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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Boat Review and Purchase Forum > Boat Buyers & Sellers Forum
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Old 02-17-2010
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Finally preparing to buy

Hello everyone,

I have been considering buying a boat to live on for about five years now and am finally at the point where I can make it happen. Here is my situation:

I have about $35,000 saved. I am looking to spend 15,000-25,000 on the boat and use the remaining money to sail for as long as I can before returning to work. I am 6' 2" so I need something with decent headroom and will be sharing the space with my girlfriend so there has to be enough room for two people.

I will be sailing primarily along the east coast of the united states and the Bahamas, however if the boat is capable I would be interested in venture further abroad.

Do any of you know of any boats for sale that would fit this bill? I think something 30' or larger would be preferred since this is going to be our home.



I saw a 1974 38' Irwin for sale on sailboatlistings.com for $25,000 which seemed to be in decent condition considering its age, any thoughts?

Also I was looking at a 1982 34' Irwin citation ($17,000) or a 1979 30' Islander Bahama.

I am entirely open to other boat suggestions so long as the price is right because my primary focus is making this happen now not when I save more money. I will of course conduct a full survey before purchasing anything.

I really appreciate any help you can provide!

EDIT: I am located in New York (near NYC)

Last edited by pos3idon; 02-17-2010 at 01:02 PM.
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Old 02-17-2010
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There are many good choices, Pearson, Alberg, Cape Dory, Beneteau, and dozens of others. But I would budget 20 to 30% for upgrades and fixes to anything you buy. All older boats have issues. Wiring, soft decks, engine, sails and rigging - one or several of these will need upgrading on an older boat.
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Old 02-17-2010
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At least 15-20% of purchase price is typically needed to update and repair most boats that old, unless you catch that rare find.

I would think once you look at the boats you mention above you will find they need a lot of work to do what you want to.

Many more will chime in with more concise details, but I think you'd be better off buying soon, liveaboard, and continue to work for a while before heading off?

My $.02

FWIW: I paid about $57,000 for our 1982 Tartan, since I have spent probably $15,000 upgrading and adding equipment, and I'm not even close to taking her offshore or living aboard, but then I guess everyone does things a little different
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The more boats you look at the more likely you will get it right, that's my only advice.
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Old 02-17-2010
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I bought a 1970 cal 29 last fall, and have lived on it while upgrading. Since buying it I've spent about 150% of the purchase price in upgrades and fixes. I knew what I was getting into though and am very happy with the boat. I think it boils down to whether or not you've got the time to spend making a boat what you really want it to be. I was pretty much going to spend 'x' amount to get a boat with the things I want, and thought I might get to know her a bit better a bit faster doing the work myself...Get a survey on WHATEVER you buy!
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Old 02-17-2010
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I would highly recommend that you look at smaller boats, in the price range of $15-20,000, that will sell for $12-16,000. This would give you enough of a reserve to outfit the boat fairly nicely, repair and upgrade it as necessary, and have a small amount for actually cruising the boat.

Any boat over 34' in your price range is probably going to require a fair bit of work, and not really be suitable for your purposes. IMHO, you'd be far better off getting a smaller boat that was in better shape.

Some boats that come to mind are the O'Day 302, the Catalina 30, the Tartan 30, etc. These are decent coastal cruisers, but not really boats that I'd consider bluewater capable, at least without some modification. Some other boats that come to mind are the Golden Hind 31, Southern Cross 28 or 31, the Norsea 27, the Hallberg-Rassy Monsun 31, and the Elizabethan 29, 30 or 31—all of which are proven bluewater capable boats.

Another good place to start looking is James Baldwin's Boat List or John Vigor's book, 20 Small Sailboats to Take you Anywhere.

I'd point out that headroom, while nice, is not anywhere near as important as finding a boat that has at least one berth that you can lie down in and stretch out comfortably in. Most of the time you're down below in a boat you are sitting, so standing headroom is not as important. If you don't have a berth long enough for you to sleep in, you're going to be pretty miserable.

I'd also recommend you read the Boat Inspection Trip Tips thread I started, as it will help you determine whether the boats you look at are even worth going forward on, saving you the price of a survey for boats that aren't worth looking at further.
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Old 02-17-2010
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I would endorse sailingdogs advise.
I cant comment on prices, but cost of maintenance is exponentially proportional to size of yacht and age.
You will need some time to get to know the boat before you attempt a passage. anyway good luck with it all.
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Last edited by St Anna; 02-17-2010 at 12:35 PM.
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Old 02-17-2010
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I appreciate all the advice you have provided thus far, I started to feel a little overwhelmed when I began actively looking at boats by the sheer volume of boats out there. Would anyone be able to provide some links to specific boats for sale that you think might work for me?

Thanks so much for all the help!!
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Old 02-17-2010
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It would help if you said where you were located, since looking at boats that are nearby is considerably less expensive than having to fly or drive 1000 miles...

I'd highly recommend you start by walking around the local marinas and talking to them. I'd bet there are quite a few boats in the local boatyards that would qualify for what you want to do, that aren't advertised anywhere. Read the Boat Inspection Trip Tips thread and take a digital camera, notebook, etc... and go looking.... This is likely the best way to find a real gem... the deals are out there, but few are "published" for sale on broker sites...

Quote:
Originally Posted by pos3idon View Post
I appreciate all the advice you have provided thus far, I started to feel a little overwhelmed when I began actively looking at boats by the sheer volume of boats out there. Would anyone be able to provide some links to specific boats for sale that you think might work for me?

Thanks so much for all the help!!
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 02-17-2010
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Thanks for the advice, I read the Boat Inspection Tips and found it to be very helpful. I will try at the local marinas, however the issue I seem to be running into here is that sailboats seem to be significantly more expensive (2-3 times) than similar vessels I looked at while living in Florida. Is this simply a matter of the economy being stronger in NY?

Primarily I am looking to buy in the Northeast (NY, CT, MA, NJ...) or Florida (I make regular trips to Tampa).

I wouldn't be surprised to find some good midwinter deals around here though.

Who would you recommend talking with at the boatyards to find out about vessels for sale? I have not had very much experience with boat yards so any advice on how to go about that would be appreciated.

Again, thanks for all the help :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
It would help if you said where you were located, since looking at boats that are nearby is considerably less expensive than having to fly or drive 1000 miles...

I'd highly recommend you start by walking around the local marinas and talking to them. I'd bet there are quite a few boats in the local boatyards that would qualify for what you want to do, that aren't advertised anywhere. Read the Boat Inspection Trip Tips thread and take a digital camera, notebook, etc... and go looking.... This is likely the best way to find a real gem... the deals are out there, but few are "published" for sale on broker sites...

Last edited by pos3idon; 02-17-2010 at 01:12 PM.
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