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Friends think my wife and I are crazy

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by YachtNewbie, Dec 3, 2013.

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  1. Sea Gull

    Sea Gull Member

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    Follow your dream! But with that said, my opinion is that $120,000 gross income does not support a 55' boat in a way that I consider sustainable. You will either end up being slaves to boat maintenance costs or the boat will fall into disrepair and be of questionable seaworthiness.
  2. Capt Bill11

    Capt Bill11 Senior Member

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    Well in my 42' GB it would have gotten me around 1800 miles. As I burnt 6 gallons or less an hour at 9+ knots.

    So depending on the type of vessel and engines you could do a lot better than 300 miles per tank at 1200 gallons.
  3. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Read. Read blogs. Read books. Read the stories of others who have done as you desire. To me some of the Great Loop stories will be most beneficial to you as many of them are doing it on minimum budgets. Then some of the other cruisers. You will get more ideas on the ideal boat for your purpose, which very well may be smaller than your initial thoughts. There are some very efficient trawlers out there. Do you do maintenance around your house or contract everything out? If you're a DIY type there you'll save much on boat maintenance, especially the routine and the non engine type. Find an efficient single engine.

    There are all different levels of living on a boat and cruising but many are doing it on less income than you will have. They learn anchorages. They learn the places that have free slips for a couple of days or are low cost. This is another place going a bit smaller helps. There are some great trawlers in the under 50' range. They spend very moderate amounts on things outside of boating. While many expenses go up, some come down. Think of your current housing costs. Property taxes that you may or may not have on a boat. Clothing costs. Don't need Brooks Brothers or Versace. Auto expense.

    When they cruise they don't cover 100 miles a day for 7 days consecutive. They're far more likely to do 30-50 miles a couple of times a week. They get to some areas and love it and stay over a couple of weeks at a time. They might get a slip one night and spend all the rest anchored.

    While your projected income isn't adequate for a megayacht and slips at $3-4 per foot and heavy fuel burning, it is adequate for a well thought out life on a Trawler.
  4. HTMO9

    HTMO9 Senior Member

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    Liveaboard after retirement

    With your estimated retirement income and if you wish to travel with your boat, a single engine, diesel powered full displacement trawler type boat would be my choice.

    And do not go to big. Have a look at the Nordhavn 47 / 52 or something equivalent for example. This type and size of boat can easily be maintained and operated by an retired couple, because of its solidity and sturdy construction it will be easy on your bidget and even when travelling a lot, the fuel bill stays affordable. It runs at 7.5 to 8 Kts for app. 3000 NM on a tankage of 1860 Gal (including the use of the little genset) and is a true liveaboard for 2 persons. There are very well maintained examples on the used market which will stay in your budget, when selling your house. And it would give you the option for costal boating and when you are more confident and proficient in piloting a boat, the possibilty of long distance traveling or circumnavigating.

    Cost of boating do not increase proportional to the length of your boat, its more like the power of two and they go ballistic, once your path the magic length of about 70 ft.

    Your biggest problem will be the downscaling of your belongings. Store them for a certain period, until you are sure, you can live without them.
  5. YachtNewbie

    YachtNewbie New Member

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    This is why I was looking at Defever, Jefferson or Tollycraft. I have been looking at singles but not sure it will accomplish the occasional fishing trip out of Ventura where speed is more essential than range.
  6. YachtNewbie

    YachtNewbie New Member

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    How is it that $120K would not be sufficient for a 55 foot boat? If one gets a proper survey and buys a well maintained boat, you really think that it takes a millionaire to live on one?
  7. YachtNewbie

    YachtNewbie New Member

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    I never considered a 55 to 65' a megayacht. I am under the impression that buying a very good condition well maintained boat will not cost an arm and a leg to maintain and keep in great condition; considering this is all I have to do in retirement is maintain and pilot her.
  8. YachtNewbie

    YachtNewbie New Member

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    I am looking at that option. The only issue here is with local fishing; it would be nice to have more power and speed to get out 50 miles or so and back in a day.

    I am trying to have my cake, and eat it too.

    The issue is I do not want too big; but also need something my wife is comfortable in. I would like three berths and two heads for friends and family and a full size fridge in the galley.

