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Time to do lots of homework on purchase

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by mykgrant, Nov 29, 2012.

  1. Caltexflanc

    Caltexflanc Senior Member

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    My advice is STOP everything and go talk to the folks at Club Nautique in Alameda. They will teach you seamanship with excellent on the water classes and after you pass different levels they will allow you to charter different boats at very reasonable rates. From this you will learn many things: 1) if boating is for you 2) what you really want in a boat 3) that unless you really plan and can liveaboard, that it is MUCH cheaper to rent through them than to own. 4) after some nights on board, how you would really like living on board. They have a Mainship 430 Trawler that I have cruised many times, and some smaller boats to get your sea legs on.

    This was the best money I ever spent on boating,and I wasn't even that much of a "newbie", having previously owned a 32' Tollycraft and rented smaller boats. What I learned both in seamanship and about boats in the years I belonged there has made a world of difference. At first it allowed us to enjoy the bay and Delta with no boat ownership hassles, and to charter boats all over the country, which in turn informed our decision as to what we wanted in a boat to live aboard and cruise full time.
  2. mykgrant

    mykgrant New Member

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    Great advice once again from this board. In answer to the above bullets: 1) I've owned many (small) boats over the years. Currently I have 2 Hobie 16s and one 18 plus a Malibu comp boat- so I know that boating is for me, 2) I think that I'm getting close to narrowing down what I really want in a boat with the help of all of you here, 3) I AM really planning on living aboard 4 nights a week. Way cheaper in SF than anything on land and 4) awesome point- I've never spent the night on board or been through the whole get up in the morning and walk to the showers routine... in the rain and the fog. Do they make rain-robes?

    Since I've only been around small boats I absolutely would like to learn some seamanship over at Alameda via their on-water classes. Great suggestion. I'll look up Club Nautique in Alameda. Plus being able to charter other boats in other parts of the country would be amazing.

    Thanks again everyone for letting me take you through my fact-finding, decision and hopefully purchase journey. I don't even think I've pissed anyone off yet...LOL /MG
  3. Caltexflanc

    Caltexflanc Senior Member

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    Well, I thought I knew something about boats too. And my direct experience was with much bigger boats than yours. Internet forums and magazines and Yachtworld are no place to learn what the right boat is for you. I am a lot like you in that I love do all that kind of research. But it wasn't until we spent a lot more time handling and cruising different boats for consecutive days that we were able to draw up the specifications for what we needed to have, and what we wanted to have, in a boat for us to liveaboard and cruise. Turned out to be a lot different from where we started. It is a very personal decision and there is no way I'd tell someone they need to make the same choice we did or anything like it. It was right for US, that's it. We have met couples who are quite happy living on boats we would never consider more than a weekend on, and God bless them! An excellent resource, since you like research, is the first 2/3 or so of David Pascoe's "Mid Sized Powerboats" a great primer on the practical issues to consider when buying a boat in your prospective size range. Things that people just focusing on interior accommodations otherwise learn the hard way down the road.

    On a side note, back in the early 2000's when house and rent prices were skyrocketing in the Bay Area due to the dot com boom, a variety of employees I had looked into buying a boat and living aboard to save money. Finding a liveaboard marina, let alone slip was virtually impossible on the Bay proper. None of them ended up doing it, and a few were just about to pull the trigger on a specific boat.

    The best boating is up in the Delta by far so take a hard look at say, Vallejo on east if you can make the commute work. The problem with the south bay marinas (San Leandro, Coyote Point, Redwood City, etc) it is a long boring schlep through a fair amount of channels through shallow water to get anywhere interesting. Go to any of those marinas, heck even including Brisbane and South San Francisco, on a beautiful weekend day and you will see 95-99% of the boats in their slips.
  4. carelm

    carelm Senior Member

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    I did a map recon of Vallejo and the marina appears to be about 50-60% full according to Bing and Google maps. The Yacht Club is almost to capacity. Location wise, it appears to be relatively convenient to the various bays and also the river delta.

    As to running costs exclusive of the boat purchase itself, I came up with a WAG of between $1000 and $1500 per month. How close to reality would that be?
  5. PropBet

    PropBet Senior Member

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    I can't speak for the OP, but from a geography point, even though it's "close" on the map, staying on your boat in Vallejo and commuting into the city is pure torture. Yes there are many who do it, but it's maddening. Particularly across the Bay Bridge.

    Speaking from first hand experience, by living several years in San Francisco / Bay Area as well Sacramento, where the OP hails from.

