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Old 07-29-2015, 02:00 PM   #1
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Shoulda, coulda, woulda...

Ok, so, you're a fairly seasoned boater and decided to make a move up.

You spent a couple years, doing the Marina Del Ray to Lauderdale boat show circuit; hit as many rendezvous as possible; read everything you could find and walked a thousand miles of floats and fingers.

You figured out what you really wanted, what you were willing to compromise and refined your search right down to only a couple make/model choices.

You pulled the trigger and are now halfway through your second season aboard Minnie Tu 2. Season one you started wondering about a few of your choices and compromises. This year you have definitely decided you made some mistakes.

What were they?
Space, accommodations, tankage, heat, power, electronics, dinghy fore or aft, hinged mast, water maker, washer/dryer, galley up, down, sideways bla, bla, bla.

Any and all comments are welcome but obviously west coast specific will have more impact.

Oh yeah, I don't do espresso so a K9 E61 R2D2 Super SmoothO can be left out of this discussion.
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Old 07-29-2015, 02:17 PM   #2
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In general people that buy the smallest boat that they think will server there needs will be the ones with the coulds, shoulda, woulda syndrome.

People that buy the largest, most comfortable boat that they can manage due to length, maintenance, or financial limitations I believe rarely have those thoughts.
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Old 07-29-2015, 02:21 PM   #3
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Greetings,
Mr. HW. You mention doing a fair amount of "homework" but do you actually charter a few different models before purchase?
To answer your question...Our first purchase was a "bargain budget" model (34' MT) which we thoroughly enjoyed during our 11 years of stewardship. The shortcomings were: Lack of storage space when guests were aboard (V-berth was then put to the use intended and NOT as extra storage) and VERY cramped ER space (Not too bad toward the end of the season but those first few dozen forays into the "depths" to check fluid levels (daily) were tough on this old body that doesn't bend and pretzle-ize like it used to).
Our current vessel we purchased to replace the MT eliminated those two concerns specifically and we're quite content other than the billiard table in the SALOON takes some getting used to in a seaway...

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Old 07-29-2015, 03:17 PM   #4
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Shoulda: bought a boat that was better maintained.

If you use something sooner or later it's going to break.

Woulda: bought a boat with less toys an just plain better hard ware.

She was made of good wood and good iron. They said she would never go down. ( reported of the SS Titanic)

Coulda: bought just the right boat if I only had the money.

It's only money. Can't take it with you and you can't live forever.

Go ahead. It's all about quality of life along the way.

Is it the voyage or the vessel?

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Old 07-29-2015, 03:29 PM   #5
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I definitely bought the wrong boat. I started listing all of the reasons for this, and decided it was too embarrassing to post.

I will say that I've taken to buying all of my souvenirs from Marina parts departments.
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Old 07-29-2015, 03:43 PM   #6
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We did lots of research, shopped hard with a very helpful boater/broker, bought a good boat. Not exactly what we'd envisioned, in one respect -- it was a single diesel, versus our planned twin somethings -- but it turned out well.


That said... as we used it for several years, I was able to focus more on "improvements" the next boat could benefit from.


Got talked out of that boat during a job location transfer, shopped hard again with those improvements in mind... Got another good boat -- this time an express boat, to solve the ladder issue -- but it didn't suit us in the long run. I missed visibility from the bridge. Still, it was a good learning experience.


Shopped hard again, this time back to a bridge boat... all good.


That said, I know how this boat could be better (for us), too. I know of no boat in this size range that has the "improvements" I could envision for this one. And I know of no boat that would perfectly suit us better, possibly even without regard to whether we could afford it or not (but certainly that'd still likely be the major obstacle).


I didn't expect to get it right the first time. And it's been very useful learning along the way. We'd gotten the sizes right, mostly it's just "features" we either didn't know about, didn't understand, didn't appreciate...


And in the meantime, we enjoyed each boat.


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Old 07-29-2015, 03:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skipperdude View Post
Shoulda: bought a boat that was better maintained.

If you use something sooner or later it's going to break.

Woulda: bought a boat with less toys an just plain better hard ware.

She was made of good wood and good iron. They said she would never go down. ( reported of the SS Titanic)

Coulda: bought just the right boat if I only had the money.

It's only money. Can't take it with you and you can't live forever.

Go ahead. It's all about quality of life along the way.

Is it the voyage or the vessel?

sd Attachment 42642
I am going to post this over on the RV forum. I havn't pulled the trigger on one for these exact reasons. Toys, Toys, Toys..
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Old 07-29-2015, 03:57 PM   #8
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That's a good question Hawgwash. We have a 36 foot tri-cabin cabin cruiser and so far (17 years) we have no complaints. Sure, more interior space would be nice but not nice enough to warrant us doing anything about it.

