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Picnic Sailor
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Discussion Starter #1
So I have just landed in Malta, Europe to 'take delivery' of our new to us boat (A Moody 425).

By take delivery I mean she's sitting in the boatyard and I'm sitting in the cockpit in 100+ degrees sweating, hugely excited and wondering where I start!

So my question is that, when you first bought your boat, where did you start? What do you prioritise ? Getting to know a boat takes time and as someone who knew every inch of my last boat and every little sound, smell and bump this feels daunting.

Don't get me wrong. I have about 10 lists in front of me and a survey report, but prioritising what needs investigating, what you want to understand and where to begin tinkering on a new to you boat has me running from locker to locker, pulling things out and mostly just writing more lists!

 

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So I have just landed in Malta, Europe to 'take delivery' of our new to us boat (A Moody 425).

By take delivery I mean she's sitting in the boatyard and I'm sitting in the cockpit in 100+ degrees sweating, hugely excited and wondering where I start!

So my question is that, when you first bought your boat, where did you start? What do you prioritise ? Getting to know a boat takes time and as someone who knew every inch of my last boat and every little sound, smell and bump this feels daunting.

Don't get me wrong. I have about 10 lists in front of me and a survey report, but prioritising what needs investigating, what you want to understand and where to begin tinkering on a new to you boat has me running from locker to locker, pulling things out and mostly just writing more lists!

Fabulous problem!

Can't be answered without more information. I will give it a try.

Start with a calendar with the end date.... to be launch.

First get the bottom work out of the way and move to other systems many of which can be worked on in water at dockside or at anchor.
Check steering, AP and get spares
Check dink and OB, spares

Divide the work into systems such as:
propulsion: get engine running, get spares, make inventory, get proper tools
navigation electronics: plotter, radar, AIS, mobile devices... including manuals test them
Electrics: spares.. wire, connectors, fuses, fuse blocks, connectors, meter, crimper, heat shrink
Transducers: speed. depth wind... check, get spares... inventory
Communications: test all radios, program DSC. TEST
plumbing: top up tanks, review piping, get spares, hoses, fittings, valves, clamps, filters...inventory. test water pumps, head, shower pump, BILGE PUMPS
Rigging and sails: hoist sails and inspect, install reefs,, vang, mainsheet, traveler runners etc. Get spare line of all sizes on board... Check dock lines. SPARES, check rigging tension, get some spare wire and stalocks, spare blocks, snatch blocks, shackles, clevis and carter pins
Anchor: check windlass, anchor shackle and mark chain, get spare anchor and shackles and nylon rode

Make time estimates for the systems and spares assembly. Allow for 2x the estimated time.

Try to find competent help... amazing how much a second person can help with many things.

Good luck!
 

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Congrats!

We recently did a similar journey - bought a boat on the hard in Antigua, flew down to it with a duffle bag, and had to figure it out.

Since we were immediately taking it on a 1500nm delivery back to the US, our priorities were to inspect the rigging, buy anything critically necessary to safely get the boat that distance, go over the engines and their systems, go over the electrics and electronics, and figure out how to minimally operate the boat and its systems.

On the hard, I rewired much of the electronics and some of the electrics because they had been installed incorrectly. Recommissioned the autopilot so the compass wasn't 50* off, and we were no longer a heavy displacement power boat using a drive unit that the boat didn't have, lifted the engine off the raw water intake hose so that it had full flow and the engine no longer vibrated badly, tightened the loose prop nuts so that the propellers didn't fly off, did a few other critical stuff, then left for an overnight shakedown to St. Thomas. There we purchased a new main halyard so we could get the main up and down, but left all the other rotten running rigging.

Then took it to the US, where we are doing a complete refit. Luckily, nothing serious broke on the way.

If you are staying in that area and not planning a long delivery, then just get the basic systems working, put it in the water and start to live on it. You will slowly find out what else needs to be done as you poke around in systems that are actively being used.

Don't make any large changes until you have seriously spent a lot of time on the boat. Some things you might not like now may show themselves to be brilliant later. Our case is different - we have been cruising full-time for the past 11yrs on a similar boat, so we know exactly what we want to change and add in this new one.

