Most likely, not at all.
SN has a lot of threads like this...some newbie announces what a great deal he got...as the OP says
He may not know much about boats, but it was so cheap, he thinks what could go wrong. So we have a string of happy posts re-affirming the wonder of wonder...a good boat, cheap. Then after a little time, the thread goes cold, the the OP dis-appears from SN. If he sticks around, subsequent posts never mention the great deal again.
The sad thing is these threads could be a great learning experience for readers, if the "what could go wrong..." posters would provide their own personal experience as to what can go wrong. Unfortunately, most people who mess up badly, are too embarrassed to admit so publicly, so they just dis-appear. Too bad.
Nothing is likely to be more expensive than a cheap boat. An old 35 footer can easily have a half-dozen problems, any one of which would cost $10K to repair...engine, deck, bulkheads, rig, and more. Buy a cheap boat that has two or three of these problems (why do you think it is cheap...) and all of a sudden, the expensive boat doesn't look so expensive.
You may think I make to much out of this, but I would rather hear what Capt13 might have to say.
Apologies Sailingfool, maybe you had not adequately followed the thread. Capt13 no longer owns the boat, algaebiodiesel owns it now. As the Penguin and I knew Capt13 and his wife and are familiar with their story, I can personally guarantee that they did not sell this boat because it was too much in repair, but rather for their own personal reasons that we all experience that just "pop up" on us every once in a while. They had the money to continue their dream, but life got in the way. It happens sometimes. I don’t think Capt13 (Mike) is still around on the forums to reply to you since he had to sell this boat, but I’m pretty sure he’ll be back eventually when they can shake free of their land ties.
In regards to buying a boat this cheaply, it is amazing to me how negative you have been throughout this thread about it. Not every buyer who purchases a boat cheap gets a raw deal, and I say this from personal experience. Penguin and I purchased our 33’ Hunter 18 months ago for 10K, and we’ve not had any major repair issues at all. Unlike Capt13 who bought the Alberg sight unseen and without a survey, we were careful buyers who thoroughly checked our boat out ourselves first, and then had a survey done on her. The survey came back that she was worth much, much more than we were paying, and we really DID get an excellent boat for our money. My point is, even if we had not checked her ourselves or had the survey and we had just plunked the money down like Capt13, we still would have come out with a sweet deal and one we’ve not regretted for a moment.
Sure, the Alberg needs work. Our boat needed some work. You are very right in that assumption. I don't believe any of us buy an older and/or used boat expecting it to be perfect (and those that do are truly not thinking clearly). You are wrong however in being so negative and assuming that all cheap boats are artificial coral reefs in the making. When you consider the economy for the past several years, and understand that many have had to sell off their boats for whatever they can get, there are some really good boat deals out there to be jumped on. It is my personal belief that whether you spend 10K on a used boat or 110K on a used boat, you should still expect to throw about 30K into her to make her “yours,” whether that means through major work or minor work depends on your plans for the boat.
I don’t know what repairs the Alberg needs, but I know that the things our boat needed were to be expected. Basically our hull was sound, our engine in great shape, and the interior was excellent for such an old boat. As a sampling of work we’ve done on ours: we’ve purchased all new electronics, new rigging, will have new sails next year (her old sails are still intact and useable, but we want new sails), Penguin rebuilt the water system, replaced the septic system, and will redo all of the electric in the future (yes, he has the skills to do this himself so we save a lot). Last winter she was hauled out and Penguin replaced all the through hulls, the cutlass bearing, and the shaft seal, moved our transponder to a better position, and replaced the vents. Aesthetically & comfort-wise, I’ve added a bimini, replaced all interior cushions & covers, curtains, lighting, head walls and fixtures, and am currently in the process of redoing my galley. Next year we will replace the interior flooring (because we want to, not because we have to) and we will have Tek Dek or Sea Dek (I forget which) installed topside (again, this is preference, not necessity). In fact, most of the work we’ve done has been preference, not necessity, and nothing had to be done immediately.
Still, when I look at the spreadsheet of our spending, what we plan to spend, and add in the 10K purchase cost, it’s still cheaper than buying a new or even a newer (costlier) boat. Ours is also a planned live aboard & coastal cruising yacht so we’ve done a lot of extra preferential work you aren’t even considering, and even factoring these things in, your math still does not add up.
Oh, and just because some of us “newbie” people don’t post a lot, it doesn’t mean that we’ve left, or that we messed up & we’re afraid to admit it. This is my 6th post. I didn’t leave, I didn’t mess up, and I’m quite proud to talk about our boat, I just don’t post much on forums. I think this is the first time it’s been mentioned that we acquired Wind Dragon so cheaply, but I’m happy to say that we’re not the fools some bitter forum poster would judge us to be just because we were smart enough to know a good deal when we saw it. Had we passed up Wind Dragon just because of the idea that a cheap boat is not a good boat, THEN we would have “messed up badly” as you said. We may have even gone your route and spent more than we could afford on an over-priced boat, and then been stuck with other issues and repairs we couldn’t afford because of having spent more for the boat initially. Then where would we be? Can you see where I’m going with this? Either way, someone would have bought Wind Dragon cheaply, and they still would have gotten an AWESOME deal. Knowing the difference between spending your money wisely and just spending your money, is what has gotten this country in trouble. I guess I can see what side of the coin flip you landed on.