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  #41  
Old 10-14-2012
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Re: Buying a 30-40 year old boat - your opinions

Quote:
Originally Posted by jameswilson29 View Post

... which only suffer in comparison to interior space and comfort features, aspects which have little actual bearing on the enjoyment of the boat.
If one is planning to make the boat their only home, as Julie is, then comfort is going to matter quite a lot. Even the most enthusiastic sailors still spend 80 or so percent of their time at anchor.

At the same time, it's important not to take your land sensibilities with you when deciding how much space you "need" to decide what size boat to buy. On land, you may devote a spare bedroom to a home office and therefore assume that when you move aboard you will require a second cabin for this purpose, when in fact, a laptop at the nav station will suffice.
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  #42  
Old 10-14-2012
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Re: Buying a 30-40 year old boat - your opinions

I'm totally in agreement with the 'Ikea' comments wrt to the interior designs and spaces of the newest offerings from boat manufacturers. So many aspects of today's interiors just don't wash for me, I still like the 'traditional' nautical look.

Squared off passageways (actually 'doors' now...) horizontal grain lines of laminate or veneer, angular styling etc don't do it for me. I've no problem with the hull shapes and the design advances performance-wise, and understand that to load these hulls with extra heavy interior appointments would be kind of pointless, still, it seems to me the more traditional nautical trims and details could be maintained. (IMO Catalina so far has kept closest to this standard..)

The other glaring issue with the new boats is volume... foot for foot these boats are huge below, large expanses of cabin sole as the furnishings are pushed to the outside of the hull space. BUT.... the cost of this has been usable storage areas below. Our near-30 year old boat has, in the salon, standard settees with a folding centerline table, but we have storage compartments outboard of these that holds a ridiculous amount of stuff - areas over 18" deep and from hull to deck height. On the newer boats you're lucky to find a 4 inch deep compartment that your handheld GPS might fit into... (okay - that may be a slight exaggeration but you get my drift....)

It's kind of nice to come out of a boat show without a burning desire to put the old girl on the block and mortgage yourself silly for the 'new one'.....
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  #43  
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Re: Buying a 30-40 year old boat - your opinions

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Originally Posted by Faster View Post
I'm totally in agreement with the 'Ikea' comments wrt to the interior designs and spaces of the newest offerings from boat manufacturers. So many aspects of today's interiors just don't wash for me, I still like the 'traditional' nautical look.

Squared off passageways (actually 'doors' now...) horizontal grain lines of laminate or veneer, angular styling etc don't do it for me. I've no problem with the hull shapes and the design advances performance-wise, and understand that to load these hulls with extra heavy interior appointments would be kind of pointless, still, it seems to me the more traditional nautical trims and details could be maintained. (IMO Catalina so far has kept closest to this standard..)

The other glaring issue with the new boats is volume... foot for foot these boats are huge below, large expanses of cabin sole as the furnishings are pushed to the outside of the hull space. BUT.... the cost of this has been usable storage areas below. Our near-30 year old boat has, in the salon, standard settees with a folding centerline table, but we have storage compartments outboard of these that holds a ridiculous amount of stuff - areas over 18" deep and from hull to deck height. On the newer boats you're lucky to find a 4 inch deep compartment that your handheld GPS might fit into... (okay - that may be a slight exaggeration but you get my drift....)

It's kind of nice to come out of a boat show without a burning desire to put the old girl on the block and mortgage yourself silly for the 'new one'.....
I couldn't have said it better.
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  #44  
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Re: Buying a 30-40 year old boat - your opinions

Faster hit the nail on the head for me. I walked around a local show this year, and most of the boats don't compare well to my 30-year Pearson.

What I liked: better performance, new, shiny.

What I did not like: generally inferior build quality (80's boats were often overbuilt). 'Ikea"-like interiors. Practicality (e.g. storage space, access to systems) sacrificed for appearances. Often totally devoid of "character". Most just felt "fragile" - like decorative trims would fall off - and I wonder how well they would age?

