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Old 24-10-2016, 09:46   #31
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Re: New to boats; help me understand this one?

i found my formosa 41 is taking a lot less money to repair than the pretty and shiny production cruisers out and about, as i donot need special proprietary items required for smooth function of my non production cruiser.
i am able to have items fabricated at low to me pricing, and repair that which is able to be repaired without investing the kids in their birth order--firstborn on down to the lesser value red headed stepkids. (very difficult to barter those off--you are stuck with em...)
i have owned this boat since 2008, and i have needed to stuff into it mebbe 12,000 usd in maintenance and repairs, even with hiring out work due to my disabilities.
i know what i have and i know how to repair it. it is not difficult. it is rewarding if you wish to be a sailor who knows his boat--which is actually the safe way to cruise. yes it does happen out there and yes you do need to know how to repair it so you donot die or lose boat.
in this day and age, there are other reasons for independence-- those relocating due to election of those you donot wish to see in office--- seems independence would be a blessing, as opposed to the curse production boat owners seem to consider the task.

as for houses---my favorite house was constructed in 1621, per cornerstones on more than 2 outbuildings. expanded in 1716 and some other interesting dates. yup i would buy an old house, if i had to buy a house. i seriously dislike production homes also. unique and hand built every time thankyou.
btw--the home i described is named brighthome, and was purchased and still maintained as we knew it, by the cornell university extension service, so they also thought buying an old house was a good idea.
sadly my wifi will not permit my loading of pix of brighthome. you will have to google it via cornell university extension service. itis beautiful. i spentmany many holidays and summers and such in that house, outbuildings and and on those grounds
life is an adventure meant to be LIVED!!!!
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Old 24-10-2016, 10:29   #32
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Re: New to boats; help me understand this one?

As others have said, the distance is the issue. Also, not sure I would sail a $5K boat across the Pacific. If it were already located in the lower 48, no problem. I have bought old boats via the internet and have been totally disappointed only twice. In one case, I did not leave with the boat.

What I look for in pictures is water damage. If you see a water line on the wooden bulkhead, or a lack of sole pictures, not a good sign. Most likely soft spots in all the wrong places. I check the base of the mast very carefully. If its compressed, not worth the effort or cost to fix. Soft spots on old (cheap) boats is a way of life, but can be salvaged to a level of strength fairly easily. But structural issues are costly. If the keel is bolted, check for cracks and delamination there. Same with the rudder.

Look at the engine. If the rubber looks good and there is not a lot of rust, the engine is probably salvageable. Also look for heat damage. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Does the engine run (or turn over)? Are there any soft spots? Where? Mast in good shape? Sails? Rigging? For coastal cruising older sails and rigging are fine unless you see loose wires in the rigging or tears in the sails. Expect to re-bed chain plates, stanchions, windows/vents. Expect to replace lines and halyards. Might have to pull apart and clean/lubricate some hardware (like winches). You can pick up a replacement engine for about $5k and if you are handy you can swap it out yourself on smaller boats. But often a lot of this can happen over time.

One good thing about eBay is people are generally honest because they don't want to mess up their eBay rating. Years of keeping a score at 100% can be messed up pretty quick with one dishonest sale. But I'm leery of sellers going through all the other free listing websites. Hard to tell if they even own the boat.

This boat looks pretty good. As another person mentioned, its probably a marina trying to unload it. They give boats away on the Chesapeake but often get no takers. If you are handy and have the spare time, this is the land of plenty. Even well cared for boats are really cheap. $10-20K will buy you a nice 30-35 footer in sail away condition. If you don't mind an older boat. Older boats will not be perfect boats. A little mold here and there, lights that need rewired, stains from long term sitting unattended. These are the tradeoffs. But if you don't mind doing your own work and don't have the extra money for new(er), it gets you on the water.
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Old 24-10-2016, 10:44   #33
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Re: New to boats; help me understand this one?

Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
Disagree with 'Formosa hulls are strong'.
Some were well built in good Taiwan yards, but some were built in very poor yards, wernt they?
Yes, I'm not that fond of the Formosa yard work. The decks and cabins are trash. But from what I've seen, the hulls are very thick and strong. What they lacked in expertise they made up for in amount of glass!
"I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard

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Old 24-10-2016, 12:22   #34
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Re: New to boats; help me understand this one?

