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Old 02-11-2016, 05:00   #16
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Re: Did you buy a 20 - 25 year old boat? please comment

I'll talk a little about mine although it's smaller than what your looking for, she's a 1972 W32, hull #48, this my second boat, I had been looking at several boats that fit my purpose and personal desires as far as what I look for in a "go anywhere boat", I kept coming back to the W32 and when I saw this one, I knew this was it, great PO's, just broke in Beta Marine 38 HP, everything in very good shape, kiwi grip non-skid, just couldn't bring myself to pull the trigger on a teak decked boat, she's set up nice for cruising, this boat has been very well maintained, upgraded and cared for, it was also at the price point that I was looking at, I knew exactly what I wanted, found her and bought her, couldn't be happier
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Old 02-11-2016, 05:19   #17
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Re: Did you buy a 20 - 25 year old boat? please comment

This is what worked for me:

1) 1978 Cabot 36, $10k purchase price
2) Just about everything non-structural except the engine, though some systems I've changed just because I want them a specfic way.
3) Some minor things came out after purchase but for the most part it fit my plan (see below)
4) Still working, 80% DYI
5) Not marine experience but grew up in an "offroad" family so used to working on vehicles and fixing things broken down on the side of the trail.
6) Will be my retirement home so value is spread over the long term, not really looking at breaking even or making money. Though, the difference between the rent on my 1 bedroom apt and living in a marina will pay for the cost of the boat in the first 20 months.
7) For my situation it worked. If I had been born to a family with money I'd forgo the extra work and sail off. Also if I was looking to get out sooner (less than 2 years) my plan would be different as well.

The "sail off into the sunset" idea has been my retirement plan for a number of years. Coming from a non-sailboat childhood (we were desert rats with our buggies and bikes) 9 years ago I knew next to 0 about sailboats. I did a lot of reading, took a week liveaboard sailing lesson in La Paz, MX and then spent a year doing day sails out of San Diego on rental boats. When I moved to Jacksonville last year I got serious about buying a boat.

Since I had 9 years to go of working for the man and all my work is digital (online marketing) I wanted something that I could work on with my hands in my off time. I was looking for a good design, strongly built, and good structure (hull, engine etc) as a project boat. The week that I got $10k (what I set as my starting point to seriously look) the Palani (I've renamed it to this) came on craigslist. I did a self-survey with a friend and while there were a number of items that I knew had to be fixed it fit into my plan of a project. My original budget was $10k - $30k for purchase and $40k - $60k for refit and toys. While the progress is slow on getting everything lined out there is progress.

I did take her out into the ocean for a day sail a few weeks after buying. My previous thoughts were focused on the laundry list of things to do before I would be ready to go. Sitting in the cockpit, sailing south down the coast, with almost no steering due to balanced sails it hit me that in reality to be "ready to go" there was a lot fewer things I needed, and if I would have packed more water and more than just a box of crackers for the day I might not have turned back. I'm more in the camp with Boatman of securing the functionality of the boat and safety to a set level then just fix as you go. If my job doesn't last the 9 years left I've already planned for a 6 month sabatical to the Bahamas before finding the next job.
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Old 02-11-2016, 06:42   #18
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Re: Did you buy a 20 - 25 year old boat? please comment

I wish I was more of a DIY guy than I am, and I do do a lot of things myself, but sometimes I need confidence from a professional. Not everyone, however, who works on boats is a professional. I agree with others that a surveyor doesn't always find everything so it will be easier to not expect perfection. I believe you can and should expect a surveyor to uncover the more expensive items, however.

I bought a 1982 Morgan 383 about 7 years ago. The survey returned wet decks and cockpit sole so I got an estimate from a yard and reduced the accepted offer by the estimate. I had this fixed by the yard. I also had an electric windlass installed, sewed a new dodger myself, bought some used chain, a used radar/chartplotter (which I installed myself) and went sailing weekends and vacations for 5 years. Then I retired, had the standing rigging replaced and a head overboard system installed, both by professionals, and bought a new mainsail, and took off from L.Superior to Florida.

