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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello, everyone I am looking into getting a sailboat and travel around the Caribbean. I am looking into buying a boat for sale by owner in Florida. My problem is I have no idea of the process of purchasing a boat. What things do I look for and what are the steps? Should I get a professional to inspect the boat before making an offer? Do I check the background on the boat to see if it has back taxes etc. Any help would be really appreciated.
 

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Yes, you should get a professional, a surveyor, to look over the boat before you buy, especially if you intend to take it out in the ocean.
There are so many threads by folks like you on here, asking the same questions, perhaps you might want to search for some.
 
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sounds like you might of never owned a boat before...

I'm 50 some years old and have been on the water my whole life, just not with a sailboat till recently.

First do you have the knowledge to repair it, not just while at he marina, but underway? motor quits can you problem solve and get it running again? a thru hull starts to leak, do you know what to do?

So you buy your dream boat, but now the head doesn't flush can you fix it?

I'm sure you have heard cruising is fixing the boat in beautiful places...

crap breaks just the fact with boats, new used old doesn't matter....

how about the resources, Break Out Another Thousand, that's often the joke, but it's more true than not...

So how it works
find a boat in your price range, take a look at it, if you like it make an offer, contingent on survey, get a survey, have owner fix what needs repair or change offer to reflect the repairs....
either they go for it or they don't, then move on to the next dream boat, plenty of them out there....

good luck
Bob
 

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You might not be technically prepared to sail around the Caribbean... or any place for that matter. Buying a boat.. demands you know what you are doing... unless you hire a full time captain/crew.

Unfortunately there is no license requirement in the USA so anyone with the cash/credit can buy a boat and use it... and be a danger to themselves and others.

I believe had be been studying up on sailing and had some experience on boats you would have learned what you need, want, can afford and makes sense in a boat purchase... instead of posing this question to strangers on the www. You are facing an investment in time before you even consider making a purchase.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you doing research now and taking several ASA certification courses this coming week to get more knowledge. I found my dream boat for a great price so everything is moving fast . I have been spending several hours a day reading up on things to see what I am getting into. In any regard thank you for your feedback.
 

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I found my dream boat for a great price so everything is moving fast.

Without some experience and time on sailboats, you really don't know what you need or would suit what you intend to do. If you are going to take some ASA courses, don't do anything until you have completed them.

So what is your "dream boat at a great price"?
 

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Surveyors generally do not do engines beyond a quick look/run up. You will need at least one (more than one opinion might save you big bucks) certified diesel engine mechanic to do that for you.
I highly recommend Royce's Sailing Illustrated as a basic primer. It covers just about everything one needs to know to safely handle a small craft, in a fun yet comprehensive format. From anchoring to boat nomenclature and even splicing, it's got most of what you'll need for getting started, yet is still a good reference book for the most experienced of us. No preachy tome here. I've been using it for more than 50 years to teach sailing.
You seem set on your course and I admire you for that. However, as mentioned above, you should have a lot more experience before you buy a boat. I have a feeling you are letting your eyes and heart direct this purchase, rather than rational thought. This is an awfully old boat. Not a bad boat, but a really old and quite possibly she has been abused or neglected sometime over the last 48 years.
You might be the best carpenter, but boats are not built or repaired by carpenters. Boatbuilding is a different skill set. You will need plumbing, electrical (both DC and AC), mechanical, fiberglassing, refrigeration, rigging and other very specialized skills to bring back an old boat like that, if you don't have the money to pay others to do the work. It can certainly be done, just be sure you are prepared for a serious, perhaps long term, project. Every boat project takes a lot longer than expected, so keep that in mind.
Does she still have her wooden spars? Has the teak been stripped off the decks already, or is this a part of your plans? Things like sails, masts and a new engine are very expensive.
Just one note here: "The OFFSHORE/EMPIRE 40 was created in an effort to reduce costs of construction of the RHODES RELIANT.". .."OFFSHORE 40 has iron instead of lead ballast, and differences in other construction details."
Good luck and let us know how things go.
 

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Cheoy lee 40 feet need some interior work . Also the engine compression is low so I need to have a surveyor check that out .
Low compression can often mean worn cylinders which means that you should budget an engine rebuild into your purchase/maintenance budget. If the engine runs, you could sail the boat for awhile. The peak of hurricane season is coming on and that could be your time to have the engine pulled and rebuilt.

Most of the Cheoy Lee 40/41's came as a ketch. Is the boat you're looking at a ketch, sloop of cutter?

Have you done your own pre-survey survey? You will want to read this post by SailingDog:

http://www.sailnet.com/forums/boat-review-purchase-forum/48177-boat-inspection-trip-tips.html

I've been studying boats and boat purchasing info for about four years in preparation for a purchase, possibly this year. I've spent that time reading reviews, reading hundreds of ads, comparing prices of various sizes and models, in different regions of the country. I've stepped aboard nine boats and chartered two, for a week each. I've been reading on this site for a year and a half.

You sometimes hear of people who settle on a $25,000 boat, only to find that water has leaked into the keel, a keel on a model of boat that was typically weighted with scrap steel, that is now a pile of rust. And the keel bolts, that looked good in the bilge, had ridges of rust just below the nuts and washers, at the mating point, and that it's ready to fall off within the next year or a few months and will sink the boat in a few minutes, and everything requires $10,000 to repair. And this was discovered after the sale and a "professional" survey.

These incidents are rare, but I've read accounts of people they have happened to. That is why I have spent a few years doing research.

Good luck and I hope to see both of us on the water soon.
 

