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Old 10-16-2012
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Re: Buying a 30-40 year old boat - your opinions

You bring quite a list of skills to the table Julie....Marry me! I'm happy to find a lady that actually likes to sail, much less one that has the ability and wants to work on the boat!
I couldn't afford a new version of my 40 year old boat, so...New vs. Old is a moot point for me. She was in decent shape when I bought her 7 years ago. Yet, the list of maintenance and improvements I have made is shocking when I review my maintenance log. I certainly couldn't have afforded to pay someone to do them.
Regarding Surveyors, they are not all created equal. I would get recommendations I trust, and interview the surveyor on the phone before hiring them. Some love boats and are walking encyclopedias, others take a course (or not) and basically walk around the boat with a check list. Accreditation (i.e., SAMS) is good, but isn't the end all, be all either. And of course, you can educate yourself and do a good survey to qualify the boat before you even hire a surveyor. I highly recommend Jim Casey's book "Sailboat Maintenance". Not only have I found it invaluable in maintaining my boat, but it has an excellent section on performing your own survey to qualify (or eliminate) the boat for survey.
I have a strange relationship with my boat. For me, (unlike many) working on her is a necessary evil (I'd much rather be sailing). I would pay someone to work on her, or would have purchased a newer boat that doesn't need so much maintenance if I could afforded it. Having said that, I'm proud of the work I have done and have learned a lot! I am a Carpenter by trade, and have elected to do things to my boat I would never bother to do to my house! Like I said...it's a strange relationship, but I love my boat and have never regretted buying her.

Last edited by L124C; 10-16-2012 at 02:10 PM.
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