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Old 23-02-2014, 17:13   #46
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Re: Opinions Sought on Newish Old vs. Older Boat Purchase

[I'd like to take time to fully express my opinions on this topic but my dinner needs tending to so I'll try to keep it brief.

Have a look at this boat: 1986 Beneteau First 375 Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com It's ours, and it's for sale, but before you tune me out ... I'm afraid you're in the wrong part of the world to be a potential buyer. (unless you'd like spend your vacations in the Med... )

I think you're on the right track with your choices and thought processes.

Every year we go to the boat show & look at the new Beneteau on show and agree that we wouldn't trade our 1986 model for the brand new one. Our old Bene has thick glass, thick gelcoat (& polishes up to shine like new), thick & real teak. The interior joinery is real wood, thick & lots of it, beautifully curved. It was made with quality and has been well maintained. I don't believe that even with good maintenance the new products would last & look as good because of the quality or perhaps lack of quantity of the new building materials. We were at the boat show a few days ago & again looked at a brand new 34' Beneteau--asking price $159,000 Cdn. That's almost twice what we're asking for our 375--but you couldn't give me that boat!
You have a very nice looking boat. I was surprised by the interior photos. You don't even see Bene's from the 90's looking that classy.

Unless I can convince my S.O. to chuck it all and move to the Med, I'm afraid she's a little too distant for us. I will keep the model in mind, thanks.
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Old 23-02-2014, 17:50   #47
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Re: Opinions Sought on Newish Old vs. Older Boat Purchase

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Originally Posted by boatpoker View Post
Julie: There is absolutely nothing in common between the CS Traditional and the Merlin. Different hull, deck, trunk, keel and different construction methods. The 36T is a much stronger construction.
What constitutes 'stronger' construction to you? I read that the displacement of the Traditional is 15,500 lbs, compared to the 13,000 of the Merlin. Is the weight alone indicative of strength?
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Old 25-02-2014, 00:51   #48
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Re: Opinions sought on newish old vs. older boat purchase

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Just curious, what was going on below the water line that turned out to be a 30k project?
Baltics have a sandwich construction with a Balsa core. The idea is that osmosis can only ever form on the gel coat and can't penetrate.

Unfortunately, some idiot in the past sandblasted this whole construction to hell (right down to the construction mats in some places) and then filled up the whole thing with epoxy - a moisture sucker if ever there was one. The hull was weakened by the sandblasting as well.

So there was no other solution than to re-laminate the whole boat with cross-layered fibre glass. Basically we completely rebuilt the boat below the waterline.

She is in perfect health now but it was a nasty job. We knew she had osmosis problems when I bought her, but that the whole construction was damaged was a big surprise. It is amazing what some rip-off artists do to boats.... So beware.


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Old 25-02-2014, 02:07   #49
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Re: Opinions Sought on Newish Old vs. Older Boat Purchase

Julie, I'll chime in here. Apparently you have no dreams of passage making. So you're talking about coastal cruising. Most production boats, Bennie Jennie etc, are perfectly suited for coastal cruising. If you plan on the Bahamas, look for one with a "shoal keel", this is a short keel that lets you visit places with shallow water.

Go sail some. If brokers keep telling you you need to make an offer before sea trials, see if you can contact the owner and arrange for a day sail. If the owner isn't willing to do this, walk away from the boat.

Have a good survey done. What you've been told about having to replace most things after 7-10 years is generally true, although some owners take exceptional care of their boat and they are the exception that proves the rule.

If either of you are moderately handy with tools, you'll quickly learn how to maintain your boat.

Personally I sail a 2009 40 foot Jennie. I do it here in the Baltic and the North Sea in conditions you'll probably never see in the southeastern US unless you make a point of going out in very hard weather. We have no problems with our Jennie. She is a well-founded boat and has proven herself in extremely hard weather. And we sail more than most people.
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Old 25-02-2014, 02:31   #50
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Re: Opinions Sought on Newish Old vs. Older Boat Purchase

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I'd like to get some input on the importance of age on a 36-40' production coastal cruiser.

In our price range (55-75k), we seem to be faced with a decision. Go with an early 80's semi custom boat like a Tartan or Sabre, a late 80's boat like an Ericson or CS, or a mid to late 90's Benny/Jenny.

