Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on Cruisers Forums. Advertise Here
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 21-05-2020, 13:06   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 256
Is buying a Starter Boat a dumb idea?

The used Corsairs look really appealing for a weekend/camping boat.

My main concern is financial. I have no idea how to get an honest read of the boat market since the only experience I have with it is used powerboats for lake fishing and towing kids on inflatables.

If I could buy something trailerable for say $50,000, maintain it well, clean it up, put perhaps $10,000 into upgrades and sell it three or four years later for $40,000 I think I'd feel like it was well worth the effort.

Does that sound like a dumb idea to you? Nobody can predict the future of course, but does your gut say "that'd be a hot item" or "that'd be a weight around your neck"?
__________________

ssmoot is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 21-05-2020, 13:10   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 2,660
Re: Is buying a Starter Boat a dumb idea?

You should get a boat that meets your near-term goals. One that you will use the most during the next 1-3 years.


That said, you can probably do that for less than $50K.
__________________

letsgetsailing3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-05-2020, 14:36   #3
Moderator
 
JPA Cate's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: aboard, cruising in Australia
Boat: Sayer 46' Solent rig sloop
Posts: 18,415
Re: Is buying a Starter Boat a dumb idea?

Buying a starter boat is a fine idea. I'd suggest a trailer boat of some sort, something that you can learn to sail well and play on the water in. If you are motivated then, to go farther afield, you might want something bigger. If you want to do serious voyaging, that's a totally different proposition. It's easier to bail out from a small investment, if you find it doesn't fit for you.

Here's something my husband wrote yesterday, about how he started out. I started out with an O'Day Osprey, a 15 foot day sailor which I paid 1200 bucks for. Sailed the hell out of her for 18 months and sold her for... 1200 bucks! In my case, I started on local lakes in N Calif, but soon was sailing in the SF Bay (perhaps unwisely, but successfully). Moved up to a trailer sailor (CAtalina 22) and thence to proper keel boats. Today, we've been cruising together for many years (over 30). The boat after the Catalina 22 was a Yankee 30 that we sailed to HI from SF, and back, then a 36 ft., and now, the boat in our avatars.

Ann
__________________
Who scorns the calm has forgotten the storm.
JPA Cate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-05-2020, 15:03   #4
Registered User
 
Cheechako's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Skagit City, WA
Posts: 22,281
Re: Is buying a Starter Boat a dumb idea?

You can do it for less than $50k for sure, unless you really want a Tri. 28-30 ft boats are all over for $10k or more. 25-28 ft are economical. Find out if you really like cruising and sailing that way. Of course then there is moorage if it's bigger, but trailering is a lot of expense too, big pickup truck often needed. Not so much so for a 23-24 footer.
__________________
"I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard











Cheechako is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 21-05-2020, 15:14   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: New Zealand
Boat: 50 Bavaria
Posts: 1,595
Re: Is buying a Starter Boat a dumb idea?

Definitely. You will have a far better idea what you want from your boat and what you want to do to it after you've dealt with a starter boat first.
Tillsbury is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-05-2020, 15:17   #6
Registered User

Join Date: May 2011
Location: Lake Ont
Posts: 5,242
Re: Is buying a Starter Boat a dumb idea?

We bought a used trailerable 19' sailboat as our first, about 13 years ago, for under $4k... and it's still our only boat. The trailer makes it easy to visit and explore any sailable body of water within a day's drive... and there are many around us. Our particular type of boat has a strong owners' group, and through them we enjoy group outings to a different lake every year. Several from the owners' group are now close friends.

Our boat is (or shortly will be) on the water at a nearby yacht club, so we have ready access to sail whenever we want (give or take a pandemic). We recently chartered in the Caribbean, and are looking for a larger boat... but we will likely never sell the trailerable boat... it's just too much fun for little money, and it's taken us to so many great sailable lakes that most fixed-keel boats will never get to.

So, a cheap trailerable sailboat is a great starter idea. You can find ones up to 25' or 26' ft that are still relatively easy to tow and launch. And unless you're intent on something new, a decent used trailerable sailboat can be had anywhere from $4k to $12k, depending on size, age, equipment, engine.
Lake-Effect is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-05-2020, 15:21   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Huntington NY
Boat: Tartan 3000
Posts: 308
Re: Is buying a Starter Boat a dumb idea?

Budget for a first boat 25 ft outboard $2500, 30 ft inboard 10 to 15k

30 ft will not be trailerable. Spend as little as possible, easier to sell and move up.
Larry Florida is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-05-2020, 15:22   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: The boat - New Bern, NC, USA; Us - Kingsport, TN, USA
Boat: 1988 Pacific Seacraft 34
Posts: 927
Re: Is buying a Starter Boat a dumb idea?

