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Old 10-15-2012
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Re: Buying a 30-40 year old boat - your opinions

I love what TomMaine wrote: "But a boat as a whole, is a sum of a zillion parts." In looking at older boats you need to evaluate every system and realize that even though it may be in good shape now, will it need replacing during the time frame that you intend to own the boat. Stuff like the basic electrical system is ignored by a lot of people if it "works", but you need to dig into it, including all battery cables, and unless tinned wire was used you may need to replace it all at some point. Same goes for all the hoses; exhaust, engine, scupper and sink drains, sewage, fuel fill, etc. If all the standing rigging hasn't been replaced in 15 years it's recommended to do so. A lot of people get hung up on the condition of the engine, but basically if it's bad you just replace it with new, not that big a deal really. It's all the "zillion" parts that WILL need replacing at some point that can be the ruin of owning an older boat (everyone has heard someone say they just couldn't maintain it any longer as a reason for selling). Basically you need to start with a boat that has good bones, that was professionally built to begin with and hopefully well maintained and upgraded by a knowledgeable owner or yard. I've looked at a lot of older boats that looked great on the outside, until you started peeking into areas that are hard to access, that's where you see just how old the boat is and what was important to the owner. The best advice I could give someone thinking about buying an older boat is to find one that someone just spent years working on and a ton of money on, but had to change their plans for some reason (good advice, wish I'd taken it myself on the three boats I've resurrected:-)). I agree with the Chi thing, hard to define, but you know in short order if a boat has it for you.
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