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kmartin16 12-01-2009 05:42 PM

Shopping in winter in NY
I have looked at numerous boats since September and tried to learn as much as I can. This web site is fantastically helpful. I was hoping for some feedback to the following general observations.

Winter seems like a good time to buy. I am in upstate NY and am willing to go as far as Boston/Long IslandErie/Toronto but it would cost me roughly 2k to haul and ship to my location from those distances. So I have focused on local boats so far.

Up here in the tundra you can't start the engines, masts are down, and people have stuffed the gear into the interiors so it takes a little imagination. I have presumed that sellers that are still in the market will discount for these issues but we shall see. I can also tell you I have felt funny climbing around on some of these things that weigh 5-6 tons and are balanced on jack stands.

I am graduating from dinghy sailing and plan on doing daysailing, beer can racing, and overnights on Lake Ontario (about an hour and 15 away from me) and/or Oneida Lake (25 minutes away). Hopefully my kids (4) will get the bug as they enjoy chartering. Older 28' to 36' sloops with shoal draft have been on my radar screen (I am 6'4" so anything smaller seems uncomfortable).

Prices seem to be very soft and I am having a heck of a time deciding on which direction to take. The quality/price ratio on each boat is taking awhile for me to figure out since I don't know a lot about doing projects and their costs. I know those extras like dodgers, furling, self tailing winches, etc, can add up. My original plan was to go cheap and smaller to start out and learn with relatively minimal investment. Plus, I would try and work on the systems myself and if necessary get help and look at it as an educational investment. The more I look and think about my time, the more I think the time is right to go larger, more expensive but better condition/updated. Having real trouble deciding and of course I will have to weigh the factors for myself. Any thoughts, experiences or tips would be appreciated. I will probably get a survey depending on the boat, but I looked at one last week that I could get for 3k or so and the engine is worth more than that.

tommays 12-02-2009 09:15 AM

I bought a project AND at the prices your talking your looking at projects :)

I know were this boat was the last 30 years and ENJOY fixing stuff and have the tools ,talent (IF irun out of talent i got friends to fill the gap) time and the MONEY which IF i get lucky will be 6000 in materials ;) and a LOT of time

If you feel OK about doing something like pulling the motor then your ready to think about a project

Thats what a cheep boats engine bay looks like ;)

kmartin16 12-02-2009 09:53 AM

Yes, all are projects. Those are great pictures thanks. I don't have the skills to do an engine refit. Not afraid of trying it as long as I have little or nothing invested up front.

I am looking for 3 things: solid decks, hulls and engines that are clean with low hours. I guess I look at it like my house. Get a good roof, foundation and structure, and then finish it out the way you want. Yes, the wallpaper, trim, fixtures, appliances, etc. are where the money goes in a house, but you get it the way you want it. Is that a fair analogy for a sailboat? The rigging, sails, electronics, etc., are where the $$$ go, but you get it set up the way you want and have some confidence the rig won't fail.

At the prices I am seeing, the budget will tolerate hiring someone (costs are not so bad up here for professional help, and I suspect like other things right now are dropping too) to do some things over the winter that I would have done myself.

tommays 12-02-2009 10:03 AM

solid decks, hulls and engines that are clean with low hours :)

When they have those 3 things there usally NOT projects and the price will reflect it ;)

MY boat has has a ton of good stuff on that still kept it at almost 0 value due to the repiar issues required as even if you sold off the good parts you have 7000# of boat to cut up :eek:

kmartin16 12-03-2009 11:41 AM

One boat I am looking at fits the bill; solid to my untrained eye (survey coming if offer is accepted), with a newish engine. However, the hull needs fairing, re-bed a couple of things on deck, and TLC inside but nothing major (like I said, survey coming). The broker selling seems honest and politely cautioned me about a couple of other boats I looked at in his stable and his warnings were right on. All systems are functional, but are a little older and probably should be replaced over time. I figure I could do those things at my pace and if I buy the boat cheap enough up front, I won't cry too hard when, not if, I have to spend on something I did not foresee. Hopefully I am being realistic. As I read this site, it seems there might be no such thing -- a realistic sailboat buyer.

mitiempo 12-03-2009 02:45 PM

You're not very subtle, but you're right.:D Any older boat is a bit of a project boat, whether it be engine, glasswork, wiring or something else. On the better looking 30+ year old boats the problems haven't come up yet, but they will unless the equipment has been upgraded recently. 30 years on the water is hard on everything. As far as not having skills, glasswork probably requires more skill, although easily learned, than engine work. I'm not a mechanic but I will try most anything and if I end up over my head, I go to an expert. But I take the waterpump off the engine, change alternators, or rewire the entire engine and starting system as I have done. as I hate to pay labor for what I can do myself. While I've never swapped an engine it's mostly work you can learn if you are careful. Fixing an old boat if you're handy and can read and search the internet is more about commitment than skill. There is a phenominal amount of good help today only a click away. I never did learn to weld though so have to pay for that. Good luck kmartin and remember the resources are available to help you do most anything.

kmartin16 12-04-2009 08:01 AM

Welding? Hopefully you don't need that too much.

If you want to be inspired by determination check out the guy in Annapolis who got the "free" Morgan 30 (I will get the link). Spent weeks refairing the hull, putting on 7 coats of primer and 6 coats of Awlgrip, all in full tyvek and respirator. Took apart his winches, re chromed his hardware, re powered and had to re bed the engine 6 times and the shaft was still not right for th esea trial and the boat took on water. And I am still not scared off.

mitiempo 12-04-2009 11:30 AM

Actually I have had a custom stainless fuel tank made, as well as bases for cabintop clutches, bases for new winches, and there is a new bow fitting with anchor roller to be made in stainless. A few other items might come up as well that require custom metalwork.

tommays 12-04-2009 11:42 AM

Even at 10K to 20K down this way the boats in this range wave at least one :eek: issue

For example there was the 10k 30 foot with the rotten plywood keel sump which was ingored so long the keel bolts are junk and its got a 1981 saltwater cooled motor

kmartin16 12-05-2009 09:09 AM

Welding is one thing. I think welding stainless is another step up in difficulty.

Here is the link I mentioned above. sailboat restoration, morgan 30 foot sailboat, my hole in the water

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