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Old 11-18-2014, 11:21 PM   #1
City: Sydney
Country: Aus
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 2
East Coast Cruising

Hi All,

I am looking for some guidance and suggestions on the best way to cruise the east coast.

My rough plan is to take 3 months off from mid October 2015 to mid Jan 2016. Departing Sydney and heading north - maybe as far as lizard island.

My experience:
  • I have around 10 years inshore and short coastal sailing experience on a Beneteau 39
  • 8 live aboard dive trips in the last 4 years from Townsville all the way up to Thursday island
  • Lots of experience on smaller motor boats and crossing bars

There will be two of us on the trip and I was planning on daytime transits up the coast. We also plan to have friends join us at various points for a few days.

The boat:
  • I was hoping to pickup a displacement cruiser a few months prior to the trip to set it up for the trip north and then sell it again after I return.
  • I have a mooring that can't accommodate anything over 4.2 meters wide so it would need to be have a beam of less than 4.2 meters.
  • The boat size needs to be under 42 feet (12 meters) as well.
  • Diesel and reliable
  • Range of around 400nm (based on a trip cairns to lizard island and back)

  • I plan to spend a week as a deckhand on the dive charter I use as well as get help from the skipper to deliver the boat when I buy it.
  • Do a first aid course
  • Online navigation course

The trip will actually be for my honeymoon. We are both keen adventurers and would love to see the coast from a different perspective.
We also plan to do some diving (when we are with friends so we can have someone on watch)

* My budget for the boat is $150k - is this realistic? Am I kidding myself I will sell it for around the purchase price after putting 400 hours on it?
* My budget for the trip is $20k
* Is a 3 month charter an option?
* Any other suggestions?
* Any online navigation course suggestions.
* Suggestions on which boat to select?

Boat options:
Any comments on the following?
Used 1989 SOVEREIGN 4000 FLYBRIDGE CRUISER Boat For Sale -
Used 1980 CHUNG HWA 36 AFT CABIN CRUISER Boat For Sale -


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Old 11-19-2014, 08:31 AM   #2
City: Satsuma FL
Country: United States
Vessel Name: No Mo Trawla
Vessel Model: Hurricane SS188
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 1,216
Welcome to the forum!

It would probably be best if some of the Australian members address your questions as boat prices might differ quite a bit from the USA. The same applies to the cruising area.

My thought is you are a little light on the budget and I say that because when you go to sell the boat, there will be selling expenses. In the US, brokerage commissions are typically 10% and then most buyers will have a survey and expect all deficiencies corrected at your expense. Would wager you would be lucky to net $130K from the boat you purchased for $150K. You may get stuck holding the boat for awhile when it goes up for sale. Sometimes selling a boat can take 6 months or longer in the US.

One other minor issue is buying and outfitting cost when you buy the boat. You might be able to find a boat you can just cruise away in but you will want to have it hauled and surveyed and in the US, that expense falls on the buyer.

The trip budget might be doable. 400 hours cruising is probably going to consume 800 gallons of diesel so your fuel cost might be around $3000 or so. You will need to plan on 2-4 oil changes. Also other maintenance items like fuel filters may need changing. On a 30 year old boat, some equipment is going to breakdown and require other maintenance. Then, a lot of your cost will be determined by the life style you choose while cruising.

The 3 month charter sounds like the better option if you can find one. Usually, charters involve newer boats with newer equipment. They are pricey but lower your risks of getting stuck with a boat you can't sell.

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Old 11-19-2014, 09:17 AM   #3
City: gulf coast
Country: pinellas
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 1,757
I don't know the market in AUS but here boats do not sell very rapidly, on average, so planning to sell immediately upon your return would be unrealistic.
Here you would have to count on spending to outfit the boat, selling costs of 10% or so plus any price lowering for fast sale and storage costs while selling. My guess is 20% or more of the boat purchase price.. Talk to charter firms. When you consider the costs above their prices may not be bad. Perhaps you will get lucky and find one that wants a boat repositioned.
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Old 11-19-2014, 05:32 PM   #4
BandB's Avatar
City: Fort Lauderdale
Country: USA
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 8,114
I can't grasp it possibly making sense to purchase a boat for three months use. Yes, it's possible to get your money back out of it but more likely to lose a good bit and/or take a long time to sell it. Chartering is designed to accommodate part time or one time users.

A couple of details.
-Anything you spend on taxes will be 100% non recoverable.
-What you spend getting it surveyed and insured will be non recoverable.
-What you spend getting it ready is likely to be about 50% recoverable tops.
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Old 11-19-2014, 06:45 PM   #5
City: Sydney
Country: Aus
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 2
Thanks for the feedback so far.

We will keep the boat for more than the 3 months - probably around 12-18 months.

Any ideas where I would charter a boat for 3 months for a trip like this?
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Old 11-19-2014, 06:57 PM   #6
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 5,860
Deane, nothing quite like challenging a marriage with the first 3 months on a newly acquired used boat. But, I had my honeymoon on a chartered cruiser on the Hawkesbury, and it survived, for quite a few years.
Buying a boat is a major venture. Used ones are rarely what you expect, there are always unrevealed issues. You definitely need some shakedown cruising first.
Your budget is ok, dimensions are ok, 400 hours is neither here or there on the price of an older boat. It is usually much faster to buy than sell, though some people search a long while for the right boat. I agree a 3 month charter makes much more sense than a buy/sell, but finding it in Sydney, heading to Qld., would be tough. You would have a better chance chartering in Qld. itself. The Seaway 36 is a popular sturdy Qld. charter boat with a good reputation. Your period includes school hols, expect some high charter rates, negotiate a deal for a long charter.
The "Sovereign" is a planing cruiser, not a (semi) displacement boat like the Chung Hwa.
Search online for navigation courses. I think the weather period is ok in Qld., hopefully one of the local guys will comment.
Island Gypsy 36 Europa "Doriana"
Sydney Australia
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Old 11-25-2014, 02:48 AM   #7
ynot1500's Avatar
City: Blackmans Bay, Tasmania
Country: Australia
Vessel Name: WESTWIND
Vessel Model: NORDHAVN 40
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 11
I would reconsider going north at that time of year. Cyclone season up north usually commences in December.
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Old 11-26-2014, 07:11 PM   #8
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City: Mooloolaba
Country: Australia
Vessel Name: Tidahapah
Vessel Model: Bert Ellis Timber motor cruiser
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,757
Definitely the wrong time of the year.
You would be flat out getting any insurance.
Best time to go is after cyclone season and once the SE Trades have started to blow.
Think of heading off after April/May.
Long term charter may be expensive and buying is a reasonable option but selling is not easy.
It is a buyers market at present so unless you are prepared to hold on to the vessel for a year or so you would probably take a reasonable loss on your purchase price.

"When I die I hope my wife doesn't sell my toys for what I told her I paid for them"
Money: It's made round to go round , not flat to stack.
"Get out and do it"
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