ksamnic

How long did it take to find/buy your boat?

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We looked a a couple of sailboats this weekend. It was very disappointing. There is a definite pattern emerging in out search for a boat: we see something online that looks like it meet our needs, do some research, get excited, contact the broker and arrange a visit. Then we look at the boat and come home and have a drink and shake our heads. Revise criteria, and repeat. 

This has been going on for three years now. Yesterday my wife posed the question "how long does it take most people to buy a boat?" (suggesting that maybe we are being too fussy).

So I thought I would ask:

Did you know exactly what boat you wanted and just go buy it?

Did you buy and sell a bunch of boats until you got something you were happy with?

Did you go through a long drawn out process to find your boat?

If you were doing it again (looking for and purchasing a used sailboat), what would you do differently from last time?

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I started with a 16'er, moved up to a 24'er, moved sideways to a sistership, moved up to a 29'er, currently in a 35'er. Call it 45 years of slow progress.

Along the way I upgraded every boat with new hardware and new sails. I sold every boat for more than I paid for it, not including the new hardware and sails. I also upgraded my sailing and fettling skills. Worked for me, no way I could have afforded or handled the 35 when I started.

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Did you know exactly what boat you wanted and just go buy it? No I went through ten other sailboats and six other motorboats until I arrived at the four boats I have now (two sailboats and two motorboats.)

 Did you buy and sell a bunch of boats until you got something you were happy with? YOU BET I DID

Did you go through a long drawn out process to find your boat? YES, Finally gave up after looking for years for the major sailboat and just had Bob Perry design her for me. That was the only way to get what I really wanted. No one makes a production super simple double ended narrow 62’ daysailer with a tiller (I guess I am the only market for that kind of vessel.) The minor sailboat was easy, I just bought a Russell Brown PT-11 with the sailing rig. Looked for at least five years for the motorboat and finally found a custom Tim Kernan designed “sailor’s motorboat” that is very close to exactly what I wanted. (Still considering the motorboat Bob and Nick Carraway are working on.) I kept my favorite commuter motorboat as a utility boat.

If you were doing it again (looking for and purchasing a used sailboat), what would you do differently from last time? NOTHING, it has been a great journey. (Well, I might have gone to Bob sooner.)

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Sure didn't take 3 years. Heck, not even 3 weeks for the first one. My wife told me to take our young son boat shopping, and said she'd join us when we owned a boat.  "If you're not going to buy a boat, I'm going to cancel your sailing magazines"

We started in RI and ended in Maine. We were looking at 40' upper end cruising boats, Alden, Cambria, Lyman-Morse, ended up with a Hinckley SW-42. Smallest boat we looked at. My 8 year old son picked it out. We went down below and he said "dad, this is it, buy this one", so I did (after a survey and some haggling).

Never a moment of regret, possibly the second wisest decision I've ever made, right up there with marrying my college sweetheart. I cried like a baby cleaning her out after signing her over to Maine Maritime. 

We we would have sailed her for the rest of our lives, happily,  but fate intervened and we became the caretakers of a 48' custom.

 

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I bought my first keelboat from my brother.  

He owned it for about 10 years.  I went cruising with him and he would occasionally loan it to me for cruising.  I crewed for him when he raced it.  I helped with the maintenance, haulouts, launching, etc.  

So I knew exactly what I was buying.  It worked out very well.  Ten years is enough to get to know a boat well.  

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7 hours

One was waiting for my wife to wake up so that I could tell her of the ad I had found.

3.5 h were driving

2.5 h were gymnastics in ominous places on the boat.

I think I did everything wrong.

Then again: I started small on purpose to make it 'righter' next time.

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Was shopping for a trailer sailer with another couple intending to go into a partnership. The other couple saw a boat at a dealership and asked us to go take a look with them. Next to that boat was a much larger (33'er) brand new racer/cruiser and my wife took one look and said that's what she wanted. Ditched the partnership and bought the bigger boat. 11 years and many wonderful moments later we'd decided our bigger family (2 kids and 2 dogs) justified a bigger boat and we sold her-probably the saddest day of our lives. The next boat we bought (46'er) was an old racer that had been worked hard. We put a ton more money we actually didn't have and quite a bit of sweat into her and sold for what we'd payed 9 years later. Although we did have mixed feelings about parting with her, she was just too big a financial burden. We spent the next ten years sailing small dinghies before deciding to have another go. Our experience this time around was much like the OP's. Browsing Yachtworld led to unrealistic expectations and the 50'ers we were looking at  never came close to matching the photos or broker's descriptions. We went up and down the California coast, made offers that I bet the sellers would have liked to have accepted but didn't and then went smaller with a 40'er that meets 90% of our needs, is a great sailing boat with enough cruising capability to accommodate us and our kids families for a week or two. The best part is we can afford it. 

So, the recommendation to the OP is find the smallest, most affordable, least complicated boat that meets you needs and put extra emphasis on one that has  had decent maintenance over its life span.

Unless, of course, you can afford to have a professional build you a Bob Perry custom one off.

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you don't choose the right boat - the right boat chooses you...

you'll know when it happens...

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3 hours ago, ksamnic said:

We looked a a couple of sailboats this weekend. It was very disappointing. There is a definite pattern emerging in out search for a boat: we see something online that looks like it meet our needs, do some research, get excited, contact the broker and arrange a visit. Then we look at the boat and come home and have a drink and shake our heads. Revise criteria, and repeat. 

This has been going on for three years now. Yesterday my wife posed the question "how long does it take most people to buy a boat?" (suggesting that maybe we are being too fussy).

So I thought I would ask:

Did you know exactly what boat you wanted and just go buy it?

Did you buy and sell a bunch of boats until you got something you were happy with?

Did you go through a long drawn out process to find your boat?

If you were doing it again (looking for and purchasing a used sailboat), what would you do differently from last time?

Knew what I wanted and just went and bought it.  Was that a good idea?  Not necessarily.  But there it is.  But the length, 33’, is about as much boat as I’d ever want.  Perfect for single handing, easily capable offshore and roomy enough for a couple for long periods of time.

If I bought another boat, what would I do differently next time?  Depends.  If looking for a kitted out offshore type cruiser, I might very well go to Mexico or Panama.  Otherwise, I’d probably look closely at slightly larger boats that folks use for offshore amateur racing ?  Like for the Singlehanded Transpac, Pacific Cup, etc. (Express 37, etc). I mean, it all depends on what kinda boat I was looking for.  

What you looking for a boat for?  Are you ready to work on whatever you get, or pay someone else to do the work - or are you looking for something “ready to go”?

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My present boat found me. With two young kids, we were happy with our 28' boat and not looking. Our future boat was a donation at a place a friend worked. "You should look a this boat", several deals have fallen through. 

We took a couple looks (I was hooked from 100 feet away) and then made a very fair offer. They looked at the offer and said , "Are you putting contingency survey on the offer?"

I said "No, it already failed mine and that's why I'm here". 

I actually offered more than I think they would have taken but I've never liked dickering. No contingency but I needed to sell my boat, which I did and delivered that check the day of the closing,...(cutting a little close)

The money went to a good cause, Outward Bound. 

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4 hours ago, ksamnic said:

Did you know exactly what boat you wanted and just go buy it?

Did you buy and sell a bunch of boats until you got something you were happy with?

Did you go through a long drawn out process to find your boat?

If you were doing it again (looking for and purchasing a used sailboat), what would you do differently from last time?

I don't know that my story is helpful, but here it is:

This time around my then girlfriend (now wife) and I knew what we wanted -- something fast enough to be in more fun racing classes (PHRF 60-120 basically) while also being nice to cruise on for a couple (we had no kids then).  I was upgrading from my Pearson 28-2 which was a great cruising boat and sailed well, but was too slow in light air to be much fun racing in Puget Sound.  We were drawn to cruisable 80s ULDBs in the 30' range.  Olson 911S was my ideal boat, but none were for sale.  I was close to buying a Hotfoot 31 except that it needed way too much work.  There really wasn't much else to consider that was on the market, most 30ish boats are slow (PHRF 170+) or didn't have the cruising features that we wanted.

When the Hotfoot 31 fell through I upped the budget and started looking at J/35s.  Then we toured one of those and it didn't have the magic spark that I was hoping for.  

