Cheap boat or money down the hole? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 6 Old 02-10-2008 Thread Starter
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Cheap boat or money down the hole?


I was planning to spend too much but now...

Is this the type boat I could live on while learning and letting my dough grow?

Or is this boat a bigger hole than I want, and should spend more or less, or even get something different?

I spoke with the broker and he said the fuel tank needs replacing, and the rig needs tuning.
It also needs an air conditioner for August in Texas.

I'm getting ready to move on in my life, and need more and more wise

Thanks from my heart.


Whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist.
He who would gather immortal palms must not be
hindered by the name of goodness, but must explore
if it be goodness.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
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post #2 of 6 Old 02-10-2008
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Cheap advice. Personally I understand the having nothing then having more than enough....

You need to take something in consideration here:

You have no actual idea if you can handle living aboard a boat to begin with. If you loathe the living in a RV - boats in comparison are incredibly more hmmm claustrophobic in a sense. Second, you need to have a vessel that you will not intimidate you...

Not sure what kind of RV you have and all that - but I know when I first purchased one - it was the best deal I could find a 32 foot Airstream... well used but ... Size is not everything... It was a beast to manage - I managed but I paid a fraction of the cost compared to what I paid for when I upgraded to a newer 28 footer that had a floor plan that was more usable...

Here is my ideology on this though - I bought my first because it was super cheap (less than 4K) and based on the fact that I enjoyed using it instead of staying in hotels - I 3 years later sprung for the other... had I not enjoyed the experience - there would of been no loss really monetarily...

Start small (budget wise) and then go big (once dream is realized and you have the confidence)...

You know you have the money in reserve - keep it that way... Get a smaller 10K - 15K boat - and see if you like the lifestyle first before trying the go big or go home approach. Start another business , get a better job whatever, you have to make money to keep money.. - but give yourself the opportunity to do it with the least risk to finances... For you folks thinking I am talk BS here reference his other thread...

Really - a sincere plead that you start small like a 27 foot that is really easy to learn on and if something happens to it - in the scheme of things - not a big disaster...If you do not like it you maybe able to recoup 60-80% of the purchase price if you maintain things properly...If you have no clue on maintenance expect that figure to drastically reduce resale value...

40K after taxes - for a learning experience seems a bit out there ... not saying it can not be done but first find out if the dream thing suits you... So RVing is not your cup of tea but guess what - maybe all the maintenance and stuff you have to do on a boat plus moorage fees etc... may not be either, and you get nowhere very slow - just keep that in mind and good luck on journey...Not saying at all that it can not be done - but you have a unique situation where you were gifted a second chance - use that chance wisely...

-- Jody

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Last edited by artbyjody; 02-10-2008 at 02:24 AM.
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post #3 of 6 Old 02-10-2008
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I dont know your circumstances apart from looking at a couple of posts.
The boat - well it depends. How much you got? And what do you want?
A couple of pointers ring warning bells. "The world is a hostile place". Maybe that was your experience. It is and it isn't. Certainly there are plenty who will take your money and run. There are some good people however.
The other idea was something along the lines of I better be in quick and make the most of it while I can. Before what? You die? Or your luck changes and your nest egg disappears?
Life tends to depend on foundations. You build 'em proper or you don't. I imagine your inheritance was the end result of your mother's life. You seem to have gone through a bit already.
Do you have a job, any skills, any good habits such as prudence patience etc?
The boat looks ok but needs a bit of money for gear like sails if it is sound.
However more importantly I would want to know have you got your stuff together and how solid are your foundations versus how can you indulge yourself.
Maybe you can get a boat but tie the rest up so you don't blow it pissing on a wall or whatever.
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post #4 of 6 Old 02-10-2008
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You should be able to find something in good shape, ready to sail, needing almost nothing, in the 20 something foot range, for around 10k. Keep the RV too.

