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Old 07-31-2011
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Distance considerations when buying a boat

Newbie considering a first purchase in the 28 to 30' class (used).

Boats are advertized globally but what is a good practical radius to consider for a starter purchase? You may have a nice vessel 1000 miles away but it is wise to think about trailering or sailing such a long way to home marina? In other words, does the long distance diminishes the deal?

What is the maximum length that can be trailered? Is that costly or regulated in unique ways?

I am looking at a boat 2 hours away by sea or one that is 24 hours away by truck!
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Old 07-31-2011
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Unless you are considering a very high quality (expensive) boat, the cost of trucking it 1000 miles will be a very significant percentage of the purchase price. On the other hand, there are a ton of 27-30 foot boats for sale almost everywhere you look. I would buy locally and put the shipping money into upgrades.
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Old 07-31-2011
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Agree with buying local. We found enough boats on the Chesapeake that it didn't make sense to go outside of the area. Then we figured out how much time we could take off work to sail a boat back to our marina in one trip and used that as our maximum distance. Fortunately the boat we bought was four hours' sail away.

Another option would be to make short hops over subsequent weekends if you have a driver to get you to and from the marinas.
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You've gotten some pretty good advice so far. This is your first boat, not your forever boat. You can get paralyzed by the number of choices on the internet, so unless you're committed to a particular (rare) type, close & easy should be a major factor. The distance should be - how far can you comfortably travel? You'll be making multiple trips to look at the boat, as well as to do whatever you need to get the boat ready to get underway, even before you bring it to the marina you've chosen closer to your home. The best boat will be the one that gets you on the water soonest.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fredct View Post
What is the maximum length that can be trailered? Is that costly or regulated in unique ways?
In PA where I live the max width before requiring a permit is 8.5 feet. Coincidentally the width of the turnpike booths.

But it varies by state. Anything can be trailered as long as it fits on an appropriate-sized trailer and you have the proper permits. Heck, they move houses. There are also Federal requirements over a certain size. Check your state's DMV site.
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There's a max width, as Donna says. Then there's the height issue - of course the mast must be removed ($) but the total boat height (depth of keel, plus bow height, plus bow pulpit or radar arch plus height of trailer) affects routing, any bridges, overpasses, or tunnels = more $$.
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there are guys who move boats for a living. get a couple of estimates from one of them and you will know what number to factor in to your decision. I had my boat shipped from Tennessee to the Chesapeake. It was worth it for a fresh water boat in excellent condition but it could easily have gone the other way
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buy local

Quote:
Originally Posted by fredct View Post
Newbie considering a first purchase in the 28 to 30' class (used).

Boats are advertized globally but what is a good practical radius to consider for a starter purchase? You may have a nice vessel 1000 miles away but it is wise to think about trailering or sailing such a long way to home marina? In other words, does the long distance diminishes the deal?

What is the maximum length that can be trailered? Is that costly or regulated in unique ways?

I am looking at a boat 2 hours away by sea or one that is 24 hours away by truck!
It is not really practical to trailer a boat that size. Of course it can be done, but it gets real expensive real fast. The trailering is only one part of the cost, there is the de-rigging at the selling point and re-rigging at your home port to consider as well.

Since this is your first boat (I assume you are not a very experienced sailor), I would think that 100 miles is about the furthest you should look. That is 2 long sailing days away. Something that could be done for a reasonable cost (with a delivery captain, etc.).

Where are you located? Hopefully it is in (or a near) an area with a lot of boats.

Good luck,
Barry
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Good advise. It really depends on where you are and what you want. If you are in the Chesapeake area, Florida, S.Calif., or the Great Lakes there should be more than enough boats to meet your needs within a hundred miles or so. If you get your heart set on one specific boat type then you may have to widen your search considerably dependent on the boat.

So....where are you as a start?
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Old 08-01-2011
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Good advice so far, the cost of trucking can be considerable when you add in the fees at both ends of the trip. There is also the cost of a couple of trips to go look at the boat and having it surveyed. It would have to be a great deal in order to offset the increased costs, but great deals are pretty common these days.
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