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  #1  
Old 07-07-2003
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Naive novice question re: buying a boat

Hi!

I have to admit: I have NO IDEA about sailing. I even never WAS on a sailboat sailing. So here I am, asking you wise and experienced sailors for some brainstorming.

I know somebody who could sell me an 32'' Islander 1977 for $5000 (price between friends). The owner, my friend, had this sailboat almost unused in the water for over 10 years. The interior needs work, but mostly cleaning up from the owner''s "cumpulsive disorganisation and keeping disorder" (CDKD, ha ha).

But no matter, if I buy this boat or some other...... my question is this:
what are the costs of just hauling the boat out of the water and giving it an outside hull treatment (I don''t even know, WHAT treatment it needs! Do you?), so it won''t sink in the next few years? I know, I can''t expect quotes on painting jobs here, but can you just tell me, if your last bill of doing that hull treatment was about $500 or $5000 or....?

I don''t care so much about the inside or the engine or the sails of the boat, as I care about the outside condition.

Do you NEED to have a survey done before buying? I figure out, the boat was in the water the last 10 years, so it basically doesn''t leak if I don''t see water...right? And after the treatment outside the water it shouldn''t leak at all, right?

The boat would cost me only $5000, but I am not sure about the immediate costs attached to it. All I want is something that floats secure (could be my bathtub, but it''s a bit tight for 3 people there) and is tied up at the moorage. My budget wasn''t much higher that that ($5000) anyway.

Otherwise I was looking at an about 30'' sailboat to just have it docked in the place my family (me, husband, small child) uses to vacation. We figure out, weekly or bi-weekly live aboards are cheaper than a few nights in the only hotel in town:-)

Conny, waiting patiently for advice...

P.S.
Both my husband and me have all time of the world to fix the boat up. We just don''t have the money to buy a nice 20K boat, ha ha. That is why we don''t really care so much about the messy inside.
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Old 07-07-2003
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Naive novice question re: buying a boat

Conny

This boat has been in the water for 10 years? Ok, Out here in "my lake" 10 years isn''t so bad. There is no marine growth in the Great Salt Lake. BUt any where else 10 years is TOO long. You will be looking at some major growth on the bottom just as a shot in the dark guess (saying you will have most of the work done) you are looking at more than $1000. Then if (and it''s almost assured)there are any blisters the price will be much higher. Are you ready to have the boat out of the water for an extended period of time? I would think that if you would take this job on your own and you work at least 3 days a week you will be done in about 2 seasons. Write back let us know where the water is that boat has been socking up for the last 10 years. I will be very intrested to find out what you find when you get the boat dry docked. $5000 may be a bit high for a boat that has so neglected...
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Old 07-07-2003
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Naive novice question re: buying a boat

Oh Boy. Fixing up a 1977 sailboat is much much more than a bottom job. Does the engine run? are you a mechanic? do you need new sails? How is the wiring? ETC If you don''t love boats and the water you are biting off a very big mouthful. Yes you can keep a boat on a mooring for not too much but the other costs of fixing it up might just sink you. Comprable boats are going for 20K and up - I recently bought a boat in better shape than that one and had to put about five thousand into it before I could go anywhere - and I have a list of to do things that is long - Can co much myself - but I will do it willingly because I love the water and sailing so much.
Let us know
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Old 07-07-2003
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Naive novice question re: buying a boat

Oh Boy. Fixing up a 1977 sailboat is much much more than a bottom job. Does the engine run? are you a mechanic? do you need new sails? How is the wiring? ETC If you don''t love boats and the water you are biting off a very big mouthful. Yes you can keep a boat on a mooring for not too much but the other costs of fixing it up might just sink you. Comprable boats are going for 20K and up - I recently bought a boat in better shape than that one and had to put about five thousand into it before I could go anywhere - and I have a list of to do things that is long - Can co much myself - but I will do it willingly because I love the water and sailing so much.
Let us know
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Old 07-07-2003
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Naive novice question re: buying a boat

Yes a survey is necessary. A boat that has lived in the water for 10 years can have a lot of serious problems. Combined they can add up to many times what the boat is worth but without experience or a survey how would you know. To put this in perspective:

A boat in good shape merely needs to be hauled, scaped and have the bottom painted. Depending on where you are and the condition of the bottom this can be as cheap as $500 and as expensive as a couple thousand.

But there can be all kinds of other problems and if the boat has not been dried out in 10 years and is from the mid 1970''s there probably are other problems. Blisters are one likely problem for a boat of this era. (Think of blisters as an auto-immune Disease for fiberglass, left un-treated it can reduce a boat to useless). A blister job could be as little as $5k to as much as $10 or 12 K depending on the extent of the problem.

Bad thru-hull fittings and seacocks can run several thousand more. Add bad keel bolts or a delaminated keel and you have already spent several times the value of the boat.

