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CPseudonym

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After spending a few days reading through the forum I came upon a thread (can't remember title) wher the advice in a nut shell was stop waiting around and do it now. It hit close to home with me.

I've been waiting for the perfect opportunity and boat to come along and after reading that thread decided the perfect first boat will be the one that floats, we'll learn and make our mistakes on something very cheap and move on from there. I've had Boating skills and seamanship classes many years ago through the USCGA and plan on taking them again. I also plan on taking sailing lessons at a local sailing school. I do wish to be a safe and responsible boater.

I have been looking at Craigslist and was wondering if a list of boats in the California Bay and Delta region exists? I've tried Google with some varying levels of success and was wanting to make sure there was not an obvious site I was missing that is known by experienced boaters. I am on a very low starting budget and do not expect anything larger than what would fit on a trailer for a first boat, although if it is over 23 feet I would very much like to berth it in the Delta.

I thank you for any help you may provide.

~Craig
 
Craig,

"we'll learn and make our mistakes on something very cheap and move on from there."

That sounds like you may encounter more learning and mistakes than you have in mind. You should be aware of how much greif you can buy in a cheap boat. Don't think of your boat as a throw away but a keeper and keep in mind that you WILL part w her and it may be very much sooner or later than when you had in mind. Keep in mind though that in times like these (and they probably will continue or get worse) unloading a good boat is difficult but next to impossible for a dog. When you search on Yacht World click in the geographical area you want at times and look world wide at other times. You will learn something and perhaps quite a lot. To see what a boat looks like click on other boats of the same type and see the pics that are lacking on the one you are actually looking at. Don't try to "get it over with". The hunt is fun.
 
nomadwilly wrote:
*You should be aware of how much greif you can buy in a cheap boat.....* Keep in mind though that in times like these (and they probably will continue or get worse) unloading a good boat is difficult but next to impossible for a dog.......* Don't try to "get it over with". The hunt is fun.
******* Good advise and will save you a ton of stress. (If heeded.)
 
CPseudonym wrote:
After spending a few days reading through the forum I came upon a thread (can't remember title) wher the advice in a nut shell was stop waiting around and do it now. It hit close to home with me.

I've been waiting for the perfect opportunity and boat to come along and after reading that thread decided the perfect first boat will be the one that floats, we'll learn and make our mistakes on something very cheap and move on from there. I've had Boating skills and seamanship classes many years ago through the USCGA and plan on taking them again. I also plan on taking sailing lessons at a local sailing school. I do wish to be a safe and responsible boater.

I have been looking at Craigslist and was wondering if a list of boats in the California Bay and Delta region exists? I've tried Google with some varying levels of success and was wanting to make sure there was not an obvious site I was missing that is known by experienced boaters. I am on a very low starting budget and do not expect anything larger than what would fit on a trailer for a first boat, although if it is over 23 feet I would very much like to berth it in the Delta.

I thank you for any help you may provide.

~Craig
Hi Craig... Welcome to boating!
*

I'm from*SF area.**After docking in San Rafael for Bay-Play and Pacific coast ventures outside the GG Bridge, we sold our Uniflite Sport Fisher Sedan and cruised our Tollycraft Tri Cabin into the Bay Delta.* For over two years now we've been docking under a covered berth in Stockton.* Plenty of cruising areas, islands*to visit, towns to visit, yacht harbors to review, restaurants to chow at, and warm clean*fresh water to swim in... good fishing too.* If you proceed in an orderly fashion to comprehensively research CL ads in SF, Stockton and Sacramento, as well as to call and/or visit boat yards and yacht harbors seeking a boat... you will eventually locate the correct one to suite your needs.* Plenty of good condition and affordable craft for sale these days... some real junkers too!* Soooo ya gotta be informed and careful during your choice of purchase.* Seeing as you appear not sure of what actual design/condition/price that boat may be I offer you my assistance to discuss alternatives and will be pleased to offer you tips and tricks as to what may lead you toward your best choice opportunity.* Therefore; if you would like to chat on this for some pointers... send me an IM and Ill IM you my phone #.* Boating is a kick if you chose the correct craft to utilize!* BUT boating can Kick-Your-Ass in more way than one, if you chose the wrong one!!* Best to know what youre doing, before you do it.* Be pleased to speak with you.* Good luck, Art
*
 
Art wrote:CPseudonym wrote:
After spending a few days reading through the forum I came upon a thread (can't remember title) wher the advice in a nut shell was stop waiting around and do it now. It hit close to home with me.

