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Old 10-06-2013, 09:38 PM   #1
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The Rationale of Buying a 53 Hat

This boat sits across from us and it appears to be a nice boat. Never been on board. I know it's a fuel hog.

Looking at this and comparing it with a Great Harbour 37' flybridge.

How much fuel can I buy for $200k?

I'm sure I can buy this for around $75k...

What's your opinion?
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Old 10-06-2013, 09:39 PM   #2
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I think you can see it to the left.

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Old 10-06-2013, 10:14 PM   #3
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Think I would want to figure out the annual costs other than fuel first. Dockage, insurance, and general maintenance are probably substantially more on a boat that size.

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Old 10-06-2013, 10:17 PM   #4
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what you have to ask yourself, is more about you, your skills, and your time than about the boat.

Are you the type of boater that loves to putter on the boat, fixing the little things? Do you have the electrical, mechanical, and plumbing skills to make maintenance fun vs a chore?

Or are you the type that would prefer to not do so much maintenance?

There is nothing wrong about either kind of owner. Some of us have worked with our hands and minds all of our lives and have developed skills that cross over easily to boat maintenance. Others of us have worked with our minds only, and have not developed those skills. Others of us, just want to kick back and enjoy their boat.

There is a TF member here SCARY that went from a 4788 Bayliner to a 1970's Hatteras LRC. He seems like the type that loves to putter, so the older boat is probably a joy to him. He is also retired, which makes a big difference

Someone else on the other hand might not enjoy it at all.

So, either boat will work, you just have to be honest with yourself about how much you would enjoy maintaining an older vessel, and how much time you have to devote. The old Hatteras boats were great quality but any 1970's boat is going to have some pretty old equipment, to take care of or replace.
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Old 10-06-2013, 10:24 PM   #5
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This is s mid 80's boat, so yes it is older.

I have experience working on boats since I was a marine mechanic in the 80's.

The admiral iis getting involved.

But we are turning up the business.

So choices need to be made.

It will be much roomier..
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Old 10-06-2013, 10:39 PM   #6
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This is s mid 80's boat, so yes it is older.

I have experience working on boats since I was a marine mechanic in the 80's.

The admiral iis getting involved.

But we are turning up the business.

So choices need to be made.

It will be much roomier..
Then you clearly have the skills.

If it were me, I'd opt for the roomiest boat that had the cruising capability your plans call for. If you are planning on extended time aboard, or living aboard, logic says that space is everything.
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Old 10-06-2013, 10:49 PM   #7
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Then you clearly have the skills.

If it were me, I'd opt for the roomiest boat that had the cruising capability your plans call for. If you are planning on extended time aboard, or living aboard, logic says that space is everything.
We are moving aboard.

So maybe this will work.
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Old 10-06-2013, 11:02 PM   #8
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How could you go wrong?! Sorta like owning a Rolls Royce, it doesn't have to be new to get you in "the club". Put the owners club plates on the front bumper and gates just OPEN as you drive up. Same thing. If you factor in the actual distances you'll REALLY be cruising, then many realize that the fuel burn (which really isn't bad on these if you go at displacement speeds) VS sitting time, 'the math' say's these big old boats can save you money. They aren't going to depreciate any more. You don't have to tote a note. Many are WELL kept up. MANY aren't!! Check for leaking window frames, rudder posts, make sure the appliances work, they're big. PAINT, Pumps and heads can be rather costly. But at that price point? They're built like battle ships!
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Old 10-07-2013, 05:49 AM   #9
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What's your opinion?

Its only a fuel hog at speed ., if you are willing to put put at trawler speeds the burn will be higher than a std displacement boat , more weted surface and ideling engines , but not outrageous.

The deep V will make the boat a bit more squirely at low speeds , but a touch more throttle will help the ride a good deal.

These boats CAN go out in the blue water , but you wont like the fuel tab.

