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Re: Are Boats Built in the 70's Just Too Tired
Hi Grunfeld, my path parallels your plans. We bought a 1977 Rafiki-37 three years ago. She is very much along the lines of the boats you are considering (all good choices I would say). We purchased for slightly less than your budget, but will probably have added at least $15,000 in upgrades by the time we cut the dock lines in 2014. Whether these upgrades are fully necessary is, in part, a personal choice, but that's what we're doing.
So, while I think it is possible to do what you're planning with the budget you've set, I do think the odds are against you. There are excellent boats out there, and older ones are sometimes discounted only b/c they are old, but I think your odds of finding one that is ready to sail away for $50K, are unlikely.
With regard to surveyors, I'd be cautious about relying too heavily on their analysis. Even the best surveyors can miss lots of things. Good surveys can be a excellent source of info, but don't expect them to uncover all the problems.
Why go fast, when you can go slow.