Get the minimal done you need to launch, then enjoy the first bloom of new boat ownership. It is the best time because you don't know what you don't know...

Mark
 

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Picnic Sailor
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Discussion Starter #4
Start with a calendar with the end date.... to be launch.

First get the bottom work out of the way and move to other systems many of which can be worked on in water at dockside or at anchor.
Check steering, AP and get spares
Check dink and OB, spares

Divide the work into systems such as:
propulsion: get engine running, get spares, make inventory, get proper tools
navigation electronics: plotter, radar, AIS, mobile devices... including manuals test them
Electrics: spares.. wire, connectors, fuses, fuse blocks, connectors, meter, crimper, heat shrink
Transducers: speed. depth wind... check, get spares... inventory
Communications: test all radios, program DSC. TEST
plumbing: top up tanks, review piping, get spares, hoses, fittings, valves, clamps, filters...inventory. test water pumps, head, shower pump, BILGE PUMPS
Rigging and sails: hoist sails and inspect, install reefs,, vang, mainsheet, traveler runners etc. Get spare line of all sizes on board... Check dock lines. SPARES, check rigging tension, get some spare wire and stalocks, spare blocks, snatch blocks, shackles, clevis and carter pins
Anchor: check windlass, anchor shackle and mark chain, get spare anchor and shackles and nylon rode

Make time estimates for the systems and spares assembly. Allow for 2x the estimated time.

Try to find competent help... amazing how much a second person can help with many things.

Good luck!
Thankyou!

Bottom is clean and the hull has been given a good buff to boot. Launch date is in three weeks!

I like the systems lists and thank you it helps to focus my energy. The reality is though that if I get a quarter of of that done I will probably be happy!
 

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Picnic Sailor
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Discussion Starter #5
If you are staying in that area and not planning a long delivery, then just get the basic systems working, put it in the water and start to live on it. You will slowly find out what else needs to be done as you poke around in systems that are actively being used.

Don't make any large changes until you have seriously spent a lot of time on the boat. Some things you might not like now may show themselves to be brilliant later. Our case is different - we have been cruising full-time for the past 11yrs on a similar boat, so we know exactly what we want to change and add in this new one.

Get the minimal done you need to launch, then enjoy the first bloom of new boat ownership. It is the best time because you don't know what you don't know...
1500nm isn't a bad slog in a new to you boat!

My plan is similar I think. Get her into the water and sail to Greece.

But the temptation to tinker and go off on boat work tangents is strong.......
 

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Make sure everything is working... then make sure you have your spares and tools... manuals etc. Spare pumps and impellers and fuses very important.

The sail including motoring on day sails. Get to know how the boat moves / responds to different conditions. Hand steer to know how to maneuver the boat. PRACTICE this as your need this skill for getting along side, anchoring and getting into a slip (yuck).

As you get to know your boat work on your "get familiar with systems" a little bit each day... If you want to work on one... anchor early and do the project. Practice your anchoring... you want to be very comfortable on the hook.

Many projects are low priority... cosmetics for example. More important for things to work correctly and you are in control they looking bristol.
 

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I'd probably put thru-hulls and their hoses/hose clamps near the top of my list. Map, inspect and get them all opening/closing smoothly.
When I bought this boat I did a major rewiring of the engine room. I chose to spend the first winter (purchased her in August) in RI rather than rush south because I knew I'd get much less work done if I was in the Caribbean. Wire, batteries, etc were also much cheaper in RI.
New chain was also on my list, but much of what I successively redid needed to be established after some sailing, which in my case was the trip south. I did go aloft to check the rig and had a rigger for a second opinion, which did help when we hit 70 knots of wind in a small storm when going south.
Unlike most, I've had a great deal of experience getting on a boat completely new to me for deliveries (mostly bareboats at the end of their contract) and being underway within a day or two, without much time to check them out, not that there was any money available for repairs anyway.
I think it best to do what you think is absolutely necessary, then put to sea and sail the boat very gently until you gain confidence in those things you didn't get around to or think were of major importance. At least in the Med, they are mostly just short trips with plenty of competent help in almost every port.
One serious consideration, in my opinion, when departing Malta, is the problem of the migrant boats. I would do everything in your power to leave in a window when you won't have the possibility of running into one and having the moral dilemma as to what to do should you encounter one or more. Even knowing it would be fatal to take on 50 or 100 migrants, how do you pass them by knowing they will most probably perish?
Good luck and have fun with the new boat.
 

