Join Date: Jul 2012
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Re: What do you wish you had known before buying your first boat?
1) Get towing insurance; its cheaper than a single tow, and with a new boat, you may well need it;
With both sails and an outboard I'd advocate inspecting your rudder carefully, carrying a spare tiller, and learning how to read a chart so you don't run aground. Those will dramatically lesson the likelihood you'll use that towing insurance.
4) Despite the low investment you're making, consider getting professional surveys of the engine and boat (a new engine is $2,000+, a boat survey is $350-400, and an engine survey will be a few hundred) AFTER you've done your initial review;
If we're talking about a less than $5k boat with an outboard and porta potty, there aren't a whole lot of systems on the boat. A good condition used 6hp 2-stroke outboard is in character with the boat and ~$400. I skipped the survey on my Cape Dory 25. I'd been power boating for decades and brought my dad along to look at the rigging.
5) Depending on the boat you buy (I strongly encourage you to consider a Catalina 25 or 27), get a trailer;
x2 on the trailer - It is MUCH easier to work on a boat in your own yard!