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Old 17-12-2016, 11:54   #1
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Suddenly I own a big sailboat I don't know what to do with

Hello world!

I've just bought my dad's sailboat (1997 Hunter 450) where he had been living for the past 8 years (he's a disabled, brain cancer survivor). He decided he couldn't do it anymore and has moved into an RV instead. He's much happier now. However, it was a very precipitous decision on both our parts, so I'm starting to get anxious, because I realize I don't know what I'm doing.

I'm nowhere near the boat. It's near Stuart, FL, in the water. My dad has since driven himself several hours away. I don't have any boating experience at all, and my dad isn't really in a sound enough mental condition to teach me anything at this point.

So I'm trying to figure out what my best options are in terms of keeping it or selling it.

I think I could sell the boat and get a reasonable price for it (i.e., recover the price I paid for it), but the cabin is in bad shape. The original AC power system is non-functional, no air conditioning, etc., and he's been using power strips that he's wired from area to area. Also, I think there are two heads and only one of them is "functional"; and by "functional" I mean it may not be completely functional, either. However, the diesel engine was completely replaced last year. So there are good things and bad things going on. If I were to sell it, would it be best to fix it up first or delegate that to the next owner?

Really, I'd like to hold on to it if I can, but I definitely want to get it up to useful condition (as in, both salable and seaworthy), but I'm not sure where in the world I'm going to be settling down right now. I may even have the chance to move to Sweden. So I've been wondering maybe the best thing would be to sell it and buy a different boat once/if I'm ready? I don't know how things work with boats, but if it were a house, I would definitely try to hold on to it and maybe rent it out until I'm ready to "take possession" so to speak.

Probably the best would be to take it out of the water and store it while I make up my mind. Maybe fix it up while it's out so I'm ready to pull the trigger one way or the other.

What do you think? I'm dying to know what suggestions you all might have!
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Old 17-12-2016, 12:02   #2
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Re: Suddenly I own a big sailboat I don't know what to do with

It may or may not be as bad as you think it is electrically. 97 is fairly new to me, but........if you're not handy, and you can't be near this thing, sell it. Sitting for a long period of time won't make it better, or more valuable.
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Old 17-12-2016, 12:08   #3
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Re: Suddenly I own a big sailboat I don't know what to do with

f you are not going to use it, sell it...
And if no one is onboard/checking on it, there is potential for big problems (i.e. sinking, water damage)
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Old 17-12-2016, 12:21   #4
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pirate Re: Suddenly I own a big sailboat I don't know what to do with

Sell it.. know someone who left their boat on the hard in Florida for 18mths.. when he finally managed to get back to it it was knee deep with rainwater inside and black mould everywhere.. that climate kills boats left unattended.
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Old 17-12-2016, 12:29   #5
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Re: Suddenly I own a big sailboat I don't know what to do with

Hmm, if I were to decide to sell it, should I try to fix it up first or just call a broker and see what they think? My only experience with things like this is real estate, and in that case you get more out of it quicker if you fix it up first. Also, is a broker the way to go? Or should I try to do it by owner or some other way?
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Old 17-12-2016, 12:40   #6
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Re: Suddenly I own a big sailboat I don't know what to do with

Call a local broker and get his opinion.
Also, get a quick in-water insurance survey (1/2 price of a purchase survey)
and insure it.
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Old 17-12-2016, 12:41   #7
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Re: Suddenly I own a big sailboat I don't know what to do with

Considering your situation I say sell it too. Boats are expensive to keep and maintain, and are not like real estate. If you are not really committed to boat ownership right now, it will drain you. The new diesel is a real plus. If it were me I'd get it cleaned up and get as many things back in working order as I could. Check with a local boatyard where she is kept for people who could be hired to help you. Get her so she looks nice, smells nice, is running smoothly and can sail and she will sell more quickly. You might also call a bottom cleaning service to have her cleaned and check the hull, prop, zincs (protective metal attachments on prop shaft etc.) When someone is interested they will hire a surveyor to go through the boat to see what all the boat needs. They may want a "sea trial" where they are able to take it out for a spin. A broker there in the harbor can help you with all these things, especially since you are not close by. Also you may find some knowledgeable folks on here who may want to buy her!
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Old 17-12-2016, 12:42   #8
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Re: Suddenly I own a big sailboat I don't know what to do with

At the very least clean it. On a 20 year old boat smells and dirt often say more than functional everything.
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Old 17-12-2016, 12:52   #9
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Re: Suddenly I own a big sailboat I don't know what to do with

There are a few fundamental rules about boats that are different than houses. 1) Except for odd, and short-term, economic fluctuations, they do not go up in value. A boat is a depreciating asset. 2) "Just sitting", even when hauled out, is harder on the average boat than on the average house. 3) Just to keep a boat at its current condition requires more maintenance, and that maintenance is more expensive, than with a house. It helps to be a bit nuts to own a boat, as they aren't rational purchases for most people who aren't sailors at their core.

