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Old 02-20-2005, 11:03 AM   #1
abark
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Default How little can I spend?

What is a reasonable amount in US dollars, that I could spend and get a seaworthy boat?

Do I need to spend 100,000 or more? Or can I find a decent boat for less?

My interest would be in things like the ICW, down to the Carribean, and if possible to places like New Zealand and other exotic places.

I don't know much about yachts, and I've been having trouble trying to find answers and information about this kind of thing. I'm not looking to buy tomorrow, just trying to find out what I need to know and how much it is going to cost. Everything I find always talks about racing. I don't care about racing!

Are there years or models I should pay attention to?
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Old 02-20-2005, 01:59 PM   #2
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Your question ranks up there with 'What is the best dinghy to buy", in terms of difficulty in answering. You must be brutal with yourself, forget about what other people tell you for the moment and decide what sort of sailing you want to do. Sitting at the dock, coastal cruising and ocean crossings all demand a different set of criteria be met. When you decide what style of sailing you want to do determine what size boat you will need to get. You can cruise the world on a well found 30 footer with a long keel if you don't mind cramped conditions. Visit your local marinas and chat to cruising couples to get a feel for the subject and annoy crusinig sailors at the local yacht clubs...Most will be happy to take you out so you can experience a day on the water in different sized craft. Best of luck...I went through the same process from 1984 to 1996! As far as price goes you could get a good small world cruiser for $30K. Have a look for books on minimalist cruising by Lyn and Larry Pardy.

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Old 02-20-2005, 02:19 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply..

I realize it's not easy to answer..

But I am mostly just trying to get an idea of how cheap is too cheap.. do you know what I mean?

In other words I don't want to do something like spending 10k and then find out the boat needs 80k in work! Obviously, I understand you need to get them appraised..

But what is a reasonable price range to look in for something comfortable?
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Old 02-21-2005, 04:40 PM   #4
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I read your question, it can't be answered, but first you need to really know what you want your yacht to do for you. Ocean passage, around the bay, weekends or full time sailing all require a different type of yacht. Next is where you would look for a yacht, that sounds a bit strange for a beginner but in Australia the location of a yacht will alter it's price by up to 20%, then the same yacht could be dearer or cheaper elsewhere in the world. Have a look for a medium/heavy displacement yacht with a full length keel on the internet and you will see what I mean.

Firstly know realistically what you want to do with it and what the length is you would consider neccessary; then talk to cruising folk and listen to their advise and ask more questions. Where a yacht broker is involved don't ask questions or listen to their pitch.

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Peter bedouin@hotkey.net.au
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Old 02-21-2005, 05:18 PM   #5
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Here’s a few sites that can give you some comparative pricing on a wide variety of boats. As previously stated, you must determine your own cruising requirements, as a “do-anything” boat (if it exists) would be very expensive.

Boat Price Guides:

http://www.boatforsale.org/value/

http://www.nadaguides.com ~ http://www.boats.com/nada/nada.jsp

http://www.boattraderonline.com/

http://www.yachttraderonline.com/resources.php

HTH,

Gord
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Old 02-21-2005, 10:05 PM   #6
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As both of the replies you have received have stated it really does depend on the type of sailing you intend doing. However, as you mentioned sailing down to New Zealand I presume that you need a boat capable of looking after you on an extented ocean passage with all the potential bad weather that may be thrown at you.

Another factor is how many crew do you intend to take with you. If it is just yourself or with one other you can be comfortable on a sub 30 footer (not a 30 foot sub!!!). If you intend to have more onboard then you will probably want something bigger.

One of the things that I have noticed looking at plans and photographs of more modern boats is the lack of sea berths. That is they are fine in harbour, very spacious and comfortable. However, in any sort of seaway where do you wedge yourself in to get some quality sleep if the boat is being thrown about a bit. A big beamy boat is fine providing that you can go from hand hold to hand hold without being thrown across the cabin with the risk of ribs being broken or suffering bruising.

Of course everyone believes that their boat is ideal for its purpose and its very true that you may insult a man's wife, call his children morons but never, never critisize his boat!! Seriously though, you can do no better than go to a marina and speak to people who have sailed long distances and have experience of living onboard for a while. One quality that all sailors' have is that they are always willing to share their hard earned knowledge and welcome helping out others who aspire to be out there on the Big Blue. We are all proud of our boats and will always find time to show someone around and answer questions on various layouts, equipment and ways of doing things. Just by talking you will get a feel for the different ideas we all have and this will help you in your decision making - it will also confuse the devil out of you too as we are a contradictory lot and one man's godsend is another's pain in the rear!

A good strong boat with well maintained gear and a proper survey will serve you well and look after you and your crew if you treat her well and always respect the ocean.