Factors include the boat's condition and maintenance, the ability to finance the boat, and boat design and production quality.

Often we're seeing old Tartan's and Sabres priced high, causing our ability to finance lowered. We're skittish on the Beneteau & Jenneau quality on a 20 year old boat. Should we be? The Ericson's & CS Yacht models might be the compromise in the middle.

Should we go down in size, in order to get a newer boat? (We really wouldn't want to go below a 36'. ) Should we trust the French quality from 20+ years ago? The 15-20 year old Tartans and Sabres are out of our price range, so that's not an option.

What to do?


The further back you go, the some on board systems will be tired, failure prone or just plain awkward to find bits. In my opinion try to stay within 20 years.

It's important to not listen to people that seem to think everything old is better. There was rubbish built in every decade.

Modern or near modern will take you around the world , if that's what you want
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Old 25-02-2014, 04:25   #51
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Re: Opinions Sought on Newish Old vs. Older Boat Purchase

12 years ago we went the route of buying a boat that had not been used in years, but was basically in good condition. We spent more than the purchase price to bring it up to our standard (we had a good budget before we made our offer, so not too many surprises.) The boat is a 1982 Morgan 383 and has served us well (it compares well with the T37 BTW.) We love the teak interior and robust construction. Would I do it again? Probably. I hang out at boat yards some and see what kind of repairs folks get into. It's surprising how poorly made some boats with quality reputations are. Especially troubling are problems with poorly tabbed bulkheads (many Taiwanese build boats), wet cores & decks (C & Cs are famous for this), and poor hull-to-deck joints (hard to get at.)
Boats newer than ours seem to have more interior volume, better cockpit layouts, and better sail controls. If we were replacing our boat we would look for something with more waterline, a better way to enter the water at the stern, a larger refrigerator/freezer, a smaller head (long story), and a bed I can get into from the side (favors an aft cabin.) However, the new style of very wide sterns (twin wheels), bland interiors, and in-mast furling just leave me cold.
One poster recommended taking test sails on the boats you are considering. Good idea if you can manage it, but it's not always possible if you are looking at boats on the hard, in the winter, etc. Also, if you are new to sailing, I doubt you would gain much.
When we were hunting for a boat we hired Robert Perry to help us. It was a service he offered for a few hundred bucks. We would suggest various models and he would advise, often telling us to look at newer boats (and often not recommending some of his own older designs.) Not sure if he still does this, but other NAs might as well.
Know this: it's going to be expensive.... Good luck.
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Old 25-02-2014, 09:20   #52
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Re: Opinions Sought on Newish Old vs. Older Boat Purchase

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Originally Posted by Dale Hedtke View Post
12 years ago we went the route of buying a boat that had not been used in years, but was basically in good condition. We spent more than the purchase price to bring it up to our standard (we had a good budget before we made our offer, so not too many surprises.) The boat is a 1982 Morgan 383 and has served us well (it compares well with the T37 BTW.) We love the teak interior and robust construction. Would I do it again? Probably. I hang out at boat yards some and see what kind of repairs folks get into. It's surprising how poorly made some boats with quality reputations are. Especially troubling are problems with poorly tabbed bulkheads (many Taiwanese build boats), wet cores & decks (C & Cs are famous for this), and poor hull-to-deck joints (hard to get at.)
Boats newer than ours seem to have more interior volume, better cockpit layouts, and better sail controls. If we were replacing our boat we would look for something with more waterline, a better way to enter the water at the stern, a larger refrigerator/freezer, a smaller head (long story), and a bed I can get into from the side (favors an aft cabin.) However, the new style of very wide sterns (twin wheels), bland interiors, and in-mast furling just leave me cold.
One poster recommended taking test sails on the boats you are considering. Good idea if you can manage it, but it's not always possible if you are looking at boats on the hard, in the winter, etc. Also, if you are new to sailing, I doubt you would gain much.
When we were hunting for a boat we hired Robert Perry to help us. It was a service he offered for a few hundred bucks. We would suggest various models and he would advise, often telling us to look at newer boats (and often not recommending some of his own older designs.) Not sure if he still does this, but other NAs might as well.
Know this: it's going to be expensive.... Good luck.
Robert Perry's fee is now up to $500. I am considering it although he seems to have a bit of an attitude towards some designs. He had nothing good to say about the Pacific Seacraft 37 and said the canoe stern was ugly.
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Old 25-02-2014, 09:32   #53
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Re: Opinions Sought on Newish Old vs. Older Boat Purchase

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It's important to not listen to people that seem to think everything old is better. There was rubbish built in every decade.
X10.

