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  #21  
Old 02-05-2013
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Re: What to look for in a new boat

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Originally Posted by mysterybee View Post
...
The part of the purchase that makes me the most nervous is learning how to maintain the boat. That's why product quality and manufacturer support are so important to me....
Other than actually sailing, this was next in line of most fun. The more we did ourselves, the more the boat felt like "ours" (despite the whole writing the check and having our names on the title part). At first we let the marina do all the work, commissioning, etc. As our confidence grew we gradually took over the maintenance thinking that if we screw something up, there will be someone around to make it right again (either a boating friend with more experience or someone in the marina). Actually, our marina has given us a lot of help and advice without asking for payment. Even loans us tools if we have a quick repair.
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  #22  
Old 02-05-2013
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Re: What to look for in a new boat

Just wanted to chime in on a few points. In our location, finding a slip or mooring was harder than finding a boat, and significantly dictated our choices. We were on a waiting list for 3 years waiting for a slip. Then off season storage was another headache. Also don't forget that these costs can be significant and should be factored into your budgeting.

I would also like to say I have been very impressed with the level of support for our Catalina. Beyond the association, and owners forums, factory support for a 20+ year boat has been great. I went on their website and just did a quick question to support, about availability of a replacement part. Two days later Frank Butler was on the phone helping me find the part.

Good luck, and enjoy the process.
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  #23  
Old 02-05-2013
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Re: What to look for in a new boat

"What to look for in a new boat?"

Well, I would suggest bouncing on the deck to see if that is shot / squishy.
Check the hull for damage.
Check the interior for signs of deck leaks.
Check the standing and running rigging; and winches for grinding (unmaintained sounds).
Run the edge of a quarter across the threads of the sails. If they break easily, they're shot.
Spin the propeller shaft to see how true it is, and wiggle it to check the bearing(s).
Look straight up the mast to see if that is straight.
Check the wiring, where it is hidden away, to get a "feel" for how corroded it is throughout the boat.
Look at the backs of lockers / cupboards etc., to see a lot about the overall condition.
LOOK AT THE BILGE!
Check the engine, run it from cold, and see what color any smoke is.
TEST / TRY every single device and equipment... to use in your negotiations... do the toilets work, sinks drain, windlass work, A/C work, refrigerator & freezer working? REally?
Check the bilge and water supply pumps.
The navigation lights.
Any hydraulics, (steering?), the rudder (which will be wet), and did I mention check for a squishy deck... ? :-)
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  #24  
Old 02-09-2013
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Re: What to look for in a new boat

We too are looking for our first cruising sailboat for the Great Lakes (Lake Michigan). We are thinking of a 36-38 foot boat. We are looking for advice on what would be a good model to be a good starter boat. Our price range is around $50,000. I've read that a Catalina is a reliable and affordable choice, the "Ford" of cruising sailboats.
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  #25  
Old 02-10-2013
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Re: What to look for in a new boat

It is good to see you both looking for boats ! Keep us posted when you buy so we can share the joy. I would also like to learn what your pros and cons work out to be.
It might not hurt to take an old salt along to look. You will find free advice and support here on sailnet. Advice from a mate that knows you is will be very good most times. If this old dog can see your options up close and personal advice may be wize to follow. In the end you have the final say. I was blessed to have help. He was a Catalina man but had many good things to say about other brands. I asked the ones I sailed with about what was in my price range and skill level. I found my choice by crewing in the summer.
If you are going to spend a nice bit of $ you might want to get a Survey and a mechanic. Ask if you have a engine that could cost a fair amount time and money to replace. Some insurance companys will want a survey. The survey in my understanding may not take a long hard look at the engine. They are looking at the hull for major damage to make sure she will float. Oil samples are very good indicators for the engine. Take a sample to have it checked. Catapiller service dealers and other services centers can do that. They will check what metal is in the sample. All engines have some metal from the wear but what metal types and at what % gives you a good picture of the the health of the engine. I have such a small low cost boat a Catalina-22 that I used free advice. Good day to you, Lou

Last edited by Lou452; 02-10-2013 at 12:27 AM.
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  #26  
Old 02-10-2013
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Re: What to look for in a new boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by mysterybee View Post

The part of the purchase that makes me the most nervous is learning how to maintain the boat. That's why product quality and manufacturer support are so important to me.
I'm sure that manufacturer support is a big plus, but I wouldn't necessarily let its absence cause you to dismiss a boat you otherwise like.

The manufacturer of my boat, a Nonsuch by Hinterhoeller, has been gone for more than 20 years but I can get most any part and all the boat specific advice I need. A rigger in Canada that worked for Hinterhoeller has a business now selling parts. Another Canadian has a business selling custom made parts that in some ways improve upon the originals. More importantly, there is a very active owners forum that is a fountain of information.

I think that most Sailnetters have tons more experience than I do and can chime in on this and I don't know how unique my experience has been, but I suspect that if a boat has had a signficant production run then you might have similar success.

If you find a boat you really like, even if the manufacturer is long gone, then you might want to find and check out the relevant owners forum to see if it offers the support you need.

Just my 2 cents.
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  #27  
Old 02-10-2013
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Re: What to look for in a new boat

hi mysterybee,
As far as boats go with the big 4, Catalina,Hunter, Beneteau, Jeanneau. The dealer network on Lake ontario is excellent. Beneteau being the best and hunter the worst (for service). The Beneteau dealer takes care of the brand regardless of boat year. How many dealers give free tickets to the Annapolis boat show every year? I didn't buy from him either. Private sale.
If i were you i'd look at some Jeanneau's they may fit your bill. Keep in mind that cruising the lakes is like cruising the Ocean. Lake Ontario can get mighty rough in the spring and fall. You always want to be on your toes.

As far as marina's or yacht club. Yes, you will get more service from a Marina for the most part. I stay in a marina, yet, i have a full Yacht club membership ($350). Why? Reciprocals! On lake Ontario, especially the south side, finding a cheap berth/anchoring spot can be difficult. You will save money if you cruise the lake as a Yacht club member. I'd rather pay 0-$20 a night versus $80-$160 a night. If you cruise on the lake it's worth it and you will break even at the end of the season. Plus, you get to meet some great people by visiting other clubs. Other than Toronto, the rest of the lake has small clubs that are basically middle class joints.

Best of luck, There are a lot of GREAT boats for sale in your neck of the woods. You should find a broker you trust.

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  #28  
Old 02-11-2013
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Re: What to look for in a new boat

So what exactly is a "middle class joint" ??
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  #29  
Old 02-14-2013
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Re: What to look for in a new boat

Quote:
So what exactly is a "middle class joint" ??
It's the yacht club where the newest sailboat is more than 10 years old.
It's the yacht club where the membership fee is less than your weekly paycheck.
It's the yacht club where you have a beer with the guys and they say "when ya joining, we'll sponsor ya"

or...

It could be a $15 bag off the dude at the corner.

Take your pick.
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