My problem is that unless someone has replaced everything big: Engine, wiring, tanks, plumbing, thru-hulls, bottom barrier coat, canvas, sails, Air etc. standing rigging, chain-plates etc. I see an older boat as a musical chair event.
What I mean is that you have components that are 5 to 30 years old. At the moment you buy the boat the survey says it is all working. If you can sail the boat for a couple years, not put too much money into it you can sell for about what you paid for.
But the odds being what they are something will have to go.
That is fine if it a weekend boat.
- I wouldn't be using it that much so maybe nothing will break.
- I'm in my home waters where I know where the rocks are and know the people that can fix what I break.
- I have the money to pay them and I have a garage full of tools and parts.
- I might plan on keeping the boat for 10 years or more so any repairs or upgrades are amortized over a long period of time.
If however I'm retired and cruising for a few years I'm not sure I want to be the guy left standing when the music stops in some strange town or country.
Which is exactly why a well maintained GOB in the $50-$80 K range makes a whole lot of sense. It leaves you a much, much, much, bigger cruising kitty then a $200K boat, so repairs in foreign lands don't hurt nearly as much.
If you really think a 5 year old production boat will not need rigging work, sail work, systems work, during your cruising life, you're dreaming. Every boat needs maintenance, and if you figure the life expectancy of systems is 10 years, then a five year old boat will need every system renewed in the next five years. You are already $200K deep in purchasing the boat, so your kitty is that much shallower.
OTOH, a well maintained 30 year old boat which has had systems updated five years ago will need the same work in five years as well.....
but you are $120,000 to $150,000 ahead of the game already. that buys a lot of maintenance, a lot of marina time, hell, if worse comes to worse it buys another couple of golden oldy boats before you equal the investment you have made in the newer old boat.