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Old 06-29-2014, 05:33 AM   #1
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Smile Central Indiana

Hi,
I am a newbie on this site. I have been looking for a boat to buy for my wife and I to put out on Lake Michigan from Michigan City Indiana. We have been thinking of making the "Americas Great Loop" someday. I am two years away from retirement but not sure if we will ever get to make the trip due to my health problems. I have been reading about different boats to buy and have become more confused after reading than anything.
I am looking to spend around 30,000.00 for a used boat. We want to spend weekends and vacations on the boat during the summer right now. We live 2 1/2 hours from Michigan City. If you
have any suggestions for us please feel free to email me.
Thanks
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Old 06-29-2014, 06:05 AM   #2
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Welcome. Starting out is daunting. Spend your time looking at and getting aboard as many boats as you can in your price range. Look for your likes and dislikes.

Make sure your partner is with you and listen carefully to what she has to say. There's a lot of boats sitting around because the wife didn't like it.

Do not concern yourself with brand names, boat types or any of that jazz right now. The great loop can and has been done in almost every type of vessel.

Depending upon the health issues keep your mobility in mind. Our boats previous owners had health/mobility issues happen so sold our boat and purchased a single level houseboat that was more accommodating to their needs.

Most of all, boating is a pleasurable activity and shopping for one should also be. Have fun and don't make it a burden. Good luck and happy hunting.
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Old 06-29-2014, 07:06 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. I have been married for over 30 years so your point on making sure my partner has a say is great. I have a 18' bass boat that we use on smaller lakes right now and we have a blast. When I use the trolling motor, she has a big floater she lays on while I am moving around. I get full access to the boat and she has her floating sun bather and never has to kick her feet. We both love the water and want to spend weekends on the water.
Thanks for your pointers on what to do
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Old 06-29-2014, 07:06 AM   #4
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Welcome aboard and good luck with the boat search. Your $30,000 budget and the desire to do the loop someday narrows your search. What may work best is a diesel trawler from the late 1970s or 1980s in the 30 to 36 foot range. This will likely mean one stateroom one head.

My suggestion is to take a look at boats in this size range and see if it is acceptable to you. There may be some on display at the Michigan City boat show coming up the first weekend in August, although the Michigan City boat show has not had a large number of boats lately.

Reason for the diesel is the assumption that with a $30,000 budget for the boat you will not want to have large fuel bills on a 6,000 mile Great Loop trip. The difference in fuel cost for a small diesel such as a 30 ft Willard and a twin engine gasoline boat such as a 34 ft Sea Ray are significant.

If the size is acceptable to you then start your search. At the $30,000 price level you will need to find a gem and it will be necessary to double check the mechanics and hull for problems.

Good luck
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Old 06-29-2014, 07:34 AM   #5
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Hi Marty,
I have been thinking about the 28-36 foot range. The gas or diesel was another thing I have been concerned about. The big thing I have been pondering over is the year of the boat. I have noticed that in my price range that I will have to consider an older boat. I have been concerned about the shape of a boat in that year range. My wife ask me if buying one of that age would be safe taking on a longer trip.We are planning a trip to Michigan City on July 5 to just look around at boats and what is on the water there. My wife was looking for Motels and did not find any on the water. We want to spend the night and then look at some boats for sale close by.
Thanks for your post and that does help me. I have been looking at the length of boats you have suggested. That will help narrow my search.
Thanks again
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Old 06-29-2014, 08:28 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TerrySturgeon View Post
Hi Marty,
The big thing I have been pondering over is the year of the boat. I have noticed that in my price range that I will have to consider an older boat. I have been concerned about the shape of a boat in that year range. My wife ask me if buying one of that age would be safe taking on a longer trip
There are some older boats that are no good, and other older boats that are just fine (I think of my 1973 as being in the latter category). Part of it has to do with how well it has been maintained, and part of it has to do with what previous owners (PO's) may have done to it to improve it (new fuel tanks, barrier coating the hull, etc., etc). Even a 40-year old diesel engine can be in very good shape if it has been taken care of.

Do not fall into the trap of paying low dollars for a piece of junk thinking that a little elbow grease will turn it into a treasure, unless you are very skilled at that type of work (some of the people on this Forum are, but most of us are not, alas).

Bottom line: Do not be afraid to look at older boats (with your budget), but sometimes you gotta kiss a lot of frogs before the right one turns up.
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Old 06-29-2014, 08:37 AM   #7
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Hi John,
One of the big problems I have being a newbie is just what you have stated about buying a boat for low dollars. I am on a budget when it comes to buying a boat and do not want to buy one and find out it needs major work before we could even enjoy it. I am not skilled at working on boats. Thanks for sharing not to be afraid at looking at older boats. I will need to find one I am interested in and then have a professional check it out for me. I think I would rather pay to have it checked out rather than end up being upset because I spend all my time and money working on one.
Thanks for your input
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Old 06-29-2014, 09:58 AM   #8
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Terry, several boats in your price range come immediately to mind. Try looking at the Albin 27, Albin 25 (commonly trailered) and the Mainship 34. All 3 are diesel powered and pretty common on the used market. Look for a boat with a long-term owner who loved her. A boat that had 3 owners in the last 3 years is not a good bet.
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Old 06-29-2014, 10:19 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by TerrySturgeon View Post

I have been thinking about the 28-36 foot range. The gas or diesel was another thing I have been concerned about.

