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any time I get the urge to buy a boat I read a book about boat maintenance. then I drive around town to see if any of the boats in back yards have moved. if I had enough money to buy a boat I would buy a street motorcycle, which I would use far more often.
 

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I have skippered boats for 73 years, owned a boat building company, rebuilt a number of boats and have over 200,000 miles in "blue water".

Get a sturdy boat well built. Check any cored structure for delimitation (includes all decks and transom). Have the outboard checked for compression, leak down, look at water passages, and oil analysis. I prefer fuel injected 4 strokes these days. But there have been corrosion problems, I would keep it in the 20 to 22 foot range--good boat can put to sea in moderate weather, if a "self bailing" cockpit". Do you want a small cabin, pilot hose, with living amities. or an open boat for fishing. For example I currently have a 25' pilot house boat with refrigerator, freezer, 30 gallons of water, 100 gallons of gas, and a 150 hp outboard, with small kicker, just in case the main fails. I have a 9 1/2 foot inflatable dinghy with an electric engine. I can be self sufficient on the boat for at least month--the limit is fresh water, but there are several ways around that, including small 12 volt water makers. At slow speed, enough range to get to across the Gulf of Mexico. Something like that would set you back at least $50,000--on up. Or you can get a good rugged 22 foot center console with decent 150 hp to 250 horse motor in the $15,000 range. Repairs and replacements can get expensive very rapidly. Also consider what type of vehicle you will have to tow it with. What is the range and capability (off road, 4 x 4, towing capacity). Smaller boat, less tow vehicle. I would make the boat as part of your bug out plan, if you wish.

There are boats that are free (usually costing in the many thousands to bring back to good reliable operation! Some for $1000 to $5000--may run for awhile, or be a small boat, but eventually you will have to reposer, do glass and cored deck repairs==$$$$.
 

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Almost Ready
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Ehh, for me it’s kinda like a smoking habit- yeah it can be expensive but sooooooo worth it when you have the chance to get out on the water for awhile.
Powerboats require maintenance, way more than cars for equivalent time behind the wheel. Most of the routine stuff is easy to do with just a little experience. In my 16 years owning an older (1984) cabin cruiser the only things I haven’t done myself is installing an engine (but I DID remove the bad one), rebuilding a transmission, and re-doing some of the canvas covers.
Yearly slip rental is $2K, metered electric averages $12/ month, potable water is free. We often use it like a weekend cabin with a view. Keep a couple kayaks there and use them regularly.
Sometimes i like to just stay tied up at the slip and ‘watch the world go by’ because my slip has a great view of the water and is directly across from the launch ramp.
 

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Boats, airplanes, etc. As they say, it's hole in the water you pour money into. Or the other saying, not sure this has already been said and I have to change the language, if it flies, floats or .... ducks... you're better off renting.

As others have said, learn about it first and try out with friends, maybe joint a club or rent to get a feel for what you'd want. then wait a year or two. Someone said there's great deals on boats now. I have trouble believing that. Boat sales this year have been insane. Dealers selling like crazy. There's marinas that have shipped boats from FL 1/2 way up the east coast because local stuff was sold out completely. They're COIVD items. Every guy who couldn't send his 3 kids to camp and didn't know what to do this summer spent the 20K or more or whatever on a boat. In a year or two, they'll get tired of it and there's going to be a massive used market of not too heavily used boats.

Mission is key. Going to sleep on it? Need a cuddy cabin? Or just hanging with friends and bow rider is fine? How rough is water? What rise you need to keep it smooth? Trailer? Or buy dock space? (I say dock worth the $$$ otherwise you tend not to use it as much... but... then you're more likely to have a pain to get gas to it unless you buy expensive marina gas. On the trailer, you just fill up at the regular gas station on the way to the put in.) Going to ski off it or pull water toys? (Maybe not ski for your location most of the time; that's more of a lake thing, but water toys still work.) Do you want a small head/toilet? There's boats with tiny hatches with a little crapper that will work in a pinch. Guys might not care, but it's one thing to to do some things off the side and... well... you get the picture. There's other solutions, but if that's an issue, account for it. Personally, in my boat, (sold years ago), I also has a separate battery on a switch so I could run stereo or other electrics when anchored and also had a backup starter.

Go to boat shows. Look around. Get a good feel for what's out there. Then I'd again suggest waiting. I could be wrong, but I really think there's going to be a glut of quality used stuff on the market in the next couple of years once guys who bought in a COVID summer oh crap moment decide they don't want the hassle any more.
 

