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Boat as a Second Home

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by calmecrazy, Aug 27, 2011.

  1. calmecrazy

    calmecrazy New Member

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    Evening All,

    I'm new to the site and I need a sounding board to see if what I'm thinking is logical or just plane off the chart. I live here in Central NJ with my wife and daughter, I have been fascinated from afar with the boating lifestyle, I always had in the back of my mind when I was single and out of college to buy a live aboard and have a perpetual party.

    Now fast forward years later I'm now early 40's supposedly older and wiser but I am thinking about it again, this time as a alternative to a brick and mortar second home. I'm fully aware of the 3 F's but being that I am involved in aviation also, I figured I need the second F for the trifecta:D .. so here are my questions and vision so any advise is appreciated.

    1) I am thinking of a length between 50 -60 ft, I have been looking into a Hatteras Tri-Cabin something galley up would be the best, any other manufactures / models? with a nice floorplan??

    2) I am not looking to cruise frequently more or less finding a friendly marina in either Ocean City NJ or around Long Beach Island with the amenities, fly down on a Friday and back home on a Sunday, but having the option to move around to warmer climates or different locations is appealing.

    3) Cost analysis of ownership? is it 10% to 15% of cost? annually.

    4) Pre purchase inspections, I would prefer to use a 3rd party not affiliated with the local networks is that ill advised ?

    5) I am highly mechanically inclined but on planes not on boats what are the gotchas?? or at least things that need to be tended to weekly / monthly

    I appologise for the lenth..

    Cheers

    Frank
  2. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    I thought I would try replying in the message instead of chopping it up.
  3. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Sounds like a pretty good plan.
    1) The size sounds good
    2) Think about it in winter, maybe take a look at marina life this February
    3) That number is about average, but the expenses don't always come along on schedule. A client bought a boat last spring. He's now dropping in a new motor. The averages will be doing a bit of catch up for the next couple of years.
    4) I would never use a surveyor referred to by by the seller or broker.
    5) At least with boats you don't have to worry about them falling out of the sky.
    P.S. At 40+ with a wife and daughter the perpetual party has left without you. Best feel out the W & D. They often have a bit to say about moves like this ,such as "R U freakin' crazy" or "You expect me to tell my friends I live on a boat?" to the old tried and true "I've got my divorce lawyer on speed dial." and then there's the old "we're going to the vet tomorrow to get you 'fixed'":)
  4. Capt. Mike

    Capt. Mike New Member

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    I moved on a boat in 2006 and I never want to move back to land. I now have two houses and still want to stay on my boat. There is something about living on a boat that I can't explain. It is a much better way to live.

    A 52' - 65' Hatteras is a great boat to live on, even for a week at a time or full time. I would get one 1978 and up. I say find a boat with a great galley and go from there. I would be careful with the engines. Most all of them have the 71 or 92 engines and it is getting harder and harder to find someone who knows two strokes.
  5. calmecrazy

    calmecrazy New Member

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    Thank you all for the input... also like the speed dial advise NYCAPT but sometime cheaper to play along...

    anyway in terms of engines do they have TBO times or time life components that need to be replaced every so many hours? also with the lack of use do you use destine plugs in the engines to prevent cylinder wall corrosion or is running it in a slip sufficient?

    Capt Mike I checked out your site looks like you have one hell of a project on your hands, i must say nothing as rewarding as when you can restore something back to its original beauty but with a touch of modern technology... I have restored classic aircraft and some WWII planes it's a labor of love..
  6. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    Hi,

    If it is used privately and is maintained well with the use of Scheduled Oil and coolant sampling I would say just run it til the things wear out.

