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Old 14-09-2015, 08:23   #1
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Things to consider when buying cheap..?

I am hoping to buy a boat at some point. I have seen quite a few in the 25-ish foot range around my area for 5000 or less. I know these boats are not going to be luxurious by any far stretch. What I want is to make sure that the boat is usable to learn to sail and enjoy weekends on at first. So, to me it needs to be solid in the hull, and mast, etc. and have decent sails that may last a couple of years before needing work. I don't want to have to drop another 4 grand into a 4000 dollar boat before I can start using it. My question(s) is/are: What are the things to look for that would derail getting out on a boat of this price range, and is a boat in this price range going to be usable right away and for a couple of years without needing a lot of work? How often would a boat on a fresh water lake need bottom work? ie paint, etc? What do I look for with used sails...other than obvious tears, repairs, etc is there a way to tell if the sails are of decent upkeep,e tc.?
I would certainly want an experienced surveyor to look at the hull, etc. for damage, rot, etc...what does that cost relative to boat cost? Do I have to pay for a haul out to get that done?
Thanks for your help. IF I have asked any incredibly stupid questions let me know..also let me know if there are questions I need to be asking that I have not thought of.
Thanks.
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Old 14-09-2015, 14:00   #2
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Re: Things to consider when buying cheap..?

No stupid question. I've asked afew my self. This question is asked every week. Stay here and search a bit and read. The more you learn the better. Its all here. welcome and enjoy.
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Old 14-09-2015, 14:10   #3
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Re: Things to consider when buying cheap..?

Go look at A LOT of boats. Go see the cheap ones and the ones just out of your price range.
You'll know it when you see it.
It's that simple really.
Surveyor = good idea when you find it and want it.
$350-$400 in my area (northeast USA)
I like to view boats in the water. Rigged and ready.
That will answer some of your questions by the fact it's floating and has been sailed recently.
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Old 15-09-2015, 07:04   #4
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Re: Things to consider when buying cheap..?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mariner36bob View Post
...
You'll know it when you see it.
I think I'd definitely notice if something was terrible, but it is the unseen that worries me..rotten, delaminated, keel issues, mast issues, standing rigging needing replaced, etc.
Looking like crap I can handle, I just want something to learn to sail on...that is not going to fall apart in a month.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mariner36bob View Post
I like to view boats in the water. Rigged and ready.
That will answer some of your questions by the fact it's floating and has been sailed recently.
That was my thought also..if it floats that is one less thing to worry about. Lol.
Most of my worry is not cosmetic, etc. I just want to know that the boat is capable of sailing without major issue right away. I know that you will always have to spend money for upgrades, maintenance, etc. I just want to be able to sail and learn for awhile without having to dump money on a big problem right out of the gate..Or, ending up with a boat that has structural issues and will basically be a 4000 dollar anchor as soon as I get it..
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Old 15-09-2015, 07:46   #5
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Re: Things to consider when buying cheap..?

How about a 23' Aquarius?
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Old 01-10-2015, 23:17   #6
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Re: Things to consider when buying cheap..?

You will be able to tell. There are a lot of boats in the 25 foot range for $5000. Just don't start looking at boats any bigger because then you will get yourself in trouble. You will like the bigger boat, and you will find bigger boats for $5000, but they probably won't be good ones. Maybe you'll try to convince yourself it is good and you can fix it up but don't.

I wouldn't spend the money on a surveyor for a $5000 boat, but a lot of others will disagree with me. There are websites online that will tell you what to look for. Find one that has been used and taken care of and not one that has been sitting and now they are finally selling it.

Get a good engine on it, so you can be more comfortable learning. On a 25 footer an outboard would be the way to go, cheaper to maintain and fix too.

Said should not have any rips or tears and should feel hard and crisp. Not like a t shirt, but like a really starched dress shirt from the dry cleaners.

The deck should be solid, this is one of the things I would look at most. Bang on it with something so it does;t sound mushy, like there is rotten wood in there.
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Old 02-10-2015, 04:21   #7
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Re: Things to consider when buying cheap..?

Scgilligan, I think you answered your question in your op. Just find something that's turn key and ready to sail, you don't want to have to put any money into a boat in that range to get it sailing.

As stuff breaks, you can decide whether to jury rig or upgrade the part, depending on your circumstances.

One thing to consider, is if you know you're not going to need certain systems, then you can take a pass and pay less money.

My first cruiser was 30', paid $7500 cdn. The atomic 4 ran great (for a 40 year old gas engine any way), the sails all worked, the blackwater system worked well. She had a good powerful electric furnace (I was living aboard in northern climates).

She didn't have running water, cooking appliances, refrigeration or any electronics, and nor did she have any of those things when I sold her for nearly what I paid for her 3 years later.

The next owner has now lived on her for another 3 years and she still doesn't have any of those systems.

Electronics will completely destroy your budget, so think carefully before buying any.

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Old 02-10-2015, 05:57   #8
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Re: Things to consider when buying cheap..?

There are quite a few youtube videos that walk through assessing sailboats. I watched one last night by Shaunsailing. The video is not so great but he did a nice job of going over the hull, deck, engine, chain plates etc. His budget is similar to your so the boat he was looking at should be relevant to the kinds of boats you will find too.



Good luck!
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