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post #1 of 19 Old 03-09-2009 Thread Starter
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1st Time Boat Buyer - Help Needed

I will be a first time owner, but not a first time sailor. I've done single handed cruising on the Napa river, in San Francisco Bay, off the coast of South Carolina, in the Chesapeake bay, and I've done a couple seasons of competitive race boat crewing on J 80/30/105 boats in the Chesapeake bay all on other people's boats. So with that said...

With the following cost/construction constraints, I was wondering if anyone could give me some suggestions on likely choices that will answer the mail:

*********

Assuming $0 down… I’d like to keep my monthly payment under $300 if at all possible, but definitely not over $400.

Model year is less important than condition and I'm open to an older boat as long as it’s financeable, (many lenders apparently won’t finance a boat that’s more than 15 yrs old), and as long as it’s a commonly seen builder brand around the Chesapeake Bay area so that future resale won’t be a big problem.

I'm ok with cosmetic issues that I can work on over time. But I want something that’s fully ready to sail on the day it’s purchased. So the hull/sails/rigging/electricals/mechanicals need to be in good working condition and the engine/batteries must be 100%.

Minimal Must Have List:

• 30’-42' (my slip is 40' x 15')
• Wheel Steering
• Fin Keel - 6.5' or less (no shoal draft or bulb keels)
• Spade Rudder
• Fiberglass Hull
• Inboard Gas/Diesel Engine 15 HP minimum (no outboards)
• Spacious cockpit (preferred over a roomy interior)
• Gauges:
o Electronic Depth
• Galley - Stove
• Head – Toilet+Sink
• Tankage:
o Fuel - 15 gal minimum
o Water - 20 gal minimum
o Holding - 10 gal minimum

Wish List - Structural:

• Fractional Rig (The larger main sail preferred for easy single handed main-only sailing)
• Single Backstay (if so equipped), not running/split backstays
• Spinnaker Pole or Bow Sprit
• Galley - Stove+Sink+Fixed Icebox
• Head - Toilet+Sink+Shower
• Inboard Diesel Engine 25+ HP
• Tankage:
o Fuel - 25+ gal
o Water - 80+ gal
o Holding - 25+ gal
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post #2 of 19 Old 03-09-2009 Thread Starter
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Oh... And I'd like to stay away from any "Hunter" models.

Although I do see lots of them tied up around the bay, there seems to be a pretty large Hunter-hater contingent around the Annapolis area. The general perception seems to be that they're poorly constructed and that they focus too much on creature comforts down below not enough on sailing performance and build quality.
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post #3 of 19 Old 03-09-2009
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This day in age, the $0 down part will kill you! Most banks want 20% down. Now that is not to say there are not some banks that will do 0% down, but do not count on it.

As far as brands go, take your pick, if just in the bay, most any boat will probably do just fine! from Hunter on up!

Marty

She drives me boat,
I drives me dinghy!
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post #4 of 19 Old 03-09-2009 Thread Starter
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I can probably pull together 20% (6k on a 30k boat).

I will be spending most of my time in the bay. But I'd like something seaworthy enough to potentially make relatively short cruising runs to places like Block Island and Bermuda.
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post #5 of 19 Old 03-09-2009
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Be ready to spend another 10k for every 20k you initially invest on a used boat!
Employ a surveyer!!! One not local and associated with your broker!


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post #6 of 19 Old 03-09-2009 Thread Starter
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The 10k to 20k rule is kinda generalistic isn't it? Can't the total cost of ownership after purchase be affected in either direction by a whole host of more specific factors like, (but not limited to):

Does the boat model/year have any known issues?
Was the boat raced or used only as a fair weather day sailer?
Has the boat logged thousands of hours or was it a dock queen?
Does the owner have meticulous maintenance records or not?
Does the owner's boat upkeep show attention to detail or not?
Has the boat ever been in any major accidents or not?
What issues show up on the survey and during sea trials?

