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I'm looking for some input from others out there who found there bargain boats. Seeing on how my child support is nearing its end I'm ready to upgrade from my 24' trailerable to a 30 something in a slip. I have browsed the usual sites for years, craigslist, sailboat listings and etc. How is the best way to locate the derelict, abandoned and marina foreclosures? I'm not scared of a little labor to bring one back to its former glory.
 

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Go to a decent sized coastal town and walk the back lots at the marinas.
 

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This is the advice that I will be taking when I have done all my research and know what I am looking for. I expect to become a good surveyor of floating garbage before I find the boat that I can sail. I don't expect to find my dream boat that easy or fast.
 

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Too bad you don’t live in California.



Salvaged Sailboats and Sailing Equipment Auction
property from the former site of Nelson’s Marine
Saturday, February 8, 2014, 1pm
Auction to be held onsite at:
Nelson Marine
1500 Ferry Point
Alameda, CA 94501
Preview:
Thursday, February 6, 10am - 4pm
Friday, February 7, 10am - 4pm
Day of sale, beginning at 10am
Over 20 years of maritime history to be liquidated by Michaan’s Auctions in Alameda by order of the City of Alameda. Property from the former Nelson Marine in Alameda. Approximately 50 vessels are on the block including motor yachts ranging in size from 70’ to 40’, sailboats ranging in size from 20’ to 45’, and various runabouts.
 

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George,
Have you had a chance to look at any of the sailboats for this lien sale? Might be worth the trip.
Whenever I had gone to the lien sales in Berkeley, all the boats should have been scuttled; they were in such bad condition.
 

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Nelson's was a complete boat repair yard located on City of Alameda Property. They went well into arrears on their rent payments and Alameda seized the property. Boat owners had a limited time in which to recover their property last year. Anything left was seized. I just might drive by and look through the fence just for grins and giggles. My guess is anything left is in pretty bad shape. Compounding the problem is you would need to rent your own crane and trailer to move what you bought.
 

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When you walk through the marinas, you will see a lot of neglected boats. If you talk to the marina owners, you can get on their list for auction notifications.
BTW, nice site! Shackleford Banks is nice- your vid is going to have me singing Afternoon Delight all day!
 

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Wait for the next hurricane season, and then go where it hits. I saw so many great deals on sailboats, most with light damage, on the gulf coast after Katrina, it was amazing.

One example. I know someone who bought a Cape Dory 30, with nothing but cosmetic damage, for $7500 after Katrina, from an insurance company that had totaled it. I went on board the boat and was just amazed. I kept saying, "You only paid $7500 for this boat?"

$2000 would have had it looking brand new.

I saw that story duplicated over and over again.
 
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This is the advice that I will be taking when I have done all my research and know what I am looking for. I expect to become a good surveyor of floating garbage before I find the boat that I can sail. I don't expect to find my dream boat that easy or fast.
Rather than going into mental "figure it out" mode, go on Yachtword and search for the word "bank" and "repossessed". You'll get hits like this one, that probably needs $10k less work than a derelict (missing sails/soggy decks/dead engine/gas-stained interior/mold-eaten cushions/weak lines/"seafood buffet" bottom)... but for only $8,000, and you'll be on the water a lot quicker:

1982 O'Day Sloop Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

"This boat is owned by the bank. It's owner has passed away and left the vessel in its present disorganized state. The boats appears to all be there; sails, engine, and lots of gear but it needs to be organized and cleaned up. She is being sold "as is, where is" with no warranties of any kind. At the price of $8,000 (firm) she is a real bargain if you want to take her away. Please call if you want more information."



Regards,
Brad
 
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Just be careful when going this route. Derelict/abandoned boats, and boats that are repossessed, typically haven't been well maintained. While I agree that there are some great opportunities out there and all a boat needs is some TLC and a few grand invested, there are some things that can be VERY hard to see (even surveyors might miss it, or not look for it in the first place) and which can be VERY expensive to fix. If you've paid little enough for the boat, it may not be a big deal (and provided you have the reserves to be able to fix it), but in some cases your repair bill can approach the cost of a "pristine" version of the boat, without you having to put in the time, effort, and energy to get the boat up to speed. Not that I have any experience with this or anything.
 

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It is a good idea to be careful if you are lookin for a cheap boat, but they are out there. I bought a 40 footer back in the 90's that was a hurricane boat. I only paid 500.00 total for the boat. I work on it for 3 years off and on before I retired and splashed her.
I put around 35,000.00 total in equipment and materials into her and she is definitely a great blue water cruiser. You can make any modifications you wish to a boat as long as you keep the hull pretty much solid. I added some crash bulk heads and beefed up the hull where I thought she needed it.
Now my boat is very comfy for me ..... use you imagination when doing your boat but do not go hog wild.
 

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When you walk the marinas, make sure you talk to the other boat owners and to the dockmaster. They will know all about the boats you'll see. Often, the dockmaster will know of all or most of the boats that are for sale; even though a minority of the boats will have 'For Sale' signs. The dockmasters are always eager to get new, enthusiatic owners so that thier marinas don't look like derelict graveyards.
 

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Why put yourself through so much misery and mortgage your future time and money.
I would only buy something that is nearby, floats, and moves, off of EBay, or a donated rehab boat. Sail it, fix it. Sail it, fix it. This is the lowest form of bottom feeding that makes any sense. Generally derelict boats should be cut up.
 

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Wait for the next hurricane season, and then go where it hits. I saw so many great deals on sailboats, most with light damage, on the gulf coast after Katrina, it was amazing.

One example. I know someone who bought a Cape Dory 30, with nothing but cosmetic damage, for $7500 after Katrina, from an insurance company that had totaled it. I went on board the boat and was just amazed. I kept saying, "You only paid $7500 for this boat?"

$2000 would have had it looking brand new.

I saw that story duplicated over and over again.
Well that 2000 likely will turn into 8,000 and it will still have a salvage title and likely worth $10,000 after all the work. Be very careful buying salvage boats, as a salvage title will reduce the value by about 50% and can make it very hard to get it insured.

Many of the boats I have seen that had "light damage" and could be restored were not in very good shape before the damage happened. That is why many people take the money and run.

Can be a good deal, but not often.
 

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Well that 2000 likely will turn into 8,000 and it will still have a salvage title and likely worth $10,000 after all the work. Be very careful buying salvage boats, as a salvage title will reduce the value by about 50% and can make it very hard to get it insured.

Many of the boats I have seen that had "light damage" and could be restored were not in very good shape before the damage happened. That is why many people take the money and run.

Can be a good deal, but not often.
I think we're talking about somebody trying to get a cheap boat to long term cruise in, not to flip.

I would say the market for any boat, new or used, is pretty soft right now, and likely to remain so for quite a while. I sure wouldn't buy any boat right now that I didn't think I could be happy with for a long time.

When I bought my boat in 2009, I looked at about a dozen boats. Half of those boats are still for sale. The rest, I don't know if they sold them or just gave up.
 

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Agree with others. I wouldn't consider a boat that was not sailed up until the day it was put on the market. Therefore, the perfect opportunity would come from a boat that was well maintained until damaged in a storm, owner died, owner moving up or down to another boat, got a job... Worst case: owner doesn't want to deal with some expensive repairs, so he parks it in the boat yard until he finally stops paying the bills after years of decay.
 
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