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post #1 of 25 Old 11-24-2014 Thread Starter
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How old is too old and how cheap too cheap

I am 64 and have never sailed on my own! The retirement plan is to explore SE Alaska and Prince William Sound. I don't have much available cash and will not have a large retirement. I plan to take a basic to bareboat in June and go sailing off the coast of Ak. I found a 1971 Cascade 29 for $8,000 in SE Alaska. The pictures look good and the owner tells me it is solid and dry and every thing works. Since it is a $1,000 trip to go look at it I had a friend of a friend who lives in the area take look. He is not into sailboats but has a lot of time on powerboats in coastal waters. The info I got back was you get what you pay for, It is worn out, and He would not buy it. He also sent a lead on a 30Ft Rawson for $35,000. The advice I am looking for, since I can probably put together $30,000, should I continue to look for a newer one or go further with the investigation of this one? At $8,000 I would have some money to update but with a newer one there would be no $ left to refit/update/repair?
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post #2 of 25 Old 11-24-2014
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re: How old is too old and how cheap too cheap

Be aware that many old boats have negative value - and are worth less, sometimes much less, than nothing. One of my former students was given a project Tartan 27 - after investing all his spare time for two years, and putting in thousands of his hard-earned money he finally realized his error and bailed on it. Don't let that happen to you.
Best to do a lot of crewing (several years at least) so you begin to know what to look for.
Many, many "cheap" boats are not bargains - far from it.
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post #3 of 25 Old 11-24-2014
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re: How old is too old and how cheap too cheap

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Originally Posted by alaskajack View Post
I am 64 and have never sailed on my own! The retirement plan is to explore SE Alaska and Prince William Sound. I don't have much available cash and will not have a large retirement. I plan to take a basic to bareboat in June and go sailing off the coast of Ak. I found a 1971 Cascade 29 for $8,000 in SE Alaska. The pictures look good and the owner tells me it is solid and dry and every thing works. Since it is a $1,000 trip to go look at it I had a friend of a friend who lives in the area take look. He is not into sailboats but has a lot of time on powerboats in coastal waters. The info I got back was you get what you pay for, It is worn out, and He would not buy it. He also sent a lead on a 30Ft Rawson for $35,000. The advice I am looking for, since I can probably put together $30,000, should I continue to look for a newer one or go further with the investigation of this one? At $8,000 I would have some money to update but with a newer one there would be no $ left to refit/update/repair?
My advice would be to take the class FIRST, then think about purchasing. Find out what it takes, what you like, what you don't like and what you can live with.

Some older boats, (SOME) can be worth more than a newer one, if you know what you are looking for.

Some new boats can gobble up a lot more extra $$ just to get them in a condition ready for "you" to cruise in.

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post #4 of 25 Old 11-24-2014
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re: How old is too old and how cheap too cheap

Jack-
If you had never owned a car before, do you think you could buy an old used one sight unseen and not get stuck with something?

Same thing with boats, only more so. No seller (or broker) mentions the problems that might go unseen by a buyer.

So I'd suggest, do the boating courses. See if and how you like it, see what suggestions and connections you can make while taking the class, firsthand.

Then plan a trip, maybe to Seattle, maybe to Cali, find a place where there are many boats for sale, with active listings, and plan to spend some time looking at them, pick the best of the litter (or none if they're all mutts) and you'll have enough time to have a surveyor confirm your opinion, or find faults you've missed, and proceed with the contract and sale. You're looking at 2-3 weeks optimistically, because even after you buy a "new" new boat? You've got to do a shakedown sail, put in 48 hours on the water, find out if there's anything still wrong, order in parts and fix it...all before you can begin the happily-ever-after trip home.

In the long run, that will be the fastest AND cheapest way to buy your boat.
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post #5 of 25 Old 11-24-2014
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Talking re: How old is too old and how cheap too cheap

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Originally Posted by alaskajack View Post
I am 64 and have never sailed on my own! The retirement plan is to explore SE Alaska and Prince William Sound. I don't have much available cash and will not have a large retirement. I plan to take a basic to bareboat in June and go sailing off the coast of Ak. I found a 1971 Cascade 29 for $8,000 in SE Alaska. The pictures look good and the owner tells me it is solid and dry and every thing works. Since it is a $1,000 trip to go look at it I had a friend of a friend who lives in the area take look. He is not into sailboats but has a lot of time on powerboats in coastal waters. The info I got back was you get what you pay for, It is worn out, and He would not buy it. He also sent a lead on a 30Ft Rawson for $35,000. The advice I am looking for, since I can probably put together $30,000, should I continue to look for a newer one or go further with the investigation of this one? At $8,000 I would have some money to update but with a newer one there would be no $ left to refit/update/repair?
Either the Cascade 29 or the Rawson 30 will be good boats - way over built by modern standards. Another "Alaska strong" boat would be a Willard 30 cutter.
No matter what you decide to buy, get a good survey and follow that surveyor thru the boat and take notes...
As for the price, the recession has really pummeled the prices on boats like these, mostly because they are sought by a much smaller group of sailors than the majority part of the market that seeks huge-interior cheap-built floating RV's.

Opinions rendered while U wait, deposit .02 please!


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Loren
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post #6 of 25 Old 11-24-2014
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re: How old is too old and how cheap too cheap

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Jack-
If you had never owned a car before, do you think you could buy an old used one sight unseen and not get stuck with something?.
I use a car analogy too: would I ever buy a 1971 car?


And one thats been dumped in sea water for 45 years....

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post #7 of 25 Old 11-24-2014
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re: How old is too old and how cheap too cheap

Develop some objective criteria about the design condition, equipment and needs of the boat you want. Price and age don't really have anything to do with anything (IMO of course). If you were on the east coast, I'd have ideas about what boats might suit your needs. Find someone who knows west coast boats well who can advise you about models which are likely candidates.

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post #8 of 25 Old 11-25-2014
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re: How old is too old and how cheap too cheap

There are many great boats for under 20k in seattle area that would ffit quite well like others have said take the classes and decide if it is really what you wanto do then start looking for tghe boat that will do the job here is a starting place for you Washington sailboats for sale by owner. and here is one with several items on her you would want for sailing in she an in the winter or wintering in mexico for that matter 1977 East Bay Boat Works Faralon 29 sailboat for sale in Washington

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post #9 of 25 Old 11-25-2014
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howold is too old and how cheap too cheap

Owning a boat and maintaining a boat is not cheap or easy. When I bought my boat after lessons I spent a couple years learning the systems, fixing things and becoming an okay skipper. Year 3-4 I gained more confidence and started really learn sail trim and other advanced skills. Now at year 6 I realize boat ownership is one skill that I am proficient at and sailing is another that boat ownership can get in the way of in the beginning.

After you complete the sailing lessons charter a few times then try partnership and share the cost for a couple years. Out by me there are owner offering non equity partnership (renting partial use each month). This way you can Spend 100% of you time sailing and learn what you want in a boat. Try craigslist for these arrangements.
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post #10 of 25 Old 11-25-2014
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re: How old is too old and how cheap too cheap

The advice above that says to take the course first is right on.

Then, remember that any used boat is going to take serious $$ to keep in seaworthy condition, so you can't spend everything you have, just to acquire.

BTW, I assume that cruising Prince William Sound is a fairly short season. Would it make sense to see if you could rent something? I've not heard of very many seasonal rentals, but something to poke around for anyway.


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