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  #1  
Old 06-18-2010
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Question question about boat information

i am interested in buying a boat in the upcoming months, yet am finding out that there is a lot more to it than i first thought. i saw an ad for a 1997 bruce roberts 46. there is a lot of information about the inside of the boat, and after watching our friends glass their formosa due to rot, i am glad to say the outside looks like fiberglass. however, there is nothing in the ad about the sails. there is a diagram of the boat, and while i had wanted a full keel, this one looks pretty decent--but what *is* pretty decent?? is this boat a good blue water boat (i want to go sailing out to some islands and take some time to really go out there) or is this just a pretty marina boat that just needs waxing? i can't find any info on it. anything would be of help@@??!?!

also i found a 41 morgan that looks nice. but then i read the morgans are not such good blue water boats.. why??

i also saw an irwin.. is it better to spend the money and get the boat on the name alone? it looks nice, but it's pricey and would wash me out...so the B reak O ut A nother T housand couldn't apply

ack! too much info...

please help
bec
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Old 06-18-2010
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Although I am not personally familiar with the boats you mentioned, I wanted to pass on some experience from somebody who recently bought a boat: Don't spend all your money on purchasing the boat! Even a boat in good condition will likely require a few thousand spent on on it to resolve any issues the survey will find - and every boat I have ever heard of will need something, even if it is a layer of bottom paint.

Visit boats, find one you love, and then build a spreadsheet with estimates of all the extra costs you will incur. Before the offer or the survey. Need a new sail? New bottom paint? Engine overhaul? Survey/title/taxes? etc etc etc. You may well find that the true cost of buying that boat will be thousands - likely tens of thousands - above the initial purchase price. Especially as you are considering a larger boat, where the cost of everything will be...expensive. Very.
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Old 06-18-2010
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bec, welcome aboard!
The Bruce Roberts you mention is (not for certain, without knowing the exact boat) more likely to be a steel hull. They are usually built from plans ordered... and I can see several hulls in various stages of completion for sale across the country right now.
A certified marine surveyor would be your best friend in a final decision on a boat purchase, as far as knowing what to look for and finding possible disasters lurking below. It (hiring the survey) is money well spent.
Be aware that there are plenty of boats out there whose owners are trying to pass off a problem, as well as owners sincerely wishing to get their old dream boat to a new, good home.
Look at the thread on boat-buying tips, read Don Casey's Inspecting the Ageing Sailboat, and walk the docks. Don't rush, take your time.
And like with a lot of things, think about what you need the boat to do. As an allegory, a race car performs a specific function and may be a great race car, but is not well-suited to travel overland through the Baja. Boats are the same... a floating condo or a river cruiser is not well suited to cross the Pacific. Make a list of what you want. And what you need.
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Old 06-18-2010
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We've all heard the saying that a boat is a hole in the water through which you through money. It isn't until you actually buy a boat do you learn the meaning fo the word BOAT.

Break
Out
Another
Thousand

I'm not certain there's a way to avoid this, yet you can certainly attempt to minimize expenditures.

Decide on a type of boat, instead of a specific brand as this allows you to look at many boats.

You will certainly be concerned about hull and rigging integrity, but it's just as important to evaluate all boat systems, as chances are this is what needs repairing. Make sure they all work. To name a few..

refrigeration
electric panels
battery chargers
A/C (?)
autopilot
batteries
solar panels
hot water
water pumps
bilge pumps

(and on and on)

Only consider boats that have been well maintained. ie... their systems all work and/or have been recently updated.

Only consider boats with sails less than 10 years old.

Only consider boats with diesels with less than 4000 hours running time

Ask if a boat has been painted. What kind of paint and when was it painted?

Is the deck solid?

Is the hull blister free?

How old is the rigging?

The point of this post is not to eliminate boat repair, but to manage boat expenditures. All too often boats listed for sale have not been maintained and you're in for some serious expenses to put everything in order. On the other hand well maintained boats are not cheap.
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Old 06-18-2010
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I'd highly recommend you read the Boat Inspection Trip Tips thread I started in the Boat Buying Forum. I'd point out that at least 15-20% of your total budget really should be set aside for refitting, upgrading or modifying any boat you buy. This is because boats, unlike cars, often need to be modified to fit the way YOU WILL USE THEM. They are not turnkey vehicles.
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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
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Old 06-18-2010
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Yes, there's a lot to buying a boat. Much to know.

