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veprjack 08-21-2012 06:21 AM

Noobie Hello!
Just a quick intro from this noob, who is moving from my Pearson 303 to "the dark side" lol. I just listed my boat and have been drooling over the trawlers in my area! With an under 30K budget, it will be challenging (to say the least) to find a 34' trawler in good condition, but I will be patient.

I am NOT able to do major repairs, but willing to do cosmetics and learn more. I DO have a couple of experts here who will help me with medium size projects. This forum is an excellent resource and I look forward to learning and contributing.:) Looking forward to meeting future friends!

Jack in Salem, Mass

FF 08-21-2012 06:25 AM

You will probably have to travel to find a good deal.

Why a "trawler" shape?


veprjack 08-21-2012 06:38 AM


Traveling is ok - can do sea trials! Lol

Trawlers call to me! Roomy, sturdy, etc. Did you have other suggestions?

I am JUST starting this process... My expert friend just gutted his MT that he stole for $5K!! If he wasn't handy, the "repairs" would be $30K? I have him looking for one for me, and he would help me fix it up, but there's a limit to how much time and effort I could expect. Thus my need to be careful about how much of a project I step into. I would have the winter at the dock to work on it (assuming I find one soon) but I don't want a non-moving houseboat, I want to travel too. Maybe I am delusional but...

veprjack 08-21-2012 07:01 AM

Trawler 4 sale on yachtworld
1985 Marine Trader Double Cabin Power Boat For Sale - What do you think?

Tom.B 08-21-2012 07:50 AM


Originally Posted by veprjack (Post 99696)
I am NOT able to do major repairs

I think that particular Marine Trader will break this rule about 1000 times. :ermm:

ARoss 08-21-2012 08:49 AM

Agree with Tom. As one who's been down this road... this one looks like it needs a lot more than mine did when I started six years ago, and of course it's never "done".

Phil Fill 08-21-2012 01:35 PM

Instead of looking to the cost of the boat it is better to look at the total round trip cost and cash flow. In many cases it better to buy a better boat for a high price than a low budget boat that is going to hundred, thousand dollar you, and still not increase it value. You can finance a boat but you can not finance repairs/up grades, so look at the total cash out lay.

veprjack 08-21-2012 08:26 PM

Thanks for the advice. It is soooo helpful to get a reality check from those who have actually done it!

baldpaul 08-22-2012 12:59 AM

Yes, reality is good. Before I bought my boat I researched, mulled, pondered and researched more to determine the right boat for me. After 14 months with my boat I have no regrets. I bought a boat not too old (2005). This dealt with the reality of my general lack of handiness. I set a "boat budget" which after much research felt was sufficient (moorage, fuel, insurance, maintenance, repairs and upgrades). My sufficient budget is pretty darn close, but I did blow it this year with a couple of necessary (aren't they always) upgrades. Based on the initial condition of my boat, which was exceptional and my sufficient budget, I feel I can keep on top of things so the boat does not deteriorate into a state of general disrepair. I read about many horror stories of older boats that seemed cheap only to cost owners much time, money and grief. Some people buy older boats because they like projects. I am not that person....I like to boat. Know what you want the boat to do for you, know your skill limitations and know your financial limitations. I am a firm believer in not financing toys, so if you cannot pay cash for a boat, think this over long and hard before jumping into debt to buy a hole in the water into which we throw money!

CPseudonym 08-22-2012 01:36 AM


Originally Posted by baldpaul (Post 99857)
I am a firm believer in not financing toys, so if you cannot pay cash for a boat, think this over long and hard before jumping into debt to buy a hole in the water into which we throw money!


Paul that entire post was great stuff but this last part is pure wisdom.

If more folks followed that line of thinking there would be fewer folks dreaming of selling over priced boats they financed 4 to 6 years ago. BTW, every one of those boats aged 20 years in 5 because they couldn't afford maintenance.

Marin 08-22-2012 03:16 AM

When i was about eighteen I was given a piece of financial advice from a family friend who was a self-made business success several times over. (One of the companies he conceived, started, and ran for many years he named Telecheck.)

This advice, which for some reason I took to heart, was "Never finance your toys.". And I never have. Boats, planes or bicycles, it's always been paid for up front.

Every person's situation is different and what works for one may not work for another. But being free and clear on something is a great situation in my opinion, particularly something like a boat where the ownership costs never let up.

