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GordonShumway 15-10-2019 18:20

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 :biggrin:

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!!

acem 15-10-2019 20:15

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

sailorboy1 15-10-2019 20:25

Re: First timer, can use some help choosing a boat
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by GordonShumway (Post 2997368)
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

Don C L 15-10-2019 21:51

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.

Tillsbury 15-10-2019 22:09

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.

GordMay 16-10-2019 03:30

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.

IrieSailor 16-10-2019 09:54

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.

Cheechako 16-10-2019 09:54

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.

Galroc 16-10-2019 10:01

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 (Post 2997733)
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.


Stu Jackson 16-10-2019 10:23

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.

JPA Cate 16-10-2019 12:55

Re: First timer, can use some help choosing a boat
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Stu Jackson (Post 2997763)
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.

Ann

GordonShumway 16-10-2019 13:04

Re: First timer, can use some help choosing a boat
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by acem (Post 2997436)
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 :biggrin:

IrieSailor 16-10-2019 13:16

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.

GordonShumway 16-10-2019 13:33

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 (Post 2997743)
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 :biggrin:


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). :frown:

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).

Lepke 16-10-2019 13:45

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.

desodave 16-10-2019 13:59

Re: First timer, can use some help choosing a boat
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by GordonShumway (Post 2997854)
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 :biggrin:


You're NOT an idiot, just optimistic!


Have you considered chartering yourself? We found it a good way to try different boats before we bought one ourselves. You will have to get some credentials first before chartering, however, and different companies may make different demands. I chartered for 2 weeks to go to Desolation Sound (20 yrs ago) as I was completing a basic CSA course as a refresher - with no real experience other than taking a course 20 years earlier and (prob more importantly) 2 successful charters shortly thereafter. Your immediate condo requirements may scupper that option though.



Our 1st (and only) purchase was a 38 ft boat and that was bigger than anything we chartered. As long as you're relatively healthy, I don't see any real problems with starting at the lengths you're talking about - things are a bit bigger, a bit heavier and you may have more freeboard. But you still have to learn the foibles and characteristics of a particular boat to operate her. I was pretty "nervous" for the first couple of seasons but that was it - we too went out for a week with a hired captain ( after 2 yrs) to get an experienced assessment of our abilities, and to improve them. But we have the room we want ( oh I have 4 ft-itis moments too) and that makes the boat a keeper for us. PNW weather can keep you inside a boat and nothing worse imo than to be cramped up inside something too small.


We may see you cruising the Salish Sea in the near future :thumb::thumb:

contrail 16-10-2019 14:23

Re: First timer, can use some help choosing a boat
 
Whilst it is easier to learn small, your criteria start with three cabins and your use is going to be local cruising with your kids, and you probably want all of them to come to love sailing. So that trumps "start small", for those who didn't read your original post carefully. And, by the way, it is certainly feasible to start with a bigger boat. Many do. The other problem with buying a bigger boat is that, if you find you don't like sailing, your investment (and probable loss), will be larger. But, there are many pleasures in life that require risking something, including sailing, so I would press on. It might makes sense, however, to charter a boat, locally, with a captain, for a long weekend with the family, to see if there are any immediate red flags (sea sickness being one) and if everyone who needs to buy in, does so.


After that, well, your budget means you will get an older boat, and probably one that has a short equipment list, but you can extend that as you wish. The old Morgan OI 41 would definitely be a candidate as they are old enough to have possibly had a big refit. But most of them were in charter, at some point, and I am guessing that beyond a certain age, most three cabin boats will have been charter boats. And there are plenty of charter boats that are in good shape, particularly if there has been a private owner, since the charter career. You specifically mentioned two Jeanneaus. Nothing about either would put me off, but I would get the best surveyor I could find. Another poster mentioned a catamaran, and you expressed an interest in one, but can't get a slip for a year and a half. That makes me wonder if you would do best to get on that waiting list, and use the intervening year and a half joining a sailing club, or volunteering on a race boat crew (beginners are fine for both), and sailing as much as possible on other people's boats. In a year, start looking for an appropriate cat, which, by the way, may strain the budget a bit. But you would get the experience you want and need, and then start with a boat well suited to your particular task. An added bonus is that it might be the boat that you want to take cruising when you set out in ten years. By then, you would know it and its equipment perfectly. So would your kids.

