Join Date: Jul 2002
Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Rep Power: 15
Info on BENETEAU FIRST 405 1987
Rockie, you’ll surely get a variety of opinions. One reason is that others will substitute their own, varying views of the boat’s suitability for cruising in lieu of what should be applicable to you. (Just where DO you plan to ‘go cruising’?) Another reason is that your preference in rig, layout, systems, tankage et al. should be at the heart of the boat’s desirability…but others will substitute their own preferences. And there’s probably no more personal issue than the decision to become an absentee owner. So…a lot of what you ask is tough for others to answer.
Still, I realize everyone appreciates some feedback so let’s start with the draft issue. I can cite two recent examples of West Coast sailors who sailed their 7.5’ draft boats to the East Coast (Chesapeake Bay and Ft. Lauderdale), wanted to sell, but subsequently gave up due to the draft’s effect on potential buyers and returned them to CA (one by truck; one is underway as I write this). But more to the point, why do you care? If in 3 years you will START to begin cruising, why is resale at your departure point (a port of convenience to you, up to that point) a concern? This gets back to the question about what your actual (not ‘someday’ but realistic) cruising plans are. Many, many sailors who are going to sail off to the ‘islands’ don’t get much farther than the Bahamas, do their ‘Caribbean Thing’ and then sell the boat in the SE USA somewhere. Given that scenario, a 7’+ draft is a big liability. But if your plans include Europe or going thru the Canal (again, your ‘realistic’ plans…) then pick the boat for the route and the crew, not for SE USA draft concerns.
The impression I have from your post is that, contrary to what you state, you ARE in a bit of a hurry to buy. You’re having a Walmart Experience: You’ve found what *seems* to be a ‘good buy’ and don’t want to miss out. Yet you point out the boat is poorly located (due to berthing costs on the West Coast), while the ‘right place’ (SE USA) is flooded with brokerage boats. Why the rush to settle on this one (poorly located) boat, especially since you have the time to shop thoughtfully in the SE USA market?
Re: shipping costs, your most cost effective option is to truck to Galveston or Kemah or thereabouts and then deliver the boat to your preferred SE USA cruising grounds; much less costly.
Re: absentee ownership, how do you feel about the berthing, haulout and upkeep costs of a boat you use a few weeks each year? How about owning a boat in Hurricane Country with you unable to prep her for a storm...or arriving at the boat needing to undo your storm prep efforts from the last visit? And then there’s arriving at the boat for a few precious days and be torn between projects, improvements and using the boat. (A small, simpler boat works better for this scenario than a larger, complex boat).
Sorry I’ve raised more questions than answers, but you may need those more at this point.