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Discussion Starter #1
At 72 and after a somewhat botched spine surgery I am facing increasing mobility difficulties which impact on my ability to do maintenance mostly, but sailing somewhat. This means I will do less maintenance... letting things go that I normally would do right away... things like wax, varnish replacing running rigging and so forth. Sure if I find someone I can pay for the help, but that can be expensive... and I still have to supervise.

I could simply list the boat for sale. I know most buyers will want to renew some things at least... once they take ownership... new electronics is one. My electronics work fine but are not state of the art N2K stuff. As much as I would like to do that upgrade now... it hardly seems to make sense.

A new coat of varnish might give more eye appeal... lubed winches... new running rigging, new anchor chain + anchor and so forth... But I doubt I would make this money back in the sale. Don 't know.

I would like to actually find the future owner sooner than later... and over a few years transfer ownership. In those few years we would share the use and all the projects... New owner would be the ultimate decider of what those projects are and whether I pay full or partially. I could of course school them on the boat which I have owned since new in 85... and done all the modifications and installs. No one could possibly understand this boat as I do. And I need to pass as much as that knowledge to the new owner. I haven't thought through the economics of the transaction yet.

I see this long transition one of mutual benefit. I can continue to sail and have help with maintenance... and new owner gets to have my help and knowledge so he is completely confident in operating and all systems.

But I think this would be almost impossible to find. I don't think any brokers would take the listing.

A actual partnership is complex too... as compatibility is an issue. Plus the notion that I am letting go of sole ownership... But I think consensus on decisions should not be difficult.

++++

Any thoughts and suggestions about how I exit ownership aside from the old model of listing with a broker?
 

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That would be a great plan....if you could find someone to do it.

I think you may find it hard to find someone who wants to share decision making/ opinions on making the boat
theirs. They may not appreciate. All you have put into it. Especially if they are from the throw away generation.

I know when it’s time for me to exit ( and we have discussed this) , I will need to make a clean break. I’ve owned Haleakula nearly as long as you, so the memories and part of the family aspect of our boats will not be shared by a new owner who wants to make her his/ her own boat. Not sure I could watch someone else undo what I have done. Plus I would want to give space to them making their own memories/ fixes.

For my own head I think a complete break is what I would do. Sell her to hopefully the right person...yes....control it through gradual ownership would not work for me. There are certainly significant chapters in my life I have had already. Both family, career, and personally. These chapters have last pages. That doesn’t mean they are dead over, just that I wanted to start a new chapter. Plus I am in it with my partner for life, she has an equal decision in this.

There are many other things I want to do, such as world traveling, RV ing in the US and Canada, so I will just have to close that chapter of my life and get my sailing fix by going out with friends I have made , or chartering. ( I meant to tell you when we met this summer you are always welcome to spend time in Maryland with us on Haleakula.) our lives are full and I hope I continue to keep learn and active by pursuing other interests I have. Our sailing has taken up a majority of our time and my wife has been a partner and loved it, and a good sport to boot. She has embraced it, makes all our canvas for years , and enjoys our time together on Haleakula..

I owe it to her to also do the same things while we are still relatively young at 65 by traveling. We never considered subjecting ourselves to permanent life on a boat ( no value judgement here) , as it was to narrow for us and we have many other accomplishable interests. I still have a large bucket list ( Antarctica, Peru, Greenland, and the National Parks in the US and Canada which I would like. To check off some of them in a new chapter of exploration for me, would keep me young and challenged , while I am able to physically do it.

I too had major back surgery a year ago. Mine was successful and it really made me think about things. I am scheduled for a total knee replacement in a month. Retirement is here for both of us. While I will greatly miss owning my own boat and sailing when I want , I have other interests which can replace it.
 
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First off, say it isn’t so SanderO. I value and enjoy your comments here on SN. And somehow it saddens me to think of you without your good old boat.

I have no real wisdom to offer, except to say I think it is an interesting idea. It feels like something that could only work with a very good friend though. It seems like a lot to ask of an unknown buyer, and indeed of you, to have this kind of prolonged transfer.

But for the right person, it could be reciprocally great.

BTW, what is it with cruisers and bad backs. I broke mine when I was younger. Have never had surgery, but it gives me constant pain — something that is getting worse with age.
 

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I hope you can find this transitional new owner.

Of course, the problem is that no two human beings see everything the same. This new owner should appreciate the information, but there is no way they will accept everything as firmly as the old owner insists. That's just life.

