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post #1 of 17 Old 03-20-2011 Thread Starter
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Boat Purchase Advice

Hello everyone. I am looking for a first boat and would like some advice. Here are my requirements:

- $5K-$15K max (prefer $8K or less)
- To be sailed in FL (west coast), mainly along the coast, day trips, etc. but able to get to the keys hugging the coast if desired. Will spend the night some times, but not a live aboard for more than maybe a week at a time (for a vacation)
- Probably in the 26'-30' range since I'd prefer to be able to sail it myself fairly easily and use an outboard (figure it's less maintenance than an inboard)
- Does not have to be trailerable, though if there is a good trailerable option that is close in performance/safety to non-trailerable options I will definitely consider it as it could be convenient
- Not a total fixer upper - something I could sail right away (or close to it)
- would like to sleep 3 (and I'll likely bring my 2 medium size dogs from time to time) and have some comforts like a bathroom, working range
- ideally with a shower, even if a rudimentary one

I'd appreciate advice relative to:

- size
- class/boat type
- age
- possible makes/models

that might work for my requirements.

Thanks in advance.

Nick
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post #2 of 17 Old 03-20-2011
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Newpot 28, 30, Ranger 29, Ericson 30, Islander 28, Catalina 30. Might be difficult to find a clean boat for less than 15k. Do some searches on yachtworld entering your price/size specs and see what comes back.
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post #3 of 17 Old 03-21-2011
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Most boats over 26' do not do well with an outboard, it being useless when it is a bit rough. Under 26' less of a problem.

Brian
Living aboard in Victoria Harbour
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post #4 of 17 Old 03-21-2011
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I would not constrain a yachtworld search with price. You may find a gem that is listed way over value, but becomes reasonable if you keep an eye on it and express interest.


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post #5 of 17 Old 03-21-2011
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The west coast of FL has some pretty skinny (shallow) water sections so if you want to hug the coast you will likely need a shoal draft boat or even a center board model.
You might check out MacGregor 26 S or D boats. These are not my favorite but they have some qualities that give them a loyal following. MacGregor 26D, 1989, Bokeelia, Florida, sailboat for sale from Sailing Texas
1 - it is a trailer sailor and can be stored in your driveway saving $$$$
2 - very roomy cabin if you do not mind limited headroom (sleeps up to 6)
3 - takes up to 9.9 HP outboard

I do not recommend the MacGregor 26 X or M models as these are designed to take up to a 50HP motor and are not as good sailors as the S or D models.

The only advantage of having an outboard is that it can be removed and brought to a mechanic if in need of repair.

There must be 50 or more boat makes/models that would be appropriate for what you are asking, each being a compromise of some sort.

Good luck.

"The cure for anything is salt water~ sweat, tears, or the sea." ~Isak Denesen

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post #6 of 17 Old 03-21-2011
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Coconut Grove Sailing Club in Miami Coconut Grove Sailing Club often has small cruisers for sale.

These are boats that have been 'taken' for none payment of mooring fees and sometimes there are real bargains on good little boats.

Contact the Club.

Phil
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post #7 of 17 Old 03-21-2011
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I would check out something like this O'day 272 LE with diesel, and wing keel perfect for shallow water.

272 LE oday sailboat for sale

I have an outboard model and would way rather have diesel inboard. As others have mentioned outboards on boat over 25' suck, much hard to navigate in tight spaces and not to mention in seas you will want a inboard.

Or something like this
1978 27' hunter sailboat

I would find the best shape boat for the cheapest price and buy it. In your price range do not extend yourself, because even the nicest $8500 boat will need work or you will find stuff to buy for it. I would buy a boat that just needs minor tlc but has all of the major stuff together. Also outboards are tricky and get expensive fast if you are not willing to work on it every weekend. Some run non-stop others have problems. A new outboard for a 27' boat will cost $2500 easy once all setup. So make sure you test the heck out of any outboard before you buy the boat. Get a survey...
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post #8 of 17 Old 03-21-2011
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After you go inside a few sailboats you will have better Idea. How tall are you ? Shower is usually in 30 ft + boats. More of Sun-shower,cockpit shower. --SOME sailboaters like OUTBOARDS better. Erickson 25,27, and larger. Trailering: ---Putting up/down mast might make it too painfull and stop sailing alltogether.but it is done. Go to boat ramp and watch. Look at Sailnet boat reviews and internet boat reviews. Jack Hornor boat reviews and boat surveyor (boat appraiser). Just start looking in person.
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post #9 of 17 Old 03-21-2011
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In your price range, I second the O'Day 272. A friend of mine bought a used one last year for under $5K (I think). It had an outboard but it had electric start and a hydraulic lift to get it out of the water. The boat needed a lot of elbow grease but man did it sail good once he got it out there. He was moving up from an older MacGregor. I had a C&C 24 at the time and we liked going out in his boat better because it had a wheel, more room and an actual head (as opposed to a porta potty). It also has a decent swim ladder. If he spent another $10K on that boat it would be mint. Plan on at least 1/3 of your budget for upgrades, repairs and equipment.

Also, I would second what Minnewaska said about Yachtworld. I would set the max price at $25-30K and see what comes up. It is not uncommon for boats to be way over priced on Yachtworld. I paid a lot less then what my boat was originally listed at.

What part of the country you are in can also effect price.

Good Luck.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” -Mark Twain
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post #10 of 17 Old 03-21-2011
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The built in swim deck is awesome on the 272 and the boat is fast, and fun. It's really pretty basic too so there is not to much to go wrong. We got ours for free, I just had to reconcile slip dues. I did not get a survey considering the price, but after acquiring I found a solid survey from 2008 in the boat records. I just did the basics, checked keel, checked keel bolts, checked hull as good as possible. Checked deck. Most boats from the 70's and 80's will have problems but mine surprisingly is solid and has surveyed good sense. I know the 272's sell for over 10k and the 272LE can fetch more. They are cool boats. Any boat will be fun, just be smart, and read up before just purchasing. Also make sure the boat has a complete sail inventory and rigging is complete, and make sure you get safety gear with boat. In this economy there are some good deals out there for 70's and 80's production boats.
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