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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I hope to retire from working construction in the next 3-4 years and plan to retire on a sailboat in the NW .. and cruise when possible .. Mexico, Hawaii, Alaska. After visiting friends in the Olympia, Tacoma, Bremerton areas I am again in love with the Boat life. I lived aboard in South Fla in the 90's for about 6 years w/ my dog, before being transferred to VA, and loved it. Was a power boat then, 34' Silverton, and popping out to John PennyCamp for diving on a regular basis was awesome. Now I'm in CO and though I love it, can see no way to retire here as the cost is insane. I do love mountaineering so being near Rainier, Hood, etc is another bonus for the NW. Yea, it rains, I know.

Unfortunately my budget is small and last winter got smaller. We had no work at all here and I burned through $5000 in savings (boat money) sitting in sub freezing temps just waiting .. really sucked. Do not want to repeat that this winter. I want to be ready to move as soon as work dies, probably Dec/Jan. I'd like to go out now/soon and get my boat setup in a marina ready for me when I go. There were job openings in that area all winter last year, I just wasn't prepared to move at the time. I'm a Tinner by trade (HVAC) and with 30+ yrs exp can always find work if there is work.

I have a $10,000 budget and need something I can live on, in a marina, full time with my dog (lab). A decent galley is a must. I am looking as small as 27', though really would like to stay in the 30'-33' range. I need to be able to singlehand her. I'll eventually want to cruise to Mex and Hawaii. If I can find something now that will meet my current needs and those future needs, great, though I may just have to upgrade sometime down the road for that.

Your thoughts on these prospects, all things being equal ...
'69 Ericson 32 Atomic 4 - $9000
'74 cal 29 Atomic 4 - $10000
'75 Islander 30 II Beta 14 - $10000
'68 Mercator Volvo md2a - $10000
'74 Cal 3-30 Westerbeke 15hp - $10000
'79 Islander Bahama 30 ??? - $10000
?? Newport 30 Atomic 4 - $10500
'71 Ta Chiao Ketch $12000 (had to add it for the 'cool' factor) :)

Some have Atomic 4 Gas engines so not as practical for going long distance or for resale but my budget may require some compromise. I guess a liveaboard that I can -really- learn to sail on is my priority.

I'm very capable fixing/repairing/upgrading things, though won't hesitate to farm it out when needed. I make good money, when working and can do a lot of upgrading as I go .. but don't want to start w/ a junker of course.

Thanks! Steve
 

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Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
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Don't know the Mercator, but all the boats on your list are pretty similar conceptually. There may be differences in design and build quality but they are all mass production, coastal cruisers. The Ta Chiao is a completely different beast and I would eliminate it from consideration. If each of the other boats is a money pit (all boats are) then the TC is two+ money pits (I assume it is quite a bit bigger than the others, so lets say 3 money pits.
 
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I live in Olympia and I'm new to sailing but dreaming of owning a boat. My plan is to buy a 27' next spring. Until then I surf craigslist and dream.

This Catalina boat has been on there for about a month and would probably make a good live-aboard while you get settled in and earn some money to buy your dream boat. They've been dropping the price every few days and I have a feeling they'd take $5000-$6000 for it if you offered cash.

Whoops. I don't have enough posts to post a link, but if you go to the Seattle Craigslist and do a Catalina search you'll find it. It's currently listed for $6500.

I don't have any ties to it. I sail on club boats out of the marina it's in and took a look at it while walking the docks last week. Needs exterior paint and a clean, but looked good otherwise.

Drop a note when you get to the Pacific Northwest.

MWK
 

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Hi Tinman55 , first of all get yourself a pair of board shorts . Keep saving money . The Islander Bahama is a good boat , but if you are going to retire on a boat , bite the bullet and look for something bigger . And I know this last part will hurt ( sorry tough love ) wait till the dog is gone . Good luck !
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi Tinman55 , first of all get yourself a pair of board shorts . Keep saving money . The Islander Bahama is a good boat , but if you are going to retire on a boat , bite the bullet and look for something bigger . And I know this last part will hurt ( sorry tough love ) wait till the dog is gone . Good luck !
Board shorts? uhmmmm ....
Naaa .. lived aboard 6 yrs w/ a dog with no problem .. you must not like animals.

