No easy or right answer on this. I doubt that (barring specific damage/issues, etc.) that you would notice much difference between the hulls, rigging
, etc. But that depends, as there are sometimes major changes between years for various reasons - change in designers, different builders, different quality control policies/management, different materials, etc. etc.). For instance, the materials used in the same models from the same builder
were changed in the 70's in the US (not all builders) to make them more fire retardant. The fire retardant materials caused significant blister problems. They were changed again a few years later with much improvement.
So you can't make a global statement/comparison, in general, just about the older boat being a worse selection. And, in my experience the well maintained, including well retrofitted, boats take care of some of the major "potential" projects. But a well-maintained older engine might outlast a less maintained, or poorer designed/made, newer engine.
All other things being equal (and they never are) I would go with a retrofitted boat that has a solid foundation of good original design, etc. I would look at the potential projects (you'll never catch them all and lucky to get most of them before you own the boat) not only in terms of money
, but impact on your labor and downtime on the boat. A new engine can be a much more painful to install than a new suite of sails
even though (in some cases) the costs might be similar. Replacing woodwork is always painful. New decks are a major pain and expense.
Make a list of all the major systems you think you need and those that are essential on any boat. Then review each of the boats against that list. If you want a chartplotter
, then one might be there but old and almost useless. The other might be newer or there might not be one at all. Then estimate the costs of each project for each boat and add those to the price
of the boat to you.
On the other hand, depending on how you want to use the boat, each of them may be more than adequate for what kind of sailing you want to do.
If this doesn't sound easy, it isn't. In the end, you'll make a decision and you'll never know if it was the absolute "best" decision. Too many variables and too much you won't be able to tell even after a good survey
. And since you are new to this you will underestimate the need for various things and the quality of the systems that come with each boat. I was a boat electrician and bought a boat which had had a fire/scorching of the AC innards behind the panel which needed a screwdriver and some effort to remove the panel covering it. Neither the surveyor
nor I caught it. It was not a huge issue for me but would have been for someone who had to hire someone to replace it all. I still was out for the parts
Good luck. Talk with some experienced friends. Show them both boats. Sleep on it. Read about how to survey
a boat. Look at lists of equipment
that is "good to have" on a boat for how you want to use it. Do you analysis. Then make a decision on your gut feel which may be opposite to what your analysis says. And then be happy with your new boat.