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Picnic Sailor
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Discussion Starter #8
I'd probably put thru-hulls and their hoses/hose clamps near the top of my list. Map, inspect and get them all opening/closing smoothly.
When I bought this boat I did a major rewiring of the engine room. I chose to spend the first winter (purchased her in August) in RI rather than rush south because I knew I'd get much less work done if I was in the Caribbean. Wire, batteries, etc were also much cheaper in RI.
New chain was also on my list, but much of what I successively redid needed to be established after some sailing, which in my case was the trip south. I did go aloft to check the rig and had a rigger for a second opinion, which did help when we hit 70 knots of wind in a small storm when going south.
Unlike most, I've had a great deal of experience getting on a boat completely new to me for deliveries (mostly bareboats at the end of their contract) and being underway within a day or two, without much time to check them out, not that there was any money available for repairs anyway.
I think it best to do what you think is absolutely necessary, then put to sea and sail the boat very gently until you gain confidence in those things you didn't get around to or think were of major importance. At least in the Med, they are mostly just short trips with plenty of competent help in almost every port.
One serious consideration, in my opinion, when departing Malta, is the problem of the migrant boats. I would do everything in your power to leave in a window when you won't have the possibility of running into one and having the moral dilemma as to what to do should you encounter one or more. Even knowing it would be fatal to take on 50 or 100 migrants, how do you pass them by knowing they will most probably perish?
Good luck and have fun with the new boat.
Thanks Capta.

I know you do this kind of thing for a living and have done so for several years. Appreciate your insight.

From here we will sail straight north to Sicily, in daylight hours.

Day 2 is feeling better. Have opened every locker and began to make sense of where spares etc are and organise myself. Have began working through the seacocks and a (deck level) rig inspection.
 

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S
. I have about 10 lists in front of me and a survey report, but prioritising what needs investigating, what you want to understand and where to begin tinkering on a new to you boat has me running from locker to locker, pulling things out and mostly just writing more lists!

Dump the boat in the water.

Dump the lists overboard.

GO FOR A SAIL!



.
 

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You have survey report. A good survey report should indicate the priorities. The report should indicate which should be done before launching, after launching, before sailing long distances and things that are up to you. If you cannot find this type of information on your report, find a good surveyor.
 

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Sounds like you are knowledgeable to start. You already know the priorities.
Keep the water out. Thru hulls, deck leaks, pumps etc.
Keep the boat moving. Engine, tankage, nav systems, electrical, rigging and sails.
Keep the souls on the boat. Safety equipment.
Keep the souls alive. Water, food, refrigeration, bedding, clothes
It’s so overwhelming you can get paralyzed. Do the key systems so the boat is safe and sailable. I’m sure you see a hundred things you would change or upgrade. That’s the list you should be making to deal with in the future. For now you already know what needs to be done
So
Just. DO IT!!

Have fun keep calm and sail on

All the best
 

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Some excellent thinking here. I wish I had seen some of this advice before I splashed my new to me boat in May, although I did do most of the big stuff.

My main concern was making sure the boat could be launched and sailed 30 miles to her new home. So, as soon as the weather allowed, I went aboard and made some lists about what needed to be done: sand and paint the bottom; wash and wax the topsides; check for thru hull locations; familiarize myself with the running rigging; check the safety equipment. And one other big one: remove the old name and homeport, and apply the new ones.

I got all of that done in time (I had to be out of the yard by Memorial Day), but only with a lot of help (some of it paid). I didn't get a chance to unwinterize the water system until I got to my new home, and during the shakedown cruise and subsequent sails, I learned of other work that needed doing (including fixing a persistent, gravity-defying leak that may very well have ruined the aft berth cushions). A work in progress to be sure, but I get more confident every time I get on the boat. And I heartily second the advice about learning how the boat motors; this new boat acts very differently from my old boat. Let's just say there have been some interesting times getting out of my slip. I'm getting better, but I'm still not as confident as I'd like to be.