GordonShumway 16-10-2019 17:09

Re: First timer, can use some help choosing a boat
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by desodave (Post 2997880)
You're NOT an idiot, just optimistic!

haha, thanks!


Quote:

Have you considered chartering yourself?
That's an interesting idea... We do have an immediate need we're trying to satisfy, but it might be worth seeing if we can get out on a weekend with a captain and charter a couple different boats. Not sure what that would cost... probably cheaper than buying the wrong boat lol.

Quote:

We may see you cruising the Salish Sea in the near future :thumb::thumb:
Hell yeah, definitely!

akprb 17-10-2019 00:12

Re: First timer, can use some help choosing a boat
 
Never heard this question before.

acem 17-10-2019 07:26

Re: First timer, can use some help choosing a boat
 
If I did not start with a smaller boat I would start with a boat with lesser value first for learning to sail. It takes a while to get better at docking, reefing, etc (small boats are just more forgiving). If you damage a 20K boat you will be less sick than if you damage a 100K boat...

Of course if you are just living on the boat without sailing, thats a different situation. You would probably be better off with a houseboat for that. I would not be above living on a houseboat.

Thx-Ace

IrieSailor 17-10-2019 08:41

Re: First timer, can use some help choosing a boat
 
I apologise I did not go into detail & perhaps I was too quick to knock the Charter boat (I’m getting the impression your not going to be doing a whole ton of sailing at the moment and that is quite all right. I was trying to point out what a good sailing vessel that will be used frequently for the purpose of sailing or long term cruising will require.

It’s really hard to look at a boat on-line and come to any solid conclusions. It’s also not practical to go and visit every single boat you think may be a possible winner. You also cannot pay to have every other boat professionally surveyed. So you need to get very critical and dial in exactly what you need from the boat you intend to purchase and ask the seller precise questions to narrow down the search. If you don’t know very much about boats one quick way to narrow your search is to only look at boats that have been recently surveyed (this will narrow your search very quickly)

Create a list of what you definitely need in a boat: So far I’ve gathered you want a boat that you can comfortably live aboard in with your family that has at least 3 cabins. Some of us consider the head or the main salon to be a cabin so you’ll need to think about what you consider to be a cabin. I also read you eventually someday would like to sell the boat and maybe go cruising as a couple. This is why I emphasized re-saleability.

Boat’s are not good investments ! Repeat that to yourself like a mantra ! They are luxuries.

So buying a boat that can be re- sold quickly is sort of an art form but it should be learned.

Next you need to ask yourself is it a sailboat I need right now ? That’s a serious question. You can live on the water with many different kinds of boats and buy a little American 14.6 (good boat for adults and kids to learn on self-bailing and un-sinkable) as your tender and learn to sail on it.

If your truely set on a sailboat : then right now it seems to me you do not need a blue water cruiser. You need space, you need amenities like solar & wind power (if you plan to live on the hook), a great battery bank & a modern inverter system, ample grey water & fresh water tanks. Definitely new or recently updated wiring, pumps, and plumbing. Perhaps dingy davits, An excellent Bimini top, a stand up shower, things of this nature. That all spells Catalina to me but others will argue differently.

I suggested the Morgan Out Island but I was thinking of cruising and maybe that’s not a good fit for your certain needs at the moment. Anyway here is an example of a very clean and pristine boat in your price range https://moreboats.com/boats/catalina/42-mkii/318879.
I would consider this a decent coastal boat. I don’t like the wing keel (whole other topic) but it’s just an example of a clean boat and for your needs a boat with a wing keel wont make much of a difference. I’m not suggesting this is the boat to buy. What I want you to notice is the sellers description, notice how it mentions the rigging & wireing is new ect..

