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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Boat Review and Purchase Forum > Need help buying a good used sailboat/live-aboard
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Topic Review (Newest First)
08-24-2013 01:03 PM
gerrycooper
Re: Need help buying a good used sailboat/live-aboard

As others have said, a lot depends upon what you intend doing with the boat. If you intend motoring up the ICW at all then chances are bridge clearance will be an issue, similarly with a deep draft. There are some bargains out there at present especially if you pick a boat for example with a 66 foot bridge clearance. Forget the asking price and try a low offer - you've nothing to lose and with the numbers of people returning from the Caribbean you might get lucky. I would never buy a 'smaller' boat to see what living on board is like and then try to upsize - the hassles trying to sell it (at a loss) aren't worth it. We bought a liveaboard, 43 foot, 65' bridge clearance for $84k, on the market for $104k.(and lived aboard for 5 years)
08-24-2013 10:59 AM
miatapaul
Re: Need help buying a good used sailboat/live-aboard

Quote:
Originally Posted by DRTSR View Post
My concern is age some say not more than 10 yrs old. What are your thoughts?
Well the hull will be fine older than 10 years, they last almost forever. Interior can be destroyed in a few years with a careless owner. Condition over age! A well maintained boat that is 40 years old is a much better buy than a poorly maintained 5 year old boat. Especially in Florida as the sun takes it's toll quickly down there. Boats are not like cars, the systems generally are made to last much longer. That one of the reasons so many manufacturers go out of business, as they are competing not only with each other, but with almost every boat ever made. How many would put a motor in a car that cost the total value of the car? People do that with boats, ok perhaps a bit of an exaggeration for sailboats but boats can be maintained to last for a very long time. I do know power boaters that re-power with motors that cost twice the value of the boat, because they know the boat will last a long time, and it will make it more enjoyable for them.
08-23-2013 11:52 PM
TQA
Re: Need help buying a good used sailboat/live-aboard

You want room.

OK look at a Morgan Out Island 41. Be prepared for some critical posts.

Maybe even a CSY 44 Pilothouse walkthru Pretty rare but they did build some.
08-22-2013 11:23 PM
DRTSR
Re: Need help buying a good used sailboat/live-aboard

Thank you so much very informative..... Maine to the Keys is enough for me, but I would like a lot of interior room...
08-22-2013 11:22 PM
DRTSR
Re: Need help buying a good used sailboat/live-aboard

My concern is age some say not more than 10 yrs old. What are your thoughts?
08-22-2013 11:18 PM
DRTSR
Re: Need help buying a good used sailboat/live-aboard

Thank you so much very informative..... Maine to the Keys is enough for me, but I would like a lot of interior room...
08-22-2013 07:38 PM
sailpower
Re: Need help buying a good used sailboat/live-aboard

Quote:
Originally Posted by DougSabbag View Post
I won't consider a "day cruiser" a liveaboard. Unless she is truly designed and equipped to handle blue water cruising, if you try to live aboard a day cruiser, it is like living in a car. Don't do it.

Around Boston every year, some people get it into their heads they want to do this.
And they buy a 30 something footer and move aboard.

The vast majority of those vessels are for sale by the following June.

During their first year aboard, they wrapped their boat in plastic to keep warm, (like bums wrapping in newspaper), they either paid thousands for a diesel heater or kept blowing circuit breakers with their 35 amp service, replaced their on-demand water pump at least once, have lots of toilet "issues", while doing the early morning walk to the community showers, etc.

If you are going to liveaboard, buy a serious enough vessel to not have to wrap in plastic which therefore has interior walls / you're not looking at the inside of your hull, have your own shower(s), functioning toilets, serious water supply system, at least a 50 amp service, a washer & dryer would be civilized too... anotherwords she has to provide what most humans consider the basics for living comfortably.

Otherwise, you are either a bum at heart, (used to living in your car), a college student, or want to get divorced.

A typical house in Eastern Massachusetts costs around $300 - $400 K. Do not expect to replace that reality with a $50K boat.

I have recently witnessed a divorce of people who were together for many years.... he thought new chain plates were more important than running water.... and numerous "for sale" signs on boats boat last year with all the best of intentions.

To skip right to the chase, I would suggest a GulfStar 50 ketch, or BETTER. Those can be had for just less than $100K, will need a lot of work, i.e., $100Ksssss but, you will have an entry level liveaboard for the tight budget.

Also, if you buy a used boat to liveaboard, you damn well better be capable of doing plumbing, electrical, diesel work, carpentry, plus all the nautical skills you enjoy.

And you better be seriously up for tackling your "list" of projects every single weekend.

You work all week at your job to have the money to pay for the materials you install all weekend. Sometimes, you can go sailing...... and then you will break new things.

If you don't have those resources, go back to school, learn a higher paying career, then come back when you are ready. And, THEN you can name your boat the Triumph.
Ah, living aboard a sailboat during a Boston (Winthrop) winter. I did it on a Pearson 424 with a solid fuel heater and some plug-ins during a particularly nasty winter with ice under the boat.

I wasnít shrink wrapped and mostly OK. A wise friend described my living arrangement as the most expensive way there is to go second class. Wise indeed.
08-22-2013 06:47 PM
TQA
Re: Need help buying a good used sailboat/live-aboard

Quote:
Originally Posted by zedboy View Post
There are a lot of good boats out there, and it's a buyer's market. But you have to figure out what you want - full keel/fin keel, aft/center cockpit, traditional or modern, lots of teak or none.

