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Does an obsolete inboard scare you into selling your boat?

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Mar 27, 2012
312
Seaward Fox Washougal WA
So I was told the Westerbeke on my boat is not rebuildable and to repower would require significant work (engine mounts, engine length difference, hoses, etc). I can admit that I am not Bob Vila and I leave repairs to the professionals. I am not made of money, but I can afford to have the work done. Yeah, I have to work a little overtime to do it, but it is reassuring to me to know that someone with more experience than me did the work. Especially on a river with a strong current like the Columbia. I should add that this obsolete engine is runing great at this time, however the thought of it crapping out is scary!

The wife and I plan to sail away after retirement (15 years). This is not the boat for us. It is not big enough. The only reason is that at 6'2", I can not sleep comfortably in the vbirth or anywhere for that matter. We are not that couple that thinks we need a 50' boat to sail the world.

I have heard a philsophy that suggests sell the boat and put the money I would spend on it for the next 15 years (slip fee, maintenance, etc) in a cruising fund. That is not an option as we want to sail the next fifteen years.

I paid 12K for the boat and owe about 7K. Dropped about 3500 in repairs last year and pay 170 mo. for slip. I am days away from bottom job and other repairs for about 4K.

My question is this! Fifteen years away from retirement, should I sell this boat and purchase the boat we will sail away on. I could start the refit to make it work for us, but I would have to pay more in slip fees for the larger boat and maintenance for the next fifteen years. I freak at the thought of the engine going out on my current boat and having to replace the motor just to be able to sell it. Or I could just keep sailing the boat I have and dump money into it and someone will get a great buy in fifteen years!

Any thoughts would be much appreciated! I am sure I have missed some incrediblly important details as always, but thanks in advance for any suggestions.
 

reworb

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Apr 22, 2011
234
Beneteau 311 Ft Myers Beach
Re: Does an obsolete inboard scare you into selling your boa

How many hours are on the engine? These little diesels last for a lot of hours.

Fifteen years is a long time anything you buy now (unless its brand new and I sort of hear you're not going to drop 100k plus right now) is going to be old when you're ready.

I would research the engine a lot more before doing anything.

Just my thoughts, I hope they are worth what you paid for them.
 

WayneH

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Jan 22, 2008
863
Tartan 37 Pensacola Shipyard, FL
One man's opinion and worth every bit that you paid for it! :D

I would sell the current boat but not because the westerbeast might die. My 1980 Tartan has it's original beast installed and running fine.

I would sell out because you need the time NOW to get familiar with your new boat. And to slowly decide which modifications to make to FIT you and the Admiral. There is a cost incurred with renovations and upgrades and having a job to pay for it makes it easier and less stressful than trying to make do on a pension.

Yeah, my pension is good but I don't have anything socked away for a major equipment failure. So I'm liable to have to get a part time job to pay for replacing stays, repairing sails and replacing running rigging. :eek:

And I would also say the only schedule to keep, NO MATTER WHAT, is paying off the boat loan before retiring.

Just the thoughts of an active sailor who's retired and out of the rat race. :D
 
Mar 27, 2012
312
Seaward Fox Washougal WA
Re: Does an obsolete inboard scare you into selling your boa

Thanks to both of you for your thoughts! Reworb, the engine is original from 1984, but I am unsure of the exact hours as the hour meter is so faded out and unreadable. The research I have done is from Westerbeke who has a repower guide and the engine suggested has different dimensions for mounts and engine length. This is in addition to my local Westerbeke dealer. It is my understanding that these motors were made by Mitsubishi (I think I am right on this or some other manufacturer) and parts can be acquired, but wheeling and dealing honestly isn't my thing. It does run good tho!

I have been leaning towards Wayne's advice. This boat was our first and wanted to learn on it. We had a great year on it last year. To be honest tho, it doesn't even meet our needs now. We spent several weekends on it and I do not sleep well crammed in the vbirth at 6'2". I like the idea of learning the boat over the next 15 and realize a lot of things will be outdated in 15, but that would be true on any boat. I am not big into electronics, auto pilot, or the fun stuff at this point anyway. My cruising ground is the Columbia river and all of that is just icing on the cake if I have it. A good radio and depth finder are really all I need out here.

Maybe I need to calculate the diff between a 27 and 40 for slip, bottom jobs, etc. over next 15 to get a better idea of what I am looking at???

Thanks again!
 