Finally the Express 37 popped up and was just outside my price range.  It met every goal except for being too expensive and too big.  I ran some numbers and got over the "too expensive" part.  Kerry convinced me that if we had a fun boat that we'd have no problem getting enough crew for racing (which turned out to be true) and so we bought it.  I'm really glad that we did because we now have 2 kids and a 37' boat is suddenly the right length for family cruising too.

----

My advice is to figure out what you can be flexible on and what is important to you and keep looking.  I agree that shopping sucks, especially if the boats are far away (I'm in Seattle and that Hotfoot 31 was in Vancouver and we went to look at it 3 times including one test sail -- after that I soured on boats that included a 3 hour drive).  

1 hour ago, Trovão said:

you don't choose the right boat - the right boat chooses you...

Completely true.  The first time we were on the Express 37 everything felt right.  That didn't happen with any of the other boats that we were looking at.  I have zero regrets and I'm happy now that there weren't any Olson 911S's waiting for me to buy them.  It does make me sad that there are still 3 rotting away on R dock at my marina, over 4 years since I bought the Express.

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I bought my boat sight unseen, but surveyed, after a couple months of online searches.

That probably wasn't the smartest thing, but I was looking more for something with good bones that I could make my own imprint on. I was living in Singapore at the time and although I owned some dinghy's/sportboats/small keel boats in Asia, I was feeling very strongly I wasn't making progress towards my master plan.  Action needed to be taken. 

 I knew what I was looking for one of the Ted Hood CB triplets Hood 38/ Little Harbor 38 / Bristol 38.8 and this was a reasonable example. Ten years later I might have picked something with a better pedigree, or slightly more pleasing lines, or maybe requiring a little less work, or maybe a little bigger, or a little faster, but then when I think of the trade-offs, I feel overall it's a good compromise for the intended use case. 

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In terms of when it's the right time for the right boat...

The 16' Wayfarer dinghy was owned by a friend and we sailed together. He was building a boat and needed to sell this one. It sorta fell into my lap, even though I wasn't actively boat shopping at the time.

My first Shark 24 was the second boat I looked at.

My second Shark 24 was the second boat I looked at.

The C&C 29-2 waved at me from the back pages of the Pacific Yachting listings, but it was in Vancouver and I was in Victoria. I had a feeling...so I called my wife, who was in Vancouver for a meeting. She also had a wretched cold, but agreed to drive out to the marina and have a look. She liked the boat, I made an offer and we bought it without me even seeing it. She also missed her meeting, and compounded that by dragging another participant out with her. 

I saw the C&C 35-3 listed in Seattle, so I called the broker and made an appointment. I got the first ferry off the island and drove down to Seattle, looked at the boat and agreed to buy it without my wife even seeing it. It was the first boat I had looked at since buying the 29.

Impulsive? Me? We also bought the second house we looked at.

It helps to know what you are looking for. In the case of the C&C's, I had raced on those models and knew them pretty well.

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Our current boat is our second, we'd owned the first for 6 years and wanted something bigger.  Looked for 4 months.  My wife goes off to a conference, and the next day it pops up on Kijiji (Canada's version of Craigslist?).  So off I go to look at it.  Call my wife later - "so, is it bad to buy a boat while one's wife is out of town?".  Luckily her response was "what kind of boat".  I'd have been a dead if it had been a Grampian...

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Boats

#1 1971: Old Sunfish & rusty trailer. Sailed on Biscayne Bay for a couple years. Lots of fun with Mrs. B. Sold and bought

#2 1973: Used Chrysler Mutineer 15' POS & trailer. Sailed on Biscayne Bay for a few months. Unloaded at slight profit and bought

#3 1974: New Cape Dory Typhoon. We loved it. Sailed and raced on Biscayne Bay for six years. Moved to NC in 1980 and sold it.

#4 1984: New J22. Sailed on Kerr Lake. Loved it but had 4 rug rats. Sold it in 1987 and hibernated for 20 years. [See Note]

#5 2007: 1984 J22. Sailed and raced on Kerr Lake. Liked it very much. Sold it in 2014 and bought

#6 2014 27' H-Boat. Bought from Block Island Maritime. Did 6 month renovation/re-fit. Delighted. Some itch for 30'er.

Note: This was a pivotal time. I opted to bag sailing for what turned out to be 20 years. Alternatively, I could have bought a family cruiser and sailed out of Washington or Oriental North Carolina. We actually looked at a Pearson 323 around 1981 or 82. Back then, sailing venues such as Oriental were a miserable 4 hour drive. Now it's an easy 3 hours. Oh well.

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1 hour ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

What you looking for a boat for?  Are you ready to work on whatever you get, or pay someone else to do the work - or are you looking for something “ready to go”?

Local (PNW) and offshore cruising. Need room and space for 4 adults. Simply put - a ~40' cruiser that is well built, has been cared for, and is not a major project. We prefer a boat that sails well, but if we need to trade we would take comfort over performance (to an extent). I can fix anything, and actually enjoy working on stuff - so I will do all the ongoing work. I have lots of sailing experience, have been on and around many boats - which is in a way a curse because I see lots of 'silly' things on the boats we look at. I like things that are well designed, well constructed, and 'look nice'. Don't need all the modern 'features' and 'conveniences' - but it sure would be nice to be able to shower w/o hoisting a sun shower bag and stripping down on the foredeck, and it would be nice to not have to stop for ice blocks every 3 days (which is what we do now in the boat we borrow). Things like microwaves and TV's will be tossed immediately - we don't even understand why people put them on boats.

Our general preference is 'not a modern production boat' - for a whole bunch of reasons - but mostly just poor build quality and I am not a fan of how they handle/feel/ride in larger seas.

We started out looking at boats like Passport 40/41 and have no issue with older boats, as long as they have been cared for. I think, after looking at many different boats (newer and older) we are right back at that same place. The very very first boat we looked at was a Passport 41, and it felt right the second we stepped onto it. I liked the cockpit, the galley, and the salon. The only issue we had was (a) it had the pullman berth config with the head at the front (I still can't figure out how that works when you are at sea), and (b) it was the first boat we saw so we had no idea if it was a good example or if it was priced fairly etc. In any case we should have bought it and we would be sailing right now - not boat shopping!

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It's easy if you have a deadline :)

We picked a month to leave to go cruising. Which meant we needed to buy a boat a year before that to learn it and get it ready for a 6 month cruise.

So like many here I'd spent years thinking about what I wanted, but spent 3 months looking at boats and bought the third one that we looked at.

It was the best fit against the criteria we had written down for our cruising boat. If I was to do it again, I'd prefer a slightly shallower draft and a plain fin keel rather than fin with bulb... but I'm nitpicking. We loved the boat we ended up with, although it was not what I had gone looking for, indeed I'd never heard of either the make or model.

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It's pretty easy to get caught up in spreadsheet analysis and compiling a list of must haves based on what others say they must have.

Most folks don't buy their last boat first.

What models are popular in your area that fit size/financial requirements?

Maybe start with one of those as there is a local market for it when you are done?

Then you are out there actually sailing while gaining knowledge and real world experience.

Good luck.

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9 hours ago, ksamnic said:

We looked a a couple of sailboats this weekend. It was very disappointing. There is a definite pattern emerging in out search for a boat: we see something online that looks like it meet our needs, do some research, get excited, contact the broker and arrange a visit. Then we look at the boat and come home and have a drink and shake our heads. Revise criteria, and repeat. 

This has been going on for three years now. Yesterday my wife posed the question "how long does it take most people to buy a boat?" (suggesting that maybe we are being too fussy).

So I thought I would ask:

Did you know exactly what boat you wanted and just go buy it?

Did you buy and sell a bunch of boats until you got something you were happy with?

Did you go through a long drawn out process to find your boat?

If you were doing it again (looking for and purchasing a used sailboat), what would you do differently from last time?

I gotta ask... was the price vs your expectations/ desires the major obstruction?

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28 minutes ago, Willin' said:
10 hours ago, ksamnic said:

We looked a a couple of sailboats this weekend. It was very disappointing. There is a definite pattern emerging in out search for a boat: we see something online that looks like it meet our needs, do some research, get excited, contact the broker and arrange a visit. Then we look at the boat and come home and have a drink and shake our heads. Revise criteria, and repeat. 

