Analysis Paralysis - The fear of buying - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 59 Old 05-08-2016 Thread Starter
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Thumbs down Analysis Paralysis - The fear of buying

I've dreamed of owning a sailboat longer than I can remember when I started wanting one of my own. My wife has given the nod that its now time to take all that squirreled away money and go and buy one. Partly for her own sanity from hearing me question and re-question what our wants, needs, and budget are. My research, excitement, ups and downs of wondering if it will ever be possible (boats are expensive it turns out)

Last weekend a boat popped up from an old guy near me. More sq footage than we expected to ever own at our budget by 7ft LOA and I think he's just ready to downsize his life. I took a look and can't find any apparent critical issues. Engine and sails look great.

My issue is now I am finding myself paralyzed by my own doubts. Once reasoning says ok and the heart needs to kick in, how are you supposed to know the boat you're looking at is the right one? I'm afraid I've gotten myself stuck in an endless loop of what if. Have you experienced this?

What is rattling in my head:

+ The boat is older, so it needs some TLC both inside and out. It is, however right in my price range. Is it possible my expectations are off because of seeing too many new boats at boat shows?

+ The sleeping arrangement isn't ideal for a family of 4 but I can't afford a larger boat and monohulls kind of only have a few layouts that are even possible, so do I need to compromise my dreams for reality?

+ Being a 1985 boat, we're missing some creature comforts..fridge..TV...is this really a big deal?

Ugh...so tired of my own thoughts right now (Boat: 1985 Hunter 34)

Last edited by gigamanx; 05-08-2016 at 01:23 PM.
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post #2 of 59 Old 05-08-2016
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Re: Analysis Paralysis - The fear of buying

Only you can answer if it is the right one for you. Fridge and TV and not necessaties for sailing, but if you want them you can always add them.

Try finding reviews of the boat model and see what others have to say about it. There is a section here on Sailnet containing boat reviews.

If your heart isn't in it, it might not be the boat for you. You gotta love the boat, especially as they are a pain in the *** otherwise.
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Re: Analysis Paralysis - The fear of buying

Try Marine Survey 101

The hysterical laughter you hear as you drive a way in your"new" boat ..... is the seller.
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post #4 of 59 Old 05-08-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: Analysis Paralysis - The fear of buying

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Originally Posted by Lazerbrains View Post
If your heart isn't in it
I get that. My issue is that my heart wants more than my pocket book can handle. A 40Ft 2000 or newer boat would be amazing but a price range under $25k makes me one of those people who may sit on the dock dreaming forever instead of actually getting on the water. As an example, I stepped onto a 36ft Catalina and absolutely loved it. Those things are easily north of $50,000 on a rainy day.
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Re: Analysis Paralysis - The fear of buying

Gigamanx,

Regardless of price, all boats require some compromises. None are an investment that will appreciate, and few of us aren't limited by a budget...

Therefore, I think what we all end up doing is listing our must haves and like to haves, and research what is out there that meets all of our must haves [or edit that list...] Find the best compromise at that moment, and move on with your plans...

Few of us ever lived in a dwelling of our dreams either... but we usually learned to appreciate the ones we had...

Best wishes narrowing your focus and finding your boat! Like a house, it doesn't have to be your last boat...

Cheers!

Bill


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Re: Analysis Paralysis - The fear of buying

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Originally Posted by gigamanx View Post

My issue is now I am finding myself paralyzed by my own doubts. Once reasoning says ok and the heart needs to kick in, how are you supposed to know the boat you're looking at is the right one? I'm afraid I've gotten myself stuck in an endless loop of what if. Have you experienced this?

There are 2 types of people in the world: Gunnas and Doers. Gunnas bleat their life away: "I'm gunna do this", or I'm gonna do that. They never do anything, of course. They leave that to the Do'ers.

So what are you? Are you going to live life or waste it?


Mark
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Re: Analysis Paralysis - The fear of buying

Dear Paralyzed! I hear ya' Brother! You can add all that stuff you think you need, over the years of ownership. When I looked for my first boat, 2 yrs ago, I looked for the things I thought were important. Good engine, sails, rigging and got lucky with some other stuff like electronics. I looked at 15 boats in my price range, 15 grand,and I don't think one of them could go sailing that day or in a month. I finally got a nice 1971 35 Morgan. Had all the stuff I was looking for and I even went sailing with the owner for a day. But.. Now that I've worked on it for 2 yrs, I know what to look for in a boat. Couldn't afford it, but I know now. So, I'm happy with my boat. I do something on her everyday, no matter how small. Yesterday I was varnishing drawers. Been adding foam to ice box, countless things I've done in 2 yrs and guess what? It's coming along! So, figure out whats important to you, look around and then jump in. I did and it's ok, even though I've had my doubts in the first few months. I was paralyzed the first few months from the overwhelmingly endless things I saw needed to be done but now I don't think about that, I think about the project I'm doing TODAY! Then it's manageable. Even though the projects to be done are still endless! Yesterday, all the guys were going out for a sail, so instead of working on the boat, I cleaned up the mess down below and I went. It was fun! Like some wise man here once said to me, "don't forget to go sailing once you get it." Kevin
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Re: Analysis Paralysis - The fear of buying

