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  #71  
Old 10-16-2012
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Re: Buying a 30-40 year old boat - your opinions

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Originally Posted by wingNwing View Post
The years we spent researching and installing exactly the systems we wanted, just helped us bond even more tightly with this boat. (but then, we're admittedly control freaks and would probably always resented someone else's choices LOL.) Bottom line, I think, is that you just have to know yourself.

And of course, I know nothing better than sailing to give you deep insights into your own character - the good and the bad!
It is nice when you are young and mobil, you have options and you can recover when you make a mistake. But when you are old, time is not on your side. Sailing your own dream boat is not as important as the sailing itself. I would rather buy a sound boat and compromised the insignificant. and go sailing.

Don't get me wrong, I am very handy, from engine rebuilding to carpentry work. But my time has come and gone. Refitting an old boat is just too much.
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Re: Buying a 30-40 year old boat - your opinions

I stole my 42 yr old Westerly Centaur and I LOVE every inch of her. Her bilge keels, spacious interior (for a 26 ft) , sails great in heavy wind, both girls have their own bunk, and is built like a brick @#$* house! We are using the hell out of it and are adding solar and refrigeration and headed south next winter!
Biggest key is go as small as you can be comfortable, and go NoW.
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  #73  
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Re: Buying a 30-40 year old boat - your opinions

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Originally Posted by rockDAWG View Post
Wow... now you are talking. Moody is a nice boat, but not too many in the States. I like the Moody 42, and love her layout. There is one in New England posted in YW. Just too bad that the hull is painted red, a bit offensive to me.
I know almost nothing about Moody but after looking at a few on Yachtworld, I walked away very impressed. The ones I was looking at were 44's. I think someone said here that Moody hulls are built like Hinkley's?

I learned a lot with my dad's boat. I suppose resurrecting her from the sinking in the murky waters of the Chicago River resulted in the equivalent of a crash course in boat troubleshooting and repair. I think my dad had either lost the fire or had spent a lot more than he ever imagined (I know the boat yard denied they were responsible for the sinking but who paid what, I don't know) because my dad was very patient as I learned how to fix things. Normally, he would have called in a pro.

With what I learned about his boat, I know I don't want major repairs on my list and that means buying a boat that's basically solid. And when I do my own survey, I'll open up every floorboard, every access point and anything else I can find to see how easy or difficult it will be to replace or repair things.

One of the things I liked most about the Sabre 456 was the fact they had the engine compartment open and that it had an equipment room. The salesmen were quick to point out the benefits of easy access to the engine, generator, panelboard, hot water heater, etc. I thought that was a great selling point. That kind of thing is very important to me. Maybe because of my experience with my dad's boat.
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Last edited by JulieMor; 10-16-2012 at 01:02 PM. Reason: grammar
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Re: Buying a 30-40 year old boat - your opinions

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Originally Posted by Jgbrown View Post
I sorta agree with C&C. I'm formulating a theory that most old boat(and land vehicle dreams) takes two owners. One to fix it up, and one to enjoy the fruits of the labor... next time around I'm going to try to be the 2nd :-).
To be fair I've always imagined working at the carnival to be more interesting than wandering around overspending on silly plastic trinkets. The machines at the carnival are COOL.
So long as you get what you need out of the dream, whatever part of it is yours, I'd say it's a win.
I'm in the halfway department, I'm halfway through a refit, and I still plan to sail her, but I've swung a bit to CnCs side, some of the magic is gone, I've found myself looking at trawlers even recently... but hopefully I finish the refit before it all runs out. Having spent a lot of time fixing other's boats now, I've learned that many(most?) owners haven't got a bloody clue when it comes to boats, which is fine.
My boat's previous owners lived aboard for months, and some of the things I found not resolved told me they hadn't applied their faculties to the boat, I know they were smart enough people.

Also, caveat surveyor. Trusting one of those to use their eyes, or be honest can cost a lot in terms of blood sweat and tears, not to mention money.

Next time I'm trying to buy one that someone else has taken the hit on, where the magic wore out but that next time is far away. When I get to sail mine around the bay sometime soon I'll know if I've crossed the line that CnC did, I like to think I'm still toeing it, learning about the boat, while not entirely losing the magic.

Quality, older and well refit is the best deal, the trick is to find that, barring buying a boat that someone like Chris has done up, find one where whatever is causing them to sell it is something you can handle comfortably. For example I'll take a boat in need of electrical, but not one in need of rigging :-)
It's an inaccurate generalization. In the past 12 years, I have done a lot of work on the two keel boats I've owned. The one would have been a complete restoration if it hadn't been for other factors. The one I own now was in the "project" category. I loved working on them both and loved sailing them both. Having said that, I am happy to be now reaching the point on No. 2 that I am more maintaining systems than rebuilding them - it has already paid dividends in more sailing time, something I sorely missed for the first few years of intense work. I have definitely met people who like working on boats more than they like sailing them, and people who hate working on boats but love sailing them.