But then again it may only need a simple bottom paint job. Without an expert seeing the boat, or without a survey, you''d never know.

Good luck,
Jeff
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Old 07-08-2003
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Naive novice question re: buying a boat

Conny

I have friends that bought a 60''s era Islander. I think it was 32/34 model.

That boat was in northern waters (Maine) and was not neglected. There was still a lot of work to do but it was a solid boat and very worthwhile. The work was cosmetic interior stuff, new dodger, etc...

Being in the water 10 years and not used could mean many things. If well maintained but not sailed that is certainly better than plunked at a mooring or slip and forgotten.

Get a survey. The Islander boat I know is a very solid and worthwhile boat because it was constantly maintained.

Mike
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Old 07-08-2003
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Naive novice question re: buying a boat


Thanks for all the words of wisdom.

I was today on the boat. The owner said, the boat WAS out of the water two times in the past 10 years (I was misinformed first) and had it somehow treated (no new paint though).
When I asked about blisters, she said, the person who inspected the boat the last time when it was out (which was 4 years ago) said, the blisters were not significant and "don''t worry".
I noticed some cracks on the upper side of the boat, near where the wooden long rail is on one side and on top in front (near a window). When I asked, the owner said, I could fix that by myself.

We tried start the engine, but it wouldn''t start. The owner, a woman, said, that she never had tried to turn it on by herself; but just a few weeks ago when her guy used it, it worked fine. She used the choke excessively, so could that be the reason, it wouldn''t start? Otherwise, the sound of the motor "trying to start" sounded good:-)

The inside was actually clean of clutter, but just everything was dusty and stinky from the original upholstry (which I would of course change).

She used the boat mainly to have a place to stay and did only once take the boat out on a 3-week-sailing trip in the Pacific Ocean.
Oh, I forgot: now it is moored on the Columbia River. Nearby is a huge airport and the jets fly overhead, so I guess the boats are all covered with those invisible jet fuel particles.

She said, there are 5 good sails and only one needs some repair (not the main sail, though).

Overall I had a good impression of the boat. It had even an oven, a refridgerator/freezer (a small one in the galley), a depthfinder, a radio, not a GPS but a "Loran"(?). ---

What do you think?
Could I regret buying that sailboat for about $5000, to have a vacation spot for a couple of years before selling it again or deciding later what to do with it?

Conny


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Naive novice question re: buying a boat

Oh, and I should add: the boat has two bilch pumps (which I guess were there "by default")installed, but everything looks fine there.
Doesn''t look like any water was ever leaking.

Conny
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Old 07-08-2003
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Naive novice question re: buying a boat

Conny

For someone who knows boats, it might be a good deal. It sounds to me like it might end up being an albatross for you, though.

The real question, to my mind, is whether you are really interested in sailing and learning about boats. If you''re not, and you only want it as a hotel room substitute, and aren''t motivated to find out about, and attend to, issues like bilge pumps, seacocks, wiring, and other CRUCIAL safety matters, then it''s only going to be a disappointment and financial nightmare for you.

If you are really interested in learning about boats and sailing, it might be wonderful. BUT I would recommend that before you go any further you read something like, "Inspecting the Aging Sailboat" by Don CAsey. You can find it at Amazon.com or probably your local West Marine store. It''ll give you an idea of what you are looking at there. And BY ALL MEANS DO NOT buy the boat without a survey. You are going to have to pay the expense of hauling the boat for a bottom survey. Probably a couple hundred bucks on top of the survey cost. But You''d be foolish not to. Even if you never planned to take the boat off it''s mooring a simple thing like an old rotten hose could sink the boat while you''re on it; or a neglected propane connection could blow the entire thing sky-high the first time you light the stove.

Boats are WONDERFUL. First sailboats even better. My husband and young daughter and I had an absolute blast and fell deeply in love with our first 27-footer. Now we''re moving on to a big adventure on a 39-footer......... so I do not mean to discourage you but don''t go into this thing blind. You could lose WAY more than your $5k.

Best wishes to you,
Stacey
www.sailnamaste.com
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Old 07-09-2003
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Naive novice question re: buying a boat

With all due respect, Conny, the actions that you''re considering are much, much, much -- did I mention "much?" -- more complex than you seem to think.

Buying a sailboat can be an surprisingly expensive proposition, even for the most knowledgeable of sailors. And sailing can be a dangerous endeavor.

My advice to you would be to forego -- for now, at least -- the thought of buying a boat. Go sailing with some friends who have boats...or if that''s not possible, join a sailboat club where you can be part of the crew.

That way, you''ll have a deeper appreciation for sailing and sailboat owning, and then you''ll be able to make better decisions about whether you want to own a boat, and if so, what type. Good luck.
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