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Old 06-15-2011, 07:18 PM   #1
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First time buying liveaboard -- help!

Hey all,*

The better half, myself and my two pups have decided to move aboard a trawler. *I've done my research and have a few in mind that are local and reasonably priced. *

I'm very interested in Marine Traders and I've found an Albin 36 that is local. *I'm looking for any advice. *Pro's, Con's etc. *

What should I look for when buying.*

Use a broker?

Financing, etc. *

Age, size, twin diesels?*

*

I'm handy and would prefer a semi-fixer upper. *I'd like the deisel(s) to be running at least.*

All advice is welcome...I have 2-3 months until I plan to move aboard. *

*

Thanks all!
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Old 06-15-2011, 08:03 PM   #2
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RE: First time buying liveaboard -- help!

Geez! That's about a million questions! :-) You might want to narrow it down with separate questions in different parts of the forum. One of the best pieces of advice over the years I've seen is to buy the smallest boat you can be comfortable on, not the biggest one you can afford. Are you going to live aboard at the dock, or travel extensively? You might read up on the posts in the liveaboards section to see some of the past discussions. If you do it right, you'll love it! I'm single, living aboard a Krogen 42, love it. I picked single over twin, but that's a debate that'll never be settled. I have a storage facility, because you can never bring everything aboard. Kept my house (actually 2) and rent them out.

An important question... have you owned a boat in this size range before?
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Old 06-16-2011, 04:06 AM   #3
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RE: First time buying liveaboard -- help!

IF you are looking for a place to simply live , most houseboats will have far more volume than a trawler.

IF you are buying a trawler to go cruising ,

first question why a trawler,many boat styles night be more suitable

2 what are cruising goals,

3 boats are not built to be houses , so in some latitudes loys of $$$$ work will be required .

A real heating plant that YOU install (assuming you have the time and skill set) will be close to $4000 for parts.

Southern air cond is expensive if its marine equipment.

What if anything will the boat DO , besides be a house?
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Old 06-16-2011, 05:00 AM   #4
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RE: First time buying liveaboard -- help!

WOW...agree with first post; you may want to consider asking separate questions in different areas. But for now, a good idea I give my customers is to hang out at the local marinas and talk to owners about their boats. You'll always get a tour and can ask pros/cons about their boats.
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Old 06-16-2011, 06:25 AM   #5
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RE: First time buying liveaboard -- help!

Quote:
marinetrader wrote:
WOW...agree with first post; you may want to consider asking separate questions in different areas. But for now, a good idea I give my customers is to hang out at the local marinas and talk to owners about their boats. You'll always get a tour and can ask pros/cons about their boats.
+1 I agree with this. Boaters LOVE to talk about their boats. :-D

I would, however, suggest this as a broad brush, first time buyer's statement. If you have never owned a "real" boat (yacht) before, try not to go into it thinking that because you are "handy" that you will save money buying a fixer-upper. If you have not worked on a boat before or know what fnding, understanding, and upkeep of its systems requires, you'll be best served to buy the nicest condition boat you can afford. Even if you have to go a little smaller.

TRUST ME, you'll have more than ample time to use your entire handyman skillset (and bank account) JUST to keep a boat going. Especially as a liveaboad. There will be plenty to do, even on a "turn key" boat. (BTW... Don't be fooled by the term. A boat may work right out of the slip, but no boat is a true turn key. They ALL require a certain amount of work.) This approach will give you a greatest chance to attack the learning curve at a pace that will not hinder the "boating" aspect too much. Working on a boat can be great fun, but not NEARLY as fun as getting out there on the water.

In the end, getting a first boat that requires less work will greatly insure you will be a happier boater for a longer period of time.
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Old 06-16-2011, 09:15 AM   #6
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RE: First time buying liveaboard -- help!

Wow guys, Thanks for all the quick replies.*

To clarify a few things...*

I'm looking for a boat that will be comfortable to liveaboard mostly(95%) at the marina. *The majority of trips will be weekend trips within ~100 miles in the Gulf of Mexico. (St. Petersburg Fl) *

I'm not dead-set on a trawler. *My reasoning is that many are cheap and available, roomy, economic and ...I love the look of the Trawlers. *However, I'm open to any type of motor boat.*

I do plan to buy the best boat for my dollar -- which I plan to spend 80K or less. *I'd prefer to spend around 40K. *

The largest boat I've owned is 20ft. *I know this a big jump, but I want to do this now instead of putting it off forever. *

Thanks again for all the advice. *

*

...I'm looking through more specefic posts now too

*

*
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Old 06-16-2011, 09:47 AM   #7
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RE: First time buying liveaboard -- help!