Also remember boats your looking at do not need to be in your area ! You can have a boat delivered to any destination by a competent sailor, many can be found on this forum. One good way to buy a boat actually is tell a seller I’ll put half down and you can get the other half if you can sail and deliver the boat to a certain destination. I’m not a broker by the way lol just giving you an example.

I’ve owned many different sailboats in my life but I’ve learned to choose them for my situation and destination.

Now I Currently I own a 26 ft trailerable sailboat with a shallow draft. It suits my situation. I’m not going to go cruising again in the next few years. I own a home so I don’t need to live aboard the boat. I have a garden so I can keep the boat at home on a trailer and don’t have to pay mooring or docking fees. I go exploring on the weekends or whenever the weather is right and overnight the odd time. I want to be able to sail in shallow water so I can fully appreciate and explore the many different waters around my home in the Florida Keys. I watch the weather and don’t head out if there’s heavy chop or high winds and I’m quite ok with that at the moment. Light weather, Coastal sailing in a boat that can hold 2 adults and 4 kids safely & comfortably.

I take the boat out often and though the boat has a motor I rarely use it. I bought a sailboat because I want to sail it. I bought this particular style of sailboat because it was practical for my needs, It was in pristine condition for it’s age, and I’m certain I will be able to sell it (quickly) for slightly less than the price I paid for it in a couple of years. My whole point is I bought a specific style of boat for the right reasons and with a practical approach (I hope).

Anyway I wish you and your family the best of luck in your search. I hope I’ve been slightly helpful. It has cost me a lot of money and many hours sweating and cursing trying to fix up old boats (time that would have been better spent sailing them) & trying to get rid of boats that I put too much money into. Eventually I learned my lessons over the years, hopefully you will follow some of the excellent advice provided in these forums and choose a good boat that serves it’s intended purpose for your situation.

joelhemington 17-10-2019 10:06

Re: First timer, can use some help choosing a boat
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by GordonShumway (Post 2997368)
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 :biggrin:

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!!

Of the two major production French boats, Jeanneau and Benteau, most people would consider Jeanneau to be the better of the two (fewer bean counters in the boatyard) That said, if there were major corners cut in the build, you'd find it on the charter boats as this is a very competitive market and one that Beneteau is very big in. Thus I would choose the slightly newer 39' er as it appears to be a non-charter vessel.

A well maintained diesel engine can easily go for 25,000 miles with a replacement cost of about $20 grand installed. If you're buying a twenty year old boat, understand that most (if not all) of the original equipment will need to be replaced prior to any serious blue water cruising. This can easily add up to more than you paid for the boat initially. Plus you should really have a genset and watermaker as well as the solar to run the watermaker and other electrical needs. This is not a poor man's game. I know of many sailors that rely on rain water catchment rather than a watermaker but once you get to atoll world in a particularly dry spell, you may find the residents less than keen to let you fill up your tanks with their limited water supply.

Being in somewhat the same position as you ( currently looking even though I do have roughly 3,000 nautical miles under my belt on other people's boats), I have narrowed my search criterion to three major concerns.

1. No wet hulls and/or keels.

2 No soft/wet decks

3. No compromised bulkheads.

As I am currently browsing the 46' Hallberg Rasseys ( I say browsing as there are very few Hallbergs here on the West Coast to actually look at). I plan a circumnavigation within the next three years and need the 46'er to accommodate some crew (I need my sleep) As I am looking at boats in the 10 to 15 year old range, I fully expect to be making many changes. Everything shy of the big three can be replaced - it just costs money.

MJH 17-10-2019 11:02

Re: First timer, can use some help choosing a boat
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by GordonShumway (Post 2997368)
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 :biggrin:

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!!

