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Buying First Boat as I Retire

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by Pirate23, Jul 29, 2014.

  1. Capt Bill11

    Capt Bill11 Senior Member

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  2. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Oh there'll absolutely know there'll be refit expenses. If Valhalla is any indication they'll make him go 'gulp'. That has to be planned for. When he says 300 I hear 225 plus.reserves for what's found in survey and the later surprises.

    Oh yeah, in case nobody mentioned it, keep a hefty reserve. Remember that BOAT stands for break out another thousand.
  3. Pirate23

    Pirate23 New Member

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    1. 50% depreciation is my own self-imposed planning factor to avoid surprises.
    2. Is a 50-55' boat to big to learn /train on ? AT 50'/$150K the pain of learning mistakes could be nicely lessened.
    3. Does it make sense to buy a 50'/$150 boat as a trainer and then buy my "serious, Long-term " boat a year or two later?
    4. How pissed are you fellas going to be when I come pinballing through your marina on my first solo run?
    5. Does "sounds like $225 plus $75K reserves " mean I offer $225K and then spend $75K to get her in shape?
    6. Who/what is the Valhalla story?
    7. What else should I be reading?
  4. dsharp

    dsharp Senior Member

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    It costs quite a bit more to run a 55' vessel than a 45'. The nice thing about a 45' + is the engine room isn't so packed with equipment that it makes maintenance a misery. As far as mistakes go, hitting a sandbar at 10 knts does a hell of a lot less damage than hitting one at 20 knts. I had two customers hit the bank at 15 knts + and it hauled the boat out all the way to the transom. One took his eye off the river to look at a chart and one was running the boat with the hatches off and he was watching the motor. Eventually you will run aground. In a top shelf boat you can usually put it in reverse and back off. A less expensive boat bends the rudders, shafts, struts, etc. Grand Banks used to build very nice boats. I can't comment on the newer ones as I haven't looked at one.
  5. Old Phart

    Old Phart Senior Member

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    I dunno
    We are not at the local bar - skip the four letter words.

    Forum Conduct...

    Slanderous, manipulative, negative, vulgar or obscene posts containing morally indecent or questionable content will not be tolerated and is subject to removal along with your membership. Subjects, posts or threads that are generally considered to be in poor taste are also subject to deletion. And please... use Proper Forum Etiquette. If you don't understand this, it's a new-found term for a old concept called being polite.

    Valhalla story:
    http://www.yachtforums.com/forums/general-yachting-discussion/21248-great-loop-cruise-video.html
  6. chesapeake46

    chesapeake46 Senior Member

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    Try to get that on a video, Youtube it and we will all laugh and laugh....:)

    But, as mentioned many many times in this forum, hire a captain to teach you how to NOT pinball your way into a marina

    Your insurance co might require this anyway, also mentioned here again and again.
  7. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    50-55' is a little big for your first boat IMO. I would recommend bare boat chartering a few yachts and different styles to get an idea of the type of boat you like, what works for you, what doesn't work for you, and what speed is important. It's a lot cheaper to charter several yachts than it is to buy the wrong one, then be unhappy with it, and have to re-sell it.
  8. PacBlue

    PacBlue Senior Member

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    You need to prioritize how you expect to boat, and chartering will help you determine which is more important - fish or cruise or dockside 2nd home? Then flybridge or express or pilothouse configuration, and if you wish, mono-hull vs catamaran.

    A 40 - 45 footer is easier to learn on than a 50 - 55 footer, just due to the basic mass of the vessel. It will also reduce the potential tension between you and the first mate (or vice-versa) during docking conditions. Do not worry so much about marina and docking situations just take it slow and easy, get a captain to give some training as well, practice makes perfect, but it NO circumstances should yelling be involved, get some head sets to communicate with the crew in a normal voice.

    Avoid high hour used boats or factor in complete rebuilds as part of the purchase price. With a powerboat, I prefer to have the engines/shafts/generators/controls as new or newly serviced as possible right away to set the baseline as I would use the boat. This would also include hoses/exhaust connections. By doing this you and your wife should have some good level of confidence in the mechanical reliability while you start your boating life together. I would then address electronics and finally interior/exterior cosmetics last. Factor in toys such as PWC's or dinghy's as well. Might need to add a crane system for these must have cruising accessories.

    If you buy a $150K 50' vessel as a trainer without some immediate refit allowance, it will successfully train your right hand to reach into your wallet and get access to the credit card or bank account faster than you can imagine.

