challenging (bar the running aground) and not needing all the bells and whistles means you'll be focusing on boat quality rather than the quantity of second hand toys needing replacing.
A quick look at a USA selection shows some nice Island Packets, Southern Crosses and other more 'traditional designs' well within the $50K.. also a few Bene's, Bavaria's and other newer 'Euro designs' so its all comes down to your taste and age acceptable..
There's a nice Allied Seawind (27K) with centreboard that's great for the E Coast and the ICW.. fewer groundings.
Browse then walk the boards come spring..
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Old 26-12-2017, 05:33   #9
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Re: How much boat can I afford?

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Originally Posted by NedX View Post
Let's say I have 100 k to spend on a good, used cruiser in the 32-foot range and all that comes with it. (I've sailed all my life but never owned.)...

Not a bad question, but this is also another of those “it depends” questions – as always, what are your maintenance skills/proclivities, do you like to “make it yours” or do you want a turn-key; and, as has been suggested, what do you foresee as the use you’ll put the boat – I’m always trying to build an ocean cruiser, which usually only gets used as a day sailor... I seem to like to skin my knuckles puttering with older, hand-me-down vessels, so a $100K budget would be an extravagance I’d be ill equipped to know how handle, but for someone who wants the professional yard to provide the most up-to-date equipment using all that sophisticated technology can provide, it might not begin to be enough. In my world, $100K would probably leave me about $75K still in the bank (or frivolously squandered on adult beverages) once I had a 28-34 footer about where I wanted it, but…

To answer your main question – for a “used” boat, I figure the invested price will double in about the first 1-3 years as new gadgets find their way aboard and I fix things the way I want them… The one time I used a professional yard for a sizeable vessel, the price had almost tripled and the quality of the structural work didn’t even meet my lowly standards – although they could slather on varnish better than me… Sounds like you already know boats, so my guess is you’ve already settled on an answer that suits you… go with it…
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Old 26-12-2017, 06:04   #10
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Re: How much boat can I afford?

.....almost all 32ft sailboats are really sloooowwwwwwwwwww so you better have plenty of time ............suggest an older high quality 40 ft-er as the price of these has really dropped a lot in past 4 years.........
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Old 26-12-2017, 06:40   #11
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Re: How much boat can I afford?

You can get alot if 32 ft boat for 100k!!! I know you didn't ask what type of boat but if I was looking that sort or size with that sort of money I'd look at something like this http://www.yachtworld.com/boats/1997...s#.WkJQGp-EbqA

Very good quality, fast, classy, soooo easy to sail and you'd still have money in the bank. Sorry, bit of a little drift.
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Old 26-12-2017, 07:18   #12
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Re: How much boat can I afford?

It’s really an impossible question to answer. You could not find a 34’ Bristol Channel Cutter in your price range but you could pick up an old Pearson for a song.

There’s a whole spectrum of quality/condition/price and where you want to land on it is a function of what you want to do with the boat, where you want to go, your skill set and time frame, etc.

You’ll get better advice all around if you can provide detailed information about what you want to do with the boat and your anticipated equipment.
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Old 26-12-2017, 07:36   #13
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Re: How much boat can I afford?

Most older 30 ft boats sell for $15-20K. You can pay more for quality but it is not worth it at this size. We are talking about >20 year old boats here. Newer boats could cost more but you either finance new or buy old, otherwise it makes little sense.

In terms of maintenance and upgrades, budget around $3K per year + slip fees. Save the rest. Heed the advice to be prepared to lose everything if you spot the heat around the corner
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Old 26-12-2017, 07:41   #14
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Re: How much boat can I afford?

Quote:
Originally Posted by geoleo View Post
.....almost all 32ft sailboats are really sloooowwwwwwwwwww so you better have plenty of time ............suggest an older high quality 40 ft-er as the price of these has really dropped a lot in past 4 years.........
Typical hull speed of a 32 footer is 7 knots, typical hull speed of a 40 footer is <8 knots. You can get the bigger boat if you need more space and seagoing capacity not speed.
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Old 26-12-2017, 07:50   #15
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Re: How much boat can I afford?

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Typical hull speed of a 32 footer is 7 knots, typical hull speed of a 40 footer is <8 knots. You can get the bigger boat if you need more space and seagoing capacity not speed.
Out of politeness and because I am new I wasn't going to say anything about this. I will take my Soling 27 with its tiny little jib upwind in ways that a Westsail 32 can only dream about, but I can't venture past Boston Outer Harbor in it. So it's a moot point.
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