The PO of my boat was and still is an incredible resource. I changed a ton of what he did. Indeed I found mistakes he made that I never mentioned. If he was still around, this would no doubt have a been a source of conflict.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I am well aware of all the problems with this sort of hand off. I think one can think of a boat... like a house or an apartment... you move out and the new owner moves in to blank walls and floors. When you show it they will see all your interiors and "decorating" making it personal and attractive. I will of course remove the art and so forth on board...

I have been on sisterships and they do not feel like home to me. Things like running rigging, rope clutches, windlass and even sails will change the boat... as will upholstery and "decoration". My dodger is on fine shape.. but a new owner could pick a different color or make the a new higher frame. That's fine. Once Shiva goes to someone new... I would hope they would make it theirs.

I think once one commits to exit. the ego has to let go and help the new owner to find the joy in the boat... I am not the only one who can find (and create) this. New owner will have the benefit of my choices and hard work. I have planned a new B&G electronics package. I can give them the design.

I sail with AP 99% of the time. I hand steer on and off a dock... and when conditions call for it... difficult for the AP or just plain fun! So an instrument pod at the helm makes no sense for me. A friend with a sister ship has the pod and works the boat from behind the helm where his AP controls were mounted by the previous owner. Another sailor may prefer to hand steer or maybe they want to do racing. I think my steering approach may be a rarity. I also don't have/need a bimino because I am not out there under the sun. I have a design for a bimini but never executed.

I do love the 35 and she's a great boat and I learned so much about sailing on that boat. But there comes a time when sailing demands more than you can give... no matter how small those demands are.

I brought Shiva to a dock in CT for the balance of summer. And she'll remain there for winter storage. I hand steered the boat into the slip... but could not jump off and tie the lines... something I like to do lickity split. The deck is about 30" or so above the dock. I feel my knees would collapse or hurt like crazy if I attempted to jump from deck to dock. Tying up at a fuel dock is not a problem as the dock person will handle my lines. And if you are coming in to a dock with other sailors around... you can call for a little help and most will do it gladly. But you can't count on them being there. I can board from the stern with my ladder... and use the pushpit for hand holds/help. I have come to realize that I need decent leg strength and knees to get on and off my boat. My damaged nerve may recover. It may not. I am going on 18 months with this deficit. In fact the hardest part of sailing for me has become getting from my parked car to the boat or launch! Dinghy access is certainly easier for me than a launch or a self tie at a dock.

I have the winter to see if there is more progress in the recovery of my nerve. Knees don't recover... they get worse and then perhaps replaced. YUCK.

I don't think I can pull off the long slower transition... so if next season is as challenging as this one.. the boat will be on the market next fall.

I purchased 6 - 12'x2"x3" planks of teak several years ago to be made into a new rub rail. It seems like a crazy project to do now. I may sell the teak separately or sell it to the next owner.
 

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Today I turned 73. Since I began my boating at around 12, that's 61 years of mostly ”messing about in boats.” professionally and privately. I haven't had a home ashore since 1969, just spent time visiting friends and family in their dirt dwellings. So, the thought of being boatless is a bit intimidating. What would I do?
Fortunately, my wife is considerably younger than I and she is adamant that we remain aboard as long as I can and is willing [/B]and able[/B] to do most of the maintenance, including repairing or replacing pretty much anything from masthead to keel, inside or out, engineering or marlinespike. Not only all that, but she's become a highly praised charter cook!
We have discussed sliding across the aisle to a smaller power boat where I can laze in my $1000.00 helm chair on the climate controlled bridge with a cup of Joe on the dash and my '60s rock playing, as we venture to places I wouldn't visit in a cockpit boat (Canadian Maritimes, Hudson's Bay, Northern passage to AK, etc). Or possibly trading down to a traditional cat or gaff day sailor and living in a small home somewhere warm enough to get a reasonable amount of use from it.
I feel for you and hope you can find a way to have your cake and eat it too, so to speak.
 

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I would make the actual title transfer / financial stuff as clean as possible, easier insurance etc.

If they need to pay over time, you finance hold a lien whatever, but no partnership legally.

The knowledge transfer in exchange for your continued sharing-time on the boat can be informal, if either party want to scale it back does not affect the legal / financial arrangements.