Great men always have too much sail up. - Christopher Buckley

Vaya con Dios
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post #5 of 6 Old 02-10-2008
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I actually meant something in the 24-27foot range, NOT to live aboard straight away...and only bought AFTER you had done a sailing course or two, preferably starting with dinghies (nothing will teach you the essentialls of sailing more quickly or "in the bone" than a dinghy, what you learn will help you on a 120foot boat if that is what you find yourself on...)
Do the dinghy course, do the small keelboat course and then you will know something about what you want form a boat, what you like and don't like and can go shopping. Think of it as a free try-out before you invest your own cash. There are just way to many variables available that are entirely up to you and your preferences and no one can help you with advice on those, except to say, learn enough to know what you are looking for.
Your not there yet. It does not take long. Less then six months is possible, as long as you are taking the right steps in learning stuff.

Do not try to live aboard straight away, it is like trying to swallow an elephant while living in a phonebox. Do some dy sails, grow into weekend sails (called camping on board), then you grow the skills of how to effeciently stow things and organise stuff to optimise the tiny space...
Once again, you are not there yet.

There are two ways to solve the problem of lack of experience with boats. One is with money...not your kind of money...The kind that has two million dollars and up as the budget outline for boating, and a good deal more in reserve. this lets you get over inexperience of living aboard by just buying a hulking huge boat that you can rattle around in and clutter up without having to learn how to do stuff efficiently.
You get around not knowing how to sail by hiring a skipper and mate, ostensibly to "teach you" how to sail, but really they are just doing deliveries with you as a passanger.
You get over not knowing the right boat to buy for your conditions by simply motoring everywhere if you have bought too heavy a boat for the winds where you sail, or by replacing stuff that breaks because your boat is too light, sailed wrong, and bumps the bottom with its deep keel. $25,000 a repair? So what! get it done by Tuesday!
You could take this approach, if you had the resources, about a thousand other people have....

The only alternative though, is to actually learn your way up. It does not take tens of years...but it does take some time until you even look like you are really doing it, and then it takes the rest of a lifetime (I apprenticed as a blacksmith/cuttler. My boss said "Life is like this, you just get to the point where you actually understand enough to make the steel go where you want it to everytime...and then you either die or get too weak and old to lift the hammer"). The people that make it look easy...they got that way by learning and then honing the skills over years of learning better ways as they go.

That's it...No other options. Buy the 37foot boat too early and you just end up with a cramped and expensive trailer home without a will be too scared and not anywhere near skilled enought to actually use it safely or confidently. You will just be one of those guys that lives at the dock. Might as well buy a houseboat, there is at least something honest about that. Don't trade your dreams in order to just be one of those guys, it is sad and a little pathetic.

You can do this...but think in three to five year planning arcs. That is a pretty fast curve to go from zero to solo sailing your own big boat. You really can't rush it faster then that without serious misery and disaster being the likely outcome.

I feel I am nagging you on two seperate threads.
Seriously, just for the record, I admire what the goal is and I have a lot of respect for the fact that having butted your head against a problem that is basically 97% your own ignorance of the field you want to get into, you actually want to know how to improve things and a tactical way of getting where you want to be. That is way better then someone that just bets their head is harder then the brick wall and keeps on slamming. Seriously, kudos to you....And that is why I. and many others around here would like to see you succeed by the shortest and least thorny path possible.


Last edited by Sasha_V; 02-10-2008 at 06:56 AM.
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post #6 of 6 Old 02-10-2008
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Imagine for a moment that you had read a few magazines about martial arts. You like what you read, and decide you want to take up a martial art. So, would you expect to march into the local karate studio and say "I'd like to purchase a blackbelt"?

My point, grasshopper, is that you cannot purchase experience. Listen to the advice above. Start small, take sailing lessons, get certified (Red Cross, ASA, US Sailing, etc). Take supplemental boating safety course (USCGAuxiliary, US Power Squadron). Offer to crew for experienced sailors in their boats. Take up racing if you like competition. Read, read, read....

If you must have a boat of your own in the meanwhile, a 27-30 footer is about the most you should start with. Invest the balance of your funds, find a steady job, and set goals for the future. If those goals include a long-term plan to set off in your own boat on a distant voyage, good on you.
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