Re: Buying a 30-40 year old boat - your opinions
I think there's a lot to be said on this topic, and usually it's a lot like politics in that it's difficult to "debate" the issue, because folks on each side of the equation are normally fixed in their beliefs. Having said that, it is important to know that there's no such thing as "saving money" when it comes to buying an old boat and fixing it up. About the only you're truly saving is WHEN you spend the money, not "if" you spend it. And, it's easier for a lot of people to pay-as-you-go, so to speak. Nothing wrong with that principle, but one would be fooling oneself if they believed they were "saving money".
Sometimes, it's better to wait until you've built the kitty a little more. I try and ask myself this question, "Would I buy this boat 20 years from now?" So, now that 40 year old boat has become a 60 year old boat. If everyone here did that, opinions might be swayed. I say this because like it or not, these things are still man-made and that means there's a shelf life to them, effort be damned. The problem is, most people don't take the future into consideration and let their emotions and dreams convince them to overlook logic. How many 1930s or 1940s boat can you think of, amongst the people you can think of that sail? Safe to say not many. Well, those 60s-70s-80s boats are on the way to category, like it or not. May not be a problem if you're in your late 60s or beyond, but for those of us under 50, it's a factor worth considering.
Buy what you can afford, but be wise about it. As much as it seems impossible, try to take the emotion out and let your logically side dictate these decisions. There are far too many "failed dreams" sitting on the road side, so proof is, in fact, in the pudding. If waiting until next year means you buy a boat that needs less work and is ready to sail then, you may very well be a lot better off than buying one today and spending all year getting it into the same condition as the first boat mentioned (and with probably more $$ spent).