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Potential new FL boat owner here, what should I know?

Old 10-02-2020, 12:43 PM
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Question Potential new FL boat owner here, what should I know?

Hey friends, I'm new here! I grew up on boats and I love boating, I know it's a lot of work but I enjoy it. I'm looking to buy a boat – I'm not a big fisherman and prefer the parties/relaxing in the sun/docking at sandbars. I have a few questions for the experts!
  1. Am I going to regret an inboard motor? How much more cost and maintenance do they require?
  2. Should I consider a dry slip? Is the cost offset by the maintenance? I plan to boat 2 times a week.
  3. Will a 35-40' really be a huge pain? Some people say to never get a big boat.
Thanks for your advice!

P.S.
I plan to spend $1,000-$2,000 total per month on docking, maintenance, etc. It is possible the yearly maintenance might be slightly more.

Last edited by jtino; 10-02-2020 at 01:14 PM.
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Old 10-02-2020, 12:51 PM
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What part of FL are you in? What is your approximate budget for a purchase, and what do you anticipate spending monthly for storage/use/upkeep/etc?

Do you ever want to trailer it or move it, or is it going to stay in one location?
Old 10-02-2020, 01:00 PM
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Best of luck and there's a lot to cover but for my two cents - outboards are absolutely a must if your plan is primarily "parties/relaxing in the sun/docking at sandbars".
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Old 10-02-2020, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by dev View Post
What part of FL are you in? What is your approximate budget for a purchase, and what do you anticipate spending monthly for storage/use/upkeep/etc?

Do you ever want to trailer it or move it, or is it going to stay in one location?
Thanks for the quick reply.

I anticipate spending between $40,000-$70,000.
Monthly payment on boat: $300-$500
Monthly maintenance or storage: $1,000-$1,500
Total monthly: $1,500-$2,000

P.S. It is possible the yearly maintenance/servicing might be slightly more.
Old 10-02-2020, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by RicochetR View Post
Best of luck and there's a lot to cover but for my two cents - outboards are absolutely a must if your plan is primarily "parties/relaxing in the sun/docking at sandbars".
Hm, yeah. It seems people like to party more on the outboard boats? Inboards seem to be more for overnight stays. Not to mention outboards are easier to navigate to the sandbars in Boca.
Old 10-02-2020, 03:56 PM
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Join a boat club.
Old 10-02-2020, 07:48 PM
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Don’t have a monthly payment. Dockage/storage, fuel, insurance, planned maintenance, unplanned maintenance, bottom cleaning (if wet slipped), waxing, tips, etc is enough of a “monthly payment”. I waited and paid cash and wouldn’t do it any other way. Don’t buy what you can’t afford ... live within your means. Houses and cars are different ... they are necessities.
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Old 10-03-2020, 05:51 AM
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He has a very realistic monthly budget, but the overall boat cost is off. You are not going to find a decent 35-40 boat for $30 -70K. You might find a hull for that much, then need to sink another $100k in motors and updating. My 23 foot boat was $55k for comparison. $350 monthly payment. $500 dry stack, $60 insurance and you will still have $600-1,100 to spend per month with your budget on maintenance and gas. Downsize to a 25-30 with twins and you are probably in business with a boat around 5 years old.
Old 10-03-2020, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by MiamiJay View Post
Don’t have a monthly payment. Dockage/storage, fuel, insurance, planned maintenance, unplanned maintenance, bottom cleaning (if wet slipped), waxing, tips, etc is enough of a “monthly payment”. I waited and paid cash and wouldn’t do it any other way. Don’t buy what you can’t afford ... live within your means. Houses and cars are different ... they are necessities.
Lol, I could drop 100k flat out but I prefer to optimize and leverage my money. I don't want to take it out of the market.
Old 10-03-2020, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by High C View Post
He has a very realistic monthly budget, but the overall boat cost is off. You are not going to find a decent 35-40 boat for $30 -70K. You might find a hull for that much, then need to sink another $100k in motors and updating. My 23 foot boat was $55k for comparison. $350 monthly payment. $500 dry stack, $60 insurance and you will still have $600-1,100 to spend per month with your budget on maintenance and gas. Downsize to a 25-30 with twins and you are probably in business with a boat around 5 years old.
Thanks! This was super helpful. Next question: Where should I look for a 28-30 with twins? BoatTrader seems to have way more inboard than outboards. Are boat shows worth it?
Old 10-03-2020, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by jtino View Post
Thanks! This was super helpful. Next question: Where should I look for a 28-30 with twins? BoatTrader seems to have way more inboard than outboards. Are boat shows worth it?
Prices are very attractive in panhandle area during fall/winter ..season is over.
Watch for hurricane submersed though.
Boat shows is a No
Outboard is IMO much easier for repair and repower if necessary
Old 10-03-2020, 06:20 PM
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My opinion: boat prices have skyrocketed and I think there will be quite a few on the market in the next 2-3 years. You can likely get more for your money then.