Probably the only thing we think about in terms of would we have done anything differently is get a Europa-style boat instead of a tri-cabin. The tri-cabin is perfect for the times we have guests, where the Europa would not be. But most of the time it's just the two of us and for that, the Europa in this climate would be better, we think. The covered aft deck in effect lets you be outside without being outside. It can be enclosed with clear curtains and even heated.

In terms of size we would not want a boat one inch longer than the one we have now in the PNW, be it a tri-cabin or a Europa, for the reasons I've explained in some other thread.

Our other, new boat is somewhat larger, but we have a partner in that boat who so far uses it a lot more than we do. For the way it's used and where it's used, it's size is appropriate.

But for our PNW boat, which is the first cruising boat we've ever bought, we have found that it is perfect for what we do with it and where we go and want to go. It also fits what we want to spend on boating in this area. We have a lot of other interests and activities, some of which are fairly expensive. So the boat we have in the PNW allows us to boat in this region without having to sacrifice any of our other pursuits.

That's not to say there aren't some improvements we'd like to make. We just had the main cabin comletely re-cushioned and we'd like to add a permanent diesel heat system.

The boat spent it's whole life in California before we bought it and trucked it north, so it never had a heating system installed. We use the boat year round and in the winter we use a portable propane heater which works okay. But it's not nearly as good as a proper built-in heat system. It's on the too-do list but it won't happen for another year or so.

We prefer a pilothouse design to the configuration we have now but not enough to make us want to change.
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Old 07-29-2015, 05:23 PM   #9
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I have done my share of stupid things. I was fortunate to buy a very high end Duffy lobster yatch at a reasonable price. I sold the boat for considerably more then I paid for it.....stupid number one....should have kept the boat. I then bought a Jarvis Newman in Florida that was a project and trucked it across country. While rebuilding the boat I learned that originally it belonged to Senator Olympia Snow's family. I had the chance to speak with her in DC about the boat and exchange photos of it. I put way to much time and money into the boat.....stupid number two....never again do a rebuild.

I have owned eight boats and hopefully experience has taught me a few lessons.
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Old 07-29-2015, 07:02 PM   #10
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I didn't expect to get it right the first time.

Neither did I. That is the primary reason we have our current boat, something cheap and easy to learn on. Could we have a larger, more complex boat? Certainly. Will we someday? Perhaps.

Bottom line is no amount of research will teach you as much as you will learn about your likes and dislikes than setting the anchor the first time. Two years later and we know almost precisely what we want in a boat.

If you don't want to spend a couple years with a starter boat you'd better damn well follow the advice regarding charter a few first. The ones that are kicking themselves for not following that logic never seem to post on forums like these.
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Old 07-29-2015, 07:12 PM   #11
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Hawgwash, first of all, you live in a beautiful city. We love Sidney.


As far as boats and picking the right one, I always offer one piece of advice to people who are boat shopping.....
..."Buy your second boat first"


By that, I mean do your homework. Walk onto lots of boats at boat shows and brokerages. Sit on them, imagine what it would be like to spend lots of time on it. Look at the storage, creature comforts, location of important things like the engine room, galley, extra staterooms, etc.


Many people don't do their homework and end up buying a boat that doesn't suit their needs and wants. They keep it a year then trade it for the one they should have bought first, and that gets VERY expensive.


When I bought my first larger boat (Sea Ray 330 Sundancer) it took me about 4-5 months to narrow it down to that make/model, then another 5-6 months to find the perfect boat. I'm glad I did take my time because I ended up with a great boat.


Same thing when buying the boat we have now. We looked for a fly bridge boat for over a year, always finding things we didn't like about the various makes and models.


We walked aboard the 50' version of this boat at the boat show in Seattle in Jan, 2010 and, after spending almost an hour on board we really liked the boat. I then spent a month on YachtWorld looking around the US for them.


I found this 550 in Detroit and spent 3 months doing my research on that boat, the engines, ownership, maintenance records from Cat and Sea Ray and only then started getting serious about buying.


After two trips to DTW to sea trial the boat and have surveys done did we come to terms on the boat.


The end result--we love it. She's comfortable, roomy, lots of storage, cruises nicely and is easy to handle. Just what we were looking for.
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Old 07-29-2015, 07:19 PM   #12
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People that buy the largest, most comfortable boat that they can manage due to length, maintenance, or financial limitations I believe rarely have those thoughts.
Knock on wood, but after 3 years that seems to be us, and this is our first boat besides sea kayaks.

