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Old 03-21-2009
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Options/ Ideas Advice for boat purchase

The Sailboat Project




My overall plan: I plan on purchasing a project boat in the next 2-3 years and then allotting 4-6 months to make her sea worthy。
I would appreciate any opinions ideas etc in regard to what I have written below, nothing is set in stone as far as what is within my budget. I am more than happy to hear different thoughts and am glad to gain knowledge and insight. I would much appreciate your help recreating my plan and accomplishing it. Much of the plans success relies a lot on my personals skills (ones I possess and ones I will gain through experience and study) to complete the boat and my ability to choose: quality surveyors, a good boat with potential, sound workers that will be doing the work that I am not qualifed to do persistence and the desire for the freedom, of the seas.

Things I am aware of: There are some good non-project boats out there that can be cheaper in the long run compared to project boats. But I am a “start from scratch” (or as close to as budget allows) type of person I want to know the insides and outs of the boat, I want to be familiar with her.

What I am leaning towards now and why:
Length: 45 ft
Why: comfortable cruising size
Things I am aware of: more boat more maintenance, higher upkeep costs
Keel : Full keel
Why: Strength, shallower draught compared to the other option that I am looking at -fin-keel. I plan on going to uncharted waters. Feel at ease that when: she is hauled she will not have to rely strongly on the pads and if I ran her aground.
Things I am aware of: can be heavier and less maneuverable than fin keel.
Hull Material Steel
Why: Strength, personal preference, I prefer working with metal over glass and don’t feel: wood, aluminum or ferro-cement is an option. I feel I would prefer working with rust opposed to osmoses.
Things I am aware of: importance of the initial coats (interior and exterior) for: rust deterrent, hull longevity and ease of maintenance.
Rigging: factional rigged sloop
Why: ease of sailing, simplicity
Things I am aware of: less sail options.
What boats I have been looking at: 45 ft range Bruce Roberts
Why: Price, and availability, the boats I have looked at have been striped in the inside or unfinished, so I would be more able to see hidden problems.
Things I am aware of: home built boats can have many short comings such as poor: welds, paint/zinc/epoxy application, material used, inexperienced ideas or designs.
What I will be doing with it: Cruising many destinations on the seas. No singular venues. Destinations of interest: Island hoping, south pacific, blue water, open seas, coastal, northern and southern latitudes and the Med.
How many people will be sailing it: For the most part 2. But I would like her to have 6 comfortable berths.
My skills (in order of expertise): woodworking, mechanical, plumbing, metal work, electrical
Budget: $50,000 (could I do it cheeper?)


Overall things I am weary about with my choice of boat so far:
A.Initial coats/sealings how to tell how well they were applied and with what material.
B. I don’t mind having a slower boat I am not out for speed/racing. But I certainly don’t want an unmaneuverable slug like motor sailor!! I would like to rely on the motor as little as possible.
Random info: I would like to have a sailing dinghy.
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Old 03-21-2009
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Sounds like you have a pretty good idea of what you want but I think you are underestimating the amount of time a major overhaul of the kind you mention is going to take. Even putting in 10-hour-a-day full workweeks - if you are going to go at it alone - you need to double or triple that amount of time and you'll still go to sea on a partially unfinished boat.
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Old 03-22-2009
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Thanks for the advice genieskip, you worded it very well I should have said 6 months at 8 hours days 5 days week. It's great you included that detail your advice is very helpful and what I am looking for. Time is an important factor I will pay closer attention to it.
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Old 03-22-2009
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I would be hesitant to take on a steel boat that was in need of repairs.... since steel boats REQUIRE constant maintenance to prevent rust from getting a serious foothold. If the boat wasn't made with high quality steel that was properly prepped and treated, even a short period without proper maintenance could leave you with a very, very expensive problem rather than a boat.

A 45' LOA steel boat is probably going to be in pretty rough shape for your initial budget, and if that is your budget, how much do you have reserved for refitting, repairing, upgrading the boat to bring her back to sailable shape. Repairing, refitting and upgrading boats is a pretty expensive proposition, and the larger the boat—the more it generally costs; and the worse shape the boat is in—the greater the costs as well.

Also, most 45' boats are a pretty decent handful for just a couple, and usually far to big for many to handle safely given heavy weather conditions. You don't say what your sailing background is, but IMHO, you and your partner should both be capable of single-handing whatever boat you get under all conditions. Cruising as a couple is generally two people single-handing the same boat at different times of the day. If you can't singlehand the boat—you're going to get into trouble.

