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Old 04-22-2010
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Question selling my house to buy a boat

I have accepted an offer on my house, so if everything goes as planned, I should be able to buy a boat sometime in June.

My rough plan is to buy a sailboat that is large enough to be comfortable for 1-2 people to live in, that I can take down the coast and eventually cross oceans with.

My sailing experience is limited to lasers and hobie cats on a lake, so I plan to do some crew training and day skipper training, and possibly some 'own-boat tuition' before taking the new boat out.

Most of my cruising will be around the BC coastline and Vancouver Island, but I definitely want to venture further south as my skills and boat permit. I will mostly likely have another person with me, but I definitely want the option of sailing solo as well, so that might put an upper limit on the size of the boat.

Does anyone have any suggestions as far as what kind of boat I should looking at? I have been browsing yachtworld and have been gravitating towards 40 foot ketches and yawls. There is a nice looking motorsailer nearby as well, what kind of compromises and trade-offs are involved with a motorsailer compared to a more traditional sailing vessel?

Also any help with choosing what hull material to go with would be much appreciated. And, can anyone who has owned a boat like this give some indication of what I can expect in maintenance costs? I'm quite mechanically inclined and can do a lot of work myself.

Ryan
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Old 04-22-2010
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Here's a pretty good thread where people talked about different boat types for coastal cruising:

Production Boats and the Limits
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A lot of this will depend on what your budget is.

Given your relative lack of sailing experience, I would recommend you stick with boats 30-35' LOA or so. The costs of boat ownership double with every 10' or so in additional length, and the systems on the larger boats are often more complex and more expensive to maintain, repair or replace. Be aware that a 40' boat is not 133% the size of a 30' boat, but more like 240% the size, as they grow in width, length and depth.

I'd point out that getting a boat that is in very good shape is generally far less expensive in both time and money than getting the same boat in poor shape and restoring it.

As for materials, unless you're planning on sailing in high latitudes, your best bet is probably going for a GRP or fiberglass hull. Wooden boats, with the exception of cold-molded wood, are generally a lot more maintenance, as are steel boats. Aluminum boats can have serious galvanic corrosion issues.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
Here's a pretty good thread where people talked about different boat types for coastal cruising:
Smackdaddy, thanks for the link, very informative read, I'm almost halfway through.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
A lot of this will depend on what your budget is.

Given your relative lack of sailing experience, I would recommend you stick with boats 30-35' LOA or so. The costs of boat ownership double with every 10' or so in additional length, and the systems on the larger boats are often more complex and more expensive to maintain, repair or replace. Be aware that a 40' boat is not 133% the size of a 30' boat, but more like 240% the size, as they grow in width, length and depth.

I'd point out that getting a boat that is in very good shape is generally far less expensive in both time and money than getting the same boat in poor shape and restoring it.
Sailingdog,

Thanks for the comments. Although I lack experience now, I have the plans and the budget to spend the next couple of years getting expert instruction and practice, so I am not too worried about being able to sail a larger boat. By the time I set sail for any length of time I will have logged lots of hours on smaller boats through the sailing school, and lots of hours on my own boat in sheltered waters.

So I suppose it will mostly be a balance of living space vs. maintenance costs. Can anyone comment on how suitable a 30-35 foot boat would be for a young guy and his girlfriend (who will have her own place but will definitely be over lots) to live on? Oh ya I have cats too.

This is probably a hard question to answer, but I am optimistic about the amount of boat ownership experience in this forum: Can anyone provide a ballpark, dollar estimate of annual maintenance costs for fiberglass boats in the 30, 35 and 40ft ranges?
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Smackdaddy, thanks for the link, very informative read, I'm almost halfway through.
No worries dude.
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A lot of this will depend on what your budget is.
Good point, I should have included that. I expect to have around $50k to spend on the boat itself, but would probably prefer to buy something in the mid forties.

I'd be looking for boats either in BC, Washington, or Oregon, but I have not started looking into the details of importing a boat into Canada.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryanct View Post
So I suppose it will mostly be a balance of living space vs. maintenance costs. Can anyone comment on how suitable a 30-35 foot boat would be for a young guy and his girlfriend (who will have her own place but will definitely be over lots) to live on? Oh ya I have cats too.

This is probably a hard question to answer, but I am optimistic about the amount of boat ownership experience in this forum: Can anyone provide a ballpark, dollar estimate of annual maintenance costs for fiberglass boats in the 30, 35 and 40ft ranges?

Only a fool would sell everything, quit work, and go sailing...but some of us fools are having a great time!!!

You are getting good advice here, go small, go quality, and get a boat that does not need any work.

Ok about that part about a boat not needing any work....that is never the case. Even if you got a brand new boat it will need lots of work. A brand new boat that has just been outfitted and commissioned will need work. All boats need work, all the time!

Ok it isn't quite that bad but you will be living on this boat, working on a boat and living on it is not the best situation, do able but you want to keep the big projects to a minimum.

So get a boat that is newer or in very good shape.



As for size, we got a 32' and have lots of room for us and we could handle a cat, I would prefer a dog but no need to go there at this time.

The only thing I would have liked is a shower. Some of the marinas we have stayed at (and very few anchorages) have had showers, at least nice showers I like to use.

Buy a coastal cruiser that can do oceans rather than a passage maker that can coastal cruise. It takes a while to get comfortable with the boat and set up for passages, maybe years so buy a boat for now. Trading up later will always be an option.
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A budget of $50,000 isn't going to get anything in the 40' or above range that isn't in need of a full refurbishment or pretty close to it. Given your budget, you might really want to re-think the size boat you're looking at.
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Originally Posted by ryanct View Post
Good point, I should have included that. I expect to have around $50k to spend on the boat itself, but would probably prefer to buy something in the mid forties.

I'd be looking for boats either in BC, Washington, or Oregon, but I have not started looking into the details of importing a boat into Canada.
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a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

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Quote:
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Good point, I should have included that. I expect to have around $50k to spend on the boat itself, but would probably prefer to buy something in the mid forties. .

oh oh, that is IMO rather low for what you are trying to do with the experience you have. Doable but could be a challenge that is all. If that 50k is total boat purchase, repair, outfitting and first year boat expenses you may want to go alot smaller and alot older than I was thinking. With a 50k budget I would suggest that looking at boats around the 40k and under mark....well do a search on the net, maybe check out a few and you'll have an idea of what kind of boat you'll be looking at.

edit: Also what kind of living budget will you have? We went with less adventure time and higher living budget to have more fun, others can live off beans, literally beans.
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Last edited by Architeuthis; 04-22-2010 at 07:55 PM.
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