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  #21  
Old 12-09-2009
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Look for a well kept newer boat that's not loaded with toys. A 35' boat with simple systems, icebox, simple water system, reliable diesel, and basic electrical system and go sailing. They all require work to maintain but if you don't have it it can't break.
Problem is, most boats have a lot of toys, especially the newer ones that aren't a project. Most boats have a wheel if they're over about 30'. But I did find one, a J105 with a tiller and fairly simple systems, Yanmar diesel. Quick boat too.
2000 J Boats J105 Tiller Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com
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  #22  
Old 12-09-2009
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The single most important thing you can do to reduce maintenance is to use the boat a lot.

Yes, this is counter-intuitive and it is more likely that you are simply keeping up with maintenance rather than causing any significant reduction.

But there there are things that go wrong that cause a big mess if you don't catch them early. If you use the boat often you'll find those things and put them right before they cascade into something more serious. This can easily offset the amount of wear caused by the extra usage.
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Old 12-09-2009
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Hey guys, this is great. Thanks!

Definitely reconsidering refrigeration thanks to this thread. I don't really need it but I had just assumed I'd want it.

I think composting toilets are nifty, faced with nasty sewage repairs I imagine my first impulse would be to rip it all out and buy an Air Head. Not so good for resale value though.

J/105 is right in my sweet spot, except I do want standing headroom, I have a hard time calling any boat a "coastal cruiser" or even "weekend cruiser" without standing headroom. Is this a misplaced priority? I know my wife is not a big fan of the J/105... ahh compromise. If I were to make my peace with poor headroom I'd might look for a WylieCat 30 -- very hard to find though.

J/105 is also where I got my concerns about wood cabin soles, I have heard several complaints of water damage and frequent repair or replacement, but perhaps that is due to shallow bilges as much as anything.

Going below 30' seems implausible for coastal cruising in the sense of living on a boat for an occasional week or two. I know people have circumnavigated on such boats but most likely out of financial necessity or perhaps masochism. I am not looking for a low maintenance boat out of necessity, but rather out of a love of sailing combined with a dislike for maintaining sailboats.

Right now I am liking the looks of C&C 99 -- any thoughts?

Martin
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  #24  
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Wood cabin soles are not a large maintenance item - unless you ignore them for a decade or two as some owners have. They also add a warm look to a basically plastic boat. Heads can be low maintenance. Install a Lavac. The simplest most durable head made. No pump is attached to the head - the pump is a diaphram mounted above the head and it can be manual, electric, or both. A properly done holding tank system is pretty low maintenance as well. Composting heads are larger and some boats will have issues with space. If you're weekending with the occasional longer trip an icebox is fine. Standing headroom is sorta nice too.
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Old 12-09-2009
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Originally Posted by eherlihy View Post
Nope - you gotta clean, and fill, all of them!
Ya... and that bucket handle is going to last all of 5 min before needing repair.. We get the point though..

OK to each is own here ...but.....let see ...why do I sail...OH ya cuz its fun..and maintenance can be too, tinkering around on a boat beats any day at work away from one I don't care what you do..you porn stars dream on...
So don't cut off your nose to spite your face...refrigeration or pressure hot water can make a world of difference in the fun aspect of sailing...hey changing the tire on a Ugo aint no different then changing one on a Lamborghini...as far as the work goes...ya sure the tire will set you back a few more bucks but the ride is a lot more fun as well.

So what I'm getting at is going for the mental Ideal of the least possible maintenance is not a bad thing as long as it doesnt get in the way of your fun and comfort level..if it does?...then that possibly will require more maintenance in the " Honey do you want to go sailing with me this week end" department.

Food for thought.
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I haven't read the responses to your post Sparohok, but I will read them when I get the chance. The obvious answer to your question of how to keep maintenance to a minimum is to keep the boat simple. Every system you add to a boat makes it more complicated and increases the amount of maintenance. You mentioned water makers, right, if you add a water maker then you have to maintain it, but that is true for every system on the boat. If you add anything, a windlass, or an auto pilot, anything, then you add maintenance. When you add enough systems you can get to the point where all you are doing is maintenance and you never go out and sail anymore, at which point most people seem to go out and buy a second boat that they actually sail because the first one is too expensive to sail and requires too much attention. That is really the test, as soon as you catch yourself looking at boat advertisements for a second more simple boat so you can just go out and sail then you know you've gone too far ...
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Oh, and before someone jumps on me - the original poster asked how to minimize maintenance, not how to make life on the boat as easy as possible. Big difference! Not having a water maker means less maintenance, but changing filters and things might not seem so bad when you are carrying water containers back and forth every day.
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Originally Posted by wind_magic View Post
I haven't read the responses to your post Sparohok, but I will read them when I get the chance. The obvious answer to your question of how to keep maintenance to a minimum is to keep the boat simple. Every system you add to a boat makes it more complicated and increases the amount of maintenance. You mentioned water makers, right, if you add a water maker then you have to maintain it, but that is true for every system on the boat. If you add anything, a windlass, or an auto pilot, anything, then you add maintenance. When you add enough systems you can get to the point where all you are doing is maintenance and you never go out and sail anymore, at which point most people seem to go out and buy a second boat that they actually sail because the first one is too expensive to sail and requires too much attention. That is really the test, as soon as you catch yourself looking at boat advertisements for a second more simple boat so you can just go out and sail then you know you've gone too far ...


Dang Wind...that's so close to home its scary...ben looking at Olson 30's lately...In my case I'm just tired of not having a boat to sail period though..
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Old 12-10-2009
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access to hidden areas

obviously most boats are designed with easy (or at least acceptable) access to the thru-hulls, keel bolts, engine etc, which is mostly what strikes most peopel when we're snooping around before making an offer.

but, i have found the most unexpectedly frustrating thing to be access to "hidden" areas behind/under floorboards, berths, panels, lockers, setees, storage areas etc through which ducts, hoses and wiring must be accessed and to all compartments of the bilge.

as might be expected, much of it seems to be designed to be easily built, but not easily inspected, modified or repaired.
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ArgleBargle
My boat (CS27) has the same issues. The head section from the aft end of the v-berth to the main bulkhead is a drop in module. While I can get behind it to either side the wiring for the light over thehead is inaccessible. The bilge is reasonably accessible, good over the keel bolts, but the hose for the manual bilge pump could use replacing after 32 years but seems to have been installed before the liner. It will not budge in either direction. I'll be cutting part of the liner out to do this and reglassing it after. This won't be visible as I'll be epoxying a wood sole over the liner. Behind the curved settee back to port is a 6 foot section of the hull that's totally impossible to get to, liner attached on all sides, so I cut a hole to see what was there and installed a removeable beckson plate for access. When I replaced my fuel tank I also replaced the vent near the top of the transom. Because the cockpit goes right to the transom almost I know the original fitting was installed before the deck was put on as the gap is only 2" or so and the vent couldn't have been installed any other way. There is now an access plate on the inside of the well where the vent is.
The problem is almost all boats are built this way. Stick built boats are few and far between and usually much more expensive like Morris. I have seen many worse than mine. Any older boat from Columbia or Coronado for example have full liners from bilge to seatbacks with lousy access in many places.
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