Until then, join a boat club and you can take out different types of boats to learn what suits you best.

I would buy an outboard that is trailerable so you can move it when necessary to travel or for storms.
Old 10-04-2020, 06:04 AM
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IMO if you are staying inshore multiple engines are a waste of money. I also think boat shows are a great way to see a lot of different makes and models, even if you plan on buying used. Easier than plying through boat trader trying to figure out what you want. In fact we’re going to the Tampa boat show today for that very purpose. Also sounds like high and dry storage might be something that would be a candidate for what you want to do.
Old 10-04-2020, 06:50 AM
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You didn’t say what part of Florida you are located. That will make a big difference in your options. Dry stacking a 35-40 inboard is probably a non starter. For general party and sandbar use, an outboard boat is the only way to go. I actually bought my sportsman because the wife thought putting the 30’ CC on the beach was too much trouble ( two anchors and backing into shallow enough water to get out and be able to stand up ). If you plan to cruise and sleep aboard, then you need a bigger boat with berths and a/c. As others have suggested, join a boating club or just rent a couple of times and see what you enjoy doing, then start looking to buy.

Last edited by Hjudge49; 10-04-2020 at 06:51 AM. Reason: Spelling
Old 10-04-2020, 08:21 AM
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I'll second what others have said. 25' to 30' w outboard(s) is the way to go.

I have a 27 World Cat that covers it well.......but I have to admit for just beaching, hanging out and exploring around the islands, I kinda love my old 17 Montauk because its a bit of a beater, is much easier to get in and out of and I can run it right into the beach without a lot of anchor tending or worrying about getting stuck by the tide. The only drawback is that for more than 2 people, its crowded. For several people and more food and/or drink I'll go with the World Cat. It can also take me 100 miles offshore if I want to go somewhere.

I also second the dry stack. Unless you are on the water with your own lift, it is the most convenient set up by far IMO for a 25-30 w outboards.

Last edited by Cat-a-holic; 10-04-2020 at 08:26 AM.
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Old 10-04-2020, 09:29 AM
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Dry stacking a 35'-40' in SFL is $1200-$1700 per month, Insurance another $4 to 7k, maint on trips $2500, fuel another $10k. etc................... 35' to 40' cost $100 to $175k used.
Old 10-04-2020, 05:26 PM
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You're budget is pretty accurate. People will say "only cash" and "maintenance more" etc but it evens out to about what you're describing. Find an older, high-quality boat with decent wiring, electronics, engines etc and start enjoying it. Upgrade as you see fit and budget allows. Just don't buy anything you wouldn't repower.

I bought a 1998 34' Intrepid and have been fixing it up and repowered with new suzuki's. Could not be happier with it.
Old 10-04-2020, 06:56 PM
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OP needs a pontoon boat.
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Old 10-04-2020, 08:49 PM
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I would get something older but with great engines. I picked up a 2001 30 ft from an older guy in the keys with twin verados. Engines have 650 hours each. I probably spent about 5k between bottom paint and maintenance work. But definitely worth it. I would look at eBay, Facebook marketplace, OfferUp and craigslist. Don’t be afraid to get a survey done before buying it’s worth the investment plus insurance needs one anyways.
Old 10-04-2020, 09:12 PM
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Outboards - find a trustworthy glass guy and it could be done in that size...
The guy selling this is a reputable glass guy...
https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...2325958047169/

Last edited by zegoflorida; 10-05-2020 at 08:57 AM.

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