Thanks, that was helpful :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I live in Olympia and I'm new to sailing but dreaming of owning a boat. My plan is to buy a 27' next spring. Until then I surf craigslist and dream.

This Catalina boat has been on there for about a month and would probably make a good live-aboard while you get settled in and earn some money to buy your dream boat. They've been dropping the price every few days and I have a feeling they'd take $5000-$6000 for it if you offered cash.

Drop a note when you get to the Pacific Northwest.

MWK
Thanks .. I've been checkin' Craigs too .. is that the one w/ the electric motor? Not sure about that. I'm really looking at Inboards. From what I've read and a friend who sails in the area the outboards can be problematic in rougher conditions or strong currents. There's a nice, or so it appears, Hunter 27 in Oly for $4800 .. could be worth looking at.

I may end up in Olympia when I move .. have friends there .. will drop a line.

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Here is my suggestion --1967 islander 29' sailboat with 10' Livingston dingy[/url]
Yours? I did see that one .. it was listed for a while then seemed to disappear for a while and now is back. Don't really want to go 'outboard' but the inboard may be repairable. It's a good price and doesn't break my bank, so to speak. I might be in the Bremerton area in a few weeks. If so I'll look it up. Like the upgrades they've done.

Thanks!
 

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islander bahama 24
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Yours? I did see that one .. it was listed for a while then seemed to disappear for a while and now is back. Don't really want to go 'outboard' but the inboard may be repairable. It's a good price and doesn't break my bank, so to speak. I might be in the Bremerton area in a few weeks. If so I'll look it up. Like the upgrades they've done.

Thanks!
Actually not my boat I sail an islander Bahama 24 flush deck. The usual issue with the atomic and no spark actually is corroded electrical connections or bad points just like any engine with points and condenser all parts are readily available to fix it also.
 

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These are cool boats there are 3-4 in my marina 2 of them are close to me ,so I talk to the owners . One of them has a bow sprit I asked about that and the guy said the factory did that to correct for weather helm, they also shortened the boom . I didn't know these boats had the option for out board . That I think that would be a good choice , out boards you can pick up reasonable $, also it can double as your tender motor .
 

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Swab
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Hi Tinman55 , first of all get yourself a pair of board shorts . Keep saving money . The Islander Bahama is a good boat , but if you are going to retire on a boat , bite the bullet and look for something bigger . And I know this last part will hurt ( sorry tough love ) wait till the dog is gone . Good luck !
As for retiring on a small boat, after my experience living aboard a Vega 27 for the past 25 years, I see no problem for the dedicated minimalist. If you love the dog that much, you can probably work that out too but know what you are getting yourself into. You can't just open the back door and let it out. Can you get the dog into the dinghy, onto the beach and back aboard twice a day? Can you do it when the rain is pouring down and the wind is blowing a near gale through the anchorage? You are going to have to REALLY love that dog to live with it on any boat for any length of time, let alone on something as small as a thirty footer. I have known people who have done it but their whole life revolves around getting the dog ashore twice a day.
 

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islander bahama 24
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The outboard is mounted on an aftermarket transom mounted bracket and I have never heard of a islander 29 to have a sprit out of the factory likely a po add on item
 

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Doesn't sail enough
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Tinman,

The number you need to be looking at isn't LOA. It's beam, and LWL.

That's Islander 29 will have a heck of a lot less space than some of your other options.

The Islander 36 will be in a different category altogether...

Just sayin.
 

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islander bahama 24
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Tinman,

The number you need to be looking at isn't LOA. It's beam, and LWL.