Maybe have a side agreement that you get first dibs on X days per season even if it's without them, as long as the boat's not fully paid off, call that your interest.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
There are plenty of lawyers including one of my close friends to make it complicated . ;-)
 

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Today I turned 73. Since I began my boating at around 12, that's 61 years of mostly ”messing about in boats.” professionally and privately. I haven't had a home ashore since 1969, just spent time visiting friends and family in their dirt dwellings. So, the thought of being boatless is a bit intimidating. What would I do?
Fortunately, my wife is considerably younger than I and she is adamant that we remain aboard as long as I can and is willing [/B]and able[/B] to do most of the maintenance, including repairing or replacing pretty much anything from masthead to keel, inside or out, engineering or marlinespike. Not only all that, but she's become a highly praised charter cook!
We have discussed sliding across the aisle to a smaller power boat where I can laze in my $1000.00 helm chair on the climate controlled bridge with a cup of Joe on the dash and my '60s rock playing, as we venture to places I wouldn't visit in a cockpit boat (Canadian Maritimes, Hudson's Bay, Northern passage to AK, etc). Or possibly trading down to a traditional cat or gaff day sailor and living in a small home somewhere warm enough to get a reasonable amount of use from it.
I feel for you and hope you can find a way to have your cake and eat it too, so to speak.
Happy Birthday! Go for as more as you can!

Cap your situation is different of course... as your life is aboard and you have a sailing partner who can do much of what you were doing if I understand your post. Unfortunately my wifey is great company on board... a fine cook but the only sailing duties she will do is watch and help flake the mainsail at the mast. She has no interest in anything mechanical except watering and potting plants! However her on board is always a great help it seems.

I am ok in moving more of my focus to attending performances and so on... of which there are many in NYC. If invited as a guest to sail... I would accept of course.

I am honored to have learned about sailing and to have cared for Shiva for 35 years and sailed her many tens of thousands of miles. I am also gratified that she was my only boat and she took care of me all those years at sea.
 

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I would like to actually find the future owner sooner than later... and over a few years transfer ownership. In those few years we would share the use and all the projects... New owner would be the ultimate decider of what those projects are and whether I pay full or partially. I could of course school them on the boat which I have owned since new in 85... and done all the modifications and installs. No one could possibly understand this boat as I do. And I need to pass as much as that knowledge to the new owner. I haven't thought through the economics of the transaction yet.
I looked up an 85 Contest. It shows a rudder on a skeg, and it looks like there was a wing keel and fin keel version. SailboatData says that they were originally powered by a Volvo Penta?
 

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Happy Birthday! Go for as more as you can!

Cap your situation is different of course...
Thanks.
I am extremely fortunate to have this wife now.
Yes, and I guess that's why i just imparted my story and had no advice for you. Dirt dwelling actually terrifies me. I've been out here so long I kinda feel like that boy raised by wolves in the forest, when I do visit the states.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I looked up an 85 Contest. It shows a rudder on a skeg, and it looks like there was a wing keel and fin keel version. SailboatData says that they were originally powered by a Volvo Penta?
There were a bunch of versions of the hull.... it began as a 35' LOA with a plumb transom and then they changed the transom and the LOA increased a foot.

They offered a masthead and a fractional rig. I have the fractional.

They offered 3 different keels... wing, shoal and deep fin. I have a deep fin 6'-3" draft.

The offered with or without teak decks. I do not have teak.

The engine is a Volvo MD17D 36 hp 3 cylinder w/ fresh water cooling factory added.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks.
I am extremely fortunate to have this wife now.
Yes, and I guess that's why i just imparted my story and had no advice for you. Dirt dwelling actually terrifies me. I've been out here so long I kinda feel like that boy raised by wolves in the forest, when I do visit the states.
You are indeed... a good wife is a thing to cherish!

I lived on dirt until I got Shiva at 38 yrs old. Only boats I had been on were ferries!

Once I went on a friend's sailboat I was enchanted and the following year he wanted me to be partners with him on a 48' boat. YIKES. I decided to start learning. Deal fell apart and I bought Shiva a year and a few months after my first sail in '85.

I did live aboard in the Carib and in the Canaries... but the vast amount of time I owned the boat I had a place on dirt. I love (and can hate) NYC. It is such an amazing experience in so many ways... except sailing... so you need to drive to get to a nice place to sail. Such is life. I like the yin and yang....

I fear I may miss it in the future.
 

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There may be an owner to fit a transitional ownership thing.
However, I could not think of anything worse than the hell of having the previous owner having any interest whatsoever in my new purchase.
I pay the money and you give me the keys. All the keys.

As for getting a broker to list it to find a needle in a haystack... Well...

