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  #81  
Old 05-04-2011
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Morgan 33 O.I. Perryville
 
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I'm going to contradict a little about what has been stated above. You can purchase a $5,000 boat that doesn't need $10,000 in repairs and upgrades to make it seaworthy. In today's depressed economy it's a buyers market. You would be amazed at what you can find out there for $5,999 to $10,000, especially in south Florida and Chesapeake Bay.

Much of what you will have to spend will depend upon your ability to fix things yourself. If you're one of those individuals that has a fair degree of common sense, and some electro-mechanical experience, you'll find that sailboats are fairly easy to work on. And, you can find nearly all the used parts you need to fix them online and in many of the boat yards. For example, I know a guy that purchased a nearly new boom that fit his 36 Catalina perfectly for $50. It was on a junker at a boat yard. The boat yard was happy to get the $50 and there were also happy because that was something they could get rid of that they didn't have to advertise to do so.

I do agree, however, that you will have to wander through the boat yards, talk to the boat yard and marina owners, and, shop online as well. I spent nearly a month driving from Baltimore south along the east coast, then over to Louisiana looking at Morgan 33 Out Islands. Most of them were found on line, but a few leads were sent to me by individuals on various forums that knew I was in the market for that particular boat. I ended up driving nearly 5,000 miles, and ironically, found the boat I was looking for just 90 miles from home in Rock Hall. In many instances, the boats I found on the trip south had been sold just a couple days or weeks prior to my arrival. And, of course, some were just pieces of junk that were way overpriced for the shape they were in.

If and when you find the boat you are looking for, you definitely should have it surveyed by a reputable marine surveyor. This is really important. One of the first boats I looked at looked very, very good. It was in Baltimore's Inner Harbor, it had a nearly new 56-HP diesel engine, 36 feet long, narrow beam though, new sails, and the finish looked as shiny as a brand-new penny. When I ran a hydro-meter over the foredeck I quickly discovered that the core was completely rotted out. Additionally, there was water seepage in all the exterior decks. The guy was only asking $12,000 for the boat, which would have been a great deal, but the fiberglass and recoring work would have cost an additional $20,000. A complete, marine survey is crucial when it comes to buying a used boat.

Good Luck,

Gary
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  #82  
Old 05-04-2011
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Do it man! A year ago I bought a 30' boat for $4300 with plans on sailing south. I've been completely refitting everything on the boat. I'll be heading south this fall.

You definitely need to climb around on some potential boats. When I was shopping for mine, I was amazed at how much difference 1' in length or width makes in regards to a comfortable living space.
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  #83  
Old 05-04-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pistonbully View Post
Case in point two years ago I decided I wanted to build my own chopper. I have always loved motorcycles but I never new jack about working on them I had never even removed a wheel let alone changed the tire... And yet two years later I have this (Built from a completely stock 1981 kawasaki motorcycle) Darn thing hadn't even ran in 25 years!!

( see pretty picture of bike above )

So Have no doubt I will see this dream through to fruition and I will succeed.
Dude your cred just went up a lot, nothing on a sailboat is any more mechanically complex than that bike. Follow Gary's advice: get yourself out to the coast, look at a lot of boats, read up all you can. Get sailing, at least on other peoples' boats. With your skills (and ability to learn new skills!) you won't have trouble finding work.

Is it the end of the world if you spend $5k on a good coastal cruiser and spend a year or two with it (especially if you're tough enough to live aboard) before you resell it for the same price, knowing exactly what you're looking for in your next boat?
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Lol,, Thanks guys.. Yeah I do fancy myself to be a lil handy and able to learn to work on new things. I hope that you are right about boats being simple.

I will be sure to have the boat I buy inspected first. How much is that on average anyway? I suppose I can just google that one.

Sailingguy,,, I knew it could be done, i'm glad you are doing it.. We will have to be sure and catch up to one another out on the blue and swap stories!

And believe you me you guys.. I will head for that water as soon as I can.. But not before I have my piggy bank filled back up.
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  #85  
Old 05-04-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zedboy View Post
Is it the end of the world if you spend $5k on a good coastal cruiser and spend a year or two with it (especially if you're tough enough to live aboard) before you resell it for the same price, knowing exactly what you're looking for in your next boat?
No, Not at all actually.. I would be just fine with such an experience. Ideally what I would like to have happen, Buy a boat on the cheap... Fix it up while afloat and leaning for a couple years.

Get my sea knowledge down pat and then head ashore to finance something bigger for around 50k and call it home.. Maybe Then I get my lil sailin ladie,, but I doubt before that.. I'm sure it will be a lot of goodbyes till then..

Lol,, However today was funny.. I mentioned my idea in front of a buddies girl and she was all about going with me.. My buddy was getting pissed too... I had to play it all down to her so it would sound boring and dangerous and that she would never want to spend that long on a little boat with some dude.. In reality I was like ,,, Hmmm..... ((I bet she looks good in a 2 piece ...))

Last edited by pistonbully; 05-04-2011 at 07:14 PM.
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  #86  
Old 05-04-2011
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Originally Posted by pistonbully View Post
That's damn inspiring!! So you sailed for nearly 4 years on 15k? Maybe I didn't quite understand you right.. if so that's AWESOME!! Especially when you add in family and pets.

Did you not know how to sail before you started?
What size boat? Gotta pic of it, I'd love to see her!
4 dogs on a boat of less than 100 ft seems bit challenging to me but I commend you for making it happen.
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  #87  
Old 05-04-2011
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Most accredited marine surveyors charge by the foot. In my case, it was $15 a foot for my 33-footer, which translated to $495. The survey checked things I never would have thought about, and he climbed into places my aging, rotund frame could never access. When he finished, he emailed by an incredibly detailed report, one that pretty much detailed everything I would have to do to get the boat back into top condition.

Good Luck,

Gary
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  #88  
Old 05-04-2011
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A copy of Don Casey's Complete Illustrated Sailboat Maintenance Manual: Including Inspecting the Aging Sailboat, would be a good investment. Do your own presurvey. Lots of boats will be eliminated this way. A lot of it is not rocket science.

When you start looking seriously make up a check list and take a digital camera and photograph everything.
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  #89  
Old 05-04-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TQA View Post
A copy of Don Casey's Complete Illustrated Sailboat Maintenance Manual: Including Inspecting the Aging Sailboat, would be a good investment. Do your own presurvey. Lots of boats will be eliminated this way. A lot of it is not rocket science.

When you start looking seriously make up a check list and take a digital camera and photograph everything.
Yes, yes and yes. A digital camera is a must. Use it to reach behind and under places where you can't see. I use mine all the time to inspect connections for the fresh water tank, holding tank connections and mount, areas in the engine room I can't get to, the bilge, closeups of the rigging, etc. Take a tablet and write down notes on everything. Post the pics here so we can all comment. Make sure that you check all the most costly things twice.

Our list of most important items started in this order:
  • Hull integrity/condition of keel bolts/paint
  • Engine condition/hours/maintenance history
  • Packing nut assembly/prop
  • Rigging/sails
  • Electrical integrity
  • Plumbing integrity

The most important were of course those things that would sink you - literally. Then came the things that would cost the most to repair/replace, then the other pesky items that would cost money and time. The list is much longer than this, but these were at the top.

If you've taken 200+ pictures of everything and you have a few pages of notes, then you have a start.
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  #90  
Old 05-04-2011
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That's a good start!


Hull integrity/condition of keel bolts/paint
Engine condition/hours/maintenance history
Packing nut assembly/prop
Rigging/sails
Electrical integrity
Plumbing integrity
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