Gordon,

Looks like you have caught the sailing bug watching half of Seattle disappear during the summer as they go north to the San Juans, Desolation Sound, and Alaska...been there done that for the last 24 years and don't blame you.

Now on to reality. My sailboat ownership history went from a 22' to a 28' to a 42'; 22' to 28' was easy but the 28' to 42' offshore boat was more complicated and expensive. Also, I learned that the family lost real interest with the 22'...I was on my own.

From your post I don't think you are the maintenance loving type. Additionally, having four kids at home for the next ten years will occupy the center of your life, take my word for it.

While I have never chartered a boat I think that is the best course for you at this point to get your feet wet (so to speak) into sailing. Take the classes with your family to all get prepared. When you return from your sailing adventures all you have to do is write the check. Each year purposely choose a different make/model of boat to experience what the differences are. Invest for that boat for you and the wife, ten years is a good investment target date.

As it gets closer to when "...the kids are off" and you can look to your sailing experience come back with your questions.

~ ~ _/) ~ ~ MJH

GordonShumway 17-10-2019 13:10

Re: First timer, can use some help choosing a boat
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by IrieSailor (Post 2998348)
I apologise I did not go into detail & perhaps I was too quick to knock the Charter boat (Iím getting the impression your not going to be doing a whole ton of sailing at the moment and that is quite all right. I was trying to point out what a good sailing vessel that will be used frequently for the purpose of sailing or long term cruising will require.

No need to apologize! I get what you're saying...I suppose you could break our requirements into 2 categories: The live-aboard portion (i.e. the need for a 'condo') and the sailing aspect. I think even though at least initially the 'condo' is the more important part, we definitely want to sail as well and want a boat well equipped for sailing.

Quote:

Itís really hard to look at a boat on-line and come to any solid conclusions. Itís also not practical to go and visit every single boat you think may be a possible winner. You also cannot pay to have every other boat professionally surveyed. So you need to get very critical and dial in exactly what you need from the boat you intend to purchase and ask the seller precise questions to narrow down the search. If you donít know very much about boats one quick way to narrow your search is to only look at boats that have been recently surveyed (this will narrow your search very quickly)
Yes, that's the conundrum! good tip to look for boats already surveyed. Will brokers readily share those results with potential buyers? My assumption is that surveys are done usually as part of a sale, and if that boat is still for sale it means the previous buyer walked... Would want to know more about why in that case!

Quote:

I also read you eventually someday would like to sell the boat and maybe go cruising as a couple. This is why I emphasized re-saleability.
...
So buying a boat that can be re- sold quickly is sort of an art form but it should be learned.

Next you need to ask yourself is it a sailboat I need right now ?

Quote:

A well maintained diesel engine can easily go for 25,000 miles with a replacement cost of about $20 grand installed. If you're buying a twenty year old boat, understand that most (if not all) of the original equipment will need to be replaced prior to any serious blue water cruising. This can easily add up to more than you paid for the boat initially.
I added this quote from Joel in a separate comment because I think these are related. My reason for a sailboat now (vs a motor yacht or something similar) is mainly that it lines up with our long term goals. If we want to head out sailing someday it probably would be a good idea to learn to sail at some point :biggrin:. If we get a sailboat now we can begin that process of becoming competent sailers while also using the boat as our 'home base' when we need a crash pad.

Joel's quote touches on why I assume we'll be looking for a different boat when the times comes to cruise. My assumption being that what works for us now won't necessarily be the same thing when it comes time to set off around the world, and setting up a boat that way is expensive! BUT - in an ideal world it would be best if we didn't need to change boats.

Quote:

If your truely set on a sailboat : then right now it seems to me you do not need a blue water cruiser. You need space, you need amenities like solar & wind power (if you plan to live on the hook), a great battery bank & a modern inverter system, ample grey water & fresh water tanks. Definitely new or recently updated wiring, pumps, and plumbing. Perhaps dingy davits, An excellent Bimini top, a stand up shower, things of this nature. That all spells Catalina to me but others will argue differently.

