First of all, there's lots of good 80's boats in the $30K range - just be sure you are looking at boats that will do what you want: i.e. if you are going to sail in lakes or bays, buy anything you want, but if you are primarily sail offshore, don't consider a bay boat.
Down here, boats stay in the water yeararound, so being in the water or not isn't an issue - but I would never consider a boat without sailing it to be sure the engine starts easily and moves the boat with enough power, the sails are in good shape, the boat responds well to the helm, all the winches work like they should, all the instruments work, turn on the radio to be sure it receives and transmits and most of all - do you like the way the boat sails. Then a quick haul to check for significant blisters, good zincs on the prop, wiggle the prop to check the cutlass bearing, wiggle the rudder for play, how long til the next bottom job, etc. If that's all good, they pay for survey - your insurance company will require it anyway.
s/v Paloma, Bristol 29.9, #141
Slipped in Bahia Marina, easy access to Corpus Christi Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.
Last edited by johnshasteen; 09-13-2008 at 01:51 PM.