Boat buying -- How? - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 15 Old 05-10-2008
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I considered the PHRF rating on prospective boats when I began the process to weed out the dogs. I wanted a performance cruiser, not a race boat. I didn't want a cruiser that tops out at 5 knots! The PRHF will tell you a lot about the ability to sail faster. I tempered that with stability. For me, I narrowed it down to a Catalina 30 TR and and Irwin 31 Citation. I bought the Irwin! Loving it too!

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post #12 of 15 Old 05-10-2008
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Boa Valuation Service at BoatUS


If you are a BoatUS member, they offer a free valuation service. You call them and tell them what you are looking at and they send you a written valuation analysis. Pretty slick!

Good luck with your search!

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post #13 of 15 Old 05-10-2008
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Thumbs up Purchasing a Boat

I just finished purchasing a boat. I started on the internet looking at hundreds of boats. I kept track of what I liked and didn't like. I watched what kinds of boats appealed to my eye. I sailed with a private instructor in several different boats to see what it is really like on the water. I surveyed where I would be doing most of my sailing. So, now my boat is on the water less than an hour from my home and I can get there for an afternoon or on the weekend to hone my sailing skills. Be careful not to purchase too much boat or you will spend most of your time in cleaning and maintenance and little time sailing.

When you find a boat you like, make an offer. The Kelly Blue Book site will give you a place to start. If you can negotiate a good price, hire a marine surveyor for an inspection and a sea trial. If all goes well you can travel to the boat and put your eyes on it and take it for a sail before making the final commitment.

I found it useful to pencil out a budget so you can get an idea what things will cost. Include payment, repairs, dock/mooring fees, in and out costs, insurance etc.

Have your spouse involved in the process so there are no surprises. And remember, most boats are classified as a second home and the interest is considered tax deductible.

Have fun.
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post #14 of 15 Old 05-17-2008
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Well said Ohiosailor. Don't get discouraged and feel it is too difficult to find the right boat for your needs. It will take months [maybe years] to narrow your search down to what you really want to own/sail/cruise. If you can narrow it down to a particular brand of boat - that would help your search effort. When I got really serious about owning a sailboat, I knew what I DID NOT want to sail. The more boats you sail in and walk through, you will eliminate many and cherish very few until you will know which boat is meant for you and your budget.

Remember: "those who play must pay".

Have fun playing ...

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post #15 of 15 Old 05-17-2008
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I've just completed a year+ long search for a boat.

One thing that worked well for me was having a surveyor go to the boat BEFORE the whole purchase thing started. I had a guy do a half hour walkthrough. He spotted soft decks and a lot of stained wood so I passed. Cost me $75. This was for a boat that was 800 miles away. You may not need this if you are only shopping locally. I also got some good help from the people here to look at a few boats that were far away.

I had lousy experiences with reputable brokers. Maybe that was just me. Maybe not.

I found my boat on an owners site, for sale by owner.

Don't forget to talk to your finance and insurance people early on. You may find that they will not value a particular boat nearly as high as you were thinking of spending. Then you will need to pony up more cash down (if you are financing) and you might be underinsured. The older the boat, the more difficult it is to obtain financing/insurance.
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