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northoceanbeach 03-25-2009 01:23 AM

Anyone bought a cheap boat and cruised a summer?
Hi, I would just like to hear the experiences of anyone whos bought a cheap boat for like a thousand or two and sailed around for a couple months.

This is my idea for the summer, but I'd like some advice on how to best do it. I see some good little boats like Cal 20's for 1500 and say you anchored and cooked a bit, you get spend , what $750 a month? Well for $3000 dollars you had two months of fun.

But maybe this is impractical, I mean, it is, probably impractical, maybe it is TOO impractical. But I'd like some advice.

sailingdog 03-25-2009 08:38 AM

In many cases a "cheap" boat isn't going to be able to do what you're thinking of doing without a lot of work...

msl 03-25-2009 08:58 AM

Not certain if you mean Hawaii or the mainland - but boat capming may suit your plans and budget.
Check out the travels of Frank and Margaret Dye in the "Wanderer"
Here is a link.

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Mimsy 03-25-2009 08:59 AM

I'm no expert by any stretch of the imagination but we have been looking at boats and weighing different options. Based on what I've seen, Saildog is spot on.

Why not consider a charter? If you are indeed only looking to sail for a few months being able to walk away when you are done has a lot of appeal.

Jim H 03-25-2009 09:07 AM

"Bruised" might be a good term for it. :)

As the saying goes, those with small boats tend to enjoy going ashore more. If you were in the right area, your boat might be fine. In fact, I think there was a funny web page about a guy living on a Cal 20 in southern Cal. For some reason, there were a lot of women aboard in all of the pictures...

JohnRPollard 03-25-2009 09:10 AM


Originally Posted by Jim H (Post 466218)
"Bruised" might be a good term for it. :)

:D :D

I'm assuming that was a typo, so I'll go make a change to the title.

sailingdog 03-25-2009 09:17 AM

ruin all our fun... ;) Now we can't rag on the OP for his spelling... :p

Originally Posted by JohnRPollard (Post 466220)
:D :D

I'm assuming that was a typo, so I'll go make a change to the title.

SSBN506 03-25-2009 09:50 AM

I would look at it like this. 3000 will pay for a one week vacation for two people all inclusive at say a 4.5 to 5 star hotel in Mexico, Cuba(non US), Dominican etc.
So what’s the worst case scenario aside from a freak accident? The boat sucks and is falling apart you have no fun and decide you hate sailing. You can’t sell the boat and are out 3000. But more than likely you will have some fun ,spend time working on and upgrading the boat. Decide you like this and that and you don’t like this and that. Then you will sell the boat at a loss and buy a bigger boat and rinse and repeat. If you have 3000 to waste I say waste it on a boat.

kwaltersmi 03-25-2009 09:57 AM

We (my wife, myself, my 3 & 5 year olds, and our golden retriever) spent at least 45 days camping/cruising on our $400 25 footer last summer in the Great Lakes. Granted, I had more than $400 into the boat by the time I fixed it up the summer before, but it's still very cheap family fun.

Trust me, if we can do it with 2 adults, 2 young kids and a big dog on a little boat (7'11" beam, 5'2" headroom!) with a very modest budget, you too can do it! In fact, I can confidently say that the summer of 2008 was the best we've ever had. I have high hopes that the summer of 2009 will be even better.

soulesailor 03-25-2009 10:41 AM

Go for it!
I say GO FOR IT!!! This sounds like a great plan and a load of fun. Totally doable with a little planning. Many sailors who never seem to stop working and upgrading their boats either sail long distances, in bad conditions, in places where bad conditions may arise suddenly and without warning, or just like having really nice boats.

If you are coastal cruising short distances and have fairly protected anchorages to choose from, aren't sailing at night or in bad conditions than I don't see any problems with your plan.

Sailing CAN be affordable but you have to be smart and make wise decisions. At the end of your summer cruise you may be stuck with your boat. If nobody wants to buy it you will have to do something with it. If you don't buy something trailerable this means giving a yard money to haul and store and then next summer you'll need a place to keep it, etc. (you get the picture).

Good luck and have fun!

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