This is my experience in buying a boat. Note, this is not an "in my experience" type of thread, it is just my experience as this is my first boat. The recent 'lurkers' thread egged me on to writing this, although I am not really a lurker as I have almost always logged in; I'm more of a reader.
I started looking 2 years ago, going to boat shows and looking around at local and not so local marina's and boat yards. But I was not making much progress and really not sure of what I was doing (well thats not totally true, I have been sailing for 10 years, chartering and knew I wanted a sailboat as we approached retirement). And then about a year and a half ago I came across this site.
I asked a few of the usual 'already been covered' type questions and I found the responses interesting, funny and sometimes unusual. But I kept on reading and following topics that seemed relevant. I've learned a lot and I've figured out a lot, like: what is it I want to do with the boat, how much do I want to spend, how do I go about buying a boat and how can I be sure I am getting a good boat? Now I did not ask these questions on this site, because (as I have read and learned) the only one who can answer these questions is me. Well most of them anyway. Of course, life has taught me this as well, but somehow buying a boat seems like an out-of-life experience, so it was good to have some reassurance.
So I want to thank those that do contribute here (and that includes the inane, obscene and sometimes utterly ridiculous comments, because things need to be kept in perspective) as their community 'wisdom' has helped me very much in this process, as I am sure it has helped many others.
It took me the better part of a year to answer those questions realistically and satisfactorily. And then several more months of focused boat searching to reach a point where I was ready to actually buy a boat. Needless to say it does not need to take that long, but I am an engineer by trade and just plain anal. Also, it is so much fun playing with spreadsheets. And, of course, there is the obligatory keeping current with what's on SailNet.
So, if I understand this crowd at all, you are probably saying, "Well what boat did you buy!" Well, I am not going to say, yet, as I am also superstitious and while I have an agreed upon price and contract I still have a few weeks before the survey and the sea trial. However, I am open to some edited sharing of my experience with brokers and surveyors.
And finally, some questions. With closing about a month away what other things should I be thinking about? Like, where am I going to put this boat!!?