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Dave_E 08-12-2013 09:46 AM

New Old Boat
Hi All,

I have been a sailor since 1985, all on rental sailboats from the Navy , friends boats etc. Never owned one, just a lifelong dream. I'm 56 years strong now, my new wife of 2 years is also 56 and I took her out twice now on a friends old 26' Columbia (on nice days of course) and she is hooked. So we started looking for a boat. The first attemp, a San Juan 28, blew the motor on the sea trial (found tons of other things that quickly turned that 1980 boat into a project boat. Now our offer on a 1979 Allmand 31 has been accepted. It's in pristine condition, turn key ready. We go for the water test next Saturday, and of course the survey after that.

My wife asks me last night, "how many people buy 34 year old sailboats"? I don't know, so I'll pass the question to you readers. The price of a new 27 footer is just jaw dropping! :)


capecodda 08-12-2013 09:51 AM

Re: New Old Boat
Hey, we are of similar age....

Nothing at all wrong with an old boat, we've owned one that old. What matters is how it was taken care of. Get a good survey, and I assume you are a Navy man, thanks for your service!

Sabreman 08-12-2013 10:08 AM

New Old Boat
The short answer is "lots". Not really much different than asking if anyone buys a 34 yo house. I have a 1984 boat and would buy it again if in the condition that it is now.

Just a question of time and money.

steve77 08-12-2013 10:31 AM

Re: New Old Boat
Three years ago I bought my first boat, a 1966 Pearson Triton. Just bought my second boat, a 1986 Catalina 34. Chances are a fiberglass hull will last longer than you will, so if the boat has been well taken care of age shouldn't be an issue.

The survey should give you an idea of what might need attention, some things (hardware, rigging, etc) might be nearing end of life and need replacing. Depends on what the previous owner has done.

gamayun 08-12-2013 12:15 PM

Re: New Old Boat
For buying my first sailboat, I'd been given sage advice to buy an older one that was well taken care of. Mine is just a baby (25 years old), but looks and runs great. A 34-year-old turnkey boat sounds like a good deal to me. The only issue might be trying to get financing on an older boat and here's hoping you don't have to do that, which makes it an even better deal.

seanreid71 08-12-2013 12:21 PM

Re: New Old Boat
Just bought a 76 hunter 30' so i get it. was an offer I couldn't (but maybe should have) refused. :) I am sure I have tripled its value with the few mods I have already done.

cthoops 08-12-2013 05:39 PM

Re: New Old Boat
We bought our first boat this spring, and it's a 1975. I agree with the advice about trying to find an old boat that has been well taken care of. We love our new old boat.

cranki 08-12-2013 06:14 PM

Re: New Old Boat
There will be things that will break and there are things that need replacing. They may not be expensive things and if you are handy you can fix or replace them yourself. For example, there will be a number of rubber hoses: intake for the engine, intake for the head, drains... all those hoses are going to be old and brittle. You should consider replacing them. The cost will likely be a few hundred dollars and a lot of choice curse words. Practice cursing...wait, you were in the navy.

My boat was built in 1976. I have another I am selling from 1973. No way I could afford a brand new boat.

Rhapsody-NS27 08-12-2013 06:54 PM

Re: New Old Boat

Originally Posted by Dave_E (Post 1072694)
My wife asks me last night, "how many people buy 34 year old sailboats"? I don't know, so I'll pass the question to you readers. The price of a new 27 footer is just jaw dropping! :)


So long as boats are taken care of, they can last a long time.

My boat was built in 1981 and aside from some cleaning up it needed when I bought it and some upgrades/repairs I plan to do in the future, it is in great condition. Looking back, with the boat in the condition it was in when I bought it, I would do it again. I've only had my boat a little over a year. I love my boat. ;)

dvuyxx 08-12-2013 09:00 PM

Re: New Old Boat
My current boat is 34 years old. Bought her when she was 30. I think it's feasible to by a turnkey boat that age if there are signs of renovations and improvements in the last 5+ years. At 30+ years you definitely see major systems that need a replacement, rebuild or overhaul - rigging, deck hardware, engine, plumbing, paint, electrical. It may not be drastic, but it requires some thoughtful attention. Our rigging was the original from 1979. We demasted and replaced everything with improvements. It also may be the case that this work could be spread over several seasons.

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