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  #81  
Old 10-16-2012
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Re: Buying a 30-40 year old boat - your opinions

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  #82  
Old 10-16-2012
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Re: Buying a 30-40 year old boat - your opinions

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but even then would prefer a well looked after 3-5 year old boat than one straight out of the factory. Let someone else take the hit on instant depreciation of a new boat and new gear....
This is certainly a good approach. But unfortunately, the seller always try to unload their boat based on the orignal price plus all the thing thay bought for the boat. It ends up more than a new boat.

A few years ago when the economy collapsed, there were plenty fire sales. There were plenty of good deal. No so much any more.
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  #83  
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Re: Buying a 30-40 year old boat - your opinions

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Originally Posted by rockDAWG View Post
This is certainly a good approach. But unfortunately, the seller always try to unload their boat based on the orignal price plus all the thing thay bought for the boat. It ends up more than a new boat.

A few years ago when the economy collapsed, there were plenty fire sales. There were plenty of good deal. No so much any more.
I'd have to say the market here has not recovered to that point.. I doubt anyone will actually sell a used boat for more than new unless there's something exceptionally exceptional about it...

Sure the seller will ask a price that offsets his costs... but what it sells for is usually something else, or it sits on the market for ages.
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  #84  
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Re: Buying a 30-40 year old boat - your opinions

You bring quite a list of skills to the table Julie....Marry me! I'm happy to find a lady that actually likes to sail, much less one that has the ability and wants to work on the boat!
I couldn't afford a new version of my 40 year old boat, so...New vs. Old is a moot point for me. She was in decent shape when I bought her 7 years ago. Yet, the list of maintenance and improvements I have made is shocking when I review my maintenance log. I certainly couldn't have afforded to pay someone to do them.
Regarding Surveyors, they are not all created equal. I would get recommendations I trust, and interview the surveyor on the phone before hiring them. Some love boats and are walking encyclopedias, others take a course (or not) and basically walk around the boat with a check list. Accreditation (i.e., SAMS) is good, but isn't the end all, be all either. And of course, you can educate yourself and do a good survey to qualify the boat before you even hire a surveyor. I highly recommend Jim Casey's book "Sailboat Maintenance". Not only have I found it invaluable in maintaining my boat, but it has an excellent section on performing your own survey to qualify (or eliminate) the boat for survey.
I have a strange relationship with my boat. For me, (unlike many) working on her is a necessary evil (I'd much rather be sailing). I would pay someone to work on her, or would have purchased a newer boat that doesn't need so much maintenance if I could afforded it. Having said that, I'm proud of the work I have done and have learned a lot! I am a Carpenter by trade, and have elected to do things to my boat I would never bother to do to my house! Like I said...it's a strange relationship, but I love my boat and have never regretted buying her.

Last edited by L124C; 10-16-2012 at 02:10 PM.
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Old 10-16-2012
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Re: Buying a 30-40 year old boat - your opinions

I think there's a lot to be said on this topic, and usually it's a lot like politics in that it's difficult to "debate" the issue, because folks on each side of the equation are normally fixed in their beliefs. Having said that, it is important to know that there's no such thing as "saving money" when it comes to buying an old boat and fixing it up. About the only you're truly saving is WHEN you spend the money, not "if" you spend it. And, it's easier for a lot of people to pay-as-you-go, so to speak. Nothing wrong with that principle, but one would be fooling oneself if they believed they were "saving money".

Sometimes, it's better to wait until you've built the kitty a little more. I try and ask myself this question, "Would I buy this boat 20 years from now?" So, now that 40 year old boat has become a 60 year old boat. If everyone here did that, opinions might be swayed. I say this because like it or not, these things are still man-made and that means there's a shelf life to them, effort be damned. The problem is, most people don't take the future into consideration and let their emotions and dreams convince them to overlook logic. How many 1930s or 1940s boat can you think of, amongst the people you can think of that sail? Safe to say not many. Well, those 60s-70s-80s boats are on the way to category, like it or not. May not be a problem if you're in your late 60s or beyond, but for those of us under 50, it's a factor worth considering.