If you're seriously looking to go bluewater sailing for relatively small cash outlay, get a smaller, fiberglass boat...and go.
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Old 03-22-2009
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What sailing, boating experience do you have? For your budget I would go smaller. Have you looked at many boats. Not trying to beat you down, but my first was a steel boat and the problems I found after I bought her were unbelievable and the bigger the boat the bigger the cost. Just replacing the sails and rigging on a boat that size will be huge, replacing the inboard well both could be your entire budget. But I do wish you well. But as small as you are comfortable with the better. IMO
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Old 03-22-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ditch View Post
The Sailboat Project




My overall plan: I plan on purchasing a project boat in the next 2-3 years and then allotting 4-6 months to make her sea worthy。
I would appreciate any opinions ideas etc in regard to what I have written below, nothing is set in stone as far as what is within my budget. I am more than happy to hear different thoughts and am glad to gain knowledge and insight. I would much appreciate your help recreating my plan and accomplishing it. Much of the plans success relies a lot on my personals skills (ones I possess and ones I will gain through experience and study) to complete the boat and my ability to choose: quality surveyors, a good boat with potential, sound workers that will be doing the work that I am not qualifed to do persistence and the desire for the freedom, of the seas.

Things I am aware of: There are some good non-project boats out there that can be cheaper in the long run compared to project boats. But I am a “start from scratch” (or as close to as budget allows) type of person I want to know the insides and outs of the boat, I want to be familiar with her.

What I am leaning towards now and why:
Length: 45 ft
Why: comfortable cruising size
Things I am aware of: more boat more maintenance, higher upkeep costs
Keel : Full keel
Why: Strength, shallower draught compared to the other option that I am looking at -fin-keel. I plan on going to uncharted waters. Feel at ease that when: she is hauled she will not have to rely strongly on the pads and if I ran her aground.
Things I am aware of: can be heavier and less maneuverable than fin keel.
Hull Material Steel
Why: Strength, personal preference, I prefer working with metal over glass and don’t feel: wood, aluminum or ferro-cement is an option. I feel I would prefer working with rust opposed to osmoses.
Things I am aware of: importance of the initial coats (interior and exterior) for: rust deterrent, hull longevity and ease of maintenance.
Rigging: factional rigged sloop
Why: ease of sailing, simplicity
Things I am aware of: less sail options.
What boats I have been looking at: 45 ft range Bruce Roberts
Why: Price, and availability, the boats I have looked at have been striped in the inside or unfinished, so I would be more able to see hidden problems.
Things I am aware of: home built boats can have many short comings such as poor: welds, paint/zinc/epoxy application, material used, inexperienced ideas or designs.
What I will be doing with it: Cruising many destinations on the seas. No singular venues. Destinations of interest: Island hoping, south pacific, blue water, open seas, coastal, northern and southern latitudes and the Med.
How many people will be sailing it: For the most part 2. But I would like her to have 6 comfortable berths.
My skills (in order of expertise): woodworking, mechanical, plumbing, metal work, electrical
Budget: $50,000 (could I do it cheeper?)


Overall things I am weary about with my choice of boat so far:
A.Initial coats/sealings how to tell how well they were applied and with what material.
B. I don’t mind having a slower boat I am not out for speed/racing. But I certainly don’t want an unmaneuverable slug like motor sailor!! I would like to rely on the motor as little as possible.
Random info: I would like to have a sailing dinghy.
A lot of questions come to mind, but what really jumps out at me is your budget. Is $50K your total budget for the entire project, or is this your budget for purchasing the hulk of a hull in need of a total refit?

Until we know that data point, it's difficult to offer meaningful advice.
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Old 03-23-2009
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Hey guys

$50,000 is my total budget I don’t want to have to save for more than that. Sailing experience non, my sailing partner has the experience.


My goal is to be on the ocean cruising. My ambition is certainly not rebuilding but is to be in a boat that is sound. Many projects in life I feel it’s better (better meaning cheaper in the long and with a better end product, less long term maintenance, and longer life) to start from scratch or close to opposed to slowly adding or updating. But maybe it could be different with boats? Of course I want to go cruising and not be a boat repairman, but it is very important to me that I make the right purchasing decision towards my goal and not take the wrong course. Do you feel a 36’s in my price range ($50,000) has the potential to be a long term cruiser? And if so what would be the pros and cons opposed to a bigger boat (45’)

