Important Things (You Know Now), To Look For When Buying A Used Sailboat? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 31 Old 07-04-2018 Thread Starter
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Important Things (You Know Now), To Look For When Buying A Used Sailboat?

From experience of what you found out 'after' you bought yours, what are some things to look for that you normally would not be aware of, when shopping for a used sailboat?
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post #2 of 31 Old 07-04-2018
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Re: Important Things (You Know Now), To Look For When Buying A Used Sailboat?

Pretty much the biggest thing I didn't see coming on this boat was the lack of ventilation in the aft end of our aft cabin. There is no place for the air to pass through the cabin, even though there are 4 opening portholes, a large hatch, and a dorade box, the after most is at the foot of the bed. Aft of that toward the headboard, nothing. However, we will be addressing this problem this summer.
If you are even thinking about taking a boat to the tropics, think seriously about the ventilation below decks. Some of the most beautiful and well-built boats on the planet come from northern Europe, and they are the most horrible boats to sail to the tropics because they are from very cold climates and have very poor ventilation below.
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"Any idiot can make a boat go; it takes a sailor to stop one." Spike Africa aboard the schooner Wanderer in Sausalito, Ca. 1964.
“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” ― Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

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post #3 of 31 Old 07-05-2018
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Re: Important Things (You Know Now), To Look For When Buying A Used Sailboat?

Buy a copy of this book https://www.amazon.com/Caseys-Comple...70_&dpSrc=srch

When looking at a boat have a checklist on clipboard and take pictures.

If planning a stay in a warm destination think about ventilation. My first cruising boat only had one hatch and it opened from the rear, [ not good] my current boat has 7 hatches all of which open from the front and 8 side portholes which open. [good]

If planning on having a professional survey done be aware that virtually all surveyors will not go up the mast or lay out the sails, rarely do they run the engine and test the gearbox.
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post #4 of 31 Old 07-05-2018
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Re: Important Things (You Know Now), To Look For When Buying A Used Sailboat?

Inspecting the Aging Sailboat is great... and yes, make your own checklist and do your own "survey" on every boat you look at it. If I had done that on the first boat we tried to buy I would have caught a bunch of pretty basic things and not had to spend the money on having a professional surveyor tell me not to buy the boat (he was right, I just could have figured it out myself with a little more structure to my looking at those first boats).

We decided we didn't really care about the electronics we were more interested in a fundamentally sound boat, and we're happy we did it that way, the electronics thing is pretty easy to take care of with some basic depth/speed and then a laptop or tablet to navigate with.

Biggest thing I got lucky with was our dinghy... wasn't really on our radar as a big factor, ended up with boat that came with a Walker Bay that is perfect for our use and just fits nicely on the foredeck when we want it out of the water... having to buy that after buying the boat would have been a big headache and a few grand potentially. So make sure you check out the dinghy situation when buying.

Other consideration (pretty obvious, but worth repeating to onesself) is how equipped it is... solid hull and rig and engine and tranny are key, obviously, but don't discount how much money you might end up spending on things that aren't part of the boat itself (safety equipment, PFD's, fire extinguishers, anchors & rode, dock lines, life rings, etc etc)

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Re: Important Things (You Know Now), To Look For When Buying A Used Sailboat?

Unless you have experienced it, you may not appreciate how bad old sails can be, even if they look fine. Before buying any particular boat in the future, I will do some research to determine how much it will cost for new sails, new standing rigging, and new running rigging. I will subtract that cost from my purchase budget to determine how much I can afford to pay for the boat, then negotiate to a purchase price that is not higher than my budget.

If you are not experienced in boat repair, set-up, and maintenance, an active owner's association is worth several thousand dollars, IMO.
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post #6 of 31 Old 07-05-2018
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Re: Important Things (You Know Now), To Look For When Buying A Used Sailboat?

Another thing, but on the plus side for us, was the dodger/bimini set up on our boat. We can easily stand up and move the whole length of the cockpit under the bimini, with inches to spare (about 6'2"). On several sisterships, their biminis are at least 6" shorter and I could not stand up under them, even at the helm. That really is a huge deal IMO; crouching over to steer and move around the cockpit! The second thing that we lucked out on is that our dodger has clear side panels, not solid cloth. It may not sound like a big deal, but with the solid panels it's like entering a tunnel to go below, and you don't have 360 degree visibility if you are just popping your head up the companionway in a squall or to check out a boat anchoring alongside, so you have to go out into the cockpit.
These are things we would never have known or thought we just had to live with, and we just got lucky. Now, of course, we know better. Also, if you are having a dodger/bimini built, think about these things.

"Any idiot can make a boat go; it takes a sailor to stop one." Spike Africa aboard the schooner Wanderer in Sausalito, Ca. 1964.
“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” ― Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

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post #7 of 31 Old 07-06-2018 Thread Starter
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Re: Important Things (You Know Now), To Look For When Buying A Used Sailboat?

The two biggest things I'm finding owners are not replacing and letting go for long periods without upkeep are the cutlass bearings and the motors are not being maintenanced.
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Re: Important Things (You Know Now), To Look For When Buying A Used Sailboat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dispatch View Post
The two biggest things I'm finding owners are not replacing and letting go for long periods without upkeep are the cutlass bearings and the motors are not being maintenanced.
There are some well maintained boats out there...Look for ones that have been maintained by a professional company rather then the doit yourself handy man.
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post #9 of 31 Old 07-07-2018
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Re: Important Things (You Know Now), To Look For When Buying A Used Sailboat?

Check out Marine Survey 101 ..... over 100 photos of what to look for.
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The hysterical laughter you hear as you drive a way in your"new" boat ..... is the seller.
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post #10 of 31 Old 07-07-2018
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Re: Important Things (You Know Now), To Look For When Buying A Used Sailboat?

We found out about packing in the lower rudder bearing when it started leaking. An easy fix, but quite a surprise to see water spurting into the boat each time the transom touched the water going downwind at 9 knots.
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