I've been waiting for the perfect opportunity and boat to come along and after reading that thread decided the perfect first boat will be the one that floats, we'll learn and make our mistakes on something very cheap and move on from there. I've had Boating skills and seamanship classes many years ago through the USCGA and plan on taking them again. I also plan on taking sailing lessons at a local sailing school. I do wish to be a safe and responsible boater.

I have been looking at Craigslist and was wondering if a list of boats in the California Bay and Delta region exists? I've tried Google with some varying levels of success and was wanting to make sure there was not an obvious site I was missing that is known by experienced boaters. I am on a very low starting budget and do not expect anything larger than what would fit on a trailer for a first boat, although if it is over 23 feet I would very much like to berth it in the Delta.

I thank you for any help you may provide.

~Craig
Hi Craig... Welcome to boating!
*

I'm from*SF area.**After docking in San Rafael for Bay-Play and Pacific coast ventures outside the GG Bridge, we sold our Uniflite Sport Fisher Sedan and cruised our Tollycraft Tri Cabin into the Bay Delta.* For over two years now we've been docking under a covered berth in Stockton.* Plenty of cruising areas, islands*to visit, towns to visit, yacht harbors to review, restaurants to chow at, and warm clean*fresh water to swim in... good fishing too.* If you proceed in an orderly fashion to comprehensively research CL ads in SF, Stockton and Sacramento, as well as to call and/or visit boat yards and yacht harbors seeking a boat... you will eventually locate the correct one to suite your needs.* Plenty of good condition and affordable craft for sale these days... some real junkers too!* Soooo ya gotta be informed and careful during your choice of purchase.* Seeing as you appear not sure of what actual design/condition/price that boat may be I offer you my assistance to discuss alternatives and will be pleased to offer you tips and tricks as to what may lead you toward your best choice opportunity.* Therefore; if you would like to chat on this for some pointers... send me an IM and Ill IM you my phone #.* Boating is a kick if you chose the correct craft to utilize!* BUT boating can Kick-Your-Ass in more way than one, if you chose the wrong one!!* Best to know what youre doing, before you do it.* Be pleased to speak with you.* Good luck, Art
*

*If you haven't gone to Yachtworld.com I'm recommend having a look there; it does allow you to focus by various criteria including geographic area.

Also agree with other posters that you don't want to start out with something unsuitable. That could easily put you (and any potential cruising partner(s)) off the lifestyle completely.
 
"...list of boats in the California Bay and Delta ..."

You can narrow yours search area to California on yachtworld.com.
 
"You can narrow yours search area to California on yachtworld.com."

The problem is yachtworld is a broker site , not an owners site to sell boats.

Brokers will almost never list "project " boats as it brings out dozens of "Lookie Lous" dreamers without a dime in their kitty.

Spending days or weeks to sell a $5000 "needs some work" bucket is not the way to feed the dog.

If you really want a stater boat GO to the local yards and talk to the manager.

HE will know what is for sale , but not advertised , and what is pure garbage.

Personally I think a "needs work" is a disaster for a new boater.

I would look for a REAL DEAL, an estate sale or similar, that was pampered by the past owner.

Best "deals" come from out of favor boats , while wood is cheapest it must be avoided, as a money pit.

Steel in most areas of the US is not well understood , and may be cheap.

Same with gasoline , many folks have totally irrational opinions on gas boats , so there can be really good buys!

Good Hunting
 
Excellent Excellent advice Fred. And it's great fun as well. I did a LOT of this kind of thing when I was a young man. Now we live in a bit of a new world and access to marinas and yards may be a problem. This is what you needed to know though.
 
Great advice given above. Stay away from project boats unless you are absolutely certain of the extent of repairs needed and you are fully skilled, equipped and financed to make the repairs. Dreams turn into nightmares at $100 per hour marina repair rates and the cost of marine parts if they can be found for an outdated boat will keep you in drydock unless you have deep pockets. As mentioned above, the well cared for estate sale cream puff is what you are looking for.

For your first boat on a budget I highly recomend staying with a trailerable boat. Moorage fees can eat your lunch (and dinner too). The additional cost of fuel at a marina vs the local gas station, the bottom maintenance and the cost of replacing zincs (if in salt water) substantially increase the cost of boating also. You can go cruising in a trailerable boat and the ability to tow the boat gives you the option to move to different bodies of water. If you have a place to park the boat at home, trailer boating is the cheapest way to get into boating.