Anyway here is an example of a very clean and pristine boat in your price range https://moreboats.com/boats/catalina/42-mkii/318879.
I've come across a few 3 cabin Catalina's and I have to say I really like them - they seem like really solid boats. And I see what you mean about the long list of maintenance and improvements. I'm into old VW's so I'm well versed in the idea that you're buying the prior owners maintenance (or lack thereof) in addition to the car ...love to see those stacks of receipts!


Quote:

Also remember boats your looking at do not need to be in your area ! You can have a boat delivered to any destination by a competent sailor, many can be found on this forum. One good way to buy a boat actually is tell a seller Iíll put half down and you can get the other half if you can sail and deliver the boat to a certain destination. Iím not a broker by the way lol just giving you an example.
It's funny you mention this - I saw a boat last night that's in the mid-west that if it was local I'd be all over! I chatted with my broker this morning about it actually. He mentioned it would take a de-rig, truck, and re-rig. He thought the de-rig and re-rig would be 2500-3500 each, plus whatever the truck ran to get it out to Seattle. Does that sound about right? I know that people ship/truck boats to get exactly what they want, but $10k-$15k is a lot of money!!


Quote:

Anyway I wish you and your family the best of luck in your search. I hope Iíve been slightly helpful.
Thank you, and you've been more than 'slightly' helpful!

GordonShumway 17-10-2019 13:13

Re: First timer, can use some help choosing a boat
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by MJH (Post 2998430)
From your post I don't think you are the maintenance loving type. Additionally, having four kids at home for the next ten years will occupy the center of your life, take my word for it.

Don't get me wrong, I love a good project! I have an '87 VW Westfalia that definitely fits that bill lol. But to your point, with 4 kids, soccer, school, etc etc life is very busy and I don't think I'd be setting myself up for success if I took on a boat that had a lengthy list of things needing immediate attention!

Bon Temps 28-10-2019 08:04

Re: First timer, can use some help choosing a boat
 
A lot of info here. I will keep mine short. If you want a floating condo you want a catamaran. You also will not scare the crap out of nonsailers by heeling over at 45į

mustbenuts 28-10-2019 08:57

Re: First timer, can use some help choosing a boat
 
Good luck! Went from a Sunfish to a Chrysler Buccaneer to a Sabre - then a SeaRay stinkpot hiatus - but back looking for a cruiser/liveaboard. Keep reading up on this site. A wealth of knowledge here!
Fair seas and following winds!

Nepidae 28-10-2019 17:57

Re: First timer, can use some help choosing a boat
 
I'm currently NOT a sail boater, we own a trawler.

Regardless, I'd say, if you have sailing experience, that you go for a 42 as opposed to a smaller boat. Even though you say it probably isn't going to be your boat in 10yrs, you never know and you can get a lot more personal items and has space for you both, in a 42 opposed to a 39 (3' is a big deal).

I'd also point out that the 42 pictures show that the anchor chain hasn't been well cared for so what else hasn't been. I take our anchor chain each year and disconnect it from the anchor and store it in a bucket (@150'). As I drop it in the bucket I spray with a corrosion inhibitor. What's left in the can when all the chain is in the bucket is sprayed on top.

There is no rust on our chain. IT looks also that the windlass is a LoFrans Tigres which is a great windlass, in fact we have 1 on our boat.

I'd check when the last time it had maintenance done on it. You don't want that to fail when you need it most. Couldn't see the anchor.

Also noticed that they had put a Smart Plug on the shore power. Great move and a very safe setup, BUT it also looks like the boot where the cord enters the plug is split on top and will need to be replaced.

Not a fan of Raymarine but probably needs replacing anyway. A negotiation point.

The teak decks look pretty good.

Couldn't read the Hobbs meter but I'd have an engine survey done, even if it is 170hrs.