Nov 6, 2006
9,206
Hunter 34 Mandeville Louisiana
Re: Does an obsolete inboard scare you into selling your boa

Interesting !.. I know that for a short time, Hunter put some Westerbekes in the 34 as well. Many models of Westerbeke were Mitsubishi and I think that a few were Kubota.. I would think that a good engine man could come up with the proper parts for either of those since I think they are marinized tractor engines.. but.. if you aren't comfortable in the boat, now is the time to move up before you retire. I wouldn't worry about the engine crapping out unless it is burning oil or making a lot of strange noise. If the engine gets normal regular maintenance, it should be OK.. Make sure that the valves are set correctly and ya might want to talk to a mechanic about re-torquing the cylinder head.
 
Mar 27, 2012
312
Seaward Fox Washougal WA
Interesting !.. I know that for a short time, Hunter put some Westerbekes in the 34 as well. Many models of Westerbeke were Mitsubishi and I think that a few were Kubota.. I would think that a good engine man could come up with the proper parts for either of those since I think they are marinized tractor engines.. but.. if you aren't comfortable in the boat, now is the time to move up before you retire. I wouldn't worry about the engine crapping out unless it is burning oil or making a lot of strange noise. If the engine gets normal regular maintenance, it should be OK.. Make sure that the valves are set correctly and ya might want to talk to a mechanic about re-torquing the cylinder head.
Thanks! I am thinking about having an mechanic do a survey/tune-up. I think it would be nice to get one more year out of it to get a little more experience docking with a smaller boat. It does not burn oil or make wierd noises, but I have no idea how the PO's treated her. I do have a nagging feeling tho that tells me to sell and put money into a boat that works better for me. There are also many people that tell me I am ridiculous to think that I will buy my next boat and keep it long enough to sail away on it in 15 years.
 

Rick D

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Jun 14, 2008
7,003
Hunter Legend 40.5 Shoreline Marina Long Beach CA
Re: Does an obsolete inboard scare you into selling your boa

I guess I'd be inclined to split the difference and go up in an intermediate stage. If you went up to a low thirties size, you would get some experience. While the market is tough, it is for a 30 something too, so it's just trading dollars.

There is a big, really big, difference in cost between what you have now and something 40-ish. IMHO, you should keep what you have for a couple of more years and learn about the engine, electronics and fiberglass now. Community colleges are a good source of classes; by all means think about that. As far as the engine, you can have the same issue with another, so you could be simply swapping problems. Your mechanic is just wrong. There are ways to repair that engine or get another that is repairable if worst came to worst.

Whatever you do, I suggest you have the boat you want to cruise on for three or so years first so that you can know her well and add only what you really need, not what you think you will.

Like the other guys said, this is worth just what you paid for it.

Edit to add: BTW, I had friends who took their 40' motor yacht from Los Angeles to the Bahamas. Being both from the Bronx, they knew nothing about mechanical or electrical. They took a couple of classes and practiced and did all their own work that voyage and helped others along the way.
 
Apr 14, 2009
737
Sabre 28 NH
Re: Does an obsolete inboard scare you into selling your boa

Seeing how you still owe 7K on the boat I'd keep it & work towards getting it paid off.

What kind of repairs are you scheduled for that would cost 4K this year after dropping 3.5 K last year? Might be time to begin learning how to start turning wrenches as the saying goes. On what you save in yard bills, you'll pay your boat off PDQ
 
Nov 6, 2006
9,206
Hunter 34 Mandeville Louisiana
Re: Does an obsolete inboard scare you into selling your boa

BigJer40 said: "There are also many people that tell me I am ridiculous to think that I will buy my next boat and keep it long enough to sail away on it in 15 years."

I know many people buy and sell boats a lot... I bought my 34 in '91 so I've owned her a while.. I am still very happy with the boat and I am not considering selling or buying.. so I think that with careful consideration you can find something that will please you for a while. I am retired and glad that she's all mine ..
 
Jun 6, 2006
6,991
currently boatless wishing Harrington Harbor North, MD
Re: Does an obsolete inboard scare you into selling your boa

Here is a thought, finding the right boat is more about the search and knowing what you are looking for. Make a "perfect boat list" and keep it with you. I find I remember important stuff on the bus then forget it, so keep it handy or have a jot down tablet.
if you buy about 5-7 years out you should be able to spread the cost of upgrades/repairs out over time with out too much pain in the pocket book.
Also, start developing those skills, engine work, sail repair, canvas, plumbing, electrical, navigation and nav instruments........NOW and don't stop. These "salty seaman" skills will help drive down the cost of ownership on whatever boat you have, now or in the future.
having an engine that needs work is an opportunity not a liability! do learn how to handle the boat using sails only as that is your backup in an emergency. Practice "motor dead" drills to see what you need to improve...... the list is endless and learning them when land is out of sight at the beginning of your retirement is not the brightest of ways of doing it IMHO.
You should do a cost of sailing from now to setting sail 15 years from now. try several scenarios, buy new now and keep it, buy used 7 years out, buy right before you retire..... and see which one is cheaper. They will all provide opportunities to learn and should not be considered wrong. One will be cheaper though.
 
