Cruiser/Lats and Atts TV
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Friday Harbor, WA
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Indulge, my friend! Yes, you can buy a seaworthy boat for less than $30K. You just might have to search high and low for awhile, but they are out there. Even more than Internet sites like Yachtworld and local/regional magazines/classifieds, networking is the best way to discover those "too good to be true" deals - you know, someone needing to dump their boat immediately due to financial difficulties, health problems, divorce, owning two boats, etc. Walk the docks at marinas, check the bulletin boards at marinas and chandleries, talk to as many people as possible. While I don't condone taking advantage of anyone, if someone says "I just need to get rid of it now" and prices it accordingly... well, someone is going to buy it.
Back to seaworthiness and price. My friend Capt. Woody bought a Cal 34 for $3,500, spent less than $10K refurbing it, and proceeded to circumnavigate the globe in it. Now even he admits it was not the ideal boat for the task, but it was all he had, and with a cautious weather eye had no major problems (other than a cracked hull to keel joint which he repaired in Australia). Webb Chiles circumnavigated in an open 18 foot boat, and an Ericson. Some guy went around the world in a beefed-up Catalina 27. People sail across oceans in 20 foot Flickas. The list goes on and on.
Although I would want a heavier, modified full keel cutter for serious blue water cruising, my point is you can do a lot with a little. Money that is. If you do go that route, you will need a lot of common sense, ingenuity, and patience. But it can be done.
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"Always approach the dock at the speed you wish to hit it."
1978 North Sea 33 Pilothouse Cutter (Ta Chiao)
Last edited by Moonfish; 05-29-2007 at 11:09 AM.