Great Lakes Sailor
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Saginaw, MI
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Re: New(er) vs. Old(er)
This question seems to come up frequently. The thoughtful responses are as varied as the available boats are, and are almost always correct (both sides).
I look at this in the same way you would look at a house purchase. There are many very fine, sturdy, old homes with lots of character and many fine amenities added over the years by attentive and experienced homeowners. There are many immaculate, new, shiny homes that with a few winters behind them will certainly show significant flaws and weaknesses. There are many luxurious, beautiful new or nearly new homes with all the "bells and whistles" that are available - for a whole lot of money.
If you are a fixer-up-er and appreciate character and value in a low priced package, go for the older home of your dreams. If you have the cash (credit?) and can afford the McMansion with all the trimmings, good for you. If you are somewhere in between, like most of us, look for the most character, quality, condition for the price you can afford and enjoy it.
In this regard, boats are more like homes than they are like cars, which generally are dependent on engine and part wear and tear, and have a limited life-expectancy even if cared for well.
There are many great new boats, and many great old boats (mine is over 20 years old and looks almost like new). There is significant upkeep with any boat - continuously from the day it is purchased! An older boat that has been well maintained is probably a better "value" than a new boat, but if you want an out-of-the-box new boat that won't need much attention for a few years, get the newer boat. Either way, as mentioned in nearly every thread on purchasing a boat, put a significant percentage of your "boat money" away for maintenance and upkeep/expenses and you will probably be happy with your purchase.
Saginaw Bay, Michigan
"The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails." - William Arthur Ward