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davecason 09-10-2012 08:33 PM

I'll start here ......
Hi Folks,

Well I guess I'll start here ..... I'm currently researching boats and marina's for a live aboard semi retirement. About the only thing I can say about boating is I can spell the word with some help! (grin) I've started looking for boats around the 40' mark and I've found a couple.....

- I guess the first question is what is the process when you search for and find a boat you want to buy?

- I've found a boat I'm interested in but the broker seems to say that I can't have a copy of the survey that was done in 2011 - is that normal. Can I at least read it? What is the procedure with pre done surveys?

- If I want to get a survey done - how is this usually accomplished?

- I assume that buying the boat is pretty straight forward Ė give them the money and theyíre pretty happy.

- Iím guessing that the sale can be made conditional depending on the results of MY survey that I have done or other conditions etc.

Iíve found a Mainship 40 and the broker was pretty laissez fiare about me being there probably because he thought I was a tire kicker Ö.. is it appropriate to ask the company thatíd rather deal with someone else? He did say that the boat burns $50/hr in gas at 9.5 knots Ė god knows what that means? Any other MainShip folks out there that can fill in the blanks for me?

Itís a 1995 MainShip 40 Sedan with twin 454ís EFI 340 HP 8 Cyl with a V drive and they says itís got 310 Gal fuel capacity Ė it also says that cruse is 16 with a top speed of 26 and they say RPMís t cruse are 3200 Ė so in knowing that can anyone tell me what sort of range I could expect? I also assume that if I was cruising I can shut down one engine and cruise on one? Is that done?

Part of my idea is getting a sedan boat is since itís my first boat it might be a tad more appropriate and comfy as a live aboard plus I think itíll be a bit easier to learn seamanship on a boat like that rather than something like a sloop with full sails.

Anyway thatís where Iíve started and any and all comments or suggestions are welcome!


Donna_F 09-10-2012 08:44 PM

Re: I'll start here ......

Regarding surveys, in the US at least, the buyer pays for the survey. This could be a couple hundred dollars minimum. There is a general reluctance to allow someone else free access to what someone paid quite a bit to get.

The second issue is that you really want as current a survey as possible to reflect the current condition of the boat. Even one year of sailing can cause considerable damage or changes that were not reflected in a previous survey.

Once you've narrowed your choice down to THE boat that you feel that you want, then locate a surveyor and have him or her survey the boat. If you Google "Sailnet surveyor" there are other threads on the survey question.

I don't know if the process for finding a surveyor is different in Canada. One of our northern members can answer, I'm sure.

Best of luck!

ParadiseParrot 09-10-2012 08:53 PM

Re: I'll start here ......
If your actually going to move this boat I would consider another.
GAS motors burn thru fuel and no you cant run one engine to double the range.
This is a flat water boat. It is meant to sit at a dock and move only once in a great while.
Personally I would not sit on 300 gallons of gas day in and day out.

Find a diesel boat. 130 hp single engine TRAWLER...Dispalcement or Semi Displacement hull at worst. You will steam in comfort day in and day out and can go anywhere without issue. Around a gallon or 2 an hour.

Now if you are not going to actually move the boat then it wont make any difference.
But $500 a day steaming in a Mainship with twin gas motors might be out of your reach money wise...or not.

As for range on such a boat...figure 0.8 miles per gallon times 310*.8 (reserve)*0.8 gives you about 190 miles is my guess. or about 6.3 us dollars per mile.

Cruisingdad 09-10-2012 10:30 PM

Re: I'll start here ......
As was stated above, this is a sailboat forum. You may not get the expertise you would appreciate. may help more on the trawler questions. That being said...

You only burn fuel when you are moving on a trawler. I am not against them. In fact, for many, I think they are the right choice. I have lost several offers on trawlers before my latest sailboat. My strong preference is Nordhavn 46 or 62. Second maybe Kady-krogen 42. THird is probably an albin 43 Sundeck. I am reasonably knowledgeable about these boats if you want to PM me.

As far as your other questions: The survey release depends on the broker. However, as you are looking for a boat, I sugest you get yourself a broker. What is your budget (max and comfortable)? Would help us to suggest sailing options for you. Remember that brokers are paid by the seller... not the buyer. Its like buying a house that way. A good broker is worth his weight in gold. A bad one... well, the fertilizer stuff. If sailboats are your interest (which they may not be), I have one whom I suggest that is very good. Others will have opinions too.

