Checking out or inspecting a $3-6K boat? - Page 2 - SailNet Community

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Old 05-11-2011
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mitiempo will become famous soon enough mitiempo will become famous soon enough
It takes as much experience to survey a $5,000 boat as it does to survey a $50,000 boat. And a $5,000 boat very likely has more issues to find than the more expensive boat. Any repair on any boat is done at today's prices. A 10k deck repair on a 100k boat isn't too hard to handle but the same 10k repair on a boat you paid 5k for is a different story. This applies to any boat, whether a chevrolet like an O'day, Hunter, or Catalina or a mercedes like a Hinckley, Morris, or Swan. They all deteriorate if not maintained properly and the repair of a wet deck on a Catalina costs the same as on a Swan.

Sailingdog's boat inspection tips here a good start, not to replace a survey but to decide if the boat is worth surveying. The more boats you look at the more you will learn and the better equipped you will be to decide. Generally you do get what you pay for - the bargain boat often isn't a bargain at all.
Living aboard in Victoria Harbour
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Old 05-11-2011
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dgbenner is on a distinguished road
Fantasic advice from everyone. I'd read a smattering of buying a boat posts, but this gives me particular perspectives on the hazards. I've done some fiberglass repair on Optis and have seen how brittle things get when soaking up the water for a season.

The "O ring" comment was hilarious. Perspective through humor... nice.

That inspection tip list is great. I'll read up on how to do my own survey so-to-speak so I can employ a professional when it comes down to a purchase. I looked at 30-35 cars of the same make and model before buying my current car, and want to do the same before getting into a boat. This gives me plenty to go on. Thanks!!!
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Old 05-11-2011
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Don't get discouraged, it is possible to find a good boat for a reasonable price.

Travlineasy/Gary, a regular here, sold his Catalina 27 for $5k this past winter. I don't know if it had any fancy bells and whistles but ducks to dollars the chainplates, keel bolts, decks etc were solid.
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Old 05-12-2011
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Sounds like you've got the right idea, dg. Just try not to fall in love with a boat until after you've got it, if possible.
Tom K

2000 Beneteau 331
Northern Chesapeake Bay

Ambition is a poor excuse for not having enough sense to be lazy ~ Steven Wright
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Old 05-12-2011
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Here are a couple of boats in your area:

C&C - I like these boats. My first boat was a C&C. They are well built and REALLY fun to sail. It has a tiller but does have an inboard. If the condition is as good as it looks, it could be a real deal. I would suspect you could get it for around $5500-6000.

Hunter - Good boats. I personally don't like the look of the new traveler arches but do like there function. This one looks to be in OK condition but you have to go inspect it to really tell. Wheel and diesel but hankon jib.

Another C&C
- This one has it all. Wheel, diesel, roller furler, etc. but might be too much for budget.

Bayfield - Really nice solid boats. They have a tiller but hits on every thing else. This is heavier then the others and would be more of a cruiser then racer/cruiser.

Tartan - One of my favorite all time boats. The Tartan story, the boat itself, everything. Great sailing and solid. Cheap but may need some significant work. Might be worth the $400 to have a surveyor look it over if you like it just to make sure there isn't anything real major.

Irwin - Looks OK and it is cheap. You might have to put a lot of work into something like this or the Tartan.

I think your budget is OK for a first boat but you will need to put in some work at that cost. My first boat was $3,500. It was great to get us on the water and make sure that we really liked sailing as a couple. Then we jumped to a much more expensive boat.

The key is have fun, look at a lot of boats to see what you think you want. As others have said, don't fall in love with any particular boat for the first one.

Good luck in your search.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” -Mark Twain

Last edited by JKCatalina310; 05-12-2011 at 08:08 AM.
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Old 05-12-2011
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I was on a prolonged boat hunt recently for my 'forever' boat.

Make up a checklist with space to make notes and take a digital camera. Photograph everything and write up negative points in as much detail as you can.

I used Casey's book to help me pre survey boats. I did pay for my boat to be surveyed as it had some issues I felt needed a professional opinion.
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Old 05-12-2011
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Well, I guess you got the idea
Here in California the cost of keeping a boat is so high it makes the purchase price almost irrelevant. In my marina a 30' slip is $503 a month, $6000 a year, a $25,000 boat loan is $200/month, $1200 a year. So $4000 from you and $25000 loan you buy a $29,000 boat that is ready to sail without major expenses. It's $1200 mostly tax deductable dollars a year more, tricky math, I know.
Anyway, remember your prime objective is to go sailing, not learn to "fix" sailboats.
Like women, houses, and cars if it takes all your money and time every month you are going to get tired of it before too many years pass.
"Just call me TB"
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