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Old 12-05-2017, 18:24   #31
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Re: Ok to buy older boats?

Remember that the asking prices of boats are VERY INFLATED and the actual sales are no where near those amounts


Older (60s and early 70s) monohull sailboats are considered to be generally better made than today's similar models in terms of strength and build quality -- Pearsons, etc. Fiberglass is after all just plastic and it will last forever

However the older the boat is, the more work it will require to be brought back to Bristol condition -- which is a good way to learn about your boat as one should.
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Old 12-05-2017, 23:49   #32
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Re: Ok to buy older boats?

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Originally Posted by Sailmonkey View Post
No, buying older boats is not ok. Who gave you the idea that it would be! I demand they make themselves known!!
As a charter skippet I sail a lot of different makes on Europe and let me tell you that the boat industry produces a lot of unbelievabe cheap scrap in comparison to good old boats

cheap brass home depot seakocks not even CR
Non sacrifying of uncourse

Interior wood is same material as the cheapest kitchen material at HD

Bimini plastic mounts screwed directly into GRP no backplates no sealing

wood Hardware 50% corroded after 2 years

can continue this upto 50 findings but getting tired of this sh...

gob's hull is 25 mm (1 inch)
new boats 5-6 mm ( 1/5 inch )
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Old 13-05-2017, 02:16   #33
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Re: Ok to buy older boats?

Like airplanes, the less expensive makes tend to age poorly compared to the higher-end airplanes. More expensive boats tend to have better quality where you can't see it, and better components and fittings that won't need to be replaced when old. More expensive boats also usually get better care and maintenance. Engines tend to be the same from make to make, but they get better care in expensive boats.

There are a lot more boats than airplanes, a lot more variation in quality, and a lot more variation in levels of care, and in types of use and abuse. I don't think you can compare boats and airplanes for aging.
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Old 13-05-2017, 07:09   #34
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Re: Ok to buy older boats?

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More expensive boats also usually get better care and maintenance. Engines tend to be the same from make to make, but they get better care in expensive boats.
A point often overlooked!
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Old 13-05-2017, 07:27   #35
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Re: Ok to buy older boats?

Any boat, including a brand new one, is on ongoing refit/maintenance project. That's just the nature of the beast. Your only realistic responses to this fact is to either be able to afford good professionals to work on her or learn/know to DIY.

That being said - it's all about the budget and initial expectations. For me slaving in the office in order to afford either newer boat or professional help is more of a negative than slaving on the boat fixing this or that. So I tend to be in the camp of "older boat but not too much of a project". At least as much of a project as I can realistically fix myself.

Others who can make easy/easier $$ in their profession would rather continue making that $$ and just hop on that newish boat of theirs whenever they have time knowing that it was in good professional hands in between the owner's sails. Still others probably find a middle way, getting 8-12 year old boat with some needed upgrades to be made but not too much to overwhelm or to distract from sailing.

At the end it's all about boat's intended use and availability of funds/time to support that intended use.
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Old 13-05-2017, 07:33   #36
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Re: Ok to buy older boats?

i would still take my 40 yr old hull and deck over the new stuff. my hull is not cored and it is able to tolerate more abuse than those cored hulls without the damages.
it isnot the price of fg that makes the difference between old and newer but the epa regulations regarding creation of these boats that changed in mid 1970s. the materials were required to be changed, as were the methods of layup. mine is hand lay up.
i watched hank mckune create a hull in 1991 -- using hand layup techniques--was impressive.
thankyou i will keep the 40 yr old monster i own. she was only 30 when i met her.
she ages well.

as for restoring to bristol condition-- hahahahaha i donot have ocd. i have sailmenow.
looks are not the only consideration in the purchasing of a boat. i love this ones lines and style but i LOVE her performance in seas and winds.
bristol is a state of yotsnot i donot care to imitate. she functions as she should and looks like a sailing boat--fine with me. shiny attracts rats with 2 legs. i am not going there--yes a lot of work in an old boat--but new is also a lot of work before you can successfully sail out of port.
i would rather have, as i do, a boat with character, not a production lookalike.
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Old 13-05-2017, 07:45   #37
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Re: Ok to buy older boats?

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A point often overlooked!
And still another point is that given the same level of care by POs a boat kept in Maine all of her life will age considerably better than a similar vintage boat which was kept in Florida for as many years. On the other hand it is not often reflected in the price as the Florida boat, as beat up as it may be, is still more in demand (especially for liveaboard purposes) and has more people interested in her year around than a boat sitting in Maine storage shed 100+ miles form civilization. Old salts always tell me that for good deals on well built older boats to go to Maine coastal boonies and nearby boatyards.

About 12-14 years ago marine pro friend of mine picked up an early 80s Ed Dubois designed 46 footer sitting unloved in the "middle of nowhere" Maine boat yard for the cost of a fraction of the storage bill (ended up paying well under $10K). He bought a brand new repo tractor Yanmar engine, marinized it and had himself a RTW circumnavigator for under $15k. He did redo the interior and the deck structure but that was later and at least first few years he had a great boat for very short money. Someone who is not in the trade or can't DIY would probably end up paying between $50K and $100K to do a similar project but that still would make the whole thing worthwhile as $100K is still "cheap" for a RTW ready 46 footer designed by a famous NA and built by a NZ boat building team to NZ offshore boat standards.
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Old 13-05-2017, 13:07   #38
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Re: Ok to buy older boats?