Take a look at this as a starting point. They make great liveabords, I know because I own one and live on it all summer. :-)

http://www.yachtworld.com/boats/1979.../United-States
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Old 06-16-2011, 10:29 AM   #8
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RE: First time buying liveaboard -- help!

I bought a larger boat for a cheap price, thinking I've been in the small boat repair business for over 20 years and working on yachts the last few years. I ran the boat from the marina where I bought it to a marina near our house and had it hauled out. It stayed in that yard for two years and I didn't miss many weekends working on it. Granted it is and older boat and I new going in it would require a lot of work. It took twice as long as I thought and I spent three times as much as I thought.
We do enjoy the boat now and lived on it full time for three years. The things to repair list never ends. In hind sight I would have been smarter to have purchased a smaller boat in better condition and I would have been on the water a lot sooner.
Before you put your money down find a good surveyor and have the vessel surveyed.

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Old 06-16-2011, 11:55 AM   #9
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RE: First time buying liveaboard -- help!

Quote:
Marsh Rat wrote:
I bought a larger boat for a cheap price, thinking I've been in the small boat repair business for over 20 years and working on yachts the last few years. I ran the boat from the marina where I bought it to a marina near our house and had it hauled out. It stayed in that yard for two years and I didn't miss many weekends working on it. Granted it is and older boat and I new going in it would require a lot of work. It took twice as long as I thought and I spent three times as much as I thought.
We do enjoy the boat now and lived on it full time for three years. The things to repair list never ends. In hind sight I would have been smarter to have purchased a smaller boat in better condition and I would have been on the water a lot sooner.
Before you put your money down find a good surveyor and have the vessel surveyed.

Jack Mason
MV/Tracinda's Treasure
That is about the same with us.* Figured 3 years max, and 16 years later still have not done some thing on the original To Do list and I stop keeping track the money spent.*I think my wife bought the Eagle to keep me busy and out of her hair/way.* *However, we*bought the boat originally to*be a dock queen condo down town Seattle.* We have not intentions to cruise, live on*it or for that matter*untie it from the*dock as we had other water toys that*are/were*more in my comfort level.**Even to day I*not like*taking the Eagle out as it*twice my comfort level.* so don't buy a boat bigger than your comfort level and/or you pocket book.*
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Old 06-16-2011, 12:04 PM   #10
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RE: First time buying liveaboard -- help!

Even now, if I wanted to do a fixer-upper project, I would have to find a way to have the boat brought to my house and put in the back yard so I was not limited to weekends to do the work.
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Old 06-16-2011, 01:10 PM   #11
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RE: First time buying liveaboard -- help!

Hey Guys,
This is the one I'm lookin at currently.

http://www.yachtworld.com/core/listi..._id=64991&url=

Any thoughts?
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Old 06-16-2011, 01:28 PM   #12
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RE: First time buying liveaboard -- help!

Storage is a big deal when living aboard...especially for your wife. Make sure you can make the storage thing work before you buy...it IS important.

The feedback you will get on that boat is the same feedback you will get for any 1980s Taiwanese trawler. Teak decks are either already leaking or will be leaking...unless they have been rebuilt. Windows are likely leaking and you will see stains around the window frames. Neither of these is a small or cheap project to address. Some builders(Marine Trader) used wood for the cabin house in the late 70s/early 80s.

I know you likely are fond of that classic look but the exterior woodwork takes an insane amount of time to keep up....not to mention all of the other work that needs to be done. My recommendation to you would be to go something along the lines of Gonzo's boat.....a mid 30s sundeck. You get a tremendous amount of space and there is not that much exterior wood(if any). I don't know if you like to hang out on the OUTSIDE of your boat but that is one thing that has always challenged me on the tri-cabins/classics like the one in the link. If you want to lounge, where do you go????? As a liveaboard, a sundeck is an awfully nice place to hang out on a nice morning or evening....it is a completely additional living space that is likely the most used area on the boat.

http://www.yachtworld.com/core/listi...g_id=1750&url=

I know that boat is at the upper limit of your spending range but look at what a nice boat it is. And Hyatt is one of those builders that seem to build the better boats in the Taiwanese bunch(Same yard as Heritage East). They usually don't have the window issues and the molded wetbar on the sundeck is really nice....along with the wing doors. It is twice the money of that other boat but it is every bit of twice the boat!!!

