Age itself is rarely an issue. Especially as a 5 year old boat isn't even middle aged as boats go. Well, other than racers that are run really
hard. The biggies are quality of design & construction, as well as the amount & type of use, plus the quality of care & maintenance
The thing is too, if you buy something that's brand new, odds are there will still be a lot of issues with her, that will only be discovered with time & sea miles. And will need to be fixed also. So, new boats are rarely even close to perfect. Between leaks
, improperly installed equipment
& systems. Sails
that need some TLC from the loft. Etc.
Read some of the lists which delivery
skippers & crews put together about what needs attention on "new" boats, that they discovered when taking such boats to where they'll be given to their owners. Well, they're enlightening. As commonly the lists are a few pages long, & aren't just about things like "light bulb X needs replacing".
Consider all of the hours which go into building a mid-sized to large sailboat, & all of the myriad systems in her. Most of it by hand. And things start to make sense. So there's no free lunch. Which is why even with a new boat it makes sense to go through the whole survey
- Owner DIY Survey
- General Survey -> The type you commonly read about. Including on the boat's structure. Though on some boats that also requires a specialist.
- Engine & Mechanical survey -> By a pro mechanic
, & possibly other experts if the vessel has complex systems. Such as electrical
And with a Mechanical Survey, you want to get samples of all of a drive system's fluids tested. Engine Oil
Fluid, etc. (x2 with a catamaran). And ditto on Generators...
Survey - > By a professional rigger
And it's easy to add to this, as the price
of the vessel goes up, ditto on her complexity.
: Here's a company that I & the family
have used for vehicle fluids analysis. They seem good, as well as friendly. And I toured the lab for an hour, asking all of the hard questions I could come up with. Both layman's questions, & engineer's. As well as going into the shop spaces where they don't let most folks.
You're trusting such a firm with a lot of your $, by virtue of their eval. of your machinery (via the fluid's testing). So if them answering your questions is awkward, IMO, find someone else. As there are plenty of such companies out there, many of them decades old. http://www.blackstone-labs.com/
As a comparison, I spent 4-5hrs with Brion Toss & 2 of his crew when they did my pre-purchase rigging inspection
. In additon to the report they wrote up for me. And while you don't spend as much money
on the fluids analysis, it only takes them a short while to do the test, & have the computer write the report. But both are high $ "tests". So it's important to have a sense of who you're working with.