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Old 27-09-2017, 14:44   #1
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Buy a barebone or buy a loaded used boat?

I am looking for a sailboat around 37' for cruising east coast and Caribbean. What would you do? Buy a barebone boat and equip it as you like it with newer gear or buy a well equipped boat. I figure about 20-30K for materials to fully equip the boat using my labor. I am considering Tartan 37 or similar and most barebones run around 30K and well equipped one around 60.
Thank you for your advice.
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Old 27-09-2017, 14:57   #2
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Re: Buy a barebone or buy a loaded used boat?

Hull, Deck, Engine, Rig, Sails, Steering ... get whichever boat that has these in the best condition ... then upgrade the rest as your fancy takes you.

... well, that was my philosophy.
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Old 27-09-2017, 14:58   #3
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Re: Buy a barebone or buy a loaded used boat?

( for me ) if I can get one already done to my liking then why not , why all the hassle ( other than you will know intimately all your systems , but they can also be learned )
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Old 27-09-2017, 15:04   #4
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Re: Buy a barebone or buy a loaded used boat?

I think most people will suggest to get a reliable boat, live with it, and modify it to your personal preferences as you go. Just because it has upgrades doesn't mean they're the right upgrades for you.
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Old 27-09-2017, 15:11   #5
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Re: Buy a barebone or buy a loaded used boat?

This is what i have been leaning towards. This is how I came up with the number
AIS 900
vhf 400
radar (not sure I need it) 2400
windvane 4000
Windlass 2000
autopilot 3000
mainsail 1900
Genoa 1900
jib 1600
refrigerator 1500
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Old 27-09-2017, 15:13   #6
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Re: Buy a barebone or buy a loaded used boat?

You are making it a little too black and white. A boat with many upgrades might also have much better basics too - or it might not. If it has for example a $6,000 watermaker onboard, it might be priced $1,500 more than one without (just an example). Or have a dinghy and outboard that new might be $3,500, but adds little to the selling price. The standing rigging might be new or it might be 25 years old.
One place I think the upgrade is worth it and priced in is when you see a newer replacement diesel on an older boat. You really need to figure out what the value of the boat is to you and then compare to the price you might actually get it at.
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Old 27-09-2017, 15:20   #7
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Re: Buy a barebone or buy a loaded used boat?

Yes Paul. I don't think I would want to tackle changing an engine. Both for cost and expertise.
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Old 27-09-2017, 15:27   #8
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Re: Buy a barebone or buy a loaded used boat?

Surely we can take it as given that if you buy a loaded / prepped boat then it has the type of stuff which you would want , otherwise it is a pointless discussion , Likewise if it is a barebones then it will come with good standing rigging , engine , standard systems etc etc , basically a sound boat .
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Old 27-09-2017, 15:30   #9
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Re: Buy a barebone or buy a loaded used boat?

I haven't seen many boats with systems that i liked: too basic, too old, too complex, too expensive, too heavy, inadequate installation, ...

I prefer basic barebone and equip to my liking. But that comes at a significant cost: my spare time!

I can do better installations than most "professionals" simply because I have the dedication and plenty of time to do things right. I can get decent deals on most equipment simply because I have the time to find them.
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Old 27-09-2017, 17:01   #10
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Re: Buy a barebone or buy a loaded used boat?

I bought an older, but lightly used boat that had essentially zero equipment, not even a decent anchor or windlass.
You will spend far in excess of what you have listed I bet, things like autopilots and some others will become pretty much necessities I believe, and an older functioning Radar and autopilot are just fine, you may not actually need the latest and greatest everything
Things cost way more than you might think and take way more work and money to install than you may think.
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Old 27-09-2017, 17:55   #11
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Re: Buy a barebone or buy a loaded used boat?

I agree w A64, you can easily spend WAY more than you estimate (been there done that too). A used, well equipped, cruising boat can be a great buy.

Had a friend, totally new to sailing, who bought a Pearson 36 as a trail boat a few years back. It was very well equiped (gear aboard alone was probably close to purchase price of boat). Being a total newbie, he had no idea about this though.

Recently he upgraded to a Lagoon 38 which he bought out of a charter fleet. Good boat in good condition. A good buy I think, but needed almost everything for cruising. Now that he has dropped significant $ on outfitting the new boat he has a whole new appreaciation of what a great value buy the previous boat was.
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Old 27-09-2017, 18:00   #12
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Re: Buy a barebone or buy a loaded used boat?

I understand that I am ignoring the labor. But my list is about half of the 30k figure. Even with rigging replaced,dingy,and water maker it is still less than 30k.
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Old 27-09-2017, 19:03   #13
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Re: Buy a barebone or buy a loaded used boat?

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Originally Posted by AmirB View Post
Yes Paul. I don't think I would want to tackle changing an engine. Both for cost and expertise.
Yes,but you are looking at older boats and many will have old diesels in them, some good, many long in the tooth.
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Old 27-09-2017, 19:08   #14
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Re: Buy a barebone or buy a loaded used boat?

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Surely we can take it as given that if you buy a loaded / prepped boat then it has the type of stuff which you would want , otherwise it is a pointless discussion , Likewise if it is a barebones then it will come with good standing rigging , engine , standard systems etc etc , basically a sound boat .
Those are pretty strong 'take it as a givens'. The reality is a little more nuanced. The barebones boat will not come with all systems 'good' for the purpose the OP wants and the loaded boat will not come with the perfect match of equipment for the OPs use.
A used older boat in the usd$30k range will be a compromise.
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Old 27-09-2017, 19:36   #15
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Re: Buy a barebone or buy a loaded used boat?

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Those are pretty strong 'take it as a givens'. The reality is a little more nuanced. The barebones boat will not come with all systems 'good' for the purpose the OP wants and the loaded boat will not come with the perfect match of equipment for the OPs use.
A used older boat in the usd$30k range will be a compromise.
I am not so sure that the Op is expecting anything " perfect " in any either of his price ranges , but certainly should be looking for " pretty darn good " at those prices .
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