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Old 15-10-2019, 18:20   #1
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First timer, can use some help choosing a boat

Hi everyone, first post, first (potential) boat.. lotta firsts for us right now! My wife and I have been looking at boats for a little while now, but being first-timers I don't really trust my ability to know if a boat is 'good' or not and feel like some opinions would be really helpful... and I've browsed here long enough to know there's no shortage of those here

First, we are working with a broker and he's been helpful with his opinions, but I also know he's looking for a sale. And also we will get a survey before buying anything (just putting that out there).

We're in the Pacific Northwest (Seattle area) and are looking at a couple of local boats but I'm questioning what's 'normal' use vs what's been beat and will need lots of work in the near future.

Our criteria is 3 cabin, under 42 ft. My wife and I plan to head out cruising in 10 years after the kids are off (likely a different boat then). In the meantime we want to get our feet wet on weekend adventures around the San Juan islands with the kids, and use the boat as a literal floating condo. That's actually the biggest motivating factor for us buying a boat now. We need a 'home base' in Tacoma and this is way more fun than an apartment

So a couple of boats we're considering - A 2008 Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 39i, and a 1999 Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 42.2. Total coincidence they're both Jeanneau.

https://www.yachtworld.com/boats/200...dard%20listing

The 2008 was in charter... I'm realizing most 3 cabins were. We have 4 kids and so the 3rd cabin is really a big deal for us (at this point in our life). The problem is, it looks like it was in charter. For example, the Jeanneau badge on the side of the cockpit is missing it's "J". The leather on the steering wheels are worn through. Many of the latches in the cabin feel corroded. The faucets in both heads are the same way. The whole cockpit looks like it was left exposed to the weather and never covered up.


https://www.yachtworld.com/boats/199...dard%20listing

I originally passed on considering this boat - it has almost 8000 engine hours! I found out from our broker the couple owning this boat cruised extensively, and something with how they had it set up meant they ran the engine a lot as a generator. Not sure if that's a tall tale or what... In my mind all those hours mean that boat was used a ton and everything would be old and worn out. I'm looking through the listing with fresh eyes and it seems like it's had quite a bit of re-fit, albeit 12 years ago.

In our budget (~125k) I know we're looking at 10+ year old boats but I don't want something that's been abused or will be a project. How much of this stuff is normal use, and what indicates something hasn't been taken care of? What should we be looking for. Thank you!!
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Old 15-10-2019, 20:15   #2
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Re: First timer, can use some help choosing a boat

You say this will be your first boat but you don't mention your sailing experience. If you don't have much sailing experience I suggest you spend a lot of time on someone else's boat or you start with a smaller boat. Our first sailboat was a catalina 22 and we made many mistakes. The catalina 22 is much more forgiving than a 40 ft cruiser when you hit things and all. Thx-Ace
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Old 15-10-2019, 20:25   #3
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Re: First timer, can use some help choosing a boat

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Originally Posted by GordonShumway View Post
I originally passed on considering this boat - it has almost 8000 engine hours!
If thats your main worry then plan to get a seperate engine survey. The hours aren't as much of a deal as how they ran it and the care they took of the engine. But you need to consider that the boat price may already be taking the engine hours into account.

the other stuff you asked about is normal wear for a mass produced type of boat

BTW - I'm NOT in the camp that says you need to start first on smaller boats (I didn't). All those "starter" boats do it cost you money.

good luck
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Old 15-10-2019, 21:51   #4
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Re: First timer, can use some help choosing a boat

Welcome aboard Gordon! I too would say that the wear and tear you mention for an 11 year old boat sounds normal, and not too bad at all in my book. I would agree it seems like a big leap to jump into a larger boat before you know your own preferences, which will take some experience, probably on other people's boats. As you gain more experience you'll likely see your tastes change and help inform your final choice.
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Old 15-10-2019, 22:09   #5
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Re: First timer, can use some help choosing a boat

Have a look a bit deeper into the cupboards. Corroded faucets is nothing surprising on a charter production boat, just check that they’re standard type fittings and you can replace the lot for peanuts without going to a marine store. Cupboard latches is more annoying. You really shouldn’t be seeing significant wear on a 10-year-old boat and maybe if you look around you can find an owner version of the same thing that has hardly been used. For that price you should be expecting a 40-footer to be in good condition, not worn out.

The older boat has pluses and minuses. 8000 hours for an engine isn’t way too much, but running it as a generator (low load) for extended periods isn’t good for an engine.

It looks like the owner has been prepared to spend money, though. smart plug, leisurefurl boom, new raymarine kit, dated filters. These are all good things to see on a boat and it looks in good condition internally. For the right price it might be a great boat.
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Old 16-10-2019, 03:30   #6
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Re: First timer, can use some help choosing a boat

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Gordon.


