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  #1  
Old 12-24-2008
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Starting to look

I am just starting to look at boats. I have been crewing on a fairly serious J24 team for the last two years. My dream boat is a Viper(20' sport boat) and a racing budget to go with it, but my wife may be interested in a coastal cruiser. I am trying to get her out a cruiser type boat, and a local dealer/broker says he will take us out, so she can see if she is even interested. I would be very happy if the Mrs. wants to sail together. I could do less serious racing or crew for others.

I have been walking the docks on Galveston Bay and at the regattas we travel to. I like everything from a Catalina 27 to a Hobie 33, to brand new condo boats, so I am all over the map and truly do not know what I want, much less what my wife may want.

My question is just genereic: What is the difference in cost of ownership? 28 vs 30 vs 32 vs 34 vs 36 or even 38, condition of the boat being equal. I think we would be happy with a 28 or 30, but what if I found a great deal on a 36? I have looked up the cost of new sails and marina fees, so you do not have to go there.

I have been lurking here for a couple of years and you guys have covered how to buy a boat, ect. very well. I am sure it will take a year or more of looking, unless we just find that perfect deal.

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 12-24-2008
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How much sailing have you done on different model boats. If it isn't much, I'd highly recommend you get out on as many different boats as possible. This way you can figure out what you want in the boat you buy without having to pay to learn it.

The cost of ownership generally triples with every additional 10' starting at 20' LOA or so. That is in terms of maintenance, slip/storage fees, repairs, etc.

If you're looking used, I'd recommend you read the Boat Inspection Trip Tips thread I started.
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  #3  
Old 12-24-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baileyrace View Post
I am just starting to look at boats. I have been crewing on a fairly serious J24 team for the last two years. My dream boat is a Viper(20' sport boat) and a racing budget to go with it, but my wife may be interested in a coastal cruiser. I am trying to get her out a cruiser type boat, and a local dealer/broker says he will take us out, so she can see if she is even interested. I would be very happy if the Mrs. wants to sail together. I could do less serious racing or crew for others.

I have been walking the docks on Galveston Bay and at the regattas we travel to. I like everything from a Catalina 27 to a Hobie 33, to brand new condo boats, so I am all over the map and truly do not know what I want, much less what my wife may want.

My question is just genereic: What is the difference in cost of ownership? 28 vs 30 vs 32 vs 34 vs 36 or even 38, condition of the boat being equal. I think we would be happy with a 28 or 30, but what if I found a great deal on a 36? I have looked up the cost of new sails and marina fees, so you do not have to go there.

I have been lurking here for a couple of years and you guys have covered how to buy a boat, ect. very well. I am sure it will take a year or more of looking, unless we just find that perfect deal.

Thanks
If its just the 2 of you and you don't plan to have friends or family aboard on a very regular basis, I would offer that a 30-34' boat should easily meet your need and you could get by with less if the spouse will let you.

I would offer that a good course of action would be to go used for your first boat and to select the best example on the market of a popular boat. My experience was that my first boat taught me what I really wanted in my next boat so I was glad I bought a boat I could sell for about what I paid for it. Buying a boat you can get out of without getting crushed is not a bad idea for a first boat especially if you don't know exactly what direction you want to go with your sailing. If your wife doesn't like weekend crusing, you may decide a full on club racer is what you want, or conversely you may find you'll only get water time if you go with a big beamed condo boat with tons of galley space, that's great for evenings on the hook. A first boat that compromises too much in either direction will probably disappoint one of you.

Good luck with your search, it's a great time to be a buyer. I bought last year and noticed some really nice boats that were well above my price range last year, are right in it now, so asking prices have come down.
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  #4  
Old 12-24-2008
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Assuming the boats are comparable, and that the way you would maintain each is similar (i.e., the work you would do yourself v. hiring a yard), the cost differential between a 28/30/32 most likely is not significant (and of course we all have different views of what is "significant" when it comes to money). You say you've familiarized yourself with things like sails and dockage, so we'll skip that. That takes you to things like bottom paint, larger gear when the time comes for replacement, etc. I just don't think the difference in a few feet will matter. 10' matters, but 2 to 4, probably not.

