Cheap Bluewater Boat

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by J.D.Hogg, Aug 27, 2009.

  1. bntii
    Joined: Jun 2006
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    bntii Senior Member

    1k is Tough- but cheap is not as hard as one might believe.
    Another friend sold his Contessa 26 for 2 or 3 k, I forget now, and there is a very dusty one here for much less than that though it has shot decks.
    Agree on the Cals. Some years back I got a chance to see Dave Martins Cal 25 which he had sailed around the world. Cal 27's have also circumnavigated.
    GREAT sailing boats- our 27 took good care of us.
    Personally- I'd get the Alberg 30 and call it a day.

    While thinking about this thread it occurs to me that the thread title may need a bit of a change- there is no "cheap" blue water boat. I believe there are however more and less expensive ways of getting a cruising boat.

    Buying a cruising boat is a tough prospect if there is not enough money available. Dreams can be lost and much time wasted while pursuing this goal. I think there are several ways to buy a boat on a budget- some better than others. It's no doubt worth several threads to explore this topic. It's a important aspect of cruising which if mishandled can cost the success of the entire enterprise. Many succeed but we have all seen the sad cases of builds unfinished after decades of effort, and project boats- abandoned as cash, effort and available skills prove to be insufficient to bring the task to completion.

    I can take a rough shot at listing some of the types of boat purchase which might be pursued:

    1) Purchase new- though expensive and will require additional cruising gear, the systems are fresh.
    2) Purchase used in good shape at market value- though still expensive can be a good value compared to new and might include cruising gear upgrades.
    3) Purchase used in poor shape- can be cheap but carry the future costs of repair and replacement of gear to be usable.
    4) Purchase used with damage- these can be real bargains if purchased carefully. The Florida hurricanes put many of these on the market. Complete cruise equipped boats with some repairable damage is the target animal. I followed quite a few listings- I would not buy any boat that sank but look for cosmetic damage or structural damage which one understands and has the $ or ability to repair. A friend of mine purchased one of these- a Valiant 37 for 10k with good engine and sails/systems. The boat had some slight rudder damage & scratched up paint job. I viewed one beautiful 47' steel ketch which was purchased for 12k- brand new sails, good engine, high build quality. The boat was a insurance write off after a welder with no fire watch had burned out the joinery work in the pilot house.
    5) Purchase a not completed kit boat- buy the one that the owner is providing with loads of new gear purchased for the dream boat. These can be had at times for far less than the cost of the purchased parts.
    Look at this one:
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Alaj...em563576c4beQQitemZ370264163518QQptZSailboats
    6) Build it!- Maybe Brent will chime in. He is a strong advocate for getting on the water in a affordable boat you can build yourself.
    7) Buy an inexpensive boat in serviceable condition and just go. Like the Cals recommended- they don't cost much and provide maybe the only real way to get out cruising for very little cash.

    I'm just talking here but I think anyone going down this road should spend some time in careful thought about what their options are and how to proceed.
    I think for many reasons "Cheap" initially is no bargain and may well cost more by the time you are ready to sail.

    Don't do what I did- I purchased #3 above- the used boat in poor shape. I thought it was a bargain compared to a incomplete kit boat or a more expensive used boat in good repair. By the time I was finished I had replaced everything while rebuilding the hull to boot. While 'abuilding' I turned down tens of thousands of dollars worth of paying work so I could get the boat finished. I am just about done but like anyone else who has done it- I would not do this again.

    You will pay- With your time or your money. Your time being the more valuable of the two.
     
  2. J.D.Hogg
    Joined: May 2006
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    J.D.Hogg Junior Member

    Paul Dream-Crusher Nolan,

    No, not really.

    I am learning that sailing or cruising has different meanings to different people. For me this will be a full immersion experience. I will move to the east coast and spend however much time it takes to learn, up-fit and out-fit for a circumnavigation. It will be solo and minimalist with many ports of call (or is that port of calls?). My main concerns aside from cost and staying alive are: not going insane and not going ashore looking like I went insane.

    Do you all mean to say that the usual $3000 Triton is many thousands of dollars away from a safe ocean crossing?
     
  3. bntii
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    bntii Senior Member

    It depends on ones ideals of outfitting and sailing a boat long distances.

    EACH piece of equipment that many find required for long distance cruising will cost more than that $3000. These might include a SSB, a water maker, a life raft, a tender, a radar/chart plotter, a sextant, charts around, refrigeration, storm sails, canvas for the boat (dodgers & Biminis), a diesel engine repower, hull/rig/sail repairs, a 406 EPIRB, wind vane, on and on...

    Or- one may just determine the boats in good shape- load beer and beans and go.