The boat has mostly originally wiring, so I am working my way through upgrading smaller components of this as I can and as needed, myself. New bilge pumping system and upgrades to manual pump. Electronics will need to be upgraded, I am looking for the right path based on what I have.

I have purchased and installed lots of things that would be considered maintenance, but also upgraded systems so they work more for me, including running lines aft to the cockpit, stove/oven, secondary anchor locker, solar panels, vane self-steering. My own work on all these things isn't professional grade, and it shows here and there, at least to my eyes. It takes me 10 times (yes ten!!!) longer to get something done. For example, an estimated morning's worth of work to install my hydrovane by a professional took me 4 weeks of analyzing, dithering, measuring, and testing because I move slowly, knowing that a mistake will be costly.

I don't expect to get my money back. If I'm lucky, I might get the sale price one day, but I’m not planning on it. It is also likely my last big boat. While it will never be my only home, it may be my home for a year or three, and certainly for large parts of many years, but still needs upgrades.

I ask myself often if I would do it again, and mostly I say yes, but with my eyes wider open. A complete full refit for sailing to the Mediterranean in my boat would cost, just for parts, the same as the boat. I've probably spent half that so far and if I don't venture off, then I'm probably in good shape for a few more years. On the other hand, doing it over, if I knew I was going to just stay within coastal waters, I might get a newer, production, and ready-to-go small boat that would need zero upgrades and work, just cleaning, waxing, and bottom paint. Oh the days . . .

I recognize that for myself, I want an organized and understandable seaworthy boat on all levels, others don't need that.
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Old 02-11-2016, 07:59   #19
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Re: Did you buy a 20 - 25 year old boat? please comment

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
I've bought boats up to 40yrs old.. and sailed away as a work in progress.
Never been one to work on something for months before going to sea.. just treat it the same as a yacht delivery.
Motor works, sails are useable, rigging looks okay.. right.. cast off..
exactly..
ye donot know what you need until you learn. i learn on my own equipment as i go.
i have watched way too many with dreams sit repairing their lil hearts out until they drop over dead before departure. screw that. i already waited long enough making excuses about working to make kitty ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
enjoy while alive that about which you have dreamed so long.
if you gonna do it--do it. sitting around talking about it aint doing it.
yup i am still out here--and out here i will continue to be.
repairing my boat in exotic locales. is a good lifestyle.
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Old 02-11-2016, 08:33   #20
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Re: Did you buy a 20 - 25 year old boat? please comment

In 2002 I bought a 1985 Saltram Saga. A good solid boat. The main replacement has been the engine after the Perkins 4108 started going into meltdown and I worked out that I could spend more trying to get it sorted than it would cost to install a new engine.

The list of maintenance items is longer than I care to go into and I have also upgraded many items but having owned her for 14 years and spent 3 years on a circumnavigation, I don't think I have spent more than I would have done on a new boat.

Now, with the care and maintenance that I have lavished on her, I still think she is worth almost as much as I bought her for. New boats will depreciate much faster than older ones.
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Old 02-11-2016, 08:46   #21
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Re: Did you buy a 20 - 25 year old boat? please comment

1. What boat did you buy? Approximate cost?

I bought a 1973 Pearson 36-1 on eBay. 40K (too much, but I wanted that boat as it just had a new Yanmar installed.

2. What systems required a refit? In addition to common refit items like standing rigging, sails, engine and batteries, did you have to upgrade any systems caused by age-related wear? Some examples are tankage, hull & deck attachment, electrical re-wiring, hull osmosis, soft spots in the deck, etc. What were the approximate costs?

I spent another 40K replacing everything from the radar and standing rigging to the toilet and water heater.

3. Were all problems areas identified by the survey? Any surprises?

The surveyor told me not to buy the boat due to none of the 33 year old electronics were connected and probably NOT working and the chainplates and screw holes in the toe rails were leaking damaging the veneer of the hull liner. The poor gal had not been well maintained.

4. How long did the refit take? Did you do the work yourself, or outsource to marine specialists or both? How many "man hours" (your time) did you have to spend?

Did it all myself with help from a recording engineer who knew wiring as we replace ALL the wiring and cables in the boat for finer strand tinned coated modern wiring. As I was living in Europe, I could only get away for three months every year. Took three years to ready her for an Atlantic crossing.