Go walk the docks with a cold six pack. Sailors love to talk about their boats - go see what's out there, and try to get a ride on as many as possible.

Also read up the boat inspection threads here and elsewhere. Hire a good surveyor, but the more you know to ask the more a surveyor can teach you.

Good advice above about trying to buy around $60k (plenty for 38-42 feet of boat, perfect for 1-2 people) and saving the rest for upgrades.
The above is good advice.

With $60 k to spend and a Florida location ixnay the ferro.

Avoid teak decks. They make the boat hotter inside and need replacing at about 20 years at HUGE cost.

Budget for AC if you are going to live at a dock in Florida during the summer months.

If you are going to be living at a dock with the odd day sail you need not look for a boat with all the cruising stuff that costs money. RIB + 15 hp. Minimum of 3 anchors plus chain and rope. Electric anchor windlass. Solar panels Wind generators Big battery bank. Water maker. But if you are serious about cruising you need most of the above.

Go look at something like this Corbin CLICKY

Then compare it with a Beneteau CLICKY

Take a digital camera and take LOTS of pictures and notes. Start building up a list of things you like and hate.

Finally do not buy a wooden boat regardless of how cheap it is.
08-22-2013 04:27 AM
zedboy
Re: Need help buying a good used sailboat/live-aboard

There are a lot of good boats out there, and it's a buyer's market. But you have to figure out what you want - full keel/fin keel, aft/center cockpit, traditional or modern, lots of teak or none.

Go walk the docks with a cold six pack. Sailors love to talk about their boats - go see what's out there, and try to get a ride on as many as possible.

Also read up the boat inspection threads here and elsewhere. Hire a good surveyor, but the more you know to ask the more a surveyor can teach you.

Good advice above about trying to buy around $60k (plenty for 38-42 feet of boat, perfect for 1-2 people) and saving the rest for upgrades.
08-21-2013 08:47 PM
miatapaul
Re: Need help buying a good used sailboat/live-aboard

Really most any boat in that size range is going to at least be of reasonable quality. Even the "production" brands like Catalina and Hunter are really nice in the over 38 foot size. Keep in mind that fiberglass has an almost infinite life, common commercial fiberglass boats have been made for well over 60 years now and most are still on the water. So in your price range you can look at a newer, and likely faster and more spacious boat, or an older more heavy duty boat with "character" and much smaller cabin per foot of boat. Keep in mind boats are built to a budget, and with certain activities in mind. So you can have a coastal cruiser that is meant for a comfortable spacious boating near shore. Something like that is going to be good for cruising around Florida, the keys and the Caribbean up the east coast to Maine and even beyond. Now if you want to truly cross oceans then look into a heavy cruiser. They will be more comfortable in a storm but will be much slower in light winds. The other issue with a heavy cruiser is they tend to have very narrow ends (good for rough weather and following seas) and that limits space below a lot and they can seem claustrophobic in comparison foot per foot. Light winds are more common than not. You can go with a racing boat and get great performance but will have less room and amenities and might even have "pipe bunks" instead of comfortable bunks. All have been lived on by people happily. Some are happy on a 27 footer, others find a 47 foot boat to small. If I had an 80,000 budget I would likely spend $40-60,000 on something like an Ericson 38, Irwin 37, Catalina 38, Cal 35, Hunter 40, Jeaneau, Beneteau or such and spend 10-20,000 on a basic refitting and budget 10,000 on future upgrades but don't go too wild as you won't know what you really want for a few years.

80,000 can get you a lot of boat, but I bet any "high end" boat in that price range will need as much as the purchase price to get up to snuff. Avoid things like teak decks as they are very costly to repair, better to get a well maintained production boat than an ignored luxury brand.

I know Doug is a big fan of really big boats, but I really don't see the need for the added expense. As he says what he thinks is entry level live aboard is $200,000, not what you are looking for. I am well past the stage in my life where I need to impress anyone, and am happy with a mid 30 foot boat for myself but to each there own. I would not want the added maintenance of a bigger boat and would rather spend time sailing instead of working to make money to repair a big expensive boat. I don't want to be a slave to any material things, as I said I am past that. I have lived in big houses and have driven expensive cars, but not anymore, for me the name of living aboard is simplicity. No TV, no microwave, just enough space to be comfortable in. And I would not leave a boat unprotected in the Boston winter, regardless of size or quality unless it was a work boat. Water gets between lots of parts and freezes and pushes them apart making small cracks bigger and loosening stanchions and all kinds of fittings, causing leaks and other issues. To associate it with someone homeless is really just plain offensive and bad advice. I am sure most if not all the other boats in his marina wrap as it is the best practice in the North East. But you don't have to deal with that in Florida what you call winter we call the fall here in the north east.

In Florida you want to pay particular attention to draft, as you want to be able to access places that have fairly shallow water, such as the Keys and secluded bays. I would try to keep it as close to 5 foot (or less) as possible. You may wind up with a wing keel or centerboard in that size range but the performance hit is worth it down there.

Last but most important, get a survey! Do not use a surveyor recommended by a broker as they often favor the seller. You might ask here and will likely get good recommendations for a local one.
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