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Old 10-24-2006
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Buying a cheap boat?

I've been looking around while i prepare to go for the asa sailing classes, and I've been seeing a lot of boats in the los angeles/long beach area for cheap. Like 27 - 35' boats in the sub $5000 range. (but the free ones look like they're slightly overpriced)

This got me thinking. Barring any major defects, would it be a bad idea to buy one of these boats? At least from what I can see, there's nothing wrong with the vast majority (almost all of them include a date in which the boat must be removed from it's slip, i think that has alot to do with price)

It seems like it would be a good idea to buy one of these boats for a few grand as a "learning experiance" (i've had to write off a car as a learning experiance before) and then trade up for a better boat after I've learned to sail?
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Old 10-24-2006
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You probably don't want a cheap fixer upper. You get what you pay for a lot of times. A neglected boat is a money pit. With a cheap boat you migtht end up spending a lot more to get it into good condition then a boat that is already in good condition.

The most recent boat that I've bought was in good shape and still required a lot of money to put into it. For example a coat of bottom paint, engine maintenance, a new cushion, wood finish, wiring, gadgets. All of these little things add up.

However, there are deals to be found, so check the boats out. They may be worth while. If I was to take these boats into consideration, I would put look at these items (in order of importance)
1. Soundness of hull
2. then the soundness of rigging
3. engine
4. systems (water, Head, electrical,etc..)
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Old 10-25-2006
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Well your list is what i'd consider "major defects"

I was just thinking it'd be nice to get a cheap boat I could take out for day trips while i get the hang of things, instead of buying a more expensive boat to start or spending money on chartering boats from the local marina.
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Old 10-25-2006
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Yeah you can. I did that a couple of years ago when one fell in my lap right about the time I decided to get my own boat again. A couple of things to consider:
1.As mentioned above, if you aren't careful, trying to save money can cost you money
2.The cheap boats, if you watch, tend to take a long time to sell. This will still be true when you try to sell it to upgrade, and you will be the one still paying storage on a boat you no longer want.

You can do it but offer low, even on a low asking price and expect nothing back from it so you won't be disappointed when you end up selling it for a couple thousand or less yourself. Do not expect to get back anything you put into it unless you do a complete and professional refit in which case expect to get back a very small percentage of your input.

With that understanding, shop carefully on the above mentioned points and fair winds!
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Old 10-25-2006
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sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice
Often, spending just a bit more money gets you a lot more boat for enjoyment... the boat that is $7000, is often more expensive to repair and bring up to usable spec than the boat that is $11000 and ready to sail. This is an area where a lot of newbies make the mistake of thinking, I only have to put $xxx into this and I'll have a good boat for cheap..because it usually costs $XXXX to get the boat into shape, where a properly maintained boat will have more than the difference in work not needed or equipment already on board.
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Old 10-25-2006
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What sailingdog said..

If you want to stay cheap, stay small and simple..
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