    There are a whole raft of rules and regs for bigger yachts and commercially operated ones but a small one you run yourself is exempt from most if not all with the exception of the Safety and LSA which although not specifically covered by regulation might be of interest to your insurance co, not as biggy anyway and should make sense to someone coming from the Aircraft Industry.
  7. Bayside Bert28

    Bayside Bert28 Senior Member

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    Boats and airplanes have lots in common with regard to expense and maintenance requirements. A boat like a 58' Hatteras can definitely be like a second home and cost just as much too. Overhauling one of those big 12 cyl Detroits will run approx $50k these days or could turn into a complete nightmare like mine has been. Spending $60k and then having the engine fail immediately and now it needed to come out of the boat. I cut a check for the parts in February for the second overhaul on the same engine. It's now late August and the engine is still at the machine shop!!!

    For some reason, the aviation community seems to have a much better handle on significant maintenance than then boating community. Painting my Beechcraft Baron will be a fairly easy ... scheme first, strip, paint, replace hardware. 30 days and it's out the door. With the boat, the same process could take a freaking year!! I think it just takes time to figure it all out and find some trustworthy contractors. In the end, you will love boating. It's really nice to hang out with the boat and be able to live on it too!
  8. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    Hi,

    Bayside Bert - How come you stumped up for your engine repairs 6 months ago and the engine is still in the shop?
  9. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    That may be self-explanatory.
  10. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    i' not a big fan of the layout of the 58TC, it's a good looking boat though but the layout is "old"... by "old" I mean it's the pre Hargrave flush deck layout which really is a big improvement. it's why the TC went away in the id 70s and the 53/58 and later 54/56 and their cousins became so popular. I dont' find galley up or down to be at the top of the list... my 53 is galley down, i like it.

    hard to go wrong with the Hatt MYs, but you can also look at some of the Chris, bertrams or vikings.

    as others mentinoed, no TBOs on marine engines, how long they last depends on the model and hp they put out... think of some of the high power/displ. ratios as the continentals... vs lycomings which would be equivalent of a diesel with a lower HP/CID ratio. some diesels will barely make it past 1200hrs (like a continental... :) ) while others will keep on going well past 2500 hrs... (I had a pair of Lyc IO540 making it over 2500hrs...)

    there are actually many similirities between flying and boating...
  11. calmecrazy

    calmecrazy New Member

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    Hi Bayside thanks, so I would hope the shop stands behind their work, I guess I don't want to paint with a broad stroke but is their allot of fly by night operators out their in the boating world? not that it hasn't happened before in aviation but their are lots of eyes and even more regulations governing what we aircraft owners can and can't do, does any of that translate over into boating?

    I take their aren't any annual inspections or maintenance logs on boats hulls / engines, so here is a dumb question how do you know what your getting in the power plant? bore-scopes and oil analysis can help but how do you know your not getting a Krylon overhauled engine?? because at 60k a pop 120k for both that would be enough to get your shorts in a knot in a hurry... :mad:

    Cheers
  12. calmecrazy

    calmecrazy New Member

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    Thanks Pascal, ok i will do some homework on those models you suggested.... FYI I'll take a LYC any day dam motors are almost bullet proof...
  13. Bayside Bert28

    Bayside Bert28 Senior Member

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    My experience with the engine on this boat has been an honest to god nightmare. Not because of the boat or the engine.

    Because of the contractors.

    6 months ago, it was determined that the fresh overhaul performed by Saunders Yachtworks of Orange Beach, AL was toast. It failed as I was leaving the marina after paying them $209,000 for assorted work including an overhaul of the port engine. Saunders did a field repair of the cylinder head that was causing the problem and it immediately failed again (leaking coolant into the oil). By this time, I was in Maryland. Saunders told me it was somehow NOT their responsibility and that they were very sorry for my loss!! Of course, I am suing them but first I need to get the engine fixed so I have a final bill to present to the judge.

    My boat was at Herrington Harbour North in Maryland so I contacted Central Marine.

    In February, I cut Central Marine a $24,000 check for parts for the in-hull overhaul and was promised a completed job by mid-May for the summer season.

