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Old 10-10-2016, 20:10   #1
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Old boat question

Just joined today, this is my first post/question but I have been stalking around for a while.

I have been without a sailboat for about 2 years and am seriously in the market for a "new to me" sailboat. Over the years I have owned several boats in the 30 to 40 ft range, two monohulls, one catamaran and one trimaran. I loved to sail my trimaran but I am going back to a monohull. I was initially looking for a fairly new boat but the boats that really appeal to me are somewhat older.


My question is when does a boat become too old to make a sensible buy.
Two boats that really catch my eye are the Hinckley bermuda 40 and the Morgan 41 (not the out island, the centerboard cutter). Both are from the 1960s or early 70s. Both are fiberglass and examples that have been well kept or refurbished are available. My worry is that I will sink money into a boat built in 1969 and not be able to sell it in 8 or 10 years because it is too old/outdated. I don't expect to get all of my money out of the boat when I sell but I don't want to get stuck with a boat that I can't sell. I am hoping that the reason that there are few boats from the 40s and 50s on the market is not because they are unappealing but because they were wooden, not fiberglass and did not survive the worms and other sea creatures.

P.S. I just noticed that I used "make a sensible buy" and "sailboat" in the same post. No need to point out how stupid that is, I figured that out years ago.
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Old 10-10-2016, 21:23   #2
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Re: Old boat question

Welcome aboard! Can you tell us more of how you'll be using the boat?


Sailing the inland waters of Central Illinois....when I'm not working
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Old 10-10-2016, 21:49   #3
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Re: Old boat question

In terms of re-sale, at this time, for me, the Hinckley name has a respect that the Morgans do not. No offense intended, Morgan owners, it is a very personal thing. However, I couldn't even pretend to have a clue what the market will be in 10 yrs. or so.
I think you'll find Hinckleys mentioned more often on CF than Morgans, although the Out Islands 41's have their following, too.

You're the one going to be sailing them. Why not decide on the basis of sailing characteristics, or other specs that matter to you? or which has greater build quality?

Ann
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Old 11-10-2016, 00:01   #4
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Re: Old boat question

Having only owned 25+ year old boats, altogether 5 of them, none of which were a venerable make (although some were/are a good quality makes less known outside their original build area) I can speculate that you either go low or go high but not in the middle. Morgan is such a middle of the run name while Hinckley is up there with the best of them.

Most likely a 45 year old boat you bought cheaply today could be sold at least for as much in 10 years. Same with high end makes. But a middle of the road 45 (and pushing 50) year old boat today will be a very cheap boat in 10 years. Even with all the doodahs you will install meanwhile. For all of its qualities fiberglass still has a time limited useful life expectancy and it's right around 50 years give or take. So a well built model/make will last at the longer end of that "give or take" and an average one probably around 40-50 years or thereabouts. And the el cheapo makes falling apart well before the 40-45 years mark.

As we all know most failures of the old fiberglass occur not with the fiberglass per se but at the mechanical and chemical joints between two or more structures. And that's the difference between makes such as Hinckley (assuming regular and diligent maintenance) and the also rans. There is also a theory, same as with cars, that part of the longevity of the expensive makes lies in the fact that for the most part their owners can afford such regular and diligent quality maintenance and periodic refits thus in the long run artificially skewing the scales toward such makes. To put it simply a Catalina maintained from day one as a Hinckley gets maintained from day one will last as long as a Hinckley. But of course it will never hold its' value as a Hinckley will. And that's probably is the answer to your original question.
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Old 11-10-2016, 05:54   #5
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Re: Old boat question

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, spadresailor.
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Old 11-10-2016, 06:06   #6
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Re: Old boat question

I think the proper answer to your question may be "we don't know." Those fiberglass boats from the sixties and seventies have far outlived any reasonable lifespan expectations anyone might have had when they were built.

If you get one and maintain it to workable cruising standards, my guess is that it will hold its value. I owned a couple of boats built in the 60's. By now, the only thing original on them is often the hull and deck and mast.

I suspect the trick is to maintain them without throwing a lot of money into them. Look for good, used equipment to replace things that wear out. Love the boats and use them. Buy cheap and maintain wisely.

But at the end of the day, I too do not know the answer to your question.
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Old 11-10-2016, 06:26   #7
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pirate Re: Old boat question

I have a simple philosophy where buying boats is concerned.. only spend what you can 'Afford to Lose'.
I've always bought for cash and this amount has varied from $1000 for a 45yr old boat to a haggled $60,000 for a 5yr old boat.
The latter left me in a 22ft boat 3yrs later.. the ups and downs of life..
I always smile when someone hopes/expects to get their money back on a boat..
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Old 11-10-2016, 06:39   #8
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Re: Old boat question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tia Bu View Post
Love the boats and use them. Buy cheap and maintain wisely.
Welcome to CF Mr. S. Padre!

Fiberglass didn't hit the mass builders until the late 60's-70's, so you answered one question...

If you want to lose a LOT more money, buy a newer boat now and sell in 15 yrs...

Owned a mid 70's Morgan, and recently sold it for not as much as I wanted... BUT... Actual depreciation loss was under 20/mo, $250 yr... not too shabby...
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Old 11-10-2016, 06:42   #9
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Re: Old boat question

And as Ann and Island Time point out... A Hinkley name will carry you further up the resale ladder...
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Old 11-10-2016, 06:58   #10
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Re: Old boat question

Buy what appeals to you. In 8 to 10 years a "new" boat won't be new...
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Old 11-10-2016, 13:41   #11
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Re: Old boat question

Thanks for the opinions.
-I will be mostly day sailing and Coastal cruising along the Texas coast with occasional gulf of Mexico crossing. The waters around my home port are pretty shallow so I can't have a boat with a very deep keel.

- Good point about the middle of the road boats. I think the more again probably fits and that category. The Hinckley has a better finish they both seemed to be structurally pretty sound.

- I also only pay cash for boats with money I can stand to lose. Yeah, I think that people who expect to get their money back on a boat are in for a rude awakening. My concern is a not really getting my money back (not likely to happen), but rather trying to avoid a boat that takes a worse hit than the rest of the boat market because it is too old.

-No danger of me buying a very much newer boat. Interesting to hear that your Morgan held value pretty well. I wish I could say that about the last two boats I sold...

Thanks again for the input.
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Old 11-10-2016, 14:27   #12
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Re: Old boat question

I have owned both, currently a Bristol. My inclination is to go with quality. However, this is not an investment decision. Buy the one you like the best. The one you think will be the most fun to own. The purchase price is a small part of the overall equation. Neither will have much value in 10 years.
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Old 11-10-2016, 14:34   #13
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Re: Old boat question

after a decade or so, it's really all about the boat.
Some things that are easy to overlook and often expensive:
-Bolt on keel
-Tanks
-rudders
-cored portions, hull or deck.
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