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  #1  
Old 10-12-2007
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Ready to go or ?

The argument I am currently having with myself is whether I should spend 50K on a sailboat that is ready to go around the world as it sits.(I know it will still need alittle.) Or should I buy the same size and type of boat that is sound but needs complete updating for 20K and spend the remaining 30K making her ready to go?

My reality is that I am about a year away from purchase.The money is mine, not the banks. If all goes as planned we are 3 to 4 years from casting off.

Thanks in advanced for your time and opinions.
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  #2  
Old 10-12-2007
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If you can be confident (ie verified via survey, research) that a $50k boat is really ready to go around the world as it sits, that would be my choice. I can't tell you how many cruisers and around-the-world sailors have said that the best piece of advice they can give to a dreamer is to "Go now!".

Of course, the flip side is that if you went with a $20k boat that needs $30k worth of work, you'd know it inside and out by the time you were done with the refit. You'd also have it fitted out exactly how you want it and with exactly the gear you most prefer. The down side would be the extra time needed and the unknown costs/issues that will inevitably sneak up on you.

All things being equal, I'd choose option 1.
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Old 10-12-2007
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I would choose option 2, and in a way I have by buying a custom boat that lacks some systems finishing by way of plumbing, heating/ventilation and electrical.

1) Everything works quite well at the moment, but when I upgrade the electronics, they will be current rather than original 20 year old sounder and 8 year old plotter.

2) Some things, even if old, are fine and worth keeping, like the Force 10 stove and the Lavac head.

3) Some things are fine, like the SS tanks, but I am choosing to reposition them and change them to HDPE plastic to lower CG and reduce cross-contamination issues. While this necessitates a complete replumbing of the input side, it's my choice to do so. Same thing with an engine rebuild, new mounts, couplings, PSS, feathering prop: I want to reset the odometer on some systems to "zero" before we push off.

4) New stuff includes AGMs in a custom built cabinet, an inverter, solar, wind and a genset. More pumps, and a shower sump. An autopilot, a windvane, an SSB, an AIS, a radar, an EPIRB, a liferaft, a Portabote, a nesting dinghy. They just weren't there before. The electrical system is top-notch in terms of access and design, but needs tailoring.

5) Dorades, vents for tanks and exhaust going up through the pilothouse, positive air flow and exhaust for the engine bay, chimney for a diesel heater...this means some torch work (it's a metal boat) and an opportunity for us to learn basic welding, as does cutting a hatch into the saloon bulkhead to get into the forepeak "workshop" without needing to go on deck and lift a 20 kilo steel hatch.

6) Turning a port-side aft-cabin double into an athwartships double means that we simply switch pillows to the high side for sleeping underway. It also frees up several square feet for a small office/comm. station in a dry and relatively quiet part of the boat.

7) Bimini: There isn't one, and we need one to support a large array of solar panels.

All this costs money, of course, and time...lots of it. But I get to plan, for better or worse, for myself all these changes, and in planning, I get to learn how to do it right and how to fix issues when I find them.

Buying a "ready to go" boat means you're buying the ideas and quality levels of others, which is a crapshoot, and I have NEVER seen a boat I thought was "just add provisions, fuel and water and let's go!". Not once. They may exist, but usually an older boat has a range of older equipment, some of which may or may not make sense. Take a relatively static item in terms of technology like winches: I would not take offshore a boat with working winches for which parts no longer exist, like Barlow (an otherwise fine winch maker) or some others. Just an example, but it's the sort of decisions you frequently make in contemplating this sort of adventure.
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Old 10-12-2007
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One good thing is that if you are already arguing with yourself, then you've got the kind of mind that's well suited for single-handed cruising.
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Old 10-12-2007
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I would vote for choice #2. The main reason is if you're really planning on going off around the world, you're probably going to need to know the boat fairly well as your life may very well depend on it.

If you want to read about why I say this, get Alvah Simon's North To The Night and read it... in one chapter he has to re-build something while basically blind, and if he hadn't built it himself and known how it was put together, he would probably have died.
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Old 10-12-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CapnHand View Post
One good thing is that if you are already arguing with yourself, then you've got the kind of mind that's well suited for single-handed cruising.
I will probably be a single handed sailor. Everytime my wife sees me walking around on top our little 21 footer, deep in conversation with myself, I think I am 1 step closer to being a solo sailor. I keep trying to convince her that every truly great sailor does the same thing, but I don't think she is buying it.
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