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Old 24-10-2014, 13:14   #1
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Newer or older?

Hello All,

Looking to see if there might be a consensus (although so far I've yet to find one in any category on this site…which is a good thing as it's forcing me to read tons! regarding buying an older boat vs. a newer one?

For example, I've been looking at Beneteaus & Hunters in the 46-52' range built in the last 8 years or so. Nice boats. Leaning towards the Beneteaus but both offer what I'm looking for, that I can tell so far, sailability, livability, and room as I know I'll have many visitors. I will also be living aboard (and I know the arguments for smaller boats but I want a comfortable 3 sr, 2-3 head lving space).

While those boats are nice I find myself looking more and more at older boats - 1987 52' Tayana, completely superb, new engine, electronics, sails…or a 1986 Oyster, 1990 Hinkley, Hylas - etc… and I'm looking at these boats, that are in the same price range as the newer ones and I'm liking what I see and read.

Of course, the newer versions of those boats are out of my price range which is $250-300K (although I've seen a few older Beneteaus that were in impeccable condition for $100K - I have no problem spending less).

One consideration comes to mind - are the newer boats MUCH easier to sail solo? I'll be, mainly, in the Gulf and the Islands but may like to hit the MED before I die

Another thing to note - I haven't sailed anything bigger than 18' in the last 30 years so I will be learning most things all over again. That being said, if I were to learn on an older vessel then maybe I wouldn't miss any of the newer "things".

So, all things being "somewhat" equal - the older yachts updated with newer everything in the last 5-8 years and in very good shape - is their a strong showing, one way or the other on which you would purchase?

I appreciate your time and reading my ramblings!
Thanks,
Rob
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Old 24-10-2014, 13:26   #2
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Re: Newer or older?

We have an older Tayana 55 which is very easy to sail shorthanded because she tracks so well and is very stable in bad weather. My wife stood her own night watch in 45 knots gusting 55 with 20 ft seas while I slept soundly.

The Tayana 52 is a very fine boat and may be a better seaboat than the 55.

I would take the 52 over a modern production boat but then I may be prejudiced having sailed the 55 over 30,000 sea miles.

Good Luck
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Old 24-10-2014, 14:15   #3
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Re: Newer or older?

I do not think there is any "easy singlehanding" / "age of the design" relationship.

Boats set up for soloing are easy and those not set up for soloing can be impossible to sail solo. It is in many details but deck/hardware layout is of paramount importance.

All other things equal, a smaller boat is easier to single hand. Forces are smaller and distances are smaller. A bigger boat has the benefit of less vigorous movements. This helps when working the deck.

If you buy an older boat, be aware some of the systems may be nearing their life's end with no (or very expensive) spares availability. An older boat may look good value until you realise you will want to upgrade some systems and when you do so she suddenly stops looking such a great deal.

If I were to single-hand, I would bet my money on simplicity: tiller, winches close in to the tiller and most lines led to the cockpit. Small jib, big kites for up- and off the wind, all of them furlable. In mast furling would be considered too, unless you are a strong guy and plan to stay this way. Etc.

So, in three words, I like old. But not every old is a good deal nor every boat is a good option for a single-hander.

b.
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Old 24-10-2014, 14:20   #4
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Re: Newer or older?

Newer. And if you haven't sailed anything bigger than 18' in 30 years - probably smaller.

I went from 27' to 40'...BIG jump. 50+ is a monster...especially if you're shorthanded. But, like Moondancer (Zanshin and others), there are many out there doing it up.
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Old 24-10-2014, 14:37   #5
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Re: Newer or older?

Don't look at new vs old. Quality of initial build, current condition and care by the previous owners will be key to your buying happiness. In my opinion your older choices in those that you mentioned are what I would buy, however I wouldn't go larger than 36.
kind regards,
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Old 24-10-2014, 16:01   #6
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Re: Newer or older?

If I was going offshore, I would go for the most robust bullet proof yacht that I could afford, and I would probably end up with an older yacht.
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Old 24-10-2014, 18:11   #7
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Re: Newer or older?

@ Barnakiel - Great post!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trident50 View Post
<snip
Looking to see if there might be a consensus <snip>
A consensus? On CF? Ha, ha, ha...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trident50 View Post
For example, I've been looking at Beneteaus & Hunters in the 46-52' range built in the last 8 years or so. Nice boats.<snip> (and I know the arguments for smaller boats but I want a comfortable 3 sr, 2-3 head lving space).
You will get lots of advice for go smaller. Only you really know what you need inside the boat for livablity so don't get swayed.