Personally, I am a fan of an older boat - unless you have a big budget, or are a racer. I'd look for an older boat which has been well maintained, or an older boat which has some obvious non-critical defects. I would avoid "cheap" boats that have been abused/neglected for may years (likely to harbor non-obviou$ defect$), and be very cautious of boats "done up for sale" (which often have defects covered over to give the appearance of a well-loved boat).

Final thought - there is lots of good advice on this site about big-ticket items such as the engine, sails, etc. But - not often mentioned - don't neglect the chainplates. Chainplates should be replaced regularly; on an older boat they may be original. If the mast is down (e.g. replacing standing rigging) pull at least one to check. Crevice corrosion is a 'pain'.
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  #45  
Old 10-14-2012
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Re: Buying a 30-40 year old boat - your opinions

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Originally Posted by jameswilson29 View Post
Deciding to buy a boat after attending a boat show is kind of like deciding you want to get married after watching a dating reality show - the two have virually nothing to do with each other.
I think watching the Miss America pageant would be a closer comparison. Things DO go wrong on those dating shows.

Quote:
Cruising boats have become more luxurious and spacious belowdecks, usually at the expensive of potential sailing ability which could have been realized due to advances in materials, design and technology.

The result is there is a surplus of well-built, rugged, dual purpose boats which can be acquired for one tenth the cost of a new boat, and which only suffer in comparison to interior space and comfort features, aspects which have little actual bearing on the enjoyment of the boat.
One thing about this comparison, if you compare new to old on the basis of waterline length rather than LOA (which most people use) the older boats accommodations don't suffer nearly as much. My friends current Hunter 38 was actually the same size as my Columbia 43. A Chris Craft 42 Comanche is about the same size as a contemporary 30' - as well as being a LOT more beautiful.

Your other comments are spot on IMHO.
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  #46  
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Re: Buying a 30-40 year old boat - your opinions

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Originally Posted by JulieMor View Post
But it wasn't all sailing. The first year we took it to a boat yard for haul out and winter storage. It sat in the water for over a month until one day one of the glass strainers broke when the water in it froze and the boat sunk - in the Chicago River!

The boat yard cleaned it up but there were problems on it for years after that. I did all of the repairs, including getting the generator to work again. That took me three seasons. Yes, I know boat repair reality too.
You've already experienced the worst of fixing an old boat then - NOTHING is worse than resurrecting a sunken boat.

Quote:
For me, the boat show was educational as far as seeing what's out there today. It was also a re-immersion into the sailing world and ended up being a motivator to fulfill my dream of buying a boat when I retire.
You should never use that word again - bad Karma.
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Last edited by SloopJonB; 10-14-2012 at 03:51 PM.
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  #47  
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Re: Buying a 30-40 year old boat - your opinions

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Originally Posted by Faster View Post
I'm totally in agreement with the 'Ikea' comments wrt to the interior designs and spaces of the newest offerings from boat manufacturers. So many aspects of today's interiors just don't wash for me, I still like the 'traditional' nautical look.
Generally I also agree, particularly around here BUT...when we chartered in the Caribbean the boat was a French "Ikea" boat - a Harmony 47 - and it was very appropriate for that climate. I don't think I'd prefer a "pirate" or shippy interior in a hot climate.
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Re: Buying a 30-40 year old boat - your opinions

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Originally Posted by JulieMor View Post
In the 70's, 80's and 90's, when I was sailing regularly, I had fallen in love with Swans. Most of the knowledge I gained about boats back then was from Sail Magazine and anything I could get my hands on about the racers and the racing circuit. Now, I'm much more a cruiser, though I have no problem going fast.

In the mid 90's I bought the book, "The World's Best Sailboats: A Survey" by Ferenc Maté. That's when I learned about what Maté considers the finest sailing boats made. Interestingly enough, he listed Beneteau in that book and cited the fact that, at least at the time, they used the same method for constructing their fiberglass hulls as did Swan. If I remember right, no other manufacturers used this method. Don't ask me. I can't remember what it was.