Don't like the blue tape on whatever it's on in whatever locker that is.

Interior looks in pretty good shape.

Bottom doesn't seem to show any blistering.

Obviously, check all rigging, sails and covers, as well as all furling gear. Very expensive to replace

When we bought our trawler I had a walk-thru survey done, to decide if I was going to go further. Might, if it is a strong contender, or when you have a strong contender, want to consider it.

Hope this helps.

Good luck.

SofiaB 28-10-2019 18:58

Re: First timer, can use some help choosing a boat
 
I was in your same position 8 years ago: What boat to buy as my first boat? After searching for 2 years and reading every post about good boats and intended purpose... I chose a boat. Then after sailing for a year I realized what I wanted and I realized I had no clew and could not have made a good decision until I sailed for awhile. Only then did I realize exactly what I wanted. I then sold and purchased my next boat. It was only then that I found that whatever everyone else told me did not matter. I needed to gain the knowledge and experience for myself. But I had to first sail the boat. I first discovered that I did really like sailing and my decision to not go all in on the first boat was a good decision. I learned that my family also liked the lifestyle and we wanted more. We learned what each of us wanted and also what we didn’t like about our first boat. So, that’s my experience and at the same time my advice. Good luck! I hope your story turns out like ours.

s/v Breakaway 31-10-2019 05:29

Re: First timer, can use some help choosing a boat
 
Gordon,
Based on your needs and situation, I think getting an off-charter Bene-Jenn-Cat would be a good choice. And with $125,000 you should be able to get a decent boat. But as has been said before, when buying used, the condition of the individual boat is what matters. It doesn't cost anything to start looking at boats for sale and getting ideas of what appeals to you. At least you already know that this may not be your "forever" boat.

Good luck!

KTP 02-11-2019 17:55

Re: First timer, can use some help choosing a boat
 
Look for things on the boat like this:

holes drilled and not repaired/filled in

wires electrical taped together instead of crimps and heat shrink

non working bilge pumps

filthy raw sea water strainer (all clogged)

worn running rigging


If you see much of the above, you will know the boat was not maintained in the other 90 places you didn't notice.

Belle25 20-02-2021 08:00

Re: First timer, can use some help choosing a boat
 
I'm in the same boat too. I have no sailing experience and want a monohull sailboat. I don't like the sailing dinghy idea at all. I wonder what kind of path I should take to start. Has anyone completely skipped the Lasers / Sunfishes and become a good sailor?

Sailmonkey 20-02-2021 08:28

Re: First timer, can use some help choosing a boat
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Belle25 (Post 3347265)
I'm in the same boat too. I have no sailing experience and want a monohull sailboat. I don't like the sailing dinghy idea at all. I wonder what kind of path I should take to start. Has anyone completely skipped the Lasers / Sunfishes and become a good sailor?



There are a few whoíve skipped solo dinghys and been great sailors. You can certainly become a competent sailor starting on a small keelboat, but chances are youíll never really develop the muscle memory a dinghy builds for being in tune with the wind.

Belle25 20-02-2021 08:54

Re: First timer, can use some help choosing a boat
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sailmonkey (Post 3347276)
chances are youíll never really develop the muscle memory a dinghy builds for being in tune with the wind.

I think I'm gonna take that chance. Some things are learned better when one is a kid. Music, even racing bikes, I think sailing is like that too. I bet somebody who has grown up among dinghies will always be better than the rest. Unfortunately, I'll be one of those who starts at 25 and wants to skip the dinghy phase...
I'm interested in what did you mean with small keel boat? I know what keel boat is and how it differs from the Lasers and such. My question is what picture comes to your view when you pronounce those words, keel boats - a 20ft sailboat, or a 30feeter?

akprb 20-02-2021 09:04

Re: First timer, can use some help choosing a boat
 
Do you want to sail or do you want to go cruising?

Big difference.