But as pointed out the bigger you go the tougher it is to single hand - not on the water but more in and around the docks. The loads are higher on everything and the costs of replacing stuff goes up almost exponentially with LOA.

The purchase price is just the first payment in boat ownership.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trident50 View Post
While those boats are nice I find myself looking more and more at older boats - 1987 52' Tayana, completely superb, new engine, electronics, sails…or a 1986 Oyster, 1990 Hinkley, Hylas - etc… and I'm looking at these boats, that are in the same price range as the newer ones and I'm liking what I see and read.

Of course, the newer versions of those boats are out of my price range which is $250-300K (although I've seen a few older Beneteaus that were in impeccable condition for $100K - I have no problem spending less).
You've already answered your own question here. The older boats in the shape you want are out of your price range. The only trap here is the, "Look I found a deal on an older Oyster and it only needs some minor refitting..."

Money and time trap.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trident50 View Post
One consideration comes to mind - are the newer boats MUCH easier to sail solo? I'll be, mainly, in the Gulf and the Islands but may like to hit the MED before I die
As pointed out single handing is about how the boat and sails are set up. Lines to the cockpit, reefing systems, furling sails, electric winches. All add up to ease of single handing, but (caveat) what happens if/when something fails. Now you have to figure out haow to do it manually. You don't say what your level of fitness is but again - big boat = big loads and big equipment.

Also on passage you generally have time to set things up for one long tack and there doesn't necessarily need to be a lot of boat handling going on in a short time frame. Except when you get into bad weather where things can get busy if you are late shorting sail etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trident50 View Post
Another thing to note - I haven't sailed anything bigger than 18' in the last 30 years so I will be learning most things all over again. That being said, if I were to learn on an older vessel then maybe I wouldn't miss any of the newer "things".
You may get advice to baby step it from 18-30-40-50+

This can take years and may not be necessary. Take a refresher ASA course up to like 104 on a 30+ foot charter. This will get you back in the swing of things and then get the boat you want and be careful gaining experience on it.

Not everyone has the time to babay step a life's worth of boat buying into 5 years. be careful and it is workable to go the boat you want.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trident50 View Post
So, all things being "somewhat" equal - the older yachts updated with newer everything in the last 5-8 years and in very good shape - is their a strong showing, one way or the other on which you would purchase?

I appreciate your time and reading my ramblings!
Thanks,
Rob
The final consideration for me is maintenance. An older/classic boat can be a treasure hunt when trying to fix stuff. Newer boats and more "popular" will have a more abundant support network and parts supply.

So my bottom line is this.

If I were going to circumnavigate and spend a lot of time on passages I would be looking for a more traditional, long keel, heavier displacement boat. I'd accept fewer modern design concepts and the fact I hve to fix more myself.

If I were going to sail a region (med, bahamas, South Pacific) with short passages and the occasional inter-region passage, I'd get a modern production boat.

Oh, and again, this is my personal need - I wouldn't gor bigger than about 45 feet for what you describe. If you had a family of 4 I would be on with a bigger boat but for a couple 40-45 feet is scads of room. And think twice before you wish for 3 heads - heasds are notoriuous for unpleasant needed maintenance.
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Old 24-10-2014, 18:53   #8
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Re: Newer or older?

Hey - almost a consensus

Very good advice - and thankyou all.

I've taken a good look at the smaller vessels and, while my HOPE is to be out and about the majority of the time I KNOW I will be living aboard ALL the time…I did narrow it down to 44' at one point - but we'll see.

Some of these older boats have "new" systems - one I was reading about had been totally refitted - electrical, electronics, wiring, new mast and rigging, new engine, paint, etc…the only thing that wasn't mentioned was plumbing, tanks, pumps.

Granted not all are so extensively refit - most have new electronic gear, rigging, and low engine hours on a rebuilt or new engine. But not all new wiring and whatnot.

Keeping in mind Barnakiel and Ex-Calif mention of parts for older boats maybe I should limit my search to those that have been extensively refit in this century?

At this point it's not so much for long passages, that's a bonus, that I prefer the older vintage it's more a style/lines/solid/tested feel and look. Maybe that will change once I get onboard more of them. I'm the same way with houses - I'm not into new construction there either.

Caribbean, Bahamas, the Gulf, and Eastern seaboard is going to be 95% of my cruising. If I head to the MED well…I might never come back

Is deciding on buying which boat one of the hardest aspects of this drill - because it sure seems it! lol
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Old 24-10-2014, 19:05   #9
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Re: Newer or older?