This has been going on for three years now. Yesterday my wife posed the question "how long does it take most people to buy a boat?" (suggesting that maybe we are being too fussy).

So I thought I would ask:

Did you know exactly what boat you wanted and just go buy it?

Did you buy and sell a bunch of boats until you got something you were happy with?

Did you go through a long drawn out process to find your boat?

If you were doing it again (looking for and purchasing a used sailboat), what would you do differently from last time?

I gotta ask... was the price vs your expectations/ desires the major obstruction?

And BUYing is one of the least expensive things you do with a boat.

I hope the OP has been sailing on other people's boats the whole time. Spending time on (including but not limited to sailing) a lot of different boats is really the only rational way to decide what you want for yourself. If you have to buy all the ones that aren't quite what you really want, it gets expensive. I have owned a bunch of different boats in my life, from little racing sailboats to bigger racing sailboats to cruising motorboats. Most were fairly right for what I wanted at the time. The boats I have now are a lot nicer than I deserve. Hell, the guitars and the wife I have now are a lot nicer than I deserve!!

- DSK

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1 hour ago, Willin' said:

was the price vs your expectations/ desires the major obstruction?

Interesting question! Price vs expectations.

Certainly it was this past weekend!

I do like quality and I do like good design (for everything - not just boats). I try to be realistic though - so when we looked at a Catalina 36MkII last weekend I tried to ignore the overall 'fit & finish' and consider the boat for what it is ... but the marketing&photos tricked me ... I _expected_ the aft cabin to actually be big enough to be able to sit up in bed! Then we looked at a Tartan 3700 ... double the price ... a proper aft cabin ... much nicer interior detailing ... but overall very little storage (could not take this boat offshore or we would starve), and this particular boat had a floor that was delaminating due to water damage (not expected at this price point) ... so yes ... not meeting the expectations. To be fair we were looking at these (which are one size smaller than what we really want) with the idea that maybe we are too hung up on the size and need to compromise... so we did manage to validate our size requirements!

This isn't the only obstruction though ... right now there just isn't much available at any price point around here ... a total of 18 boats on yw from 38-42', 1990-2010. 

1 hour ago, Steam Flyer said:

I hope the OP has been sailing on other people's boats the whole time.

Yes, I sure have! Been sailing since I was 7 or 8 years old. Cruising and racing various keel boats since the 1970's. Crossed 1.5 oceans on other peoples boats - and spend at least 3 weeks every summer cruising the PNW on various boats (I am lucky I guess as there are a few boats available for me to use when they are free; I have friends and family with larger boats; I help out whenever someone needs crew or with maintenance and such). 

Actually, now that you mention it ... maybe if I did not have access to other people's boats I would have bought one sooner!

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All boats are a compromise.

You should have pushed the seller of the Tartan 3700 to repair the cabin sole, hammered him down on the price and then figured out how to increase stowage without performing surgery on the cabin.

For me, 3rd time's the charm? 

I learned on an ancient Coronado 25. It was never meant to be my "forever boat."

I upgraded to a Pearson 30. I could have kept that boat forever but my wife insisted on something a little larger with a reasonably sized holding tank.

She pushed me to buy a Tartan 33 that a friend had considered, then rejected. My sailing friends egged me on, so I bought the Tartan 33 for a song and refurbished it. She's happy, I'm happy. We both realize that at our budgets and time constraints, this is the largest boat we can manage. We're happy with the speed and the amenities. I'm happy with the construction, fit and finish.

I really, really don't want to go through the whole selling/buying/inspecting/repairing/upgrading loop again.  I finally got this boat customized for us.

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I dunno, I always enjoyed boat shopping. When my wife and I were winding up toward retirement, I spent about 4 years looking for the right boat. I didn't really have any hard requirements other than it had to be shallow of draft for use in the US SouthEast; but my wife and I had sailed together for years and owned a smaller, trailerable, cruising boat, which we sold the year before buying our Big Cruising Boat. We ended up getting a trawler, worked very well for us.

It is definitely a loop. But there is also no such thing as The Perfect Boat. Luckily there is a lot of info available fairly easily these days.

- DSK

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19 hours ago, ksamnic said:

We looked a a couple of sailboats this weekend. It was very disappointing. There is a definite pattern emerging in out search for a boat: we see something online that looks like it meet our needs, do some research, get excited, contact the broker and arrange a visit. Then we look at the boat and come home and have a drink and shake our heads. Revise criteria, and repeat. 

This has been going on for three years now. Yesterday my wife posed the question "how long does it take most people to buy a boat?" (suggesting that maybe we are being too fussy).

So I thought I would ask:

Did you know exactly what boat you wanted and just go buy it?

Nope. We were not looking for a boat at the time. I thought then, and still do, that if we had done lots of research to work out what we needed, what our priorities should be and so on, we would never have bought a boat at all.  We would never have really settled on what we wanted and whenever we got close we would have been scared off by the cost/time commitment of a boat that met them. 

19 hours ago, ksamnic said:

Did you buy and sell a bunch of boats until you got something you were happy with?

No but then we're not entirely happy with the boat we have. I guess that depends on how good a fit it needs to be to count as "happy". All boats are a compromise, of course.

19 hours ago, ksamnic said:

Did you go through a long drawn out process to find your boat?

No. We came across a boat that looked as if it might meet our loose requirements at a price we could afford to take a punt on.

19 hours ago, ksamnic said:

If you were doing it again (looking for and purchasing a used sailboat), what would you do differently from last time?

For us, a significant part of buying a boat was to get a better understanding of what we needed and what we wanted vs. what we could afford, and what the real costs, benefits & opportunities of owning a boat were.

 Obviously, we would take what we've learned into account if we were to buy again.  I think one of the key things I would bear in mind is that there is no perfect boat, so you can spend a lot of time looking for something that doesn't exist (corollary-  if you wait long enough an unaffordable boat may become affordable as it ages; unless your criteria automatically exclude that!). For us, one of the things that pushed us firmly over the should-we/shouldn't-we threshold was our (and our extended families') children being teenagers: the opportunity to sail as a family was rapidly passing, so we seized it. Our requirements are now changing and we are better informed, so we are revisiting the question of whether this is still the "right" boat for us.

Hope this helps.

Cheers,

               W.

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17 hours ago, Trovão said:

you don't choose the right boat - the right boat chooses you...

you'll know when it happens...

 

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When my then-crew member and I went looking for a new boat, the very first one we saw was actually a very good option, but it seemed just a bit too small, just a bit too slow. It gave us a wrong impression about what might be available. The next umpteen boats we looked at were not as good as the first.  After a couple years of looking at boats as far east as Rhode Island and as far west as Liberty marina, I showed an ad for a local boat to my wife and said "if we wanted to solve the problem by throwing money at it..." and she said "go look at it." 

I think in making an important purchase, we all have the risk of looking around to see what features are available and at what price, and then looking for a package which is just beyond what's available in the market. With boats, there is always the chance of finding a unicorn, but they are nominated "unicorn" for a reason.

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I've been boat shopping for a year now for a good old boat. I have cashola, a truckload of anchors, line, solar panels and so forth, and can/will move at the drop of my skipper's hat but I guess social media has both helped and hindered. We can now find many more boats to consider but the sellers have been apparently overrun by emailers and texters.

I get that many sellers didn't know crap when they were buyers and assume the next buyer is just like them. On Craig's and Famebook, the descriptions are woeful. An engine is a engine, right? No, I fucking want to know what model, if FWC (usually have to explain that one) hours if known (rare) and I want a goddamn picture and it better be clean and orderly! I dogged one mofo until he admitted the boat was a Bayliner Buccaneer. If he had said so in his ad, he wouldn't have been bothered by me at all. Did you realize Cherubini was a manufacturer? Me neither. 

Another fave is the guy with just the right boat but something fixable for "$450" is wrong with the diesel. I asked why not just go ahead and fix it? (8 months ago) (( no answer)) I smile each and every time I check on it. If I thought it might be true, I'd front the guy the $. 

Well, I don't want to get off on a rant here, I may be wrong.