    No vessel purchase should happen without the best surveyor you can find (a buyer's surveyor, not a seller's surveyor). But it does not end with the surveyor - get the engines and generator surveyed by the local authorized engine dealer and get the vessel inspected separately by the local boatyard that you plan on using, especially the underwater portion. This will be somewhat redundant of the Surveyor's duties, but the 2nd independent advice is well warranted. And do not forget to have a Captain (of your choice) onboard for the sea trial.

    $75K may or may not get a $225K used boat back into shape, all depends on what you are starting with. The Survey punch list will be a good indicator.
  9. Capt Bill11

    Capt Bill11 Senior Member

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    There are some good boats on the market that can be had for half or perhaps a bit less than your $300,000 budget. And you would not have to put $75,000 grand into them right off the bat to make them useable and liveable by any means.

    It really depends on what you are looking for. Slower trawler types have low HP diesel that are good for 10,000 hours or more. While if you need speed than your are looking at engines that last perhaps half that or less.

    And no, to me at least, it makes no sense to buy a $150,000 starter boat just to sell it a couple of years later. Better off chartering and then buying a boat that will fit your need for the long term.
  10. ranger58sb

    ranger58sb Senior member

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    Nice looking boat. I don't see much of anything about it that makes it a "Sport Fish."

    -Chris
  11. ranger58sb

    ranger58sb Senior member

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    We shop features first, for example:
    - raised saloon
    - flying bridge
    - stairs, not ladders
    - centerline queen master berth
    - good head (split head/shower; not a wet head)
    - swim platform
    - transom door
    - affordable/maintainable (by me) diesels
    - and so forth
    - with a nice looking boat attached

    Once you find candidates... imagine yourself doing stuff on them.

    Imagine yourself retiring for the night. Where do you stand while you get undressed? Where do you hang your stuff?

    Imagine cooking a meal. Got room? Counter space? Adequate lighting?

    Imagine reading a book on a rainy day. Where is it comfortable to do that? Got enough light? Dry?

    Imagine docking. Can you see the forward and aft "corners" from the helm? Can you reach lines (especially spring lines) quickly, easily, safely?

    Imagine anchoring for the night. Can you do that safely? Can you control the anchor/rode in the dark?

    And so forth.

    A likely boat will sort of identify itself, eventually...

    -Chris
  12. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    1. Intended and desired use of the boat.
    2. Deliverables. Not in terms of features but what you expect out of the boat.
    3. Features to reach those deliverables.

    Then you compare boats to that feature list.

    As to Chartering. By the time we ordered one boat, we'd spent a week to six weeks on three other identical models and had been aboard to others. We knew everything about them plus the subtle variations to know exactly how we wanted ours. We'd also been on other boats we liked less. Sometimes chartering you fall in love and other times you say, "Nice boat but wouldn't want to own it." Before the boat we loved we chartered one size smaller by the same builder. That made the choice easy. Smaller one got a B+. Larger an A+. We chartered a couple of other brands. One was a great boat, but just not for us. Sorry, but we're not happy at 10 knots. Chartered larger and didn't feel like we were boating, just riding. Didn't get the same pleasure at the helm.

    For another boat bought, we really didn't know what to expect when we chartered it. We fell in love for it the first charter. Chartered another of the same model. Found it to handle smaller and feel bigger. Just the perfect choice for coastal cruising. Took delivery for a two week shakedown cruise on April 28. Then delivery on June 1 and we're flying home today from cruising two months in the PNW and Alaska. So owned boat 120 days, it has moved on 72. It has covered 5500 nm and has 360 hours on the engines. It confirmed all we believed. And without the charter never would have ordered it.

    Find the boat that is right for you and be in no hurry. Be honest about loves and hates, likes and dislikes. Listen to others but make your own choices. For instance, Nordhavn is a great boat, but Belle and I could not be happy going those speeds. Nothing wrong with them. We just like to go faster at times. We cruised two days ago 180 miles in just under 9 hours and loved it. Galley up or down is personal, bridge or no bridge, single or two helms. So much is based on how you use a boat and you find that out more by actually using one. It's a bit like buying a car and house as a package deal.

    We highly recommend chartering. Expensive? Yes. But boating is. And a mistake that leads you to the wrong boat is very expensive. Only way to find out if a certain size feels good or makes you feel claustrophobic after two weeks. Does whichever cooks like the privacy of the galley away from the salon and pilothouse or hate being alone while preparing meals? Do you curse the shower every time you hit your head. The advertised ceiling height is the walkway but what happens beside your bed. I don't know about you, but I don't like hitting my head when I get up in the morning and I'm not awake enough to remember not to stand all the way up. And I don't get up off the foot of the bed.

