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Old 04-20-2008
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great lakes pocket-cruiser?

I'm a first time boat buyer, although I've been sailing for a while now. My brother and I are planning on buying a boat at the start of this summer, cruising the great lakes for a couple months, and then selling it come the fall- we're both just out of university and this seems a lot more affordable than a two-month charter. The question is, which boat to get? The amount of choice is totally overwhelming. I know what I'm looking for- a seaworthy (and hopefully a sweet-sailing) boat thats in good condition, that's large enough for the two of us to live on for two months, and that will be easy to re-sell. Seaworthiness and resaleability take precedence over everything else- we don't want to drown, and we can't afford to not get a signifigant chunk of our money back out of it come the fall. The boats we've been looking at are all relatively old pocket-cruisers, for example the Alberg 22, C&C 24, Catalina 27,, Georgian 23, Hinterhoeller Shark etc... Can anyone offer some advice on this? From the research I've been doing no one make or model jumps out as being perfect. Any advice (or info on a boat in the Canadian great lakes region) would be really great!
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Old 04-20-2008
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Hmm. Personally, I don't think that is a great idea... if you can't afford to keep the boat, doing this may end up costing you a bit of money. It takes a fair amount of space for two people to liveaboard a boat full time. You don't say what your budget is, and if it is less than $10,000 for the season, I don't think it would work. Between the cost of buying the boat, registering it, getting it surveyed, prepped, and launched, the cost of a slip or mooring, and such... it would probably be far less expensive to get two sailing club memberships.

IMHO, it'd probably be wiser to join a sailing club where you'd get member privileges for the season.

If you bought a boat and weren't able to sell it in time, you'd have to pay for the winterizing and winter storage of it. Skimping on winterizing or winter storage would probably result in the boat being damaged and worth far less than you bought it for.
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I guess I should have given a little more information. Our budget is a little more than 10 000, but not much. We don't want to join a club because we want to do a cruise (say, from the thousand islands up to georgian bay) as opposed to staying in one spot. We know that given our tiny budget living aboard is going to be really cramped- but we're OK with that. As far as maintence and storage goes, we're both DIY kind of guys, we've got access to an awful lot of tools due to an car mechanic/restorer uncle, and we have space to store a boat for the winter. Your advice makes a lot of sense, and we're definitly taking a risk that we might not manage to re-sell the boat. But, one way or another, we're going for it this summer- we both love to sail and this is the only way I can think of we can do kind of sailing we want to do (cruising according to our own schedule and whims, and getting some experience to prep for longer voyages in the future).
So, setting aside the many problems..any advice on which boat to get?
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Old 04-20-2008
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Cal 25 II. Very heavy sea worthy small pocket cruiser for two. Not great in light air but will make a nice GL's boat.

Like the dog said, make sure you think it all the way through.
A lot of people want to get into sailing and go cruising........ cheap.
When you try to cut corners, it usually ends up costing you more in the long run, and can even lead to unsafe conditions.
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Old 04-20-2008
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Buy this one, then sell it to me next year pics can be seen in my "Contessa 26 for $3900?" thread. I just posted the pics the owner sent me, I also looked at the boat in person.


Contessa 26' Sailboat for sale
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LOL... EmKay... I was just about to suggest the Contessa 26 you posted photos of. If you go see it..get a survey if you are serious about buying it.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
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her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 04-20-2008
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With all due respect, I think you're making a penny wise, pound foolish decision for a "cheap" summer vacation. If you buy a boat, any boat, you are stuck with that boat and there is absolutely no reason to have confidence that you'll be able to sell her at, or near, the price you paid for her, either at the end of summer or anytime in the near future.

Any financial savings you might make by a short ownership period can, and probably will be, wiped out by a repair of any significance to the boat that you now own. The repair will not be optional as you will need to make it to have your summer trip and you'll certainly need to make it to sell the boat anywhere near what you bought it for.

Pay the money to charter a boat. Give the owner his meager profit. the current plan is too similar to a get-rich-quick scheme that has about a ten percent chance of working. Of course, if you can tolerate having your money tied up in a boat you're not using or are willing to take a substantial loss you might be just fine.
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Old 04-20-2008
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Quote:
I'm a first time boat buyer, although I've been sailing for a while now.
Welcome
Quote:
My brother and I are planning on buying a boat at the start of this summer, cruising the great lakes for a couple months, and then selling it come the fall- we're both just out of university and this seems a lot more affordable than a two-month charter.
Only problem I see with the plan so far is that you will be buying when boats are most expensive (spring) and selling when they are cheapest (fall). And there is no way of knowing whether or not you'll be able to sell when you want to. It is not unusual to have a boat on the market for over a year.
Quote:
The question is, which boat to get? The amount of choice is totally overwhelming. I know what I'm looking for- a seaworthy (and hopefully a sweet-sailing) boat thats in good condition, that's large enough for the two of us to live on for two months, and that will be easy to re-sell.

