How much does it really take??? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 8 Old 05-19-2002 Thread Starter
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How much does it really take???

I know I can''t be the only one who reads the posts on this board with a wistful "perhaps one day I too can really use this good information".
So to put some perpective on our dreams, here''s a hypothetical question from Mr X:

Mr X would very much like to own his own sailboat. Such a huge investment will need to fulfill several roles: sometimes just a fun sail, sometimes a weekend or week long getaway home, sometimes a vehicle to exotic destinations (Bermuda, Virgin Islands etc.). Sometimes it will be just Mr & Mrs and other times there will be 4.

Unfortunately Mr X is blessed with millionare dreams and pauper''s pennies, and will need to plan and save for what feels like an eternity to have the bounty necessary to set his soul free on the water.

So how much will our wannabe have to pay for that magnificent ship? $50k ?? $40k ???
And the BIG question - how much cold hard cash will be needed to make the fantasy into reality when the papers are signed, for it will be the ultimate cost of aquisition that will dictate how long it takes to go from wannabe to ... bliss !??!??!

One thing we do know - when Mr X finds himself watching the sunset in the company of dolphins off the bow, it will be from the deck of the most beautiful sailboat ever made.

Thanks for your perspective.
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post #2 of 8 Old 05-19-2002
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How much does it really take???

A lot of this depends on you and your own definitions of fun to sail, adequate comfort and the "most beautiful sailboat ever made" by your standards.

To do what you are proposing you can pick up an old Bristol 27 or 29, or perhaps a Pearson Triton (28ft) for less the $10K, or an old Alberg 30 for less than $15K or an older Pearson Vanguard (32) or Tartan 30 for less than $20K and with some sweat equity and perhaps 15% of the purchase price in new parts and materials, you will have a very adequate cruising boat to do what you are proposing. You will need to do a bit of searching to find a boat that is in inherently good solid shape and be willing to give up some of the speed, comfort and convenience of a bigger or more modern boat, but if that is acceptable to you and your personality, then you will have no less fun or adventure than the folks that spend many times what you do on a less expensive cruiser.

It not that these older boats don''t have a price of sorts. Passages are longer and so it is harder to pick a safe weather window. These smaller older boats give up some seaworthiness. You can''t carry as much gear and supplies as a bigger boat so you are often at the mercy of more expensive local prices. But that is all pretty minor and quickly pales when compared to the smaller note you had to pay to buy the old girl.

Of course for some people more room and/or speed is vitally important. If that is you, if you do your home work you can certainly find more comfortable or faster boats for well under $60K and probably more likely under $50K. These will be probably be boats from the late 1970''s or early 1980''s. They will be well under 40 feet. (Actually that is exactly the search that I did last year. In my case I wanted a pretty fast boat (PHRF under 90) that had a good offshore record as a single-hander/ short hander, with a comfortable offshore interior for under $50K and which could be whipped into shape for another 15%. I ended up with the 1983 Farr 11.6 (Farr 38)that I bought last fall. Boats like that are out there.)

To some these boats will seem too small or too Spartan, and so within these price ranges, there are boats that are roomier but that give up seaworthiness or performance but that are perfect and are otherwise perfect to meet the specific goals for that group''s ideal for a perfect live aboard cruiser.

But then again there are people who prefer nicer finishes, more robust construction, lots more toys, and newer boats than the above and for them their price range has thw sky as the limit.

In the end it all about what you bring to sailing and what you want out of sailing. I doubt that with the right attitude, the guy cruising in his beat to death old $5000 Triton is having any less fun than the guy in his 3/4 million Morris 454. As a kid I once cruised Long Island Sound for four or five days in an half decked 17 foot National One Design. I can''t say that I ever had any more fun cruising than those few days poking about the back recesses of an area maybe 15 miles in diameter. I once lived aboard a wooden Folkboat that I bought for $400. I can''t say that I enjoyed that any less than some of the bigger boats that I spent long periods aboard.

So as I said, its all about you and what you expect out of sailing and cruising; It is about what it takes to make you comfortable and how much skill you have to keep an older boat going and safe in what ever conditions she may face.

Good luck
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post #3 of 8 Old 05-21-2002
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How much does it really take???

