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  Topic Review (Newest First)
08-04-2003 11:07 AM
Gift Boat--Worth it?

I don''t know your personal situation with regards to work or vacation or ...., but this sounds like the start of an excellent adventure. With six weeks of time, you could re-commission the vessel and head for Seattle (probably $500 to launch and step the mast). Would be one of the life''s great adventures. You would need to beef up the crew a little with some mechanical and sailing experience. But the waters are relatively sheltered, and, very scenic. Once in Seattle, you would be in a very active marine market which would garner top dollar should you decide not go on. From Seattle south, the voyage is offshore and a test of boat and sailor.

An Albin Vega would fetch $9K to mid teens depending on condition. You could view representative samples on

May not be able to write a book about this adventure, but would certainly add a chapter or two!!

Good Luck

08-04-2003 10:44 AM
Gift Boat--Worth it?

Lucky you...
Go for it!!!
08-04-2003 08:13 AM
Gift Boat--Worth it?

This was my brother''s response to my inquiries about details (I''ll spare you his preaching on the lifestyle a sailboat offers (it is actually quite Capt Jack Sparrow)):

"the boat is exceptionally sea worthy, its set up now to sail anywhere you want, auto
pilots,dingeys, all sails,new one cylinder motor,burns about a pint an hour,you drink more rum than that on the boat, the hull is made by albin,swedish,the saab of sails,heavy,sturdy, and eay to sail, one or two ,or four, it has a queen size bed in the center,it had a head but i thru it out, and use the bucket, easer to maintain."

At this point, I''m trying to figure out if I can wiggle some time off to get to Alaska and retrieve it (he has a plan). Even if I get stuck with a lemon of a boat (which I''m prepared for) I figure I''m not out any cash and have a great vacation.

When I''m bemoaning this albatross in a few months, you can also say I told you so.

Thanks again!
08-01-2003 10:47 AM
Gift Boat--Worth it?

Thanks for all the advice! As soon as I get any word from my brother I will see about getting it surveyed, etc.

Knowing my brother, he''s already given it away to someone else in trade for a car or something. So this may all be moot!
07-31-2003 08:04 AM
Gift Boat--Worth it?


You want to look this gift horse very carefully in the mouth - first get specifics on the boat/year/model and find a blue book value for it. This gives you an idea of what the boat COULD be worth when in excellent condition. Then get an estimate from a transportation company for shipping the boat to a local yard. Include yard costs at both ends for moving or storing the boat, plus $3-400 for a survey. Now decide if the boat COULD be worth the cost of getting it to you.
If it passes this first test, then proceed with the survey, try to get a surveyor who is an engineer and very experienced, my guideline is, lacking other insights, hire the person who charges the most! The surveyor dollars will be the best money you spend on a boat.
The surveyor will identify some (or lots) of work needed to make the boat seaworthy. Then see if you can get an qualified Alaska boat yard to give you written estimates on doing the work identified by the surveyor. (If the number is big, you may have to try to compare AK-CA yard costs, use the difference in per hour labor charge to adjust the estimate to CA). Take the resulting yard estimates and double them, to allow for the usual and natural surprises that occur with boat repairs.
Now see if the boat COULD be worth the total of repair costs, plus shipping, plus survey. Boat repairs and equipment are EXPENSIVE in ways automaible owners never see - it is possible for a free boat to still be too expensive to repair, unless you have the time and experience to do you own repairs (and don''t put much value on your time...).
This arrangement could be a good deal, but it has a lot of risks that you won''t face if you went into the local boat brokers office and made an offer on floating boat in excellent operating condition.

I hope this advice can come across as realistic and useful, and not excessively pessimistic. Good luck!
07-31-2003 06:02 AM
Gift Boat--Worth it?

To get it up to Juneau, my brother sailed his J/30 from Seattle. Currents and the typical (lack of) wind made the trip last a LONG time, with much motoring. Getting from Homer to SFO on your own boat''s bottom would likely take weeks. If you wait for good weather windows, perhaps months. On our trip to visit him last summer we noticed that most of the boats in Alaska looked pretty tired. It may be a case here of looking this gift horse in the mouth and finding out the Vet bills won''t be worth it.
07-30-2003 03:18 PM
Gift Boat--Worth it?

find out what type of boat it is. then, if it''s a decent boat, you can have a surveyer look it over for a few hundred dollars, and tell you what it will need to make the passage. it''s down wind with following seas, so find some kid who''s been sailing since before he could walk, and who seems to be responsible (eg: who can give you phone numbers and letters of refrence from past deliveries, and then DO check them out.) and drop a couple hundred on him and a friend to have him bring it down for you.

um... not that I would ever suggest paying someone who doesnt have a coast guard captains lisence. That would be illegal... I think.

-- James
07-30-2003 02:06 PM
Gift Boat--Worth it?

I (and my husband) have recently become intrigued with the idea of cruising. I''ve gotten some great advice here, which I plan to follow--take lessons, crew, try short trips, read, etc. However, I am in a unique situation when it comes to acquiring a boat.

My brother (a commercial fisherman for many years in Alaska and all around boat guy) has offered to give me his 27'' sailboat if I retrieve it from (dry) storage in Homer, AK. (His offer probably doesn''t reflect badly on the boat--he''s off in Nicaragua and can''t be bothered to retrieve the boat or pay the $600 storage fee-it''s sort of his m.o.).

I have nearly no details on the boat itself, other than it''s seaworthy (which for my brother probably means it needs at least cosmetic work and no doubt an equipment upgrade). My mother has been aboard and only says it seems safe, but is small.

Does anyone know the ballpark cost to have it transported from Alaska here to the San Francisco Bay Area? Is there a ''best'' way to get it down here?

Is this deal even worth it? I expect to put a considerable amount of money into the boat (as well as actually acquire the skills I need to sail it!) before taking off. I''m just wondering if the money I''d save on buying a boat makes whatever repairs I would have to make worth it. My brother is a mechanic, so I expect everything is in good working order, but he''s somewhat cavalier about things like comfort.

I''m not sure what else to ask advice about, but any other tips would be appreciated!

Thanks Heather

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