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Wile E Coyote, Genius.
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Ehh, for me it’s kinda like a smoking habit- yeah it can be expensive but sooooooo worth it when you have the chance to get out on the water for awhile.
Powerboats require maintenance, way more than cars for equivalent time behind the wheel. Most of the routine stuff is easy to do with just a little experience. In my 16 years owning an older (1984) cabin cruiser the only things I haven’t done myself is installing an engine (but I DID remove the bad one), rebuilding a transmission, and re-doing some of the canvas covers.
Yearly slip rental is $2K, metered electric averages $12/ month, potable water is free. We often use it like a weekend cabin with a view. Keep a couple kayaks there and use them regularly.
Sometimes i like to just stay tied up at the slip and ‘watch the world go by’ because my slip has a great view of the water and is directly across from the launch ramp.
For 10 years in NJ, it saved my sanity.
I could get away from the crazy rat race each weekend and enjoy a view that costs someone a million dollars or more to have a house on.

And the first time I saw sailboats on the water when younger, I knew I had to do it. That same day I bought an AMF Puffer and shoved the thing in my 1/2 ton van on an angle and drove it home. a couple days later decided I needed a trailer for it. LOL. Taught myself to sail in Lake Erie and darn near killed myself but man what fun. Felt like I was flying on a full plane, and hiking out really kept the abs in shape.

But yeah, spent a damn fortune over the years, but don't regret a penny of it.
 

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What would Mal do
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ok...back for more..since we've taken this from advise on the boat, to "what a boat really is"...to quote Capt Jack Sparrow.

I spent several hours across this past holiday weekend out on the water..enjoying the visit time with some of my adult kids and hearing the squeals of my grandkids up on the bow cushions as i'd punch the throttle and we'd take some wakes...nosing up on a sandy shore for some swimming, sitting back and watching the other boats while we chowed down on some KFC.

yeah...especially during this covid lockdown, my boat has been very important to my mental health..good for the soul as they say.

While we trailer between this lake, our coastal family home and even down to the keys for scuba, I do keep a marina membership (sans slip)..so we have a private ramp to avoid the frustration of the busy public ramps..and those were even closed by the govenor earlier this covid season....so it was nice to have private access to the lake then.

our boat was purchased new in 2000 (1999 model) so now we get into the used boat conversation from here.

We've created wonderful memories, from the family stuff on the lake to scuba diving 8 miles out on the reefs around Largo.

Salt water is not your friend...not just flushing the motor, but over time the wiring grows gremlins.

I had injured my back, had surgery and was down for 2 seasons...when I came back around to my toys, my boat had been neglected and everything really was beyond age.
I almost scrapped it for basically the value of the trailer. I'm 63..no longer allowing myself financial debt like a new boat loan..so that was going to be the end of it.
I had enjoyed some cruising time on my daughter's boat, but just not the same..so many years at my wheel, that I missed the particular way it felt.

talked to the local shop..sure..they'd drop a crate motor in to replace the merc 305 (5.0) in there..starting guess would be about $7k..but with most parts in bad shape, they all but promised me I'd be looking more like $10..but hey..it's worth it they said with a smile.
oh..and reupholstry on 22ft super deck..was in the $3600 range.

couldn't justify that expense...and I was looking at dash gauge issues, bilge/blower, etc.

long story - found a guy that was recommended by performance boaters...i'd have to be patient cause he has a backlog, but it was november and I was good to sit for a couple months (turned out to be more like 5 months).

but he built me a 350 (5.7) from the ground up..put a lot of care into making it really perform..redid ALL the wiring, new gauges, switches, outdrive got a new pump and service, and a new more aggressive pitch prop since I'm pumping considerably more hp. $5k

upholstry guy..not perfect..but better than many jobs I've seen $1500.

hand wetsand, buff n polish for $600

and I have my boat back..gleaming fiberglass, fresh vinyl, and a bit more umph just to bring a grin to my face.

local value of the boat on facebook market place etc around here is around $12k..so if I age out with illness this next year..I expect to at least get my money back out and have had the enjoyment.
you likely quit reading about 18 paragraphs ago (Grin)..but that's my boat story.
 

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Generator Wrangler
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The two happiest days in a man's life is the day he buys a boat and the day he sells it.
 

