Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: SF - South Bay
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Re: Are Boats Built in the 70's Just Too Tired
You already have a lot of good advice; here is my less eloquent summary.
Any used boat, in good condition, is expensive. True blue-water boats doubly so.
If it was been well maintained, and recently refitted, there is nothing wrong with a 70s boat. It generally will tend to be a bit smaller and slower than a modern equivalent, and a bit cheaper than a more modern boat, but not a lot cheaper as the hull does not seem to age much. However the age is not as big a factor as how well maintained it has been; in your budget, the risk is that you will get and "older" boat, not in terms of years since the hull was laid down, but in the sense of years since it was upgraded - and *that* is the key consideration.
People have commended on how you want to use the boat - I think that is essential. I *love* the idea of a blue-water vessel, and frequenelty lust after them - especially Cabo Ricos - but like so many others the reality is I am coastal cruising. That changes the entire equation. I would actually prefer a 70's or 80's coastal cruiser, as their hull layup is often thicker and better than many modern cruisers!. (Of course, I am talking quality older boats here - Pearson, Tartan, etc). People I know took a modern 'Ikea' boat offshore into some rougher weather, and the hull flexed so much that internal bulkheads/cabinets came loose. Would not happen in my old Pearson.
In your shoes, I would look for an excellent condition roomy well-equipped coastal cruiser, which would be well within your budget, and kick around for a while in that. If you really want to cross the Pacific soon, ignore what I Just said....