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Life expectancy of fiberglass boats
A newbie here with no doubt the dumbest question of the day. But just so you may appreciate from where it is that I am coming from, I’d classify myself as being right smack in the middle of the dreaming stage of sailboat ownership. Simply put, I have no prior experience with sailing at all. What little exposure I’ve had to boating has always been associated with weekender-variety motor boats. Up until this point in my life my hobby has been flying, but for the last couple-few years I have found myself becoming increasingly interested in sailing.
Anyway, my question is as follows; what is the life expectancy of a modern, assembly line-constructed fiberglass sailboat? To be a little more specific, what I’m thinking of is a 27’-35’ Catalina, Hunter or Beneteau- nothing “custom”. As I study the classifieds what I’m pondering is, do such boats have the potential to remain seaworthy much beyond three or four decades of use? In plain words, is it reasonable to expect a circa 1985-1990 fiberglass boat to still have another 20 years of useful service in her? Should a NEW boat be expected to last 30-40 years if it is maintained? In the field of general aviation, many, if not most of the planes being flown today are 20-30 years old. But unlike boats, with planes it is mandated that they pass annual inspections and receive necessary maintenance. In other words, maintaining a plane is not optional (legally, anyway).
Thanks in advance for your valued opinions. Incidentally, “Huckleberry” (“Huck”) is the name of my Labrador Retriever.