Quote:
... 8000 hours for an engine isnít way too much, but running it as a generator (low load) for extended periods isnít good for an engine..
Indeed.
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Old 16-10-2019, 09:54   #7
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Re: First timer, can use some help choosing a boat

My Criteria would be : 1. To find a boat that is In pristine condition despite itís age. 2. Is a popular make & design (Loads of information available and is a desired hull by many) 3.Can be sold quickly (I.e. The price you pay for the boat is significantly lower than what other sellers are offering for the same design in the same or even better condition). Looking at well maintained vessels that suit your current sailing abilities and destination is the best way to approach shopping for a sailboat. I understand you want 3 cabins. But I would fine tune my criteria primarily to wanting a very well-maintained boat that is within my budget rather than look at size or interior layoutís. I would be looking for :a newer standing rig, newer sails, newer wiring, low hour engines, solid decks, solid bulkheads and ample storage. I would also be looking for Perks Like : Lazy Jacks, Fast tracks, Easy packs, Dodgers, Biminiís, fast tailing winches, Jiffy reefing, Newer & Beefier Auto Pilot, anything that makes life on deck easier and safer. A smart sailor buyís a sailboat with the intention that he/she will be able to sail the boat often with an expectation that repairs and maintenance are part of the bargain. The primary reason for buying a sailboat though is to sail it. Often.. When it comes to buying your first sailboat : bigger is definitely not better, never ! Buy a small turn key simple sailboat that is easy to maintain and sail the living $%^ out of it until you get fed up with itís performance, range and comfort level dont dump money into the boat. Then sell it and buy a slightly better boat and do the same again. Eventually you will buy that 40ft boat with 3 cabins and youíll know exactly what you want, why you want it and what to look out for. Charter boatís are often headaches. They are maintained like renta cars are maintained. An treated by the renters in much the same manner. Have you ever rented out a sports car and went in search of side roads to chase corners around in 3rd gear ? Just because you were in a renta car.. Well itís the same mentality on charter boats. They are used and abused and put to pasture. Although there are some good deals to be had. If I were to buy a charter boat. Iíd have the engine Immediately pulled out and rebuilt (including the trani) and then re-place the rigging. Iíd also have the Auto pilot inspected for wear n tear or just replace it. That would be built into my offering price right off the bat. The real worry is the keel. You should just take it for granted that a charter boat has been grounded many more times than the average sail boat. Is it a thru bolted keel ? A good professional survey will of course help but Iíve repaired bolt on keels that were failing for owners who did not want to drop the keel and re-fix them properly again. Maybe due to lack of funds or may-be just a desire to live on the edge. A sort of a band-aid solution was to fill in the crack with thickened epoxy and then lay up fiberglass about 2-3ft wide over the keel to hull joint in hopes that it would some how hold the keel on. If faired well and bottom painted it would take a good eye to catch the repair. I did enough of them for clients and always warned it was a temporary fix. Just something to be vigilant about checking when looking at charter boats.. Itís a very hard mentality to master but when looking at sail boats you must only look at the boat as is. Do not look at a boat and think about what it could be with a little bit of money and time put into it. Regular maintenance is costly and time consuming enough, but major re-fits and repairs are like worm holes and the holes get bigger as LOA increases. Honestly there are way too many sailboats available right now on the market as compared to buyers. If the budget is 100,000 and you are not interested in starting with a smaller boat and then moving up to a larger one and want a ďfloating condoĒ with 3 cabins. I would begin looking at Catamarans over mono hull boats.
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Old 16-10-2019, 09:54   #8
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Re: First timer, can use some help choosing a boat

Charter boats will have some wear and tear from constant use for sure. At the right price it could be fine. But it isn't just the money, boat maintenance is hard to keep with on any boat, so starting ahead of the game is a good thing..
Most companies have service records on them available. These will show damage, grounding etc. Some charter boats get run onto rocks and reefs and repaired. Some fare better. (worked for a charter company for a while)
I think spending a bit more for a boat with <2000 engine hours can be a good thing rather than trying to keep up with a boat that is well worn.
There ought to be some bargains out there this time of year in W. Washington if you negotiate well.
Some charter boats have engine drive refrigeration to avoid sailing newbies killing the batteries in the middle of Timbuktu. That may be why the high engine hours. That is not a good form of refrigeration for living aboard at the dock. You will be running the engine all the time.
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Old 16-10-2019, 10:01   #9
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Re: First timer, can use some help choosing a boat

I had to break up the wall of text. There was some good points and knowledge in here..

Quote:
Originally Posted by IrieSailor View Post
My Criteria would be :

1. To find a boat that is In pristine condition despite it’s age.

2. Is a popular make & design (Loads of information available and is a desired hull by many)

3.Can be sold quickly (I.e. The price you pay for the boat is significantly lower than what other sellers are offering for the same design in the same or even better condition).

