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Old 07-09-2003
ogc ogc is offline
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Buying a used sailboat

For years I have been interested in buying a sailboat (25-35'') very inexpensively, refurbishing it, and then sailing it. For me, time is generally not an issue when it comes to refurbishment but finances are. I also work with someone who has the same interests and would probably enter this endeavor with me as a co-owner. (Co-ownership is another discussion for another day.)

At any rate... I see tons of smaller boats (around 25'') advertised all over the internet and elsewhere for under $3-4000. Most say they are in need of some kind of TLC or repair/refurbishment. Most are 60s/70s and some 80s vintage.

I am wondering if it is possible to find a decent boat of that size and vintage that will not break the bank (require no more than $1000 to $2000) to refurbish and which will make a great weekend, coastal sailer? Basically, I am searching for a sound boat but in need of cosmetic refurbishment.

I don''t really want to spend the money for the boat search if finding a reasonably good boat is either impossible or almost impossible. Also, I am not an experienced boat refurbisher but have basic woodworking, painting, etc, skills. Please let me know if this is the beginning of a "wild goose chase" or if I may be on the right track. Your time and information is greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-09-2003
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Buying a used sailboat

If you are a begining sailor how will you know what needs fixing? I would recomend that you start with an even smaller boat and learn how to sail first then find your 25'' to 35'' fixer upper. It would be tough to learn the arts of sailing and boat maitenance at the same time.
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Old 07-09-2003
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Buying a used sailboat

Years ago, my father and I were constantly looking for a "Good Used Boat" in the range you describe. We always used a guide line that a G.U.B. should cost about $1,000 per foot. Anything less would probably take the difference to bring it up to standard.

A few years ago, I purchased a "Fixer Upper" at about half of the $1k per foot guide and have expended a good deal of time, money and effort to bring her to the G.U.B. level.

I have been involved in boats for 35 years, and spent a number of years as a rigger at a marina, so I knew what I was getting myself into.

The $5,000 25'' boat that needs "A little TLC" may knock you for a loop. Older vessels have blistering problems to deal with. Not to mention all the systems, through hulls, rig etc. As far as a wood boat is concerned, the knowledge, cost, and maintenance can humble even the most wealthy individuals.

If you find what could be the perfect boat, you still need a survey by a qualified Marine Surveyor. No insurance company will touch an older boat without one, and YOU need one just so you can have a list of all the "Projects" you have ahead of you.

I have 1 year to go in my projected 5 year time-line to bring my boat up to fully found condition. It has been a labor of love for me, and I wish you all the luck in the world, but proceed with caution and beware the deal "Too good to be true". There can be rough waters ahead for you.

I agree with sailmc, get a smaller boat, learn the ropes, and then get into your project with eyes wide open.

Good luck!
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