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On 11/9/2020 at 11:31 AM, ksamnic said:

Did you know exactly what boat you wanted and just go buy it?

Did you buy and sell a bunch of boats until you got something you were happy with?

Did you go through a long drawn out process to find your boat?

If you were doing it again (looking for and purchasing a used sailboat), what would you do differently from last time?

background I recently bought my 4th boat. (#3 and #4 are current, yes I have two boats)

Did you know exactly what boat you wanted and just go buy it?

Boat #1 Not a specific size or brand....I would say I knew what sort of boat I didn't want, but mostly realistic expectations of how we wanted to use the boat. In my case, daysailing, marina weekending, and coastal cruising. A simple and roomy 26 footer fit the bill.

Boat #2 Yes. I wanted a S2 9.2a. (30')  I found three in my area. I bought one of them. Same as above but with a little racing capability.

Boat #3. Yes. I wanted a S2 11.0 (36') I found three in my region and one locally, I wanted a solid great lakes cruiser..

Boat #4. No. I saw in a craigslist add and thought it would be a fun summer project. 1981  Pearson FLyer 30' racer.

As you get started I would recommend getting into a boat that is going to teach you ownership, good seamanship, safe sailing and how to have fun being a boat owner. Get into one sooner rather than later. One that is not too much or too little. 25-28 is a good size for a first boat if you have some sailing experience and been around boats. Even if you have tons of experience on OPBs as indicated, bigger boats are big expenses...and more complicated to handle solo. A few feet can make a big difference in being confident and handy to being overwhelming and a struggle.

Did you buy and sell a bunch of boats until you got something you were happy with?

Technically I would say yes. But Boat #1 and #2 I sailed each one for multiple years before buying up. (there was dual boat ownership overlap) Both boats I would say were perfect for the time I owned them. Each built my knowledge and experience that led to the next one. It really is one day you just go..."Lets LOOK for a bigger boat." Not Lets GET a bigger boat. I always really liked the boats I own and have fun sailing and staying on them.

Did you go through a long drawn out process to find your boat?

For #1, #2 and #4 I would say no not at all. It was only a matter of a few weeks.

Number #3 actually took much longer. I saw the boat for sail and my partner and I were just starting to look...we were looking for a larger cruiser between 36-40 feet. We looked for comfort and shorthanded sailing ability along with stout build and price under 30k USD. The S2 11.0 was on my shortlist. C&C Landfall 38. Islander 40. Were some of the boats on my list. Actually from the first time we looked the S2 11.0 to second look and purchase was just about one year. I wasn't in a particular hurry there lots of boats on the market and I was still gathering the cash for purchase. But the price dropped and the pieces fell in place. Also I fairly good at getting good neglected boats fixed up so I did have work to do on all the boats I have bought.

Having said that...I am always shopping and looking at boats online and at the docks.

If you were doing it again (looking for and purchasing a used sailboat), what would you do differently from last time?

Probably the only thing I can think of is to have 20% more cash than you want to spend on the purchase. This makes getting to work right away easier and faster. But I usually buy mid-late season and can save up to do the big jobs the following spring. 2 of the 4 boats were in the water. #1 I had a survey done. Later I just sort of learned how to evaluate boats myself. Boat #4 was rather inexpensive and had a lot of work to do (fitting a new/used replacement rig and repowering) I set a overall budget and was able to stay well under that and actually have fun working on and sailing the boat this past season.

Also if it is any help...I am already looking for the #5,  45 foot range....I have some ideas in that area but it may take a year or so to get there. In the meantime I have two super fun cool boats to live and play with. My S2 11.0m cruiser condo and the go fast(er) Pearson Flyer 30 retro race boat.

I have rather longish threads about the S2 11.0 and the Pearson FLyer re-furbs here on SA.

Good Luck! Use your gut feeling not your heart and emotions and you will pick a good one that will be enjoyed.

 

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3 hours ago, Blue Crab said:

hours if known (rare)

Why would you trust whatever is said?  Hour meters are almost always add-ons and could just be fiction.  Plus they break or get disconnected pretty easily.

My boat has two hour meters.  The higher count one might be accurate?  I have no way to know when it was installed.

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3 hours ago, Blue Crab said:

...

Well, I don't want to get off on a rant here, I may be wrong.

You ain't wrong

FB- Doug

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Given the level of experience the OP has, I would say he is perhaps being too picky. I worked my way from dinghies, through windsurfing, Hobie 16, then O'Day 23, then Tanzer 22, all on a local lake in the midwest. When I retired end of 2018, I spent six weeks of last spring in California looking endlessly at boats up and down the coast (three times from SD to SF and back). I could not decide between a bluewater boat immediately, or a coastal cruiser for a couple years. Almost bought a 32 ft coastal cruiser, after a haulout and survey that revealed some potentially serious structural issues that the owner was unwilling to negotiate about, I walked away. I spent the summer helping care for my elderly mother, and read up even more, looking for a really reliable but affordable bluewater boat in the 30-35 ft range, and settled on the Pacific Seacraft Creelock 34. I drove to Seattle in August to see two of them for sale, but both sold before I got there. I spent four weeks, including sailing on a PSC37 and coming close to a survey on a second PSC37, but decided they were both too expensive and larger than what I needed. I wanted a good single hander boat capable of accommodating a couple at times. While contemplating driving to California to check out other PSC34s, I noticed a Yachtworld advertisement for one in Panama at half the regular price. My wife was up for a week long visit to Panama and we inspected the boat on the hard. It had a pedigree I liked, 1989 but 20 years on Lake Superior, and the couple who owned it had left everything on board. Unusually it was a tiller boat which I prefer. I bought it in October, worked on it in November, had a short cruise to the San Blas, and am very happy with it despite needing quite a lot more work. Only Covid has ruined my sailing plans now, plus shoulder surgery. So, I bought and sold several boats, but only as a progression towards this goal. I took nine months to find and buy this one. I hope it will be my last boat.

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56 minutes ago, Alex W said:

Why would you trust whatever is said?  Hour meters are almost always add-ons and could just be fiction.  Plus they break or get disconnected pretty easily.

My boat has two hour meters.  The higher count one might be accurate?  I have no way to know when it was installed.

Well you got me there Captain.

On that note, there's a boat on Craigs that has a raw water cooled YSE-8 with 11,000 hours. Kudos to the seller's honesty.

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Yeah, you're being too picky if you've taken 3 years so far without ending up with a boat...

All boats will have flaws, stuff to be improved, added to, modified, repaired etc. etc.

Just pick one that ticks 80% of your boxes.  But yes the market is very, very thin right now in BC.

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My friend Merv,  Emailed me.  "I found your boat," sent me the. craigslist ad.  I went the next day and paid full price, waited 4 months to take delivery.  I had been looking for 30 years.  G32 was worth. the wait.  Don't settle, but have fun in the meantime.

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On 11/9/2020 at 9:31 AM, ksamnic said:
Quote

Did you know exactly what boat you wanted and just go buy it?

Yes, I knew what I wanted

Quote

Did you go through a long drawn out process to find your boat?

Yes and no.  There weren't any examples of the boat I wanted anywhere near me (Puget Sound).  I looked at one on Flathead Lake, Montana.  I called about one in Texas.  I called about one in Tennessee.  I worked with a broker who did a number of searches/outreaches on my behalf.  Etc.  Overall, it took me about 2 years to find "the boat" - one which was in good shape, and for which the boat + needed upgrades + shipping was worth the $$$ 

Along the way, I looked at a range of similar boats.  None of them tripped my hammer.  So I kept waiting/watching for "the one".

Once "the one" popped up on the radar, things went pretty quickly   Flew to CA to view the boat, made an offer that night, a couple of back-and-forths with the seller's broker, flew down a second time two weeks later for survey and sea-trial, then a third time two weeks later to sign the papers, receive the keys, and get the boat ready to go on a truck for the road-trip to WA.

That was five years ago.  Still delighted with the boat, and super-happy that I didn't "settle" for something less.

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for the Wildcat...the S2 7.9, I had something I wanted to do...not a "boat goal" but a "cruising/racing" goal.  So I was looking for basically the most affordable boat with a PHRF rating significantly under 200, that would let me achieve that goal. It was about 5 months before I found the S2.

