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Old 07-30-2014, 12:33 AM   #1
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New to trawlers. What to buy?

Hi! We just sold our 38' sailboat after cruising for two years. We are now looking for a live-aboard that we can take on short cruises around the Pacific Northwest. Since we are new to the world of trawlers I was hoping for some input on the different builders. Here is what we are looking for:

Around 40'
Separate shower stall
No teak decks
Queen size owners berth with easy access
Low fuel consumption!
Under $50,000

Would love to hear your ideas! Especially curious about your thoughts on quality of the different builders of these older boats.

Thanks!
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Old 07-30-2014, 01:04 AM   #2
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Wow, that is a very open and big question. And a bit of a tight budget.

It might be easier if you could narrow it down to a short list of brands you are or have looked at.

The boats built in China, Marine Trader, DeFever, etc., can vary from year to year in quality depending on which yard and under whose eye they were built. In some ways it's better to look at them, and most any other brands as well, as individuals based on how they have been maintained and upgraded over the years.

I would think Bayliners, Tollys and Mainships would be worth a look.

Here is not a bad looking Marine Trader. But you'd have to deal with the decks.
1977 Marine Trader Tri-Cabin Trawler Power Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com
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Old 07-30-2014, 08:53 AM   #3
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With that budget, I think I would go on Yachtworld Advanced Search, put in a few of your wanted features, and then use a price range up to about 65K. Buyers are still in the driver's seat.
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Old 07-30-2014, 01:44 PM   #4
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That's the best advise right there:
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Originally Posted by healhustler View Post
With that budget, I think I would go on Yachtworld Advanced Search, put in a few of your wanted features, and then use a price range up to about 65K. Buyers are still in the driver's seat.
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Old 07-30-2014, 02:46 PM   #5
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At that budget and size, it would ultimately be cheaper to pay more.

I'm biased, but if I wanted a good live aboard in the 40 size, the 40 Tolly would be in my top 3 without question. A lot of boat for the size. Roughwater might be on the list too.
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Old 07-30-2014, 07:00 PM   #6
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Marine survey 101 may help separate wheat from chafe
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Old 07-31-2014, 12:47 AM   #7
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34' to 44' Tollycraft

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Old 07-31-2014, 03:02 AM   #8
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At a target of about $1,000 per foot you will be looking at boats built in the 1980s by and large. That target price will make it hard to find a boat in really good condition, but you never know. My biggest concern would be the quality of the build. I would look at Tollycraft and Uniflite from that era. Both well built boats.
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Old 07-31-2014, 05:52 AM   #9
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There is an absolute cherry 34 in Seattle listed by Grace Yachts. Since you will likely be there boat shopping anyway you owe it a look. Fresh water it's whole life and lightly used.
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Old 07-31-2014, 07:50 AM   #10
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I was in your position 4 years ago, 50g's and big enough to be comfortable. At that price point the only boat I found that were in reasonable condition were mid to late 80's 38' Bayliners. All the Chinese boats were in bad shape primarily due to window and teak deck leaks. I ultimately raised my price point and bought a much newer boat.
That being said, if you are patient you can find what you are looking for, it may take some time though.

The 38 Bayliners are not like the little runabouts you see pulling tubes. Lots of boat for the money, you just have to get over the monkey fur they used for interior lining. However the condition of the B-38's we looked at were all over the map, but again for 50 g's, worth a look.

However as a rule of thumb, an older boat may cost you less initially but in the end you are going to pay either in the beginning on a newer boat or constantly paying to maintain an older boat.
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Old 07-31-2014, 08:07 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robster_in_edmonds View Post
At a target of about $1,000 per foot you will be looking at boats built in the 1980s by and large. That target price will make it hard to find a boat in really good condition, but you never know. My biggest concern would be the quality of the build. I would look at Tollycraft and Uniflite from that era. Both well built boats.
Very correct: Uniflite in addition to Tollycraft was also an extremely well built boat. I owned a 1973... pict included. Problem was that Uni began using govt designed "fireproof" resin beginning mid 1974; due to Viet Nam contract for many thousands of Delta Patrol boats (same hull as the Uni I owned). So Uniflite began using the govt designed resin in all their boats. That eventually broke Uniflite because of a class action law suite regarding blisters. Uni's from mid 1974 onward experienced horrendous numbers of blisters in nearly all areas (hulls and topsides). It took several years for the blisters to appear from build date. Thousands of UNI owners sued.

Moral of the story... IMHO: Buy no Uni newer than early 1974 build date. Of course, If you find a newer one that does not have blister problem then that may be one of the few that did not have the govt resin used during build-out.

Happy Boat Shopping Daze!! - Art
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Old 07-31-2014, 01:32 PM   #12
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[QUOTE=ghost;253741]At that budget and size, it would ultimately be cheaper to pay more.QUOTE]

This point has been made in a number of different threads and has got me thinking, which is never a good thing. I too am (or will be if I ever sell my boat) in the market for a less expensive but great shape boat. But it is quite possible that costs over time would be greater with an older boat.

I wonder if that could somehow be quantified. There must but a way of calculating initial capital outlay, age/condition of a vessel and comparing to operating and maintenance costs over time, at least on a economic/theoretical level and coming up with some sort of guideline or ratio?

In fact, there may already exist a model that does just that and includes a number of variables and estimates risk. Large infrastructure projects use these sorts of models, surely someone has scaled it to a marine environment?

If not, maybe someone should. Any financial gurus here?

Perhaps this should be put in a separate thread...or has been debated before, or maybe I stopped making sense before I even started typing?

