Join Date: Apr 2006
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re: How old is too old and how cheap too cheap
If you had never owned a car before, do you think you could buy an old used one sight unseen and not get stuck with something?
Same thing with boats, only more so. No seller (or broker) mentions the problems that might go unseen by a buyer.
So I'd suggest, do the boating courses. See if and how you like it, see what suggestions and connections you can make while taking the class, firsthand.
Then plan a trip, maybe to Seattle, maybe to Cali, find a place where there are many boats for sale, with active listings, and plan to spend some time looking at them, pick the best of the litter (or none if they're all mutts) and you'll have enough time to have a surveyor confirm your opinion, or find faults you've missed, and proceed with the contract and sale. You're looking at 2-3 weeks optimistically, because even after you buy a "new" new boat? You've got to do a shakedown sail, put in 48 hours on the water, find out if there's anything still wrong, order in parts and fix it...all before you can begin the happily-ever-after trip home.
In the long run, that will be the fastest AND cheapest way to buy your boat.