Good luck in your search and don't lose sight of your goal

David
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Old 03-08-2005, 07:46 PM   #7
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Hello all

Abark, how strange, you have asked exactly(but exactly!) the same question that I have started to explore over the last couple of months. Thanks for starting the ball rolling.

Bedouin is correct in that it seems much more economical to purchase in the US. I am Australian(but in Burundi at the moment) and have started to consider purchasing in the US and sailing back across the Carribean or directly across the Pacific to Australia, where it would be used for weekenders and perhaps some deeper Indian Ocean cruising. I have the time but not enormous amounts of money.

I too am not planning this tomorrow but rather trying to educate myself in what is necessary to fulfill this dream.

I too do not have the urge to race, rather safely and reasonably comfortably cross an ocean or two. I have started to look at Hunters and Catalinas in the US. I think something around the 34/35 foot could be interesting but I am not sure of the strength of these boats. In line with my budget most of the boats that I have looked at on the net are from the '85 to '90 period.

You may already know of yachtworld.com It is fast and easy to use and starts to give an idea of what is available.

I have a couple of questions for David Shipton, Bedouin and Auzzee. Would you mind suggesting just how long a keel is a 'full-length keel'? I have seen everything on Hunter 34's from 3'9" to 6'. Similarly to abark, could you suggest a manufacturer/s of 'good strong boats'? And finally how heavy is 'medium/heavy displacement'?

Any other advice is very, very welcome.

Good luck abark. Perhaps you might care to post the evolution of your education in the future. It would be very useful for me as well.
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Old 03-08-2005, 08:25 PM   #8
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I'll jump in. A "full keel" refers to its length along the hull, not its depth. The 3'6", 6' refers to its draft.

Let's see -

Watermelon is a fin keel boat with a draft of 7'2" (give or take a few inches depending on how much "stuff" is loaded on). Here's a link to her on the hard, having lots of work done to her. Note the keel: http://www.fototime.com/A0518F87B6EABF6/standard.jpg

Here's a "project boat" listed for sale on Ebay - it has what I believe is a "full keel with cutaway forefoot" (close, maybe not exact): http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAP...4532128236&rd=1

And here's a picture of a Hans Christian yacht, full keel: http://www.hanschristianyachts.com/Yacht%201B.jpg

My opinion? Fin keel. Sails better, tracks and tacks better, usually on a lighter boat and faster.

I do not believe that anyone would consider a Hunter a blue-water cruising boat, though for coastal sailing they can be lovely boats.

You will have as many opinions about a boat as there are owners of boats! Sail on a bunch of them. Join a sailing club. Join the Seven Seas Cruising Association (www.ssca.org) and see what other cruisers are sailing on!

Fair winds,

Jeanne
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Old 03-09-2005, 08:45 AM   #9
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Hi Abark,

Maybe it's helpful to ask this question a different way! If you ask "how little can I spend" then I'll ask you "what do you want".

So let's start there: Things to consider are how many people does this boat have to cater for? Do you require hot and cold running everything, microwave, satellite everything...? Are operating costs important to you or is recurrent funding not an issue?....

I notice that other posters to this thread have said that 30 feet will leave you cramped...well it depends. We have 32 feet and it feels like a ballroom to us.

For my money you should buy the smallest boat that meets your requirements. Smaller boats are (within reason) easier to handle and cheaper and quicker to maintain. My wife can put on a couple of coats of anti fouling in a day on our 32 footer. Try that on a 40 footer on your own.

The whole issue of moderate/heavy vs light displacement is one of load carrying capacity. The light displacement fin keeled boat will (length for length) carry less load before its performance and stability are affected cf a moderate/heavy displacement boat with a full keel. I have NEVER seen an "under loaded" cruising boat.

My own personal tendencies are to something around 30-35 feet (no less than 28 feet). Beam is probably more important in determining boat size than is length. For me it's nothing less than 10-11 feet beam. I have a tendency towards low tech though not to startling degrees. We have a chart plotter and DSC VHF radio together with a manual anchor windlass but no watermaker, radar or electric autopilot. The boat has to be able to do the miles. Slow boats are death. But do not automatically equate a slow boat with a full keel and heavy displacement.

In Australia you would buy a suitable boat up to 20 years old with these kind of characteristics for under AUD$100,000 and spend say AUD$20,000 readying it to cruise and updating equipment. You could also easily spend $250K+ if you wanted to! If buying second hand ALWAYS use an independent surveyor, haul the boat for them to survey and use the results to decide whether to go ahead or as a bargaining tool. Go in with your eyes open.

