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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know this is a difficult question. Since I have six different windsurfing boards, one best suited for a specific situation. My question, I want to buy a sail boat that I can sail in the Great Lakes, with the potential to take down the east coast to the islands once I retire. I like the feel of a 40 foot waterline for making way.

Thank you in advance for any suggestions you may have.

Gregg
 

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Here's a link to Yachtworld search. Found over 1000 results 40-50 feet fibreglass sailboats from 100 to 160k. Best to cruise the list and then look at boats locally wherever you are ( you don't say). If your budget is 160 you are best to spend 30% less to allow for upgrades, fixes, etc Hope this helps.
Brian
(Sail) Boats For Sale
 

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Welcome Waterboy. For the price you offer, you'll get many responses. Ours is a package deal- you get the teenager, the mean cat, all my fishing gear and maybe an occassionally nagging cook; Oh and a boat.

Seriously - you cant go past a Peterson 44 or 46. These boats are like a stable houseboat in a marina and like a wildcat on caffeine when sailing.
 

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Above all, what type of sailing do you want to do? Cruising the carribean or doing the Atlantic ARC and circumnavigation?

Also, do you have $160k cash on hand, or is it that you want to make payments on a boat of a max of $160k?

If I had the cash, ideally I would love to find an older bluewater cruiser (Valiant, Passport, etc) for $80-$100k and then use the rest of the funds to refurbish and refit her completely. In the end, you'll end up with a boat thats worth $130k (refits never recoup what you put into them) however the replacement value of the boat if new would be around $300-400k! Plus you'll have a boat trimmed out to exactly your needs and sailing desires without anyone elses grubby "modifications". Major work would be spent on the following:
engine/running gear work - $25k
rigging - $5k
plumbing - $1k
redo electrical & wiring - $3k (new batteries included)
new electronics - $5k
refrigeration - $1k
power generation (solar, windgen, alternator) - $4k
general interior refurbishing - $5k
bottom job - $2k
exterior repaint - $5000 (but I would get this in Trinidad)

If you're financing the purchase, forget about getting something 40ft+ range. I would scale down my cruising plans *AND* my boat and look in the 34-35 foot range. But get it new and completely set up for cruising from the dealer (upgraded ground tackle, generator, etc) Get as much as you can to be financed. Dont worry too much about a bump up of dollars on your invoice...think about it in terms of monthly payment. Remember CASH IN HAND is worth much more than anything else (if you're financing).

Two different mindsets...two very different scenarios
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks, for all your thoughts.

A friend on the East Coast suggested that I look at a stick built boat from the following: Pacific Seacraft, Tartan, Saber, Older Erickson, Bristol, CS, Hylas, Island Packet and Valiant.

It would be 160K cash, I would finance the rest.

After the boat, perhaps maybe you could steer me on to a windsurfing chick that wakes up with a smile!

Gregg
 

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...A friend on the East Coast suggested that I look at a stick built boat ...
Interesting use of the term "stick built". This is a term used in the real estate sales and finance businesses to distinguish a house built of wood on site from manufactured housing assembled on a site.

I am guessing you made your fortune in mobile homes?
 

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Thanks, for all your thoughts.

A friend on the East Coast suggested that I look at a stick built boat from the following: Pacific Seacraft, Tartan, Saber, Older Erickson, Bristol, CS, Hylas, Island Packet and Valiant.

It would be 160K cash, I would finance the rest.

After the boat, perhaps maybe you could steer me on to a windsurfing chick that wakes up with a smile!

Gregg
Not sure how "stick built" relates to boats, but those are all high quality well built boats, some better suited to the great lakes than the others (Sabre, Tartan, and Ericson) Still, if I had $160,000 to spend it would be on a newer boat, if not a new one but I like to be the only one to mess with my stuff.
 

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Gregg,

As I read your list of potential boats, I see boats designed with with a very wide range of potential uses in mind. On the list are some high quality coastal cruisers, some potent offshore cruisers (both higher and lower performance) and a boat best suited as a live aboard than anything else that I can think of. Each of these boat types offer some real advantages and disadvantages depending on how you plan to use them and where you plan to sail.

When I see that diverse a list of potential candidates, I get the sense that the person is new to the sport and has not taken the time to understand the basis for why one boat or another is built the way it is or develop a set of personal preferences that would help steer that person to make the right descision for their own needs and tastes.

In a sport as complex as sailing, we all go through a kind of apprenticeship where our tastes, and goals are shaped by our experiences. There is nothing wrong with kicking tires but in sailing there are no uiniversallly right answers that we, or anyone else can give you. You need to develop a sense of what makes sense for you personally.

With all due respect, I would suggest that you spend a little more time, reading up on sailing, sailing on a variety of boats and looking at used boats to develop more a more fucused understanding of what you would like this boat to be and how you plan to use her. Then come back and we might be able to provide some meaningful input. Right now, anything that we would recommend, would be as accurate as an answer to the question, "How long is a piece of string?" and just about as useful.

Respectfully,
Jeff
 

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Practical Sailor has done a lot of reviews of various boats from a fairly neutral, albeit, court of common opinion standpoint. I think their reviews are good general descriptions of the boats, although I find their viewpoint a little conservative and dated. I would also search for Spinsheet magazine and look at Jack Horner's Used Boat Reviews. But again, what they can't do is help you determine your needs and tastes.

