Analysis Paralysis - The fear of buying - Page 3 - SailNet Community
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post #21 of 59 Old 05-08-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: Analysis Paralysis - The fear of buying

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Originally Posted by Tanski View Post
Have you ever sailed for before or have you convinced yourself you are going to love it and have no real idea? Especially in regards to the family you plan on taking with you, do they like to sail?
If you have the experience I say go for it buy a boat, if not I'd say try it out first before you commit the money to a fancy dream.
Sailing is like anchovies you either love it or hate it. Not many on the fence.
Tanski, yes sir I have sailed for 3 years and have logged about 80 days total. Various boats, but mostly a 28ft ODay after joining a local sailing club. I have both solo sailing and crewed exp. We purchased an RV a few years back to see if the kids would warm up to "roughing it" and we all really enjoyed it. Now we're looking for Marinas that offer some of the same community enjoyment as we did at camp sites.
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Re: Analysis Paralysis - The fear of buying

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I would definitely look around for a while. Go to Sailboat listings and do a search, easy to do, see whats around in your area and go look. What's the hurry? Mine was a lifetime dream, as well. I didn't sign any contract with my purchase, I just paid for it and signed a bill of sale with the previous owner. No sweat. Boat had been surveyed 2 yrs before and I trusted the owner. Had all the receipts for new engine, sails, keel refastening, everything. Mostly, you can tell about people. Now, some people are gonna have a lot to say about that, but what makes them experts? kev
Gentleman selling also has a 2yr survey for insurance purposes. I'm trying to get a copy to see how things are. I always assumed there's a process to this unlike a car or RV. As the marine 101 article posted on this thread says, you learn 95% of what is wrong with a boat just by looking at it and 95% by looking deeper into the things that look out of place.
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post #23 of 59 Old 05-08-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: Analysis Paralysis - The fear of buying

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If it is hitting you in your gut to do, it's probably right. You're not investing that much money that you won't be able to sell it later though that still may not be easy. Your post is the sanity check. I get it. I agonized over my first (and it is hoped - only) sailboat. It's not easy to pull the trigger. Knowing I could eventually sell the boat if I didn't like it was my sanity check. So perhaps you can find out everything you can about Hunter 34s from others of that era. Some things to consider: what were their weaknesses (all boats have something that the builders neglected though it may not be a fatal flaw), what does the bottom look like and when was it hauled last (blisters are not a fatal flaw to some, but to fix them is very expensive and time-consuming), is the electrical wiring new or have there been upgrades over the years (corroded connections and untinned wire are some of the things to look for; it would not be hard to rewire/upgrade, but some people would shy from this work), how old are the electronics and sails (these can be expensive items to replace, but many people are perfectly happy to sail with old stuff), can you feel any sponginess in the decks (this would be a deal killer for me, but not for others). If you can develop a rapport with the guy, ask him about the issues he's been dealing with and what he's done with the boat over the years. Has he had it a long time or short time? This might be an indicator. Then, don't sweat it. If you love the boat, you will love to do things that will improve her. If you plan to live on the boat, a fridge would be important (to most), but definitely not if you're going to be day sailing or even just spending weekends on it. One less thing to break! As to TV, just get a computer that you can stream shows or think about using that time on better things such as boat projects
You've covered a lot of ground, thank you! To summarize the concerns/questions, I had the same:

+ My wife said the same about the fact that its not that much money to spend and if we can get a great price that is below market, then selling would be easier if we find we need to take a different path.

+ I happened to get to see it on the hard which made me happy. I was able to run my hands along the sides, see the keel, check for blisters (none) and see how the gel coat is fairing. There are a lot of shallow crackling in the coat, but I'm to understand that is normal for a 1985. I looked for any that were particularly deep. As for spongyness, I did find some around the pump outlet and the inlets for water but further inspection shows that these are just poorly supported areas when looking from inside. We also pulled both sails and they were in better condition than I expected. The latest fix was a new roller furling that failed in 2015. Very nice to have
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Re: Analysis Paralysis - The fear of buying

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My advice is make buying fun. If it's the boat you want, offer what you're willing to pay assuming the survey shows no big surprises and focus on this boat. If not, don't make an offer. The sailing world is small. Don't play games with the seller and try to get it off the market if you aren't serious about this particular boat. There are so few of us wacko's wanting cruising sailboats that whatever you do, it establishes who you are in a small circle.

Play it straight, enjoy the process and don't over think it. Make friends including the seller.