    My wife would LOVE to get a King size bed, but options are few in that regard so I am selling her on my sleeping in the VIP berth if she is not content with a queen. : )

    I have looked at the Nordhavn and love them; most are more expensive than the Jefferson/Tollycraft option. My only reserve is the speed for local fishing expeditions.

    My desired size is about 55’. If I can get my must-haves, I would be happy with 50’.

    I see this as the biggest opportunity. It will force us to get rid of all the crap that sits around in storage and boxes that we NEVER seem to have time to go through.

    The largest issue for wifey is her shoes…we are discussing that. ;)

    So what is wrong with a Jefferson, Tollycraft or Defever? No one here seems to think they are seaworthy. Too expensive with twin diesels on $120K?

    Am I off the reservation thinking that diesels are extremely durable reliable engines that last a very long time if well maintained?
  9. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    You're a bit all over the place which is normal and fully ok for a newbie boater. But you'll have to focus more on what is truly important to you before buying time. Live-on or Cruiser or Fishing? Which of those is primary purpose and which secondary. Twin versus single has recently been discussed in other threads here but one indisputable fact is that twins will be more expensive to operate and maintain. If I was concerned about budget, this is certainly an area I'd look to save.

    Then you toss in "seaworthy." What sea? What conditions? Doing what? The boats you are talking about certainly will have their limitations in that regard.

    As to diesel reliability you're right to a point. More reliable than gas engines, yes. Last forever "with rebuilds", yes. And that's the key. They do well with great maintenance but then they do still require rebuilds at some point. Much of that depends on use, care, and the specific engine. How many years, how many hours, are you intending it to last?
  10. YachtNewbie

    YachtNewbie New Member

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    I don’t really think I am all over the place, which is why I was looking at Jefferson’s and Tollycraft. I live in Ventura and one of the more common uses of the boat, besides being our home, is to take day jaunts out to the Islands and go fishing.

    If you are going to go deep sea, you need to get out quite a few miles to do that; therefore having something that can get to speed is useful.

    Trips to Mexico or Alaska would be once a year type trips that entails great expense. But having the option to do that based on affordability is important to me.

    Of course living on board is primary as it will be our home.

    I agree; I am still trying to comprehend the “cost” issue with twin diesels. I am trying to grasp at the notion that $120K income is insufficient to afford a twin diesel. I just cannot imagine if you are taking good care of her, she will break down on you very often.

    Perhaps I use the wrong words; by seaworthy I was talking about the ability to go deep sea fishing and cruise the coast from Mexico to perhaps Alaska.

    Well, I will probably be aged 64 when I start; so based on health and life expectancy, perhaps a good ten years? As for hours; that’s a hard one to estimate because most of the time, the boat will be spending in the harbor as a home. I plan on making short runs in it weekly to keep her in running shape; but for the most part, not real heavy use.

    My dream is to one day navigate the Panama Canal; that trip would be the greatest distance and use involved.
  11. YachtNewbie

    YachtNewbie New Member

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    Here are some of my "must haves" that I am looking at:

    (1) Must have a decent fuel capacity of at least 1,000 gallons.

    (2) Must have a reasonable sized cockpit for afternoon sunsets and fishing. In addition, a swim platform at the back with ladder for swimming and launching the kayaks.

    (3) Must have a reasonable sized holding tank - 100 gallons would be good.

    (4) Must have a nice galley with full sized refrigerator, trash compactor and electric oven. (gas if the boat is awesome)

    (5) Must have bow thrusters.

    (6) Must have GPS, Autopilot, radar and preferably a fish finder.

    (7) Must be able to be piloted by husband and wife team.

    (8) Must be capable of docking at most yards/marinas.

    (9) Bait tank would be nice, but not mandatory.

    (10) three berths with at least two queen beds and two toilets.

    I think these are the BIG ones.
  12. sunchaserv

    sunchaserv Member

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    There is a DeFever 60 year 2005 called "Shannon" that would suit you perfectly. West Coast boat and currently lying Seattle. The owner lives in San Pedro.

    Yes, go for the dream. Why wait.
  13. HTMO9

    HTMO9 Senior Member

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    Jefferson, Tollycraft, Defever

    I could not find anything about Jefferson at all, never heard of them. But that does not mean, it must be a bad boat. I live in Europe, different world.

    The Tollycraft Company is bankrupt for 20 years now. Used boats are quite old and you would be on your own. No support, no spareparts, no advice. The only help seems to be the Tollycraft owner community. At least risky for a newbie.