Best of luck, I'd love to know how your thinking progresses. Above all sail on a few different boats and work out what your priority list is.
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Old 03-09-2005, 06:08 PM   #10
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May I further muddy the waters - you will also need to consider:

CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS

ferro cement - cheaper but very difficult to resell

steel - very strong, may be slower and requires extra attention

wood - traditional, great ambience, but also requires TLC

fibreglass - typically requires less maintainance but can have its problems (check out bumfuzzle's website) not as strong as steel and generally more expensive

May I also suggest that while you may not wish to race your own boat, crewing on race boats teaches you quickly the fundamentals of sailing and gives you the opportunity to try a number of different boats. I also support the advice from the others - take your time and work out what you want to do with your boat.

Best of luck with your search!
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Old 03-09-2005, 06:55 PM   #11
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Abark, you really need to step back and reassess your question. The way you have stated it, just as has been done on BB's like this one by hundreds of others, is fundamentally flawed:

"My interest would be in things like the ICW, down to the Carribean, and if possible to places like New Zealand and other exotic places."

To motor down the Ditch, selectively motorsail to windward into the E Caribbean (or via the Windward Passage to the Central Caribbean, or Yucatan Channel to the W Caribbean) is in reality not a terribly demanding task presuming you are reasonably skilled and the boat's basic structure and systems are sound. Not massive, not complex...just basic & sound. And you can find many boats, properly maintained and further outfitted by you, for perhaps half your $100K to accomplish this.

But you throw a real monkey wrench into the mix when you extend the question to 'cross an ocean and sail below 40S' or suggest something even more openended. Just about all the requirements a boat must meet ramp up significantly when you change the goal that substantially.

So...I'd recommend you first firm up your goal(s). Yes, it's hard to do that when starting without much experience and so, if you stick with the open-ended aspiration, then you are left with 3 basic choices (even if you don't make one):

1. Buy a boat suitable for the 'sure thing' shorter-term goal (Caribbean sailing) with the plan to swap it out for another boat if your ambitions expand. Two outfitting periods & learning curves; not the most cost effective option

2. Buy a basic boat suitable for the longer-term goals but equip it simply for the short-term plans. While ultimately more cost effective and 'flexible' than option #1, you'll be buying more boat (in size, tankage, build quality, etc.) than you may ultimately need, and you'll pay a higher initial price.

3. But the long distance boat now. One learning curve (in systems, boat performance, etc.) and every improvement you make will pay dividends both short- and long-term; the best choice if you ultimately go to NZ but don't overlook that some systems will wear out before the longer trips, even if they're not deeply used on the shorter runs.

All the 'long keel' and 'heavy displacement' discussions are premature and to some degree misleading, in any event.

Jack
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Old 03-12-2005, 02:13 AM   #12
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Abark, What my collegues are saying is that you don't know anywhere near enough to even think about buying a boat. Learn to sail! Then sign on as crew, paying if necessary, to learn some of the fundamentals. You then may realize that you can sail the world on other people's boats, eventually even earn money as paid crew, and then you'll know what you need. A boat is about 25 percent of the cost of sailing off. The are dozens, perhaps hundreds of people like you whose dreams have died because they never learned enough before they bought that first boat. Don't think you can beat the odds. I wish you well, Doug
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Old 03-14-2005, 08:13 AM   #13
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Don't be disheartened. Most of the posts are from people (including me) who bought the wrong yacht in the past. Most respondents are trying to assist you in avoiding those mistakes. However, my first yacht was a 23' drop keeled sloop. It was entirely the wrong boat from my purposes, but I had a wonderful 2 years sailing that little yacht and learned to sail it safely. I now have a 55' cutter which I would not have bought without my initial experiences. The only advice I will add to my previous post is don't buy a bomb, but do buy something, go sailing, follow your dream and change your life for the better. You will learn more on your own boat than you will on someone else's.
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Old 03-23-2005, 09:58 PM   #14
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What my wife and I have done is buy a small used boat (a Catalina 22 swing keel) to learn to sail with and decide if we are really going to make a leap to an offshore liveabord/cruiser. We understand the shortcomings of the boat we have now but are learning all the basics of sailing and that should apply to any sailboat. Also this is not our first boat (actually we have 6 other watercraft, one of which is larger) just our first one that is sail powered. Most of our previous boating expirience is with river running in the USA and Canada.

So far the sailing expirience has been wonderful but a little scarry at times (like our first 30 knot gust and having way too much sail up).

We have been sailing on the Great Salt Lake over 20 times so far (we only got the boat in the water last fall) and are getting ready for a little trip this summer to the Pacific Northwest (San Juan islands).

As for our ultimate goal, we have decided on looking for a steel pilothouse (cutter, sloop, or ketch) in the 35 to 40 foot range. We are looking for a used boat and the "refitting/outfitting" will be done by ourselves as much as can be (we are planning on this being near $20,000 US).

So I may ask of other members here: What do YOU look for in an offshore boat?

Carl
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