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Old 04-29-2019, 03:21 PM   #1
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Another Sailor considering the Dark Side

Hello, TF folks. Here's my story:
I bought a cheap old sailboat out of necessity because I had a temporary job in Los Angeles (I live in Nevada) and wanted a place to crash for six months and learn to sail. That was eight years ago. I have learned how to sail, restore old boats and generally live the marina lifestyle for a full third of the year, every year. My job has led to other opportunities here and has also extended for a minimum of four more years, so with the urging of the Admiral, who frequently visits, I've decided that a trawler is in my very near future. My present boat is a 30' monohull and is closer to camping than living aboard. I've been lurking here and perusing Yachtworld as well as walking docks and kayaking around the marina looking for the style and size of boat that would suit me.
As for cruising, the occasional jaunt to Catalina, or Newport or even San Diego down south or Ventura up north is about the extent of the places I would go. I don't know how to fish, but have a slight interest in it. Mostly, I'll sleep here when I work, coastal cruise if I have day day or two off.
As for my sailing fix, I figure I can crew on other people's boats (I love racing).
So, I've settled on the following variables for when I trade up:
2002 or younger
32'-38'
Fiberglass hull
Sedan or convertible style (I think this is my way of saying I do NOT want an aft cabin)
Single diesel engine, though double isn't a deal breaker. I don't need speed.
No wood on the exterior (not a deal breaker- I've had my fill of brightwork for now, thank you)
No preference on pilothouse or flybridge.
I looked at a Mainship 34 that checked all the boxes recently.
So, here's your chance to convert me. Fire away!
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Old 04-29-2019, 03:58 PM   #2
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Price range?
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Old 04-29-2019, 04:05 PM   #3
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~$150k
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Old 04-29-2019, 04:10 PM   #4
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How mechanically gifted are you?
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Old 04-29-2019, 04:18 PM   #5
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I've changed the oil and filters in my current Diesel. I could clean the heat exchanger when necessary. Could I check the compression on one of my cylinders? No. That's something I would need to learn. That and electrical. I know how to wire things and repair ends, but figuring out Amperage loads is over my head.
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Old 04-29-2019, 07:11 PM   #6
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Given the type of boat you are looking at and price range, maintenance has the potential to be a big item. I see u are handy but are u prepared to pay to rebuild a transmission in your first year? While others here are experts on older trawlers I can tell you first hand that I was shocked when I spent over 2 grand in maintenance on a brand new boat that had issues. So plan a maintenance budget.
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Old 04-29-2019, 07:55 PM   #7
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Well, I do understand that preventative maintenance can only go so far. Currently, my sailboat has a Vetus Diesel and I have sourced parts from far and wide (mostly Netherlands) to repair issues, mostly minor. I did rebuild the top end of a Buick V6 in my Jeep CJ5 back in the day! Even the carb.... So I guess I can be as mechanically inclined as necessary. Having owned a classic sailboat for 8 years, I find that I spend very little time not doing boat related stuff. On a power boat, I'll probably end up doing the same, only with the systems instead of, say, making eye splices for halyards or binding shackles, etc.
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Old 04-29-2019, 08:09 PM   #8
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I am not suggesting a boat. I am suggesting you listen to what the Admiral’s requirements are. If you can satisfy her with a Mainship 34 you might be on the right track.

34 feet was not enough boat for the wife and I. However we were 2 people living on it full time.
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Old 04-29-2019, 08:13 PM   #9
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Welcome aboard TF - A good group of boaters here.
I like to sail but as you say on others people's boats. I may be one of a few power boaters with a pair of sailing gloves.
I'll bet there are a lot more sailboaters that convert to power / trawler than power boaters that convert to sail. And we all know sailors motor about 75% of their time on the water anyway! Nothing wrong with it as I said I like it myself.
I would think that with that budget you should be able to find a Mainship 34 in decent shape that doesn't need LOTS of work.
That said - do reserve some of the budget for projects / unexpected.
We love our MS 34HT and think its a great boat for a couple. We aren't fly bridge people but realize it's an advantage in that it provides more living space. Issue w/ us is were getting on in yrs and figure we could boat for an extra 10 yrs if we didn't have to deal w/ a flybridge and ladders / stairs.
Any questions about late model MS 34's feel free to ask - there are many of us here that have / had one and not bashful sharing opinions.
Good luck with the search.
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Old 04-29-2019, 09:28 PM   #10
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Thanks for the responses! I'm in no hurry, so all the input I can get the better. I'll be on it alone 90% of the time, and that boat is plenty for me. It's the few days here and there that the Admiral will be joining me the the extra space will come in handy. To be clear- I live in a house and commute to LA for work 100 days a year or so. That's when I'm on the boat. She did like the Mainship, though...
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Old 04-30-2019, 01:02 PM   #11
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"To be clear- I live in a house and commute to LA for work 100 days a year or so. That's when I'm on the boat. She did like the Mainship, though..".

With no particular desire to go cruising a less expensive boat would make an even better liveaboard.

Tinkering on a boat with no major problems (like a bad engine or rotten decks) would be simple electrical stuff and mostly refinishing.

Find a nice but cosmetically poor boat and give her a great refinish.

Short vacation style cruises will give you an idea of weather you want a "better" boat sometime in the future.

I would look at US made "motor yachts" as well as trawlers as the hulls are similar ,tho usually have GRP decks that dont rot, the as the living quarters may be better planned and the exterior spaces better used.

Good hunting !
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