Once again, my observation is that big boats don't get day-sailed short handed a lot.

I have friends with 45+ footers and it's a drama for them to go sailing for a day. Even with a spouse or S/O many sailors when it comes down to it are solo sailors. Many S/Os feel their contribution is in the running of the below decks with the exception of steering under motor or steering after the sails are set.

Of course there are many exceptions to this stereotype of the S/O so no offense to the salty spouses out there...
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Old 24-10-2014, 19:25   #10
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Re: Newer or older?

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post

If I were to single-hand, I would bet my money on simplicity: tiller, winches close in to the tiller and most lines led to the cockpit. Small jib, big kites for up- and off the wind, all of them furlable. In mast furling would be considered too, unless you are a strong guy and plan to stay this way. Etc.

So, in three words, I like old. But not every old is a good deal nor every boat is a good option for a single-hander.

b.

On the whole a good post from B.

I would disagree about leading everything to the cockpit, that is done for racing reasons not for general convenience.

Specifically I am thinking of halyards. If you are single handing or sailing as a couple ( singlehanding thru the night) then when you are raising or dousing a foresail or spinnaker you will need to be on the foredeck to deal with the sail and having the halyard tail leading from the mast base is much more convenient than the cockpit, especially if the dodger is up preventing it from leading forward at all.

With a roller furling headsail I can see the argument that you may want to adjust luff tension periodically. Then comes the decision which is worse
1). running back and forth between cockpit and foredeck occasionally, half the time in heavy weather when the sail needs to come down.
2) running back and forth cockpit to mast more often but in a more distributed range of conditions and with greater leeway to ignore inadequate luff tension in really heavy weather.

If the headsail or staysail is hanked on then you have the option using a downhaul led to the cockpit for luff tension with the halyard left on the mast for ease of raising and dousing. Unless you are one those compulsive sailors that compulsively adjusts halyard tension every 5min in which case you probably aren't doing a lot of other sailing tasks that should be done.

For spinnakers, code zeros, drifters and such the sail will be set and doused regularly so the mast seems a much better place for the halyard.

The main halyard I more sanguine about with the proviso that the main halyard and the reefing lines (tack and clew) go to the cockpit with the halyard.


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Old 24-10-2014, 19:27   #11
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Re: Newer or older?

Good point…not sure how much day sailing I may do though….
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Old 25-10-2014, 10:18   #12
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Re: Newer or older?

As others have eluded to your best bet is a boat that has been refit recently. A 25 year old boat that has had a overall refit in the last 3-5 years is a better choice than a boat 8-10 years old. I wouldn't worry about parts because pretty much all the boats share similar parts, its the original quality of construction that really differs. Its always a good idea to buy a boat that has a following because it will be much easier to sell when that day arrives. Its a fun and sometimes frustrating experience but take your time and you'll be much happier with your choice.
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Old 25-10-2014, 10:40   #13
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Re: Newer or older?

Generally, I think anything over maybe 7-8 years old needs the same upkeep. Things seem to go bad in about that time. So whether you buy an '85 or 2005... you could need to spend the same money. Buy a design that suits you and if possible one that someone else has spent all the money on to get it back in shape!
This assumes a good hull and deck. An old Asian glass over plywood deck type would not be good and another caveat to this would be cored hulls etc... an old cored hull could be a real problem.
Solo'ing? I think an older design will stay on track better than a newer short fin keel type. Some boats just seem to need constant attention to the helm etc and some just get in the groove and go.
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Old 25-10-2014, 16:39   #14
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Re: Newer or older?

Quote:
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Don't look at new vs old. Quality of initial build, current condition and care by the previous owners will be key to your buying happiness. In my opinion your older choices in those that you mentioned are what I would buy, however I wouldn't go larger than 36.
kind regards,
I think SkiprJohn has expressed this perfectly. I would disagree on the size, but if the question was old vs new, he's nailed it. We just sold an old, quality boat in order to go larger. When we shopped for a a replacement boat, we wouldn't consider new. We just don't think the quality is there.
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Old 26-10-2014, 16:49   #15
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Re: Newer or older?

The problem with newer boats is they will always have issues... Also you loose a lot of value too. So let's say you buy a Hunter for 300,000 dollars.... But when you sell it in 10-15 years that makes it about 20 years old! So you can only sell it for 60-70 grand


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