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post #44 of Old 10-14-2012
Join Date: Mar 2010
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Re: Buying a 30-40 year old boat - your opinions

Faster hit the nail on the head for me. I walked around a local show this year, and most of the boats don't compare well to my 30-year Pearson.

What I liked: better performance, new, shiny.

What I did not like: generally inferior build quality (80's boats were often overbuilt). 'Ikea"-like interiors. Practicality (e.g. storage space, access to systems) sacrificed for appearances. Often totally devoid of "character". Most just felt "fragile" - like decorative trims would fall off - and I wonder how well they would age?

Personally, I am a fan of an older boat - unless you have a big budget, or are a racer. I'd look for an older boat which has been well maintained, or an older boat which has some obvious non-critical defects. I would avoid "cheap" boats that have been abused/neglected for may years (likely to harbor non-obviou$ defect$), and be very cautious of boats "done up for sale" (which often have defects covered over to give the appearance of a well-loved boat).

Final thought - there is lots of good advice on this site about big-ticket items such as the engine, sails, etc. But - not often mentioned - don't neglect the chainplates. Chainplates should be replaced regularly; on an older boat they may be original. If the mast is down (e.g. replacing standing rigging) pull at least one to check. Crevice corrosion is a 'pain'.
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