What would you recommend?

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Scraping Paint
Oct 27, 2016
United States
Greetings all!

We've had a very short, but varied boating career. In 2015 my father and I rebuilt a 19' center console fishing boat. In 2016 I sold the fishing boat, and bought a 18.5' Chaparral bow rider. In the fall of 2016 we joined a local boating group and starting learning about cruising. We thought we might like to try sailing so I purchased a small 1981 Hunter 27' sailboat, and we had both sail and power boats. After about 4 months and a few unsuccessful sails we sold the sailboat and made our money back. We knew we wanted to get into cruising more, and we knew we wanted power over sail, and we agreed that we'd look into something bigger THIS summer.

As any normal boater does, I was viewing yachtworld one evening and found an ad for a 1967 Chris Craft Commander 31'. The owner was open to trades for a smaller boat on a trailer, just like the one I had. Long story short, I was thrilled with the idea of a "classic" boat, so we worked out the details of the trade, and the rest is history.

I've now owned the Chris Craft since August, so about 8 months. While I've enjoyed working on it, keeping it up and running is starting to get expensive and I'm realizing that I just don't have the necessary finances nor knowledge to keep TWO original V8 engines in ship shape, although I've learned a whole hell of a LOT from these engines! I've been doing small things here and there like rebuilding carbs, and replacing a part or two as they need, but she really needs someone with more mechanical knowledge than I. (And someone who can afford the fuel bill too!)

So I've decided to sell her. I've got a pending offer on her, and if it goes through I'm going to cut my ties and attempt to start over.

After being through so many boats, we feel like we have a good idea of what we like, and we've decided that we want:

-a single engine
-a diesel engine
-trawler, or tug style
-we prefer single deck space as opposed to bi-level
-something with a lower/interior helm, or ability to enclose
-nothing too big, 25-35 feet

With that being said, what budget friendly model would you suggest? I know we're taking long shots with a $10-$20K budget, but I'm not afraid of a little cosmetic work - its the mechanics that need to be sound.

I'm really drawn to the Marine Traders, especially the 32' Sedan model, and also the Albin 27 Aft Cabin models. Those two brands really seem to always end up in my short list.

So what would you suggest? And do you know of any current listings that may not be on the forum?

"I know we're taking long shots with a $10-$20K budget, but I'm not afraid of a little cosmetic work - its the mechanics that need to be sound."

The hassle is with a $10K boat the work may be structural, rather than cosmetic.

Choose a boat with GRP (fiberglass) hull, decks and cabin top and avoid Chinese composite (a layer of GRP over plywood).

Solid glass may look like heck, but the structure should be sound, and can be refinished.

Perhaps an old Gulfstar.
Where do you live?? Here's a 1978 Marine Trader for $18k in AL. It even comes with a Honda EU2000i generator! You could probably snag this boat for $10k or less.....

1979 Marine Trader Sedan Power Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

Which is it, 32LWL or 32OAL

To be honest, a 32LWL is going to get small very quick. Step up the length a bit more.
I see a lot of cosmetic work to do.
To me, it looks like a semi-project boat to bring it back to its former self.
Gotta ask yourself, do you want to work on the boat or cruise the boat.
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"Gotta ask yourself, do you want to work on the boat or cruise the boat."

This is the best question any prospective boat buyer should ask themselves.
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