Our intentions are to explore the many off the beaten path area's on BC's north coast, and our 30' Sundowner Tug fits the bill almost perfectly. (Paravanes would make me replace 'almost perfect' with 'pretty near dang perfect').
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Old 07-29-2015, 07:40 PM   #13
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Bottom line is no amount of research will teach you as much as you will learn about your likes and dislikes than setting the anchor the first time. Two years later and we know almost precisely what we want in a boat.
That's certainly been my experience although we had SeaHorse for 8 years and loved it! People's expectations evolve as they gain more experience. Ours, however, has been a little different. We had, what is to us the perfect boat, 20 years ago!!!
(....and we managed to get back to that same model, with upgrades.)
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Old 07-29-2015, 07:45 PM   #14
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I bought my specific boat for different reasons. I wanted NO teak. I wanted to spend no more than I could stomach seeing on the bottom while I am gone for extended periods at work. And I don't get attached to 'stuff.' So what it is is irrelevant. It's insured. I don't fret 'too much' over her while I am gone. But look forward to hanging around when I get back.

About buyers remorse: I still peruse Yachtworld frequently to make sure I don't have a new conquest out there. Following your question, I bought an old (Ne, Ancient) Kubota FEL to do some yard work years ago. My jobs are done. The Boss keeps asking me: When are you going to get rid of the Tractor? Not yet. Same with the boat. But, I am on the lookout for a Hydrostatic Tractor too. You never know! When the yen outweighs the yawn, I suppose I'll move on, up or away. Hasn't happened yet. Probably the same for all of us. Different criteria, Different levels of acceptance (and exceptance)
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Old 07-29-2015, 07:52 PM   #15
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Interesting question.Though excluding an espresso coffee maker leaves any boat incomplete.
In my case I chose better with my first powerboat than my second. Not in terms of design, ability and features, but survey and condition. I even made $ when I resold it during a recession. I used the same surveyor the second time because of good advice with the first. Maybe he was having an off day, or reached the point of job boredom the second time.
Aussies will recognize my first boat, a Masters 34/Aquarius 35 as a utilitarian cruiser with an excellent sea-keeping reputation. Great boat for what it is, but lacking in creature comforts and usable space.
The current IG36 Europa, owned for 5 years, ticks the boxes for a couple, for entertaining, and the occasional overnight guest. I look at Clipper 40s (= MT40). Apart from "newerness", the facilities are so similar it`s not worth the $200K changeover, and very likely losing the twins.
Had I read as much on TF as I have now, based on condition I would probably not have bought the IG. I might not have even gone to survey. But the IG36 Europa is a rare hard to find boat, has great facilities for a couple, and while I`ve spent some $, I like and I trust the boat, especially improved as it is.
In a nutshell. Inform yourself any way you can. Read TF widely. As if by virtual "osmosis", you will absorb information. Inspect carefully. Get a good survey. The more work you put in, the "luckier" you get.
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Old 07-29-2015, 08:32 PM   #16
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Greetings,
Mr. HW. You mention doing a fair amount of "homework" but do you actually charter a few different models before purchase?]
Yes sir.
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Old 07-29-2015, 10:24 PM   #17
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I have owned 5 previous boats that were all purchased to make money. Still have 2 of them. Spent many years researching and looking for my pleasure boat. When I got serious it took about 3 years to find this one. Everything I looked at had some compromise. So part of my requirement was to be able to change the compromises to what I wanted. Many may think the amount of time, effort, and money I have invested in my refit is crazy.......and they may be correct. But buying 2, 3, 4, or 5 boats to get what you want seems insane. I guess I would tell anyone who would ask, buy the boat that is capable of everything you may want. Adding the water maker later will be far cheaper than selling and buying for one that does. Will there be changes to this boat in the future.......probably. But the platform will likely accommodate any changes I'm likely to be interested in. I think this course will be far cheaper in the long run.

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Old 07-29-2015, 10:31 PM   #18
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Good point, Ted. I guess that's my philosophy too....seems like I'm doing exactly that. Still, there may be one or two other boats that I could have started with more of what I wanted to begin with. Probably out of my reach though.
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Old 07-29-2015, 10:53 PM   #19
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Yes Larry, you are definitely making Bucky your boat. Couldn't imagine finding another 35' boat that has as much potential as a Manatee. When you look at all the great mods you have done or are completing, I doubt you could find anything that would come close to what yours will be. And after, what's the point of having a boat if it's not the way you want it?

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Old 07-29-2015, 11:18 PM   #20
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Situations change, people change, couples change and even desires change. What was the perfect boat a year ago may not be now, and this is not a problem with the boat, but with changes for the owner. There is no perfect boat for all situations.
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