Belle25 20-02-2021 09:12

Re: First timer, can use some help choosing a boat
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by akprb (Post 3347290)
Do you want to sail or do you want to go cruising?

Big difference.

both... in the beginning sailing.

akprb 20-02-2021 09:34

Re: First timer, can use some help choosing a boat
 
(I went back and read through this thread and realized is was not your original question but that is ok, I don't think anyone will care. It has also been a long time since I have checked in and was good to see a lot of familiar names chiming in)

Next question. If you had a pizza pie and some toppings were "sailing" and some were "cruising" What would the pie look like?

"Sailing" being your desire to tack and jibe, run around the bouys, go as fast as possible, stay wet and laughing. It is having callouses on both hands from holding wet sheets and halyards. It is understanding the dynamics of sail shape and trim and on and on.

"Cruising" being your desire to explore far away places (or even close ones) from the deck of your own vessel. To drop anchor safely and securely and sleep soundly after a good passage. It is moving through the water with grace but not necessarily fast and enjoying the moments of a passage. It is less tacking and jibing more "set the sails" and enjoy the ride. You are not opposed to motoring when needed and enjoy the challenges of spending extended time in a small space fixing things :-)

So how many slices of the pie would be "sailing" and how many "cruising." (you have eight slices to work with) :-)

This affects how I think about answering your question, "how do I best get the experience I need?" Did I get that right? If not let me know.

Don C L 20-02-2021 09:41

Re: First timer, can use some help choosing a boat
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Belle25 (Post 3347285)
I think I'm gonna take that chance. Some things are learned better when one is a kid. Music, even racing bikes, I think sailing is like that too. I bet somebody who has grown up among dinghies will always be better than the rest. Unfortunately, I'll be one of those who starts at 25 and wants to skip the dinghy phase...
I'm interested in what did you mean with small keel boat? I know what keel boat is and how it differs from the Lasers and such. My question is what picture comes to your view when you pronounce those words, keel boats - a 20ft sailboat, or a 30feeter?

Lasers are sure fun, but you can do well with a Catalina 22 or 25. You can trailer it, they are common, they aren't too expensive, good resale and the sail well; you can develop some of that muscle memory... but Lasers really are fun....

Belle25 20-02-2021 14:30

Re: First timer, can use some help choosing a boat
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by akprb (Post 3347309)
... If you had a pizza pie and some toppings were "sailing" and some were "cruising" What would the pie look like?

So how many slices of the pie would be "sailing" and how many "cruising." (you have eight slices to work with) :-)

This affects how I think about answering your question, "how do I best get the experience I need?" Did I get that right? If not let me know.

Actually, I ended up ordering a pizza after reading your post. :)
I guess it'll be a mixed pizza. I wanna sail at the beginning, but as I build my confidence, I wanna start going places. No rush here, i know porgress takes time.
I sure won't enjoy the wet experience of Lasers. I don't care much about racing or in and out of water dinghy fun. I'd really prefer to skip that step. The bad thing about my personality is that I don't do well in social groups either, a loner here. I, also, would like to keep the taking classes kinda thing at a minimum level. I wanna somehow learn and start with a 20 - 25ft. I've read lots of conflicting opinions here. Some say start with a small keel boat. others say "oh no difference btw 22 or 37 when it comes to sailing."
Here I am with no experience at all and looking for a considerably 'dry' start.

Belle25 20-02-2021 14:33

Re: First timer, can use some help choosing a boat
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Don C L (Post 3347313)
Lasers are sure fun, but you can do well with a Catalina 22 or 25. You can trailer it, they are common, they aren't too expensive, good resale and the sail well; you can develop some of that muscle memory... but Lasers really are fun....

wouldn't a 22 ft too big for a beginner? I'd rather go with a 25ft if could start in it with no prior experience. I was even looking at posts about 27 ft boats, but i think that would be a lot for my experience level, which is nothing at the moment.


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