Ideally, my favorite type of boat is a sedan.....but for a cheap liveaboard, the sundeck simply cannot be beat!!!
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Old 06-16-2011, 01:29 PM   #13
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RE: First time buying liveaboard -- help!

Another piece of advice would be to REALLY try to buy a boat close enough to you for you to go visit (more than once even). One thing I can tell you for sure is that in the boating business, a picture is worth about a dozen words. You can't really see enough detail from Yachtworld photos to EVER get a feel for the general condition of the boat. That boat looks nice, but in my opinion, a nice version of an Albin 36 *should* be worth more than $40k... BUT... I'll be the first to say that I don't have enough market info or specific info on that boat to say any more than that. You'll need to let the brokers among us chime in.
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Old 06-16-2011, 01:40 PM   #14
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RE: First time buying liveaboard -- help!

And one more thing....make sure you watch all the telltale signs your wife is giving you. SHE will determine whether y'all are happy or not. Make sure she is VERY instrumental in the choice of the boat. If you lead the way and she is just along for the ride that may not be good enough. Take her input very seriously and if she doesn't like a boat, that is the end of that. There are tons more out there. If you force the issue and buy a boat she does not like, your boating/ liveaboard days are over before they start.

Shopping for a boat is alot of fun and is something that y'all should do together. Almost every boat(except for my first sailboat) I have bought my GF(and now wife) held veto power....and I observed and respected that. She has loved every boat and has been an integral part of the "enjoyment factor" on that boat. I cannot imagine if I would have forced on on her. Anyway....my very valuable $.02!!!!
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Old 06-16-2011, 02:00 PM   #15
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First time buying liveaboard -- help!

Yea... Good point. Bess chose our boat because it "just felt right". Forget it being twice our budget, she made the ultimate call. And she was TOTALLY RIGHT!!! I would *NOT* (edit) trade Skinny Dippin' for any other boat in her class and price range.


-- Edited by GonzoF1 on Friday 17th of June 2011 05:04:37 AM
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Old 06-16-2011, 02:16 PM   #16
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RE: First time buying liveaboard -- help!

Quote:
GonzoF1 wrote:
Yea... Good point. Bess chose our boat because it "just felt right". Forget it being twice our budget, she made the ultimate call. And she was TOTALLY RIGHT!!! I would trade Skinny Dippin' for any other boat in her class and price range.
*I'm sure you meant would NOT trade...
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Old 06-16-2011, 06:38 PM   #17
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RE: First time buying liveaboard -- help!

Re-read Gonzo's and Bakers posts, maybe several times. From my experience they are right on. Remember Happy Wife Happy Life.
Don't fool yourself into thinking you can fix up a boat and save money. It rarely happens. I have a '98 boat that was in "turn key ready to go cruisin condition" and I spend an awful amount of time keeping her in that condition.

I looked at 25 boats before deciding. The boat I bought was very different that the one I thought I wanted.

But most of all enjoy the time looking.
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Old 06-17-2011, 03:56 AM   #18
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First time buying liveaboard -- help!

The majority of trips will be weekend trips within ~100 miles in the Gulf of Mexico.

Since most "trawlers" will go about 6K (40ft) to 8K (over 50 ft) when operated in cheap mode and at best 2K faster , at doubble the furl burn , 100 miles will be 12 to 15 hours , EACH WAY.

Sort of a grueling weekend for most.

An old Sport Fish might be 20K some 30K , so only 5 hours or less in transit, and far better at speed in rougher water.

The hassle is the Sport Fish will run 1 mpg (instead of 3 trawler mpg) so 100 miles will be $400 , each way.

This "Your DESIREMENT"


-- Edited by FF on Friday 17th of June 2011 03:58:57 AM
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Old 06-17-2011, 05:07 AM   #19
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RE: First time buying liveaboard -- help!

That Hyatt Sundeck is unbelievable value for that price John. I would say that boat, here in Australia would sell for $A200K easy. Crikey, it's almost enough to make me move over there to get a buy like that. Pity I'd never get a green card.
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Old 06-18-2011, 03:47 AM   #20
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RE: First time buying liveaboard -- help!

"Pity I'd never get a green card." Only a legal worker needs a card.

A tourist does not need a green card, come on over and vanish, the American way.

If you ever decide to leave , there will be no hassle departing.

With or without the boat.

Many rag baggers have circumnavigated and with planning have not seen 35K of winds.

A bit of extra fuel in the boat and away you go!
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