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  #1  
Old 06-08-2006
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Buying my first boat

Friends,

I'm looking for some guidance as I'm stepping into the adventure of buying my first boat.

I will live on it and sail it whenever I get the chance. I'm looking in the Northwest (Seattle) area for sailing/cruising.

What I'm looking for is:
- A general idea of how much it will cost to maintain throughout the year.
- Single-handed sailing (I've been reading up on some of the threads regarding this).
- Anything I should take into account when looking at the boats
- All costs associated with buying the boat (surveyor, hauling it out etc...)

I'm traveling to Seattle for the week of Labor Day to meet up with a broker. I sent him a bunch of boats I really like and would like to take a look at if they are still available when I get there.

Also if there are any of you out there from the Seattle area I'd love to connect when I'm in town and you can show me around a bit. I'd appreciate it as I've never been there before. I'm relocating in November.

I'm not afraid to work hard or do a bit of work on the boat when I have time. I don't want to be stuck with a boat that needs major repairs or refits.

Here is a list of some that interest me and I'm sure I'll see a couple of these when I'm out there if they're still available:
http://tinyurl.com/l7tlx
http://tinyurl.com/lvnob
http://tinyurl.com/pprzf
http://tinyurl.com/nxc56
http://tinyurl.com/qkqv7
http://tinyurl.com/phmkq
http://tinyurl.com/r3lp2
http://tinyurl.com/llqgq
http://tinyurl.com/rqfxa
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Old 06-08-2006
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I am not qualified to advise you on any of them boats but I will say some of them look very nice. I was going to ask if the Bentley is made in the same yards as the Tayana's? They do have close resemblance.
Hope you find and score the most awesome boat.
Good Luck,
Curt
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Old 06-08-2006
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Frozenquest:
It looks to me like you need to refine your parameters for what kind of boat you are really after. Your list runs the gamet from heavy full keeled cruisers to fairly serious racer/cruisers. Sailing the the Pac Northwest I would suggest that, unless you have serious offshore aspirations, you stay on the performance side of the equation.

The salty looking ketches and cutters can be very frustrating to sail in light conditions and you'd likely end up motoring more often than not.

It's nice to have a responsive boat under you - not only under sail but perhaps even more so during docking maneuvers. Also something always high on my list is how well a boat backs up - most of those full keelers will be a challenge if you are backing into or out of tight spaces or unfamiliar marinas. Many such boats will not back up straight, even at some speed.

Judging by your list you have a reasonable budget for a first time buy, but be careful you don't bite off more than you can handle right away.

So I'd say you should figure out just what type of boat you are after first of all! Good Luck!
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Faster has words wisdom. The issue is what are you going to do with this boat. If you are going out day sailing and short weekend cruises avoid the Tayanas and the Hans Cs. These are well built boats desinged to sail offshore and will not be satisfying as coastal crusiers where conditions will be more moderate. These are live aboard type boats, but need the trades to make them fun.

Benataues, Ericsons, etc are good boats that one can live on comfortably when one's life is centered around a marina or protected anchorage. They can go offshore, but the the other boats will be more livable in offshore conditions.

With your budget you should have a lot of fun buying your boat.
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Old 06-09-2006
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Main Use

I do have serious aspirations to sail the thing. I'm not just talking about tooling around in the lake but sailing to Vancouver, Costa Rica, San Francisco etc...

Thanks for all of the feedback...

So what I'm actually looking for in your replies:
- A general idea of how much it will cost to maintain throughout the year. (to be realistic about my budget)
- Ideas and resources on single-handed sailing (I've been reading up on some of the threads regarding this).
- Anything I should take into account when looking at the boats. (type, sailing style, 1 or 2 masts etc...)
- All costs associated with buying the boat (surveyor, hauling it out etc...)

The ones on my list are simply from the photos I've seen from those sites. I haven't seen them in person and I'm sure my opinion will change as I get closer to my purchase date, I get more information on boats and all that other good stuff.
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Old 06-09-2006
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I think you really have to define what you are looking for in a boat a bit more. The range of boats, and the costs will vary depending on what kind of boat it is, where it is kept, what size it is, how old it is, etc.

A lot of this will be determined by what you want to do with the boat. If you're looking for a comfortable liveaboard, but don't plan on doing major voyages or long coastal cruises, then a certain type of boat will be better. If you want a nice day sailer that you can also take short cruises on, then a different boat makes more sense.

You're far better getting a boat that is suited to what you want to do, rather than trying to fit a boat into a purpose it is ill-suited for.

As a general rule, the longer the boat, the more it will cost to maintain, dock, moor, store, haulout, fix, clean, etc. The older a boat, the more likely you are to incur major maintenance costs, like replacing the running or standing rigging, having a major component fail, etc.

Some boat designs are far friendlier and easier to sail short-handed than others are. Smaller boats are generally easier to handle short-handed than larger boats.

The real answer to your questions is "It depends...".
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Sailingdog, like Faster, knows what he is talking about. Some other thoughts from me:

Hans Christians are considered by many to be the ultimate in a world cruiser. They will not be fast and you will need to motor in light winds or just sit. They will be seaworthy and able to take far more punishment than say a Bennatua. In rough weather, boats like the HC will ride more comfortably than boats like the Bennateau. They will also allow you to carry more supplies. The extensive woodwork looks beautiful and salty, but that requires a lot of maintenance to keep it looking that way. A live aboard can do it - a weekend sailor would rather be out sailing than sanding and varnishing.

The traditional designs like the HC are proven and seaworthy. There is a school of thought, though, that says a faster boat is safer because you spend less time on the passage and therefore avoid more storms. The faster boat might outrun weather. Faster, lighter boats like the Beneteau are more exciting to sail in light airs where a HC will be a dog. The HC, however, will hold a course much better.

In tight quarters, the more traditional design (HC) is MUCH harder to handle. They don't turn any where near as nimbly, and when backing you never know which way you are going to go. With a bow sprit it is harder to judge when docking and when departing it is a problem becasue crew must get on board often before the sprit clears obstructions.

It probably sounds like I am saying don't by the HC or Tayana, but I am not. I own a Nassau 34 which is built to the same philosophy as those boats. I do a lot of cruising and I love my boat. Being retired, I have the time to keep up the wood. It holds a course great and is very comfortable to live aboard. For my puposes I think I have a great boat.

You are in a great position for buying a boat. You have some money and you don't have a boat to get rid of. Have fun looking at boats until you find what feels right. Be sure to have it surveyed.
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