The Piper...well, I'm a Scot-o-phile.  I'd decided that having a unique, wood Scottish One-Design called a Loch Long One Design would be cool.  I actually did locate one in New York, but a buddy from the Wood Boat Forum went and looked at it. The pictures convinced me...nope. All that took about 3 months. Then, about 2 months later I was looking through some nearby Craigslist ads and...WTF?  A Piper One Design? ...the OTHER regional Scottish One Design from the area I'm interested in?  I wasn't looking but I couldn't say "no".

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3 yrs for my last boat

1 yr for my current boat.

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5 hours ago, MauiPunter said:

3 yrs for my last boat

1 yr for my current boat.

You bought your first boat out of East Greenwich RI, right? 

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On 11/9/2020 at 12:31 PM, ksamnic said:

We looked a a couple of sailboats this weekend. It was very disappointing. There is a definite pattern emerging in out search for a boat: we see something online that looks like it meet our needs, do some research, get excited, contact the broker and arrange a visit. Then we look at the boat and come home and have a drink and shake our heads. Revise criteria, and repeat. 

This has been going on for three years now. Yesterday my wife posed the question "how long does it take most people to buy a boat?" (suggesting that maybe we are being too fussy).

So I thought I would ask:

Did you know exactly what boat you wanted and just go buy it?  Yes. I was casually looking for the type of boat my family had when I was a kid.  There were only 19 made, so I searched on and off through years on yachtworld and elsewhere until I found one for sale that I could negotiate to an affordable price.

Did you buy and sell a bunch of boats until you got something you were happy with?  No.  I knew what I wanted and searched until  I found it.

Did you go through a long drawn out process to find your boat?  Yes- see 1st answer.

If you were doing it again (looking for and purchasing a used sailboat), what would you do differently from last time?  Nothing- found what I was looking for.  I knew exactly, which is likely rare.  Been sailing and racing on everything from windsurfers in Hawaii to crewing on multiple race boats ranging from dinghies to 85 ft ocean racers over 50+ years.  Also as a naval architect, I have a pretty good understanding of boat characteristics and the boat I ended up getting is the closest I could afford without doing a custom (which I cannot afford).

 

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It took me ~15 years. I had 4 or 5 models in mind, but needed to wait until I got to the point where I could move back to Hawaii to get serious about my search. From that point it took about a year to find the right boat and thanks to COVID about another 6 months to close on the deal followed by ~3 months to get it shipped to the SF Bay area. 

pm_201025_0076.jpg

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3 hours ago, Elegua said:

You bought your first boat out of East Greenwich RI, right? 

Correct!  I had been looking for a Nelson Marek 454 for many years that wasn't a total POS and found that one in RI.  loved that boat.  Had it 6 years, and sold it this past summer, when I bought the new boat.

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4 minutes ago, MauiPunter said:

Correct!  I had been looking for a Nelson Marek 454 for many years that wasn't a total POS and found that one in RI.  loved that boat.  Had it 6 years, and sold it this past summer, when I bought the new boat.

I remember that boat from when I was getting my own newly bought shitbox moved up north. 

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My first boat was a Phil Bolger design I built myself. Super simple, should take me about 3 months. 5 years later, I was sailing. But if you are looking to buy used, you're already ahead of me here.

Moved to Hawaii. My 2nd was a Hobie 16. My girlfriend (now my wife) and I looked at it and bought it. Total "search" was maybe a week?

Fast forward a few years, back in South Florida. Knew I could never give up the speed and fun of a multihull, but have 3 kids now. Did some research and decided a Corsair 24 was the way to go. Looked at a Mark I here in Miami that was in crap condition and passed. Looked at Mark 2 up in Vero and bought it the next week. Maybe six weeks had passed once the idea of a Corsair entered my head.

This spring, cruising in the Keys with family (kids much bigger now) decided we needed a bigger boat. Talked to a friend a few days later, who knew and much older guy with an F-27 that wanted to downsize. Within 10 days we had traded boats. I've spent most weekends last 4 months replacing rigging, doing lots of little jobs, making her pretty again. Ready for fun now.

Moral of the story: it helps a lot to know exactly what you want, and live in a place with lots of examples of what you want.

 

 

 

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On 11/10/2020 at 6:31 AM, ksamnic said:

We looked a a couple of sailboats this weekend. It was very disappointing. There is a definite pattern emerging in out search for a boat: we see something online that looks like it meet our needs, do some research, get excited, contact the broker and arrange a visit. Then we look at the boat and come home and have a drink and shake our heads. Revise criteria, and repeat. 

This has been going on for three years now. Yesterday my wife posed the question "how long does it take most people to buy a boat?" (suggesting that maybe we are being too fussy).

So I thought I would ask:

Did you know exactly what boat you wanted and just go buy it?

Did you buy and sell a bunch of boats until you got something you were happy with?

Did you go through a long drawn out process to find your boat?

If you were doing it again (looking for and purchasing a used sailboat), what would you do differently from last time?

Depends on the boat.

For out first boat (1996), my wife agreed we could get one. We weren't really sailors, but she'd taken a job with a practice in RI and I'd sailed enough to know I wanted one. We discussed a budget, but not specifics. She envisioned something like a Sunfish. For the money we'd agreed to (< $10,000), I was thinking an older 26-28' keel boat. So she was sort of shocked when I wanted to drive to the Chesapeake to look at a Catalina 27. We didn't end up liking it and it was right at the top of the budget. This was before Yachtworld and even much of the web, but I managed to find a 1966 Tartan 27 for sale on the internet for $3,000, where the owner had put it up for sale on her own when her husband died. That was boat #1. That whole process took about six months, if you don't count the time it took me to convince my wife we needed to buy a boat before we bought a house (there is a logical argument to be made for it!).

For boat #2 (1999), we knew we wanted something bigger and nicer than Tartan 27 the same age as me. My wife was pregnant with our second child, and we wanted something we could take out of Narragansett Bay and spend time overnight on with the kids. Yachtworld was a thing by then, and I pored over it. I looked at many boat online. We also looked at a couple of boats in person - one private sale at our club, one or two brokerage boats. I spotted a C&C 37 that was more than my wife wanted to pay but seemed to fit the bill for us. The whole way to see it she was like "I don't know why we're even making this drive, we're not spending this much on a boat." She must have said that six times in the hour-long trip. Then she saw it and fell in love.  This took several months, and a summer without a boat maybe made us desperate, but we were new parents and things moved slowly.

For boat #3 (2001), I'd been racing the C&C for two summers and having a blast in jib and main racing, but I wanted more. There were a couple of Beneteau 40.7s at our club in class A which went blowing buy me every week on the way to the course. It looked like a lot of fun, so the search was for a 40.7. As it happened, there was an excellent one for sale on the other side of the bay, so we looked at one boat and bought it after a bit of wife-wheedling. This was a pretty rapid process since I knew what I wanted and the boat was a 40 minute drive around the bay.

For boat #4 (2006), we'd decided to stop racing and by the big cruising boat we were planning to sail off into the sunset on. We knew we'd be doing this with kids who were teenagers (eventually, they were 6 & 9 at the time), so we wanted some room for everyone to go close a door. Our hope was to sail for boat for a few years, learning it and getting it fixed up the way we wanted it to cruise. In truth, my wife wasn't still all-in on the "let's quit, sell, and sail" approach to life yet, so our worst case scenario is we sell the boat for something smaller if we didn't like dealing with the big boat, sailing offshore, or sailing overnight which were things we planned to attempt with the new boat.

So we were looking for something offshore tough, with space to live and store, three cabins, and which sailed reasonably well. With our budget, the 50-55' range seemed to have some good options. Though not a ton - you're looking at boats like Moody, Hylas, Amel, and a few others. I once thought the Amel Super Maramu would be the boat, but by the time time we got to shopping I'd lost interest in those. I liked the Hallberg-Rassy, but the 53 was priced out of our range by quite a lot more than say, the Hylas 54.

Again, a looked online, and we'd started looking earlier than we made the call. We walked on boats on shows (always visiting the Hylas 54s). We arranged to see a Hylas 54 when we were in Florida before "the call" so we had a pretty good sense of the boats. Eventually, we found a Hylas 54 for sale in St. Thomas for a good price that we flew down to see. We offered on it, and reached a deal.

