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dm567 07-11-2006 12:34 AM

buying a boat for 20,000
Please tell me all the things that can go wrong with buying a steel 30 foot sailboat that is 7 years old. It sounds cheap enough that the downside is low. Please try and talk me out of it. Are there any other sailboats I should consider in this price range?

infonote 07-11-2006 08:46 AM

Do not even consider buying a boat without getting a surveyor. If possible before buying go out sailing with the boat and get the boat on dry land to check things.

sailingdog 07-11-2006 12:06 PM

Generally, most boats that are "cheap enough" are really going to cost you some money. I don't know what your financial status is, but if $20,000 is not a significant downside, do yourself a favor and spend the money for a good survey and buy a decent boat to begin with... You often get what you pay for—in spades, in many cases—and buying a "bargain" boat is often a good way to spend lots of money on a boat.

Gene T 07-11-2006 03:58 PM

"tell me all the things that can go wrong with buying a steel 30 foot sailboat"

Well' that could be a long list, I will mention a few of steel specific issues.

Let's start with the design - a steel boat under 40 ft will be too top heavy, you just can't put enough weight in the keel to compensate for the heavy hull construction. This would be a show stopper for me.

Construction - big question mark here as we don't know how it was built or by whom.

Poor Maintenance - Steel will rot if not cared for, electrolysis can cause the hull to rot completely through in no time at all. Surveyor with steel boat experience is required!

Rust - Rust rust rust rust rust rust rust rust rust rust and more rust! If you were cruising the world on a steel boat then you could stay ahead of the rust issue. But it is a big job.

But you may choose to have this experience. I would think an older fiberglass boat would make more sense. Lots of good selection for late 70s and early 80s boats in good condition in the 20k range.

sailandoar 07-11-2006 04:36 PM

25' Steel Colvin Design Julia ( less than 40' steel hull topheavy ????)

capttb 07-12-2006 11:58 AM

I'm gonna take a guess here that you are looking at the 32' Dunn Custom Cutter that has been on the market for at least a year. It was apparently built by Capt. Matthew Dunn in Coos Bay, OR. Capt. Dunn has since apparently removed to FL. and has a 65' sportfisher there. It's amazing what you can learn on the internet. I don't know Capt. Dunn or the quality he was able to achieve while building this boat. It's just a very unknown kind of thing, steel boats can be very strong but a minor error or flaw in construction can really cause some problems.

SoOkay 07-13-2006 05:21 PM

um... she could sink.

I can tell you what happened to me. Although not with a boat, but the point will be made just the same. A few years ago, strapped for cash, but really wanting a Harley, I found one that was way old, had been for sale for a while, but hey it ran and fit my budget. I have since poured enough money into keeping her running to have bought a new one and slowly paid it off. This may have been acceptable had most of the time been spent riding, not reparing. It now sits in my garage, next to my new one, which i ride all the time. That old bike hasn't run in over 5 years now.

Don't make the same mistake I did. It's not just the cash in the end that will be the issue, but the lost time.

Hope this helped

seabreeze_97 07-14-2006 09:06 PM

So when ya want me to haul that tired old Harley off for ya?

dm567 07-14-2006 09:10 PM

Its not tired anymore. He's spent so much on it its like new.

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