    Defever Yachts are very similar to Nordhavns in company setup, design and philosophy. Marketing, design and naval architecture done in the USA or Sweden, complete production done in Taiwan. If I compare the Nordhavn 52 and the Defever 52, I must say they almost identical as far as layout and design are concerned. The Nordhavn seems to be more expensive. But there are more Nordhavns on the used market.

    Both boats are manufactured not far from each other in Taiwan. I do not know whether you are looking for a newbuild or a used boat. But as a newbie I would be very reluctant to buy a new Defever even if it is an excellent boat.

    I have stated this argument concerning Taiwan built boats on this forum before but I will say again.

    Having a boat successfully built in Asia, regardless of doing it in the PR of China, Taiwan, Korea or Japan needs a lot of knowledge, supervision, experience and patience. And most of all, loosing your money during that build should not ruin you.

    Asian business people do not take Europeans or Americans serious. Fooling a long nose (thats what they call us) does not make them loosing their face. Only getting caught by the customer doing so, makes them loosing their face.

    Taiwan based yards are able to build great and high quality boats. Companies like Horizon or Nordhavn prove that every day. But the key behind their success is the constant supervision and quality control by the customer. You need to have an owner representative or an project manager in the yard and / or an organisation for any legal disputes in reach of your countries laws. If your order a Taiwan built boat just from a local dealer, you have no control of the quality of your boat, period. The other problem is your money. By Taiwan law, no foreign money (installments) can be secured on a Taiwan based bank through ascro accounts. And the arms of US or EU laws do not reach to Taiwan.

    The only company that has solved all this problems (to my knowledge) is the Dana Point, Cal. based company Pacific Asean Enterprises (PAE), known as Nordhavn. All their boats are designed, constructed (naval architectured) and calculated in California. All installments are done through their accounts. The built then is supervised and permanently watched and most important, quality controlled by PAE people from Dana Point. They have successfully built more than 500 boats in Taiwan and the PR of China in 24 years.

    I have visited many yards in Japan, Korea and Taiwan during my active business times, because most of our cargo vessels where built in these countries. I have learned my lessons the hard way but I would not have any problems with buying a Horizon (non steel only) or a Nordhavn, if I would have a need for one.

    Buying a used one is a different story. A well maintained boat, perfectly surveyed, can serve your needs for many years. But even then, you as an newbie, need to trust somebody completely.

    My advice would be, buy American, whereas a Nordhan for me is an American boat. Btw. I have no connection to one of the above companies. I am not even one of their customers. Me and my family only own Dutch built custom yachts for personal use.

    P.S. All your points above are included in the Nordhavn 52. She is just not doing 20 Kts.
  14. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    It starts to sound like a Sportsfishing boat might meet your needs as you keep mentioning deep sea fishing. And they can be live aboard.

    Now to why the twin is so much more costly than the single. Now this varies boat to boat but lets look at your long range trip you plan once. Typically on such trips you go displacement speed, especially if off shore, to conserve fuel. Take twin engines both at 1,000 rpm as an example vs a single as 1,000 rpm. They will use double the fuel but at low speeds make very little difference in your speed. Maybe 10-20%. Now everything else is double from oil to filters to hoses and clamps and then to any major problem that leads to a rebuild. Note that you also have twin propulsion, twin shafts, twin props. Prop maintenance itself can add up. I'm saying this as someone who has twins on all my boats present and planned. But I know the cost is substantially more. If this is a used boat and you then use it heavily, you're going to face some major engine work at some point in those ten years. It will likely happen and be very expensive.

    To why the $120,000 versus boat costs becomes a factor. There are so many expenses we don't think of. I'll just randomly list a few. Bottom maintenance. I don't know your area but in my area that's a diver every three to four weeks. Do you dive? Can you do it?

    A haulout every 18 months or two years, bottom painting at some frequency. Note too that docking (home and away), haulouts, bottom painting, diving and cleaning...so many things are priced by the foot.

    Documentation and registration, property taxes if applicable, and costs to enter foreign countries. Insurance can be very expensive. Things like use of a pilot captain in some areas of Alaska. Toss in a couple of thousand to do the Panama Canal. I have a very short trip to the Bahamas and I have entry fees and departure fees each 90 days or trip as applicable. And if I wanted to fish would need a fishing permit.

