I bought a used boat this year and have the following thoughts to share:
1. You should own the boat and not vice versa. Don't spend a fortune on it. There are plenty of good "starter" boats around that can be bought for reasonable money. Choose a few solid designs that you like and then look around the boatyards. You will probably find a few that haven't been used for a while.
2. A boat that needs a good cleaning and some cosmetics can often be bought at the same price as one with a serious defect.
3. Make absolutely sure that you have identified all of the problems before you make an offer. A good surveyor is worth his fee but don't accept his findings blindly. If it doesn't look good to you, find out why.
4. Sails and rigging, especially standing rigging, are important. Check them carefully.
5. Make a list of the items that must be done to get the boat ready for use and price each one. When you add all the money you must spend to put a boat in serviceable shape to the purchase price, the total must be a good deal less than what the finished project might sell for. 80% or less is a good target.
My purchase was a C&C 30 MkI that had been unused for over 10 years without benefit of any intervening maintenance. For what it is worth, here is what it has taken thus far to make it usable:
*Reupholster all interior cushions.
*Repair frozen diesel engine.
*Strip bottom and repaint. (Took advantage of this to apply epoxy barrier coat also.)
*Polish topside gelcoat
*Pull propeller shaft, clean, polish bearing and packing areas and reinstall with new packing and zinc.
*New topside handrails
*Refinish topside woodwork
*New companionway drop board
*New ground tackle
*Refurbish sails (sailmaker)
Last edited by Goodnewsboy; 11-04-2006 at 01:20 AM.