-- Edited by Budds Outlet on Sunday 25th of September 2011 10:18:45 AM


-- Edited by Budds Outlet on Sunday 25th of September 2011 10:19:42 AM
 
I want to thank everyone for the great advice. I'd never thought of Yachtworld, the name alone kinda gave me thoughts of something far beyond my budget. The wife and I are planning on spending a few scattered Saturday afternoon's driving around and getting lost in the delta. Perhaps we may locate an adequate starter as some of you suggested. I would like to shy away from wood myself and try sticking perhaps to a more popular brand to make resale easier.
Our dream would be a smaller trawler, but it may be far more prudent to start with something along the lines of a 25ish foot Bayliner style. Never been a huge fan of the brand but they seem plentiful and if my logic is correct, easier to sell down the road.
Again I thank you for help providing me some sound advice.
 
If you are looking fopr a cheap boat, ask yourself this question: Do I want to spend the next 2 years fixing a boat or do I want to spend the next 2 years sailing a boat. If you buy a fixer-upper the main lesson you will learn is that you will never do that again. The next lesson you will learn is that you just invested way more than the boat is worth.
Just saying that this is what happens to most people. Very few take a fixer-upper and follow it all the way through.
The only advise I can offer is don't buy a boat if you cant safely take it out the minute you own it. Cosmetic work is different. It can be expensive also, but in most cases it is usually more time than money.
 
I would second the advice given about getting a sound vessel and enjoying cruising. A project boat as a first boat could be very discouraging. We started with an Albin 25, which has a great reputation because of its seaworthiness, economy and use of space. Cruised to some beautiful places in her. We like the idea of a trailerable trawler as speed was not our ticket. 7 knots was perfect for our first trawler. We have moved into a larger boat now, a Willard 30 and our Albin is in our yard about to be winterized and placed on the market in early spring. Email us if you'd like to see photos. Check out our blog from one of our triups to get an idea of what an Albin is like. http://princesslouisa2010.blogspot.com

Keith Olive
 
I agree that cosmetic fixing is about all I'm really interested in. If the boat is not mechanically operable I'll pass, and have on a few already. I find it shocking the way some misrepresent what they have.
Character flaw of mine, I deal fairly with people and am guilty of assuming others will extend the courtesy. I like the idea of driving to local marinas and yards and seeking under-utilized or estate sale situations.
I've looked at and passed on some wooden cabin cruisers that may well have been great purchases. The problem is with my lack of any experience with them, I really don't even know "what I don't know about them".
Ultimately I plan on enjoying the hunt and ultimately the purchase. Thanks again for the great advice.
 
"Our dream would be a smaller trawler, but it may be far more prudent to start with something along the lines of a 25ish foot Bayliner style."

There is one in a Ct yard , that "drove in didn't it" for about $2000 on a trailer.

Come on over to CT, and drag it home.

Looked very hard at it , but the Bride said no more project boats.99% cosmetic , interior work.
 
FF wrote:
"Our dream would be a smaller trawler, but it may be far more prudent to start with something along the lines of a 25ish foot Bayliner style."

There is one in a Ct yard , that "drove in didn't it" for about $2000 on a trailer.

Come on over to CT, and drag it home.

Looked very hard at it , but the Bride said no more project boats.99% cosmetic , interior work.
Please forgive my ignorance, but by "CT yard" are you referring to the state of**Connecticut? As much as it sounds the perfect candidate I'm afraid it may be a little far from my area. I'm located near the SF Bay Area in California.
 
RCook wrote:
Hi Craig,

You might find it worthwhile to take a look at my book, which is intended for someone much like you if I understand correctly.* Here's a link - select Preview to review the first ~ 28 pages.

http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/cruising-in-a-big-way/4653755
*Thank you for the preview. It may become an addition to my library soon. Right now I am trying to digest alot of great tips in a short span of time :)
 
CPseudonym wrote:
...it may be far more prudent to start with something along the lines of a 25ish foot Bayliner style. Never been a huge fan of the brand but they seem plentiful
*In addition to Bayliner--- who made some very nice boats, by the way--- a make with a much more substantial reputation is Tollycraft.* They are very popular and common in the PNW in sizes from 26' to 50' and over.* I don't know how popular they were farther south in SFO and the rest of California.*

But I know several people who got into "bigger" boat boating with a Tolly 26 and had a great time with them.* They are single-engine, gas-powered via an inboard and*V-drive.* The only thing I know about them in negative terms is to stay away from the very first models, the ones with a straight drive and the rudder mounted on the transom.* The rudder and its mount apparently*can be problematical.

