Monday, September 26, 2016

One reason I prefer cheap as they come boats part 1...

Dr House said something that anyone interested in buying a boat should adopt as their mantra...



Everybody lies!

Folks selling you a boat tend to lie.

Folks who have something to gain in your buying a boat tend to lie.

Even folks who are honest as the day is long tend to play fast and loose with matters of truth when involved in the sale of maritime craft.

With me so far?

Another point on the whole lying thing is that the more money involved in a boat the more lies in the mix so consider yourself warned.

I actually mention all of this because the other day someone asked my opinion on a given boat for sale and I pointed out that the boat seemed in way too good condition for the asking price and that he should look a little closer because there's always something wrong with a boat for sale... Always!

He responded by saying not to worry as he was having it surveyed...

Which is where I pointed out my theory that folks who have something to gain in your buying a boat tend to lie and unless you do some due diligence you may just find yourself screwed. Plus the fact that, over the years, I've crossed paths with a large number of marine surveyors and only one of them was actually honest. Which is not to say your surveyor is a bad guy but there may be any number of reasons that giving you a good survey on a bad boat is in his/her best interest and not yours.

For instance, one surveyor I know also happens to be married to a broker from a family of brokers and just about every survey he does tends to be brokered by a relation of some sort.Which, when you consider just how incestuous the marine trades are, is not very surprising at all.

Same goes for that mechanic or electrical guy you might have look at the subject of your desire who may (or may not) have connections of one sort or another that shout conflict of interest...

Just something to keep in mind...

$0.20 a pound...

So this morning I noticed a Morgan 27 for sale for $1400 or best offer and a couple of things came to mind...

First, that it was whole lot of boat for very little money and, secondly that it worked out to twenty cents a pound.

Let me repeat that...

$0.20 a pound!

Truth be told, there are very few 27-foot boats of the classic plastic variety that I'd rather find myself living aboard. Especially if you factor the $1400 price tag.

Being a small and simple boat anything that needs fixing or needful improvements/upgrades are going to fairly easy, affordable, and is not going to take lots of time. What's not to like?

Little boats, little problems!

As far as interiors go the Morgan, being quite beamy, has better than average livability and stowage. Which is kind of surprising as it was designed and marketed as more of a racer...

Bottom line is it's a great example of a volkscruiser.


Monday, September 5, 2016

A tour of a very nice cruising boat...

James Baldwin  (of Atom voyages fame) takes a tour of Dawn Treader an Allied Seawind 30 and finds a lot of good ideas...

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

A rule of thumb (or something like it)...

I have a CAL 34...

Admittedly, it's not really a CAL 34 anymore having done countless changes, modifications, and implemented schemes (which seemed like a good idea at the time) that just may have the late Bill Lapworth spinning like a top. That said, if there is an afterlife I expect that Mr Lapworth is simply taking note of my playing/flailing with his great design and enjoying the carnage.

Anyway, the upside is I keep a weather eye out on the CAL 34 market and in doing so it has taught me quite a lot about what a boat should cost. Especially what a 1969 CAL 34 should cost...

Like this one...


Which is pretty much right on the money for a turnkey boat in near Bristol condition at just about $13K.

Of course, you can find any number of CAL 34's for $5K and a surprising number for as much as $30K but my studies on the subject tell me that somewhere between $12k and $15K is what you should be spending for a CAL 34 in good turnkey condition.

If you choose to go the $2k-$6k route you'll, more than likely, find you need to spend the differential between the fixer upper and the turnkey boat if you're careful, don't try to make it into something it's not, and do your own work. On the other hand, if you decide you want to turn it into a silk purse and hire marine professionals to do the cornucopia of jobs such a boat requires you're just screwed and welcome to the hole-in-the-water-yacht-club.

A lot of people opt for the $25K zone which follows the whole "you get what you pay for dude" idiocy and is just a text book example of someone who paid too much for their boat selling it off at a silly price to someone with no common sense but an insane urge to spend.

Finding the right price takes a little time but it is really quite simple. Check the ads to get a feel for the price as chances are the right price will be something right in the middle as an average. Just take all the examples of the boat you're looking for and find the average price. Like I said... simple.

As a double check I like to look at how long boats have been up for sale as the too fucking high priced boats or the cheap fixer uppers just don't sell in a speedy manner. Good boats at the right price do. As it happens, I know of one $30k CAL 34 that has been for sale for going on five years now which is both sad and stupid but it really does tell you everything you need to know about how not to sell a sailboat.

More on cheap seats fixer uppers soonish...

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

A book you need to read...

This weekend I bought a copy of "Get Real, Get Gone" and read it.


It's a good read, makes a whole lot of sense, and should be right at the top of anyone's reading  list who wants to sail off into the sunset on a small sustainable budget.

Need I really say more?