    Simple things like laundry. Are you the type to be happy using laundry facilities at marinas along the way or must you have the ability on board. Do you require an oven or just microwave? Dishwasher? How much food storage in refrigerator and freezer. How many guests and how comfortable do you want them? Don't waste the space of a stateroom for two extra grandchildren one week a year, but if you college kids you want to join you, don't make sleeping on board miserable either.

    We chartered for a year, then continued while building. Wisest thing we did in the entire process. We knew exactly what we were buying. When we took delivery it was like an old friend dressed up and new to go. Yes, you can have a sea trial and learn a little, but it's nothing like living on one a week or more and nothing like experiencing different conditions. Hope for some rough seas when you charter. Seriously. You will when you own.
  13. jsschieff

    jsschieff Senior Member

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    Try before you buy



    Buying a boat for retirement is a wonderful idea, but I urge you to try boating before you jump in and buy. There are charter companies on the west coast of Florida who can not only charter you a boat but supply a captain to introduce you to the joys and inconveniences of boating. If you charter a boat once or twice you'll learn what you like and dislike about boat's design and performance and be much, much savvier when you buy your own boat. Or you can charter a power catamaran in the Bahamas or Virgin Islands with or without a captain.

    Since boats are a highly illiquid asset, you would be wise to soak up as much first hand knowledge as possible before you buy one. The folks in this forum are extremely knowledgeable and helpful but reading about a boat is so different from actually operating a boat. Hold off on purchase and charter rather than buy a boat in haste that you regret slowly and expensively.

    With these caveats, keep going full bore to learn as much as you can. Boating is seriously fun and your idea to buy for retirement and cruise the ICW and Bahamas is great.

    As far which boat, I suggest buying as new as possible -- preferably less than 10 years, with common rail diesels. Old boats are if you don't mind dealing with nearly constant maintenance an repair issues. In your price range something like a Sabreline, Island Pilot, Mainship 43 are all worth considering.

    Good luck,
  14. Caltexflanc

    Caltexflanc Senior Member

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    I find the economic discussions to be fairly useless. The ultimate determinants of economics are:

    1) What your standards are for seaworthiness (which encompasses everything that keeps the boat safe, moving, floating, leak proof, structural integrity, and more) creature comforts, and cosmetics.

    2) How close the boat you buy is to meeting those standards, now and for the projected time you will own it.

    3) Your ability to do the work yourself to the appropriate standard, and what you value your time at.

    4) Your ability to pay a professional to do the work for you, up to your standards, that you can't do or would rather not.

    A newer boat is not necessarily superior to an older one, it depends on how it has been cared for and the age of the systems on board.

    None of us here know what the right boat is for you. Since you are in the reading mode now, I suggest you get a copy of David Pascoe's "Mid Sized Power Boats" and read the first half or two thirds of it, where he discusses systems, construction, ergonomics. I'd pretty much ignore or take with several huge grains of salt his discussions in the back half about specific brands of boats and engines, and deal making. Much of it is dated for one thing, and he is highly opinionated, sometimes wrongly. But the other parts are the best, most pragmatic discussion of boat realities I have seen.

    Then get out on the water and start figuring it out for yourself. What may be the right boat for me, or Joe Blow, or Mary Bligh could well be the wrong one for you. None of us are going to have to be accountable for your decision, so make the right one for YOU.
  15. Capt Bill11

    Capt Bill11 Senior Member

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    Well perhaps convertible style then. While it's not set up to fish at this time, the look is what a lot of people would think of if you said sportfisherman. It has a large cockpit and a convertible style of saloon with flybridge.
  16. MoZZ

    MoZZ New Member

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    Greetings to all the great YF’ers, and thank you for the excellent information that you all provide on this forum.

    I am new on YF, and also thinking of the “big boat” retirement scenario. So I reviewed many of your different discussions, and many of my “typical newbie questions” have already been answered. Definitely an eye-opening exercise reading YF’s “seasoned” opinions and stories !!

    I have a couple comments on “Buying 1st Boat”, and then questions related to CHARTERING Big Boat…..so I’ll throw some chum to the sharks, and chip-in my newbie thoughts.

    As many have stated before, I agree that the choice of Big Boat or live-on-land is a lifestyle choice instead of a $$ to $$ choice. (I will post some info on $$ to $$ choice in a different thread that is more appropriate for that topic). I think that this lifestyle choice will become only more popular as the USA demographics continue swinging to Baby Boomer Retirees (BBR). I went to my long-time (30+ yr) dentist the other day…..I say to him ”Jerry, I’m gonna buy a Big Boat”…..he replies, “you know, my brother and I were thinking the same thing”. So, Ready-Up….the BBR’s are coming !!!!!

