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  Topic Review (Newest First)
07-18-2002 02:45 PM
How''''s this boat sound for the money???

Dear Rj and Jessica,

You always get what you pay for, but this one would be more like you pay over, and over, and over, and over. I don''t care how handy you are.

Quality over know why? Your life depends on it...not just your physical life but the quality of the life you have.

Get a good little cruiser. You might have to find a home for the dogs.

Whatever you do...listen to what all these people on sailnet are telling you. Don''t buy this boat.

07-13-2002 08:04 AM
How''''s this boat sound for the money???

A couple thoughts here.
-First of all you have not supplied your email address so it''s not really possible to email you directly.

-But in a more useful sense, $20K does not buy much of a boat that is suitable for living aboard and which would also offer decent sailing or motoring characteristics. I would think that you would want to try to stay in the 33 to 38 foot length or so range. These are big enough boats for a couple to live on and handle with relative ease. In that price range any 33 to 38 footer will probably be a bit of a project boat, but it should be manageable. When you start getting above that general size range boats becoem less easily handled for new sailors and for a couple.

-With a $20,000 budget any thing that you look at is likely to be a project boat for you. When you start talking about project boats over 35 or so feet, it is extremely easy to spend nearly double your purchase price budget (just in parts and materials)to put the boat into safe and operable condition. If you think about the cost of the kinds of things that you might expect to find in a $20,000 boat over 33 feet in length such as :
-an engine rebuild (just parts), shaft log,cutlass bearings,
-electrical wiring, fixtures, electronics and panels,
-sails and rigging
-plumbing hoses and clamps,
-Bringing the Galley up to modern codes and fully operational,
-Refrigeration if you plan to live aboard,
-Deck core repairs (just glass and core materials,

.......and the other types of problems likely to be encountered in a boat this big, with decent accomodations in that general price range you can quickly spend another $20K getting a boat into shape. I spent nearly half of that on minor items (with the exception of a new stove) just cleaning up my own 38 footer which was actually a fully functional boat in very good shape.

-You will probably need to budget some money for a place to live while you are putting the old girl into sufficient shape to live aboard.

-In other words you really either have a $10K budget to buy a boat (and you need to move your sites down below 30 feet), or you need to think of yourselves as having a $40 K budget. If that is the case, I would plan on trying to find a $25K to $30K boat in good shape that someone else has restored for you because one sad reality of older boats is that you almost never get close to the money out of them that you put into them doing a restoration.

-Then there is the Dogs! I know you think of them as your children but if these dogs are so important to you then perhaps the live aboard lifestyle is not the hot ticket. At best living aboard with pets is a compromise. A single small dog that is also a water dog can and often does work. 100 lb Rottweilers do not fit that definition. Many Rottweilers are very poor swimmers, (very high body density animals who do not float if they stop paddling frantically), are next to imposible to get out of the water (They can panic as they get tired and bite who ever tries to get them out of the water. I once interviewed a fellow for a job who was recovering from reconstructive hand surgery as a result of trying to save his Rottweiler.) And having two dogs aboard greatly increases the amount of storage, and space that you will need. Many marinas are starting to forbid live aboards with dogs. Its hard enough to find a marina that permits live aboards and that permit project boat live aboards no less adding the further restriction of one that also permits dogs. Just because you want to live aboard a boat, does not mean that the dogs will be happy in that environment. So, my best advice is pick one of the other.

I don''t mean to be the voice of doom and gloom. When I was in my twenties, I too had the kind of dream that you have. I bought a 25 foot wooden boat, restored her, and lived aboard. I spent approximately 5 times what I had paid for the boat in parts and materials fixing her up and 10 months of my life. (Remember that was a 25 footer) When I was done I sold her for far less than I had in her. The next owner put nearly what I had put into her. I am not trying to talk you out of your dream, I am just trying to infuse it with a degree of reality.

07-12-2002 09:30 AM
How''''s this boat sound for the money???