Then, I flew a surveyor down from Newport with me to go over the boat. He found...problems. We ended up rejecting the boat after the survey, which was heartbreaking because we were so excited to have found the boat.That boat might have worked for us for a lot less (like...$125-150K less), but the seller wouldn't budge a nickel.

After the letdown of with the boat in St. Thomas, we were back to square one. It was November, boating season was over, and our deal was dead. We spotted another Hylas 54 for sale just down the road from us and went to look at it, but it was more expensive than the boat in St. Thomas. We liked it though, and were considering offering but were wary for some reason and held off.

Dejectedly, one morning I scanned Yachtworld with a price slightly outside my range just for a "what the hell, why not" look. And I spotted a Hallberg-Rassy 53 that had just come on the market in FL for about $200K less that any other HR53 on the market, and not too much more than the Hylas 54 down the road which we thought was a tad over priced but we were interested in.

I showed my wife the first chance I could, and made a few calls. A couple of guys who raced with me were brokers, and they made arrangements for me to look at a sister ship on the hard in RI for me to see if I liked the layout and feel of the boat. This boat had a different layout (not one we wanted), but was a similar vintage but a quarter million more than the one in FL. We liked it a lot, so we flew to Florida right after Thanksgiving to see it. It was a bit more than the Hylas near home, but it was a fantastic price since I guess the owner just wanted out. This one passed the survey.

Years later, out cruising we met a guy on a nice Oyster. He admired our boat too, and told us he'd wanted one and almost bought one in Florida around the time we bought ours, but it disappeared from the market before he could get to see it...

That process was the culmination of a couple of years of thinking, planning, dreaming and research. We looked at a lot of new boats (but were planning to buy used but new enough to be in production), and several used ones. I paid for two week-long surveys, with airfare and lodging. But the time from the "let's do this" moment in the summer of 2005 and offering on the second boat in December was about five months, including the one broken deal.

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5 hours ago, MauiPunter said:

Correct!  I had been looking for a Nelson Marek 454 for many years that wasn't a total POS and found that one in RI.  loved that boat.  Had it 6 years, and sold it this past summer, when I bought the new boat.

I really like the N/M Morgan 454 and have thought about seeing if that would be a good big boat for my wife and I. If you don't mind, why did you sell it? What would you say were it's best & worst characteristics?

FB- Doug

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1 minute ago, Steam Flyer said:

I really like the N/M Morgan 454 and have thought about seeing if that would be a good big boat for my wife and I. If you don't mind, why did you sell it? What would you say were it's best & worst characteristics?

FB- Doug

We just quite simply needed more room.  We live on our sailboat 5mo out of the year, and work full time remotely, and have a 9 yr old daughter.  We just needed more breathing space.  The boat sailed like a dream.  Had that row away factor.  Handled heavy ocean conditions without a problem when we ventured off shore.  We raced her in the ocean races out here and had a ball. I could single-hand the boat without any issues.  I never would have sold her if it was just my wife and I and we were retired.  Between my wife and I and my daughter we had like 5 laptops going at the same time taking up space and wires every where on a work day.  :)    I still feel sad about selling her, but, life marches on.   Now we have ample space on the 505.

 

20245363_10156506423619251_5473020758513581961_n.jpg.3930cf7fc2f933c6fec70d3ed1663034.jpg

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started visiting boats on our shortlist on May 31st 2018 - signed in July in Brittany, France - crossed Bay of Biscay Mid September 2018 - reached French Polynesia March 2019 - sold her there 15th Sept 2020. the lady & I, prvious experience: 3 rtw

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On 11/9/2020 at 12:31 PM, ksamnic said:

We looked a a couple of sailboats this weekend. It was very disappointing. There is a definite pattern emerging in out search for a boat: we see something online that looks like it meet our needs, do some research, get excited, contact the broker and arrange a visit. Then we look at the boat and come home and have a drink and shake our heads. Revise criteria, and repeat. 

This has been going on for three years now. Yesterday my wife posed the question "how long does it take most people to buy a boat?" (suggesting that maybe we are being too fussy).

So I thought I would ask:

Did you know exactly what boat you wanted and just go buy it?

Not exactly on this last purchase. Larger for visiting grandchild. More tankage for planned retirement travels. Preferably Great Lakes boat  

Did you buy and sell a bunch of boats until you got something you were happy with?

Had a number of dinghies and trailer sailors before our first keel boat. Now on #7, maybe the last, maybe not...

Did you go through a long drawn out process to find your boat?

We wanted to move up from our Nonsuch 22, and had looked at both larger Nonsuch 30’s and a few other sloops during that summer. Made one offer then pulled out of it after close inspection. Saw the listing for the Niagara 35 on the Wednesday it went up on YW in September. Had my broker put an offer on it so it was in play till we could drive to see it on the weekend. Was in upstate NY, we are in Ontario. After viewing, firmed up some conditions  Arranged for dry land survey Tue of following week. It had been in storage for that season due to high water levels on Lake Ontario. Was launched  on the Thur. I slept on board that night and assisted PO to rig on the Friday for the sea trial that afternoon. My broker from Canada and seller’s broker both came on the sea trial and I told my broker to start the funds transfer as we were coming back in the channel. We were back to take possession the next Wed to sail her  across to our home port near Hamilton ON. Wanted to get it to our side of the boarder before crappy fall weather

If you were doing it again (looking for and purchasing a used sailboat), what would you do differently from last time?
Not much. Have learned that if you think it is good or great, it may not be. But get an offer on it ASAP. Then look at it,and if needed,survey. Structure your offer so you have a at least a couple of exit ramps to move on if it is not for you. In the early 2000’s we lost out on a few promising online boats that were a fair distance away, because we wanted to see and touch first before making a decision. Others came with offers and took them while we considered the logistics of getting to see them.

 

Good luck in your process.

 

 

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I decided that I wanted a boat because, firstly I wanted to steer, and you don't get much of that on opb, secondly because I needed something to stop me drinking myself to death.

I spent the next 3 years still sailing opb, but hanging out on yachthub, boatsales, yachtworld type websites before I even looked at my first boat. It was a little over 8 months after that I signed the contract on my first boat.

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You mention "brokers" in the OP. Are you just looking at boats offered through brokers? They are typically not helpful at all, often only marketing the boats to make them look nice especially in the photos, but no shit about boats (I say "typically" so I leave open the option for exceptions). I hope you look at other boats as well. I have successfully bought and sold quite a few boats that way. 

Maybe I misunderstood your post, but if you step out of the realm of brokers you will have a lot more options. 

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I was looking at the problem from the bottom end of the market... essentially craigslist.  I had a set of criteria to fulfill and there were a few boats that - almost - seemed to fill them.  Meanwhile, my boat kitty was slowly filling toward the asking price of these boats.  These listings mostly were up there for months on end.  Nobody was buying them. Obviously there were Conditions Not Described in the ads.  

Finally, the kitty was full enough to buy something.  So I started traveling around to view these boats in person.  At this time, they had all been listed for at least five months. Probably more. I think I drove about four hours to see the fourth and fifth boats.  One was full of water to the floorboards and the other was a bit too big and expensive.  Right. I whipped out my cell phone and made a deal for a boat that  was a bit smaller than I liked, but had been lovingly restored by someone who was moving up.  Made a deal and drove the three hours back toward the boat.  

By the time I arrived, the boat was gone. Someone had showed up, while I was driving, with cash, and literally drove the boat away.

Pulled out the phone again, made a deal for the bigger boat, drove back three hours.  The fucker ghosted me.  Wouldn’t respond to calls or txts.   The slip was empty.

WTF??  These boats had all been on the market for months and months and they were literally disappearing as I tried to buy them.  It was like, boat silly-season.  Dejectedly, I drove the six hours home.  

A couple of days later, something made me go take another look at boat number one. It was full of trash - the result of a failed hippy live-aboard infestation - and had some obvious collision damage.  Nobody in their right mind would buy this thing. The owners were a hundred miles away and in no mood to show the boat. “Just sneak through the gate behind somebody!” And didn’t seem to know anything about sailing it.  On a hunch, I started pulling the garbage out and stacking it on the dock.  Hoisted the sails.  Bought some fresh fuel, hauled my truck battery down the dock, and got the motor started. (Taped the end of the heat exchanger back on....).  Sat on the settee and looked around at the newly-exposed spaces.  Hmm.   Went on-line to kibitz about possible fixes for the damaged bits.  