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Owned a new 18' IO glass bowrider in 91.
Me and 2 other boat owner buddies did all our own maintenance so saved a ton there.
After 10 yrs of fun we moved on to other recreations.
 

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Let the Debate begin
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I live a couple miles from the Chesapeake, or actually a deep tributary that
leads to it.

I own several small boats, including a outboard that I haven't used in years,
a 17 FT racing sailboat my father and I raced back in the 70s, and 80s,
Kayaks, and a canoe.


I was stationed on a Boat (LCU ) in the Army before I went in the Marines.

Here is my fantasy for my next boat.

I want to buy a used Sail Boat that is 18 to 22 feet.
It will have a centerboard or Keel that can be winched up.
Why? Because it will be on a single axle or double axle trailer.

It will have a cabin with a basic bathroom, and sleep 2. (very basic)

It will have a back up engine consisting of an electric outboard,
and fold out solar panels to charge the batteries.

You will be able to sail it up to a beach by retracting the center board.

Because its a Sail boat you will not pay the taxes you would if it had
an outboard or inboard motor.

Because its over 18 ft you will have the option of sailing the intercoastal
water way.

The electric motor stays hidden and requires much less money to maintain
than a gas motor.

This will be my retirement boat. It will go slow, so if I hit something in
the water I will have less chance of sinking. I have hit hidden logs before
on other tributaries.

It will also be my bug out boat.

Please tell me what I forgot, feel free to flame away. :thumb:
 

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Wile E Coyote, Genius.
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I live a couple miles from the Chesapeake, or actually a deep tributary that
leads to it.

I own several small boats, including a outboard that I haven't used in years,
a 17 FT racing sailboat my father and I raced back in the 70s, and 80s,
Kayaks, and a canoe.


I was stationed on a Boat (LCU ) in the Army before I went in the Marines.

Here is my fantasy for my next boat.

I want to buy a used Sail Boat that is 18 to 22 feet.
It will have a centerboard or Keel that can be winched up.
Why? Because it will be on a single axle or double axle trailer.

It will have a cabin with a basic bathroom, and sleep 2. (very basic)

It will have a back up engine consisting of an electric outboard,
and fold out solar panels to charge the batteries.

You will be able to sail it up to a beach by retracting the center board.

Because its a Sail boat you will not pay the taxes you would if it had
an outboard or inboard motor.

Because its over 18 ft you will have the option of sailing the intercoastal
water way.

The electric motor stays hidden and requires much less money to maintain
than a gas motor.

This will be my retirement boat. It will go slow, so if I hit something in
the water I will have less chance of sinking. I have hit hidden logs before
on other tributaries.

It will also be my bug out boat.

Please tell me what I forgot, feel free to flame away. :thumb:
Not sure if they are still around, but a company called Precision made a sweet little pocket cruiser sailboat in the 23 ft size I think, that I considered a bit before I got a Macgregor 26x.

http://precisionboatworks.com/boats/p23/index.php


I used to see a brave older gent out on Barnegat bay in an old Venture (smaller macgregor design) Don't remember if it was a 17 or 22 footer. He would be out in the worst weather along with me in my 26. The bay would otherwise be empty of boats due to the stormy conditions.

People make fun of the Macgregors, but if you know how to sail them, they can be very very capable coastal cruisers. A Shame they closed up shop and the old man retired. I think his niece started a new company making a 26 ft knockoff of some sort.

You will want a gasoline motor though.

The nice thing about the 26X, with the 50 hp motor, was you could always take down the sails and motor through hell on earth if needed to get off a lee shore or just get back to the slip.

People with normal sized kickers (under 10 hp) did not have that luxury over a certain wind speed as the drag force was greater than the kicker thrust.

Also, if you will be operating in tide affected rivers or inlets, the extra power is a huge huge advantage.

The water ballast system works reasonably well, by not as good as a proper lead or steel deep keel. You won't notice much penalty in a 3-4 ft chop in a bay, but on the ocean you will want something with a more conventional keel.

But the swing up centerboard lets you go very shallow if needed. (I would never beach the boat, but would anchor in 2 ft of water and walk to shore a lot to cross the barrier island.

Here is a Venture 24.
Perhaps your new (used boat)
$3500. :) You can't afford NOT to buy it. :)
I think this is the boat model/size that old timer had. It also had the red hull.
It would "heave to" if you backed the jib, essentially parking the boat without anchoring. It would achieve a balance point and drift under control downwind. A very good thing to do if you need to use the head or tend to some short task. Not many small sailboats will do this.