    One of the biggest issues cruisers have is with fuel filters and sometimes even need to get their fuel polished. Water and electric are interesting. Don't think you're going to get the rates you're use to at home. Do you want to be able to use your computer and phone? What about GPS? Well, you don't just get the equipment, you subscribe to services. Depending on which and what they can get quite expensive.

    I subscribe to towing services, actually both of the major ones as which is stronger varies by area. Probably overkill but I do. Still however there is the possibility of needing a tow in Mexico when you go down. We belong to yacht clubs just for docking and facility privileges in certain places.

    I'm in no way trying to discourage you, but just saying that whatever you think the costs are, double them. I'm fortunate to have had an experienced captain to help me budget. I was quite surprised by some of the numbers as we did it the first time.

    One thing that would be on my list in your situation is a watermaker. But everything I know does tell me they give problems periodically. You have all the normal things that can break at home but you have more items too. One or two generators? Then suddenly with two engines and two generators you have four engines. Four major pieces of equipment requiring maintenance. Now you probably don't need the second generator on the size you're talking.

    It would be great for you if when you find yourself wanting to tie in to a specific boat or a size and some other details to find someone locally you can pay by the hour or day to sit down and help you do some budgeting. But do some "What if's" as well. Allow yourself some room. Otherwise every time you want to go faster, you're thinking budget and the savings in slowing down. Or when you want to eat at this great waterfront restaurant you hesitate. If a boat is stretching or challenging your budget then it starts to impact your pleasure and your lifestyle. Suddenly the talk is about another expense you hadn't allowed for. You may be able to live comfortably and with minimal worry on one size but ten feet more or one more engine would cramp your lifestyle. Yet retirement is to simplify and reduce stress. Some say get the most you can afford. I say very dangerous especially when you don't really know. If it's the most you can afford in normal conditions then it isn't when unforeseen problems arise. So I'm conservative and say leave a cushion. Belle and I went by boat to South Beach yesterday. If I didn't know it was in my budget and actually had thought of the cost I would have said it was dumb. We used 400 gallons of fuel so around $1300. We paid nearly $200 to dock. We could have gone by car and used 4 gallons and paid $12 to park. And this was on a 44 foot boat. Had we taken our 63, it would have been 500 gallons of fuel and $300 for docking.

    Good luck in your quest. It's honestly fun to start sorting things out and figuring out what you want. And no one has an unlimited budget, or at least I don't think any of us do. I know I could never afford the 400 foot yachts. If we liked 160' better than 130' then affordability would have definitely moved in. There is a right boat. Life on the water is great. Just find the right way for you and make it as stress free as possible.
  15. captainwjm

    captainwjm Senior member

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    #1 - Go for it! My retirement plans are to do the same [although I already have the boat and 40+ years expereince].
    #2 - Jefferson makes good boats; I had a '46, and a slip neighbor has a '60. Each would fit your bill.
    #3 - Go for it! [Redundant, but it's that important!]
  16. YachtNewbie

    YachtNewbie New Member

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    Excellent, helpful and informative post. No, I cannot afford new and will be buying used and, yes, Tollycraft is out of business but my thought was that the biggest issues on these boats are the engines and a Caterpiller is still Caterpiller or Detroit is still Detroit so finding parts, propellers etc should not be an issue.

    But I will take that into account and look at the Nordhvn and Horizon more closely.

    Thank you!
  17. YachtNewbie

    YachtNewbie New Member

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    Great post....very helpful. I lived the South Beach 400 gallon story...you must have been cranking the RPMs....but great point.

    By the way, I did not mention a water maker or AC because every boat I've looked at has both including a 12.5 k and 24.5 K generator on board. It's almost like that is a given.

    I've read some intertesting info on the upkeep and filters on these water makers and they do need a lot of attention; more to stay busy in retirement mode. ;)
  18. YachtNewbie

    YachtNewbie New Member

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    Very encouraging and thank you. The Jefferson is looking like the front runner so far...and that 64 footer has an awesome back yard. A little too much boat perhaps, but sure looks good as a home.
  19. P46-Curaçao

    P46-Curaçao Senior Member

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    What year are the boats you're looking at?
  20. YachtNewbie

    YachtNewbie New Member

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    They are ranging from 1995 to 2005 or 2007 on the Jeffersons.
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