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first sailed january 2008
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A bit of awkward wording, but I'm in the market, I make calls and ask questions. What do you guys think are the most important things to look for when buying a used sailboat? My order is something like this:

1. Keel and hull;no rot, good keel bolts
1a. Bottom
2. Engine
3. Standing rigging
4. New sails
5. Running rigging and deck hardware
6. Interior
7. Electronics
8. Accesories: ground tackle, dinghy, lines, fenders, whatever

This is on this order because while I may view the electronics as more important than that, it is something I can more easily replace than sails or deck rot, and it is more personally customizable than bottom paint. Also you can slowly build you electronics suite a piece at a time, even so with your sails, where a bott job or engine overhaul is all or nothing. Plus some things you can live with, like not having a big chartplotter, where standing rigging has to be in good shape.

Others' thoughts?
 

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Corsair 24
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depends as always on the boat you are looking at

do all boats have keel bolts? no

unless wood, you dont say rot applies to glass boats, usually one thinks in terms of delamination, humidity levels, tabbing...etc

CHAINPLATES if it has them

BULKHEADS

is the mast or masts decks stepped or keel stepped, if decks hows the mast beam or support?

water intrusion and damage in wood areas, this applies to bulkheads, tabbing, floors, cabinetry etc...

another thing on your list

DECKS, what type, cored or not, delaminated or not, spongy or not.

another thing missing

toerails and or hull deck joint is another major factor to look at...

these things are important and of course boat dependant

also on saliboats look at everything related to that first and above all else including engine and accessories...from the top down.

for example if the boat has new rigging but old cracked chainplates on bad bulkheads and water damaged knees, cabinetry etc...what good is a decent engine?

might as well get a powerboat...
 

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Your order sounds good to me . When I was looking at my boat ( 20yrs. ago) that was being offered at way be low market price . The most important thing to me was that it was floating.
 

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first sailed january 2008
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1,409 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
depends as always on the boat you are looking at

do all boats have keel bolts? no

unless wood, you dont say rot applies to glass boats, usually one thinks in terms of delamination, humidity levels, tabbing...etc

CHAINPLATES if it has them

BULKHEADS

is the mast or masts decks stepped or keel stepped, if decks hows the mast beam or support?

water intrusion and damage in wood areas, this applies to bulkheads, tabbing, floors, cabinetry etc...

another thing on your list

DECKS, what type, cored or not, delaminated or not, spongy or not.

another thing missing

toerails and or hull deck joint is another major factor to look at...

these things are important and of course boat dependant

also on saliboats look at everything related to that first and above all else including engine and accessories...from the top down.

for example if the boat has new rigging but old cracked chainplates on bad bulkheads and water damaged knees, cabinetry etc...what good is a decent engine?

might as well get a powerboat...
Good thoughts, appreciated as always.

Chainplates go in the standing rigging category. The deck goes in category 1. It's part of the hull. That's what I meant by rot. Deck rot. The deck to hull joint also is in 1. Bulkhead could be interior or could have a separate category. But I have them in the interior category. As are things like leaky portholes and liner. My categories are very broad. But your specific thoughts are very welcome and helpful.
 

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You should have a good picture of the whole before starting to look at the parts. Do you have a clear sense of how you are going to use the boat? If so, the anticipated use will help identify criteria that the boat should meet. When you have a boat or boats that meet your criteria you can then start to look at the parts.
 

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I'd order it in terms of cost and hassle to repair or replace.

This set of things is a go/no-go, it doesn't make sense to order them: hull, keel, deck, mast

I wouldn't buy a boat if any of those are in questionable state. Of those 4 deck core is the most likely area to have issues, but also the easiest to repair.

The ordered stuff, basically sorted by price:
1) engine (assuming inboard, if outboard it's near the end of the list)
2) interior
3) steering system (rudder, bearings, tiller or wheel)
4) sails
5) standing rigging
6) running rigging

I assume that any electronics are a bonus item, but are probably outdated. My boat came with twenty year old Autohelm electronics, but it wasn't too hard to reuse the installed transducers with a modern system.

Running rigging costs more than standing rigging, but is near the end of the list because I have my own preferences there that might cause me to replace it even if it "works". A lot of people are happy with their 40 year old travelers that don't move under load, but when I see that I think "$1000 project" and 5-25 hours of work.

My boat was good in most of these areas except for the sails. They were a B-/C+ (good fabric, no holes or thread rot, good sunbrella, but blown out of shape), which most cruisers would apparently call almost new. The lines on running rigging were mostly shot, but the blocks and hardware were good. I did have to spend about $1000 rigging it for a spinnaker.

I expect to bring every one of these areas into the best condition possible, so it's a lot cheaper to start with a boat that is almost there then to improve all of them myself.
 

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It seems you left electrical and plumbing off the list. Both can be time consuming upgrades if done oneself and expensive if done by others. Same for refridgeration, interior cushions and exterior canvas. These take lower priority for racing or daysailing but are important if cruising.
 

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Having a bad day BL?
Not at all. I simply find it annoying to click "new posts" and have to wade through the clutter of same old posts of single questions which demonstrate that
a) NOB appears to be too lazy, impatient, or unfocused to at least search for an answer before asking a question that has been asked and answered and asked and answered and asked and...
b) the answers he has gotten over the years have apparently not sunk in, and
c) every answered question is invariably met with another question questioning the answers he has received.

If NOB had simply started ONE new "NOB's boat saga" thread, I would likely find it an interesting read. Instead i feel like it is just white noise.
 
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