So good luck with it but I wouldn't hold my breath.
 

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My wife and I purchased Pinniped this past winter from owners who had decided they were getting older, becoming maybe less capable than they had been, and they didn’t want her to sit. They had listed Pinniped on Craigslist, hoping I think to find someone reasonably close by. When I found the listing and talked to them, they invited us out for a sail. It was the second time the boat had been out all season.

Pinniped was especially dear to the couple who owned her. They didn’t buy her. They built her from plans in their back yard, over the course of a decade, and then sailed her on the Great Lakes for the better part of 30 years. They designed and fabricated (or had metal shops fabricate from their drawings) every part, fitting, and furnishing on board. They bought the best hardware, rigging, mast, etc. Pinniped was 150% their baby.

We talked over the course of several weeks. We made an offer, negotiated, and exchanged dollars for papers. I think we all understood that this was less of a purchase, and more of a change of caretakers. They spent a lot of time with us going over her, and they continue to answer questions as they come up.

It has been a really positive relationship. I know it had to hurt to step off of her after they helped to deliver her to our nearby marina after launch. They know literally every inch of Pinniped, and they continue to be a vault of knowledge when I have run into problems or wanted advice on how to do something.

I know this doesn’t really help much, but maybe it can show that there are some people out there who get it, and will understand your connection and your desire to help them get going on the right foot. I know that when it is time for us to move on, we will be looking for a new caretaker in much the same way.

Jonathan
 

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Discussion Starter #16
There may be an owner to fit a transitional ownership thing.
However, I could not think of anything worse than the hell of having the previous owner having any interest whatsoever in my new purchase.
I pay the money and you give me the keys. All the keys.

As for getting a broker to list it to find a needle in a haystack... Well...

So good luck with it but I wouldn't hold my breath.
I think for some buyers buying in over time... with seller financing can make sense. Seller gets his number and buyer can avoid interest.

If I got the dollar amount I want I could walk away and new owner would be left to figure it out and likely call me frequently for help. What would you do? Charge for your time as a consultant? Or give this help away for free?

++++

A friend recently purchased a sister ship to go use for live aboard and sailing south and eventually to the West Coast. He was up against the task of fitting out the boat for that purpose. His decisions were in almost all systems/cases very different from mine. Obviously he wants to sail differently. I like some of his ideas and not others... but all were well executed and work for him and his needs. It shows how the same hull can be "upgraded" differently for similar missions and be successful because different sailors have different ideas. One example... He's a young guy and went with a manual horizontal windlass... and all chain. I was a bit older than him when I installed a reversing electric vertical with a cockpit remote w/ up and down capability. I am very satisfied with how my windlass and anchoring worked out.

The new owner experienced or not... buys the decisions and thinking and sailing approach of the previous owner. An experienced buy likely has very specific ideas of what they want and may be faced with alterations or getting used to the previous owner's decisions.

A fair amount of boats... such as charter boats are fitted for local sailing and designed to comfort it seems. This may or may not suit the type of sailing of someone who purchases a former charter boat...
 

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For what it's worth, selling 4 previous boats, most new owners stayed in touch with me for years. I'd get a call with a question, like what does this switch do again? Many of the new owners asked me to go out with them a couple of times for a sail. I enjoyed this. They became friends. Some are still in touch.

But in each case, I sold them the boat. They took full ownership. At least one owner decided to replace dodger, sail cover, etc with a canvas of a hideous color. I refrained from comment. It's their boat now.

I've been lucky to never sell a boat to someone I didn't actually like. I know others who have, so no guarantees, but assuming you don't need an immediate out for some reason, you can be selective with whom you negotiate, and with whom you insist on full ask. I have to admit melting at least once when a young enthusiastic couple clearly couldn't come to my number, I probably gave them too much of a break, but the experience was worth it.

Sailing is an experience. A sail boat is so much more than a thing. The whole thing needs to be right, and fun, including purchase and sale, the lasting experience, the camaraderie of a common set of experiences.

So, IMHO, sell it fully. Transfer ownership. But try to find someone who's the right buyer, and help them out. Sailing self selects people that you are going to like for the most part. Don't deal with someone you don't. They will probably exit the hobby as soon as they find out how it isn't like the movie they saw, it rains sometimes, it gets nautical out there, and stuff breaks. By not negotiating with people like this you are doing them a favor. Hand off your boat to a new owner who will change somethings, but love sailing as much as you do.

