Another Boat Buying Thread
Hey guys. I’ve got a few questions, comments and curiosities that I’d be interested in hearing your views and or experiences on as well as just some general ramblings on my part.
Here it is May 21st, I’m dreading the forecast week of continuing snow showers and rain and wind. But oh does the wind make me itch, the snow just makes me cold, and all though it is fun to slide around on in the mountains on the other side of the street I’m getting tired of 8 months of winter and am ready to load up the wife and son and head to the tropics. 20 years of shoveling and 8 month winters has gotten old, specially for my Hawaiian wife and son, let alone my gills are drying out here in the desert. Confused? The desert butts right up to the 12000-14000’ mountains here in the eastern Sierra.
This will be our third summer sailing as a family. If you’ve read my few posts from the beginning, back in 2017, you will see my sailing experience timeline with all the stupid questions, mistakes and good times!
I’m a reader and a doer’ learner! Make sense? Anyways I, we, started on our Catalina Capri 14, sold it last summer, sailed a Laguna Wind Rose 18’ most last summer then bought a West Wight Potter 19 in August last year. In January I helped (see my crew report here) sail a 36’ Cascade from Ensenada Mexico to La Paz. My path has led me to this point which I will get to, hopefully sooner, than later.
So I, we, started in a dinghy, moved up a few feet and gained some long distance experience and passage experience on a larger boat. I feel that I’m on course. I’ve read, tons, Gary Jobsons’ sailing book (can’t remember the title) twice and refer often to it, ‘Your First Sail Boat’ by Daniel Spurr, some other book I leant out about Blue Water sailing on a budget, ‘The Voyagers Handbook’ by Bath Leonard and ‘Voyaging with Kids’. I’ve spent countless hours on craigslist and Yacht World and various brokers sites. Read reviews, cross referenced the books I’ve read and their recommendations with reviews on-line etc…
So now I’ll get to the meat of my questions and thoughts.
Lin Pardey suggests, ‘go small go now’! She also mentions that, based on your place in life (age etc) that there are certain things to keep in mind. We fall into that 40+ age group, where she suggests that we need a bit more than say a 20 something who should just go and figure out how to make it work on the way. My wife and I both own our own businesses, we “own” our house (you know what I mean) cars are paid off, and our son is home schooled though we wish for him to be ‘world schooled’. We want to go, we want to go soon! The current plan is to sell my business (which I’m currently in process of), sell the cars, and crap we’ve accumulated over the years keeping whats important , buy a boat and head south with at first a 2-3 year sail plan.
The boat budget isn’t huge, we don’t think it needs to be for now. Nor do we believe we need our ‘Dream Boat’ as our first cruising boat, although we sometimes waver on that. Every once in a while we see a boat that we believe would be the perfect end boat, and they are always beyond our budget as we’ve currently tried to structure this plan. We would have to change the plan and sell more (ie. The house) if we really want a 40’ Island Packet or Caliber LRC, or get real lucky! We don’t want to do that (sell the house) its our 1 big investment that we have and want to keep. It’s our security our future, whatever that means.
We’re trying to get that budget to around $50K total, meaning purchase, upgrades and necessary re-fits. Seems do-able. Am I high?
So there in lies the basis for ‘the search’.
In a perfect world we’d like:
1. 38’-42’ Bluewater capable
2. Cut away full keel
3. 2 cabins
4. Keel stepped mast
5. Seperate shower stall
6. Sloop or Cutter rig
7. Lowish engine hours
Something like Island Packet 38, or Caliber 38 or 40 LRC even a 35 LRC might do it. I really like those Calibers. Cabo Rico too but I like the 2 cabin layout of the other 2 opposed to a 1/4 berth. We’d like for our 10y/o son to have his own space, and us have a little more privacy as well.
Reality tells me my future is going to be a little different, more like:
1. 36’-38’ ( as close to Bluewater Capable as possible)
2. Fin keel
3. Skeg or Spade hung rudder
4. Keel OR deck stepped mast
5. Whatever layout the head has, but still would like a separate shower
6. Sloop rigged
7. still low-medium engine hours
Under these circumstances I really like the Erickson 38, Moody 376, Newport 41, Beneteau first 38, J 40, Pearson 39’, Pearson 36’, Freeport 36, Catalina 36. I like the Morgan 382, 383, 384 as well, I like the hull (ie. Keel, rudder etc.). but the desire for a 2nd. Cabin is pretty high in this family so I’m trying to full fill this requirement.
I pretty much want to stay away from Volvo engines too. Would prefer direct drive over sail drive engines, which should be easy. I also would like mid to late 80’s as the oldest models.
So if you remember I said my budget was no more than 50K total. So based on that I believe my first ‘ideal criteria’ is out the window. However I do believe I can hit a nice mixture between my ‘perfect’ boat and my ‘reality’ boat.
So if I had a larger budget I think I would lean towards a Caliber, however with my current budget I think I would most be interested in the Erickson 38, Pearson 39’ or Moody 376. Those could still be hard to find in my range, so then it looks like a Catalina 36.
Not opposed to finding something that is good bones and may need some work. I found a Morgan 383, 19K, I wonder what kind of $$$ to get something like that up to par? It doesn’t have that 2nd. Cabin, but they do have a keel and rudder configuration that I like.
So you may ask, ‘what do I want to do with my boat’. Well the plan is to leave San Diego towards the end of Pacific Hurricane season inching south down Baja surfing the end of the southern hemisphere swell season making our way to Sea of Cortez in the fall well after hurricane season. Spend the fall and winter exploring Sea of Cortez and making our way south along the mainland to be south of the Hurricane zone come the beginning of the following Pacific season. Spend the summer months cruising Pacific Central America exploring and surfing making our way to Panama in the Fall and passing through the canal to spend the winter in the Caribbean and Boca Del Toro area.
Alternately if we can’t find a boat on the west coast and being that my Mom lives on the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia Beach we could potentially find something between North Carolina and Maryland and do a similar trip as described above only in reverse.
Lets say I want to spend no more than $35k for a boat, so that I have $15k to put into it, of course a boat is not going to be sold for its asking price, so what range should I look at with the thought that I will get the boat below asking price? Whats a common starting point on an offer? %10 below, more, less?
Am I placing too much emphasis on a second cabin and missing out on some nice potential boats in the right price range?
What is actually considered ‘High’ engine hours? Low Hours? Good range to look at?
Thanks for your patience, I appreciate any and all feed back, criticisms and curiosities.
Last edited by Lanealoha; 05-22-2019 at 03:53 PM.