For a nice boat that will take the trips you want to, in a decent price range, with the room you need, how about looking into used charter boats? There are some Beneteau 310s that have come out of charter in the Bahamas that would be a lovely one or two couple boat. Most have been returned to the Fort Lauderdale or Miami area (mostly Ft. L.). Check with a Moorings broker or a Beneteau dealer. They are fantastic little boats that one can singlehand. And they do hold up very well in weather!! Do, though, upon interest, get a survey, of course, cause you never know what these girls have been through. Anyway, seems like a nice little boat that may be in your "pauper" price range.

Hope Mr. & Mrs. X achieve their dream soon,
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post #4 of 8 Old 05-21-2002
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How much does it really take???

If you have to ask how much, you can''t afford it!
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post #5 of 8 Old 05-23-2002 Thread Starter
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How much does it really take???

As a follow up, lets say that the dream vessel is found and costs $50k. How much cash should be available at the time of purchase to cover aquisition costs (down payment, insurance, survey etc.) This is what will determine the time frame and planning of "the Dream".
Thanks Jeff H and MaryBeth for your replies.
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post #6 of 8 Old 05-23-2002
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How much does it really take???

For a $50,000 boat in the 35'' range, you could be facing...

$10,000 down payment (20% for used boat is pretty standard)

$500 for insurance (coastal)

$500 for bank fees, registration transfers, coast guard docs

$350 survey (assuming you hire someone that charges $10 per foot, and has a clue. Others can be found cheaper).

$150 for the survey haulout

Slip fees, some places want a deposit and first month, so you could see this run about $500 depending where you''re at.

Engine overhaul (JUST DO IT) hire a mechanic certified on your engine, have him/her change all the filters, oil and check the pumps. Ask lots of questions about how you can change your own oil and filters. If you''re lucky, $250, if you need some work done, who knows, replacing your pumps isn''t a bad idea, unless you KNOW the how the boat was maintained. Could cost $1,500.

Replace sanitation hoses. $30.

New gear. Oh, trust me, you''ll need it. Get a new fresh-water hose, possibly a new power cord, a backup GPS and radio (who knows how much longer the one one the boat you''ll buy might last), ruggs, cups and plates...all that good stuff you''ll want fresh $1,000-$2,000.

Chart books, books on your engine, Don Casey books, 12 volt electrical books, cruising guides...$200.

Got a Dingy with it? Most people keep theirs, it seems. Low-end dink with a small engine could be as low as $1,500. High-end dink with good engine $5,000.

Usually when boats go up for sale, the bottom paint is at it''s limit (not always, but that''s my experience). So count on having the hull painted within a year. $500-$700.

Gotta buy spare parts. Get impellers for all the pumps. Have at least one spare freshwater pump around. Spare filters, and belts. Actually a spare fuel pump and oil pump isn''t a bad idea if you''re heading off shore. Spare bulbs too. $1,000? Who knows, but leave a space in the budget for it.

I''ll think of more later. You might also need new rigging. A $50,000 boat will most likely be at least 10 years old, and rigging usually gets changed every 10 or 15 years (some say 7-10 years).

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post #7 of 8 Old 05-23-2002
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How much does it really take???

Hello everyone,
I have been reading this thread and thought I would throw my "two cents" in. Remembering that I have never sailed the Caribbean...but intend to next year...I believe that the question here not only entails sailing but anything.
If you were to ask 1000 different people how much it took to realize your would get 1000 different answers. Reason being??? You have 1000 different dreams. Some would dream to sail to Aruba with the very most high tech ship available. With all the gadgets...all the toys. Some....with "paupers pennies" me...would sail the very same route with much less.
My father had a saying which went..."Do you eat to live or live to eat? Seems he was making fun of my Mom at times. In any case, I believe that same saying could hold true for sailing. Do you live to sail....or sail to live. By that I mean...would you only enjoy sailing if you had.."Everything". Or, if you are like me, would you just "Enjoy the journey"?
I will be sailing to Aruba next year in a $15,000 boat and very slight to almost no income. How? Well....who knows? I could stay in the US and work until I had all the toys...but to what end? Stop and smell the flowers someone said in another age. If you wait until you have the "money", you will never go. I subscribe to Big Reds philosophy...Just GO.
Things will work themselves out.
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post #8 of 8 Old 05-24-2002 Thread Starter
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How much does it really take???

Well the advice just keeps getting better, thanks again for all the input. Redfish, please keep us posted on your adventure next year. While some might feel insecure doing what you''re planning, I believe there is no greater investment in life than experiences, memories and the personal growth that comes from living every moment to the fullest.
Please post more information as you can regarding how you will go about making your dream a reality.
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