Bayfield 25 1976
Classic Gozzard design. Easily handled shallow draft, wheel steered, full keel cruiser. Excellent condition. Inboard Vire7 overhauled, new interior, teak refinished, new wiring, good sails, cradle, VHF.
CDN $9,200 neg
(416) 821-7090 day
E-mail: lloyd@dazkoo.com

C&C 25 1972
Well maintained. Complete sailing package in very good condition. 7.5hp Mercury longshaft O/B. Single axle trailer. 5W solar charger, VHF radio, icebox, pumpout head. All rigging, sails and equipment in good condition. All safety gear included. For more information call Greg Stratychuk.
CDN $11,300
(905) 938-2428 day
E-mail: greg@cliftsmarine.com

C&C 25 1976
This is a solid boat, great for both cruising & racing. Johnson outboard engine, spinnaker gear and more. Call South Shore Yachts (905)274-4340 Port Credit.
CDN $9,000
(905) 468-4340
E-mail: service@southshoreyachts.com
Web: Dealer of Bavaria Yachts, Contest Yachts and C&C Parts


C&C 26 1977
Clean and bright interior. Below decks has 6 ft standing headroom. Great starter boat. Call South Shore Yachts. (905)274-4340 Port Credit.
CDN $12,500
(905) 468-4340 Niagara-on-the-Lake
E-mail: service@southshoreyachts.com
Web: Dealer of Bavaria Yachts, Contest Yachts and C&C Parts


C&C 26 1977
06'10", 10' beam, 18HP OMC Saildrive, tiller, dodger very clean. Sleeps five. Alcohol stove, icebox, 12v pump, head, new facetts, new06 carpet, runs well. Super family cruiser. Great boat!
CDN $12,000
(705) 471-2446 anytime


C&C 27 1972
Atomic IV 30hp, alcohol stove, craddle, tiller steering, Furlex furlings. Visit our website or call Swans Yacht Sales.
CDN $15,000
(905) 420-2141
E-mail: info@swansyachtsales.com
Web: Swans Yacht Sales

Quote:
Seaworthiness and resaleability take precedence over everything else- we don't want to drown, and we can't afford to not get a signifigant chunk of our money back out of it come the fall. The boats we've been looking at are all relatively old pocket-cruisers, for example the Alberg 22, C&C 24, Catalina 27,, Georgian 23, Hinterhoeller Shark etc...
they are too small - you'll kill each other after three days.
Quote:
Can anyone offer some advice on this? From the research I've been doing no one make or model jumps out as being perfect. Any advice (or info on a boat in the Canadian great lakes region) would be really great!
If you want to be able to resell easily - stick with well known brands. Check out the ones above and also look at boat for sale Never pay asking price - start with an offer around 50 or 60 percent of asking.

Be very, very careful if you are dealing with a broker in the GTA - they make used car salesmen seem virtuous. Regardless of how cheap a boat you get, make SURE you get it surveyed, becuase it will not only help you avoid problems, but it will make it much easier to sell. One of the mosty highly reqgarded surveyors in the area is Fastnet Yacht Surveys, Peter H. McGuire SAMS® AMS®, Toronto, Ontario - Index Page

Sounds like a great way to spend the summer. Get a GPS and learn how to use it. Keep us updated about your progress !

Last edited by Sailormann; 04-21-2008 at 11:03 PM.
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Old 04-20-2008
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Summer fun. We all want it in the Midwest, it is just too short.

If you really want to do this you will probably HAVE to buy the boat, and then hope that you can get rid of it. Much easier to buy a boat than to sell it in todays market.

For a few weeks chartering would be your answer. Flush the few thousand dollars and have great memories. Hopefully. However, chartering a boat, even in the 27' range in the Great Lakes is going to cost a minimum of $1250-$1500 a week July and August. That would be in Lake Superior where there are some boats of that size for charter. Most of the fleets in the lower Lakes have boats at 28'+ and most are plus. Prices are also much higher.

You may find a owner that is strapped, and there are many this year, that will rent his boat for the summer. Surprising the number of people that are not even splashing boats this year. However, they and you will be taking risks...which YOU will anyway with an older boat that may or may not be ready for your summer trip. Chartering boats is a business of risk, therefore expensive insurance, and someone has to pay it. And be qualified to be in the business.

If you can afford to hold the boat for a couple of years....buy one. That is probably your best option, and it must be great to be young. Have a great time.
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Old 04-21-2008
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What TommyT was far too circumspect to mention (or he didn't want to break a rule), is that he charters his own boat, and knows whereof he speaks. Buying and holding is the logical course, but you'll have to take a chance that you'll maintain or improve or remedy its late-middle-age flaws for zero return, except that you'll have a safer and better boat.

Boats are pretty cheap now, due to the fact that a lot of them are old, and even if maintained perfectly, are frequently "unstylish" and primitive in amenities. Of course, a lot of these 30 year old or more vessels sail rings around some newer boats, and the fact you have to crouch or back into the head is, to some, a small objection.

The main issue is where to keep it: Our club, after about a five-year struggle to reach capacity, now has a short waiting list, for the first time in nearly 20 years. The problem is that it's almost all bigger (35 feet and up) cruisers, and it's hard to find dockage for anything smaller. If you are just going from place to place, you're probably looking at anchoring or a mooring, which means you'll have to have good tackle and a means to make your own power, unless you intend on going to bed at sunset and having an outboard for a motor.

Getting to shore is another issue. Not every place has water taxis or the equivalent, but it's tough to carry a tender on a little boat, and it's not always practical and sometimes dangerous to take one under tow.

So you've got some stuff to consider. The sailing bit is the easy bit in many ways. It's the logistics that precede and follow a nice day's sail that can complicate matters.
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