Originally Posted by Pygmalion View Post
I'm not going to pretend I know anything, that would be a waste of time. I would like a boat I could eventually take out to 'blue water'. I like this one, but the low price has me suspicious! They have not contacted me back yet.

1977 Formosa Ketch Sail Boat For Sale -
These boats are proven to leak from the base of each mast. This is a major refit.
Also, the interior has a lot of low quality wood, which smells terrible if not taken care of for some time

I believe that the price asking is right, considering the boat as i see her in the photos

Good luck
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Old 24-10-2016, 12:31   #35
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Re: New to boats; help me understand this one?

What are you nuts. Planning on Circumnavigating with a spouse and toddler.

You need to get a lot of sailing under your belt before you consider it.

It is everybody's dream to sail off into the sunset. But it is not always a dream scenario out there. Sometimes it can be a downright nightmare.

Heavy weather is not fun. For you or the boat. I would recommend you put the toddler with the grand folks for a month and find a ride across the ocean with someone who is very experienced in making long passages.

Then buy yourself a boat locally and sail it every day you can. If you find after a few months that you still want to sail and live aboard every day for a number of years. Then look for an able bluewater boat.

Learn, read, sail live it now.
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Old 24-10-2016, 12:37   #36
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Re: New to boats; help me understand this one?

5000usd is more than i received for my ericson 35 mII.
it is also more than i paid for my formosa 41.
make sure it floats ~ that is repairable.
keeps water out~also repairable
make sure it sails~also repairable.
make sure engine runs~also repairable.
the rest is do able in water.
if you seek a solid boat , that one is just that.
they are considered classic long range cruisers. right up there with wetsnail and some others.

surprisingly , these donot take as much dough as many seem to think they do in order to effect durable and appropriate repairs.
life is an adventure meant to be LIVED!!!!
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Old 24-10-2016, 13:45   #37
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Re: New to boats; help me understand this one?

Looks good to me. Quit your day job. Sell everything you own. Move aboard and spend every dime you have and will have plus work on it every day for a couple of years.
Take it from one who knows.
Oh yeah. Have them give it to you for nothing.
Can't believe she has twin Perkins.
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Old 24-10-2016, 14:17   #38
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Re: New to boats; help me understand this one?

Originally Posted by Suijin View Post
You're new to boats, and you want to circumnavigate. You have a lot to learn before you're in a position to do that safely, and as a result, it's almost certain that whatever boat you buy now, to learn how to sail on and learn about boats is not going to be the boat that you head off around the world in.

Find a nice 27-32 footer closer to you. Learn from it what you and yours like/dislike/can't live with. THEN start looking for a boat that encompasses what you've learned, and repeat.

If you're new to boats you may find you don't like the reality of living on a boat for long periods of time, it is not for everyone. Even if you and your family all have salt water in your veins, you need to learn basic sailing first. A smaller, easier to maintain boat will begin that process. One that is too large for you all to be comfortable single handing and/or is draining all you money faster than you can make it or demands so much work you never actually get to sail her will kill all desire to sail... (If it is just two adults, you WILL need to each be able to sail the boat alone. One will be on watch while the other sleeps/cares for the children. And if something - Illness/Injury/Death - should happen to one of you, the other HAS to be able to get along on their own.)

Don't give up on the dream, just don't rush into and let it become a nightmare.

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Old 24-10-2016, 14:46   #39
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Re: New to boats; help me understand this one?

My boat is a '77 model Skookum 53, and I wouldn't have any other. There are going to be issues that will need to be addressed. I found the insulation on the wiring throughout the vessel was breaking down and needed to be replaced. My answer was to remove it and put in new, I am comfortable with these kinds of issues, and so it didn't scare me. No matter what you decide, every vessel has its issues, and you will soon learn to work on boats and love it or hate it. If you don't like working on boats then don't buy a boat. Do research the vessel you are intending to purchase, maybe find out where it was built etc..
" Wisdom; is your reward for surviving your mistakes"
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Old 24-10-2016, 15:01   #40
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Re: New to boats; help me understand this one?