Note that you said "comparable" boats. This is a HUGE point not to be taken lightly. A 30 foot boat with lots of exterior teak is going to take a lot more maintainence (and thus either time or money) than a 35 foot boat with no exterior teak. A 28 foot full keeler will require more bottom paint than a 32 foot shallow hull fin keeler. A tricked out 30 footer likely would be more expensive to maintain than a bare bones 34 footer (when it comes time to fix all the cool electronics and niceties when they break). You get the idea.

In terms of a boat, and just an idea, give some thought to a Pearson 10M. She sails very nicely and does well in PHRF. They have nice lines (I think). They have a large cockpit. There is standing headroom down below, and can be made to be relatively comfortable cruisers. I mention this boat for a few reasons: (i) they sail very well and you can race her successfully, which means you won't grow to hate her 'cause she's a pig; (ii) there are always a number of them for sale and the prices range from under $20K to just under $30K; (iii) She's small enough that you will not be intimidated to handle her, yet big enough that you won't grow out of her so quickly; (iv) she has the helm forward in the cockpit, meaning you can trim the main from the helm very easily, yet have an unobstructed cockpit for lounging; and (v) she's relatively stiff, which means your wife is less likely to freak if you go sailing in any kind of breeze. Just an idea. There are many MANY boats out there that are good "starter" boats. The one thing I would caution is that if you are looking to cruise a little and trying to entice your wife, don't go too small. If it's uncomfortable for her, it quickly will become uncomfortable for you.

Good luck with your search, and post updates; they're fun to read. And welcome to "coming out" on Sailnet!
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  #5  
Old 12-24-2008
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everyone's made some great points.The biggest point I would keep in mind would be if the wife isn't happy and comfortable it won't work, she won't want to go out and everyone will be miserable. I speak from experience as my situation was very similar to yours. I was doing some racing(not as serious) and bought an older Ericson 26. After a few trips the admiral didn't seem interested. Not enough room down below and did not like the tiller. She wasn't comfortable with the boat. We stated looking around and talking with friends with other boats and found what she needed to be comfortable. Long story short we fell in love with the Catalina 30. We bought an 1988 model and would highly recommend it. It has more interior room than most 34-36 foot boats we looked at. Most important my wife looks forward to the weekend and getting to the boat. What more could a man want. Best of luck in your search.
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  #6  
Old 12-25-2008
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Sailingdog
--I have seen your sticky and it is excellent and I will use it. You suggest I sail on as many boats as possible. How do you do this? I guess I can charter daysails locally, but most of the boats in the fleets are not ones I am too interested in. I could crew for races, but I am committed to crewing twice/week plus 7-9 weekend regattas already. I have no time to practice with a new team.
This is all dependent on how the broker sail goes and my wife's interest. Oh I have only sailed on the J24 (150-200sails), except a one day regatta on a J105 and short day sail on a J80. Next March will end my 2nd year of sailing.

Dan
---Just the info. I am looking for as to costs. The Pearson 10m looks awesome. It is exactly the type boat I will hope for IF the Mrs. decides to play. IF not, It is one design racing of some sort for me. Would this Pearson be a boat that could do something like the Harvest Moon Regatta (Galveston to Aransas Pass)? How about the race across the gulf to Verra Cruz (the Cape Fear fiasco)? I mean the boat, I know I am not ready. The only equipment I want for now, is depth, GPS with charts when we decide to go somewhere, compass, and cold air for the dock. Probably hot water, as the wife insists I not stink too much. Could do sun showers in the summer, but my wife will like cruising in our colder weather best. As yo can tell, I have boat handling down fairly well, but I know nothing about seamanship.

Stanley
---The Catalina 30 is my fall back position. They look very nice to me and many look to be in very good condition down here. It seems you can sail this boat for a while and sell it for as much or more than your initial purchase price if you take care of it.

I will search, but if anyone wants to answer:
How often do you need bottom paint in Texas waters?
If I buy used, how old do you think the standing rigging may be before replacement?

Thanks, everyone.
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  #7  
Old 12-26-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baileyrace View Post
Sailingdog
--I have seen your sticky and it is excellent and I will use it. You suggest I sail on as many boats as possible. How do you do this? I guess I can charter daysails locally, but most of the boats in the fleets are not ones I am too interested in. I could crew for races, but I am committed to crewing twice/week plus 7-9 weekend regattas already. I have no time to practice with a new team.
This is all dependent on how the broker sail goes and my wife's interest. Oh I have only sailed on the J24 (150-200sails), except a one day regatta on a J105 and short day sail on a J80. Next March will end my 2nd year of sailing.
Even just a short day sail will often tell you a lot about a boat. If you're at a yacht club, asking members if you can go out for a daysail with them because you'd like to find out more about their boat will often get you a ride. Your schedule makes it a bit tougher of course, since you'll have to fit in daysails around the racing practice and races themselves.

