Are you are asking for a pre-marine survey
checklist? Recently I made one up, I think it will give you a good start as to what to look at.
As far as some of the advice above, well everyone has an opinion. Having saltwater in the bilge is normal in a boat with a packing gland
, it is supposed to drip a little to keep the shaft cool and that water goes into the bilge. My bilge always had salt water
in it as my packing gland
was redone two years ago and wasn't dripping excessively when I inspected it because the boat hadn't been used much. After I put a number of hours on it, it needed to be slightly tightened with a spanner wrench- again normal.
Before going through the list, research
the boat you are looking at. Know as much about that specific model and year as you can, every boat has particular strengths and flaws such as weak hull-to-deck joints or tendency toward cracked beams under a deck
. You can also look to see if someone has blogged about a restoration
they have done on a similar model, reading about the restoration
can make you more knowledgeable about not just that model but about sailboat restoration in general. Sometimes the owner has posted information about his own boat that you might want to know, look under the name of the boat the same as checking out a girlfriend. If an engine
is involved and a mechanic
is available pay him for an hour or two to check on the engine
, this is difficult to do by yourself. Don't assume that a surveyor
is going to do a fantastically complete survey
of your boat, especially if you are from out of town or the boat isn't worth a lot of money
. They almost never climb the mast
for example, and they are not mechanics. Do a thorough inspection
yourself and you may discover enough things wrong to void the deal, find stuff a surveyor won't bother to look at, or may find enough right (excess equipment
or spare parts
you can use or sell is nice) that no matter what is hiding you are comfortable the boat is worth spending more money on.
As far as figuring out what an old boat is worth, this is difficult. One way is to find a specimen that is in beautiful shape, and figure out roughly what it is going to cost you to get the one you want to buy in that shape. It's usually cheapest to buy one that someone has already put into great shape, not to mention less time consuming.
Ideally, if you aren't aware how to check on one of the items just look it up on CF. The more knowledgeable you become and the more patient you are the more likely you will find a great value. One more thing, don't travel a long way to see a boat without looking at lots of high resolution recent pictures, it may save you lots of time. Good luck in your search!
Boat location and storage
: moored, on the hard
Boat Type, Name, Designer
, how arrived, why selling, bottom line
Overall summary and condition:
Sailing plus and minus: to windward? wet? comfort? motion? stability? speed? light wind
, damage, epoxy
, bottom paint
, through hulls
Deck: condition, coring, soft spots, paint
Deck/hull joint updated, leaking, repaired?
, chart plotter, spinnaker
, storm jib
drains enlarged, last refit
, speed, GPS
, VHF/DSC, antenna
: stalock or swage, age, how examined, salt water or fresh, forestay mods
Mast and boom corrosion
? Change in rigging
? Mast step reinforced?
Running rigging: age, condition, traveler, sheeting, lines to cockpit
Ground tackle: anchors, chain length and guage, rode
length, rollers aft and bow, windlass
, gaskets on chain locker or smells transmitted to Vberth?
: inventory, age, type: storm jib
, pole for genoa
, sailcover condition, reef points, storm tactics
, drains, lazarettes/storage, cleaned, place for folding bikes, coamings, how wet under way
Brightwork and teak
Storm deck need raising or cockpit volume need reducing for offshore/pooping?
Tiller: spare, age
condition and age, linkage
: shaft, prop, stuffing box, cutlass bearing, fuel
age and stabilizer, engine mounts, cruise
and top speed, maintenance
, oil change record
, compartment access/cleanliness/paint, cooling
, filters age
, replacement? Access
Storage and use history
? Fresh or salt water?
Water tank size and condition
Sink: fresh, salt, pump, condition, odors?
: stove, sink, location, mods
? age, pump, clog, sink the boat, bulkhead, privacy
, how plumbed
Seacocks: age, type, color, condition,
, bulwarks, formica, leaks
, leecloths, stains, hanging locker for clothes
Bilges: dry, pumps
V berth, leaks
, smells, ventilation, lighting
, comfort, noise
Hatches, dorade boxes
Portlights- open, fixed, leaks, type, age
:breakers or fuse, age, rats nest, lighting
, shore power
Ballast, leveled at mooring
Rails, stainless, fittings- checked for water infiltration
Pushpit, stanchions, lifelines
: Coast Guard inspection
, flares, life vests, throwing ring,