There's no zero sum game here, but a spectrum, from 1 to 10. On that scale, I'm probably a five. I have known plenty of fives.

I think this either/or is a canard for folks trying to rationalize their extreme proclivities.
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Re: Buying a 30-40 year old boat - your opinions

27 yrs ago I became the 5th owner of a 1967 Hinckley Bermuda 40 aft cabin yawl which is based in east greenwich, RI. The prior owners from Huntington, LI, NY were mechanically very capable, but had no idea of what a varnish brush looked like. Knowing Hinckleys, the exterior teak and topsides needed much attention. The hull and rigging and diesel plus electrical system was in good condition. Of course, the 0-100% roller furler became a Harken Mark II, the alcohol stove became a propane 3 burner and oven unit, the non-working auto-pilot became a Raytheon system, gps has surpassed the loran and radar has been added. Sails were replaced once over the last 14 years plus an asymetrical spinnaker and sock were added.

The Westerbeke 4-107 was dated but the Hurth transmission became the problem. To replace that became a noticable cost which has reasonably led to a new Westerbeke 55, folding prop and rebedding the engine mounts given a different engine configuration. Of course, with the new engine, we then enjoyed a new Balmar 105 charging system, an invertor and updated house and engine batteries, still wet and not gel. I have the standing rigging checked annually and have replaced it once. The running rigging benefits from messenger lines each fall to early spring while the boat itself enjoys being fully emplied of gear each fall with a Fairclough canvas cover and frame so ventilation on the hard is accomplished. Even the Ideal windless, that is original, had a new $35 foot switch installed by me last fall and is going strong. And the deck non-skid has enjoyed new 2 part polymer convering to keep things safe.

One item I have not yet addressed is the 35+ yo datamarine wind instruments, depth and speed which needs attention. All this being said, starting with a very secure hull, well surveyed, attention to thru-hulls, mechanical, rigging and electrical as well as water systems gives me the ability to enjoy windless to 35 kt conditions using proper safety and sailing techniques.

So I would start with a solid vessel and a surveyor you know well as well as a trusted broker. Mine was Hank Halsted (now of Northtrop and Johnson in Newport, RI) who had worked as yard manager at Hinckley before moving to brokerage, then look at a number of boats and understand options, wear and tear, and design (tall rig, double head sail, yawl, solid fibergalss decks and hull versus composite versus sandwich), decide what you want and once identified, negotiate hard and see what can also be negotiated/purchased at the time of the sale through the yard.

We arranged for fixed price work at Hinckley in Southwest Harbor, Me as a part of the after sale contract which really brought the vessel back to her potential. And then prioritize what works and what needs attention now, short term and long term.

Over the last 27 years she has been a delight, short of a aluminum holding tank that died (plastic is better) especially with a vacuflush using fresh water and not a salt water manual pump head, and the failure of the exhaust riser that gave us a steam bath unexpectedly. Neither was a disaster, although unpleasant.

Most importantly, she still sails like a dream, handles rough weatehr well, is seakindly and will be my first and last boat. Good luck in finding an experienced vessel you can safely and delightfully enjoy for decades, as well.
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  #76  
Old 10-16-2012
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Re: Buying a 30-40 year old boat - your opinions

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Originally Posted by JulieMor View Post
It was when, at the boat Annapolis Boat Show this year, I found myself inside the Sabre 456, an absolutely gorgeous boat and probably my favorite there, that I asked myself, "How would you feel if you owned this boat?"

Outside of being able to own a boat like that, I looked at the boat being my home on water. Surprisingly, I thought something wasn't right (outside of the fact I couldn't afford it ). I then realized I would need to break it in first, give it some experience, some history on the water, before I could feel comfortable on it. But when I think about the older boats I've been on, I never felt this way.

Pam Wall was staying at the same B&B as we were. We got to meet her Friday morning at breakfast. When she said you have to feel some chi with a boat before buying it, I knew what she was talking about. I couldn't feel chi with any of the new boats at the show. I guess I like older boats.

I know there are a lot of negatives about buying an older boat and that a thorough survey is a must. On maintenance and repairs, I can handle much of that. I'm an electrician and an avid woodworker. I have a pretty good mechanical aptitude. And I like the satisfaction of fixing things myself.

On my dad's boat I installed all the electronics, repaired the generator, did most of the oil changes, repaired the heads, maintained and rebuilt the pumps, sanded the entire bottom (once) and painted it, season after season. I even did some gelcoat repairs.

But it's the structural stuff that concerns me. A boat 30-40 years old, especially one that's been well sailed, could have hull or rigging problems that are only another storm away from failure. That's where my apprehension begins.

For those of you who have made the plunge and bought an older boat, what has been your experience? What are the pitfalls? What have you had to pay for and what have you been to fix yourselves? And what boats really hold up that long?
I own a 1979 AMF PAceship I bought after sitting in the water for five years untouched.
What to know? That yes, rigging will most likely need to all be replaced. That any sails left outside are trash. Any lines will probably need replacing.
For myself, I had to take the mast out and redo the entire standing and running rigging on my boat. I also had to buy a new main sail.
I pretty much had to rebuild the boat. So, I would not do it all over again. I would buy a boat that was newer and in better condition.

