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Old 09-12-2009
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Need help determining budget for bluewater cruiser

Goal: bluewater cruising boat not requiring major investment for another 3 years that can accomodate a couple living aboard and another couple or two on coastal trips. It must also be reasonably easy to operate single-handed.

Means: $35K + $??K (cash from exchange of my apartment for a smaller one)

The trouble is, the more cash I get from apartment exchange, the less I'll be getting in rent payments from the new apartment. So while I could theoretically spend like $100K, I don't feel it's a good idea. Or is it?

From reading the forum and looking at used boat listings, I figured something like: $30K for boat + $20K outfitting it + $10K contingency fund = 60K total. What do you think on this estimation?
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Old 09-12-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brother52 View Post
Goal: bluewater cruising boat not requiring major investment for another 3 years that can accomodate a couple living aboard and another couple or two on coastal trips. It must also be reasonably easy to operate single-handed.

Means: $35K + $??K (cash from exchange of my apartment for a smaller one)

The trouble is, the more cash I get from apartment exchange, the less I'll be getting in rent payments from the new apartment. So while I could theoretically spend like $100K, I don't feel it's a good idea. Or is it?

From reading the forum and looking at used boat listings, I figured something like: $30K for boat + $20K outfitting it + $10K contingency fund = 60K total. What do you think on this estimation?
You didn't specify a size range, but given your requirements (2-3 couples at times), I would think you are talking about a boat well upwards of 40 feet.

Add to that the bluewater capability requirement, and in excellent condition (no major investment for three years). A 40 foot, bluewater-capable boat in excellent condition could easily have a set of sails costing $15-20K.

In my opinion your budget needs to be increased by many orders of magnitude.

On the other hand, some people use the term "bluewater capable" more loosely than others, and have less space requirements, and have different notions of age and condition. But even on the minimal end of that spectrum, I would still think your budget is tight.
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Thaks for the input, John. Size-wise I was thinking 35 feet max. Does this change things significantly?

Speaking of 2-3 couples I meant a short trip, not anythjing like a cruise. On trips lasting weeks it has two accomodate no more than two people with very moderate needs. I see you own a bluewater 31' boat. Is it spacious enought for the two?
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I'd recommend checking out the list of suitable 'bluewater' yachts on mahina.com, then using this last as a basis for checking out current market pricing of used boats on yachtworld, or boats.com. Over time you'll get a feel for what financial requirement you are facing for different sizes, condition and ages of boats on the market.
You are better off going smaller, and allowing more $ for refit and unexpected surprises. I agree with John - you will likely come up short with the budget you've suggested if you are truly after a bluewater boat, perhaps unless you like something 30ft or smaller. I've found that $60K will get a decent 80s model 32-36ft bluewater yacht, excluding refit costs.
Hope this helps..
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Old 09-12-2009
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To be clear, the offshore yacht list I recommended can be found at mahina.com/cruise
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Old 09-12-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brother52 View Post
Thaks for the input, John. Size-wise I was thinking 35 feet max. Does this change things significantly?

Speaking of 2-3 couples I meant a short trip, not anythjing like a cruise. On trips lasting weeks it has two accomodate no more than two people with very moderate needs. I see you own a bluewater 31' boat. Is it spacious enought for the two?
Okay, that adds a little more context.

I would say you will be looking at an early-mid 1980s vintage boat, if it is truly of the "bluewater" variety. Even then, you should expect to make a fairly substantial refit investment.

But I don't think you can realistically get a boat that will accommodate 3 couples comfortably for that price -- nor do I think you should. Sailingdog (another Sailnet member) has a saying that is worth repeating here: "The primary use of the boat should be primary." Or something along those lines.

In other words, if you and your spouse will be alone on the boat as a couple 95% of the time, don't go looking for a boat to accommodate the very infrequent visitors that you may or may not have. Otherwise, you will have to spend a lot more money and end up with a larger boat than you really need.

Maybe you could time your guests so that there is never more than one other couple visiting at a time? Or meet them at ports of call where shoreside accommodations are available, and take them on day trips aboard your boat? Etc etc.

Our boat is plenty spacious enough for a couple -- at least for us. We sail it with 3 kids aboard, or could easily take another friendly sailing couple along with just me and my wife. But folks have different requirements, so maybe it wouldn't be big enough for you or somebody else.

In any case, our boat tends to run beyond your price range. But Pacific Seacraft has an older model 31 footer (called the Mariah) that might be a candidate for you. However, although it is a much heavier displacement boat, the cabin may not feel as commodious as ours.

I like RMCA's suggestions above. From what I can tell, he is "in the hunt" too, so I suspect his data is fairly current. We also have a "bluewater" list here on Sailnet that you may wish to peruse:

Off-Shore Cruising Boat List

This list begins with the Mahina list but then builds on it.

Also, another important consideration is whether you truly need a "bluewater capable" or "off-shore" boat. Depending on your itinerary, you may be able to get along just fine with the MANY coastal capable boats that typically offer more size/cabin space for the same money. In that regard, you may want to peruse this thread, which discusses boat requirements in the context of intended itineraries:

Discussion of the Philosophies of Cruising and Circumnavigating
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Old 09-13-2009
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Thanks again for the great input. I've briefly researched most Mahina list boats in my size range, and have read the suggested threads.