Well what do you know?  It turned out to be the right boat all along! 

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47 minutes ago, AnotherSailor said:

Are you just looking at boats offered through brokers? 

For the most part I look at boats online on yachtworld and similar sites. I have looked at Craigslist a few times - but have not seen anything even remotely interesting (at least for the Craigslist where I live). I've also tried a few of the for sale pages on owners forums for manufacturer/models I am interested in. I am not sure where else one would look.

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Took about a year to find our boat, still own it after 20 years.  It's a good boat, not perfect, but it does what we wanted it to do very well.  Sailing to the Caribbean this year we were beating under triple reef and a staysail, 35~45 over the deck for 4 days.  The boat did fine, my butt not so well.

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Don't do what I did. It's a messed up convoluted process, open to luck and the general whimsy of the Universe.

First boat was a $100 Force 5 dinghy that needed fiberglass repairs. Truth be told, it still need repairs. I picked it up from a friend of a friend, intending to repair it and go sailing for fun. Figured the trailer was worth a crisp $100, so I wouldn't lose out badly. After getting it home, I was dismayed to discover there's no halyard. The sail slips over the mast, the mast is inserted in the boat, and off I go sailing. There's no cruising out to the middle of the lake, dropping sail, and just relaxing. Nope, this is go go go until I get back to shore. I'm not in that stage of my life. I'd like to relax a bit. Current plans are to finish the work on her, get her cleaned up, and donate her to some young kid that can sail her in a proper young kid's method.

Neighbor behind me has a British built 21 foot Sunray, twin keeler. It's in bad shape, but I like fixing stuff (there's a pattern here). Dropped hints and looked it over, but the neighbor isn't willing to sell, claiming she's too emotionally attached to sell it. She rents the property from her mother, who just wants it out of the front yard, but our combined actions couldn't convince her to send it off. It did get my interest piqued in twin keel sailboats, though... and I fell in love with the Westerly Centaur model. Watching Dylan Winter's videos of cruising around Great Britain in a couple set the hook. Figured there was never going to be a chance to pick one up, 'less I flew over to the UK and picked one up... and then there was the little matter of getting her back to the States, or sorting out how to stay in that part of the world. Neither are trivial. Put my dreams aside for a bit as unrealistic, and moved on with life.

Picked up a cheap O'Day 19 Weekender that needed some serious work. Still working on this one: needs paint after fixing up the hull, and a replacement trailer, along with some rigging details. She'll make a decent weekend camping boat. Take her up to Sacandaga Lake, or up to the Adirondacks... maybe out east to Boston, stay on her for a weekend, then come back home. Heck, she'd make a decent replacement for tent camping, even. While looking at alternative storage options for the O'Day, I considered the yacht club across the street... and parked at the entrance of the yard was a Westerly Centaur. Hadn't seen the owner around (he wasn't a club member, but just paying storage fees), but the boat wasn't expected to come up for sale any time soon. The owner was clearly in the middle of a refitting her. 

In the meanwhile, I kept an eye out for sizeable twin keel cruisers. Came across a Long Island built '67 Tylercraft 24'. Bought her for the price of the trailer (again, there's a pattern). She was going to be my five/ten year project, refitting her to get her in shape to coastal cruise. Wasn't happy with the lack of headroom, thinking of getting caught out in three or four days of rainfall and being stuck in the cabin for the whole long weekend. She's a bit cramped, too. Current plans are to haul her down to North Carolina once the pandemic is over... there's an elderly guy down there with another of the same model, and can use her for parts. Getting her there will be a story.

After having parked the Tylercraft out in front of the house for about six months, the yacht club across the street threw a clam bake. Obviously, I attended... and the commodore took me aside and mentioned the Westerly Centaur was available. The prior owner failed to pay three years worth of storage fees, and attempts to contact him failed. Club placed a lien on the boat, went through the legal motions, held a public auction (no bids were placed), then sold it to me for a pittance ($500). A year later, I've joined the club as the sole sailboat owner, working to complete the refit and make her mine. The club's happy having saved a worthy boat from the crusher and gained a member out of it. I've got the boat I've wanted from the get go. 

Sometimes things just work out...

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Happy ending, nice!

No lack of project Centaurs for a pittance here - problem is finding one in good condition for a reasonable price..!

I even saw one in a boatyard that had been in a collision, and where the PO had started on a junk rig refit (!).. boat was a total mess but he did get the keel stepped mast installed... passed

Newer or alternative models like the Griffon or a Sadler or a Sabre 27 etc are looking like better value though - seems everyone goes for a centaur as "family starting cruising yacht" - could it be dylans influence??! 

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Interesting ... I had not ever heard of a Centaur (other than the mythical being)... so looked it up. I guess starter boats for many people end up being what was popular in area / country a few decades ago. Around here (BC Canada) the most common starter boats are Catalina 27's. You can usually find one that is essentially free if you look around. Used to be smaller Cal's and some Thunderbirds. 

Anyway it would be interesting (to me anyway) to compare common boat models by region. Maybe some other time when I am bored ...

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centaurs were the most produced yacht in the uk, about 2500 of them.. so yeah. they have twin keels due to the big tides. fun fact, the catalina 27 was popular here too rebadged as the Jaguar 27.. many with a twin keel configuration.. (and smaller models like the 25 and 22)

this covid year has seen price increases due to lack of travel and staycation being the mot de jour.. before that they were very cheap.. as usual the biggest thing is the condition of the engine.. if its good then you're mint.. if not.. repowering is 2x the cost of the boat..

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After owning several boats over many years I spent 10 years researching which product met my criteria, I ended up with a Swan 36-2.  After looking for one in the US for months I contacted a broker and spent about 4 months completing the process, which included having her shipped from Annapolis to Pensacola. I've owned her for 7 years now and continually satisfied with my choice.  

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4 hours ago, robtoujours said:

centaurs were the most produced yacht in the uk, about 2500 of them.. so yeah. they have twin keels due to the big tides. 

I'd say shallow east coast estuaries, rather than big tides... there's lots of tidal range on the west coast but fewer drying moorings and less shallow water. Not to say that bilge keelers don't have their advantages there but the case is less compelling if you generally have plenty of depth. 

Cheers, 

               W.

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13 hours ago, robtoujours said:

Happy ending, nice!

No lack of project Centaurs for a pittance here - problem is finding one in good condition for a reasonable price..!

I got lucky. Even the bit where she's at a powerboating yacht club worked out in my favor. Nobody else wanted it, and no one wanted the hassle of trying to flip it. The old MD2B was seized up when I got her, but a little soaking in Marvel Mystery Oil and a bump with the starter, and she freed right up. Runs like a regularly maintained 50 year old farm tractor:

 

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It either took 15 minutes, or 36 years. It all depends on how you check the time. I started sailing on her in 1984. She was 5 years old and in pristine condition. For the next 6 years we did a bunch on ocean races and really enjoyed her. Then, capitan started off to do two laps of the Blue Ball. He made ~2.9 laps and got the cancer. We spent parts of the last 5 years getting home to home port.

Capitan got the cancer twice, and got it fixed, but at 88 it wasn't going to be a come home and do a victory lap. We reached an agreement to her the rest of the way home and agreed that I would keep the legacy going as long as I could with the old crew and never change her name - Easy peasy -- she was named for his first wife (who the cancer too and wa much like my second mother) and all of the 8 boats had that name. It would be sacriedle to change much.

Over the years, Capitan has kept her in the best condition imaginable, and I would not hesitate to go anywhere on her right now. She is built by a legendary builder designed by a legendary firm from New York. I cannot wait to get her home from the last 10% of her journey to make Capitan and myself feel at peace.

She still is in pristine condition 2.9 laps later. Including the teak decks Capitan put on with the help of a shipwright when he was ~ 70.

Capitan is a stud.

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On 11/18/2020 at 3:47 AM, Caca Cabeza said:

he is built by a legendary builder designed by a legendary firm from New York

S&S Swan?

