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Help me buy a boat.

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by Eurodriver, Apr 21, 2012.

  1. Eurodriver

    Eurodriver

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    I have been boating my whole life and boating solidly (piloting vessels solo) for 3 years. I now live on the Gulf Coast of Florida. For the most part, very calm water. I do not live on the water so my boat will have to be towed to a boat ramp.

    I'm looking for something that is ~15ft and is just a good cruising boat. No overnight trips (Not trying to sail around the world like Eric), no inclement weather sailing, and I don't need a monstrosity to impress the ladies (No size compensation needed here). I just want a decent starter boat that can hold 3 to 4 people and I can cruise the intercoastal, drop anchor at an island and party for a couple hours with.

    Some concerns:
    A.) I do not want to finance it. I am debt free (Thanks Dave Ramsey) and want to stay that way. I don't feel comfortable spending more than $4,000. I know there will be upkeep costs down the road, boats are expensive. But initially I'd like to start low. Is this unreasonable? For some reason I always thought boats were more expensive, but I've seen alot of good deals around the $2500-3500 range on craigslist.

    B.) Obviously I will need to test drive it. My dad has experience with boats and can check things out but I have absolutely no idea what to look for as far as the engine goes. I understand soft spots, dry rot, paint peeling off, etc. But the actual mechanical issues, the tihngs that matter, I don't know what to look for. He does, but I'd still like to elicit you guys for any advice.

    Any thoughts on the subject?

    (Lastly, Thailand has been postponed indefinitely. I'm just going to order a wife from Ukraine.)


    Edit: Just to give you all an idea, something like this, but not this exact boat is what I'm looking at.

    http://tampa.craigslist.org/psc/boa/2968031514.html
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2012
  2. MtBaldy

    MtBaldy Obie Wan, RIP

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    15' is a very small boat for 4 or 5 people. I would suggest you up your size to around 20' and concentrate on center consoles. In that size I think they offer the most utility. You can still find boats in your price range but adding 2k to your budget or so would get you a much nicer boat. Also, though the Gulf is usually calmer bad weather can come up quickly. You are in a good area to find bargains on used boats.

    http://www.boattrader.com/search-re...01/Sort-Price:ASC/Page-3,25/Searchid-5778579/
     

  3. Eurodriver

    Eurodriver

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    Thanks for the advice, and the link. A 20' boat would probably make more sense anyway - buy once cry once and all that.

    I can go up to $5000, but I'd have very little left in case I ran into any unforeseen expenses. I've just heard too many horror stories about boats and engines being destroyed, so I'm a bit paranoid.
     
  4. paynter2

    paynter2 It ain't over Millennium Member

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    I don't know what you will find for 3-5K. If it doesn't feel right, don't buy it. That's not a lot of money for a good boat.

    I bought a used boat a few years ago. It was for a specific purpose - not regular use. I had another boat to use daily.

    I found exactly what I wanted - the guy was asking $3500. I told him I'd give him his asking price - no haggle. But, I wanted a 50/50 30-day warranty. He agreed and signed a warranty statement.

    I know, I know, how are you going to collect? Even small claims court is a PITA. But, I wanted to see his response to the warranty request. He agreed without hesitation. I bought the boat and have had zero issues with it in 5 years.
     
  5. M&P15T

    M&P15T Beard One

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    I'm sure there is a "Boat Talk" somewhere on the interwebs.

    You could find it, and get some very experienced answers there.
     
  6. jtull7

    jtull7 Pistolero CLM

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    This ought to work just fine for you:

    [​IMG]
     
  7. FLIPPER 348

    FLIPPER 348 Happy Member

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    You will not enjoy doing any of that in only a 15' sailboat
     
  8. rhikdavis

    rhikdavis U.S. Veteran

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    Plus for ten more bucks you can add an umbrella that clips right on the back of the 'captains seat.' ;thumbsup;
     
  9. Mraforever

    Mraforever

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    Check out the forums at iboats.com I would look for something with an outboard. It will take up less room in a small boat giving you more room for passengers. They are also better on gas and cheaper/easier to fix.
     
  10. k9medic

    k9medic

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    Where along the gulf coast? Waters around Tampa Bay are quite a bit different than the water around Horseshoe Beach.
     
  11. USMCsilver

    USMCsilver Boat Life ©

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    Tagged.

    Sent from my DROID BIONIC using Tapatalk 2
     
  12. Gregg702

    Gregg702 Gold Member

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    Good luck with the Ukrainian wife idea. She will surely stay with you once she gets here, they always do...
     
  13. porschedog

    porschedog

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    An 18' Mako would work pretty well, if you want a new boat, or look for a pre owned mako or a Boston Whaler dauntless model, also 18'
     
  14. porschedog

    porschedog

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    Fwiw I'm a Florida native, I have a USCG Captains license, I've been boating these waters all my life and have had many boats
    I'm now vp of a pretty major marine products company so I have a clue about boats
    Feel free to I'm if you have any questions about boats or their care and feeding :)
    Good luck
     
  15. Mister_Beefy

    Mister_Beefy Legal & Proper

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    a 20 foot boat for 5k? ... sounds like bigfoot.

    people talk about seeing one, but in reality you yourself never will because it doesn't exist.
     
  16. Javelin

    Javelin Got Glock? Silver Member

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    I heard you are pretty big in Japan too.
     
  17. MtBaldy

    MtBaldy Obie Wan, RIP

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    Didn't check the Boat Trader link I guess?

    It's not going to be new but if you look you can find one worth buying. South Florida is pretty much used boat central.
     
  18. rgregoryb

    rgregoryb Amerikaner

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    wouldn't you look for one that always goes "left" ?
     
  19. Dennis in MA

    Dennis in MA Get off my lawn

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    Werent you the one moving to southeast Asia? Buy a hunk of Junk.
     
  20. Batesmotel

    Batesmotel

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    Boat: A hole in the water you throw money in.

    But they are sure fun.