Saturday, October 23, 2010

Trying to keep up with the mailbag... answering the same old same.

As much as I'd like to, it's hard to keep up with the mail we get here at Boat Bits Central and as a lot of folks write and ask the same questions forgive me if I don't always answer with a personal note. So to catch up on some questions folks want answers to...

What about buying a boat on EBAY?

Offhand I am not a huge fan of Ebay. For every guy wanting to sell off some personal boat gear or a boat, there seems to be three who are doing it as a business and bring on my Spidey-sense-scammer-alert full tilt boogie. That said, at any given time there seems to be a few good deals especially if you are willing to do some serious boatwork and pay pennies on the dollar for the boat.

My formula in gauging what you should bid is never to pay more than 10% of what the boat would sell for in great shape from a reliable broker. Factor in the cost of ripping out the entire interior and replacing it as well as an entire rig replacement plus some for your own labor and the cost of being on the hard for months while you are in boat-building mode. In most cases that leaves you with no more than a couple thousand dollar bid for a boat you could buy for $20,000 in excellent shape somewhere you can inspect and survey it.

How much should I pay for a boat to sail-away with my wife in?

Less really is more! In this mind numbing economy (which does not look to be getting anything but worse) you should easily be able to find a turnkey boat for $15,000 or a lot less if you have the industry to really look hard and not be worried about what other people think. I've seen a CAL 28 in great shape with all the needful cruising gear going for less than 5K and an Irwin 28 (a much under appreciated design) ready to sail off into the sunset for $2800 and I'm not looking so who knows what I'd find if I was...

I'd like to go cruising with my wife but she'd prefer it to be more comfortable. What should I do?

Be more than comfortable! Seriously, sailing is only as comfortable as you make it and it is a simple matter of rolling with your priorities and comfort should be high on your list.

The other day a certain blog wrote a post that I took some issue with as they made a point of the fact that their planned circumnavigation would be done in style while eating gourmet foods, drinking excellent wine and wearing fashionable clothing... All things, apparently, that none of the existing cruisers or any who have gone before know anything about. Makes me want to drop him a line and ask him if he'd be interested in that cast iron tower I have for sale in Paris...

Truth is most cruisers I have known are all about comfort and the finer things in life. You simply have to roll with the flow and if being comfortable is part of the program so be it!

Do I really need a self-steering gear?


Can I live in comfort on $500 a month?

Yes... But the learning curve is one steep sucker!

How do I best avoid zombies?

Be somewhere they don't happen to be...