Quote:
Dan
---Just the info. I am looking for as to costs. The Pearson 10m looks awesome. It is exactly the type boat I will hope for IF the Mrs. decides to play. IF not, It is one design racing of some sort for me. Would this Pearson be a boat that could do something like the Harvest Moon Regatta (Galveston to Aransas Pass)? How about the race across the gulf to Verra Cruz (the Cape Fear fiasco)? I mean the boat, I know I am not ready. The only equipment I want for now, is depth, GPS with charts when we decide to go somewhere, compass, and cold air for the dock. Probably hot water, as the wife insists I not stink too much. Could do sun showers in the summer, but my wife will like cruising in our colder weather best. As yo can tell, I have boat handling down fairly well, but I know nothing about seamanship.

Stanley
---The Catalina 30 is my fall back position. They look very nice to me and many look to be in very good condition down here. It seems you can sail this boat for a while and sell it for as much or more than your initial purchase price if you take care of it.

I will search, but if anyone wants to answer:
How often do you need bottom paint in Texas waters?
If I buy used, how old do you think the standing rigging may be before replacement?

Thanks, everyone.
Most standing rigging should be replaced at 20-30 years of age. It really does depend on how the boat was maintained and where it was sailed/kept.

As for bottom paint, it depends on the paint. Yes, you'll need it...but how often, is dependent on too many variables to say.
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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
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
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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  #8  
Old 12-26-2008
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The 10M is a reasonably well-constructed boat, but I don't think it's considered an offshore boat. It probably beats the Catalina 30 in that regard, and certainly a J24 or J80, but it's not meant as an offshore boat. I just don't really know if it's up to the type of race you are contemplating, as I'm not that familiar with Gulf of Mexico sailing. These events tend to have heavy gear requirements, which might be the biggest problem for such events, as that gear and its installation is neither cheap nor easy to accomplish for smaller boats.

I'd be surprised if you could find a 10M that does NOT have hot water and the other features you want, so I wouldn't worry about that. The one exception is air conditioning; that's probably not a common feature for a 10M in northern climes; no comment about boats that might be found in Florida and Texas (I just don't know).

In terms of sailing as many boats as you can, I agree, that's a difficult proposition. It's a great idea in concept, but the reality is that buyers rarely if ever can go sail 10 different boats they're thinking of buying. IMHO, what is a bit more realistic, and important, is to sail the boat you are thinking of buying, or maybe even the boats on a very short list. For instance, there are enough 10Ms out there that you probably can find a way to get a sail on one by approaching a 10M owner on a dock and explaining the situation (in this economy he might even offer to sell you HIS boat). Or at minimum, you should be able to sail the actual 10M you are thinking of buying, whether it be on a sea trial or before that. Sellers usually will want a signed contract before you can sail the boat, but there are exceptions. And in any event, just insist that the deal is subject to a sea trial satisfactory to you and that you can walk away if you do not like the way the boat sails (be specific about this point in the contract; it's not an unusual term but it often is not drafted clearly enough).
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  #9  
Old 12-26-2008
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Try to narrow down your list and then look for owner groups. You might find an owner in the owners group that lives within a drive of you. Hit them up for a visit, I'll bet they bite. I did that a few times. The hardest part was finding specific boats locally.

If your wife is going to be a part of this deal, she has to be comfortable, and that usually means a bigger boat.
Our first boat was a 21'er, a year later we were in a 26'er. That cost us. I'd suggest you take a LOT of time on each boat in question thinking about how you would live on it for any period of time. You might be happy with a sun shower but she might not. Is there space enough for clothes, pots n pans, food, beverages, life jackets, etc etc???
Longer waterline will generally give a more comfortable ride. You might like the excitement of getting tossed around but will she?
I say you buy the biggest boat you can be comfortable affording. The cost of buying up in a few years will eat your savings in buying a too short a boat. She can hang out in the marina while you crew on a race boat occasionally.
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