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On 11/17/2020 at 10:15 PM, WGWarburton said:

I'd say shallow east coast estuaries, rather than big tides... there's lots of tidal range on the west coast but fewer drying moorings and less shallow water. Not to say that bilge keelers don't have their advantages there but the case is less compelling if you generally have plenty of depth. 

Cheers, 

               W.

well yeah.. or estuaries on the north coast of Europe like wattenmeer .. an underrated ability is the relatively lower draft for canals for their size.

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18 hours ago, TwoLegged said:

S&S Swan?

Yup. Swan 47, 049, K-1247, Bones VIII 

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3 hours ago, Caca Cabeza said:

Yup. Swan 47, 049, K-1247, Bones VIII 

Not my cup of tea, but classic S&S for those who are into that sort thing.  Hope you enjoy.

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This might help.  These folks admit to suffering through seven long years in the search for a boat.  Then they found and bought a Farr-designed Beneteau 64.  Problem solved. :-)

(Currently browsing through old Cruising World magazines looking for an article, and came across this helpful ad...just chucking it out there...some dreams are grander than others...many tens of grands larger :-) )

C374EA06-2CC1-4EB3-BB88-54B508B8ED76.jpeg

649CB9ED-D63A-4E83-B8E2-5DD05491914E.jpeg

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Sold my old boat in spring and still looking. I really fell in love with an Ylva located in Denmark but couldn't get there because of da 'rona. Boat sold within Denmark in the meantime. Same with a Karavel in Austria. :( If you know of any reasonably priced BB10, Ylva or Karavel in Central Europe, PM!

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On 11/9/2020 at 4:20 PM, ksamnic said:

Local (PNW) and offshore cruising. Need room and space for 4 adults. Simply put - a ~40' cruiser that is well built, has been cared for, and is not a major project. We prefer a boat that sails well, but if we need to trade we would take comfort over performance (to an extent). I can fix anything, and actually enjoy working on stuff - so I will do all the ongoing work. I have lots of sailing experience, have been on and around many boats - which is in a way a curse because I see lots of 'silly' things on the boats we look at. I like things that are well designed, well constructed, and 'look nice'. Don't need all the modern 'features' and 'conveniences' - but it sure would be nice to be able to shower w/o hoisting a sun shower bag and stripping down on the foredeck, and it would be nice to not have to stop for ice blocks every 3 days (which is what we do now in the boat we borrow). Things like microwaves and TV's will be tossed immediately - we don't even understand why people put them on boats.

Our general preference is 'not a modern production boat' - for a whole bunch of reasons - but mostly just poor build quality and I am not a fan of how they handle/feel/ride in larger seas.

We started out looking at boats like Passport 40/41 and have no issue with older boats, as long as they have been cared for. I think, after looking at many different boats (newer and older) we are right back at that same place. The very very first boat we looked at was a Passport 41, and it felt right the second we stepped onto it. I liked the cockpit, the galley, and the salon. The only issue we had was (a) it had the pullman berth config with the head at the front (I still can't figure out how that works when you are at sea), and (b) it was the first boat we saw so we had no idea if it was a good example or if it was priced fairly etc. In any case we should have bought it and we would be sailing right now - not boat shopping!

How about this?  Just randomly came across it browsing Craigslist, which I never do!  Looks good to go for extended cruising, assuming the ad is truthful.  It’s in Mexico.  Price seems great considering how (very) new much of the gear seems to be, but might not be the right space/enough room for you (as you said,  you need “room and space for four adults).

https://vancouver.craigslist.org/van/boa/d/vancouver-alberg-37/7229550845.html

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49 minutes ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

How about this?  Just randomly came across it browsing Craigslist, which I never do!  Looks good to go for extended cruising, assuming the ad is truthful.  It’s in Mexico.  Price seems great considering how (very) new much of the gear seems to be, but might not be the right space/enough room for you (as you said,  you need “room and space for four adults).

https://vancouver.craigslist.org/van/boa/d/vancouver-alberg-37/7229550845.html

Ok, scratch my suggestion.  Clearly I don’t know much about these older “classic plastics” :-)  I just read a bit about Alberg 37s.  Very capable cruiser, but not enough room for four adults for any extended period of time.

(But - seems to be a very good price for a boat of that size and set up, especially given how new a lot of the key gear seems to be - 2019 sails and standing rigging is a fair amount of money— and at some point, presumably anyway, we all make a reasonable compromise between budget and desire when choosing a boat—otherwise you wouldn’t be here: you’d have plunked down whatever it costs for your ideal boat [and if money were truly no barrier, perhaps even have one custom built/outfitted]).

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58 minutes ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

Ok, scratch my suggestion.  Clearly I don’t know much about these older “classic plastics” :-)  I just read a bit about Alberg 37s.  Very capable cruiser, but not enough room for four adults for any extended period of time.

(But - seems to be a very good price for a boat of that size and set up, especially given how new a lot of the key gear seems to be - 2019 sails and standing rigging is a fair amount of money— and at some point, presumably anyway, we all make a reasonable compromise between budget and desire when choosing a boat—otherwise you wouldn’t be here: you’d have plunked down whatever it costs for your ideal boat [and if money were truly no barrier, perhaps even have one custom built/outfitted]).

When we bought our C&C 35-3, there was a couple at the same broker's dock who had just bought an Alberg 37. We invited them over for a drink and the wife/SO kept looking around our boat. Finally she said "How come this boat is so much bigger when it's two feet shorter?"

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1 hour ago, Ishmael said:

When we bought our C&C 35-3, there was a couple at the same broker's dock who had just bought an Alberg 37. We invited them over for a drink and the wife/SO kept looking around our boat. Finally she said "How come this boat is so much bigger when it's two feet shorter?"

True that.  Guy I know here had a recent year Hunter 33.  It had enormous volume (under cockpit queen berth maybe?!) compared to our 33’er (which is pretty big inside compared to some other boats this LOD).   I was even amazed how much room is in an old Cal 20 - compared to many other newer boats that length.  

As a layperson, it amazes me how designers work with space. The River of Grass 15 (RoG 15), which I’d love to build...one day...is an example of what a talented designer can do with a mere 15 ft of boat length:  https://smallboatsmonthly.com/article/rog-microcruiser/

 A good friend has an old Coronado 15 - owned since he was a teenager...obviously undecked —unlike the RoG 15– but same LOD and an *entirely* different boat.

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1 hour ago, Ishmael said:

When we bought our C&C 35-3, there was a couple at the same broker's dock who had just bought an Alberg 37. We invited them over for a drink and the wife/SO kept looking around our boat. Finally she said "How come this boat is so much bigger when it's two feet shorter?"

Two really good friends owned S&S Yankee 30s when I had my Pearson 28-2 and those boats provided the same feeling and comparison. Narrow boats with overhangs don’t make for big interiors!  The Pearson had a queen sized aft berth and open main cabin while the Yankee 30 had no quarterberths or any interior aft of the companionway.  Darker interior too.

Of course I also read an interview with Bill Shaw of Pearson where he said that he preferred his lower freeboard 70s designs to the big 80s designs, but was following what the market wanted. 

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On 11/9/2020 at 12:31 PM, ksamnic said:

We looked a a couple of sailboats this weekend. It was very disappointing. There is a definite pattern emerging in out search for a boat: we see something online that looks like it meet our needs, do some research, get excited, contact the broker and arrange a visit. Then we look at the boat and come home and have a drink and shake our heads. Revise criteria, and repeat. 

Same thing here. 

It took us years to find a boat, mostly because we were trying to decide if we were going to be liveaboards.  After we threw out another land anchor, I think it took us a few months to buy a boat.  We were a lot less picky by then.

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How long did it take you to buy your boat?  Just came across this article/analysis by the very experienced Trevor Robertson (he has, by his account, “sailed every part of the GGR route single-handed in vessels of 30-35 ft, most legs more than once” —the ‘GGR route being France to France via the ‘Great Capes’).

Here he describes moving on from his self-built 35’ steel boat which he’s been from Greenland to Antarctica and beyond in, and purchasing his next boat (an Alajuela 38).  http://iron-bark.blogspot.com/2020/10/confined-to-port-by-quarantine-along.html?m=1

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