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CapnRon47 04-13-2008 12:51 AM

My experience
This is my experience in buying a boat. Note, this is not an "in my experience" type of thread, it is just my experience as this is my first boat. The recent 'lurkers' thread egged me on to writing this, although I am not really a lurker as I have almost always logged in; I'm more of a reader.

I started looking 2 years ago, going to boat shows and looking around at local and not so local marina's and boat yards. But I was not making much progress and really not sure of what I was doing (well thats not totally true, I have been sailing for 10 years, chartering and knew I wanted a sailboat as we approached retirement). And then about a year and a half ago I came across this site.

I asked a few of the usual 'already been covered' type questions and I found the responses interesting, funny and sometimes unusual. But I kept on reading and following topics that seemed relevant. I've learned a lot and I've figured out a lot, like: what is it I want to do with the boat, how much do I want to spend, how do I go about buying a boat and how can I be sure I am getting a good boat? Now I did not ask these questions on this site, because (as I have read and learned) the only one who can answer these questions is me. Well most of them anyway. Of course, life has taught me this as well, but somehow buying a boat seems like an out-of-life experience, so it was good to have some reassurance.

So I want to thank those that do contribute here (and that includes the inane, obscene and sometimes utterly ridiculous comments, because things need to be kept in perspective) as their community 'wisdom' has helped me very much in this process, as I am sure it has helped many others.

It took me the better part of a year to answer those questions realistically and satisfactorily. And then several more months of focused boat searching to reach a point where I was ready to actually buy a boat. Needless to say it does not need to take that long, but I am an engineer by trade and just plain anal. Also, it is so much fun playing with spreadsheets. And, of course, there is the obligatory keeping current with what's on SailNet.

So, if I understand this crowd at all, you are probably saying, "Well what boat did you buy!" Well, I am not going to say, yet, as I am also superstitious and while I have an agreed upon price and contract I still have a few weeks before the survey and the sea trial. However, I am open to some edited sharing of my experience with brokers and surveyors.

And finally, some questions. With closing about a month away what other things should I be thinking about? Like, where am I going to put this boat!!?

Thanks SailNet


sailingdog 04-13-2008 07:02 AM

What'd you get??? Got photos??? :)

Jeff_H 04-13-2008 07:47 AM

Patience S.D.;) All things in good time. The man already told you he was superstitious.

Congratulations and good luck with the survey.


L02314564 04-13-2008 09:38 AM

I am anxious to see the boat you have chosen. It would be very interesting to read your thought process and reasonings for your choice? Did you find exactly what you wanted or were there compromises? Were the compromises major or the sort that really didn't matter so much?

Mostly curious....

Congrats on realizing your dream!

CapnRon47 04-13-2008 11:06 AM

My experience
SD - a hint; its a monohull (although I did consider cats) and its listed on Yachtworld :)

Jeff - thanks, I have always enjoyed your knowledgeable responses.

Ed - there certainly where (are?) compromises as each boat has its design purpose. I have a special consideration in that I need a shoal draft, but that still left hundreds of possibilities. I knew I would be doing a lot of day sailing. So, I spoke with local sailing schools, instructors, neighbors and friends I know that sail in the area to try to get a feeling for the sailing conditions (as I am new to the area) and also for what size, displacement and type of boat to get that is best suited for the conditions.

I also knew to get the admiral to go along it would need to be a comfy boat; in really good condition, big enough that we could take it on short (or longer) trips, but small enough that I could single handle the boat much of the time.

Being old(er) I did not want to be in the boat buying and selling business, so I was looking for the one boat that would satisfy the above and my wants. I am a lazy sailor (did I tell you that I was old already?) and so it needed to be easy to sail. I am (was, I guess always will be) an engineer so function usually wins out over form, but I knew I needed to like to look at the boat. I want to feel proud owning it. However, I really don't care what so much what other people think.

So, I made spreadsheets of boat specifications, and compared their PHRF ratings (whatever those are) to rank boats that I was considering. I also needed to establish a budget and price range. So I included boats that I might not buy but that there were enough of them to get a good feeling for the price distribution over age and condition. I can go into more detail, but its not really worth it. Because in the end I found a boat we both liked and that was that. But the process did make me comfortable with my (our) decision as I had to come to grips with all these factors.

I looked at smaller boats (<30 ft) and mid size boats (<36 ft). I decided, based on good input from the community here, that I should get a larger size boat as they are no harder to 'learn to sail' than a smaller boat with todays modern equipment.

In the end I did compromise in some areas, but tried to stay true to the main purpose of the boat, to enjoy sailing.

capttb 04-13-2008 11:19 AM

Depending on your location it can be harder to find a place to keep a boat then it was to find the boat. Many marinas have requirements regarding insurance coverages and being listed on the policy to insure thay are not liable for damage you may cause. Might want to check with your intended insurer to see what they are going to require also, you want your insurance to start the moment you close because the marina may require a copy of the policy before the boat can be moved in.

CapnRon47 04-13-2008 11:47 AM

My Experience
Capttb - yes, thanks. Fortunately, I have a solution for the long term.

But the boat is 500 miles from here. I would like to spend some time on the boat at its current location with the PO, then move it. And it is more complicated than that because we are not ready to move to the final location just yet, so I would like to keep the boat local where we are currently for this summer and then move it to the final destination. There are all these nasty state tax issues that really make a mess of that plan.

I have read here that some people do NOT think too highly of BoatUS insurance, but I have friends who 'swear' by it. Any comments? I have a reasonable quote from another company, but I should check out BoatUS also.

camaraderie 04-13-2008 12:37 PM

Ron... Boat US took very good care of me after some hurricane damage on a prior boat on the chesapeake. out of Annapolis did the same and provided out of country coverage for me when I had to switch from BUS. I currently am still with them. I would recommend either company for your consideration....and congrats & good luck the rest of the way!

Stillraining 04-13-2008 01:04 PM

Captian Ron Buys a Boat
1 Attachment(s)
Congratulations...After years of searching Ron Found this beauty on Yacht World...He wanted a large boat that could be single handed if necessary...With push button rotating/tacking and self furling sails he found one comfy enough for his wife and complicated enough for his engineering fix...truly an engineering marvel...When Asked Ron says docking is no issue ..."it is its own dock where ever it goes"..But privet dockage has been retained...Many happy days Captain Ron..:D

CapnRon47 04-13-2008 05:27 PM

My experience

Ummmm, good guess but no. Although I probably did consider it, but my budget came up a wee bit short. :(

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