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Old 03-15-2010
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Looking at my first boat... survey?

I've begun searching for my first sailboat this year. Living in Indianapolis, I'll mostly be on smaller inland lakes. Although I'll probably try to keep it moored on a nearby lake, I definitely need to be able to trailer it easily. It'd be nice to take it out on Lake Michigan, weather-permitting.

My search criteria:
  • Trailerable behind a 6-cyl pickup
  • Comfortably sleep 2 adults
  • Easily singlehanded
  • <$5k

My sailing experience so far: Took ASA 101, 103, 104 a year ago on a Pearson 39. Apart from that, just occasional daysailing on Buccaneers and Sunfish.

I'm leaning toward a Cat22. From my research so far, they seem like a good fit, and they're relatively abundant.

I'm a little overwhelmed by the thought of evaluating these boats by myself. I've read the sticky by sailingdog on tips for inspecting boats, and that was helpful. But regardless how much I read, it still feels like a big leap at some point.

There aren't many for sale nearby; most of the boats I've found so far are 3-5 hours away from me, and so I might take advantage of the offers from people here for local buying assistance. Local boat buying assistance

Is it uncommon to request a survey on boats under a certain size/cost? Do surveyors typically charge by the foot? Any other advice?

Last edited by SirRealism; 03-16-2010 at 12:27 PM.
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Old 03-15-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SirRealism View Post
...
I'm a little overwhelmed by the thought of evaluating these boats by myself. I've read the post by sailingdog on tips for inspecting boats, and that was helpful. But regardless how much I read, it still feels like a big leap at some point.
...
Is it uncommon to request a survey on boats under a certain size/cost? Do surveyors typically charge by the foot? Any other advice?
Yes, surveyors charge by the foot and yes, it is less common to have survey done on a sailing dinghy (say < 20'). If you are a little overwhelmed by the thought of evaluating a boat like this you should consider having a survey done as a sort of 2nd opinion. It costs what it costs unless someone on the 'local assistance' thread will give you their biased opinion for free (I would). A good surveyor can save you a bunch of money down the road, sometimes. There is no guarantee that a surveyor will find the 'fatal flaw' that you discover later however.
Besides the boat it sounds like you should look carefully at the trailer that comes with your C22. The trailer itself could be a deal breaker if it has to be replaced in a year or two - in some ways trailers are easier to fix then boats though.
Best of luck while looking.
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Old 03-15-2010
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It really depends on the boat. For boats with cored hull or deck, yes. For solid glass boats, not so much. Just look for signs of blister and obvious damage. Most trailer sailors are pretty easy to inspect.
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Old 03-16-2010
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For a boat this size and price range I would not get a survey. I would, however, recommend that you get and study the book "Surveying Fiberglass Sailboats" by Henry Mustin.
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Old 03-16-2010
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I agree. I wouldnt do a survey on a small boat. When you look at your first couple of boats you probably wont feel like you know what you are doing but that will change pretty quick. And dont worry about not many boats being on the market. Its pretty early for people to start listing there boats for sale. Usually people wait till it gets warmer to start buying boats so a lot of people hold off on listing them till then.
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Old 03-16-2010
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Check out the sticky thread on Boat Inspections, and you should be fine.
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Old 03-16-2010
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I think it depends on the small boat. A Flicka is a small boat, but often has enough systems on it that getting a survey is a good idea. The Boat Inspection Trip Tips thread I started, is probably a good start regardless of whether you're getting a survey or not.
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