The people I know who bought Tolly 26s paid from $16,000 to $20,000 or so although this was several years ago.

Photo is off the web.

*
 

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Marin displays nice pict of 26 Tollycraft.* Im a bit partial to Tolly.
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Visit http://www.tolly-classified.com/adindex1.html* Also, CL in Seattle and Portland OR usually has a bunch listed.* YachtWorld of course too.* Darn good boats dem Tolly!
*
 
"I'm afraid it may be a little far from my area. I'm located near the SF Bay Area in California.


RT 66 to Chi, then its all paved to CT!

My point is there are tons of candidates in the under $3k to $5k market.

But they probably will need to be looked for , most brokers wont touch them.

Penny-saver ? WANTED! add?
 
Thank you for the clarification FF. It was your response in one of the old threads I was reading that actually made me decide to get off my duff and get going with getting on the water sooner rather than later.

Thank you FF for the motivation, and all of you for tempering my excitement with wisdom.

I am considering reading material. Is Chapmans Guide still regarded as a good reference book? Any others I should consider?
 
Is Chapmans Guide still regarded as a good reference book? Any others I should consider?

There are many other starting books that are simpler, but Chapmans is still fine.

I would suggest going to Dave Pascoe web site and reading a bunch of comments on existing boats.

His small boat book might be an eye opener and help you with your first boat.

Except for distance work in open ocean , a small boat can do great cruising at 1/10 to 1/100 the price of a big boat.

The true cost? it will be less comfortable , more like camping.

Want to swim,go over the side , instead of into the pool.

Lots of folks are OK with that.
 
Another 2 cents worth, I started boating in the CA Delta 20 yearsago knowing nothing of boating except all my friends were doing it and it was to dang hoy to stay ashore. The delta is a great introduction to boating as it is realtively safe, close and cheap. As oppose to many places that actually have large waves and strong currents, the delta is like bath tub boating. Most of it is less the 12 feet deep or a 1/2 mile wide. So if you get in trouble you can drive or walk to a shore. That this doeen't mean you can't sink or get in to some trouble....but you really have to try compare to most areas. For the calm waters betwen the SF Bay and Stockton or Sacramento ,a Bayliner is a great cheap way to get started.

My first boat was a 36 ft Gibson houseboat, that I took to Stockton and Sacramento from Discovery Bay. Later if you and the boss find you like it you can always step up to another boat. But don't wait thinking you need something to take to Half Moon Bay to get started. 95% of the boats in the delta never go west of Pittsburg, and they are fine with that, there is plenty of good boating to be found around.

Houseboats give you alot of room for the money, but they are slow, so think about how far you want to go on a weeekend and how long you plan to spend on the boat. There are weekend boats and those that are designed to stay out longer. I typically spent alot of weekends out and during the 4th of July, I'll be out for 2 weeks. A 28 express cruiser or 32 bayline might be just the tickey for you and their are alot of them out there.

Get out and enjoy ask questions, we are here to help
 
The Boss and I spent the day unscripted getting lost, so to speak on the "Delta Loop". Had a couple boats on the agenda to look for, one sold(thankfully as it had dumb move written all over it).

Met a nice gentleman at a marina and asked the obvious "know of anything for sale?". He politely said no and wife and I headed back to the van. Then it happened, wife said someone just yelled for you back at the dock. Was the polite man I just talked to earlier.

He took us across the marina and onto a boathouse and pointed out a well covered cabin boat about 24ish feet long and maybe 40 years old, outboard powered. Told is the owner is in his late 70's and his health is sketchy. Owned the boat since new and spares no expense maintaing it. We finally found a way to lift a corner of the custom canvas cover and saw a brand new 40 year old boat. He told us the motor starts first kick when the gentleman shows up to polish it(less frequently now).
I plan on contacting marina operator on Monday and seeing about relaying a message to the owner about a possible showing.

My question is simply. How would you feel about receiving an un-solicited inquiry about your boat from a stranger?
 
