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My situation's similar. I was looking for a 1st boat to give a go at living aboard. I put out a want ad for a 27 and was approached by someone wanting to sell a 30 for much less than it's worth. It's a crazy market, a bonanza for buyers, but I know how such a wild opportunity can become a source of stress and conflict.
I've seen 27s and I can see where you're coming from. There's not much there. I can imagine living on a catalina 27, saw a cal that has no storage space. I'm getting one with a head hot water and a shower, but i'm coming to find out that more often and not the easier path is to just use marina facilities, and it's not even an option to use plumbing when the boat's been winterized. So its just a matter of how much stuff do you need to have, does the boat have storage space, and can you stand up in it.
Let me tell you what i've paid so far and perhaps it will help your decision. This is Maryland.
I got a year slip for 3050 +60 environ fee. Split into 5 monthly payments. Normally you're making payments months before the term begins, but i guess the market's changed things. Add a $90 a month liveaboard fee. I'm guessing your columbia has a 5'6" draft, in my marina you'd pay at least 3750 for a slip that long and deep. Some marinas are more or less.
Survey was 20/foot.
Survey lift + powerwash was 6/foot
Seller insisted on a certified captain for the trip to the lift and sea trial, 75/hr, 225.
If you can convince the buyer to leave the boat on the hard after the survey lift, you could save some money. See, it's good to scrape and paint the bottom yearly. I didn't, so another 6/foot haul and powerwash, then over $100/gal for antifouling paint. Marina may require you use a vacuum sander, may have to get your own, may want someone else to do it. $.
Oh, and sales tax. And my buyer wanted a 10% deposit before he allowed a sea trial. And if you need a loan, you may need insurance.
So even when the boat's cheap, buying it is expensive. Don't think i'm trying to talk you out of it, I just want you to be prepared.
There's a book called inspecting the aging sailboat by don casey, it basically tells you a great deal of things a surveyor would look for. It could save you the grand it's gonna take for the survey. Read, read read. Theres a lot of things new sailboat owners never think of, like stopping the clang clang clang of the halyards banging against the mast.
As for learning, you're gonna need a buddy to push you away from pilings and run up the sails. One of you two should be trained.
Oh, and water damage. With the market the way it is, you can afford not to get a project boat. Do you really feel like repairing it? Where did the water come from? What else did the water do? Leaks can cause delamination, are there soft spots on the deck?
Last edited by nailbunnySPU; 06-17-2009 at 11:43 AM.