I don't really know what your experience has been. but I frequently find myself helping new sailors getting into the sport who are in your shoes and going through a boat buying process. My normal suggestion is to buy something, simple, smaller (25-30 feet), used and resellable and not try to buy your 'ultimate boat' for a first boat. A year or two of experience will really help you develop your own tastes and narrow your search.

Jeff
 

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I don't really know what your experience has been. but I frequently find myself helping new sailors getting into the sport who are in your shoes and going through a boat buying process. My normal suggestion is to buy something, simple, smaller (25-30 feet), used and resellable and not try to buy your 'ultimate boat' for a first boat. A year or two of experience will really help you develop your own tastes and narrow your search.

Jeff
Jeff_H - on this point, I think there is another perspective. We jumped right into the deep end and bought a 35' Coastal Cruiser after sailing dinghy's for the most part. Yes, this was a big step, but a friend of ours imparted some really good advice from his life experience.

He has owned 4-5 sailboats over the past 15 years, and he said that every time he "sold" a boat to upgrade to the next level, he's had to lose a bit of money. Be it in upgrades made before selling that he never recouped the value of or concessions made to get the boat sold, its always meant bringing more money to the table for that next or new boat. At best, he's broken even on a boat he sold.

One of the things about buying your ultimate boat is that you dont take on that imputed depreciation/loss on churning on your starter boats. Of course, my wife and I have had sheer moments of panic (and continue to have moments of concern) as our current boat is more than we are able to fully master right now...but we're taking it slow and easy. Every week, the skills are growing and hopefully in 5-10 years, I'll know every corner of my boat to the point where I could service everything myself.

So, my vote...get the bluewater cruiser thats in ok shape but a bit too big for you to handle...fix her up and sail her in sheltered waters as much as possible and gain confidence. By the time you're ready to cut the docklines and cruise off, you'll know the boat well enough to handle her outright. Plus, she'll be upgraded to exactly as you want her to be. My only additional piece of advice is LOOK FOR SIMPLE SYSTEMS. There's a tendency by some manufacturers to over engineer things to the point where its impossible to service yourself. For your initial boat, keep the systems as simple as possible...whats tried and true works, even if you have to pay a premium for it.

That means avoiding electric heads and fancy exotic hull composites (tartan?)
 

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Here why I think your advice to go out and buy a bluewater cruiser makes less than zero sense in this case or in most cases....As I read the original poster's comments, he is listing boats designed for such extremely different purposes and intended for such extremely different uses, and described what is essentially coastal cruising that it is not clear to me that a "blue water capable cruiser" makes sense at all.

And so even if a blue water cruiser made sense for Gregg, there is a wide spectrum of preferences in offshore capable, long distance cruising within Gregg's budget, and Gregg clearly has not defined his tastes, that there would be no way for Gregg to know in advance what his tastes will be. For his purposes that could be anything from a J-44 to a Caliber, to a Peterson 44/46 to the Hylas 46 and he apparently does not have the criteria to say which is right for him.

If Gregg follows your advice and buys a 40 foot waterline/$160,000 boat, and he choses wrong and has to swap boats to a boat that he finds preferable, the depreciation and commissions on a $160,000 boat is far more than the entire cost of purchasing some $10,000-25,000 starter boat. Heck, the starter boat is a small fraction of what it would cost to even fit out Gregg's ulimate boat. But also, it is nearly imposible to learn to sail, and to learn boat husbandry skills very well on a long distance cruiser with a longer than 40 foot waterline. A beginner might develop basic skills but would face an extremely steep learning if not nearly insurmountable curve trying to be sailor with the full range of boat care, sail trim and boat handling skills on a boat of the size in question.

By simply taking a year or two to do his homework and refine his tastes, Gregg is likely to far more prepared to go off cruising and a heck of lot less frustrated than he would be if he simply buys his ultimate boat.

More to the point, over the years I have ridden shotgun on literally dozens of folks who done what Gregg wants to do, and perhaps twice as many more who never made it. Most who made it and were happy with their ultimate choices, took the time to own a first boat and hone their skills and tastes. A few of those decided that small boat coastal cruising was all that they needed in life. But almost none of the folks who I have known who bought their ultimate boat without doing the groundwork ended up happily voyaging out there in the first boat that they bought. And yes I am sure there are folks who are happy out there, and who succeeded having lept from the cliff hoping there would be a net below, but in my experience those are the rare few.

Respectfully,
Jeff
 

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I agree with Jeff. You seem to be all over the map as to type of boat. Here are 4 examples - Hans Christian 43, a traditional heavy boat, a Freedom 44 w/unstayed rig, Wauquiez 45, and Brewer 44. All awesome boats and all suitable for ocean voyaging in someone's eyes. But all very different. Then of course there are catamarans and trimarans.....
Brian
 

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Interesting use of the term "stick built". This is a term used in the real estate sales and finance businesses to distinguish a house built of wood on site from manufactured housing assembled on a site.

I am guessing you made your fortune in mobile homes?
A "stick built" boat denotes one where the interior cabinets and bulkheads are individually tabbed to the hull and deck, as opposed assembled on a liner and simply dropped in and glued in place. Hull liners make accessing the actual hull skin problematic. All of the very expensive, semi-custom boats such as Hinckley, Lyman-Morse, Alden, Morris, Pacific Seacraft, Little Harbor are "stick built". Your analogy in differentiating these from "manufactured housing" type, mass produced boats is quite correct, albeit unintentional (I think).
 
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