Thanks for all the advice, even though we were pretty excited about our ''find''. Everything makes sense, and I did know that this was a lot of boat for two people to operate (much less fix up/refit, even though I''m a carpenter). It looks great in the photos but I have a feeling it would be overwhelming in person.

We have our home in Michigan on the market, and as we recently dropped the price on it to try and get out of here before the next winter season we only expect in the neighborhood of 20K to spend on a boat. We''d like to not be too cramped, though realize that downsizing and lightening our load of stuff is necessary and, in fact, looked forward to. The dogs will be tough, though...200 lbs of Rottweiler in two ''kids'' named Cheeseburger and Pony. I know we''ll need a marina with some storage facilities nearby for my carpentry tools and things we won''t need on the boat, and we''ll need work in the area (perhaps carpentry on boats in the marina?).

Everyone seems to be helpful on this board, so if any of you get any ideas, see the boat for sale you think might work for us, know of a reasonable liveaboard area (as long as it''s south where the weather is good!), or have any other suggestions...well, please post or email us and lend a hand.

Your help will not be forgotten...

Rj and Jessica
07-11-2002 02:13 AM
How''''s this boat sound for the money???


Even from my neophyte perspective, I believe the advice above is right on. In the short time since my love for sailing was rekindled, I have already had many of my initial "dreamboats" figuratively scuttled in the sea of reality.

You were very wise to seek counsel on this one. The search for the right boat for you and Jessica may take longer than you like, but hopefully you''ll be rewarded. Good hunting!

07-11-2002 12:47 AM
How''''s this boat sound for the money???

One more opinion.
It sounds like too much boat for the money. Wooden boats - even when fiberglassed are subject to rot, the various members work and fastners loosen.etc etc. Fiberglass has been known to peel off of wooden hulls under stress. Be especially aware that leaks from the deck are often long term more of a problem then leks from below. Fresh water causes dry rot. It is not easy to fix - to put it mildly. And all boats have some issues with deck leaks.
As a livaboard at a marina you are probably fine - view it as a cheap condo but offshore ...if you are mighty handy you might safely sail offshore in a couple of years. Of course you could build a new one in that time. Sympathize with the need to go cheap - am also looking, but not quite in that range or size. Certainly there are some very old wooden boats - even without fiberglass sailing - and sailing safely, but they are a lot of work.
PS a couple, even with dogs doesn''t need that much space. Living on a boat is a lesson in simplifying and reducing.
Good luck Todd
07-10-2002 06:36 PM
How''''s this boat sound for the money???

This almost sounds like a bad joke, but if it is not, then boy do you guys need to slow down a bit and spend some time learning about desireable design features of an offshore boat. I don''t have time this evening to get into detail but lets start with the big stuff. A 49 footer is a huge boat for a first boat. I just about don''t care how much experience you have sailing other people''s boat, 49 feet is a huge first boat and when things go really awry,as they easily do on boats this size, people get killed and maimed and expensive damage gets done. 49 footers are no joke.

Then look at the displacement. 28 tons, which in marine tons is 57,120 lbs, is roughly 2 1/2 to 3 times what a boat this size should weigh. Weight does absolutely nothing good for a boat. It does not add strength, it does not add stability, and it does not add seaworthiness. It simple adds weight and bulk. That means a lot more fuel burned and the need for a lot more sail area to safely sail that heavy a boat. It means a lot bigger sail handling gear, a lot bigger loads and a lot bigger chance to do serious damage if something goes wrong. With that kind of displacement you would expect a minimum of 17000 of so lbs of ballast to safely sail that boat in offshore conditions with more like 22000 being a more ideal minimum amount of ballast for a boat of that sheer weight. This boat has only 5,000 lbs of ballast.

I know the Lehman Ford 85 horsepower diesels reasonably well. My Dad has one in his boat. They are a good engine but they are suitable for a boat with a displacement of maybe 24,000 -27000 lbs but not for a boat of 57000 lbs.

9 foot is an enormous depth and while there are certainly boats with that draft that do cruise the Caribbean it means really doing careful navigation and being willing to anchor out in no man''s land and dinghy a few miles in.