Never take a brokers opinion on burn rate. Research it yourself. They (mostly) all lie. No offense. Just remember burn rate is when you are moving. You will spend 1% going, 99% anchored or marina bound. THis is true even as a sailor. Consider that before swearing off trawlers. However, motor yachts (Sea Rays for example... I have many others) are notoriously uneconomical and piss poor live aboards and cruisers. I mean no disrespect, but I am surrounded by empty ones. On the positive side, they are in abundance right now for sale and cheap. My friend-broker told me they cannot give them away right now (and motor boat because of cost of operation and economy). He said sailboats are moving if they are in good condition. But sailboats are by far the most economical and the tighter of the two. THat being said, I find most sailboats (if not all) better liveaboards than the affordable motor yacht. This is not true of trawlers who foot:foot are much more comfortable, IMHO. All that comes with a price (not just money) though.

Hope I have helped some. Mainship does not have (imho) a world class reputation as a trawler. You will likely find better boats. However, if you are stuck in a price-point, they may be your better option.

Last point (from someone that would consider a trawler): If my budget was under say, $250,000, I would buy a good sailboat to cruise on. If my budget was over, I would consider a trawler. $200ish is probably my breaking point. Other feel differently, and that is ok. My personal ideal trawler budget is circa 500,000 (late model nordhavn 46). Less than that, I would be including sailboats. I can give you my list of comparable sailboats that I think balance the scales in comfort and cruiseability at or under that number.

These are my opinions. Others will differ. I have shopped certain trawlers heavily though. And FYI... I still came back to a sailboat. THere are certain intangibles to sailboats no trawler can ever fill, not even a Nordhavn.


TQA 09-10-2012 10:33 PM

Re: I'll start here ......
When you get YOUR survey done make sure you discuss with your surveyor how much of a survey he will carry out on the engines and gearboxes.

In many cases it will be minimal. You may have to employ a seperate propulsion systems surveyor.

N.B. In the UK older boats of the type you describe with twin petrol engines are almost unsaleable. If you can afford the running costs you buy something newer.

A single diesel is preferable. Like THIS

davecason 09-11-2012 10:47 AM

Re: I'll start here ......
Hi! WOW ! Thanks everyone for for all the great responses! That helps me tons .....

So let start at the top, so there should be no problem with me looking at the old survey right? And yes, I would get my own survey done AFTER I make a decision on the boat it’s just a matter of picking the right boat. Again, I've "just" started looking at the live aboard life so right now 40' seems to be a nice place to start and for one person probably pretty damm comfy. To me right now the focus first is: Can I get a boat that’s comfortable to live on but still have the ability to “pop out“ of the marina to go fish and play once in a while? That’s where I’m at with my decision making process right now. How dumb is that, so I’m posting here to ask the experts. Am I on the right page or should I be thinking about …… XYZ first !

For example, after reading reading Paradise Parrot’s comment about sitting on 300 gal of gas every day …. Holy crap! He knows what he’s talking about, did I think of that? Oh heck no, duh, so now that I’ve pretty much gone off the idea of gasoline and now I’m looking at diesel …. Thanks Parrot, decision one has been made.

So now it’s on to the powerboat versus sailboat and the type of boat to pick. I think for me, not knowing anything about seamanship, navigation, etc, the powered vessel with a motor or two seems a bit safer and a nicer way to learn. When we fish our massive reservoirs here in Alberta (grin) we have the main, our kicker and a little ol trolling motor so between the 3 motors we'll get back to the dock somehow. I kind of want that if I go out in that big ocean stuff on weekends, and I'd confine myself to inside passages and right around home for at least a year till I learn what I need to know.

So generic sedan or trawler or sailboat, I have a friend that has offered to take me out for a month in Hawaii on a 58’ sailboat to start to learn the craft and I would be taking navigation courses and stuff as well since I have a ton of things to learn … but I’m still stuck on power and I have it in my head that it seems to be a safer and easier way to learn the basics. So again folks …. Am I right or wrong?

I also have the budget to think of …… I’d like to get a boat for $100K or less, is that achievable!? I scientifically pull that number out of my butt but it’s not carved in stone. I have one marina picked out that’s pretty much setup as a live aboard community with mostly live aboard’s and floating homes in it near Victoria, Canada I’m looking at about $600/mo for a my permanent slip so that works for me.

I found Brain’s comments about sailboat’s being better to live aboard over an affordable motor yacht really interesting – can anyone add to that!? With my limited knowledge about this overall I would have thought it to be the other way around.