Looking at well maintained vessels that suit your current sailing abilities and destination is the best way to approach shopping for a sailboat. I understand you want 3 cabins. But I would fine tune my criteria primarily to wanting a very well-maintained boat that is within my budget rather than look at size or interior layout’s.

I would be looking for : newer standing gear, newer sails, newer wiring, low hour engines, solid decks, solid bulkheads and ample storage. I would also be looking for Perks Like : Lazy Jacks, Fast tracks, Smart packs, Dodgers, Bimini’s, fast tailing winches, Jiffy reefing, Newer & Beefier Auto Pilot, anything that makes life on deck easier and safer.

A smart sailor buy’s a sailboat with the intention that he/she will be able to sail the boat often with an expectation that repairs and maintenance are part of the bargain. The primary reason for buying a sailboat though is to sail it. Often.. When it comes to buying your first sailboat : bigger is definitely not better, never ! Buy a small turn key simple sailboat that is easy to maintain and sail the living $%^& out of it until you get fed up with it’s performance, range and comfort level. Then sell it and buy a slightly better boat and do the same. Eventually you will buy that 40ft boat with 3 cabins and you’ll know exactly what you want, why you want it and what to look out for.

Charter boat’s are often headaches. They are maintained like renta cars are maintained. An treated by the renters in much the same manner. Have you ever rented out a sports car and went in search of side roads to chase corners around in 3rd gear ? Just because you were in a renta car.. Well it’s the same mentality on charter boats. They are used and abused and put to pasture. Although there are some good deals to be had. If I were to buy a charter boat. I’d have the engine Immediately pulled out and rebuilt (including the trani) and then re-place the rigging. I’d also have the Auto pilot inspected for wear n tear or just replace it. That would be built into my offering price right off the bat.

The real worry is the keel. You should just take it for granted that a charter boat has been grounded many more times than the average sail boat. Is it a thru bolted keel ? A good professional survey will of course help but I’ve repaired bolt on keels that were failing for owners who did not want to drop the keel and re-fix them properly again. Maybe due to lack of funds or may-be just a desire to live on the edge. A sort of a band-aid solution was to fill in the crack with thickened epoxy and then lay up fiberglass about 2-3ft wide over the keel to hull joint in hopes that it would some how hold the keel on. If faired well and bottom painted it would take a good eye to catch the repair. I did enough of them for clients and always warned it was a temporary fix. Just something to be vigilant about checking when looking at charter boats..

It’s a very hard mentality to master but when looking at sail boats you must only look at the boat as is. Do not look at a boat and think about what it could be with a little bit of money and time put into it. Regular maintenance is costly and time consuming enough, but major re-fits and repairs are like worm holes and the holes get bigger as LOA increases. Honestly there are way too many sailboats available right now on the market as compared to buyers.

If the budget is 100,000 and you are not interested in starting with a smaller boat and then moving up to a larger one and want a “floating condo” with 3 cabins. I would begin looking at Catamarans over mono hull boats.
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Old 16-10-2019, 10:23   #10
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Re: First timer, can use some help choosing a boat

Gordon,


Looking at boats is fun. Hard to remember stuff though. Here's a handy helper:
https://forums.sailboatowners.com/th...p-tips.102541/


Good luck, happy hunting.


If you don't know how to sail, we're in the camp of start small, learn, and grow. C22 for 5 years, C25 for 13, this C34 for 21.
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Old 16-10-2019, 12:55   #11
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Re: First timer, can use some help choosing a boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
Gordon,


Looking at boats is fun. Hard to remember stuff though. Here's a handy helper:
https://forums.sailboatowners.com/th...p-tips.102541/


Good luck, happy hunting.


If you don't know how to sail, we're in the camp of start small, learn, and grow. C22 for 5 years, C25 for 13, this C34 for 21.
Someone else mentioned 2 foot-itis on another thread. Jim went from a 30 footer to a 36, and then to 46. People around us had 4 foot-itis. It's a funny old world.

Yes, starting with simple boats with simple systems has a lot to recommend it. It is one way to keep overall costs down until you find out whether or not you like it enough to continue.

