Sunday, September 20, 2015

Dream Boats

We've been wondering for a couple of years whether it would be best to fix up Yondering or buy a new-to-us boat. With extensive engine work on the horizon and a new sail to buy, the matter becomes more than hypothetical. Maintain, upgrade, or buy new?
 The Port Credit In-Water Boat Show was a great opportunity to check out different models.

If I won the lottery...There was a brand new Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 349. This is the kind of boat to take down south and live aboard. It won the 'Best Cruising Award' in 2015, not just for good looks but because of the way it  handles at sea. The bright interior was extremely roomy (tri-cabin!) with a well organized galley. Additional side windows bring in natural light and help you from feeling too closed in. The engine is easy to get at, there is in-mast furling, and two wheels in the cockpit to make it easier to helm on rough water. These are European boats, with not so many seen in North America. Show special $229,000 (plus tax).

The used boats certainly didn't smell as good as the Jeanneau but they are a lot more affordable. Some were particularly musty, the odour of mildew and mould lurking beneath a top note of lemon pledge. Still, there was a 31' Beneteau, 1991 that was quite appealing. Around $60K, likely negotiable. Great layout, sparkling clean. Unfortunately this particular boat had 18HP engine, likely a bit under powered. (At 30', Yondering has a 23HP).

We also checked out 30' Catalina's to see what they were selling for... there were two for between $22K - $30, but neither had the all-weather dodger/bimini set up.

A couple of trawlers caught my imagination. I could see myself enjoying their spacious quarters and relaxing rain or shine in the docks. Tie up at Toronto Island Marina and you have a waterfront cottage!

One in particular: a 50 foot restored 1953 Novia Scotia Classic. 2015 surveyed replacement value of $110K, asking price $69K. I talked to the owner about how much it would cost to sail from Port Credit to Toronto Island and back and he said about $40 in diesel fuel. He also kept meticulous records of how he'd spent $149K on upgrades and additions over the last 27 years. This was obviously a well-loved boat. I could see myself sitting on the top deck on a moonlit night. It seemed like a great buy for someone willing to take on the upkeep, but I'm not quite sure Rob and I are ready to give up sailing just yet.

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