I lent that book out years ago but never got it back. I do remember scouring through it many times when I had it. It would be nice to have something like that for reference but it would have to be a bit more like "Best Sailboats For The Liveaboard"

I've read every reply thus far and it sounds like there's a good many older boat owners who are happy they bought an older boat. And, from what I've read, there's nothing telling me I would be getting in over my head by doing the same. I just need a better education of the boats out there that should be on my list. I think I also need to put that list in writing.
We couldn't be happier with our Swan. Much cheaper than a new comparably sized boat but sails beautifully, is stiff, seakindly and plows to wind. We even do very well PHRF racing. If you can find one in good shape, highly recommended.
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  #49  
Old 10-14-2012
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Re: Buying a 30-40 year old boat - your opinions

I generally agree with the above comments. I own a 30 year old boat. I also know that many people getting ointo sailing for the first time nowadays are not necessarily looking for the same things I am in a boat. Even though I love the teak interior of our boat, and my house is furnished with rich woods etc, many of the younger people like the ikea type look, many of them like clean lines. many of them look at the open space on todays production boats, and thats exactly what they are looking for. If they built these boats and it wsnt what people wanted...they wouldnt ever sell them. far be it from me to make fun of or denigrate others tastes and looking at what they want in a boat to tailor it to their family.

I have always been a rather traditional sailor for the 40 years i have done it. Twenty years aho I never would have though of putting davits on my fast sail boat as it would have slowed me down. I didnt see a need for electronic instruments...I had a chart. A television....why no way. Times change. I have davits, radar, chartplotter, autopilot, AIS, refrigeration, ways to charge my ipad/ smart phone etc. and yes a flatscreen with a DVD. Am I less of a sailor....nope. Did it take .25 knots off my speed...yes, but not concerned with that anymore. I went from a traditional bolt footed main to a loose footed on...did the world stop spinning on its axis...nope. I also know a lot of the saiolrs coming into the sport for the first time are used to creature comforts as they grew up with them. They all have smart phone ( I do too) and would never think of having a flip phone. Many of them do not want to spend hours on maintainence of wood inside or out so veneer surfaces, and vinal is perfect for what they want. I dont want and huge cockpit, ...its become the norm. I dont want some large assed aft so I can step easily down into my dinghy...but to them...thats what they require. So the new boats are made the way the want things. Also to use the same materials ( teak) and make new boats the way my was made would make the boat a lot more expensive than many could afford.

So when I got to the boat show no I dont really go to look at the boats interiors I look at the way they have changed designs to utikize space that I can do on mine. Many of the boats today are built to meet a price point. Mine was built to aim for a racer who wanted to cruise also. Pure racers looked at my boat 30 years ago as an anathama to their spartan race boats. How dare someone equip a racer with a shower, 4 burner propane stove, 100 gallons of water, good sized nav station. This is natural.

My friends, the difference now is that we on the other side of the curve than we were 25 years ago when we first got into boating and he traditionalists were saying many of the same things about the type of boats we liked and wanted. Go with the flow. I get pleasure out of seeing families together on weekends anchored in coves on the Chesapeake in the big chlorox bottle white insides with wide assed sterns and creature comforts a plenty boats laughing and being together.

Time to go with the flow. I buy what I want...So can they.

Dave
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  #50  
Old 10-14-2012
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Re: Buying a 30-40 year old boat - your opinions

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Originally Posted by SloopJonB View Post
As to the new boats being soulless - absolutely right. My experience (limited) with current new boats (this millennium) is that they pretty much stay that way as well.
Not sure what does soul-less mean in the new boat? If someone buy a new 2013 HR or Jeanneau which is soul-less and wait for another 30 years, would you think these two boats will have soul by then. If no one buys new boats, how could anyone will have old boats to buy.

It is ok if someone prefers to buy an old boat because it is better value and may be one is not financially ready to pay for a new boat. But don't come around to accuse the new boat owner his boat has no soul. A man's boat is like his woman. You don't tell him that his wife is ugly.

I am just sayin'
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