    The distance simply defeats the point.
  6. mykgrant

    mykgrant New Member

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    I agree PropBet. From my office downtown Vallejo is 1 1/2 hours in rush hour traffic plus a $6 bridge toll./MG
  7. mykgrant

    mykgrant New Member

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    Let's say that I find the perfect boat. How do I determine the value? Is it based on a blue book or NADA Guide or the survey??? What does a lender use to determine the value of their security?

    My continued thanks/MG
  8. mykgrant

    mykgrant New Member

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    You are spot on. I'm not going to buy something if I don't have a live aboard slip lined up. I have a couple of buddies that are "sneak aboards" but something in my brain makes me play by the rules (also allows for better nights' sleep). I've been doing my homework for a liveaboard slip. There are a few available in the South Bay which isn't too far from the office and I'm on a couple of waiting lists closer in. However, to get a slip they want a picture of your boat, a copy of your insurance with the marina listed as additional insured, registration, a current survey, etc. I obviously can't give them this info if I haven't purchased a boat yet. I can't even really know what size slip that I need until I line up the boat. Cat and mouse here but as long as I know that there are a few to choose from I'll be OK.
  9. NorCalBoater

    NorCalBoater New Member

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    It sounds to me that you need to find a broker. By describing what you are looking to do and your budget, etc. a broker can cut through a lot of time. Also, an area broker may know of live aboard slips that are not advertised.

    Something else to factor in is before you can insure your purchase the insurance company will most likely require that you get instruction form a captain on handling a boat that size whether it ever leaves the dock or not.

    Good luck with everything.
    Shawn
  10. rorschach

    rorschach New Member

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    I have another brand suggestion that has not been mentioned which I think fits your criteria well. Have you looked at the layout of the Meridian 391? It certainly falls into the Chevy category but it has a very bright, open floor plan and a great bridge for entertaining. It was launched in 2006 so an early model could fit into your price range. The style and layout are similar to the 40' Viking Sport Cruiser and Fairline which are obviously much higher end boats.

    2012 Meridian 391 Sedan | Meridian Yachts

    If you are looking at Carvers and Silvertons I don't think you will be disappointed by the quality. Engines are Cummins. The parent company is Brunswick same as Sea Ray, though more of a value line. I have owned one for 5 years and found it to be a good coastal cruiser. My family of 4 vacation aboard for 2-3 weeks at a time and have found it very livable.

    Just another option to consider.

    Vic
  11. rorschach

    rorschach New Member

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    I am perhaps inexperienced but I am confused by the concern about spending 4 nights a week on the boat. To me there is a difference between being a full time Live Aboard with no terrestrial address and someone who chooses to spend a few nights a week on his boat. Do marinas really care how often you come down? I don't consider it sneaking to spend the weekend on my boat in my own marina. You don't sound like the sort to be air drying his clothes on the bow rail and setting up a wardrobe cabinet on the dock - this would be a matter for concern. But an avid user of his boat? So what? Do some marina contracts actually constrain the number of days per month you can sleep aboard? Would those of you with far more experience clarify if this is a genuine issue? Thanks -

    Vic
  12. mykgrant

    mykgrant New Member

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    Vic- you are neither inexperienced nor confused. I'm a newbie but I can let you know what I've found our so far. First you need to understand San Francisco. Two rules: 1) throw out anything that would make common sense and 2) if there is anything that could possibly benefit the City of SF in the way of a tax or fee, get ready to pay it. A common phrase that I've heard a few times is that SF is a penninsula that is 74 square miles surrounded by reality.

    Because the cost of living in SF is very expensive living aboard becomes a pretty attractive offer financially believe it or not. A number of Marinas in SF are City owned or, because they are in the City limits, have rent control. In order to keep the live-aboard population down, the limit for live-aboard slips is 10% of the total slips in the marina AND you have to purchase a live-aboard permit from the City (@$250 per month). The "reasoning" is that live-aboards create more environmental issues for the bay and SF is all about the environmentalists. The official City definition of a live aboard is one who spends 3 or more nights a week on board but there are other marinas that don't allow more than 2 nights a week on board (Treasure Island is one). That's life in the big city!

    With all the official stuff out of the way, I'm not sure how all of this gets enforced by the marinas and/or the City. I have a buddy that frequently spends more than 3 nights a week on board and no one has ever mentioned a live aboard permit to him. I guess the marina owner could monitor the use of the gate keys or the number of times a person uses the showers on dock but I get the feeling that if you stay low key, you are fine.
  13. mykgrant

    mykgrant New Member

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    Shawn,

    Both great suggestions. I didn't even think about an insurance requirement to get instruction or some special license, permit or certificate. Thanks/MG
  14. weto

    weto Senior Member

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    ????

    So, Mr. Grant what did you end up buying ? If you did buy which marina did you end up in ? This is info that will be of use to me in the near future so please fill in the blanks. Thank you in advance.