The only REAL benefits of buying an old boat are these: You will learn that boat better than anything. Every nut and bolt will be known to you and all of the boats systems will be well-learned. Also, and this can go one way or the other, but usually it is cheaper to buy and own an older boat as long as you can do a lot of the work on it yourself and there is not engine/core problems.

I bought my boat for $2900. If I had to buy the same boat agbain tommorow I wouldnt pay a dime over $1500. Also, I have put in about $6000 over the past year and change and I am still not done. Though I will be ready for a summer cruise to the Bahamas.

So if I had to offer advice in a nutshell regarding older boats I would say this:
Buyer beware.
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Re: Buying a 30-40 year old boat - your opinions

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Originally Posted by rockDAWG View Post
It is nice when you are young and mobil, you have options and you can recover when you make a mistake. But when you are old, time is not on your side.

Don't get me wrong, I am very handy, from engine rebuilding to carpentry work. But my time has come and gone. Refitting an old boat is just too much.
Don't put a pull date on yourself - they have a nasty habit of coming true.
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Re: Buying a 30-40 year old boat - your opinions

There are 'old boats' and then there are 'projects'. A well maintained, well constructed older boat could easily be that 'buy it and sail it away' proposition - in many cases better equipped than any 'new boat' because a lot of gear has been added over the years and the seller never gets full value for that kind of stuff (re-powers, new electronics, canvas, etc etc..) Buy a new boat and you'll end up paying full bubble on top of the purchase price for the 'extras' that typically aren't really options.

If I was shopping with an open budget I'd be looking at some of the newer designs, but even then would prefer a well looked after 3-5 year old boat than one straight out of the factory. Let someone else take the hit on instant depreciation of a new boat and new gear....
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Re: Buying a 30-40 year old boat - your opinions

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Originally Posted by Harborless View Post
The only REAL benefits of buying an old boat are these: You will learn that boat better than anything. Every nut and bolt will be known to you and all of the boats systems will be well-learned. Also, and this can go one way or the other, but usually it is cheaper to buy and own an older boat as long as you can do a lot of the work on it yourself and there is not engine/core problems.
You left out what I regard as the single most significant factor in bringing back an old boat - personal satisfaction. When you look at before & after pictures of what you have done you get a very good feeling.

Just a couple of small examples:
Attached Thumbnails
Buying a 30-40 year old boat - your opinions-81.-engine-before-2.jpg   Buying a 30-40 year old boat - your opinions-86a-engine-after-1.jpg   Buying a 30-40 year old boat - your opinions-18.-compass-before.jpg   Buying a 30-40 year old boat - your opinions-18a.-compass-after.jpg  
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Old 10-16-2012
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Re: Buying a 30-40 year old boat - your opinions

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Originally Posted by JulieMor View Post
I know almost nothing about Moody but after looking at a few on Yachtworld, I walked away very impressed. The ones I was were 44's. I think someone said here that Moody hulls are built like Hinkley's?

I learned a lot with my dad's boat. I suppose resurrecting her from the sinking in the murky waters of the Chicago River resulted in the equivalent of a crash course in boat troubleshooting and repair. I think my dad had either lost the fire or had spent a lot more than he ever imagined (I know the boat yard denied they were responsible for the sinking but who paid what, I don't know) because my dad was very patient as I learned how to fix things. Normally, he would have called in a pro.

With what I learned about his boat, I know I don't want major repairs on my list and that means buying a boat that's basically solid. And when I do my own survey, I'll open up every floorboard, every access point and anything else I can find to see how easy or difficult it will be to replace or repair things.

One of the things I liked most about the Sabre 456 was the fact they had the engine compartment open and that it had an equipment room. The salesmen were quick to point out the benefits of easy access to the engine, generator, panelboard, hot water heater, etc. I thought that was a great selling point. That kind of thing is very important to me. Maybe because of my experience with my dad's boat.
Moody 44 has the same layout as Moody 42. They both are nice and meet my need.

If my children were younger, getting an old boat for a total refit is perfect. It will give us a lot of time to bond and tech them to be independent. When they were young, they all worked with me with on cars and Jeep. We then took the Jeep to Colorado and Moab every year to do rock crawling (Thus the rockDawg name).

Now they all grew up, they are too busy to chart their own future. Their Daddy's need is secondary......hahaha. This year, daughter had decided to go back to school for her MD degree. I guess my retirement will take another set back to pay for her $80K a year tuition, room and board. She is the most expensive child I have, but I love her so.

If you like engine access, you would like HR and Passport 40. Hallberg Rassy has a walk in engine room, and Passport 40 has their engine in front of the gallery and under the center island.

Do forget to look at the new DuFour 40e, she is fast, and come with a wine locker . With a minimum refit and upgrade, she can be my ticket to the world.

Good luck.
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