    Admiral & I have made that choice to try the Big Boat and “ditch the dirt”, so following YF’s advice our next step is to try out different size and style of boat, and to start the on-deck learning curve. This OP now leads us in that direction, but I was wondering if the YF folks could help as we are trying to shorten the learning curve. Here is what I was thinking, so please share your thoughts if this “Plan” is possible, or needs tweaking.

    Little background first; married 35+ years, no kids, no living parents. Admiral retired last year at 57y, I’m semi-retired at 59y. Boat size = Live aboard <70’, crew of me and admiral (I know... after proper experience). Budget = looking at <$500-600K, probably 2004 or older. Use = hopefully more coastal cruising than hunkered down for a year in some marina. If someone convinced me, maybe an open-water crossing occasionally.

    So, we are thinking we will Charter w/Captain different style boats from around 40’ to start, and work up to a 60-70’. Admiral happened to retire with bonus 8 round-trip airfares for 2 anywhere in USA, that expire in March 2015. We want to travel to ANY port in the USA about every few weeks over the next ½ year to get exposure on different boats. We are thinking of short one-day charters, to give us about a 3-day total trip each time with air-travel as we are located in the center of the country. We are looking for mostly instruction and exposure to different styles, more than actual cruising. Ideally, a SHORT day-cruise, dock time with instruction, plus an overnight stay-on-board would be nice. Would not expect meals etc., but would appreciate the Captain dining with us at local joints. Of course, everything subject to Captain’s plans and the YF comments received from this post. We are just easy-going, Mid-west folks trying to learn about Big Boats as quick as we can. If we can get 8 different boats done by March 2015, then hopefully we would have enough info to buy something in 2015 that will last us a while.

    I’ve seen mention that there “are plenty of charters around that provide instruction”, but can anyone suggest actual names/contact info for Boats/Captains anywhere is the USA that would consider this type of Chartering? Would consider most anything – from 1 Captain w/lots of boats and a “planned course”, to 8 different locations/Captains. We would like to get started ASAP, and could make 1st trip anytime after 8/15/14.

    Thanks in advance for any replies.
  17. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Welcome to YF MoZZ. I'm afraid that I'm going to begin by bursting a couple of bubbles. A 2004 70' is pretty unrealistic for that price. You're probably talking 80's or 90's. I think you'd be talking more around 50', but that could be a good thing. Even at 50' you're going to find it difficult to find an insurance company willing to allow you to go out without a captain for the first year. Also, 70' limits where you can go and is a lot of work to maintain and handle. If you look at marinas along the east coast (and it's worse inland), you find a lot of slips for under about 46'. At 50' a 100 slip marina might have 3 or 4 slips. South Florida is better.

    As for chartering, let me suggest you PM Pascal or JWY. I think one of them will be able to steer you in the right direction.

    P.S. Those tickets will come in handy if they're still good when you're ready to buy. Expect ti travel around the country looking at boats in this range, and probably 3 or 4 trips to the boat you eventually choose.
  18. NEO56

    NEO56 Member

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    Hi MoZZ, and welcome to YF I've been reading your thread and you my friend, have received some very good information. One of your free trips should be to the Ft.Lauderdale International boat show in Late October. I know that a new boat isn't in the cards for you...but it will give you a very good idea of what's out there in terms of livability. Also, which no one has pointed out, is that the longer you live aboard, a boat will get exponentially smaller. You buy things, add equipment, etc.
    I lost a wonderful woman, who when I told her that moving aboard a boat would mean her losing 90% of her wardrobe, and getting rid of her collection of 150 pairs of shoes....and getting that number down to 6 pairs. If you wouldn't have known better...you would have sworn that I gut shot her with a 45 caliber pistol! She told me to kiss her you know what...and that she'd continue to be a landlubber....women!
    I do however wish you the very best in your quest for the "perfect" boat...which all of us know doesn't exist. Please continue to update us on your progress.
  19. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    You told her to get rid of 144 out of 150 pairs of shoes and she didn't agree? Shocker.:rolleyes:

    Two other shows the OP might do well to check out are the Miami Brokerage Show February 12 - 16, 2015 and the Newport International Boat Show September 11-14, 2014.
  20. Belle

    Belle Member

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    Amazing to me how shoes are made such an issue. It's like the women have size 20 feet. Shoes take so little space. Honestly, fit around clothes and on doors and other available spaces, they take virtually no space. Freaking shoes? I mean, really. Now I don't carry 150 pairs but I do carry a lot. One of the things is figuring out what the real space eaters are. Then find how to work it out. Like pots and pans and mixing bowls and such take space. But find the right nesting ones and you cut it way down.