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unless you are getting one heck of a deal I would look at other boats, motor replacements aren't cheap.
http://www.sailnet.com/forums/gear-maintenance/42295-price-new-diesel-engines.html

if the owner has let his motor go to the point of low compression what else has he let go?

standing rigging? sails? running rigging? you have already said interior needs work.

so lets say the guy gives you the boat for free....
10k new motor
5k standing rigging
6k sails
2k running riggings
2k interior work
that's 25k plus... My bet it would be closer to 40 by the time you have everything fixed...

stove? electronics? life raft/dinghy?

you can do all that cheaper if you do the work and shop around and they are ball park figures for sure, could be more, could be less...

Don't want to crush your dream but be sure to know what you are getting into...
Bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thats big money I was thinking about being a do it all myself kinda guy but thats big money. You have definitely giving me something to think about. That engine cost is crazy I can get a car engine for 1500k to 2500k. 10K for a boat engine is insane. Specially since the boat would cost me 15k to purchase as it sits. I was thinking 15k for the boat and 5k for the engine 1000 for the windows 2k miscellanies I would be out of this for 20k 25k max. 30k to 40k to get this project boat going on top of the 15k is big money. Again thank you for the feedback ,you have given me lots to think about.
 

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It sounds like you have a budget in mind, and a cruising plan. Why not ask the class what boats they would consider, given your budget and plans?

If the model you were looking at was an Offshore 40 (same as Rhodes Reliant), they are beautiful boats but you could get the same amount of live-able boat with less displacement and LOA, which would be a lot easier if you are planning to single-hand. There are a lot of 33'-37' boats which would be appropriate for the Caribbean, where you can expect reliable weather forecasts for each segment of a trip. You could really consider whether you even need more than 30'-32'.

Buying a heavier boat than you need will cost you more upfront and more to maintain. Given that you're looking at an older design with narrow beam and short waterline, it's not clear why that's a good choice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
That sounds like something to look into. The issue is that me and my wife have been inside several sailboats. We ave found that anything under around 37' feels a little small. For that reason we started looking into 37 and above .
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Also we plan on living in our boat. We have 0 interest in a house with a white picket fence. To that end it has to be a fairly comfortable live aboard .
 

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As mentioned, low compression could mean an engine that's seriously worn out, possibly on it's last legs.

I recently priced this out, as I expect to be replacing the engine in my Tartan 37 within the next few years. A replacement will cost me about $15,000. I'm OK with that, I worked it into the budget before I put an offer on the boat, and I checked to see if the price of the boat matched the need to replace the engine. I recommend you do the same diligence in your planning.

A sailboat can be very expensive _after_ it's purchased. In my case, I budgeted everything within an inch of it's life, because I'm not rich. I created multiple financial scenarios ... what happens if the chainplates need replaced, what if the engine outright dies in the first year ... etc, etc. After all that scenario planning, I decided to go forward. This was _after_ nearly making a few mistakes that could have led me to a boat that I couldn't afford.

Take a hard look at your budget and be completely honest with yourself. I don't know what your finances are, hopefully they're in a state that you can easily afford the inevitable unexpected. If not, budget carefully, and don't be afraid to walk away and save up another season before buying.

Yards are full of "dream boats" that never go in the water because the owners can't afford to do whatever maintenance/repairs need done to get them seaworthy. Take a deep breath and realize that you're better off waiting a bit if this isn't _really_ the right boat for you at this time. If it _is_ the right boat, then go for it! But if it's not, don't be afraid to walk away. There are LOTS of boats out there, and if you decide to save up for another season, I guarantee you'll find another "perfect" boat for sale next year, and you'll be in a better position to enjoy it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
These engine quotes are so expensive. I keep going online and checking on engines and they keep coming up as 2,700 3,500 2,300 granted they are rebuilt or refurbished engines. The 10k and 15k numbers I keep getting on the forum are definitely making me rethink this particular boat. Thank you for your feedback might be in my best interest to slow down after all this feedback I have been getting. I don't want to spend more than 30 or 40k on the boat.
 

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.....We ave found that anything under around 37 feels very small so wanted something 37 and above .
One thing to consider is that everything that is done to a boat in the way of maintenance, storage and staying in marinas is charged according to the length of the boat.

It was helpful for me to call several marinas in areas where I think I may someday keep a boat and to ask them their prices for various services. When you start figuring $2 to $5 per foot per night to stay in a marina, $10 to $20 per foot to lift your boat out of the water for maintenance or every season if you store your boat each year, the same amount per month if you store your boat in their boat yard.

Fees to refinish or paint the bottom of your boat, or the money paid to a diver to clean your hull every week or every month, depending on the climate, are all charged per foot. To get an idea, call some marinas in an area where you are thinking of keeping a boat. Tell them you are thinking of keeping a boat in their marina and you are curious to know their charges and fees. Tell them the length of your boat you are thinking of buying and ask them how much for a monthly or annual slip rental, how much for a haul out, how much of a monthly or annual charge for storage on the hard, how much for repainting the bottom, how much the local diver charges for cleaning people's hulls and how often they recommend it be done in that locale.

Then get out your calculator and figure an expense sheet for a 35 ft boat versus a 40 ft boat and show the two figures to your wife and see if she thinks she needs 40 ft or if she could live in a 35 or 32 ft boat.

Be aware that for nightly or monthly slip rentals, some marinas charge for the stated length overall (LOA) of your boat while other marinas charge for the actual length of your boat from the tip of a bowsprit to the end of any davits you have added for a dingy.
 
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