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first sailed january 2008
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I would just like to hear the experiences of anyone whos bought a cheap boat for like a thousand or two and sailed around for a couple months.

This is my idea for the summer, but I'd like some advice on how to best do it. I see some good little boats like Cal 20's for 1500 and say you anchored and cooked a bit, you get spend , what $750 a month? Well for $3000 dollars you had two months of fun.

But maybe this is impractical, I mean, it is, probably impractical, maybe it is TOO impractical. But I'd like some advice.
 

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Telstar 28
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In many cases a "cheap" boat isn't going to be able to do what you're thinking of doing without a lot of work...
 

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Big Chicken Baby
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I'm no expert by any stretch of the imagination but we have been looking at boats and weighing different options. Based on what I've seen, Saildog is spot on.

Why not consider a charter? If you are indeed only looking to sail for a few months being able to walk away when you are done has a lot of appeal.
 

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"Bruised" might be a good term for it. :)

As the saying goes, those with small boats tend to enjoy going ashore more. If you were in the right area, your boat might be fine. In fact, I think there was a funny web page about a guy living on a Cal 20 in southern Cal. For some reason, there were a lot of women aboard in all of the pictures...
 

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Telstar 28
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I would look at it like this. 3000 will pay for a one week vacation for two people all inclusive at say a 4.5 to 5 star hotel in Mexico, Cuba(non US), Dominican etc.
So what’s the worst case scenario aside from a freak accident? The boat sucks and is falling apart you have no fun and decide you hate sailing. You can’t sell the boat and are out 3000. But more than likely you will have some fun ,spend time working on and upgrading the boat. Decide you like this and that and you don’t like this and that. Then you will sell the boat at a loss and buy a bigger boat and rinse and repeat. If you have 3000 to waste I say waste it on a boat.
 

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Broad Reachin'
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We (my wife, myself, my 3 & 5 year olds, and our golden retriever) spent at least 45 days camping/cruising on our $400 25 footer last summer in the Great Lakes. Granted, I had more than $400 into the boat by the time I fixed it up the summer before, but it's still very cheap family fun.

Trust me, if we can do it with 2 adults, 2 young kids and a big dog on a little boat (7'11" beam, 5'2" headroom!) with a very modest budget, you too can do it! In fact, I can confidently say that the summer of 2008 was the best we've ever had. I have high hopes that the summer of 2009 will be even better.
 

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blue collar cruiser
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Go for it!

I say GO FOR IT!!! This sounds like a great plan and a load of fun. Totally doable with a little planning. Many sailors who never seem to stop working and upgrading their boats either sail long distances, in bad conditions, in places where bad conditions may arise suddenly and without warning, or just like having really nice boats.

If you are coastal cruising short distances and have fairly protected anchorages to choose from, aren't sailing at night or in bad conditions than I don't see any problems with your plan.

Sailing CAN be affordable but you have to be smart and make wise decisions. At the end of your summer cruise you may be stuck with your boat. If nobody wants to buy it you will have to do something with it. If you don't buy something trailerable this means giving a yard money to haul and store and then next summer you'll need a place to keep it, etc. (you get the picture).

Good luck and have fun!
 

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Same here, bought a 22 foot trailer sailer for $400. Spent a couple weeks cleaning it up, painting,and doing a few small repairs, then spent the summer out sailing on lake michigan. That fall I sold the boat and trailer for $2400 and bought another cheap boat and did the same the next summer.
Trick is you have to know what you're looking at, don't want to pick up a cheap boat that ends up having serious issues. I've seen perfectly sound boats sit unsold at low prices because of cosmetic issues, while boats that looked great, but had more serious problems sold for a lot more.
Also depends a great deal on what you want out of the boat in the first place.

Ken.
 

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In 1991 (yeah, a long time ago) I bought a 20' sloop, trailer, engine, cushions etc for $600. I sailed and cruised her for eight years. Just be careful where you go with an inexpensive boat, not too far from shore. And don't overequip it, go simple. Fair winds.
 

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New to crusing

Hi
I just bought a Catalina 27, 1982 vintage but restored with recent (40 hrs since OH). I am on MS gulfcoast and plan to go south, off shore and Intercoastal to about keywest and return.
I need a skiff for me (245lbs) and the wife, some bit lighter. I dare not mention her weight Ha Ha.

What do you crusiers recommend. A rubber dinghey or alum skiff about 14 ft with small outboard say a 6 hp? I am shopping and have only about $1000 left to spend on dinghey.

biloxijes

P.S. I will be towing. No lifts or davits.
 

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Don't forget to get it surveyed before you buy. Even a free boat should be surveyed. Insurance will make you do it anyway might as well do it beforehand and get the option to walk away.
 

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first sailed january 2008
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I was thinking of buying something like a cal20 in portland oregon for like maybe 1500. I bought a cal20 here in Honolulu for 1600 and had a lot of fun with that.

Then for about 2 months I could sail as far up the Columbia Gorge as I can, exploring the towns which are supposed to abe a blast in summer like the dalles and hood river, and then turn around and go to Astoria, anchoring at alot of little islands and checking out the channels and rivers along the way.

It seems like a good first cruise. Some navigation, but you're on a river, so it's not too bad. Plenty of towns along the way to restock and refuel, but also good nature, so I can hike and stuff.
 

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Hi
I just bought a Catalina 27, 1982 vintage but restored with recent (40 hrs since OH). I am on MS gulfcoast and plan to go south, off shore and Intercoastal to about keywest and return.
I need a skiff for me (245lbs) and the wife, some bit lighter. I dare not mention her weight Ha Ha.

What do you crusiers recommend. A rubber dinghey or alum skiff about 14 ft with small outboard say a 6 hp? I am shopping and have only about $1000 left to spend on dinghey.

biloxijes

P.S. I will be towing. No lifts or davits.
Hi, Welcome to Sailnet, and congrats on your new boat!

May I suggest that you start a new thread to discuss this dinghy issue? I think your question will get lost in this thread and you may not get the answers/advice you're hoping for. Good luck!:)
 

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the pointy end is the bow
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There have been some articles in 'Lectronic Lattitude" about an Islander 36 over in Europe that has been bought and sold once or twice now for a low price by people who just go over there to cruise a short period and then pass on the boat for the next opportunity. As long as you can find a boat that you won't always be fixin', you have a good chance of having a lot of fun for not too much money.
 

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Northocean, it sounds like fun, do it. I would not get a survey on a cheap boat, it isn't worth it.
Bilkoxi, get a rowboat. There are plenty of aluminum skiffs around, durable, light, stable. Get one of the smaller ones so you can row it. Capacities are listed in the boat. Rowing is easy with a little practice, oars are cheap and require no fuel or repair.
 

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Northocean, it sounds like fun, do it. I would not get a survey on a cheap boat, it isn't worth it.
Bilkoxi, get a rowboat. There are plenty of aluminum skiffs around, durable, light, stable. Get one of the smaller ones so you can row it. Capacities are listed in the boat. Rowing is easy with a little practice, oars are cheap and require no fuel or repair.
In Canada you have to get survey for insurance, is this not the case in the USA. I don't know if it is against the law not to have it like cars though. I know to be a member of my yacht club and store the boat i have to have liability insurance but can you get that without an inspection?
 
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