As a cruiser it would be great , and the value will go way up when we finally get back under $2.00 a gallon diesel.
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Old 10-07-2013, 07:17 AM   #10
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My experience with older Hatts is they usually are an electrical and plumbing nightmare like the rest...If you have found one that has been done right...you won't get her for much under $200K...because it's a gem...the rest are only a little bit better than the rest of the 1000's of 80's vintage nightmares because of the name and the rest of the boat is solid.

If you have the energy to trace a wire from the bridge down though the levels, through the often cramped engine rooms back to that aft staterooms...then I say go for it...

I bought a boat that basically needed to be gutted and replaced wire by wire, hose by hose...etc..etc...

After 2 years of living aboard and working and rebuilding...I'm running out of steam every time some stupid little thing like an outlet stops working or a reading lamp goes dead...the time and energy kills me to a point...frustration that it was never done right or made easy to repair seals the deal. The little issues aren't such a bother but until all the REST of the major projects are done they are really annoying and morale sapping. These boats almost start to fall apart quicker than one person can fix them. Mine is 40 feet and relatively simple...a 50 something Hatt is way bigger and more complex.

I have to move a 53 hat MY next week...just had a $60K exterior repaint and interior varnish job...looks great for a liveaboard....but the wiring and plumbing are still rat's nests.

2 New Years mornings ago I was rudely awakened to go salvage a 50 something Hat...turns out ALL the bilge pumps were inop and there was a fresh water leak slowly filling the boat from a galley fitting. 3 hrs later and a hefty salvage bill for 4 guys and all the equipment responding New Year's morning and the boat wan't sinking but I now had my doubts abut buying an older Hatteras even though I was strongly considering it as the prices were falling for those kind of boats.
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Old 10-07-2013, 07:32 AM   #11
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we looked at a 58' Hat YF model before we purchased the Pau Hana. Big solid boat was the main draw. After we got done crawling around her, we decided to pass on her.

Our list of reasons:
  • Wiring nightmare; 12v, 24v, 32v, and 110v systems onboard.
  • Down galley- nice, but replacing appliances would require serious work.
  • Plumbing was marginal, and in need of much work
  • The deal killer- Kathy did not like the lack of access in the aft cabin; no overhead hatches, and only gunslit windows.

Don't get me wrong- I am very handy, and can repair most anything. Since were are liveaboards, we wanted more of a turn key vessel. I've always been of the opinion that one never wants a rolling project; it's foolish to try to do substantial repairs to your car AND use it as a commuter everyday.

Likewise, we didn't want to have our home in a constant state of turmoil with refurbishment projects.
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Old 10-07-2013, 07:41 AM   #12
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we looked at a 58' Hat YF model before we purchased the Pau Hana. Big solid boat was the main draw. After we got done crawling around her, we decided to pass on her.


Our list of reasons:
  • Wiring nightmare; 12v, 24v, 32v, and 110v systems onboard.
  • Down galley- nice, but replacing appliances would require serious work.
  • Plumbing was marginal, and in need of much work
  • The deal killer- Kathy did not like the lack of access in the aft cabin; no overhead hatches, and only gunslit windows.
Don't get me wrong- I am very handy, and can repair most anything. Since were are liveaboards, we wanted more of a turn key vessel. I've always been of the opinion that one never wants a rolling project; it's foolish to try to do substantial repairs to your car AND use it as a commuter everyday.

Likewise, we didn't want to have our home in a constant state of turmoil with refurbishment projects.
Sound's like all of my sentiments...especially the red...

While I have posted it can be done...it takes a lot of flexibility and patience depending on the partners and their tolerance from everything to noise, smells, sounds...etc..etc...

If you can't do all the work...then you are subject to a constant parade and disruption by service people.

I would never do it again...once in a lifetime is my limit...if I had to buy another fixer-upper...I'd live ashore someplace...hopefully really near the boat...
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Old 10-07-2013, 08:01 AM   #13
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Most ALL 30+ year old boats will suffer from POs with few skills and knowledge.

Add yards with the same level of understanding , and most will either require , just living with it or a big rehab.