Yea, and pull the trigger, life is short. I'll skip the comments about how the buying is the cheap part

Go sailing.


My wife already made the comment to ask the seller if he would like to sail with us in the future. He is selling because he realizes his age is finally catching up. That doesn't mean he can't enjoy the same boat with a younger (I'm 36) captain.
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Re: Analysis Paralysis - The fear of buying

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There are 2 types of people in the world: Gunnas and Doers. Gunnas bleat their life away: "I'm gunna do this", or I'm gonna do that. They never do anything, of course. They leave that to the Do'ers.

So what are you? Are you going to live life or waste it?


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I needed that, bud. I just bought a boat and am having serious financial anxiety but hey. You can't take it with you.
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post #26 of 59 Old 05-08-2016
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Actually lots of gel coat cracking is not normal for a 1985 boat, some cracks here and there can be expected but lots suggests something was not done right. Expect more in the deck where heavy objects my have been dropped or hard turns in the detailing but if they are in the hull then that is not common no matter the year.
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post #27 of 59 Old 05-09-2016
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Re: Analysis Paralysis - The fear of buying

Coincidentally, I was looking for some spare change today for the laundry and came across this fortune cookie saying: It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.
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post #28 of 59 Old 05-09-2016
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Re: Analysis Paralysis - The fear of buying

I was in your position 7 years ago. The admiral gave the nod, I had the cash, and I had looked at LOTS of boats (I started a few threads in SailNet at the time, many of which show my frustration).

I take it that this is the boat;
- credit SailboatData.com

Here is my advice, based on my experience;
  • Look for a dry boat with a hull and deck in good condition. This means no (or few) leaks, and gelcoat in good condition, decks with original nonskid (also in good condition). Pay particular attention to the area around the stanchions, looking for stress cracks. Buy or borrow a moisture meter and learn how to use it, and check the decks and hull for moisture intrusion. Don't be afraid to jump on the deck, and see if there is any flex (any flex is bad).

    Personally, I also don't like having ANY holes cut in the cockpit bulkheads, as people usually do to mount speakers or wind instruments. Holes are places where water gets into the boat. I don't like the look either.
  • Look for a clean engine that has been run regularly (many boats have sat for years) and is well maintained. Check the engine and transmission oil. Both oils should be clean, and fresh. Start the engine, and it should idle smoothly, Once warmed up not smoke excessively and you should see water spit out the exhaust.
  • Look for clean / crisp sails. The sails should be stiff (like a heavily starched shirt), and the rigging (in particular the roller furler) should ne newer than 1985. If it helps; I just bought a replacement main halyard for my 35 foot boat for about $140 shackle included.
  • Look for standing rigging that does not have any meathooks.
  • Look for ground tackle in good condition. Look at the entire rode for chafe or corrosion - bonus points for a Spade/Manson Supreme/Rocna/Mantus anchor.
  • Refrigeration does not matter, because if it is installed it is probably broken. You can easily add this.
  • Any electronics are probably obsolete. discount them, and plan to replace them.
  • Television - seriously?!? I sail to get AWAY from this stuff.

Then, figure out what the boat is worth to YOU. If it is worth less to you than 80% of what the guy is asking, then find another boat.
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post #29 of 59 Old 05-09-2016
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Re: Analysis Paralysis - The fear of buying

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Originally Posted by gigamanx View Post
Gentleman selling also has a 2yr survey for insurance purposes. ...
A lot can happen with a boat in two years. Plus, insurance surveys are typically not as detailed as a pre-purchase survey, depending on who did the survey. An insurance survey may not be entirely useless but don't substitute it for a proper pre-purchase survey.
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Re: Analysis Paralysis - The fear of buying

Don't over analyze the situation. All boats are compromises so there is no best boat. Get one that you like, especially the design and layout, not because it was a good bargain. Most important, get one that you can sail (enjoy) from the start without doing lots of work so there is immediate "return on your investment":. If you've got to do a lot of repairs before you can use it, there's a good chance you might get to hate it. If you are not sure about what you are doing, get the opinions of some other experienced sailors. Surveys are expensive and if you get one, do it after you've decided you are going to take the boat unless survey shows some major problem (survey on older boat is likely to show some minor issues on an older boat). There is no perfect/ best boat, and most of us wouldn't recognize it if we saw one. If you decide you don't like it, you can sell it and get most of your money back in time....just don't buy a boat and cobble it up with amateur "upgrades" and repairs.
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