Old boat and fix it up or newer boat with few frills? - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 23 Old 08-03-2012
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Re: Old boat and fix it up or newer boat with few frills?

WingNWing raises a good point about fixing a boat up over time. The back fences of marina yards are littered with project boats never finished and more than one person has dove in to a massive refit and sold it when done. They've come to see the boat as work not pleasure.

Remember this about boat projects:
  • Everything takes longer than you think.
  • Everything is more expensive than you estimate.
  • You REALLY do need marine grade hardware.
  • If your boat is an hour from home you WILL need the ONE tool you didn't bring today.
  • No matter how good the surveyor, no matter how good your eye, there will be projects you didn't anticipate.

This is not to say don't go sailing. But don't stretch so the boat JUST fits your budget. Give yourself room in your budget and plan on sailing your home waters for a while to work the bugs out.

It's also important that the boat belong to both of you. It won't work if it's just your project. It's important that she be part of the process and she gets the things in a boat that are important to her.

Best of luck,

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The sail, the play of its pulse so like our own lives: so thin and yet so full of life, so noiseless when it labors hardest, so noisy and impatient when least effective." - Henry David Thoreau
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post #12 of 23 Old 08-03-2012
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At that price range and size, you have a lot of options. But considering your intended plans, a newer but lightly-built boat might be marginal, even if it offers a lot of room below. I wouldn't want to forgo things like a skeg-hung rudder or a keel with encapsulated ballast.

There are a number of proven offshore designs that can offer very nice accomodation and modern and proven hull design, in a solidly-built boat say of late-70s/early-80s vintage, and for that price you could either get one cheap and have the upgrades done (professionally) on purchase, or buy one that already has new electronics/chainplates/rigging/sails.

Boats to put on the list:
- Kelly-Peterson (Formosa) 44/46 - Jeff_He's fav, major value
- Tayana 37
- Golden Wave 42 (lesser-know Perry design)
- Valiant 40
- Pearson 422/424
- Columbia 43 mk III (unusual suggestion, could save you a buck)

You will see all of the above in your price range on YW.

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post #13 of 23 Old 08-03-2012
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Re: Old boat and fix it up or newer boat with few frills?

Before you get caught up in "must have's" on a boat you might want to look at your cruising area.Watermater for example with Med in summer and East Carib in Winter you wont need one.Little use for SSB or Liferaft either...rent a sat phone/life raft for ARC crossing.

Go thru your list of "must have's" carefully. You can always add.
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post #14 of 23 Old 08-03-2012
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Re: Old boat and fix it up or newer boat with few frills?

Only you and your wife can decide what's best for you, but....

Since you are going to be using this boat in retirement, some things to consider:

An older fix-it-up is going to take lots of work and money. First, of all, are you (and your wife) fix it up people....i.e....have you /are you a person with a record of accomplishing projects...building a deck, repainting a house, building a cabin or extra room, rebuilding a car or engine? If not, I would suggest that you might be better to get a boat that already has everything in more or less working order. On the other hand, if you have a record of large hands-on projects, an older boat requiring some work might be an enjoyable project. It is my belief that working on boats is somewhat more difficult because of the various curves and unlevel surfaces, so it could be a challenge. The end result of repairs (sometimes called upgrades) might be not so great for a newcomer.

If your dream is to fix up a boat and the sailing is a secondary, follow-on dream, a fixer up might work. But if the dream is to go sailing/cruising, and fixing up is only a means to get there, then go for a boat that you can use immediately without a lot of work.

Retirement years go fast....so do what you really enjoy. If you have to force yourself to do those fix up projects, the dream of going sailing might fade fast.
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post #15 of 23 Old 08-03-2012
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Re: Old boat and fix it up or newer boat with few frills?

I was in your position. I looked for an older boat that had been prepared for cruising. In other words let someone else do the refit.

There are often boats like this to be found at the "choke" points in the cruising world Gibralter, the Canaries Panama and some in Florida.
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post #16 of 23 Old 08-07-2012
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Re: Old boat and fix it up or newer boat with few frills?

