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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Boat Review and Purchase Forum
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  #1  
Old 02-24-2010
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Advice on when and what to buy.

I'm itching to buy my first boat.

I've crewed a C&C36 in Puget Sound, a Hobie33 near Annapolis, and I destroyed a Thistle when I was 16 on the Columbia River (good times). Oh, and I earned my small boat merit badge, twice (the instructor was a very hot 18 year old girl the second time, and I was the only scout entrolled). Really though, I've been exposed to sailing all my life, and I'm ready to move up to having my own boat.

First and foremost, should I buy now? As I have informed my wife, I will be buying a sailboat in the next couple years. Non-negotiable. She accepts this reality. I married a smart one. Objectively, this isn't a great time for me to buy. I have a house I am remodeling myself, which takes a lot of time and money. Kids are 2-3 years off, they will want a lot of my money too. But there will always be something, and if I wait for the logical time to throw tons of money into a depreciating hole in the water, there won't ever be a right time.

I'm wondering if the recession makes a compelling argument for moving ahead. If it saves me $0-5k compared to a year from now, it's not worth it. If it's going to save me $5-10k, it might be worth it. My budget isn't really going to increase, so if a given boat is $10k more expensive next year, I will be moving down to the next lower class.

I'm comfortable spending $25-50k for a boat in the 30' range. I'll need to finance whatever I buy, so I'll need 1-6 months to put together a down payment in the 10% range.

Should I wait until Fall for better seasonal prices?

Bonus question: what to buy. I'm looking for a safe, fast, stable, inexpensive, brand new boat, with only the best rigging and a 30 year warrantee.

In lieu of that, I'm thinking something ready to sail on the Chesapeake and up and down the East Coast for the next 2-3 years. After that we plan to return to our native lands of the Pacific NW, so I can either sell the boat, ship it, or make an adventure of it and sail it over. Coastal cruising is our thing, and while I don't plan to race the boat, I also don't want to feel like I'm driving a VW Bus on the autobahn. We will probably sail one full weekend a month, maybe a few day-sails a month, and a couple multi-day trips a year. In many cases, we will be joined by 2 med/large dogs as well.

It needs to be easy to sail. My wife is still forming an opinion on sailing. I need to be able to singlehand it, or sail it with green crew members while building my own skills. Comfortable capacity of up to 6 would be good. The Aloha 28 has caught my attention for a cheaper option, and I've seen several affordable Beneteau 321s as well. I realize Beneteaus are a love/hate proposition, but I like the large cockpit and salon for entertaining friends and keeping spouses who might not feel like participating in the action happy.

Like I said, up to $50k is probably ok. I can realistically spend about $1200/month on boat, mooring, insurance and upkeep.


Any thoughts?
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Old 02-24-2010
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I think its gonna be tough buying a used OR new boat with 10% down might happen ?

6. How much of a down payment is required?

Most boat loans will require a twenty percent down payment. We do offer other programs requiring only a ten to fifteen percent down payment depending on how much you are financing

10. What kind of boats do you finance?

Our sources for boat loans specialize in the financing of sail and powerboats twenty years or newer, used for recreational purposes. We do however have sources that will finance houseboats, part time charters, live-aboards, high performance and older boats.
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Old 02-24-2010
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Yes, I figure a down payment will have to be 10-20%. I have a good relationship with several local banks, and my income/debt ratio is pretty good, so I'm hoping to keep it as low as possible.

Coming up with the cash isn't really a huge problem in the short term. If I wasn't remodeling my house, I could have the boat paid off in a year or two. With the remodel, I may finance it over a long term to keep my payments low for now, but pay it off fairly quickly once the construction is done.

Either way, the question of whether or not there is an advantage in moving before the end of the recession is my primary question.
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Old 02-24-2010
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Right now it is a buyer's market...and a lot of people are under pressure to sell boats they can not afford to own. If you are serious about buying, I would recommend buying now, rather than waiting. When the economy starts to recover, there will be less pressure for people to sell and more buyers looking to buy, making it more likely to be a seller's market.
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Old 02-24-2010
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Check out a TES Magnam. Not tooooooo far out of your price range and the size is right.

TES 28 MAGNAM - Fotos - Photos - Images
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Old 02-24-2010
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Pretty boat, but I can't find any information on them or boats for sale.
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Old 10-08-2010
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Look at TES Yachts Canada, they do have canadian dealer.
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Old 10-13-2010
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If your current equity in your home permits it, take the loan against the house, not a boat loan. Better rate and tax advantages.

And if your home equity does not permit it, think twice. I know this is unsolicited advice, but if kids are in your future you're in for a BIG change... not just financial (significant enough) but lifestyle. Free time (for you and the wife) just melts away.

A 30 foot boat requires time and commitment, which will be in short supply with house remodeling and soon a family.

Consider, if available, a local sailing club that gives you access without the ownership burden. Or an inexpensive trailerable that allows you to go just for an afternoon at the spur of the moment. A decent O'Day Daysailer can be had all over for $1,500 or so.

I am sorry if I am perceived as preaching, but I've been around the block. Once into a loan it could be expensive and stressful unwinding from that commitment if your priorities change. Think not just about what you want tomorrow, but where will you be in three years?

Good Luck.
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