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  #1  
Old 09-09-2010
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Cut-off age for screening sailboats to buy as a first boat?

I know that if I buy an older boat, there's likely to be more problems, and problems will be harder to fix. Various books and Internet sources that I've read have suggested avoiding older boats when buying a first sailboat. However, none of them were concrete about exactly how old is too old.

Bob Sutor's blog suggests avoiding boats older than 40 years. Your First Sailboat by D. Spurr is a little more conservative, and claims that boats from the 1970s are getting a little "long in the tooth." And I've seen some ads for 1970s boats claim their boat is "antique." All of this doesn't seem very definitive, though.

Does anyone have a suggestion on the cut-off age that I should use for buying my first boat?
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Old 09-09-2010
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This one is really impossible to answer.

What boat is better, a 1980 model (30 years old) that has been updated with new sails, new electronics, and a new engine, or a 1995 model that has all original gear?

From what I know of fiberglass, the hull of boats made in the 70's should be fine. The rest of the boat will totally depend on the amount of maintenance.

How much money do you want to spend and what type of boat?

Good luck,
Barry


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Old 09-09-2010
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Barry nails it- the AGE of the hull is less important than the CONDITION of the hull and everything bolted to it.
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Old 09-10-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarryL View Post
From what I know of fiberglass, the hull of boats made in the 70's should be fine. The rest of the boat will totally depend on the amount of maintenance.

How much money do you want to spend and what type of boat?
Thanks for the advice. I have a previous thread for the type of boat I'm looking for: http://www.sailnet.com/forums/boat-r...under-10k.html

The main thing is I'm just looking for a general-purpose boat of around 27 feet that I can sail around the SF bay, for at or under $8000. There's a lot of classifieds for boats that look about right, in my price range, from the mid-1960s to mid-1970s, but I'm worried that these boats might have serious problems that I won't be able to identify or won't have the resources to cope with.

On the other hand, it's looking like I flat out might not be able to afford a boat made in the 80s or later, or any such boat in my price range would be too expensive to refit. There's something about a buying a boat that was built and launched before man had made it to the moon that just seems too old. So I think I might be looking at boats from 1970-1980. But that still just seems pretty old...

I also don't want to be stuck with something that's going to put me in a financial jam, or going to require substantial restoration on top on regular maintenance. I'd really rather spend my time sailing.
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Old 09-10-2010
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To put it bluntly, you get what you pay for. But there's no way to prejudge any boat, except for the obviously damaged, before you look at it. You have no way of knowing if it's just a 10K boat, or someone who just wants to get out from under it and is a real steal. The more effort you put into the search, the better the results will be.
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Old 09-10-2010
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Maintenance of the boat is going to be far more important than how old it is... a five year old boat that is neglected may well be in worse shape and worth less than a 35 year old boat that was lovingly maintained and cared for.
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Old 09-10-2010
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Hmm. I think the oldest boat I seriously looked at was built in 1886. She was absolutely pristine. (would'a bought her but the sparred length was too long )

My first (keel) sailboat was built in 1924.

So my 1963 is comparitively Brand Spanking New!
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Old 09-10-2010
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
Maintenance of the boat is going to be far more important than how old it is... a five year old boat that is neglected may well be in worse shape and worth less than a 35 year old boat that was lovingly maintained and cared for.
Plus ONE to this excellent advice!

When you look at sister ships that are beyond 20 (or 30) years old, it's nothing unusual to find boats that are priced at 4K and 24K, and each is completely worth the asking price.


Cheers,
L

Last edited by olson34; 09-10-2010 at 11:36 AM.
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Old 09-10-2010
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My Boat is 40 years old, and is requiring all the repairs that a 40 year old boat needs. But I knew it ahead of time. Take your time and research like others have recommended. Boats are similar to aircraft in my mind, the age isn't as important as it's maintenance history.
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As I think has been alluded to above,
each and every boat has to be evaluated individually.
You can find a functional Cal 20 that is ready to sail
at nearly 50 years old, that would make a good first boat.
You will also come across much newer boats that would
require more investment in upgrades than the boat is worth.
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