I agree with TQA. There are so many nice older boats out there that have been fitted with all hte bells and whistles. You can get alot more for a fraction of what the original owner paid. Plus it's awlays nive to buy something a little cheaper and have a little money left over for when something breaks... which will probably be alot sooner than you want it to. Good luck and let us know what you decide on!

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post #17 of 23 Old 08-07-2012
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Re: Old boat and fix it up or newer boat with few frills?

Chances are you're going to be fixin' up and addin' to any boat you acquire new or used. Just because it's new and expensive doesn't mean it aint gonna break! They all break when pushed too hard and you're always going to improving it. Best advice is to buy the boat that has already done what YOU intend to do with it.
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post #18 of 23 Old 08-08-2012
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Re: Old boat and fix it up or newer boat with few frills?

I think you have received some very good advice here that should give you food for thought. A few more things to consider.
- going to the Caribbean and doing a RTW are do entirely different things. The boat that would do the latter will do the former, the opposite not so much. A newer $100k RTW-capable boat will not be very big - at least partly since not many boats with this capability were built post 2000 and most that were built are much bigger and much more than $100K. I guess what I am saying in reality is that you may not much choice if you want a boat big enough to be comfortable around the world.
- you MUST be able to fix your own boat if you want to do extended cruising. It is not just a matter of cost. I am typing this sitting at anchor in Alor, Indonesia listening to the prayer chants from the mosques after a terrific touring the island - just the sort of experience that one cruisers for. If i needed to get work I could find a diesel mechanic since there are lots of diesel engines here (no parts for the Westerbeke but these guys are very handy) and that is it. Anything else needs repair you would need to go to either Darwin, Australia or Singapore and each is several days away (at best). It does not matter much if your boat is old or new, you still need to fix stuff. A friend here has an Oyster 54 ($2 million) that he bought new about 7 years ago. He is always fixing stuff as I am with my 30 year old Bristol (not $2 million)
- for your older boat range you mentioned 37 to 45 feet I think. This a hugely different range of boats. Imagine taking the 37 and cutting it in the middle and adding a room that is 8' by 13' and you will get some idea of the difference. You might want to think about displacement as much as LOA
-involve your wife completely in the decision at all steps. Visit both newer and older boats and see what she thinks. If she is happy your chances for happiness go way up. My wife was the one who decided that we should circumnav and she chose the boat from a short-list I had created.

After the refit we have decided to sell Ainia. We want something smaller that would be could for the light summer winds of Lake Ontario, although we plan to spend at least a couple of winters in the Caribbean before heading north.
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post #19 of 23 Old 08-08-2012
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Re: Old boat and fix it up or newer boat with few frills?

Buy an older well equipped cruising boat that someone else has done all the hard work on. As for as electrics If its not broke don't touch it, if you think it may fail buy a spare it does not hurt to have redundant systems in place, CP and auto pilot.
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post #20 of 23 Old 08-08-2012
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Re: Old boat and fix it up or newer boat with few frills?

We just recently went through a similar dilemma. We have friends that are totally rebuilding a Bristol 41.5.

They got it reasonably cheap but it really is taking an awful lot of work and money to fix it into their dream boat. So far I think they have about four years into it and probably a few more to go. It does make them happy to do it and they have time as they are not ready to retire yet. They are loving it!

We considered this. But we bought a fixer upper the first time around....and then a fixer upper house that is yet to be finished....then we are building a business too. So for us it was a no brainier to get something in great condition and as fully equipped as we could afford.

Somewhere I read though to keep a kitty of 20 to 30 % more for all the maintenance and upgrades you will probably want to do the first couple of years you have the boat.

You really have to examine if you have the time and will enjoy the fixing up, or weather your efforts will be better spent elsewhere....ie will you make more money working at your job that will allow you to buy a better boat to begin with. And make sure your wife is on board with whatever you do....you will need her help and support.
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