I understand your suggestions fully, 1 being metal’s preparation on a “project boat can be a horror, 2 why not go smaller/cheaper. The benefits that I am looking for between 45 and 36 is room and the fact that I will be doing long term cruising. I also would like to ask all of your opinions about these 2 scenarios A. purchasing a 36’er (give or take) in glass and getting her sail worthy (time + money) and sailing her for a couple of years then getting a bigger boat for longer more comfortable cruising and again putting time and money into it .B. or sticking to the plan posted above. What would be the pros and cons of either.
Another point I would like to make is that I also agree with all or your opinions that it is better to start small and cheep,in life and many of the things one encounters in this is sound advice-especially because of the overwhelming examples of unfinished projects whether it be a Ford mustang, a get away cabin or additions on a house, a marriage(s) the bathroom sink or even a 45 ft B Roberts. But I will reach my goal which is to feel free on the sea. I am not saying that I will stick to an unbalanced plan which at this point (my above plan) very well could be but what I feel is important to me, is to attain my goal by being flexible with my plans. I plan on doing this through experience, study, hands on, and by putting the knowledge that the old salts here have gained and shared to good use.

Thanks Ditch
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Old 03-23-2009
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If that's all you can budget, you can't afford a 45' boat. Not gonna happen.

You can probably get a 30-35' fiberglass boat in fairly decent condition for that amount of money... and if you shop around, might even be able to get one that has been out bluewater cruising, and isn't in need of much more than a bit of updating...

Pros of getting a 30-35' boat over the 45' boat.

1) You can actually afford it
2) It will be easier to single hand
3) It will be more affordable in the long run—dock/slip fees, maintenance, etc.
4) Fixing stuff on it will probably cost less
5) It will probably be a bit simpler to use/repair than the larger boat.

Cons of a 30-35' boat over a 45' boat

1) It's going have less living space
2) It's going to sail slower
3) It can't carry as much stuff

It all depends on your priorities. If your priority is getting out there and cruising... get the smaller boat... once you're out there, you won't care that it is only a 30-35'... people have done this for decades... it has only been a fairly recent thing to see the average cruising boat size climb up beyond 30-35'. Look at Larry and Lin Pardey... been out there for years...and their boats have all been relatively small ones under 30'. Webb Chiles has been sailing for decades, and his largest boat is 37' LOA IIRC.

BTW, IMHO, if you and your partner can't live on a 30' boat together, then a 45' boat won't cut it either... boats are just too confined and small a living space when you're out there.
Quote:
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Hey guys

$50,000 is my total budget I don’t want to have to save for more than that. Sailing experience non, my sailing partner has the experience.
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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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Old 03-23-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ditch View Post
... I also would like to ask all of your opinions about these 2 scenarios A. purchasing a 36’er (give or take) in glass and getting her sail worthy (time + money) and sailing her for a couple of years then getting a bigger boat for longer more comfortable cruising and again putting time and money into it .B. or sticking to the plan posted above. What would be the pros and cons of either. ....

Thanks Ditch
Ditch,

Sorry, but your budget of $50K all-up is completely unrealistic, even for a 45 foot steel hull that you build or rebuild yourself. If you want to get an idea for yourself of what sort of costs to anticipate, why don't you get a ballpark quote from a sailmaker on the typical sail inventory for the Bruce Roberts 45. You could easily spend half your budget alone on a modest complement of sails for such a boat. And a diesel engine for that boat would be in the US$15-20K range.

Here I am assuming you will undertake this project somewhere in "the West". I cannot speculate what the costs might be in China, which is where you are posting from.

In the A/B scenario you pose above, I would advise option A. With $50K you could get an older, mid-30 foot fibreglass production boat, with good bones, and still have a fair bit left over for upgrades. Instead of spending the next 5 years re-fitting the steel hull, you could begin sailing and learning next month. This is a no brainer.
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Old 03-25-2009
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Hey All

I have been checking out the market in the 35-40ft range in fiberglass these past few days. Finding a cruiser that has been outfitted for long term cruising and in my price range and leaving some money left over for some updating and refitting will take some time to find but it will get me out on the water faster in the long run. Writing down my plan and posting it here has been very helpful; I really appreciate your open, honest, strait to the point ideas and opinions. Thank you.

I would like to take a moment to write a bit about what I am aiming to do in the future, so if you have further advice/opinions you would like to share then you could better advise me if you choose. I am now working smart and hard saving money and finishing off a mortgage. I have a mortgage on a house in China and a house in New England (USA) waiting for some finishing touches so it can be like the China house remolded and low maintenance-so I’m able to spend my free time free. I would like to purchase the boat and maybe moor it in Belfast, Maine and sail around New England while I am saving a bit more money over the next few years; at the same time preparing myself and the boat for longer cruises to the above mentioned destinations in the first post. With all loans paid I would like to only work part time or full time and having long stints where I am not working; so I can enjoy life. I would enjoy staying in some of these destinations for long periods of time (that is one of the reasons that I wanted a larger boat) either working or enjoying the nature beauty that presents it self.
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