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Old 16-10-2019, 13:04   #12
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Re: First timer, can use some help choosing a boat

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You say this will be your first boat but you don't mention your sailing experience.
I didn't mention it because there's none to mention lol. In all seriousness though, I am aware that starting on such a big boat is less than ideal. My plan is (like you say) to spend a lot of time on other people's boats, taking 'learn to sail' classes and probably even hiring a captain to take us out on our own boat. This might mean we don't actually sail our own boat for a long time but because we really need the 'condo' first and foremost, I think a small boat is out (sensible as it would be from a sailing perspective). Ok, you guys can all call me an idiot now
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Old 16-10-2019, 13:16   #13
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Re: First timer, can use some help choosing a boat

Well if that's the case I would look at a Morgan Out Island 41 maybe.. It will provide all the space requirements your looking for and there are many of them available for a lot less than 100,000 that are in excellent condition. It will leave you some extra cash to put towards any improvements you might need to make. They are heavy boat's but safe and well built. A lot of families live aboard them and seem to be happy.
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Old 16-10-2019, 13:33   #14
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Re: First timer, can use some help choosing a boat

Meant to say this before - thanks everyone for all the knowledge in your replies, I'm learning quite a bit and finding this really helpful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IrieSailor View Post
My Criteria would be : 1. To find a boat that is In pristine condition despite itís age. 2. Is a popular make & design (Loads of information available and is a desired hull by many) 3.Can be sold quickly (I.e. The price you pay for the boat is significantly lower than what other sellers are offering for the same design in the same or even better condition).
Well this is definitely what I'm *trying* to do... I'm still learning how you know what 'pristine' looks like. I've already been corrected above that the things I thought might indicate poor upkeep are actually more-or-less normal (corroded latches/faucets, weather-worn cockpit, etc). It also sounds like the engine hours on the older boat might not be a big deal either?

As an analogy, I'm trying not to be that house buyer that passes on a house because they don't like the wall color. And I understand that changing out some latches, and a couple of faucets are easy, low cost things. At the same time, I'm trying to look for clues that a boat was taken care of (or not) - but it seems like I'm looking at the wrong things


Quote:
I would be looking for :a newer standing rig, newer sails, newer wiring, low hour engines, solid decks, solid bulkheads and ample storage. I would also be looking for Perks Like : Lazy Jacks, Fast tracks, Easy packs, Dodgers, Biminiís, fast tailing winches, Jiffy reefing, Newer & Beefier Auto Pilot,
I can't think of a single boat we've seen come on the market in the last 4 months that had any of these updates/upgrades, let alone all of them (aside from the dodger & bimini).

Quote:
Charter boatís are often headaches. They are maintained like renta cars are maintained. An treated by the renters in much the same manner. Have you ever rented out a sports car and went in search of side roads to chase corners around in 3rd gear ? Just because you were in a renta car.. Well itís the same mentality on charter boats. They are used and abused and put to pasture. Although there are some good deals to be had. If I were to buy a charter boat. Iíd have the engine Immediately pulled out and rebuilt (including the trani) and then re-place the rigging. Iíd also have the Auto pilot inspected for wear n tear or just replace it. That would be built into my offering price right off the bat.
I'm feeling the caution of charter boats - and yes the rental car analogy makes total sense. If (big if) we did want to move forward with an ex-charter, is there a sort of 'charter discount' to apply when thinking of an offer? Like 10% or something?

Quote:
The real worry is the keel. You should just take it for granted that a charter boat has been grounded many more times than the average sail boat. Is it a thru bolted keel ? A good professional survey will of course help but Iíve repaired bolt on keels that were failing for owners who did not want to drop the keel and re-fix them properly again. Maybe due to lack of funds or may-be just a desire to live on the edge. A sort of a band-aid solution was to fill in the crack with thickened epoxy and then lay up fiberglass about 2-3ft wide over the keel to hull joint in hopes that it would some how hold the keel on.
Now this definitely makes me worried!

Quote:
Itís a very hard mentality to master but when looking at sail boats you must only look at the boat as is. Do not look at a boat and think about what it could be with a little bit of money and time put into it. Regular maintenance is costly and time consuming enough, but major re-fits and repairs are like worm holes and the holes get bigger as LOA increases.
Yeah, this resonates with me. I understand and accept boats are maintenance intensive, but we're a busy family and starting in a hole, maintenance wise, feels like a bad idea.


Quote:
Honestly there are way too many sailboats available right now on the market as compared to buyers. If the budget is 100,000 and you are not interested in starting with a smaller boat and then moving up to a larger one and want a ďfloating condoĒ with 3 cabins. I would begin looking at Catamarans over mono hull boats.
We've been looking for several months now, mainly locally but occasionally check California on Yachtworld and just aren't seeing this wealth of choice. Well maybe in California - we have seen a couple of boats online that we'd be checking to today if they were local. About the catamaran - I think that I would really love one, but unfortunately it's a 1-2 year wait at the local marinas for a cat (Tacoma, WA).
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Old 16-10-2019, 13:45   #15
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Re: First timer, can use some help choosing a boat

If you're going to use the boat in the winter in the PNW, you might think about a motorsailer. Most sailboaters around me seem to motor most of the time. Some I know haven't had the sails up in years. Some aren't even rigged.

I'm old, like my comfort and went to powerboats a long time ago, so my opinion is probably tainted. But in the winter, I cruise in comfort.
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