Questions about boat buying process...
I just went through tese steps so maybe i can help.
Although I already owned a boat, I have been seaching for #2 since I bought #1 ( strange, but we all have a little bit of bigger boat diesease) After tons of reading, internet searching, figuring out what I want in my boat (comfortable coastal cruiser/racer, easy to singlehand, spend a few weeks on at one time) the boat of my dreams fell into my lap about two weeks ago. If this wasn''t the boat I really wanted, even though it was being sold at a ridiculasly cheap price, I wouldn''t have gone to step two.
If you have already done the research, and are pretty sure what type, size, year,boat, how much work you want to put into it, and costs for buying, adding gear, repairs (ALL boats need some type of repair..if not now, then tomorrow) then the next step is to find that boat. When you have, or more specifically, what I did was inquire about it and make a first look at it. Nothing beats sitting in the cockpit or cabin and getting a "feel" for the boat. Then, let it sink in. Take a few days to really think this over. If you are still hungry for this boat, take a second look ( preferrably with someone else who knows more than you do and who you feel comfortable with). My next step was to get pre-approved for a loan and on same day make an offer. Once that offer was accepted, I put down a 10% deposit with stipulation that boat MUCH pass a marine survey (or the deal is off and I get my deposit back) YES YOU NEED A SURVEY as boats cost $ and you don''t want to throw money into the water (not yet at least) and find out that your boat is falling apart on the inside. The surveyor of my boat pointed out many obvious things to me that I already knew, but he also pointed out somne things I had NO CLUE about (such as a cracked seacock, brittle drain hose, the rigging although servicable will need replacing in a year or so, there is a soft spot on the deck (I couldn''t feel it, but he did), there was a repair to the rudder that I couldn''t see(but he did)...the rudder was fine however, the steering needs to be tightened up a bit, the engine , although servicable, is in need of some TLC, the canvas is servicable but getting to the point that it will need replacing next year.
I though I knew enough about the boat w/o a survey, but I was wrong.
Take you time, don''t make rash decisions, be confident with what you are doing and GET THE BOAT SURVEYED!!! You''ll have piece of mind that you''re not going to buy a hole in the water (well, you are buying a hole in the water but not a HOLE in the water)
BEST OF LUCK ! ! ! !