5. If you did a lot of work yourself, did you have a lot of marine industry experience? Was this your first boat?

Second refit. The first was a Pearson 26, not as complicated or costly. Got a lot of advice from the "old boys" at the boatyard. They were very helpful with their suggestions and tips.

6. Exit strategy. If you sold your boat what percentage of the cost of the boat plus refit costs did you get back?

You can't think like that. Boats this old, even when refit will never recoup the renovation costs.

7. Final and probably most important question, would you do it again? Any lessons learned you'd care to share?

Do in again? Nope, I am going to have my Viking funeral on this baby...It will be up to my kids or to-be-had grandchildren to deal with.

In all, I chose a very strong hull, great mast, boom and stanchions. Pearsons are fast. In the end, I put the boat through a PCA in Holland and got a RCD Rating "A". She is better and safer than when new.

I wrote a book about the whole process. The book is available on amazon.com

Renovate a Sailboat and Cross the Atlantic

https://www.amazon.com/Renovate-Sail...8&sr=8-1-spell
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Old 02-11-2016, 08:52   #22
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Re: Did you buy a 20 - 25 year old boat? please comment

Quote:
Originally Posted by UNCIVILIZED View Post
There's definitely truth in this. Though having a decade or three worth of ocean grade experience certainly helps it turn out successfully But it's been one of my MO's for 25yrs now, & it's a handy tool to have in one's quiver.
After too many projects my new motto is use and fix it as you go, rather then make it perfect then use it. The latter can drive you crazy of course for seome people the former will drive you crazy.
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Old 02-11-2016, 08:55   #23
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Re: Did you buy a 20 - 25 year old boat? please comment

I'll give two examples:
-CT44 Ft Taiwan built cutter. The boat had been neglected for a couple years and was 7 years old when purchased. Survey found some wet core in the deck forward and on one side just above the waterline. The hull was cored above the waterline only. Major repairs:
-Wet rudder; dry, rebuild internals and fill with epoxy
-center fuel tank below the floor had a hole in it from corrosion. New tank
-All new cushions and foam (mildew/smell)
-All new sails, new Profurl furler.
-New dodger.
-Open up hull and replace the wet core on one side. Recore the deck above the V berth.
-Repaint entire boat deck and hull.
-Mast was repainted and rewired, rigging was good and left as is.


Passport 47, 14 years old:
-Mast and all rigging renewed. Mast repainted.
-New mainsail. New lapper prior to going cruising also.
-Teak decks rescrewed and recaulked
-New canvas bimini and dodger.


On both boats there were many small things and upgrades done also but listed are the big maintenance issues. Other expensive things like windlass, water maker etc.
I lost a ton of money on the Passport. I made money on the CT44
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Old 02-11-2016, 08:57   #24
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Re: Did you buy a 20 - 25 year old boat? please comment

My first post so sorry if I break any rules, not intentional.
I am on the other side of the coin in that I have a 1986 Fastnet 34 for sale. So it is interesting to read all the comments. The one sticking point in the UK, but I haven't seen mentioned in any of the posts, Insurance without a Surveyors report. I have had no end of issues of people who are demanding that any findings from a surveyor come into the cost negotiation. I am not prepared to engage this as I know that the price is a giveaway and is only just in double figures. What have been peoples actions or reactions to this subject?
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Old 02-11-2016, 09:11   #25
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Re: Did you buy a 20 - 25 year old boat? please comment

