Saturday, September 22, 2012

Dream for Sale. Cheap!

There are a lot of great boats on the market, and it's a buyer's market.  The economy may be slowly recovering, and your 401k may be doing OK, but we still have a long way to go to get back to "normal".

The megayacht business is doing just fine, thank you.  The 1% never really suffered much, and sales of 100+ foot motor yachts is, and has been, OK.  But for the rest of us, the 98%, life may still be difficult.   And if you're unfortunate enough to be in the 47% who pay no income taxes, life is still a bitch.

But yet, we all still have dreams.  For many, that dream includes casting off our dock lines and sailing off to paradise.  But that costs a small fortune, right?


Many of today's sailors think you have to have all the modern conveniences of home to "go cruising".

hmmmm.... I think I use quotation marks way "too much".  Whatever.

Anyway, your typical cruising sailboat is 40 feet plus.  It has refrigeration and scads of electronics, with the accompanying solar panels and wind generators to power it all.  If any part of this system fails, this boat will stay in port until it is fixed.   But there is another type of cruiser.  The minimalist cruiser.

I once owned a Hallberg-Rassy Mistral, a Swedish sailboat 33 feet long.  It crossed the Atlantic at least three times.  It had no refrigeration and no electronics.  In 1970, it was considered to be the ideal size for a blue water boat, safe in any conditions and comfortable.

Well, today I was talking to John, a fellow liveaboard here at Brunswick Landing Marina.  We discussed marina fees and living aboard, and I told him what I had paid at another marina for a month's dockage.  He was astounded, and said it was more than what he paid for his two boats.

Two boats?  John was sitting on his Catalina 34 while we spoke.  What was the other?

Well, John has a gem for a second boat.  A 1974 Tartan 30.  It was a fresh water boat all its life until John bought it three years ago and brought it from the Great Lakes to Brunswick.  He then decided he wanted something bigger and bought the Catalina.   I wanted to see the Tartan.  I'm a HUGE fan of classic cruisers like Tartan.  I love the old CCA designs, rugged and graceful.  Go anywhere boats.   He took me to see it.  Here are the photos.

Wow.  This is a boat designed to be sailed.  It's not a dock queen.  It doesn't have an immense beam and dual wheels.  It's a sailor's boat.  The kind of boat that is sailed if there's a breeze.   Not a dockominium that is motored from marina to marina.

Call John if you're interested.

No, I have no idea where Whiskey Island is.

Cosmetically, it needs a lot.  Varnish and paint.  Hey, I've been there and done that.   Easy peasy.

It even has wheel steering!  With a compass in the binnacle.

A brand new cook top.

Dated.  But groovy.

A Rariatan head.  The Lexus of crappers.

The V-berth.  Infamous.  If you buy this boat, this is where you'll be sleeping.

The decks need to be repainted, and the hatch leaks if you're tied to a dock and the wind blows just right.

But it has self tailing winches!

So there you have it.  For much less than $10k, you can buy a dream machine.  And it's just days away from the Bahamas.  It's a getaway craft.  Away from snow and cold.  Away from stupid bosses and tiny cubicles. It's a winter of fun and sun.

For less than $10k?  Yup.  Feel the sand between your toes...


  1. Isn't it an amazing time to buy an old boat? A friend(#1) has a clean early 60's 26'er on a mooring in the harbor.

    He doesn't use it so he lets another friend(#2) use it whenever he wants.

    Friend #1 is considering giving friend #2 the sailboat. But friend #2 is balking. With ownership, friend #2 then has the costs of mooring and haul/store.

    I foresee friend #1 may have to sweeten the deal,...

    Such is the state of the market here for a clean early 60's sailboat.

  2. You'd be surprised how good those decks would look with a good power washing. 20 min. with a power washer would improve the curb appeal of that boat immeasurably.

  3. "Oh, you're a sailor - you must be rich!" Anyone with a sailboat not heard that? If it's a boat, it's going to need something. BUT, where else could you put your money that would give you a true "escape pod"?? How far would you get with a $10k RV? What would a $10k house look like?

    You'd make a good boat broker. Sell the dream! OR, sail the dream. ;-)


    We were sailors for a lot of years. Before heading to the PNW last spring (with our small powercruiser), I showed my wife an interesting motor-sailor I had seen withering in the marina. "It would be a good 'over the horizon' boat," I told her.

    She looked at it, considered the work involved to bring it back, and said, "You can do that with your next wife."