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Old 06-03-2016, 17:15   #1
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Is this sailboat worth it? (Our first sailboat)

Hello!

My girlfriend and I are looking for our first sailboat, and we've come across a 1975 Rawson 30. They're asking $14K. The broker said the owner is moving to the UK very soon and wants the boat gone asap. It's pretty barebones.

New diesel engine 2004-ish (previous owner).
New standing rigging in 2012 (current owner).

The owner neglected it a bit.
  • It needs a new headsail (current one is very mildewy); Mainsail seems fine.
  • V-berth has some leaks from the bowspirit that needs to be recaulked (view photo below).
  • Needs a couple new electronics; needs navigation lights (didn't see any)
  • Needs all new safety equipment (fire extinguisher, flares, radar reflector, etc.)
  • Needs new deck painting.
  • Needs new bottom cleaning and painting.



No delamination or soft spots could be found.

There are Rawson 30s on Yachtworld in much better condition for near the same price.

I don't think this is worth anywhere near $14K. And would this make for a good first boat? (We know they're a bit slow, we're okay with that.)

What do you all think?
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Old 06-03-2016, 17:21   #2
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Re: Is this sailboat worth it? (Our first sailboat)

If the others are in better shape for the same amount:

1) Get a better boat for the money.
2) Offer a lower amount on all boats and see if you get the deal you want.
3) Offer a lowball number on the boat above and see if they take it or counter with a more suitable number.

Bill
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Old 06-03-2016, 17:24   #3
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Re: Is this sailboat worth it? (Our first sailboat)

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeAndMichelle View Post
There are Rawson 30s on Yachtworld in much better condition for near the same price.
How does that not answer your question?



You could offer a much, much lower amount for this one and then spend a whole lot of time and money fixing her up. When she's in the shape the others are already in, you'll have paid a lot more then $14k.
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Old 06-03-2016, 17:26   #4
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Re: Is this sailboat worth it? (Our first sailboat)

I was going to say that, originally, Lizzy.

Glad I'm not the only one who found it obvious.

Bill
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Old 07-03-2016, 08:55   #5
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Re: Is this sailboat worth it? (Our first sailboat)

this is a $5K boat absolute max
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Old 07-03-2016, 09:05   #6
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Re: Is this sailboat worth it? (Our first sailboat)

Lizzy hit the nail on the head. Buying a cheap boat in poor condition is fool's gold. Every repair costs way more money & takes way more time than you think it will & when you sell the boat you get little of that cost back.
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Old 07-03-2016, 09:46   #7
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Re: Is this sailboat worth it? (Our first sailboat)

The Rawson 30 was a good boat, but $15K (selling, not asking) is excellent condition and equipped. 8-10K is at or above average and have seen many well below that on sources like craigslist.

Make sure your broker provides you with a soldboats on anything he is showing you.
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Old 07-03-2016, 10:12   #8
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Re: Is this sailboat worth it? (Our first sailboat)

"Is this sailboat worth it?"

DON'T DO IT
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Old 07-03-2016, 10:14   #9
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Re: Is this sailboat worth it? (Our first sailboat)

We bought our last Rawson 30 in 2007 for $8,500 in fair condition and sold it for around $14,000 after adding a lot of sweat equity. Great little-big boats. Bill Garden was a family friend. He thought this particular thirty footer was too short and in reality they are hobby horses especially if you load up the ends and you kind of have to because there is not a lot of storage space midships.

I was always a bit concerned about the internal ballast which is unencapsulated, poured concrete. Potentially if you turtled the puppy that big chunk of sidewalk could squish you like a bug on its way through the deck.
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Old 07-03-2016, 10:21   #10
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Re: Is this sailboat worth it? (Our first sailboat)

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailortype View Post
this is a $5K boat absolute max
I absolutely agree.

I recently sold a 197x Pearson 30, newer diesel, newer rigging, charplotter, new sails, excellent condition, ready to sail, etc...and barely got more than that.

If you really like the boat, offer low. Its a 40 year old boat. Also, check about getting insurance. With a 40 year old boat, it can sometime be difficult or even impossible to insure (at any price).

