Learning to sail
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Rep Power: 6
The ad is expired, so I'm not sure offhand what the price was, but it's my impression that there are tons of older boats in the low thousands price range, that will survey without dangerous probelms, and will sail just fine. I ended up purchasing a 27' for $4000, that required only about $3000 of fix up (brand new outboard, bottom job, miscellaneous outfitting), and in the several months I've owned and sailed it, no crazy problems have turned up.
There was nothing particularly special about this boat that made the price happen; if you're flexable, and you're in a major sailing area, there are tons of boats like this laying around if you're willing to take your boat search seriously.
If you start having a lot of specific requirements, or demand late model or recently purchased accessories (new sails, for instance, is a common desire), or require a boat that's had religious maintenance, you can kiss any sub-$10K price goodbye immediately for anything 20+'. On the other hand, I strongly suggest you draw the line on anything remotely like a project boat. There's just so many boats out there that are ready-to-sail to have to mess with anything else.
Part of the deal is that older boats with leaky portlights and blown-out sails can actually be pretty hard to get rid of. Other boats have serious problems that are actually easy to fix. (Mine was lack of auxiliary propulsion, which was easy to fix, and is actually a pretty common problem with boats you see in classifieds.) There's just so many owners who are done with sailing, and just want to the boat go away. Other than the seller I bought from, other sellers I was considering included a businessman who decided he didn't really like sailing, and a guy moving up to a larger boat.