Looking for a good coastal cruiser
My wife and I have been looking around at various boat shows, and we seem to like the Beneteau boats the best. We are going to be at best, island hoppers, so we don't need a true blue water boat. We just want something we can leave in the Bahamas or further South for the winter, and bring up to FL or GA in the summer.
We want a shallow draft, but also to have a decent sized cabin so if we bring another couple along, we don't want to kill each other. So far, 35' seems to be about the minimum, with a 39' boat looking pretty good.
What pitfalls should we be looking for. We want the best price we can get, obviously, but we would rather pay a little extra to not have to do major repairs. We are expecting to have to install an AC unit (wife's request), and possibly a generator.
Where do you find a good boat? Can one be found online, or should I start going through a broker? I've viewed a few boats already, and one has caught our eye, but I want to look around before getting in over our heads.
Any advice is more than welcome.
Someone's bound to ask you what your boat budget is--wait, it looks like it's me ;)
The budget number is a big one. Find a good boat surveyor in your area. This will be invaluble to your search. I bought a ketch rig boat six months ago with the logic that a split sail plan is easier to handle for my girlfriend, especially single-handed. A solid engine with a good service record and low hours is a no-brainer. Look for well maintained running rigging, this will let you know how often the boat was sailed and how serious the previous owner was about maintenance. Check bilge pumps and electrical systems, review every through-hull on the boat. Then have your surveyor, someone you've interviewed and established a level of trust in do it again. Sails in good condition build by a local sailmaker of good repute also speak highly of the previous owner's intentions.
When you find the boat you want, it will completely encompass your desire, beyond any recourse of logic or sanity. Be cautious, as looks may be decieving. Be prepared to spend 30-50% of the purchase price of the boat to make her absolutely sea-worthy and safe. Have her hauled and examined by your surveyor and do every repair below the waterline that he or she mentions might be advisable and coat the bottom with more than one coat of anti-fouling.
Best of luck in your search,
Shallow draft, decent sized cabin and privacy? Sounds like a cat to me!
Our budget is in the $50,000 - $80,000 range.
Thanks for the input. The boat we looked at this weekend really has grabbed us, and they are asking $70,000. We want to be slow and methodical though, and I just don't feel like I've seen enough boats to get super excited about this one.
We have two other people who are interested in partnering with us, so that will share some of the routine costs, as well as the purchase price obviously.
Does anyone recommend a good surveyor in the Jax area?
I am personally partial to the Beneteau as far as monohulls are for the price you want.. (used Beneteau's).. They are a well built vessel from my experience..
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