Honestly, I would offer about $1000 (one thousand). Its 40 years old, needs work, and the seller is in a hurry. The seller should be thrilled to have found someone who really wants his boat.

Some lessons here:

- money is not "invested" in a boat, it is spent, and will never be recovered.

- Sellers always overestimate the value of their boat.

- Sellers should not tell their schedule and reveal their desperation.

- Old boats are hard to sell.

- There are many, many, old boats for sale, and very few buyers.
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Old 07-03-2016, 10:27   #11
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Re: Is this sailboat worth it? (Our first sailboat)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scout 30 View Post
Lizzy hit the nail on the head. Buying a cheap boat in poor condition is fool's gold. Every repair costs way more money & takes way more time than you think it will & when you sell the boat you get little of that cost back.
Been there, done that.

A boat in bad shape is a hot potato.

I have viewed several boats I would not buy for $0. Some were even offered for free (after sitting for sale all summer long), and it is so very hard to turn them down.

My personal rule: If the engine doesn't run, I should.
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Old 07-03-2016, 10:32   #12
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Re: Is this sailboat worth it? (Our first sailboat)

boats only worth about 10K and that's in good condition.


have a surveyor look at it


the bow spirit rots out so do the bulkheads.
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Old 07-03-2016, 10:42   #13
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Re: Is this sailboat worth it? (Our first sailboat)

tough lil boats. there is a family cruising here--sailed one here from pnw. go for it.
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Old 07-03-2016, 10:45   #14
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Re: Is this sailboat worth it? (Our first sailboat)

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Originally Posted by hamburking View Post
Some were even offered for free and it is so very hard to turn them down.
What's that saying again?
The most expensive boat you'll ever own is a free one.

I own a 40 yo boat and I got her cheap. Old and cheap doesn't always mean trouble, but you have to be careful and know what to look for. And what you're in for.

When it's your first boat, that is very difficult. Not just cos you lack the experience, but also because you're so exited about this new part of your life you can't wait and the $ are burning a hole in your pocket.

But unless you can afford an $14k mistake (which will be $25 by the time you give up), tread carefully and if at all possible, ask someone with more experience to come along with you when you look at boats. And don't look to buy at first, look to learn.

I bought my first boat when I was 16 (about 25 yrs ago ...). I figured my father would do all the work and find me a boat. He kind of did ... but he dragged me along to look at boats for days and days. It was 'just' a Sailhorse I was after, but he made sure I'd buy a good one and learned & understood why some weren't worth the visit and others were overpriced etc. etc.

Back then, I didn't appreciate it much. But as I grew older and the boats more expensive, I realized how important it was, and how invaluable. And that Sailhorse? Sailed her for a few years, was taught how to maintain her and ended up selling her for what I'd paid for her. Thanks, dad
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Old 07-03-2016, 11:00   #15
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Re: Is this sailboat worth it? (Our first sailboat)

I sailed a Rawson 30 offshore in the mid 80's. Great boat, a bit old school for sure with a short water line. One of the driest boats in rough water I ever had... at any length.
I agree that that boat may be a little high $. Without pictures of how well it was outfitted/finished it's hard to say really. Many were home finished and even the factory finished ones are pretty Spartan... Rawson was a commercial fishing boat builder.
The plus' for the boat you are looking at may be the engine (which Volvo?) and the new rigging. The ballast isn't just concrete, it's iron punchings and concrete to cover it. I doubt it's going anywhere any more than poured lead with a thin glass cover (like many boats) is.
Mine was a 1974. Although they are reputed to be a strong boat, the hull was VERY thin on mine,,,, probably due to the gas crisis and cost during that time period. I discovered this after returning from my cruise and having to deal with a major blister issue. The bottom of the boat was probably 3/8" thick.
Regardless, we had a great time in ours. If you want It and it runs well I would offer them no more than 5K. Deck and bottom work are expensive. As is the sail. I looked at a boat someone who was moving away had a few years ago... they ended up giving it away for free! and it was a Catalina with a diesel engine!
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