Feb 26, 2004
21,906
Catalina 34 224 Maple Bay, BC, Canada
Re: Does an obsolete inboard scare you into selling your boa

I'm with Rich on this one. If the engine is questionable to you now, and the boat is too small for you, then get something bigger and learn to sail it. Once you get a bigger boat, even and especially NOT the one you're gonna sail away on, you will have made the leap to handling a bigger boat and can then start making your cruising boat "must have" lists. My experience is that two things are very important in making that final decision: 1) a smaller boat will never teach you all the system information you need to learn; 2) once you get to a bigger boat, say 30-35 feet, you WILL start thinking differently.

You can more easily sell this boat while the engine is still working and won't feel cheated if the engine has to be replaced while you still own it and really want to sell it anyway.

I also agree that you will not be buying your dream boat now for use in 15 years - that is very rare.

You should also start spending time over on www.cruisersforum.com and read about the liveaboards.

Good luck.
 
Feb 21, 2010
288
Beneteau 31 016 St-Lawrence river
Obsolete inboard?

You want to retire in 15 years and start planning now? I wouldn't plan that far ahead; actually I don't even buy green bananas!!!
OK, let's look at this in a detached manner:
1-The first 5,000$/year you spend is the equivalent to many other sports or passtimes you would have. This is not an investment it is your family passtime!
2- You have a 30 year-old boat with an obsolete engine... if you buy a 10 to 15 year-old boat to-day you will have a 25 to 30 year-old boat by the time you retire... it will presumably have an obsolete diesel engine by then!
3- If your 30 year-old 27 foot boat's engine died on you you could at worse put on an outboard bracket and use it that way untill you were ready to bite the bullet for your retirement boat.
4- Your plans might change!
I could go on for reasons 5 to about 22 to justify keeping the present boat and restart planning retirement in 10 years.
For now, have a good summer
Pierre
 
May 27, 2012
1,152
Oday 222 Beaver Lake, Arkansas
Re: Does an obsolete inboard scare you into selling your boa

I would go with Waynes suggestion as well. Get the boat you want now, while the markets are down, if the economy takes off so will prices? Plus, youll never be a day younger than you are today. If its a big step now, it will just be a bigger and tougher step later.
 
Jul 1, 2010
861
Seaward 25, Catalina 350 Erie, Pa
Re: Does an obsolete inboard scare you into selling your boa

Have a marine tech check out your engine, if only for the peace of mind. You can also send an oil sample to a testing lab for analysis next time you service the motor. I used to do this with my business truck, when I was in business. Routine oil testing gave me a baseline health check of the engine, important when I couldn't afford the downtime of a very expensive Cat diesel rebuild.

As far as the boat goes, if it isn't what you want now, and you can afford to replace it with something you do want, go for it. Life's too short. (Just don't spend your retirement money on it)
 
Jun 6, 2006
6,991
currently boatless wishing Harrington Harbor North, MD
Re: Does an obsolete inboard scare you into selling your boa

and it is only a plan, your life situation WILL change.
Now if you want to set some GOALS...... well that is, as they say, a boat of a different color.
Ask yourself, Where do I want to be in 5 years? then backward plan to where you are and work those daily tasks to get there on time.
 
Mar 27, 2012
312
Seaward Fox Washougal WA
Re: Does an obsolete inboard scare you into selling your boa

Thanks all, this is very solid advice and I am blessed to have many options. I had oil and transmission fluid samples inspected when I bought her last year and all looked good. I realize I could search the web and find out if I could get this Kubota part or that Mitsubishi part etc. etc. etc., but that is not me. I am going to take some classes tho! I am looking into my power squadron for some diesel and electrical classes. I do all my own maintenance (oil changes and such). As far as the money I need to put into her and have. The surveyor missed the front saddle seperating from the deck at the bow of the boat. The PO installed the furler back in the saddle instead of the tip. There was a lot of water damage and mold. I had it fixed properly and the furler moved where it should have been. Right now, I am looking at new sails, new main cover, two thru hulls in vbirth for depth and speed need replaced (I am thinking of removing and glassing over since I use my gps which uses a non thruhull transducer), bottom job, stuffing box or dripless (most likely stuffing box), and new sanitation hoses. That is my needs to be done list and not my would like to have done.
 