Easiest is to simply remove the outdated systems as they fail.

120V DC was popular in the 50s-60s era , gone today , so easy to scrap.

A few hours with a set of wire cutters will clean up lots of garbage , and copper has good scrap value today.
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Old 10-07-2013, 09:10 AM   #14
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Quote:
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After 2 years of living aboard and working and rebuilding...I'm running out of steam every time some stupid little thing like an outlet stops working or a reading lamp goes dead...the time and energy kills me to a point...frustration that it was never done right or made easy to repair seals the deal. The little issues aren't such a bother but until all the REST of the major projects are done they are really annoying and morale sapping. These boats almost start to fall apart quicker than one person can fix them. Mine is 40 feet and relatively simple...a 50 something Hatt is way bigger and more complex.
Re-read the above 10x and then memorize it before plopping down a deposit on this kind of boat.
That's why you can get it for 75G's
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Old 10-07-2013, 09:16 AM   #15
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Cheap horses can be pretty rough to ride...
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Old 10-07-2013, 09:53 AM   #16
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Thanks everyone. It's been sitting across from us and the owner keeps lowering the price. I've never seen it used.

It's good to hear the good, bad and ugly. I'm sure this one has plenty of ugly.
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Old 10-07-2013, 10:14 AM   #17
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beachbum29,
Good luck on the Hat if you go off the edge BB. I'm at the other end. I think sometimes of a simpler life and a smaller boat usually comes to mind.

The reason other people aren't buying it is probably not the fuel burn. Size matters on the plus side and size matters on the other end. I think psneeld and timjet are in probably in focus.

FF ... What's this "and the value will go way up when we finally get back under $2.00 a gallon diesel." Do you really believe that? I spoze if we discovered enough oil it could happen. What do you think .... one in 1000? or 1 in 10000000? Kryptonite comes to mind.
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Old 10-07-2013, 10:29 AM   #18
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Yep....Like someone said. A nice one of these will fetch $200k. If this is a nice one, then buy it and flip it.

My other concern, FOR ME, would be the ability to take it out. A boat this size is a production to take out. If going out for a little spontaneous cruise is your deal, then that wouldn't be the ideal boat for that. Again, that is just me...the guy that goes out every weekend he can!!!...went out yesterday....going again today!
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Old 10-07-2013, 10:37 AM   #19
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From what I've been told, the owner wants out. They bought the boat and found out they don't like it.
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Old 10-07-2013, 11:42 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
After 2 years of living aboard and working and rebuilding...I'm running out of steam every time some stupid little thing like an outlet stops working or a reading lamp goes dead...the time and energy kills me to a point...frustration that it was never done right or made easy to repair seals the deal. The little issues aren't such a bother but until all the REST of the major projects are done they are really annoying and morale sapping.
You know, PSN,...you are a provocative guy in many posts, but the above is some of the most honest and self-realized sharing that I've read on this forum. There are those of us that are "hurt" when our boat is hurt, and one could even say "morally offended" when our best efforts to refine a boat's system reliability is rejected with repeated failures. If Marin were here, he'd probably say that this is a machine and it doesn't give a damn how much you care for it or about it, it's a machine and its failures are logical and "impersonal" no matter how illogical and personal we want to make them. I was just beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel when my boat was struck by lightning and all the 12V (especially) work I've done for the last year is, well, for nothing. There are those that say that such things should be treated with logic and objectivity. I'm 63 years old and still heap my own emotional baggage upon my machines as if they are living things, and that is why I take is personal when they fail.....which they do, all of the time.

The 53 Hat is one of the most live-aboard friendly space-layouts out there. I've been aboard several of them and was astounded at the simple changes one can make to transform and modernize the boat in appearance. All the other details mentioned above are true and at the very least, I'd get a really good survey of the electrical/plumbing systems. Hang out on the Hat website and read the threads specific to the 53 and 58. You'll learn a lot more about what you're getting into there. When you invest in a boat like that, don't take its failures personal. Bulletproof hull, by the way.
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