I find myself in a different place with this. The real cost of ownership is maintenance, and in the 70's and 80's the build quality of both of the companies (especially Catalina) tended to be just a little below the quality of similar sized boats of that era. Over time, and in this economy, the difference in price has gotten quite small or even non-existent between higher quality boats from a design and build standpoint, and the value oriented boats (like the Hunters, Pearson, Seidelman, Irwins, Seafarers and Catalinas). My thought is that if you can find a well maintained, better quality boat than the bargain basement offerings, then you might come out ahead in terms of lower maintenance costs, greater reliability, and overall better sailing capabilities.
Nicely Said! Bravo.
And the on-going maint. cost is going to be a lot higher on boats from the "value oriented" list. I would actually pick another adjective... since I believe that real value
is a direct function of build and design quality, in the long run.
Anyhow, look at keel attachment, the all-important hull-to-deck joint
, and the construction in places where the initial salesman did not expect anyone to look.
These are tough times for sellers; sometimes a high end boat goes for a lot less than it should, and often the low end stuff cannot be sold at any price. Another poster noted that the repair cost for labor is the same no matter what quality of boat you own. After owning a "high end" boat for 16 years, I have become very pleased with the top quality basic construction on it!
Try to find an minimally-equipped Tartan or Ericson, etc. rather than some old sailboat-equivalent-to-a-Bayliner with more (old) accessories stuck onto it.
As to "investment" -- in pleasure and satisfaction, not in $$.
And, yeah, this advice is indeed worth about what you paid.