    In April, Central Marine discovered that the original company that overhauled the engine (Saunders Yachtworks) had made so many errors (like honing the cylinder bores too much so that the cylinder sleeves were loose in the bore) ... that the engine needed to come out of the boat. The promise was now mid-June for a completed job ... engine back in the boat and running.

    Ultimately, I had to work with my own carpenter to take the interior apart to gain access to the engine because the other contractor at Herrington Harbour North that promised to take the interior apart to gain access to the engine bay, promised and promised but NEVER DID IT.

    After being ready to pull the plug on the job in June over Central Marines inaction, they finally got the engine out of the boat.

    Now it's been at the machine shop since June ... and it's almost September.

    AM I BEING UNREASONABLE!!!!! I could scream.

    I am not a stranger to business.

    I have NEVER experienced anything like this in my life!

    So here my boat sits. The entire boat has been refit and renewed at this point but I cannot get this engine overhauled to save my freaking life! AHHHHHHHHH!!!!

    Ok ... regained my composure.

    I will contact the owner of Central Marine and request a face to face sit down meeting to discuss the situation.

    I know this is not the way it is supposed to be.

    Marine Technical Services (MTS) at Herrington Harbour has completed several electronics jobs for me. They are prompt, reasonable and the work is exceptional. I recommend them highly.

    Wayfarer Marine is the marina I work with in Camden, Maine. They have been extraordinary in every respect. They handle lists of squawks on time without any problems. The technicians are courteous, upbeat and knowledgable. I recommend them without hesitation. I trust them.

    Any suggestions? Should I contact Johnson & Towers?

    So ... in response to the original post. These big boats are great fun but they are not without very significant challenges.
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2011
  14. Bayside Bert28

    Bayside Bert28 Senior Member

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    I have not been around boating long enough to figure it out. With airplanes, there are very clear approved procedures for many things. Less so with boats. Also, because there are so many different boats, it is much tougher to make apples to apples comparisons for different jobs. This leads to lots of time and materials work. Either way, I will applaud the good contractors and expose the bad ones. But yes ... so far, I am out $88,000 to overhaul a single engine and all I have to show for it is .... nothing at all.
  15. calmecrazy

    calmecrazy New Member

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    see that's the stuff that scares the hell out of me, it all seems so subjective in the boating world... I would have flown down on my own steam and had a very nice conversation with those folks especially after they said too bad... Mattituck or Penn-Yan their not...

    I hope you get some resolution quickly...
  16. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    No offense, but I've never heard these stories of things taking so long from DD dealers. I know first hand that Western Branch in Norfolk, VA as well as RPM and FDDA and JT will do a rebuild in 4-6 weeks time, whether you're standing there and holding their hand or not. Why not use a dealer to do a MOH? Boring the block is probably the best thing you can do, as a lot of the DD blocks came out of the factory with non-perfect bores to start with and the age and usage causes a lot of the bores to be egg shaped. Even if you get a liner to fit, it can create hotspots shortening the life on the rebuild.
  17. Bayside Bert28

    Bayside Bert28 Senior Member

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    No offense taken ... I thought an "Authorized Detroit Diesel Service Center" along with good references meant I was making the best choice.
  18. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    Mattituck... that's where i had those Lycomings rebuilt, shipped all the way fro St Barths!

    a good reputable surveyor should be able to give you a reasonable accurate condition of the engines, incl. borescope, compression test and oil analysis. On DD you rarely do compression tests though since they are done thru the injector holes and that requires a complete tune up. time consuming and only done if really needed.

    the key is to find good surveyors (hull and engines) and verify clais with invoices, etc...
  19. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    That's a good start, but (nice guy) regular personal appearances at the yard are always a good thing. People just hate delivering and explaining bad news week after week. It gives them incentive to make calls and push harder. Once any item goes to the back of the shop it can sit a long long time.
  20. Yachtjocky

    Yachtjocky Senior Member

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    You learn something new each day on here, did you and CaptJ go to the same engineering school. :rolleyes:

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