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Old 19-08-2015, 17:51   #16
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Location: west Fl., Tampa Bay,
Boat: '76 Heritage West Indies 36 Morgan design
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Re: Tips on buying an older sailboat

I am so grateful for finding my 39 yr old dream boat recently.. she has had major systems refit... ss keel bolts, ss mast step, ss stringers undersole,. rudder rebuilt, ss quadrant, epoxied bottom. new ss chainplates and newer rigging, new running rigging...complete/detailed engine service, newer garmin gps depth etc, newer canvas...good sails...newer ss ports, newer hatches, upgraded custom mid boom sheet assembly.. newer imron,...and more...though dirty inside, but getting cleaner every day...... she's Magnificent...
do buy an old boat...IF
you know all about yacht boat construction, I do
you know lots about diesels, mechanically inclined...I am and I do
you know much/alot... about standing and running rigging, bulkheads and chainplates...I do
you are an experienced sailor ...I am
you are in love with the boat and will do anything to make it better..I will
1976 Heritage Yacht, West Indies 36, built Clearwater fl. the day my hull was being laid up, I was going to work at the Irwin factory...about 3 miles away...
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clean warm gin clear water, coral, abundant fish, lobster, beautiful beaches, great anchorages, sailing the Bahamas , Caribbean again, soon...
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Old 19-08-2015, 18:14   #17
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Re: Tips on buying an older sailboat

It's terrific that you know all about all these things. However, since you were working building Irwin boats when yours was built a few miles away, how come you did not buy an Irwin, a boat you might have helped to build? You are also telling everyone "out there" that they should only buy an old boat if they have all those skills you possess-knowing Lots" as you do? I wonder if other CF readers agree with that? Does one really need to be familiar with or skilled at all systems?

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Old 19-08-2015, 18:26   #18
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Location: San Francisco and Australia
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Re: Tips on buying an older sailboat

Originally Posted by Jack Lahr View Post
Folks this site is the other side of my coin listing tips on selling an older sailboat. Here is where you can pile on with tips to get the right boat for you. Here are some startup suggestions

If you want to check out a candidate boat not geographically convenient , screen the boat ahead of time by buying say two hours of time with a local surveyor asking for a general walkthru and a telephone report. You will be delighted at how much you learn at a reasonable price. And look at the time you saved. Boat US has a listing of recommended surveyors around almost all US sailing venues.

If a broker is involved, confirm that the broker actually knows the boat, has actually been aboard recently ,

Lots of experience on this site-- pile on!
We did just that.

We found our Liberty 458 on yachtworld and had it under contract 2 days after it was listed.

We sent our broker, who we interviewed during our earlier 80 day roadtrip, from san diego to seattle.

He conducted a prelim survey, videod the owner talking through the boat and engaged a mechanic and an oil analysis.

The videos allowed us to finalize the price and pen the contract. The good quality photos on yachtworld, especially the clean and well laid out engine room, were what gave us confidence to get the boat under contract so quickly. We'd seen plenty of crap on our road trip.

We were packing up, selling a house in Australia, and travelling to the US while finalizing the deal.

Having a trusted broker in place was the key to success.

We had a full survey completed once we were on the ground. The surveyor was useless and supposedly a professional. I completed my own.

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Old 19-08-2015, 18:51   #19
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Re: Tips on buying an older sailboat

I think a lot depends on what you plan to do with the boat and you're own personal comfort levels with regards to know or not knowing the systems on board.

A good survey can tell you whether or not to walk away, but seems to me it's is still pretty superficial at the end of the day, particularly if you're planning on relying on those systems in some far off place.

Beyond a good survey, a PO that obviously cared about the boat and good documentation surrounding all systems are a huge plus. For ex, the rigging may still look shiny, but if there's no knowledge of it's history or when it was last replaced I personally wouldn't put much stock in it. YMMV

Buying an older boat can be a lot of work, but you can also see that work as sweat equity. You get to know the systems well and the quality can be easily controlled on a refit if you do the work yourself or oversee the proceedings.

I've only gone through the process once, but those are my take aways so far.
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Old 21-08-2015, 17:43   #20
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Boat: Mirage 27
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Re: Tips on buying an older sailboat

I purchased an 1980 2 years ago. Mirage, made in Quebec Canada. Great solid boat, hull is almost 1" thick (as i found out installing a new thru hull). Have all the usual "old boat" fixes, upgrades, but took me 2 years to find, didn't rush, looked at a lot of "interesting" boats, some couldn't even board because of the smell. IMHO, look for the basics, good solid hull, decent rigging, look to see if PO fixed the small things. If they did that, then prob all the big things are OK. I was lucky, PO didn't tell stories, all worked, no surprises, just the normal expected upgrades and fixes. Dont be afraid of an old boat, do your homework!

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