Almost the same story as Jim here, but different in lots of details. Fresh out of college, first real job, just married, bought our first house on a lake, the seller also sold me a 14 ft Flying Fish for $500. We first had a borrowed trailer, and when the owner wanted it back, we bought one. We sailed that boat all over the place -- our lake, other lakes, and through the surf into the ocean many times at my grandmother's beach house in SC. When our first daughter was born, we bought a new Tanzer 22. That boat has floated in a dozen TVA lakes, traveled the entire length of the Tennessee River, and gone up and down the US east coast from north of Baltimore to St. Augustine. In '04 I retired, we bought a Pacific Seacraft 34 which we played with on the Chesapeake Bay and the NC/SC coasts for a couple of years before making 12 five or six month trips to the Bahamas. The 13th trip was this year's aborted trip that only made it to Miami. Throughout the whole time we also chartered boats in the Chesapeake Bay and the Abacos. We currently live in our house in Tennessee half the time and live on the PSC 34 the other half. Our two daughters are married, there are five grandchildren, and we still own all three sailboats.

Now, the reason for this long winded story. At each step in the process we had little money invested in this hobby, abandoning sailing would have cost us little, and we could have gone on to other dreams. We have friends and acquaintances who had a cruising dream and late in life jumped in with both feet only to discover that the dream was a only a dream. Leaving that dream cost both marriages and fortunes. Some failed for unrealistic expectations, some for lack of marital compatibility, some for lack of either the skills or the enjoyment of the maintenance work, some for fear, one for separation from friends and family ashore, another for lack of experience, and one couple for the lack of money to finance their version of the dream.

Start small, dream big, take a little step at a time, don't get into water over your head, and don't spend $50,000 on a trailerable boat -- maybe $5,000.

Bill
wsmurdoch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-05-2020, 16:09   #9
Registered User
 
Pete_n_Ryan's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Tampa, Florida
Posts: 14
Re: Is buying a Starter Boat a dumb idea?

IMHO,
Isn't better to practice on something that you will have for a long time?
Maybe a captain for a couple passages would be a good idea but "starter boat" will extend the timeframe for any plans you got. Could even shut it down (situation can change and etc). So, dream big.
Pete_n_Ryan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-05-2020, 16:46   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: The boat - New Bern, NC, USA; Us - Kingsport, TN, USA
Boat: 1988 Pacific Seacraft 34
Posts: 927
Re: Is buying a Starter Boat a dumb idea?

Starter boats can also take you far. This photo and caption is from my wife's blog, irish-eyes-to-the-bahamas.blogspot.com . It is a Catalina 22 like Jim mentioned in post #3.


"We are sometimes asked what sort of boat you need to go to the Bahamas. Well, the near boat is a 22 foot Catalina sailboat and is worth maybe $3000. The larger boat is a 70 foot long Sunreef sailing catamaran and is worth about $3,000,000. We anchored beside them at Shroud Cay in the Exuma Islands. We later saw the Pennsylvania registered Catalina in Marsh Harbour 150 miles farther north."

Bill
wsmurdoch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-05-2020, 17:02   #11
Registered User
 
Pete_n_Ryan's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Tampa, Florida
Posts: 14
Re: Is buying a Starter Boat a dumb idea?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wsmurdoch View Post
Starter boats can also take you far. This photo and caption is from my wife's blog, Irish Eyes to the Bahamas . It is a Catalina 22 like Jim mentioned in post #3.


"We are sometimes asked what sort of boat you need to go to the Bahamas. Well, the near boat is a 22 foot Catalina sailboat and is worth maybe $3000. The larger boat is a 70 foot long Sunreef sailing catamaran and is worth about $3,000,000. We anchored beside them at Shroud Cay in the Exuma Islands. We later saw the Pennsylvania registered Catalina in Marsh Harbour 150 miles farther north."

Bill
Looks great! David and Goliath!
Pete_n_Ryan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-05-2020, 18:02   #12
Moderator
 
Jim Cate's Avatar

Join Date: May 2008
Location: cruising SW Pacific
Boat: Jon Sayer 1-off 46 ft fract rig sloop strip plank in W Red Cedar
Posts: 16,101
Re: Is buying a Starter Boat a dumb idea?

Quote:
Isn't better to practice on something that you will have for a long time?
Well, IMO, no it is not a better idea! The thing being that without the initial practice and experience, it is highly likely that that first boat will not really be right for your actual sailing and hence you will not have it for a long time. Or, you will have it for a long time and hate the bloody thing that you are saddled with.

People without experience seem to think that they have the god given knowledge to make a rather complicated decision right out of the box. In all too many cases, they don't!

Jim
__________________
Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II back in Port Cygnet doin' the isolation tango.
Jim Cate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-05-2020, 18:49   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: New York
Boat: Columbia 50
Posts: 375
Re: Is buying a Starter Boat a dumb idea?

Smoot,
You are very thin on details.....
How many people will be using the boat
Where are you located
How old are you
How luxurious (or not) - to some people, camping is maybe a tent, carry everything in, big hike.....to others, a 53’ motor home in an rv Park is roughing it....

I wouldn’t plan on starting out on a 50k boat. You won’t be able to handle it, will make mistakes, bang it up, and be frustrated. You also won’t get near what you paid for it.