That's Islander 29 will have a heck of a lot less space than some of your other options.

The Islander 36 will be in a different category altogether...

Just sayin.
The islander 29 is the vessel currently available in the area hes wanting to move to that fits the op list of under 30 with full keel and under ten k ( I have no connection to that boat just my folks sailed one up and down the coast from here in the 80's)
 

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Broad Reachin'
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Your thoughts on these prospects, all things being equal ...
'69 Ericson 32 Atomic 4 - $9000
'74 cal 29 Atomic 4 - $10000
'75 Islander 30 II Beta 14 - $10000
'68 Mercator Volvo md2a - $10000
'74 Cal 3-30 Westerbeke 15hp - $10000
'79 Islander Bahama 30 ??? - $10000
?? Newport 30 Atomic 4 - $10500
'71 Ta Chiao Ketch $12000 (had to add it for the 'cool' factor) :)
Of those listed above (and "all things being equal"), I'd favor the Island 30's and the Cal 3-30. Both are from respected builders and feature diesel power, something to keep as a priority.

I suspect that in your budget, vessel condition may trump most everything else.
 

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Aloha there Tinman,
Just a few items:
If you plan to bring a dog to hawaii, make sure it is up on rabies vacinne or else that dog will be quaranteened for a long time.

Animal Industry Division | Animal Quarantine Information Page

Also, if you do plan to spend time in Hawaii, note that there are very few marinas here (wait list for a mooring/slip can be years). Expensive places ($500 per month say) may be available, but it will cost you. Also, most marinas do not allow live aborads (or if they do, wait list is long).

As far as boats, sail boats can be harder to live on than a power boat (room and access issues). If you plan to do some cruising to hawaii, you need a true blue water boat. You will need somthing that can handle 50 knots or more and 20 foot seas without falling apart. The Islander 36 might be a good choice, but be warned one at a cheap price may need a lot of work to bring her up to blue water standards.

Islander 36 for Sale

And by the way, if you want work in a warm climate, come to Honlulu. We have about 20 highrise condos getting ready to go up along with a $5billion dollar rail system- lots of work for a tinmann, and you can sail with me till you get that boat.
 

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Bombay Explorer 44
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Make sure you have a look at a Catalina 30. It has one of the better and more spacious interiors of a boat that size.

Some have gas A4s but there some diesels around at your price.

It would be high on my list.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks for all the great input .. I appreciate it. However I guess I need to "clarify" the dog issue. Sasha is a 9 y.o. Lab/Border Collie Mix .. and my best buddy. My "plan" takes her comfort, abilities and well being into consideration. She will not be traveling to Hawaii.

My plan is to move aboard and continue working construction for 3-4 years before considering cruising (when I can start collecting my social security). I plan to day sail and some weekend trips in the Sound, staying at Marinas she'll have no issues. At 80 lbs getting her in and out of a dingy would be impractical. In a few years, when I'm a much better sailor, I might take to trips .. maybe down to Portland to visit friends .. and Sasha will likely stay with friends locally and miss that trip. As a big dog she has a lifespan of about 12 years on average .. so likely she'll be gone by the time I want to start really cruising.

Also, as for space, yea .. a 30' sailboat is limited. However we have lived in a 1978 20' RV for 3 years .. and the 30' sailboat has more functional liveable space than this rig. In 2009 I lost my house and everything in the collapse. I took a job driving a big rig over the road essentially living .. full time .. in a tractor (a Kenworth T6) for almost 2 years. We had no home during that period .. just the truck. She jumped up and down in and out of that thing 6-8 times a day in all types of weather all across the country .. even went to Canada 4 times.

I get that a 36 or 40 ft boat would be more comfortable .. and much more costly to maintain, difficult to single hand, and way out of my budget. I have been on lots of boats, power and sail, and totally know what I am getting into.

Again, I'm not dissing your input .. I really do appreciate it .. but feel I failed to properly explain my situation.

Thanks! :)
 
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