Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: New England USA
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buying older vs. newer
It sounds like maintenance is a big issue with you. So in that vein, I would steer clear for older, larger vessels. Once you get into the older, bigger boat mode, it really needs to become a labor of love. There is no way you would be able to recoup the time and money you will spend properly outfitting an older boat. The things that need to be updated and replaced can be staggering. Of course you may find a boat that has had a caring owner that has continually maintained and up-graded his/her "Pride and Joy" but I have found that is more of a rarity.
But if you are willing to take the plunge into older boat ownership, it can be a very personally rewarding experience. I am not just talking out of hand here, I took the plunge, with my eyes wide open. I set realistic goals and objectives, and am now 3 1/5 years into my 5 year timeline. I have spent many hundreds of man hours on my boat. Not to mention the tens of thousands of dollars upgrading all of her systems to modern and safe standards. This is not for the faint of heart!
If you are looking for a lower maintenence boat, go newer, as new as you can possibly afford.
One thing that always amazes me are the number of buyers who dive into a new boat without a proper survey by an accredited marine surveyor. Don''t forget to get references from the surveyor too. There have been cases of surveyors not doing their job, and glossing over major issues. Experiance counts, and a long standing member of one of the recognized associations will help you get a good idea if your dream boat will be a nightmare or not.