Trailer sailing kinda sucks imho - an hour to rig, an hour to unrig, then a somewhat cramped compromise design to sail. Somewhat basic in accommodations, etc.

A somewhat tatty, inexpensive 25-30 foot boat on a mooring is the optimal starting point ( again imho) - once you get to the boat you can start sailing right away, you can always approach the mooring from downwind, don’t have to worry about fenders, dock lines, maneuvering in tight quarters, wind messing you up, or big dock fees.

Then, once you learn what’s truly involved in boat ownership in terms of seamanship, maintenance, skills, and finance requirements, you could practically give the boat away and go buy what you’d like to have in a boat, and still have the vast majority of your funds for it.

Also, do NOT buy a brand new boat - used boats tend to come with all the trimmings - swim ladders, anchors, life jackets, etc, etc, which you will pay a LOT of money for, and can’t really take with you, as they are sized for the boat you bought, not the new one.

Matt
mlydon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-05-2020, 20:13   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 256
Re: Is buying a Starter Boat a dumb idea?

Thanks all. I very much appreciate the wisdom!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mlydon View Post
You are very thin on details.....
How many people will be using the boat
Where are you located
How old are you
How luxurious (or not) - to some people, camping is maybe a tent, carry everything in, big hike.....to others, a 53’ motor home in an rv Park is roughing it....
  1. Myself, my wife, our 11yo son and 8yo daughter
  2. Texas
  3. Early 40’s

Our travel trailer is a Taxa Mantis to give you an idea. Doesn’t get much more compact than that and offer three berths outside of an a-frame trailer or Taxa Cricket. A Corsair 37/38 would be fairly luxurious in comparison. I enjoy ultralight hiking (hammocking ideally). I’m working on renovating our home a room at a time, basically rebuilding it from the studs up including insulation, drywall, electrical, plumbing, tile, etc. It’s slow and tedious, but I should have it wrapped up in a couple years at this rate. With that and upgrading the travel-trailer with 1260W of solar, a 3000kVA Victron Multiplus and 15kWh of LiFePO4 I’m (maybe naively) optimistic I’m ready to tackle the sorts of systems I might need to dig into on a boat.

I really hate paying rent on our toys, so while it might be a mistake, and I’m sure there are times I might regret it, I’m pretty dead set on something trailerable. One of the big appeals to the Mantis (that we love) was that it fit in our garage. I’ll be tackling fencing in our driveway next year, and we’ll have room for a 41’ trailer without too much of a challenge.

The big challenge isn’t paying for the boat. We live in a modest home and own modest vehicles. The real challenge is figuring out if boat-life is for us long-term, and putting ourselves in a position we can at least scale back work to properly enjoy it.

Since posting this my wife and I have discussed it, and I think maybe the Five Year Plan we’re on needs a rethink. Maybe we don’t plan to move aboard. Maybe instead we plan to own a vacation boat. The on-water version of our travel-trailer. And maybe that scratches the itch and we don’t feel the need for the big cat until we’re well and truly set up for retirement. Which could be 10 years at the current rate, or might be 15 years if we feel like we need a lifestyle that’s a little more extravagant.

I’d really like something that could get us to the Bahamas eventually, but I’m getting the feeling that the advice I’m hearing is in favor of getting a starter boat to our “starter boat”. And I’m thinking that’s probably good advice even if it’s not what I’d like to hear. Something more like a Corsair 24, MacGregor 26?

While we really enjoyed the couple overnight charters we’ve been on, the actual sailing is only one part of it. I think if picking up a cheap Laser and heading to the lake held any appeal we’d have done it by now. Like backpacking (love it) versus day hiking (meh)?
ssmoot is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 21-05-2020, 20:28   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Marina del Rey
Boat: Hunter 31
Posts: 1,096
Re: Is buying a Starter Boat a dumb idea?

My view is that a starter boat below 30 ft makes little sense. It will be small, uncomfortable, no shade, no standing room, no proper head. As your kids grow up they will need space to use their tablets. You are much better off renting than owning a trainable boat.

Buy a boat that you feel passionate above. Either you like the designer, the looks, layout, etc. If sailing turns out not to be your thing, sell the boat.

My min size recommendation is 30 ft for three (two kids + an adult), 40 ft for a family of four and 50 ft (3rd cabin) for a family of five, if you plan to all sail together. Adjust the age according to your budget.

SV Pizzazz
__________________

Pizzazz is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
boat, buying

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Dumb idea? ferrying passengers for money kbed5275 Boat Ownership & Making a Living 32 05-08-2018 20:00
PVC/Glass toe rail? Dumb idea? allanbranch Construction, Maintenance & Refit 15 11-01-2016 03:13
are "dumb" questions dumb, or ... sailorboy1 Our Community 27 20-11-2013 07:53
Dumb Idea or Brilliant? (pic) GaryMayo General Sailing Forum 22 24-10-2012 06:29
Put a Car Engine in a Boat - Dumb Idea? Sailnoob Engines and Propulsion Systems 3 05-06-2009 11:37

Advertise Here


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:37.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.