Join Date: May 2008
Location: Dayton, OH
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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.