These Formasa boat, were built in taking avantage of sheap labor price at TaIwan during the early 70. Everything was locally built from hull to winches to mast, etc. Interior were fantastic, full of solid teak, and amazing detailling. But, in fact they became quickly a real nightmare for the owner: dissimilar metal underwater created havoc of galvanic corrosion: And the deck in general became soaked, spongy... Unless you love working to a masochist level, I would recommand not to approch this boat...
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Old 24-10-2016, 16:00   #41
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Re: New to boats; help me understand this one?

Is it a wood boat? every thing about it looks like a wood boat. Also listing say's twin diesel?
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Old 24-10-2016, 17:04   #42
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Re: New to boats; help me understand this one?

Hull should be fine. Almost 40 year old wooden spars, very questionable. Sails most likely are shot. Engine could be fine, or not. Are you mechanical? Do you know boats or just a dreamer. Could be a great deal, but if you are not handy it could turn into a money pit. If you do not know boats hire a good surveyor and listen to what he says. Good luck!
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Old 24-10-2016, 18:37   #43
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Re: New to boats; help me understand this one?

Originally Posted by newhaul View Post
The car i drive is a 1964 dodge dart . My truck is a 1966 ford half ton , and my home/boat is a 1967 . They all do the jobs I ask of them .
but you wouldn't buy a 1977 car. sorry. couldn't help myself.
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Old 25-10-2016, 01:56   #44
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Re: New to boats; help me understand this one?


As you can see, zeehag loves her CT. The one you ask about, I thought the Swiss guy did a great tutorial about reading between the lines in the advertising.

Imho, it is not a suitable starter boat for someone from Iowa. What may serve you a lot better is not the circumnavigating boat you dream of, but one in which to learn to sail, and see if sailing lives up to your expectations of what it might be.

I was just having a chat with an internet friend, who, sadly, made the mistake of taking his wife out, making her cold, wet, scared, seasick and miserable, and is now trying to recover from it. She is game, though, she joined a race crew and crewed independently where they live. Anyhow, first, check out sailing, and if there are a few lakes in your area, consider a trailer sailer for a year or so, to learn to sail in, and see if you get seasick, if you get scared when the boat heels, (happens often), and whatever else you learn.

It is easy to trivialize the circumnavigation dream, when you have no experience to inform your speculation. For us, various illnesses put paid to it, but it's more involved than buying any car and driving wherever the particular "there" of the moment is.

The problems with some CT's are that when plywood is encased in fiberglass, rot often occurs, if leaks are not found expeditiously and repaired ASAP; some of them have chain plate problems; timber masts that have not been maintained tend to have problems because of the same cause: water gets in and does rot causing damage--it's not the CT's fault, exactly, it is a vulnerability of the construction cum maintenance equation, and it is also an issue with balsa cored decks boats, but always with fiberglass enclosed plywood as normal construction. The water must be kept out, or there are $$$$$$ to pay.

The CT's are not known as sparkling performers, but as heavy displacement boats. I suggest that you don't know yet what you want, because your own experience doesn't inform the decisions that you and your husband will be trusting your lives to. What you want to do is fine, and attainable, and there are many suitable boats. Generally fixer-uppers take far more resources than one has planned to make seaworthy; even supposedly better than fixer-uppers, do, too.

There's a thread here on CF called Surveyor 101 that tries to tell people what to look for when looking at a boat they might buy. Maybe cruise through that. It doesn't slam marques, but teaches what to look for.

Good luck with your decision making. Fwiw, Jim and I cruised coastaly from 1978-83, when we took a 30 footer to HI and back to San Francisco, so our experience prior to leaving on the circumnavigation that didn't happen had been built up over some years.
Our next boat was a 36 footer that served for 18 years, and now we have a much bigger boat. One doesn't need a boat this big. We thought we wanted it, and she IS fun to sail.

Who scorns the calm has forgotten the storm.
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Old 25-10-2016, 04:40   #45
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Re: New to boats; help me understand this one?

If you ever wanted to live in Hawaii as a live aboard for an extended period of time.... now would be your opportunity for only $5k or less!
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