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  #1  
Old 02-27-2013
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Make do with wrong boat

If a retirement couple wanted to cruise the east coast and the islands and Bahama's for maybe three years in early retirement picking the right boat is a tricky balancing act.
If you have a lot of time, maybe a couple years, you could buy an older boat cheap and refit it and have a great boat.
If you have a lot of money you could buy a late model HR, or other modern semi-production boat go sailing but you need a lot of money just to start.

I have been following these threads for years and know their are always exceptions, super deals that some people find at just the right time.
But bar the anomalous deal I'm figuring the following prices for the following spec's. About 40', mono-hull, Two separate sleeping cabins with doors, Radar, auto-pilot, Air-conditioning, shallow draft approx 5 to 6 feet.

Golden Oldey with good bones will cost about $100,000 with a couple years work and maybe 50 to 100k refit costs.
Five year old high-quality late model cruising boat I figure maybe 300k to 400k. I don't shop these often so I'm just guessing hear.


So here is my bright idea. How about a 5 year old Catalina 40 for about 200,000?
Easy to buy, hopefully easy to sell. Minimum work as it is new enough. The downsides is that it is coastal cruiser and is not really setup for the ocean passages that will be part of the the above three year plan.
For one thing it does not have much tank-age or storage.
So the question is:
Have you seen people doing this successfully, if so how?
What can be or should be done to fit out the boat so it will serve double duty better.
Maybe extra handhold's below, lee cloths, anchors etc.

The way I understand it is that any modern production boat of 40' or larger is built strong enough for light blue water. The main distinction between them is tank-age, storage, and other passage making necessities like a quarter berth etc.

So I'm wondering if a person could successfully make do with less than pure blue water boat and if so what they could do do in the fit out to make up some of the difference.
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Old 02-27-2013
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Re: Make do with wrong boat

davidpm, good question, as I am looking at a one to two year cruise, and have been looking for the right boat. I was hoping to stay under the $200,000 price range for a small catamaran (34-38ft). It will be interesting to see the responses!
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Old 02-27-2013
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Re: Make do with wrong boat

Isn't this what Cruisingdad is doing? Same boat and living aboard/cruising? Seems to work for him. I'd expect that he'd be the authority on the topic/boat.
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Old 02-27-2013
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Re: Make do with wrong boat

A golden older boat fully equipped and ready (with may 10k to update) can be had for far less than 100k and 50k update.
Irwin 38 Center Cockpit Center Cockpit-1984-for sale New Bern NC 100613925 images 9 to 16
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Old 02-27-2013
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Re: Make do with wrong boat

Hey,

Why would a late model Catalina (400, 42, etc.) be the wrong boat? IMHO, your use is exactly what the boat was designed for. You aren't looking to cross oceans. Your use case sounds like coastal cruising to me.

Barry
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Old 02-27-2013
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Re: Make do with wrong boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucklesR View Post
A golden older boat fully equipped and ready (with may 10k to update) can be had for far less than 100k and 50k update.
Irwin 38 Center Cockpit Center Cockpit-1984-for sale New Bern NC 100613925 images 9 to 16
You are of course absolutely right about that. That Irwin looks sweet..

My problem is that unless someone has replaced everything big: Engine, wiring, tanks, plumbing, thru-hulls, bottom barrier coat, canvas, sails, Air etc. standing rigging, chain-plates etc. I see an older boat as a musical chair event.

What I mean is that you have components that are 5 to 30 years old. At the moment you buy the boat the survey says it is all working. If you can sail the boat for a couple years, not put too much money into it you can sell for about what you paid for.

But the odds being what they are something will have to go.

That is fine if it a weekend boat.
  • I wouldn't be using it that much so maybe nothing will break.
  • I'm in my home waters where I know where the rocks are and know the people that can fix what I break.
  • I have the money to pay them and I have a garage full of tools and parts.
  • I might plan on keeping the boat for 10 years or more so any repairs or upgrades are amortized over a long period of time.

If however I'm retired and cruising for a few years I'm not sure I want to be the guy left standing when the music stops in some strange town or country.

Your right though. If I could find a 30+ year old boat that someone bought for 100,000 and put another 100k into to make it effectively a new boat I would be sorely tempted. The reason is that I could probably buy that boat for 110k because every dollar you put into an old boat becomes worth 10 cents. Those deals are rare however and I may not be willing to spend the time waiting and money traveling to discover it. But if it happens sure thing.
If that Irwin for example has a 30+ year old engine rebuilt 10 years ago, original tanks, electrical and plumbing I just don't have the confidence to assume that risk.

So that is why I'm exploring the possibility of doing my trip in a newer albeit more coastal boat.
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Last edited by davidpm; 02-27-2013 at 05:27 PM.
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Re: Make do with wrong boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by BarryL View Post
Hey,

Why would a late model Catalina (400, 42, etc.) be the wrong boat? IMHO, your use is exactly what the boat was designed for. You aren't looking to cross oceans. Your use case sounds like coastal cruising to me.

Barry
That is what I was hoping to hear. The trip would consist of several open ocean legs and what I wanted to know is what could be done to prepair the boat as well as possible for those passages if the boat wasn't setup from the factory with that in mind.
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Old 02-27-2013
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Re: Make do with wrong boat

Quote:
If you have a lot of time, maybe a couple years, you could buy an older boat cheap and refit it and have a great boat.
Why not that option? Retired means more time than money, right? And you can set it up the way you like it.

Plus it's fun to work on the boat and make upgrades and plans. And there are more boats in that category for a good price.

Regards,
Brad
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Old 02-27-2013
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Re: Make do with wrong boat

David, The C400 and C42s are a very common sight on the west coast of Mexico and I’ve seen them with hailing ports from all the way up to Washington and Canada. I personally know two C400’s that have raced to Hawaii and both were pretty “stock” in the rig department. One did have an SSB installed and the other used a Sat Phone. Tankage and such were stock. If you consider having an A-kite or whisker pole a big modification, then they were modified. I also personally know a C42 that did the Hawaii race (that one was modified with water maker, genset and carried multiple symmetric kites). Another friend sailed his C42 to Australia and he had the “standard” cruising mods like water maker and self steering apparatus. From a basic boat standpoint, both are ready for your cruise straight out of the box. The add-ons are at your discretion.
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Old 02-27-2013
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Re: Make do with wrong boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bene505 View Post
Why not that option? Retired means more time than money, right? And you can set it up the way you like it.

Plus it's fun to work on the boat and make upgrades and plans. And there are more boats in that category for a good price.

Regards,
Brad
Problem with this is as most people get older they are doing less manual things like carpentry, electrical refits, hauling heavy loads, you name it... they want a boat they can jump in, start an engine and motor out and in... if a sailboat same as a powerboat... simplicity seems the theme of the day... there are many who will take up the reins after retirement and do this work but just as owning a land based home the heaviest work they might do is gardening, small crafts, and the occasional moving the patio chair around for friendly chatting with other retired friends...
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