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Old 03-14-2008
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How much more "gracefully" do high-quality older boats age than mass-production ones?

Prologue
I'm in the process of "upgrading" and trading towards a bigger boat. I had set my sights on something in the 47'-55' range (with a tendency towards 49' or 50'). I decided that if I were staying with a modern European production boat such as a Jeanneau I would want something newer than 2002 which is the build year of my current boat and which I can see will have another couple of years of service before major repairs and replacements become necessary. I've become quite enamoured of the Grand Soleil 50' because of the sleek looks but am not certain that this vessel is what I should really be getting for long-distance travels

Observation
Using the price ranges I get from my pre-selection of post-2002 Jeanneau/ Beneteau/ Dufour boats, I realize that the sticker price is quite close to older quality bluewater boats that I find attractive - Oyster, Tayana, Hallberg-Rassy and Swan to name but 4.

Question
Is it fair to say that a well-maintained 1992 Oyster or Swan could equate to a 10 year younger European production boat when it comes to "remaining component life"? Without going too deep into the relative merits of each boat in particular, is it realistic to say that (given the same amount of use) the running and repair costs for both types of boats will be about the same?

To use another example - currently on Yachtworld there are both a 1994 Oyster 485 and a 2006 Jeanneau 49DS at about the same price. Both have comparable extras and seem to be well-cared for and offer pricing well within the ranges for other similar ships.

Which of these is likely to require more work (and maintenance costs) over the next 3 years?

I know that there is no right or wrong answer and I most likely won't agree with a some of the responses - but I am looking forward to hearing different viewpoints and will certainly hear some viewpoints which I wouldn't have considered.
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