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Carl W 08-01-2012 10:53 AM

How old is too old
New to the forum, but have read many great responsed and decided to jump in. I am looking for a 25 to 30 footer and have a found a great C&C 27. I have spoken to a marine surveyor who will do the inspection. However, even if the survey turns out OK, I am still nervous about buying a 40 year old boat. Are my concerns warranted or is an old boat that has been taken care of just as good as a newer one. Where I am at ( Lake Superior) the slip is reasonable so I will have a littel extra budget for annual maintainence.
Thanks Carl

poopdeckpappy 08-01-2012 11:00 AM

No boat is too old, especially if it's maintained

Ajax_MD 08-01-2012 11:25 AM

Re: How old is too old
My boat is 39 years old, and I trust it completely and without hesitation in most conditions.

It's the maintenance, more than the age.

PaulinVictoria 08-01-2012 11:35 AM

Re: How old is too old
It's a good boat, built well, and if the survey comes up with nothing major, she'll be good for many more years.

ccriders 08-01-2012 11:35 AM

Re: How old is too old
Alot happens in 30-40 years. The thing is to find out what has happend or not happened as the case may be for a particular boat. "Well Maintained" is pretty much advertising jargon.
You can break a sailboat down into basic systems. Not all of a "well maintained" boat will be 30-40 years old.
First, hull and deck.
Then mast spars and standing rigging.
Then sails and running rigging.
Followed by auxillary.
And last accessories.
Only one of these categories will for sure be 30-40 years old. Everything else could be somewhat newer. As far as I know, fiberglass has not been around long enough to know its finite lifetime, yet is has been around long enough to know what kinds of conditions, events and processes can cause it to be a write off.
As a general rule, if the auxilary is 30-40 years old and has not had a recent overhaul, then don't bid on that particular boat. A replacement engine can cost more that the market value of a good old boat.
Also, as a general rule, any electronics older that about 5 years should be discounted to no value. (If you have to haul the boat to replace an old depth sounder, it had no value at time of sale.)
Just make sure you are onboard when the survey is conducted and have the surveyor show and tell you what items he finds to be in need of repair or replacement. And make sure the surveyor understands your quality requirements. After the survey, you can spreadsheet every thing you require to make it safe and enjoyable, and do your decision making from there.
Have fun shopping, and read all of those "which boat" threads. They are fun and interesting and full of opinions and good advice.

PorFin 08-01-2012 12:05 PM

Re: How old is too old
As others have said, age isn't necessarily a key factor in the condition of the boat. There are many, many old boats out there that are perfectly seaworthy.

However, if you intend to have it insured you'd beter make a few phone calls to insurers before you finalize the purchase.

captbillc 08-01-2012 01:03 PM

Re: How old is too old
has the boat been in fresh water most of the time? it will not have the corrosion problems you get in salt water. my boat has been in lake superior ever since the shake down cruise in florida when it was built in 1994. everything is in great shape and i think it will stay that way for many years. are you in duluth, mn or superior, wi , the twin ports ? i keep my 30 ft nimble express in duluth.

SloopJonB 08-01-2012 01:22 PM

Re: How old is too old
As I've said before, you need to think of boats more like houses than cars. In Europe there are thousands of houses still in use that are hundreds of years old.

Boats are much the same - they can go on indefinitely if they are maintained.

carl762 08-01-2012 01:25 PM

Re: How old is too old
ccriders hit it all on the head. I'm sailing a 76 Sundance that was at time of purchase in very good condition. As with all boats, things needed to be done, pretty minor stuff, and it's in even better shape now.

I hope she passes muster, and then enjoy.

My boat is my home away from home.

Sic Semper Tyrannis 08-01-2012 01:48 PM

My 50 year old Alberg is better built than any number of 1970 and 80s boats. Of course it has rigging, diesel,paint,sails all done over the years.

I'd take her across the ocean in a heart beat over a vast number of newer boats.

Age would be a limiting factor for me in any case.


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