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And still another point is that given the same level of care by POs a boat kept in Maine all of her life will age considerably better than a similar vintage boat which was kept in Florida for as many years. On the other hand it is not often reflected in the price as the Florida boat, as beat up as it may be, is still more in demand (especially for liveaboard purposes) and has more people interested in her year around than a boat sitting in Maine storage shed 100+ miles form civilization. Old salts always tell me that for good deals on well built older boats to go to Maine coastal boonies and nearby boatyards.
True. I found my minty, 12-yr-old boat in an obscure ad up in Canada. The owner wasn't willing to show it to anyone 'till I made an offer, and he brought it in from the private island where he kept it in the summers. Those kind of deals are rare up there, but non-existent in Florida. They are also a bit risky and full of additional challenges. I'm still sorting out little issues with this boat, but getting confident there isn't some hidden reason it was selling so cheap.
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Old 13-05-2017, 19:46   #39
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Re: Ok to buy older boats?

Hi JSC7,

yes a huge difference in the depreciation of used boats and planes.

Aircraft have to be maintained to a standard generally with professional labour which is very much regulated. Boats are quite the reverse. The other issue is the environment they are in. Aircraft are usually hangared and looked after well. Boats sit out in an aggressive environment and very often not well looked after. Systems in aircraft have to be maintained and kept in good working order, again very well regulated. Systems in older boats are at the end of their working life in not much more than 10 years in many cases and often just kept going with the consequent unreliability. Engines fail in boats all the time, in aircraft rarely!

I fly sailplanes and want to purchase an older one but just can't get my head around paying 2-3x the original purchase price for a 30-40 year old glider.

Therefore buying an older boat ought to be considered very carefully with regard probable repair, replacement and upgrade costs. These are often not well appreciated hence the reason most people go way over budget in preparing their new old vessel. I know, I have been there several times and should know better! I am convinced after many purchases of "bargains" that you are better off paying substantially more for a vessel that has been well maintained with new/er gear etc.

Good luck with your search.


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Old 13-05-2017, 22:31   #40
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Re: Ok to buy older boats?

When you look at all the responses (3 pages worth in just a few days) you see that the answer to the OP's questions is entirely dependent on the individual boat's condition, your personal preferences and budget of course.

In the past I had bought a 40 year old steel Burger that had cruised back and forth across the Pacific. But the original design had weaknesses in accessibility and also the steel maintenance had been neglected for years. Bad formula.

In general I would admit that a well-cared for used boat is a better solution than going new. That said, personally I'm only into new these days - emotion over brains!

PS - Happy Mothers Day to all the ladies.
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Old 01-08-2017, 19:01   #41
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Re: Ok to buy older boats?

Lenders don't like to lend money on old boats. For those that have the means, old boats can be a good deal. You need to be able to work on your own stuff or be able to pay someone else to do it. Some times cruising in remote places you don't have a choice, its all on you. We just got back from Canada in our 1979 Farallon and cruised 800 NM from La Conner Wa. to Prices Louise Inlet to Chatter Box falls. I would have been scared to do it, even in a new boat, if I couldn't work on it myself. Old boats are cool if taken care of.
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Old 06-08-2017, 10:50   #42
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Re: Ok to buy older boats?

I have bought 2 used boats, a Norhavn 46 which, after extensive upgrading, was dropped in the yard and determined to be a constructive loss. All that was needed was the above water line painting which, in my mind, was to be left to the next owner.
The second, now, boat, a 36 American Tug.
For BOTH boats, I employed a surveyor. BOTH boats had a lot of hidden problems which the surveyors did not find.
Both boats had sound engines and hulls.
With my current 36ft American tug, the man working on the boat..... when I suggested adding equipment or changing out equipment, he would look at me and I would tell him, the next owner will be happy. Often I would just tell him, I was putting more perfume on the pig.

What to expect after buying a used boat? Expect to spend 1/3 to 1/2 of the sale price to make the boat "yours." That is, unless you buy my boat. LOL I cannot think of one system I did not upgrade except for the electronics. I will leave that to the next owner's preference. I did ADD to the available electronics. I specifically added a stand alone depth sounder and rudder indicator. Also added an apparent wind gage indicator. Gimme a good depth sound, rudder indicator, current paper charts, a good compass and a VHF radio, I will try to take the boat pretty much anywhere I can reach with the available fuel. After all, boat is suppose to be an adventure, right?
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Old 06-08-2017, 23:54   #43
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Re: Ok to buy older boats?

Buying a boat is not the same as buying a plane or a car. Most boat owners will customise their boat to their individual needs. No two owners of boats use their boat exactly the same way. On this forum they are mainly cruisers and liveaboard. Many boat owners here get very emotionally attached to their boats.

I use mine mainly on fresh water lakes in NZ, away from seawater and hence less repair work is required.
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Old 12-08-2017, 08:12   #44
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Re: Ok to buy older boats?

Well, i personally recommend buying older boats. You can get a really good deal for it. But you need to inspect every little detail to know is it worthy to refurbish it. Older boats with refurbished engine and furniture are almost as just as good as new ones. But, if you want to give it for a rent, clients often prevail upon making a decision when they see the year of building.
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Old 12-08-2017, 18:29   #45
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Re: Ok to buy older boats?

Many people buy older boats. But if you're planning on paying labor to bring the boat to excellent condition, it's probably cheaper to buy new. Most people that buy boats needing work, and planning to do the work, usually don't do a proper job or never finish. Some projects see many owners with the price lower each time. But determined people can obtain a nice boat for less money. I did several times, but it was always more hours and money than I planned.
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