Buy what you can afford, but be wise about it. As much as it seems impossible, try to take the emotion out and let your logically side dictate these decisions. There are far too many "failed dreams" sitting on the road side, so proof is, in fact, in the pudding. If waiting until next year means you buy a boat that needs less work and is ready to sail then, you may very well be a lot better off than buying one today and spending all year getting it into the same condition as the first boat mentioned (and with probably more $$ spent).
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Old 10-16-2012
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Re: Buying a 30-40 year old boat - your opinions

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Originally Posted by JulieMor View Post
Pam Wall was staying at the same B&B as we were. We got to meet her Friday morning at breakfast. When she said you have to feel some chi with a boat before buying it, I knew what she was talking about. I couldn't feel chi with any of the new boats at the show. I guess I like older boats.
That means we were staying at the same B&B!!!
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Re: Buying a 30-40 year old boat - your opinions

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Originally Posted by JulieMor View Post
For those of you who have made the plunge and bought an older boat, what has been your experience? What are the pitfalls? What have you had to pay for and what have you been to fix yourselves? And what boats really hold up that long?
My boat is 34 years old. Bought a couple years ago. Did have a survey done and nothing major was found. Boat has circumnavigated and from past owners reports, has been knocked down (mast in the water) and has seen winds to 80 knots and seas to 40 feet. Boat is solid and as far as I can tell, most of the rig (except for wire), mast, boom, hardware is all original. With little effort the boat would be ready for another circumnavigation.

Since I have had the boat, things done include: replacing all seacocks, hoses, belts, clamps, inpeller, wiring on engine, reglassing some rotted core at the bow cleats and anchor locker hatch, redoing the bilge pumps, installing a dam so that shaft packing leakage does not get to keel bolts, completely rewiring interior. Next on the list is to replace all standing rigging wire and turnbuckles and any questionable rig parts. Also plan to clean rust off engine and repaint. A few years down the road I will repaint deck and topside of hull as well as mast and boom. After that she should be good for 10 years or so without major issues (I hope at least). Also plan to add solent stay or maybe inner forestay with runners to set storm jib and as a back up in case of forestay failure.

Boat has solid glass hull with plywood core deck and lead keel with stainless keel bolts. Mast is oversized masthead rig with single spreader, and forward and aft lowers as well as baby forward stay.

I too look at some of the new boats and say they "look" nice in the pictures, but not for me. I think, if you need to get to say a hose or a wire, how would that be done. These new boats look to be built like a lot of cars today- no way to easily maintain them. But then these boats are not made for someone like me. My newest car is a 1991, do all the work on it myself. These new boats are made for someone with a good cash flow, and for someone with no time to do the work themselves. These people drive a car less than 3 years old (probably a leased car). But then these new boats are what keeps the economy going and keep people employed.
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Last edited by casey1999; 10-16-2012 at 02:34 PM.
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  #88  
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Re: Buying a 30-40 year old boat - your opinions

All the talk of total refits and massive repair projects brings to mind the way I approached the purchase of my boat. I bought an 18 year-old boat (10 years ago) that was clearly well-maintained in basically in sail away condition. At the same time I realized that while very sound I would need to begin replacing things. The approach I took (and continue to take) is incremental, prioritizing (safety first always) the items that need or will soon need replacement or upgrade and trying to do the work in the off season as much as possible. (Bottom job, running rigging, thru hulls, countless hoses, head rebuild, etc.) So I sailed for a year with no hot water heater, or a leaky foot pump in the galley - big deal. The point is I sailed. This past season I sailed with the varnish peeling off some of the brightwork on deck and a broken stove - but I sailed. My free time is limited. To me the point is to keep on sailing, keep on sailing...
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  #89  
Old 10-16-2012
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Re: Buying a 30-40 year old boat - your opinions

Of all the things I've done on a boat the one I don't wish to do again is replace a thru-hull transducer while the boat is in the water. I did that once when we were docked in Ft. Lauderdale.

My dad elected me to be the one to put on the scuba gear and go down with the new transducer. We had already cut the wiring to the old one and removed the locknut. All that was needed was to knock the old one out and fish the wire from the new one through until the new transducer was seated. No problem!

I got into the water. It was murky with visibility only a few feet. I know it's silly but I thought of sharks sneaking up on me. They didn't. I knocked on the hull, the sign to tell my dad I was ready. Then he started pounding on the old transducer with a rubber mallet. I thought my eardrums were going to burst! I held my ears with my hands, no longer ready to feed the wire through. It seemed forever before the old transducer popped out.

Then I heard a muffled sound. My dad was panicking that the water was rushing in and there was no sign of me or the wire. I fumbled around and found the end and he grabbed it. He was pulling so fast I was doing everything I could to make sure it didn't knot. Finally the new transducer was seated and the flooding stopped.

When I got out of the water my head was still pounding. Of course my dad had no idea he almost blew my eardrums out.
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  #90  
Old 10-16-2012
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Re: Buying a 30-40 year old boat - your opinions

My Triton is over 50 years old and she's solid and reliable despite being raced hard and not loved by the previous owner.
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