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 The project




Once again, an aluminium-hulled, lifting-keel boat?    Well, yes!

In fact, we were not fixed on this type of boat; our objective was rather simple:

- leisurely cruises in the Mediterranean (Croatia or Greece, just to mention the more obvious), with the option if we will find ourselves and the boat to be up to task, to reach the French canals and perhaps sail in Northern Europe and then, who knows, a jump to the Carribbean, which we would revisit with pleasure.

This translates in the following requisites for the boat:

- size just below 10 meters, which in Italy represents the threshold from a regulation and tax point of view, while at the same time being spacious and comfortable for 2 people during an extended cruise (aft-cabin appreciated although not mandatory).
- reasonable sailing performance, but priority is on ease of handling rather than speed.
- a solid and safe boat (and this, in our mind, was screaming "aluminium", although in reality a good GRP yacht would have been perfectly adequate).

Furthermore, our budget was limited: we were thinking to spend not more than 30-40.000 Euros to purchase the boat and then a further 10-20.000 for repairs/refurbishing: we soon found out that this meant to focus on boats built in the 80's or 90's.

We would have liked to find a "small" OVNI: in the size range we were thinking about, there are 3 models, all out of production since a long time, all hard to find in the used market and generally overpriced:
- OVNI 28: very old, a bit too small, hard to find and generally very expensive (over 30.000 Euros for units in mediocre condition, much more for refurbished units)
- OVNI 31: a very rare fixed-keel OVNI
- OVNI 32: would be the "right" boat, but it's hard to find and asking prices are high (from 60.000 to over 100.000 Euros)

In one year of searching, we did not find any of the above at a reasonable price!
We did find other aluminium boats, not all lifting-keelers, but often overpriced and quite obsolete in design.

We were close to giving-up and go for a GRP boat, although after having seen a few we found that in our target price bracket offerings are typically rather old and with some problems, such as:
- less-desirable models
- sails or engine needing replacement
- no osmosis treatment or check (maybe not a problem, but it could lead to a later expenditure or decrease the future selling price)
- incomplete, obsolete electronics which could not be upgraded (and therefore to be replaced)
- general maintenance level poor (sometimes incredibly poor!)

In Croatia we found a couple of Bavaria's belonging to German owners and in reasonably good condition, and then we found the advert for this "Alu Legend 1040", aluminium hull with lifting keel, described as "ready to sail", with an asking price of 39.000 Euros (plus 5% broker commission), a lot  more than our budget but worth seeing, just in case there was some room for negotiation...

----and this was the beginning of our troubles!!   The boat turned out to be a terrible disappointment, nice lines, moders for its age, roomy interior, but in appalling maintenance status, a terrible chaos inside, the outboard clamped to the table (and dripping gasoline on the cabin floor!), the wooden parts in urgent need of a repaint (or even replacement, in some areas), rusty winches, all ropes on deck moulding, sails left to collect mould throughout all winter, and the owner sternly refusing to negotiate the price!...
Very disappointed, we left after having made a very low offer, very unlikely to be taken in consideration.   Really a pity, the boat had some potential but the price was way above market, expecially in view of the likely refurbishment costs!

Would you show a boat like this to potential buyers?

We had almost decided to buy a Bavaria, but we wanted to make another attempt: at the end, the seller agreed on a price which was halfways between his request and my offer, and so the deal was done, we are the new owners of a worn-out, battered aluminium boat!









The chart table is very large, but electronics are very limited and totally outdated!                                          Ropes and winches on deck give an immediate feeling of lack of maintenance

Clearly, our initial budget has blown out: the relatively high purchasing price, plus the refurbishment works much more extensive than planned will require a (much) higher expenditure than planned!


Webmaster: Gianfranco Balducci - email: gfbalduc@tin.it

Last Update: 11/11/2014

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