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Old 09-04-2012
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Buying older boat with company out of business

Hello, I'm considering the purchase of a Howmar 12, company now out of business and concerned about obtaining parts for things that may go. In general, are parts for smaller boats interchangeable to some degreee? Should I avoid this boat altogether if the company is no longer in business? Even if it looks in mint condition now, I'm concerned about issues down the road as it was made in the early 80's. Thanks.
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Old 09-04-2012
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Re: Buying older boat with company out of business

I wouldn't worry. Most owners put aftermarket parts on their boat when a part goes anyway.

Lots of boats made by builders who are now out of business or who stop production on a particular model are still out there.

If you're anxious, find an owners association and ask if parts are hard to locate or substitute.
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Re: Buying older boat with company out of business

Speaking as someone who owns a boat built in 1979 by a now-defunct company, I can safely say if we are talking small boats, it makes very little difference in parts availability as to whether the original manufacturer is in business or not. Other than the hull, rudder, hatches and maybe portlights, everything on your boat (hardware, rigging, sails, mast, electronics, etc.) was made by someone else other than the boat manufacturer. When you go to replace your mainsheet blocks, you wouldn't approach the manufacturer; all he would do is sell you (with a nice markup for him) a Harken (or Schaeffer or Garhauer) set up anyway. And with inexpensive, small boats, the original equipment was often inferior quality anyway. I have found that I can buy inexpensive replacements for original hardware that is far better quality than what came with the boat.

You can even buy replacement rudders for many boats now that are superior to the originals in quality and function. They ain't cheap (check out Ida Sailor's website), but they are cheaper than a custom new unit. I think the only things that aren't easily reproducable from old boats are hatches and porthole windows. But even then, replacements are readily available; just not as drop-in replacements.

Don't pass up a good old boat just because the manufacturer is no longer with us.
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Old 09-04-2012
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Re: Buying older boat with company out of business

I have a boat that is 33 years old. Company went out of business in the very early 90's. They stopped making my boat in 1980. Haven't had a thing yet break that I couldn't replace with something else similar.

I wouldn't worry about it all.

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Re: Buying older boat with company out of business

Most of the boats in the water are made by a defunct manufacturer. I wouldn't worry about it.
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Re: Buying older boat with company out of business

I agree with DrB. I have a 1968 and even if they made replacement parts I would want to install something more up to date. You don't replace parts on an old boat you re-engineer them.
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Re: Buying older boat with company out of business

I'd be way more concerned over the motor than the boat. What motor is in it? Even if the brand and size motor is still in production, if it's some off the wall brand that few people have heard of, parts and service could be iffy and/or expensive.
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Re: Buying older boat with company out of business

Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck53 View Post
I'd be way more concerned over the motor than the boat. What motor is in it? Even if the brand and size motor is still in production, if it's some off the wall brand that few people have heard of, parts and service could be iffy and/or expensive.
Agreed. Replacing a 30-YO, raw-water cooled motor could cost more than you pay for the boat.
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Re: Buying older boat with company out of business

Thanks everyone, great forum here! No motor to worry about so I may give it a go. Planning to take a look this weekend.
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Re: Buying older boat with company out of business

Let's see, C&C has been in existance as has Tartan for some 30-40 yrs, believe it or not, they have ea had 2 if not 3 or 4 owners, ea time it has been sold, the old versions are now out of warranty.

Jeanneau, currently last I check, the litterally largest boat builder as far as unit numbers in the world, my 85 is not considered one they will warranty or have parts for. As there was the original owner from 58 to late 70's, then bangar punta which filed bk in the mid t o late 80's sending jeanneau, cal, ranger, o'day among others to the grave yard. But being as jeanneau is french, the government found a buyer to take over, then 10 or so years later, Group Beneteau took over. GP is like a GM in France. Amazing what they build per say.

As said, even if you have a builder you would think still makes your boat per say, finding parts from them may not work. Even my deck hardware company is around in France, but the deck hardware sizing has changed thru out the world since 85, so the parts are not findable. So Harken has been the replacements! Not amiot! Rigging is similar, but being as much is metric.....oh well.....life goes on!

I would not worry about as you have figured out.

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