Add to that that you are talking about a 25 year old, 49 foot, home built wooden boat that is in need of refit. Do you guys have the small fortune that it would take to make a boat like that a passage maker. Even if you did your own work you could easily end up with tens of thousands of dollars into this boat more than it would ever be worth in the marketplace. With all due respect, this really sounds like heartbreak going somewhere to happen. If you were wizend old sailors who had owned a few woodenboats and had had excellent boat maintenance, sailing/ seamanship, and boat building skills and you had some reason to want a motor sailor which will be neither a good sailboat or good motor boat then this might make sense. But without a high level of skills and some specifioc reason that a boat like this actually makes sense, then I would run, not walk in the opposite direction.

And no this does not sound like a good deal. If the owner gave you $20 grand and a chainsaw to take this off his hands then that might be a good deal but perhaps not even that is a good deal with the current cost at landfills these days.

07-10-2002 05:23 PM
How''''s this boat sound for the money???

Wow...I don''t know where to start...I am sure and hope others will add comments.

Did you see the movie "Cap''t Ron". It sounds like that boat might be in better condition that the one you are looking at....(sorry ..just a joke, but I am partly serious)

Are you VERY VERY handy and understand lots of things like Diesel engines, refrigeration, wood/fiberglass working? Well I think you better be, because I feel there will be a lot of systems that will need to be fixed or upgraded in a boat of this vintage.

You ABSOLUTELY need a new survey done by your own *qualified* surveyor. (Do not use the one recomended by the selling broker). 6 years can be a long time for a wooden boat that is 25 years old and maybe not taken care of (did you say the whole boat has a fiberglass overlay?).

A boat that big for that little money sounds like its going to be a huge money pit at the least, and a potentially dangerous vessel at the worst.

And not to pick on you. But isn''t a 49 foot boat just a bit too large for your 1st boat. I think it would be a mistake. You haven''t listed your boating experience, but I think this boat would be too much for almost anyone for a first boat, with all the hassles (and expense) involved. I would ask a LOT of people their opinion on this one.

Read this article right here on sailnet ( Its called "You''ve Bought the Wrong Boat" go here --->> ) to give yourself an idea of what you are getting yourself into. And this guy had a lot of money and still ended up unhappy.
07-10-2002 01:21 PM
How''''s this boat sound for the money???

Jessica and I found what we THINK sounds like a good buy on a boat sitting down south. We plan to live aboard so we need something big enough for us and our two dogs. Here''s the specs...Year Built: 1977

Type: Motorized conversion of a Bruce Roberts design 49 ketch

Gross Tons: 28

Engine: 80hp Lehman Model 254 diesel engine

Length: 48.7 Breadth: 13.2 Depth: 9.0 Draft Loaded: 59

Builder: Donald Van Abbema Channahon, Illinois

LOA: 50
LWL: 47

Ballast: 5,000# (cast iron/lead)

Freeboard: 66 Forward, 59 Midship, 72 Aft

NRT: 16

Gen. Desc.: Composite construction, wooden hull, decks, superstructure with fiberglass overlay, motor sailor hull, motor yacht with diesel inboard propulsion.

Tanks: 2-200gal diesel, 400gal water, 18gal day tank, msd 100gal fixed and 9gal portable, lpg: 2-30gal

We haven''t seen her yet but are in contact with the owner and have seen photos. She''s being refitted right now, with some done and plenty left to do. From what we''re told, the main berth is nearly ready, as is the galley and I believe the head. We''re told that most all the parts for the refit are already bought and it''s just a matter of doing the work.

This is our first boat and we want to be able to take her to the Caribbean and Mexico in the future. Is the draft suitable for down there? Anyone see any pitfalls I should watch for, or are there any questions I should ask? There''s a 1996 survey done we need to have faxed to us, and I''m sure seeing her in person will tell us even more. Looks great from the pics!

Just wanted everyone''s opinion we can get. Sounds like a deal to us at 20K.


Rj and Jessica

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