Still, these are good "problems" to have. Enjoy your new boat!
 

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Dump the boat in the water.

Dump the lists overboard.

GO FOR A SAIL!
For those who think I was being funny, I wasn't really, I'm being serious. :)
But now I have a little more time to explain.
Many new boat owners spend thousands and take months to 'refit' a perfectly good boat. But I don't ones perspective would be the same if you go sail it first for a few weeks or a few months before changes, upgrades and additions are made.

So, make sure there aim no holes in the bottom and get to sea and enjoy the boat. Hey, it's summer in Europe and summer doesn't last long. After summer write a oust of what you now *know* needs to be worked on.


Mark :grin
 

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I agree with Mark, only don't make any significant changes to the boat until after actively cruising with it for a year, not a few weeks or even months.

Things you think need changing often turn out to be some of the best features that only become apparent when you have fully immersed in the environment they operate in.

Of course, we are doing the exact opposite of this advice right now, but again, we have been cruising 11yrs on a similar boat and now know exactly what we want (and even then, we spent 3 months full-time cruising it before starting the changes).

Mark
 

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I bought a brand new "ready to sail" boat 35 years ago. I learned to sail and learned the boat by sailing her. I did a lot of "upgrades" to systems and I am still doing that and still sailing. I did/do both at the same time. I try to keep the boat in a navigation ready state... but that doesn't mean that everything is "perfect". I made do with the anchoring system... rode and no windlass... then upgraded a year later to a manual and when I was ready to sail south converted to an electric windlass with all chain.... that was like 5 years after purchase! Before I looked for moorings mostly, now I look for a good spot to anchor!

Sailing the boat will tell you what needs attention.
 

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Picnic Sailor
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Discussion Starter #16
For those who think I was being funny, I wasn't really, I'm being serious. :)
But now I have a little more time to explain.
Many new boat owners spend thousands and take months to 'refit' a perfectly good boat. But I don't ones perspective would be the same if you go sail it first for a few weeks or a few months before changes, upgrades and additions are made.

So, make sure there aim no holes in the bottom and get to sea and enjoy the boat. Hey, it's summer in Europe and summer doesn't last long. After summer write a oust of what you now *know* needs to be worked on.


Mark :grin
I am hearing you Mark. That's the plan!

To quote Captain Ron 'If anything is going to happen, it's going to happen out there'.

I should add I have the complication of waiting for Australian rego to go through, so this is a forced boatyard visit of sorts.

Day three:

- Installed a cockpit USB port for the iPad 'chart plotter'.
- Stuck down a bunch of non skid on the companionway steps (If sailing with active kids the companionway is IMHO one of the biggest 'dangers' on the boat).
- Realised there was a little bit of rust coloured water coming out of the rudder. Panicked. Calmed down. Drilled a small hole. Will let dry out, fill hole and epoxy barrier coat and ponder for next haul out.
-Got too hot so then drunk beer :)
 

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Good idea to conceive of using the boat on a serious tilt... hand holds are very important. Can't have too many of them even in the head! Also consider harness attachment points/lines.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Good idea to conceive of using the boat on a serious tilt... hand holds are very important. Can't have too many of them even in the head! Also consider harness attachment points/lines.
One of the benefits of buying a Moody, and one that has crossed the Atlantic a few times is she has lots of good handholds!
 

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This may sounds silly, but it's the first thing I do to really get to know my new ride. It's applied to way more than boats over the years. I hand wash every square inch. Inside and out. Unload every locker, clean it and repack. Clean the motor, or at least around it. Clean the chain locker. Everything.

When buying the boat, there is too much information to absorb. This is a labor of love and you'll gain a good understand of where things are and the condition they are in. Even the things you unload and reload.

Totally agree with the sentiment not to do anything about what you find or learn, until you go sailing. With the exception of any possible seaworthy items.

Enjoy.
 
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