One of the smartest things you'll do on the way to getting a boat, you've already done. You came to this site. You're going to get a lot of excellent information and advice here.

I'll just say that the time you spend gaining knowledge before you buy will be paid back 100 fold in terms of frustration and dollars after you make your purchase.

In addition to reading and studying, you'll want to look at plenty of boats and get a feel for them.

Take your time. Hard to do, but you'll come out way ahead when you make your purchase. A bad boat buy can be VERY bad.
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Old 06-18-2010
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Take your time!

I second Siamese's suggestion that you take your time.

I have been looking for over three years for the right boat, and I am still looking. I have posted about several of my rejects on this site. Look through my previous posts if you are interested.

What I will tell you is to figure out how much money that you can dedicate to buying your boat. Then take 70% of that, and that will be your boat buying budget. The extra 30% will be for surveying the vessel, refitting the vessel to your specific standards, insurance, and hidden surprises. Stuff breaks when you least expect it to; be ready to shell out extra cash.

Here are a couple of things that I will pass along based on my learning experience;
  • Rigging in salt water has a 15 year life span
  • Sails, depending on use, have a similar lifespan
  • engine & transmission - think of 1K hours as 25-30K miles on a car
  • most decks, and some hulls were built as a sandwich with fiberglass on the outside, and either balsa wood, marine plywood, or special foam as the core. If the core is any kind of wood, and it gets wet, problems will arise. Look through the NUMEROUS threads on Sailnet to gain an understanding of this issue.

You will get to know brokers. Some of them are great, others are a pain in the neck, but you will have to deal with many of them. Realize that until you have bought a boat, that the broker works first for himself, second for the seller (who pays him a commission of 5-10%), and lastly for you.

If you are interested in a boat, call the broker and ask to see it. Do not worry too much about the price. You will probably make offers on several boats (I know that I have). When it comes to an offer, I try not to make an offer "insulting" to the seller. If the seller is asking X (say $100K), and I think that the boat is worth Y ($70K), and the difference between X and Y is greater than 20% (in this case it is) then I make no offer at all, and move on to the next boat. After a couple of months of no offers, the owners sometimes get the picture and lower their asking price. However, there are exceptions. I know of at least one Pearson 36-2 that has been on the market longer than I have.

Good boats sell quickly, and for top dollar. Boats that are well maintained are worth it, and you should jump on them quickly. One member came up with a list that he shares with his broker to find "the perfect boat." Here is a link to that list.

Unfortunately, every boat is it's owner's baby, and the owners love them. Therefore, most owners are blind to the actual condition of their boats with respect to other boats on the market, and they ask top dollar regardless of condition. In the owner's defense, they usually paid more than they are selling the boat for, and they have probably put a lot of money into maintaining them. However, the situation frequently arises where after you would purchase a given boat, you would have to put more money into a boat during the post sale cleanup and re-fit, than the boat is worth. I hate to be the guy to tell the broker, or the owner, that his baby is ugly, but sometimes it has to be done. Some brokers hate me, but I'm fine with that. Prepare yourself to become unpopular with some brokers.

...and perhaps the most important lesson of all: there will always be another boat.

Good luck!
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Last edited by eherlihy; 06-18-2010 at 09:08 AM. Reason: P36-2 exception
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Old 06-18-2010
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Also remember it is a HUGE buyers market just now. The charter fleets are downsizing, many people can no longer afford the payments due to the economy and others are just having to sell all their toys.

If it is the one in Marina Del Ray that looks like it might be a good deal. New engine and recent? sails. I would have been interested myself last year. However there are some hints that it might have been a diy interior and never quite finished. Nothing wrong with that but you will have work to do.

Also try to find out who laid up the hull and their experience.
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Old 06-18-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TQA View Post
Also remember it is a HUGE buyers market just now.
Just a warning - Some member's here feel that this is not the case... I happen to agree with you, but I believe that it is subject to interpretation of incomplete data. Yachtworld may be the most comprehensive listing, but they might account for 70% of the market.

The latest Sail-America Brokerage report says that the market is picking up. Broker's tell me that boats are being bought, so you better buy quickly.

My advice, again, is to take your time and find the right boat for you. Despite all the hype, I believe that there is a LOT of pent up inventory.
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Old 06-18-2010
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It's the worst boat market in recorded history. Just because someone posts something different, doesn't make it true.
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