My question is simply. How would you feel about receiving an un-solicited inquiry about your boat from a stranger?

Great , but if its a wood boat , cruising is not the hobby.
 
OMG! - Stay with good cond / well built fiberglass boat.* imho

There are several items re fiberglass you should also know.

Google David Pascoe and read, read, read.*

You CAN locate an affordable,*good condition boat - BUT - You can also become saddled with a piece of junk,*or at very*least expensive/time consuming repairs... if you choose the incorrect boat.

We boaters have all had our own "learning" experiences and hope to help you not get blindsided as we sometimes may have been in our early boating lives!

Best O' Luck - Art*

*
 
What Art said.* I wouldn't want to guess how many boats are lovingly stored in boathouses and polished by their dedicated owners.* Even in our little marina I could point you at a couple.* The ones I'm thinking of are elegant works of art that you could be proud to be seen aboard but if you gave them to me they'd still be WAY too expensive to own.
 
Maybe I missed it but I did not see wood in the comments about the 40 year old boat, you may have found a diamond in the rough. If it is fiberglass I'd make the offer and get a good a really survey. 24 feet is alittle short for two folks to spend alot of time in, I suspect you'd be looking for something larger in a short period of time. Now is the time in the market to get a great dal on a boat, so you might want to cut to the chase and buy something alttle larger that you can stay with for a number of years. Heck my ski boat was almost that size.

The problem with a boat to small, is if she ain't happy you won't be either. They have make alot of improvements in boats in 40 years to the electrical, plumbing, and engines. So what you save by buyig the older boat, you will spend bringing it backto life. But different strokes for different folks, Good luck. If you like the boat make and offer, worst case is you you don't make a friend of a guy you don't know anyways. Up side you you get a boat at a good price and the odler guy gets some money for a new toy. Winner/winner
 
Well I never said wood but it is what was described as a fiberglass over wood hull. I know, I wish to avoid wood myself but like a moth to a flame we are inquiring anyway. If only to meet someone described to us as a really neat old man with a nice boat. Most likely pass on a purchase but cannot resist meeting really good characters. Perhaps brighten his day and enhance our knowledge base at the same time. Like the idea of mutually beneficial time spent developing relationships. I will not mislead him nor ask that he go out of his way. Perhaps ask to see him at a time he is planning on being there anyway.

David Pascoe has been a real fountain of information for us. I'm feeling the advice on size as well. We are going to bump up our size range a bit as we have heard from many on our trip to the docks that we may be a little too conservative about our ability to handle a larger craft. Perhaps increase our search to 30' and see what happens.
 
My impression reading Pascoe's stuff is that he provides a lot of excellent information but he is very, very biased and often makes blanket negative statements about a particular make or model that, while they may be true for individual boats, are not necessarily true across the entire make or model line. So I view Pascoe as one good source of information but not the be-all, end-all source that some people, particularly him, feel he is.

If you bump your size envelope up to 30-32 feet or so, that opens up a number of good possibilities. One of them, as has been mentioned before, is Bayliner. I'm not all that familiar with their product lines but they made some nice cruisers in their "88" model lineup. They seem to have made these in a number of lengths over the years: 3288, 3388, 3488, 3588, 3688, 3788 and the list apparently goes on. I have no idea what the "88" stands for, but while they appear at first look to be planing-type boats it's my understanding that they are not. They are fairly efficient cruisers. A few years ago we met a couple with a 3488 and they had taken this boat to SE Alaska and back several times and were having a wonderful time with the boat. I am very familiar with the Bayliner jokes and reputation, but I think these have more to do with their owners than with the boats themselves. Bayliner discovered something a lot of other manufacturers probably wish they had, and that was how to make a line of boats with a wide market appeal at prices that a wide market segment could afford. So you tend to get a lot of newbies in Bayliners, and I think that's where the reputation really comes from. Bad operation, not bad boats.

Yes, their small, entry-level trailer boats are nothing to write home about in terms of quality and reliability but their larger boats, from everything I've heard, are quite good. And any boat, even a Grand Banks or a Fleming, can become a piece of junk if it's neglected or poorly maintained.

Bayiiners had/have a huge dealer network--- I've seen them on the Danube River in Austria and on the Seine in Paris--- so decent used ones are most likely available in every part of the US. I believe there is at least one sizable Bayliners owners forum on the web, so I would think it would be pretty easy to learn quite a bit about a particular model you might become interested in.
 
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