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Old 21-10-2020, 13:14   #1
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Can anyone tell me about the Northwest 38? Too much boat for a new sailor?

Making another thread to ask about a boat I'm considering buying as an new sailor with no experience and liveaboard aspirations. I've gotten so much great advice form you all already- I can't overstate how much I appreciate how helpful this community has been.

https://seattle.craigslist.org/kit/b...217089046.html

The owner said he's willing to accept an offer of $4000 cash, with a chance of transferable liveaboard moorage in Port Orchard, WA. This is enticing, but I'm pretty worried about taking on such a big project. I'd like to have it surveyed (I'm currently back in Colorado- anyone know a good surveyor in the area they can recommend to have a look in my absence?), but based on what you guys can see, do you get the sense of this being a nightmare project for a beginner, both in terms of repairs and learning to sail on a pretty large boat like this one? My aspirations for now are just to stay on it with my two cats and work my remote job from the boat while learning to sail and maintain it. No plans to take it outside the Puget Sound for now, and performance is less importance to me than comfort and single-handed ease of use.

I also am having a hard time finding information about the Northwest 38, likely due to its ambiguous name, so any info there would be hugely helpful. I already know from the great advice I've been given here that it's probably best to get something mainstream like a Catalina, but maybe these Northwest boats are more common than I'm realizing, idk. All I've upturned is its basic data:

https://sailboatdata.com/sailboat/northwest-38

Here are my previous threads, if more context about my situation helps:

https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...le-239277.html

https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...or-241270.html
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Old 21-10-2020, 15:19   #2
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Re: Can anyone tell me about the Northwest 38? Too much boat for a new sailor?

Run away......it appears to be a project in need of a dedicated multi-talented owner with a large bank account. When completed the cash and time outlay will far exceed the value. This is not a sought after classic awaiting restoration.
The pup however, looks fine
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Old 21-10-2020, 16:23   #3
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Re: Can anyone tell me about the Northwest 38? Too much boat for a new sailor?

Man I hate it when owners of things do not have a title, or it is not up to date.

Aside from the boat problems, you will have to deal with getting it transferred without proper documents which can be a nightmare depending on the state and the new title you receive probably will not be a clean one.

If it has been sitting in water for years chances are there is an incredible amount of growth on the bottom and the propeller / shaft are probably encased in barnicles.

If the zinc on the shaft is gone the shaft is probably done, if he did not do a good job of storage there will be mold everywhere.

Maybe if he actually went out and got a title made to be able to sell the boat proper it would be worth something.
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Old 22-10-2020, 13:01   #4
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Re: Can anyone tell me about the Northwest 38? Too much boat for a new sailor?

You guys are completely right, I think I was just being blinded by the hope that this could potentially be a great 38 footer for $4000 and some elbow grease. I'm really looking more in the 26'-30' range anyway, so I'll keep searching.
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Old 23-10-2020, 03:11   #5
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Re: Can anyone tell me about the Northwest 38? Too much boat for a new sailor?

Nothing cheap about a cheap boat. For $4K Id say it does nothing more than float and needs a new everything.
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Old 23-10-2020, 05:43   #6
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Re: Can anyone tell me about the Northwest 38? Too much boat for a new sailor?

Ditto on all of the above. Demilich, many threads here-on have made it clear that taking on a project boat is not wise when you are new to sailing or living aboard. Part of that is cost (project boats end up costing more than ready-to-sail) and it being no fun to live in a construction site. The other part is that a project boat will prevent your sailing, which is what you need to be doing. Projects take forever, and the problems that you see now are only the surface.

So, I and others here-on recommend that you sacrifice size and spend more if possible to get yourself a boat that allows a prior-to-sale sail. If it checks out, and you can live in it, then it may be worthy of serious consideration.

Best wishes on your quest.
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Old 23-10-2020, 05:58   #7
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Re: Can anyone tell me about the Northwest 38? Too much boat for a new sailor?

Deed burned in "the fire", but the boat does have "lots of working parts"...

Sage advice above, I'd recommend passing on this one.

To your question though, I don't think that type or size of boat is too much for a beginner, it's just the particulars of THAT boat that make it one to pass up (unless you're VERY mechanically inclined and a fan of faded burnt orange and trippy wallpaper patterns). My first boat was a 36 footer in Hawaii when I was 22. I had NO idea what I was doing, but took things slowly and figured it out over the years. There's plenty to be said about taking lessons along the way, or befriending people at the marina who would be willing to take you out as well.
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Old 23-10-2020, 06:06   #8
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Re: Can anyone tell me about the Northwest 38? Too much boat for a new sailor?

Suggest you read this before opening your wallet ...
Marine Survey 101
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Old 23-10-2020, 06:56   #9
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Re: Can anyone tell me about the Northwest 38? Too much boat for a new sailor?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Orion Jim View Post
Run away......it appears to be a project in need of a dedicated multi-talented owner with a large bank account. When completed the cash and time outlay will far exceed the value. This is not a sought after classic awaiting restoration.
The pup however, looks fine
Like Orion Jim said.

Unfortunately, that is a derelict boat.

Keep on looking,
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Old 24-10-2020, 02:14   #10
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Re: Can anyone tell me about the Northwest 38? Too much boat for a new sailor?

I was in your position this time last year. I am a belt and braces guy but I consider myself fairly competent to fix anything mechanical, electrical or grp. I chose to keep the boat size small for ease of single handing, and for economy.
I am now in an old Colvic 27 that was built strong and simple and has been very well maintained by previous owners.
I think ahead at the long passages I have planned and know I have made the right choice, in harbour it would be nice to have more space but the smaller more simple boat is much more easily repaired etc.
I am sitting here now with my just arrived anchor winch that is this week's project.
Next week will be wind generator.

I live aboard in preparation for a long trip starting as soon as possible.
My advice would be to get a boat that is structurally sound and in good order. Any furnishings and fixtures and fittings should be well within your skill range, the structure itself and the engine, mast and rigging etc is easier to get to grips with when it is more familiar and you understand better how each part performs and affects the structure.
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