Mar 27, 2012
312
Seaward Fox Washougal WA
You want to retire in 15 years and start planning now? I wouldn't plan that far ahead; actually I don't even buy green bananas!!!
OK, let's look at this in a detached manner:
1-The first 5,000$/year you spend is the equivalent to many other sports or passtimes you would have. This is not an investment it is your family passtime!
2- You have a 30 year-old boat with an obsolete engine... if you buy a 10 to 15 year-old boat to-day you will have a 25 to 30 year-old boat by the time you retire... it will presumably have an obsolete diesel engine by then!
3- If your 30 year-old 27 foot boat's engine died on you you could at worse put on an outboard bracket and use it that way untill you were ready to bite the bullet for your retirement boat.
4- Your plans might change!
I could go on for reasons 5 to about 22 to justify keeping the present boat and restart planning retirement in 10 years.
For now, have a good summer
Pierre
1-Completely agree
2-yes, but it would be put into the boat that works for me
3-1984 Hunter 27 not sure how that would work and would look awful if it did :eek:
4-No doubt, but it still makes sense to plan vs not planning

It's not that I am counting the days, it is just my profession. I dont plan doing what I do longer than 15 more years, but that could change. If it werent up to my wife (which it is, it always is), we would be gone now. Maybe I read to much Alex Dorsey from Project Bluesphere. Thank you for breaking it down and taking the time.
 
Oct 19, 2011
181
Hunter 42 Passage San Diego, CA
Re: Does an obsolete inboard scare you into selling your boa

These folks are full of appropriate and helpful thoughts. I solicit their wisdom many more times than I share my own. But let me tell you of my experience and it might help your decision. I learned many years ago on single class or one class design boats like Lightnings and Flying Scotts. I did that for probably 25 years and thought "I know sailing". Then my wife decided she wanted to learn because she wanted to cruise. So we took ASA classes in San Diego on a 36' Beneteau. That was quite a learning experience because not only did I not know sailing in something that big BUT I had no idea about battery life, diesel inboard auxiliary engines, galley systems (I used to do PB&J and a Coke in a picnic basket), ports and hatches, etc. I spent a lot of time with the Beneteau owner and started learning big time. So now it is time for me to buy my own cruising boat. So we found a '92 Hunter Passage, 42'. This should be similar to the 36 Beneteau is what I thought. And it was in the electrical, plumbing and engine realm but the handling is quite different. Heavier, longer, different manufacturer therefore feels different, and after two years I continue to learn.

I am in the process of updating/upgrading the water tanks and pump, cleaning up the electrical breaker panel, updating the VHF radio and emergency systems, new chartplotter and I have a topic on here asking if I should use my 20 year old Robertson autopilot until it takes a dive and then replace it or replace it with new under controlled circumstances. I want to know everything about all systems before I go on longer cruises so I know what to do or what to look for if something goes array and on a retired income that takes much time.

So my rookie advice would be this; you could pay off the $7k on your boat now OR you might as well find something which more closely resembles what you want in 15 years. Buy a coastal cruiser in the mid to upper 30's length. Even an older boat and refurbish what you want new. Learn it all and then when you hunt for your ultimate sweetheart you will know exactly what you experienced in upgrading this boat and you won't be fooled. Get sound and solid bones because that can be quite costly to repair if not solid. But everything else on the boat can be replaced, updated, or made to be classic. And you will have gained immeasurable knowledge which lowers the "pucker factor" when you do cruise into the sunset with your Admiral in retirement.
 
Mar 27, 2012
312
Seaward Fox Washougal WA
Re: Does an obsolete inboard scare you into selling your boa

Wow, thanks Old Sailor 2! I am going to take your advice! One thing I have learned about size is that bigger doesn't always mean better. I have been on Benetau 40's that didn't work for us and Bene 38 that did! The difference was that I did not fit in the shower on the 40. Not that we are thinking Bene (not that we wouldn't) but it opened my eyes. I will however fix what needs to be fixed. I do not like the thught of someone else's family on the boat and going down on the Columbia River. We have to many drownings as it is.
 
Mar 27, 2012
312
Seaward Fox Washougal WA
Re: Does an obsolete inboard scare you into selling your boa

Thank You all for your advice! Of course there is no wrong answer here. We have decided to make the necessary repairs, advertise the boat for sale, and sail the hell out of it until it sells! Win, Win, and Win!!!!!!!!! I really do appreciate all the help!
 
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