But to narrow down the original question a little more... I seem to be seeing a lot of the following boats in the over 30' and under 30k range. Based on my original criteria and any known issues. Are there any of these builders that most of you would eliminate from the list of contenders? Conversely, which would you put in your top 3?

Beneteau
C&C
Cal
Catalina
Ericson
Morgan
O'Day
Pearson
S2
Tartan

Last edited by backcreeksailor; 03-09-2009 at 08:49 PM.
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post #7 of 19 Old 03-09-2009
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I love the PV & FV functions in excel. If you're assuming a $300 payment with zero down, in todays boat loan market you're talking about a 10 year loan at a rate around 12%. If you further assume you will pay off the loan at the end of 10 years (FV=0), you get a purchase price of: $20,910.16 *GROSS*.

That means this includes all taxes & fees as well. If you assume 6.5% sales tax and additional .5% in misc. fees, you're talking about a boat purchase negoatiated price of $19,542.20

For a minimum of 30', you're looking at likely a late 70's or early 80's Catalina 30 or comparable 30 footer...and at that age, good luck getting financing.

Might want to try to save a bit more money or scale to the 25' level where you can get a decent Catalina 25-27. Financing again, will be tough...but possible.
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post #8 of 19 Old 03-09-2009 Thread Starter
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With excellent credit and if I was looking at an under 30k loan with 6k down, wouldn't that give me a drastically lower interest rate than 12% and a subsequently higher purchase price? (I'm seeing 5.99 teaser rates being advertised on the front page of many boat financing websites).

The part I readily admit that I don't understand is how to predict the loan term lengths lending institutions will allow...

The typical car loan is simple, 5 yrs for new, 4 yrs for used. But in boat financing it can stretch up to 30 years on the far end of the spectrum. I know 30 yrs wouldn't apply to a 30k loan, but how far can you stretch it out?

Is there a chart online anywhere that breaks down the price points and boat ages at which you can get a 5, 7, 10, 15, etc year loan?
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post #9 of 19 Old 03-09-2009
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You're putting a lot of limitations on the boat you'll be able to buy. As Nightowl said, your total budget is going to be about $20,000 given your financial constraints. If you put $6000 down, you're looking at $26000 or so total. Anything much larger than a 30' boat is probably going to be one that needs a fair amount of repairs or upgrades.

Generally, I recommend anyone looking to buy a boat—new or used—reserve about 15-20% of their boat buying budget for upgrades, repairs and refitting their boat, since boats are not cars, and often need to be modified to some degree to fit the way you will use the boat.

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post #10 of 19 Old 03-09-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by backcreeksailor View Post
With excellent credit and if I was looking at an under 30k loan with 6k down, wouldn't that give me a drastically lower interest rate than 12% and a subsequently higher purchase price? (I'm seeing 5.99 teaser rates being advertised on the front page of many boat financing websites).

The part I readily admit that I don't understand is how to predict the loan term lengths lending institutions will allow...

The typical car loan is simple, 5 yrs for new, 4 yrs for used. But in boat financing it can stretch up to 30 years on the far end of the spectrum. I know 30 yrs wouldn't apply to a 30k loan, but how far can you stretch it out?

Is there a chart online anywhere that breaks down the price points and boat ages at which you can get a 5, 7, 10, 15, etc year loan?
No chart that I'm aware of, but these are simple excel formulas. If you have excel, learn to use PV & PMT functions

=PV(rate, periods, payment, future value)
explain the terms
PV = present value...this is where you calculate the value of the loan you can afford.

Rate = your interest rate. Remember, its your annual rate divided by the # of payments per year. So, if you have a 8% ANNUAL percentage rate, your monthly or periodic rate is 8% / 12...or .08/1 or, .0067.

Periods = # of payments you'll make over the term of the entire loan. If you have a 10 year loan, then its 10 x 12 (monthly payments) = 120 periods

Future Value = usually zero, you have to pay off the loan!

You can play with this and the PMT function which is just a variant, with a few different inputs (rate, periods, future value, present value)
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