Given your earlier comment about interest in The Loop, consider what it might be like spending a year (even if you do it in stages) living in a 28' boat compared to a 36' boat.

Initial acquisition cost for diesel is usually higher than for gas. OTOH, you usually get better fuel efficiency with diesel, and there are some (manageable) safety things about gas that can make diesel an attractive option. Lots of threads you can search about pros and cons of gas vs diesel here and on other fora.

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Old 06-29-2014, 10:26 AM   #10
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I'm thinking you need to consider the 3 legs of a pyramid.

That's because you have stated a very low price of an extended cruising boat and are on a budget.

Not trying to be a downer here...as I would do the loop in a kayak or a wheelchair if I really wanted to....but money and health issues are a concern when cruising even in populated areas....but again...if you want to..go for it but armed with the right info and best intentions.

The three legs I see are boat, budget and health needs.

The boat is easy...people have done it in little sailboats with outboards and loved every minute of it because they REALLY wanted to go and explore...the creature comforts were a distant desire.

Budget is important because it determines progress, what you can and can't do along the way, sure there's the cheap way and the Marriott way....you have to peek ahead and determine whether you want to go through the planning process based on that constraint.

And finally health concerns. Sometimes on the water you are in the vast wilderness even though a town may only be a few miles away...but getting there and to the care you need can be complicated and longer than you want/need. Also how much could it interrupt the trip to return to appointments/Drs? Travelling while cruising can be way more expensive due to remoteness and/or high cost areas. Could the illness prevent travel even when it's necessary just to move a bit to be in a better place due to weather? Many personal questions need to be thought through and sometimes that takes enough experience or info to even address them adequately.

Again...just info to ponder....very little can stop you...the question what might?????
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Old 06-29-2014, 11:03 AM   #11
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Greetings. Steven's Marine and the Mariner's Network are the two most visible brokerages in the area. Michigan City is a great home port. There is one facility on Trail Creek called Bridges that has had rooms to rent (at least up until two years ago. I missed last year and have had next to no time this year - yet).

There are a number of nice boats in your price range, but most are twin gas engined. The popular boat among the fishing charter guys is the 32 Marinette. Aluminum boats with twins that they find more economical than other similar boats. Not so sure they are loop economical though. Many of the boats have been in only freshwater. That certainly is a plus.

I think half the people in boating have plans to do much more cruising than they actually have the time and money to make a reality. What would work for active local boating, somewhere around 200 hours a season, and what would be needed for looping even at a leisurely 25 hours a week is a big difference. If you haven't spent time living with a bigger boat and maintaining one it might be worth looking at getting that experience while health and time permit. Local boats that are quite acceptable for local use are selling slow, so there are bargains out there. The price of fuel is one of the factors.

There are not that many boats that fit your criteria, but all boats are compromises.

Give a shout - I hope to be around next weekend.
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Old 06-29-2014, 11:56 AM   #12
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Don't overlook a small cruiser powered by a 4 stroke outboard. They have good fuel economy, quiet operation, and don't have the maintenance issues of diesels. It doesn't take much power to cruise at 7 knots.
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Old 06-29-2014, 06:03 PM   #13
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Great point Don. I think the Nimble Nomads outboard powered and great little cruisers to boot.
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Old 06-29-2014, 10:17 PM   #14
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inexpensive cruiser

Howdy Terry, I lived in Westfield for 19 years and kept our boat in So. Haven, MI. We cruised and lived aboard for15 years after that. If you have health issues, you have to consider maintaining your vessel also. We had a 42' sail and then a 44 trawler. We moved inland about 6 years ago, but we really missed the water so went out and bought another boat! I'm 72 now so wanted something that we could handle easier, not to mention fewer steps and good access to the engine compartment. I considered a C-Dory 25, the nimble nomad etc. but really fell in love with the Albin 27 family cruiser. Recommend you go to the website for "albin owners group" and look them over. They also have a lot of good advice on all of the Albins. Your price range falls right in there for a " very good condition" Albin in the 27 model. Like the forum here, they have a classified section also. Don't get in a hurry! Your boat will find you. Good luck, Ben
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Old 06-29-2014, 10:43 PM   #15
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Welcome Terry


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Old 07-04-2014, 12:17 PM   #16
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We had a 3270 Bayliner that was a very comfortable boat for a couple for several weeks at a time and would accommodate kids and Grandkids on long holiday weekends. Ours was gas powered, 260 hp 305 ci Chevy, most were Hino diesel powered and are very economical to run. There should be several for sale at your budget, I still miss the king size master berth. Most important thing is no matter what you decide on get a proper survey, I picked mine from the BoatUS site and was very pleased with his thoroughness, not in your area but here's a sample:
http://www.yachtworld.com/boats/1988...s#.U7bUC2K9KK1
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Old 07-04-2014, 02:30 PM   #17
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Here is one that's posted on TF that someone should jump on. At this price you could afford to transport it to your area.
Must sell. 34 Mainship Mk1 , 1978 $20k OBO
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