Keep in mind too that this is not a purchase for the rest of your life. I was looking for years for the perfect boat, with a very very small budget. Just like a house it is not likely to buy a boat and live with it forever. If this is your first boat then don't worry about it being perfect. Nice thing about older boats are they are pretty much deprecated, so you buy it for $10,000-18,000 (reasonable price for an 80's Hunter 34 in good shape) and sail it for a few years, and you can sell it if the same amount as long as you take care of it. I don't think an old boat is going to take much more ongoing maintenance than a newer one. There are thousands of boats from the 60's to 80's out there doing just fine. Biggest issue is going to be sails and engine and basic condition of the hull. Even a 3 or 4 year old boat take significant maintenance and repairs.

So you decide that you want more room, or performance, or more offshore capability or less room, or whatever then you can sell your boat and get another one fairly easily. Nice thing about Hunter/Catalina/Beneteau/Ericson/Cape Dory/C&C/etc is that there is always a market for a well maintained one. So as long as you like the boat just go ahead and get it. Hunter 34 sounds like a great platform for 4, you have a double aft, single in the main salon (sure you can convert the dinette but you don't want to have to do that all the time) and a double in the v-birth. I think you would have to go a lot bigger, or newer to get a better layout. Hunters are known for reasonable build quality, good performance and ease of maintenance, with limited exterior woodwork.

And to add, to me it makes much more sense to buy an older boat for cash than to have a payment on a much newer boat, but that is me.
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Re: Analysis Paralysis - The fear of buying

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Originally Posted by FloridaBoy View Post
Dear Paralyzed! I hear ya' Brother! You can add all that stuff you think you need, over the years of ownership. When I looked for my first boat, 2 yrs ago, I looked for the things I thought were important. Good engine, sails, rigging and got lucky with some other stuff like electronics. I looked at 15 boats in my price range, 15 grand,and I don't think one of them could go sailing that day or in a month. I finally got a nice 1971 35 Morgan. Had all the stuff I was looking for and I even went sailing with the owner for a day. But.. Now that I've worked on it for 2 yrs, I know what to look for in a boat. Couldn't afford it, but I know now. So, I'm happy with my boat. I do something on her everyday, no matter how small. Yesterday I was varnishing drawers. Been adding foam to ice box, countless things I've done in 2 yrs and guess what? It's coming along! So, figure out whats important to you, look around and then jump in. I did and it's ok, even though I've had my doubts in the first few months. I was paralyzed the first few months from the overwhelmingly endless things I saw needed to be done but now I don't think about that, I think about the project I'm doing TODAY! Then it's manageable. Even though the projects to be done are still endless! Yesterday, all the guys were going out for a sail, so instead of working on the boat, I cleaned up the mess down below and I went. It was fun! Like some wise man here once said to me, "don't forget to go sailing once you get it." Kevin
Possibly the best response yet. You got it!

The boat in question is sailable. That was my wife's requirement knowing that we don't live down the street from a marina. We're actually an hour and a half drive, so no project is all that small if I forget a part or a wrench. When I look at the interior I see counter tops to be replaced, flooring that needs TLC, new cushions, convert the standard table into a folding sleeping birth, electrical work for 110v outlets for the kids, lighting, a new shower head. Nothing that couldn't serve its purpose "for now" and I'm beginning to think maybe I find a boat with good bones like I did with my house and go to work. The configuration is great, the size is great, it just needs a handyman to bring her to this century.

So once the work was done, do you now get excited to see "your" boat knowing that its getting closer to the dream you had before buying?
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Re: Analysis Paralysis - The fear of buying

Another thing that might factor into your decision is, how many other boats have you looked at recently? The reason I say this is that I found I really learned a lot on the first few boats that I looked at, and that helped to set a baseline of sorts. After having thoroughly gone through 3 or 4 boats, it was much easier to truly 'see' the next half dozen boats. For me, when I finally saw the boat I now own, it was clearly the best boat of the bunch, at least the best for me.

Boats don't usually sell immediately, so you may have time to look around a bit and then still be able to come back to this boat.
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