Brain hurts now. Must stop thinking. I will call my bank and see if they do mortgages on boats though....
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Old 07-31-2014, 01:39 PM   #13
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[QUOTE=taime1;253998]
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghost View Post
At that budget and size, it would ultimately be cheaper to pay more.QUOTE]

This point has been made in a number of different threads and has got me thinking, which is never a good thing. I too am (or will be if I ever sell my boat) in the market for a less expensive but great shape boat. But it is quite possible that costs over time would be greater with an older boat.

I wonder if that could somehow be quantified. There must but a way of calculating initial capital outlay, age/condition of a vessel and comparing to operating and maintenance costs over time, at least on a economic/theoretical level and coming up with some sort of guideline or ratio?

In fact, there may already exist a model that does just that and includes a number of variables and estimates risk. Large infrastructure projects use these sorts of models, surely someone has scaled it to a marine environment?

If not, maybe someone should. Any financial gurus here?

Perhaps this should be put in a separate thread...or has been debated before, or maybe I stopped making sense before I even started typing?

Brain hurts now. Must stop thinking. I will call my bank and see if they do mortgages on boats though....
Being in Ottawa you should know the value of any large infrastructure estimate .... thoroughly investigate each and every detail then tell your wife the cost for approval. Only you will know it will end up as five times more.
By the time she finds out ... it's too late. (substitute "taxpayer" for "wife".
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Old 07-31-2014, 01:56 PM   #14
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[QUOTE=boatpoker;254000]
Quote:
Originally Posted by taime1 View Post

Being in Ottawa you should know the value of any large infrastructure estimate .... thoroughly investigate each and every detail then tell your wife the cost for approval. Only you will know it will end up as five times more.
By the time she finds out ... it's too late. (substitute "taxpayer" for "wife".
That's funny because it's true! The worst part is, my wife is an economist. Strangely, she doesn't seem to provide many economies though.

So what you're saying is that I need to evaluate not only the costs of a newer boat vs. an old one, but also estimate the maximum funding approval levels. In essence, an additional analysis must also be conducted to prepare internal stakeholder negociations.

If the ask is too high, there will be no acquisition, if the ask is too low, it will only serve to make the boat selection process lengthy, difficult and may ultimately lead us to a more expensive purchase that is ill suited to our needs, which is what we wanted to avoid in the first place.

That last part does sound like Ottawa.
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Old 07-31-2014, 02:26 PM   #15
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Ya Gotta know pretty much Exactly what yaz want in a boat before even shopping... that includes all design parameters and build qualities and current condition; as well as where you plan to use it. Make a comprehensive list... then stick to it; slight modifications as your search expands perf OK. There are threads about this... use TF "Search" feature wisely!

Then ya gotta spend time required searching for correct boat that fits your listed requirements.

Once located do good contingencies (for a walk away or possible price reduction) in offer contract... have boat well surveyed, inc power equip.

Suggestion: Find a boat you desire that has had its prev owner(s) make luv to it. They are out there at some reasonable prices. CL is great to keep tabs on and so is simply going to boat-yard/marina HQ for asking what in their harbor is looking to sell. Shopping will eventually find you the right craft. Settle for nothing you really have a problem swallowing before you even purchase - that "defect" may bite you in the ASSSS for years to come!
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Old 07-31-2014, 06:39 PM   #16
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The economics of boating. Initial cost plus fixed monthly costs plus fuel plus maintenance minus resale divided by years of ownership equals cost per year.

People fixate on initial purchase. Do the rest of the math. The more work you can do yourself, the lower the maintenance costs. Insurance and moorage cost the same whether you use your boat or not.

I like Tollys and Bayliners because they have bottomed out on the depreciation curve and have strong, loyal user bases.
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Old 07-31-2014, 07:33 PM   #17
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IMHO.... $$$ for $$$... Early/Mid 70's to close of shop in 1990's; a Tolly that was kept in good condition is best buy on the market. We're 2nd owners on ours. It keeps pleasing us every year.
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Old 07-31-2014, 07:40 PM   #18
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I don't like models. They often bring out the worst in people.

Models by definition are what you do when you don't know the answer. I guess it's a bit ironic. I've spent a lot of my life building them. I've been a financial analyst, developed credit risk models early in my career and now architect data models. Most models get overly simplified, or if they don't then people lose control of their assumptions and build blind faith because it appears as magic and most people, deep down, are complete imbeciles if you give them the least excuse to stop thinking.

For boats, it's actually not that difficult. It may not be easy, but it surely should be simple. A model is not required. It helps if you have been at it long enough to develop a feel for costs over time. It's really just hard work. Your role is to be objective, system by system, and assign probable values just like a surveyor just at a slightly more general level. I don't think the age of a vessel is entirely relevant. The problem is that as boats age, systems get upgraded or replaced. My boat is thirty years old, but many of its core systems are less than 5 years old. How would one compare that to a 10 year old boat? The point is, you have to assign a value system by system. Year/make/model is not remotely sufficient.

Boat Purchase price - system replacement cost*likelihood of replacement = boat value


Now do the heavy lifting.

Look at enough boats and get enough system estimates you can trust and you can be within 10% of real value within a few glances. Takes a bit to get there, but doable for everyone.

Some immediately think this approach is flawed as they quickly determine that a boats calculated value is many thousands even tens of thousands less than its market value, or even a large negative value. My answer to that? Yup.
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Old 08-01-2014, 12:37 AM   #19
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There is a 35' and 2 41' Roughwaters on the Seattle craigslist right now. These Monk designed classics are still some of the most undervalued boats out there. The 35' is perfect for 2, although the one listed has teak decks.
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Old 08-01-2014, 02:22 AM   #20
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I second the Tollycraft and Rough Water recommendation. Gulf Star 36 is another under valued boat IMO.

Take your time and shop well.
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