Tom.B 08-22-2012 08:00 AM

A lot of this is easy for people that CAN afford to buy a boat up front to say. We could not afford the up-front cost and don't regret the decision to finance at all. Try not to confuse people that buy boats that are not willing to sacrifice what it takes to own a boat with people that buy them as just "toys". We do not consider this a toy at all, this was a lifestyle decision. Nothing we have ever done has changed our life more (since we don't have kids). We gave up a lot to follow this dream. I know you haven't, but please try not to put us "financers" into a box that has it sounding like we are inferior to you "cashers". We all love boating together. :thumb::socool:

Rambler 08-22-2012 09:05 AM

Everyone's situation is different, and both of you are right. Fro people or businesses who use their boats on a daily basis, financing to get the necessary boat is often the best route. What commercial fisherman has the cash money sitting there to buy their boat outright. Probably not many, initially anyway. And for the individual or couple who buy a boat for a live-aboard, it's ok too.

But for the guy whose boat will sit on the dock for most of the year, or on a trailer in their yard, then the financing route makes that "hole in the water" that much bigger and harder to fill.

So as long as the buyer is fully aware of the total cost (as was mentioned in another post) and they are comfortable with that, and more importantly fully able to maintain that, then who else should care? The boats we pass on the water or on the dock aren't labeled with how much debt they carry. All we can tell is how often it's being used and how well it's being maintained.

mahal 08-22-2012 09:54 AM

To pay cash or finance a boat or any "toy" should be up to what kind of return one is getting from investments versus what the cost of borrowing money will be. When I bought my boat, I could have paid cash but did not because my money was making more than the 5% interest rate that Key Bank wanted for a boat loan. Plus I get to deduct the interest paid in my taxes as my boat qualified as a second home.

Phil Fill 08-22-2012 10:40 AM

Most of you missed my point. :confused: It can take/cost equal or more money buying a boat that needs work vs buying a boat that does not need work. The second point is you CAN finance a boat, but you CAN NOT finance repairs and upgrades. So in the long run it might take less cash total turn around financing, especially if the person is not a hand on.

We financing the Eagle as we here house, children, grandchildren poor at the time. I am a finance. CFO, so I did the analyses at the time, and finaancng with no money down was better than payung cash, and the way we worked the deal/financing we had 10 grand more CASH in our pocket which we invest back into the boat, which increased its value. It goes against my grain to buy something that decreases in value, when other investments were increasing in vlaue and/or making more than the cost of the loan, the interest could be deducted, and we original bought the boat as a charter. Commercial tabs are a lot cheaper than pleasure tabs, plus we save money and time commuting, simpliefed our lives, and brought our family closer together having the boat moored on Lake Union. :thumb: The Eagle was NEVER viewed as a TOY!

So if you evaluated the total benefit vs the total negative/cost it might be cheaper to finance. Plus living/working on a boat is a heck a lot better than a dirt home! Priceless! :socool:

CPseudonym 08-22-2012 01:34 PM


Originally Posted by Phil Fill (Post 99896)
Most of you missed my point.
The Eagle was NEVER viewed as a TOY!

To begin with nobody called your boat a toy.

I have nothing wrong with commercial or liveabord boats being financed. The OP mentioned neither, nor am I referring to them.

If the boat is for pleasure use only financing can be a false economy for all but the saviest of buyers. Savy buyers would be those who can pay cash(or at least a substantially over 50%) but decide against it for reasons well stated in other posts. Folks who lack sufficient capital seldom have a pleasant boating experience once Murphy shows up at their doorstep.

Personaly I'm completely against financing anything except real estate, and then only if well capitalized. That is a lifestyle choice that we made many years ago and has served us well. YMMV

Marin 08-22-2012 01:57 PM

"Toy" is a bit of a misnomer in this case. By toy I, and the man who gave me the advice so many years ago, meant things that are non-essential to live one's life. While many of us view our boats as a major component of our lives and cannot visualize a life without them they are nevertheless not essential to our survival and well being. Exceptions, of course, are people who live on them and people whose livelihoods are dependent on them.

ARoss 08-22-2012 02:01 PM

No evidence to base this on, but I would guess that the percentage of cash vs. financed boats is similar to the ratio for RV's, motorcycles, condo timeshares, and other "lifestyle" things that people own, and the reasons they opt to finance them are similar. I would never second-guess any of their decisions, even though I might make a different decision myself.
suum cuique

Tom.B 08-22-2012 02:22 PM


Originally Posted by Phil Fill (Post 99896)
The second point is you CAN finance a boat, but you CAN NOT finance repairs and upgrades.

Actually, you can. I use an equity line account for ALL boating expenses. :socool:

veprjack 08-22-2012 08:01 PM

Now that I have the financing angle cleared up, can we move on to discussing different boats and their advantages? Or maybe I should browse other threads... Or maybe I just don't have enough $ to be thinking about a toy, ER-I mean trawler, that would be my 24/7/365 home? It's possible that a $30K budget isn't enough to purchase one in a condition I could "live" with and fix up?

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