However, here's still this important thing I don't really understand: what major factors contribute to price of a used boat? How can you have boats of the same age, size and condition (judging from ads) exhibit a 35% price difference?

I understand how it is with cars: power, build quality, handling and prestige. I drive a sport sedan because my trips are mostly long hight-speed highway passages. But for driving around the city one could buy something two times cheaper and the difference in performance would be insignificant. So before buying a "premium" model one should undestand what exactly he's paying for and why it's worth it for his particular purposes.

I realize that more expensive boats can be faster (by how much, BTW?) and better looking. But any other factors?

Last edited by brother52; 09-13-2009 at 02:09 PM.
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Old 09-13-2009
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IMHO you budget is way to tight! I have a 1985 30' coastal racerer/cruiser that I race most of the time. Paid 22K for the boat. 15k in new foam cushions and covers, redid the deck hard ware at 5-6K, new sails at probably 15k over 4 yrs, new lines at 3-5K, redid the foam back vinyl linings that the fam had rotted 2-3K in materials.........along with 200+ hrs of my own time doing a lot of the work over the last 3-4 yrs getting my boat to where I want her for racing/cruising puget sound.

Unless you can find something that is already turnkey, some will say an additional 20% of the paid for cost of the boat, I've run into more than one at the marina's that claim times 3-4 over the base cost unless the boat is turn key! ie just got back, and is ready to continue on from a blue water offshore ocean crossing.

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Old 09-13-2009
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Hi Brother52,

You did the exercise for a car; basically the exercise is the same to do to understand the difference in prize for different boat.

It is probably easier to do for a car since you know cars for so long.

When hunting for a boat, you fist look at the length. You also have to consider the beam. Larger the boat, higher the price. (more room inside and on deck)

Next consider various factors.
Material, wooden boat, aluminium, steel, fibreglass, composite?
Tankage for fuel and water, enough for what I what to do?
Accomodations, roomy enough for the time to spend on?
Room for storage, food etc.. enough for the time of the travel in between lands?
Fridge, freezer large enough? Still good working?
Sails – still good or ready to be replaced?
Roller furling strong enough for where I want to go?
Electronics – up-to-date, or need to be repaired/changed?
And so on

These factors have a high influence on the asking prize for boats of same size.
Also, brands have some reputations for building boat as light build boat or strong build boat. Therefore 2 bluewater boats will go offshore, but you will not sail and make the journey the same way.

Off course, this a main factor to see difference in prize.

If we take an example (not a boat comparison, just a very very high level to help you)

What between a Dufour 44 Atoll, a Beneteau 44 Oceanis and a 44 Vagabond.

Once on board of a Dufour 44 Atoll, you will see there is nothing inside. No wood, no cosmetics, no warm, no personality. That boat is an excellent boat. Build at first for sailing course at low cost with less maintenance to operate.

Once on board of a Beneteau 44 Oceanis, you will find more details, more attention to construction and a warm of nice feeling that can be a good home. At that point the price rises since there is lot of work to achieve this.

Once on board of a 44 Vagabond, you might be surprised by how the boat can be roomy. Everything, especially on deck, seems to be strong and be build for stay for long and very long passage. It is also a full keel boat, compare to a feel keel boat for the Beneteau and therefore the prize is higher.

3 same size boats. 3 very different boats.
The exercise will remain the same with different brand of boat regardless of the size.

You will find an interest to browse yachtworld.com to see what you can get for your budget. Keep in mind, lower the price when purchasing, higher the fees to make her ready to sail.

You also can ask a broker to assist you. In that case you should consider a budget that make sense to him. I will say 150K, what include the purchase of a 36-38 feet, from 1980 or so and cost for reparation and upgrade.

Hope this helps.
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Old 09-15-2009
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Bluewater budgeting...aaarrggghhh

Brother,

A lot of good advise posted above and here's my $0.02 worth.

"A boat should drink 6, feed 4, sleep 2"

or something along those lines.....(read that here I think)

Assuming you and your partner take 1 cabin for yourselves and then have a pullman or something for guest(s) OR use the salon setees for bunks, you can probably get away with something in the mid 30's. As for pricing, that's a whole separate can o' whoop-azz.

You've got to consider the following factors as having an impact on (what appears to be on the outside) similar boats.
- Level & quality of maintenance to date
- Condition of the hull (Been grounded, Blistering/Osmosis, Needs Paint ?)
- Condition of the sails, rigging etc and what're you getting ?
- Condition of the mechanical items aboard (engine, plumbing, wiring)
- Additional equipment included in the sale (electronics, galley etc)
- How desperate is the owner to sell & just as important WHY

Good rule of thumb is to plan for boat price + 30%-50% (additional equipment, repairs, getting it "right") Also, don't forget that blue water sailing assumes some general wear & tear on the boat daily. This will require ongoing maintenance and we all know that even if you do the work yourself, it's still not exactly "cheap" just cheaper....

Also, don't forget to set aside money to live on while cruising. I'd budget your monthly expenditure to be the same as it is on land, but you'll be spending it on different things. If it turns out less, then GREAT but don't plan on necessarily saving money while cruising and it'd really suck if you got the boat but had to cut the trip short cause you ran outta $$$

Looking at Yachtworld.com would be my suggestion. Put in your price range and a size from 30-40. See what pops up. You might get lucky but the budget you mentioned is tight on a good day...
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