Buying a sailboat without a clue! help? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 46 Old 06-09-2010 Thread Starter
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Buying a sailboat without a clue! help?

Hello everyone,

I have been reading this site for quite a while and everyone seems very knowledgeable.

I am now looking to buy my first sailboat and need some help!
I am looking at a DS 20 1985 for a final price of $2000.
This boat has not been sailed for 5 years but I am told is in good condition.
I have read many books and tips on buying a sailboat, but would also like your opinion on whether this is a good boat? (not very much info on this boat online) also, whether or not the price is right or not and if you have anything to especially look for in a boat like this.

Included in price:

Boat (all the extras), motor, and trailer.

Thanks very much for your help
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post #2 of 46 Old 06-09-2010
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Condition is everything and if you could take some pictures it would help

The best thing is to try and get friendly with a local sailor who could take a look

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If a dirty bottom slows you down what do you think it does to your boat
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post #3 of 46 Old 06-09-2010
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ymiri, check out allthumbs threads. These threads may possibly be the most concise source of DS20 info available on the web.
My Project Boat

DS 20 performance
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post #4 of 46 Old 06-09-2010
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A lot can happen in 5 years of no use. Check all running rigging and sails. And check out the boat buying checklist on this site.

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post #5 of 46 Old 06-09-2010
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When you say "final price of $2000" is that the asking price or a negotiated price? If it is an asking price there may still be a little wiggle room ...
$2k for a 20' sailboat, motor and trailer in working order does not sound like a bad deal but as others have mentioned the condition of everything is important. You can spend a good bit of money fixing up even a small old boat, trailer and motor.

"The cure for anything is salt water~ sweat, tears, or the sea." ~Isak Denesen

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post #6 of 46 Old 06-09-2010
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Did the current owner mention why it hasnt been used in the last five years. If the reason is that the sails are shot or worse case scenario that it no longer floats is the reason...
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post #7 of 46 Old 06-09-2010 Thread Starter
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The boat was purchased by a senior as part of an estate sale and due to health problems he never used it. He was not a sailor when he bought it and intended to learn how to sail with this boat.
It was originally listed for $3500, down to $2500 after a while and after negotiations, down to $2000.
Seller indicates that the sails are in perfect condition. Again, I havent seen it yet. Planning on that today.
It includes:

Two anchors, "protable potty", cushions, cb radio, stove, gas tank, depth finder.
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post #8 of 46 Old 06-09-2010
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Buy or check out this book:

Don Casey's Complete Illustrated Sailboat Maintenance Manual

It has a step-by-step do it yourself inspection procedure for people with little sailboat experience.

If I had read this book before buying my $800 Catalina 22 on Craigslist, I would have found enough problems to convince the owner to pay me to take it.

Even though I am thrifty and do all my own work, materials costs alone sometimes make it cheaper to purchase a very good condition boat over a fixer-upper.
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post #9 of 46 Old 06-09-2010 Thread Starter
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I'll take a look at that book. I have been reading "The Complete Trailer Sailor: How to buy, equip your boat" and its very overwhelming all the things you have to remember when you are new. My grandfather was a sailor and I unfortunately never learned; I have owned power boats but nothing feels like being on a sailboat. Its just ALOT of information to remember.

I will take detail pictures when I see it and post them.
Thanks again for everyone's help.
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post #10 of 46 Old 06-09-2010
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My opinion;
For any owner to negotiate price with a potential buyer, without the buyer being present to inspect the boat, Raises a HUGE red flag to me....

"Perfect" is a description of many things....But certianly not many boats.

Without sailing the boat, and having it inspected with someone that knows boats, or even that model of boat...I also believe is a foolish thing to do.

But hey...............it's only 2000.00.......It's only not bad if you can afford to throw that 2000.00 away.
Best of luck
Kary
S/V Mariah
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