It was a very capable sail boat.

https://www.sailboatlistings.com/view/29549



Here's a 22 footer
https://www.sailboatlistings.com/view/35072
$2000



Here's a 21 footer in good shape from storage in an airplane hanger.
$2500 New Mexico

https://www.sailboatlistings.com/view/24116
 

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Let the Debate begin
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Great Post Justme :thumb:

Reasons I want to use a electric outboard when I retire in
over a decade, is I believe that the technology will make them
much more powerful (and much lighter than any gas engine).

Large Lithium batteries will get cheaper, and be more practical.

Electric trolling motors are so light I could use one as a spare.

If we look at what has happened to electric cars, its not hard to
imagine.


Quote: But the swing up centerboard lets you go very shallow if needed. (I would never beach the boat, but would anchor in 2 ft of water and walk to shore a lot to cross the barrier island.


Exactly. I have a swing up centerboard on my old worn out 17ft Thistle. Its a great system as long as you don't turn over
and we did, several times. But the OP wants something that can be run on shallow tributaries and so do I.
 

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Wile E Coyote, Genius.
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If you plan on cruising a bit anyway, a small invertor generator on board would let you use electric propulsion without the fear of being unpowered after 30 minutes of operation or whatever battery life you have. Plus you could recharge your batts while cruising without having to get a slip.

Those gasoline motors are expensive as you may have noticed.
 

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Hire a boat surveyor.
check the annodes to see if they are deteriorating. if they are not deteriorating they are not working, which means the corrosion is going on some where else likely in the engine and exhaust system. this is particularly true in a boat that has been in salt water. Fresh weather boats are less likely to have this problem.
 
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Best boat ever? A friends boat.

There's a hole in daddy's BOAT where all the money goes

 

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I once saw a small sail boat break loose and was blowing onshore. Another guy saw it, best rower I've seen, got a line on but couldn't budge it. So he dropped an anchor off his dink and kedged it out.
 

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What would Mal do
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Hire a boat surveyor.
check the annodes to see if they are deteriorating. if they are not deteriorating they are not working, which means the corrosion is going on some where else likely in the engine and exhaust system. this is particularly true in a boat that has been in salt water. Fresh weather boats are less likely to have this problem.
yep... in fact my daughter had asked me to come look at a couple boats she was considering last year. One of them clearly had enjoyed a rougher life including what looked to be salt water damage..but the anodes were shiney and new... I cautioned her that the seller likely swapped em out so that everything looked good..but it was a question that needed to be asked.

After a total refurb job on my ol rig, it has seen only fresh water.. the wife wants to take it this week down to the coast..and I'm hesitant to put it back in the salt, but we love the be on the water down there..so major flushing, major bath all around when we get home and I won't even unhitch the boat when we return that sunday evening..will take it straight to the lake that monday after work and run it for a while in fresh water...salt is a demon on wiring, components, etc.
 

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I've owned several boats in my time, buy them cheap, fix it up, use it for while, then sell it at peak season for a profit.
My advise would be to find a partner to split the cost of everything, this allows you to buy a nicer boat that needs less work, then when it comes time to upgrade, repair, or winterize it only cost you half the $
 
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I've owned several boats in my time, buy them cheap, fix it up, use it for while, then sell it at peak season for a profit.
My advise would be to find a partner to split the cost of everything, this allows you to buy a nicer boat that needs less work, then when it comes time to upgrade, repair, or winterize it only cost you half the $
Fractional ownership like with aircraft. Work out a schedule to reserve use and avoid conflict. Bigger better and safer boat.

Sent from my SM-T350 using Tapatalk
 

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SI vis pacem,para bellum
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My wife and myself have been talking about possibly getting a boat next year. It would be used in fresh river, brackish and a little salt water, around the edges of the Chesapeake bay, but not off shore. Had a friend run across a hell of a deal on a used one. Anyone have any good or bad stories or input. Been around friends boats before but never bought or owned one myself. Thanks.
I have known five different people that bought boats, with in the first season
they wish they never did it!
You mention fresh water, the folks I mentioned salt water only.
You don't need that complex of a boat, I imagine that would simplify things.
What do you intend to do with the boat, fishing pleasure cruising?
If you could show a couple of Images, of what you have in mind.
That would help allot for instance.
 

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