3. Were all problems areas identified by the survey? Any surprises? No. But most were.
4. How long did the refit take? Did you do the work yourself, or outsource to marine specialists or both? How many "man hours" (your time) did you have to spend? Many many hours, every possible day off. The CT was 1.5 years. The Passport was 4 months. Major stuff was outsourced.
5. If you did a lot of work yourself, did you have a lot of marine industry experience? Was this your first boat? Not first boat, had done others also. Had a wholesale account I set up for supplies.
6. Exit strategy. If you sold your boat what percentage of the cost of the boat plus refit costs did you get back? CT44 bought for $65k. Sold for $165k. Probably had $140K in it. Passport spent $60k in upgrades /repairs and lost all of that. Essentially I refurbished the boat for the new owner.
7. Final and probably most important question, would you do it again? Any lessons learned you'd care to share?
I would spend a little more to get a boat with fewer obvious flaws if possible. Do not become enamoured with things on the boat like water maker, electronics etc. Consider them of no value as most of them have no value when you have to decide to use or replace for your world cruise!
Any boat after about 8 years has issues, so after that it doesnt matter if it is 8 years old or 28 years old. It's like this: if you think you have found a boat with no issues, you will find there are many issues but you are way ahead of the boat with known issues.
Never pay too much. Be prepared to walk away. DO NOT be emotional or romantic about the boat. What I have learned over the years is whether the boat was a "Cadillac" or a "Chevy" to start with, it makes very little difference once a decade old. Of course you don't want a "Yugo".
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Old 02-11-2016, 09:14   #26
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Re: Did you buy a 20 - 25 year old boat? please comment

The one point I did not find in your initial question revolved around your mechanical expertise . The older the boat, the more you need to be able to handle from day one. I was initially interested in a blue water boat from the 80's but realized that I do not have the mechanical know-how nor the desire to constantly fix an old motor, generator or sail plan. I bought a newer boat to enable sailing rather than fixing at the start. I realize that fixing will be an ongoing affair, but I don't want it to be the only thing I do because it delays sailing by months.
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Old 02-11-2016, 09:23   #27
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Re: Did you buy a 20 - 25 year old boat? please comment

I found myself enjoy fixing mine. Even newer boat may need to working on. Age of a boat is not much issue except brand new one.
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Old 02-11-2016, 09:37   #28
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Re: Did you buy a 20 - 25 year old boat? please comment

There are good boats that are 10, 20, 30 and 40 years old. Really depends on the maintenance. Myself I might look at a boat 20 years old before a 10 year old boat. A well founded 20 year (or even 30 year) old boat may be in very good condition, with newer rigging, sails etc., and perhaps repowered.

Really the major points are good hull and deck, good engine (not necessarily low hours) and ideally a good mast and rigging. Everything else is normal wear and tear.

Ideally finding a boat which has just been through a refitting, but the owner developed health or money issues.
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Old 02-11-2016, 09:56   #29
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Re: Did you buy a 20 - 25 year old boat? please comment

Why would anyone buy anything OTHER than an "old" boat. Surely buying new, off the stocks, is a mug's game?

Someone on this forum said that "wooden boats are on life-support from the moment they are launched - fibreglass boats you have to ASSASSINATE!"

Precisely! Buy old. Buy frozen snot. Then the rest becomes a piecacake :-)

However: Remember when you buy old - as you will be best off doing - that while frozen snot hulls DON'T die, engines do. Just lay your budget accordingly. Rip the old machine out and give it to a museum. Spend fifteen grand, or thereabouts, on installing a brand new one properly, and your "new" boat will live to be a hundred. And you will have forty years of trouble-free motoring with nary a "no start"

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Old 02-11-2016, 10:27   #30
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Re: Did you buy a 20 - 25 year old boat? please comment

I started looking for boats that were ideally 5 yrs old, max of 10. Idea being I did not want a project, I wanted a boat to sail and see if we liked it.
Idea was to resell in a couple of years and then buy our "forever" boat. Figured I'd need a couple of years to figure things out enough to decide what we really wanted.
I had a budget of 100K or so, Idea was to buy a mid 30' boat.
Well that of course put me in the realm of the more mass produced volume boats.
Long story short I couldn't find one that didn't have structural issues and or other major problems, wet decks and the like.
So I then started looking at older better made boats to stay within budget.
Bought our 87 IP 38 for $85K. Boat needed nothing repair wise, had pitiful old electronics and zero cruising gear, but was in astonishingly good shape as she was only lightly used. Electrics etc are fine. Needs new chain plates as would all IP's of this era, but I'll take that pittance over a wet deck any day ( an IP deck won't absorb water).

I think your age range is likely the ideal age to be looking if your looking at better found and well maintained boats, most of the depreciation has occurred and a well manufactured and well maintained boat has what, a 50+ yr life span?
I don't know, the 50 is just a guess.
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