I also like Brain’s suggestion of a trawler over the sedan but since I will be doing this all myself I’d “like” to get a boat suitable for a permanent live aboard solution first and worry about it actually moving later. So my focus is semi-retirement sitting on my butt in the marina and watching TV and just relaxing, so it’s more of a home than a blue water cruiser for me right now. I’ve seen a couple of 34’ foot boats that seem OK for one person and I’ve played on a 26’ boat that was definitely too small for me personally as a live aboard.

Lastly, one odd question , I have a friend of a friend that owns a Sea Spirit PassageMaker 60 Yacht that has the single Lugger 1276 engine but he also has a Keypower hydraulically driver “get-home” system ….. I can’t find much out there on that, does anyone know what that is?

Thanks again for all your comments and suggestions …… yea, it’s a sailboat forum …. with people who know what they’re talking about – works for me!


TQA 09-11-2012 11:30 AM

Re: I'll start here ......
In this market you can get a pretty nice liveaboard trawler for 100k or less.

You have not said where you intend to keep the boat and what sort of crusing passages you are thinking of making. Based on your location I would guess somewhere in Puget Sound / Vancouver / Straits of Georgia which is a GREAT cruising area. You are not out on the open ocean and towing services are available SO in the event of engine failure help is at hand. In that situation I would be happy with a single diesel. You could add a mount for your tender OB say a 15 hp on your stern and that would push you along too if needed unless conditions were evil. But as a full time liveaboard you don't go out in evil conditions.

Yes twin diesels would make the business of manouvering in tight spaces easier but a bow thruster takes care of that too. Twin diesels will cost more to buy and to maintain but of course you do have the comfort of having that other engine if one fails.

A single diesel should be more economical than twins.

As it gets cold up there and you talk as if it is going to be a full time liveaboard then insulation and heating will be critical. I suspect you will want an enclosed aft deack with a sun deck above for the good days of summer.

Either of these would be worth a look

42' Doric Boat Works Pelaglic Trawler CLICKY

36' Gulfstar Trawler CLICKY

cruisingdream 09-11-2012 12:07 PM

Re: I'll start here ......
Best I can suggest is look at A LOT !!! of boats to get an idea of what you really want. It can be a little overwhelming, but you already decided on a live aboard and I think a diesel. Note that width of a vessel can add a lot of room just as as well as length so dont write off a boat just because it is a foot or two shorter than you origionally wanted.

ParadiseParrot 09-11-2012 12:54 PM

Re: I'll start here ......
Remember that a lot of fishing boats go out to sea year round with a single diesel. Add a kicker bracket for the OB for your dink if u must. 7/8 knots is plenty fast for fishing and if you fish when the waves kick up like I do then your not going much faster than that anyway. Might as well get a sea kindly hull. Trawlers have mucho space and are real boats.

One other thing to remember it is much safer to be in the briny blue than near shore.
Near shore has inlets and rocks and shoals.

emoney 09-11-2012 02:48 PM

Re: I'll start here ......
I think you're leaning in the right direction. A Trawler/Cruiser will afford you a lot more room to live aboard and it will be a little easier to get the hang of. None of them are "rocket science", of course, but there's a lot to be said about turning a key and going, regardless of the lack of wind.

Width or beam of the boat has been mentioned and I think you'll find that it makes a huge difference in the amount of room. Keep that in mind while you're internet shopping as it will be obvious when you're shopping in person. And yes, folks will show you their survey, most of them might even want you to stop there, lol.

Your budget should afford you a nice boat and an incredible "starter boat". Take your time as there are plenty out there, and that number will increase, depending on the area of the country you're looking in. In other words; the frozen tundra, which to me is anything north of Georgia...buwahahaha. By all means, make sure you have both a survey AND a mechanical survey because they're usually 2 different things. That doesn't mean that one guy isn't capable of doing both, but that you need to have that discussion prior to an inspection. It's the hidden things that can and will hurt you later on.

All in all it sounds like you've got a logical head on your shoulders and for being a "newbie" are pointed down the right path. The only thing I might add is to consider re-sale when purchasing, just in case you decide in 6 months it's "not for you". Spending a little time researching specific models will help clear up any fogginess in that arena. But from a basic standpoint: just because it's attractive to you, doesn't mean that anyone else likes it. Knowing that, invest your money in the things that ARE important to any future buyer: motor, electronics, hull condition, etc. etc. etc. Good luck!

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