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Old 06-27-2004
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Options for a Midwesterner

I find myself in a difficult position. I recently read advice suggesting that you deal with brokers/owners from the area that you live when buying a boat. Well when I look around I see many places to buy a tractor, but a sailing yacht...? So my wife an I have been looking at the internet and trying to come up with a plan of attack that doesn''t involve moving to a landbase oceanside to do our searching. Should we find a buyers broker? How do we initially assess the potential of a boat without doing an incredible amount of traveling(i.e. we''ve found boats we would be interested in on both coasts north and south). This wouldn''t seem so daunting if we lived near the ocean but the tactical side(viewing, sea trial, survey)of buying a used boat while living in the midwest seems messy from the perspective of someone who has never done it. Advice anyone? If it matters the boat we''re looking for is offshore capable and less than 90k. I know, I know...a rare bird.
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Old 06-28-2004
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Options for a Midwesterner

The good news is that offshore capable boats under $90K are not that rare if you try to buy one of a reasonable size.

If I were in your shoes I would try to find a reputable broker located in one of the majow sailing centers (Annapolis, Fort Lauderdale, Newport,San Francisco etc) and explain what you are trying to accomplish. I would have the broker do the bird dogging for you, in other words identify makes and models and ask them to preview the boats in thier area that would work for you. I would budget some money for airfares but I would also budget some money to have surveyor''s take a ''first look'' for you, which is cheaper than airfare if you are sure this is a model that you are interested in.

One minor comment, if you are new to sailing or have never owned a boat, I strongly suggest that you start with a smaller boat (23 to 26 feet) as a way to learn to sail and to develop an understanding of what the used boat market is like.

Good luck,
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Old 06-28-2004
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Your question raises more questions. What will you do with the offshore boat once you buy it? For how long? Are you taking off...or is this just the first step?

I''d strongly second Jeff''s main point about starting small if starting out in sailing bigger boats. And I''d definitely get a good broker working for you, "good" meaning that the broker works in your type/size/price range (many will work in higher brackets or in specialized types of boats) AND that is in a major sailing center AND comes highly recommended. (Shop around for recs and listen to those who have returned a second time to the same broker; also screen based on how long the broker''s been doing that job. E.g. Al Gundry at Interyacht in Annapolis is one I have recommended before, tho'' I don''t know if he works in that price range; he was very knowledgeable, well connected on the east coast brokerage circuit, told it like it was, and has been doing this job for 20+ years).

However, my one quibble with referring you straight to a broker is that, if new to sailing and-or boat owning, you really need more background than just listening to what a broker tells you. Look at your frequent flyer totals, think about long weekends, and consider doing some boat `looking´ trips coupled with some diligent reading (e.g. Bill Seifert''s Offshore Sailing and Nigel Calder''s The Cruising Handbook and good ''get started'' books, Bill''s more suitable if you''ve already got a few sea miles behind you. There are lots of other references you could also start with; the point is to get started building your knowledge base!

Good luck on an exciting adventure!

WHOOSH, lying Helsingborg, Sweden but not that long ago shopping in Annapolis
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Old 06-28-2004
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I just read the article about you and your wife in "Cruising World." Congratulations on a great cruising career,and the contributions you two have made to the cruising community.
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Old 06-28-2004
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I''d second Jeff''s suggestion to maybe think of a smaller less expensive boat for first purchase. You will probably use a boat more if it''s easier to handle and you don''t see dollar signs very time you approach a dock till you feel more comfortable. I think we all see a lot of boats that don''t get a lot of use because their new owners are uncomfortable going in & out of the dock, especially with an audience.
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