Can Age Trump Design? - Page 3 - SailNet Community
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post #21 of 26 Old 10-07-2006
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Hey Surfesq, I'm in the same "boat" as it were. Old School Rules! Especially when brought back with the help of some new tech items that truly are improvements over older versions (better sails, rigging improvements, etc). When I see an old car, I don't care what brand, I have to salute those guys for bringing it back and keeping it on the road. Same with old boats.
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post #22 of 26 Old 10-07-2006
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So now what!

First of all I love these disccusion boards they are so helpful second of all no disrespect to anyone, just trying to find answer instead of being left off in the middle of nowhere.

This is a wonderful thread, but what is the out come. What should a person do or consider. The strength of an older boat that may be in need of a complete transformation or the cost of a newer boat that still needs all the aminities. I'm also in the same position here. I don't have he money for a newer boat or want to deal with the time to restore a older boat.

So really is there no real answer to this question or is the question the answer.

Buy the older boat for a lot less money and put what would cost them the price of a new boat to restore the older boat that they purchase. Now when did you want to sail into the sunset with this boat. Oh yea! Don't forget you'll need to nest egg a savings for your trip! How much money do you have and how much time do you have to save up for.

or

Go into debt and buy that newer boat, complete the boat by purchasing all the accessories needed to complete the boat ready for passaging, while trying to pay the boat off.

The delima still stands.

The answer is what do you want to trade off for! Seems that's the story with boats. True or false? Tell me!

Thanks everyone sorry to sound frustrated!
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post #23 of 26 Old 10-07-2006
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Tbear...
I think that to some extent you are right about trade offs...but you don't have to buy a boat that needs everything re-done. I think that finding the boat you want in excellent condition and ready to go is unlikely in an older boat, BUT...you can get close if you have time and patience. Example...you may see two Catalina 36's on line for 120K and 140K respectively. The 120K one may need 50K to bring it up to snuff while the $140K model may only need $10K. The mass of used boats on the market makes it unlikely that the well fitted out boat can realize its true value in relation to the others on the market...so you get a bargain IF you can find that particular boat or wait for the owner who originally hoped for $170k to lower it into the right price range since no one will look at it at $170K.

Finally...many boats are in decent enough shape to start living on and sailing a bit on and improving as you can afford to. What you decide to do is up to you and the choices are not as bleak as you make them sound but you don't get something for nothing and those that think they can often get more than they bargained for!
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post #24 of 26 Old 10-07-2006 Thread Starter
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Good comments, both of you.

As I read and think more about the original question, I feel very lucky to have the 27 foot '73 boat I have. I've sailed it for almost a year now, once a week or more, and it's yet to surprise me with a complicated or expensive repair. It was maintained well, and I try my best to continue the process, and in the end I think it could serve me well for years of local daysailing and cruising.

In an older boat, I think that's the best case scenario. As noted, after a boat is 10 years old, it all comes down to maintenance as to whether the boat will sail or not, and if it will drain your wallet or not. That's why the "too good to be true" boats can be very expensive traps.

That said, for more than local daysailing and cruising, I think the stakes go much higher. The stresses from real coastal cruising (months at a time, partially offshore) are much higher that what I put on my boat. I read a lot of local stories about local cruises of 1-2 months on older boats that end with very expensive repairs being needed. If I had quit my job to cruise, my plans could be radically changed by a sudden $15k essential repair, being on the hard for a couple of months, etc.

So, for smaller boats and smaller goals, I feel that there's no question that a used boat with the very best maintenance history possible is worth the money, even if you pay extra for the superior past maintenance. For larger boats and larger plans, I think there could be a law of diminishing returns, where even new systems (if poorly installed) could lead to ongoing headaches, expenses and problems. In this realm, my sense is that being able to afford a boat that is 5-8 years old, with excellent maintenance, could provide significant benefits if you have serious and immediate goals.

New boats can have real problems, and a "five-year-old" boat is no guarantee of reliablity either, but my sense is the odds are improved. A boat 33 years old, like my 27 footer, may also be excellent shape and have fully updated systems, but there seems to be a lot of possible issues based on how well the work was done and problems not yet discovered (like hull-deck leaks when the boat is stressed in ocean swells).

But hey, it's all a process. From an odds perspective, maybe it's just better to own a series of boats, carefully learning from each, instead of trying to hit a home run with a major boat loan and a new or almost new boat. I still like the idea of careful, affordable steps to larger boats, or just sticking with a paid-off and enjoyable older boat for years until a big jump can be made. I just don't want a big boat with so many surprise problems that I can sail because of time and money issues. As noted at the start of the thread, I've learned about too many cruises that have never occured because of cost and time and older boats.

Thanks!

Jim H
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post #25 of 26 Old 10-07-2006
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A dilemma for sure. However, I think there is likely a consensus that for most people on a budget of sorts, it doesn't make sense to buy a new boat (high initial cost, depreciation, needing to add equipment to customize it for your own needs, etc.). Also, it doesn't make sense unless you have real skills in repair to buy a real old "project" boat that will require immense time and unknown resources to bring it back to good shape--and even then you often end up with a less than great boat.
For most of us, I suggest it's most reasonable to buy the boat that we can afford, and is in as good shape as possible, and meets our specifications for the kind of sailing we plan to do.
Just my thoughts...
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post #26 of 26 Old 10-08-2006
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Check out the post from Jeff H on this thread:

http://sailrc.com/sailrcnirvana/home.html
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