I agree with Sailmonkey that the problems you describe might not be as big a project as it may seem at first glance. They could be traceable to a single, relatively easy to fix fault. I'd start with the connections made as part of engine replacement, as that is the most likely place where something wasn't properly done and your dad simply might not remember. But, it definitely won't get better over time. Boats are very good at trapping water, too, and other stuff will corrode at a shockingly fast pace, especially in the Florida climate.

All that being said, although there are people who readily diss Hunters for some for their design decisions, they are pretty good boats and the 450 is a comfortable, roomy, and offshore capable boat.

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Old 17-12-2016, 17:07   #10
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Re: Suddenly I own a big sailboat I don't know what to do with

Quote:
Originally Posted by tjb1982 View Post
Hmm, if I were to decide to sell it, should I try to fix it up first or just call a broker and see what they think? My only experience with things like this is real estate, and in that case you get more out of it quicker if you fix it up first. Also, is a broker the way to go? Or should I try to do it by owner or some other way?
Boats are not like houses. No matter how much you spend on it you wont increase the value signficantly. You may make it easier to sell, but will likely lose most of what you spend on it.

Clean it up, fix the things you can at minimal expense (like the head), make it look pretty...and dump it.
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Old 17-12-2016, 17:20   #11
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Re: Suddenly I own a big sailboat I don't know what to do with

All good advice above.

Sounds like this is an albatross around your neck which you don't need, if you are not emotionality attached to it.

Cosmetically clean it up and try and get your money back to regain your freedom.
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Old 17-01-2017, 13:41   #12
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Re: Suddenly I own a big sailboat I don't know what to do with

Well you ssure do have a quandry. You should ask yourself:
1. Do I love Sailing?
2 do I have he expertise to make the required repairs? ( this saves the labour costs))
3. How much repair would be necessary to make the boat rent able IE; Air B-B etc.
4. Do I want to be burdened with the mechanics oi a rental property?
5. Anm I going to take the boat to Sweden? great sailing)
6. What is ther market price of the boat , as is? (This can be gotten from a broker a surveyor.)
Once all these questions are answered you should know whether to keep or to sell your vesse. The4 H-45 is a realloy nice boat.
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Old 17-01-2017, 13:56   #13
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Re: Suddenly I own a big sailboat I don't know what to do with

How much time do you have?

I think that's the key question.

IF you have time (and inclination) to spend on the boat, then start fixing her up, learning as you go along, and in parallel to that, start using her. You'll see very soon whether it's a torture or a joy for you. The fixing up is an integral part of the sport just as much as sailing is. If you don't like it, then the time you have spent will not have been wasted -- you got her into condition to sell, which is similar to condition for using her.


If you don't have time, and on top of that, a fair amount of money, then sell her on as quickly as you can, and for whatever you can get, after a quick cosmetic cleanup (no major work!). Nothing worthwhile can be done with an old boat, without a fair amount of both of those things.
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Old 17-01-2017, 21:05   #14
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Re: Suddenly I own a big sailboat I don't know what to do with

Dear TJB,

The issues you mentioned are small, non-issues to me. Barring other, major issues (talk to you Dad, he would know) I would keep her. Boats are difficult to sell, so if you sell now and buy a boat later, you would likely lose value (just my opinion, e.g. the new engine is great but it will not be priced in). My suggestion would be to spend some time on the boat with a knowledgeable friend and/or surveyor and figure out how you feel about her. Most people know if this is their boat after they spend a couple of hours on board. Focus on the layout, the space, the view, probably you do have an emotional attachment! Sailing her would be helpful if you knew how to sail otherwise you need to go by other opinions (read reviews; boats.com says "An offshore cruiser with a wonderful layout"). If there are no major structural issues and you like it, I would put it on the hard until you resolve your situation then fix it.
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Old 17-01-2017, 21:24   #15
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Re: Suddenly I own a big sailboat I don't know what to do with

I guess if I was not going to sail it, I would sell it...

I am by far no expert, but if you have $20,000.00 dollar boat and put $10,000.00 into it, you still have a $20,000.00 dollar boat.



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