Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Chesapeake Bay Area
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Re: Sailboat Quality
Probably the better question is "what is the best quality boat at a certain size and age at a particular price". Even there you will get tremendous variation based on the care and maintenance that the boat has had.
We recently bought a boat and looked at all of these things, and especially resale value. If a boat that is a certain age is still selling at or above it's original sales price (on average) you may be looking at a good value.
Take your time and look at boats in your price range....ask other boat owners, research boat listings and go to owners websites to find out how the actual owners feel about their boats. You will hear much variety but you will find people who upgrade to the same brand....time after time. That says a lot.
Because boats are so different....for different needs....you can't easily list them like cars, as another poster said. Think of them more like Horses.
If you need one for trail riding and you are looking at race horses....no mater how much of a value he is and how much you pay for him, you won't be very happy when you try him out on the trail. Also even a free horse costs the same to feed and stable as most of the others. You will spend less if you are willing to put in more work, but it will be a while before you are riding comfortably. And most important ....getting rid of a bad one is tough....everyone will be looking him in the mouth!