Good luck SanderO, I really enjoy your posts and hope you hang in here whatever happen.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
For what it's worth, selling 4 previous boats, most new owners stayed in touch with me for years. I'd get a call with a question, like what does this switch do again? Many of the new owners asked me to go out with them a couple of times for a sail. I enjoyed this. They became friends. Some are still in touch.

But in each case, I sold them the boat. They took full ownership. At least one owner decided to replace dodger, sail cover, etc with a canvas of a hideous color. I refrained from comment. It's their boat now.

I've been lucky to never sell a boat to someone I didn't actually like. I know others who have, so no guarantees, but assuming you don't need an immediate out for some reason, you can be selective with whom you negotiate, and with whom you insist on full ask. I have to admit melting at least once when a young enthusiastic couple clearly couldn't come to my number, I probably gave them too much of a break, but the experience was worth it.

Sailing is an experience. A sail boat is so much more than a thing. The whole thing needs to be right, and fun, including purchase and sale, the lasting experience, the camaraderie of a common set of experiences.

So, IMHO, sell it fully. Transfer ownership. But try to find someone who's the right buyer, and help them out. Sailing self selects people that you are going to like for the most part. Don't deal with someone you don't. They will probably exit the hobby as soon as they find out how it isn't like the movie they saw, it rains sometimes, it gets nautical out there, and stuff breaks. By not negotiating with people like this you are doing them a favor. Hand off your boat to a new owner who will change somethings, but love sailing as much as you do.

Good luck SanderO, I really enjoy your posts and hope you hang in here whatever happen.
Great post. Boats mean different things to different people. I expect to continue commenting on SN for the foreseeable future. No worries there.

Sure if some comes to me with my asking price and wants to sail the boat to MD... so be it. I wouldn't turn the sale down.

I also think that there is a market in LIS and a slow hand off may make sense for a long time owner and a new one. I think this is especially true in the case (mine) where the boat has been own fore more than a decade or two and been used for passages, lived aboard in the tropics and cruised locally in NE. It's not a common boat either... especially in the USA. And it's not even well known.
 

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I think for some buyers buying in over time... with seller financing can make sense. Seller gets his number and buyer can avoid interest.
Advertising seller financing would definitely attract buyers, but maybe not the kind you want.

Many years ago, a friend's wife offered to by an old motorcycle of mine for my friend's birthday. She asked if she could pay me in three installments over 3 months. Of course, I agreed. She stiffed me on the last payment. Months more went buy, until I told my friend that she never paid. He was mortified and paid me himself. Yea, this was with someone I considered a friend, not some stranger. Never assume anything.

If I got the dollar amount I want I could walk away and new owner would be left to figure it out and likely call me frequently for help. What would you do? Charge for your time as a consultant? Or give this help away for free?
I took you to be a bit more generous than this comment implies. I'm still in touch with PO of my boat, which I bought a decade ago. My questions have slowed considerably, but I had a ton in the first few years. He was glad to reply. He would even send me information unsolicited, as he recalled some things. I still keep him up to date on where we take his former pride and joy, what upgrades we've made and our plans for the upcoming year. He seems to enjoy staying emotionally connected. I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but he shed tears when we pulled away from his slip all those years back.
 

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Advertising seller financing would definitely attract buyers, but maybe not the kind you want.

Many years ago, a friend's wife offered to by an old motorcycle of mine for my friend's birthday. She asked if she could pay me in three installments over 3 months. Of course, I agreed. She stiffed me on the last payment. Months more went buy, until I told my friend that she never paid. He was mortified and paid me himself. Yea, this was with someone I considered a friend, not some stranger. Never assume anything.



I took you to be a bit more generous than this comment implies. I'm still in touch with PO of my boat, which I bought a decade ago. My questions have slowed considerably, but I had a ton in the first few years. He was glad to reply. He would even send me information unsolicited, as he recalled some things. I still keep him up to date on where we take his former pride and joy, what upgrades we've made and our plans for the upcoming year. He seems to enjoy staying emotionally connected. I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but he shed tears when we pulled away from his slip all those years back.
Of course I would provide support to the new owner. And this would have to involve a few full days of going over every system. They would have to take notes because too much to commit to memory.

++++

If I felt OK to sail and operate the boat... the final turnover would be very difficult. However I am anticipating that my mobility will gradually decline to the point where it will be too difficult and I will have to face reality and let go. I will not be the first. I thin the slow transition will reveal this... and make it physically and emotionally easier.
 
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