    The difference in approach must stem from experience- a seat of the pants knowledge of what it means to push that boat along in all weathers and reach that port, make that passage, or find the anchorage in rough going.

    With some experience you can choose how to equip the boat because you know what you personally need to do the job.

    Minimum for me- charts, beer, self steering of some sort & a boat I know I can keep moving in winds from 2 to 40.
    "keep moving" means I am confident in the whole kit- steering, rig, sails, engine, hull, bits and pieces like ports close & such.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2009
  4. Brent Swain
    Joined: Mar 2002
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    Brent Swain Member

    I cruised for decades and many Pacific crossings before I bought a radar, GPS, watermaker ( under $1,000),SSB etc. I've never had refridgeration, life raft,406 epirb, new sails, and my windvanes never cost me more than $25 to build. I can't think of anything, other than the diesel,which cost me anywhere near $3,000 . I did my first 3 pacific crossings without a diesel, and the education was well worth while.If you can't get away without all that stuff, maybe you are just too unimaginitive or unresourceful to be a cruiser.
    Brent
     
  5. jmolan
    Joined: Dec 2008
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    jmolan Junior Member

    This is a Golden Hind 31'. Twin keels for beaching. Lot of them cruised the world. Has auto-helm that cost about as much as the boat is asking. $5,000

    So these boats are out there, but it seems the good deals are "found" better by walking the yards and docks. When they are really abandon they do not advertise.

    I have a few others that are still bugging me because I let them go to someone else....ahh well only so much time....:)
     

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  6. Velsia
    Joined: Oct 2008
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    Velsia Floater

    Sailing is an expensive pastime, especially if you are test your boat 24/7 on the oceans. Saying this, many people are on our oceans right now in boats you wouldn't beleive float, let alone take on the ocean. The renowned catamaran designer James Wharram did it in "Two girls two catamarans". If your going ocean cruising on an underrated book is "There be know dragons" by Reese Palley.
     
  7. Brent Swain
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    Brent Swain Member

    Cheap cruisers

    Given that the cruising lifestyle has enabled me to work a month a year and cruise the rest of the year, for decades, I find that not sailing is many times more expensive than sailing.
     
  8. Velsia
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    Velsia Floater

    I agree with you Brent but its the way you look at it. Are sure its not the money making for 1 month which has enabled you to to sail for 11?
     
  9. bntii
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    bntii Senior Member

    It's no challenge to cruise for less than land based living.

    Problem is not matter what the burn rate- money is going out the door.
     
  10. Chuck Losness
    Joined: Apr 2008
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    Chuck Losness Senior Member

    Food for thought

    Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover
    Mark Twain

    To be truly challenging, a voyage, like a life, must rest on a firm
    foundation of financial unrest. Otherwise, you are doomed to a routine traverse, the kind known to yachtsmen who play with their boats at sea... "cruising" it is called. Voyaging belongs to seamen, and to the wanderers of the world who cannot, or will not, fit in. If you are contemplating a voyage and you have the means, abandon the venture until your fortunes change. Only then will you know what the sea is all about.

    "I've always wanted to sail to the South Seas, but I can't afford it."
    What these men can't afford is not to go. They are enmeshed in the
    cancerous discipline of "security." And in the worship of security we fling our lives beneath the wheels of routine - and before we know it our lives are gone.

    What does a man need - really need? A few pounds of food each day, heat and shelter, six feet to lie down in - and some form of working activity that will yield a sense of accomplishment. That's all - in the material sense, and we know it. But we are brainwashed by our economic system until we end up in a tomb beneath a pyramid of time payments, mortgages, preposterous gadgetry, playthings that divert our attention for the sheer idiocy of the charade.

    The years thunder by. The dreams of youth grow dim where they lie caked in dust on the shelves of patience. Before we know it, the tomb is sealed.

    Where, then, lies the answer? In choice. Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life?

    - Sterling Hayden (Wanderer, 1973)
     
  11. Brent Swain
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    Brent Swain Member

    I sure couldn't make enough money in a month to cover my expenses of living on land for the rest of the year. Living on a boat, I make all I need in a month per year.
    Brent
     
  12. Velsia
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    Velsia Floater

    Point taken
     
  13. dskira

    dskira Previous Member

     
  14. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    Fully concur Daniel!
    Although pretty experienced, they are of course not the only ones, and are still far from perfect! (as nearly all of us, to be fair)

    Richard
     

  15. bntii
    Joined: Jun 2006
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    bntii Senior Member

    Here- I'll edit it:

    ".... is among the more experienced and....."

    or "...is a talented and experienced..."


    :p

    Thanks guys- keeps my honest... and informed.
     
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