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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have seen people here recommend books on buying a used sailboat. I did a search, but can't find the recommendations. So can anyone recommend a book that might be helpful in my search for a used sailboat?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Are you looking for a *what boat to buy* book, or a *how to buy a boat* book?

I'll see what I can find for you (I'm interested too), but you might start here:

sailingdog's "Boat Inspection Tips" thread
Thanks Manatee. How to buy. I am interested in things like "whether boats have a shelf life" and where older boats might fail. I know there are many variables involved, but are there some fiberglass boat from the 70's that you still might get 10 or 15 years more use from? I know components will need to be replaced or upgraded, but will the hull, keel and mast etc. withstand the passing of time?

Also what construction qualities withstand the test of time and what boats have proven themselves over time. I have my eye on a couple of Cal 39's from the late 70's that are fairly close to me.
 

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I know components will need to be replaced or upgraded, but will the hull, keel and mast etc. withstand the passing of time?
There's no shortage of opinion on what constitutes the "best" old boat; but the question really is "what's the best boat for me?". Don Casey does a good job of describing how to figure out what your best boat is in This Old Boat (another good book of his).

In a 70's vintage boat the mast, keel and hull are generally not the things that will fail. This Old Boat and the other Casey books recommended by Manatee will show you how to inspect mechanical systems.

You want to look at wear items like the sails, the engine, and the standing and running rigging. Are they serviceable or at least in good enough shape that you can get a season or two out of them before upgrades/repairs/replacement are necessary?

And area where I'm always suspicious on older boats is the wiring. 70's boats have inferior electrical systems by today's standards. They rarely have enough circuits and you may be dealing with a rats nest of previous owner patches that may be a fire hazard.

Charlie Wing's book on 12v marine systems is a good place to start learning about boat electrical systems.

Once you settle on one or two boats Google user groups. They're a great source for model specific info. That's where you'll learn about common problems, the fixes and how to check if they've already been addressed.

Best of luck with your search.

This Old Boat, Second Edition: Completely Revised and Expanded: Don Casey: 9780071477949: Amazon.com: [email protected]@[email protected]@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/[email protected]@[email protected]@51j0v4ULOSL

Boatowner's Illustrated Electrical Handbook: Charlie Wing: 9780071446440: Amazon.com: [email protected]@[email protected]@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/[email protected]@[email protected]@51ic0iynkYL
 

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Here are a few ideas as well:


Practical Sailor's Boat Guide


Surveying Fibreglass Sailboats ...


These will give you some good knowledge.

Rik
I have an older version of the practical sailor's guide (hard bound books) and found it marginally helpful. It was interesting reading none the less and did have some very good info. I also have the surveying fiberglass boats but find Don Casey's book much better, more readable and better explanations as well as better illustrations. But it is not really a fair comparison as I find Don's writing style to be clear and provides good explanations and his illustrator is great.

As far as what boat to get, I think that is such a subjective issue that there is not going to be any "book" that is really helpful. I think this forum and others likely give more up to date info. What I have found helpful is to find a user group for the boat you are looking at. Browse through the old threads to get an idea of what issues there are. If you are interested in performance and all you see are people talking about how long there Dacron sails have lasted then you know it is likely not a boat for you. If you see lots of info about where to get parts like bushings for stern tubes then you know what to look out for when looking at the boat. On the other hand if you want a comfortable cruiser and most of the posts are about high tech sails, racing results, and PHRF ratings then you might think about another boat. Forums will have lots of good info and bad info. For instance there is a lot of Hunter bashing. Some of it valid, others not. The B&R rig for instance is something I don't think I would be interested in owning(due to limitations on down wind sailing, and complicated rigging to replace), but the quality issues seem to be blown out of proportion. They are built about the same as say Catalina or other boats of the same price range. So it is not that hard to sift through the chaff and figure out what is real and what is not.

That said if you are looking for a smallish seaworthy boat here are two I found to be interesting reads:

Amazon.com: Twenty Small Sailboats to Take You Anywhere eBook: John Vigor: Kindle [email protected]@[email protected]@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/[email protected]@[email protected]@51P7ZDGatsL

and slightly larger boats similar format:

Amazon.com: Twenty Affordable Sailboats to Take You Anywhere eBook: Gregg Nestor, John Vigor: Kindle [email protected]@[email protected]@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/[email protected]@[email protected]@51Q5uqqcfZL
 

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While not specifically about buying a used boat, there is a great deal of info. in Calder's book:Nigel Calder's Cruising Handbook: A Compendium for Coastal and Offshore Sailors: Nigel Calder: 9780071350990: Amazon.com: [email protected]@[email protected]@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/[email protected]@[email protected]@610G78jHmsL

As far as specific older boats go, each has its own particular problem areas. That info is harder to find. Forums like this are very helpful in that aspect as well as searches for magazine pieces about a particular boat. People have been really stung by the lack of research into serious issues common to a specific boat.
 
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