So by their thinking. Today's the IKEA like boat will be sought after boats in 20 to 30 years or so
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Old 25-02-2014, 14:35   #54
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Re: Opinions Sought on Newish Old vs. Older Boat Purchase

There are good boats and bad boats in every era, 70's, 80's, 90's and so on, people only tend to remember the good ones. Even the same maker will have good and bad models, although looks mean something they don't always mean the right looking boat will sail well.
It's a tough decision, it has to move you emotionally and on a practical level, if a boat doesn't sail well and take care of you it doesn't matter how pretty it is.
So don't go simply by age, many older boats I've looked at had newer systems updated by the owners, some not, I've also looked at 10 year old boats that needed everything due to poor maintenance. Judge the vessel on an individual basis not by some predetermined bias.
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Old 25-02-2014, 15:38   #55
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The further back you go, the some on board systems will be tired, failure prone or just plain awkward to find bits. In my opinion try to stay within 20 years. It's important to not listen to people that seem to think everything old is better. There was rubbish built in every decade. Modern or near modern will take you around the world , if that's what you want Dave
Also important not to listen to people who think everything modern is better. As you say, there is rubbish built in every decade. It's important not to be a snob, either on the historical or on the modern side. It is also possible that your own needs and wants more closely fit to an older boat, or a more modern boat. Do your research and make your decision. And stick with it. In the end, both modern and older boats fit 95% of the average persons needs, and the differences are grossly exaggerated.


Onno
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Old 26-02-2014, 10:05   #56
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Re: Opinions Sought on Newish Old vs. Older Boat Purchase

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There are good boats and bad boats in every era, 70's, 80's, 90's and so on, people only tend to remember the good ones. Even the same maker will have good and bad models, although looks mean something they don't always mean the right looking boat will sail well.
It's a tough decision, it has to move you emotionally and on a practical level, if a boat doesn't sail well and take care of you it doesn't matter how pretty it is.
So don't go simply by age, many older boats I've looked at had newer systems updated by the owners, some not, I've also looked at 10 year old boats that needed everything due to poor maintenance. Judge the vessel on an individual basis not by some predetermined bias.
I'd pretty much agree with that, although I suspect the good boats of past eras are the ones we remember because they're still sailing while the bad ones are long gone.

Thanks for the kind words, JulieMac. My point was, old can be good. They're just a bit harder to find than new and flashy.
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Old 26-02-2014, 10:30   #57
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Re: Opinions Sought on Newish Old vs. Older Boat Purchase

As many have already stated, condition trumps everything else for coastal cruisers in this size/price range, unless:

-You have a specific layout that you need (examples: private aft cabin, separate shower stall, aft head, etc.)
- You want to race - Then consider class, inventory, ratings, etc.
- You want a specific hull or deck design (examples: fullkeel, center cockpit, skeg vs. spade rudder, etc.)

As a recent seller and buyer in the Great Lakes, I can tell you that finding a well-cared for boat in good condition can be difficult, even if you don't have any of the above mentioned specific requirements. Add in a few specifics and the pickin's become really slim.
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Old 26-02-2014, 13:53   #58
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Re: Opinions Sought on Newish Old vs. Older Boat Purchase

Took me three years to find our current boat, but I already had an existing boat so it wasn't too hard to live with.
It's worth being patient when your spending hard earned dollars for a boat, especially when you know you'll be spending more to get it up to snuff.
This last economic debacle has been hard on a number of owners, it seems many of the boats for sale are in less than optimal condition, I have to wonder if they couldn't afford to maintain them. If your handy it is a good negotiating point.
My current boat is going to take a fair amount of effort to get up to the condition I like to keep my own boats in, all the important stuff is solid but those million little things that need seasonal attention aren't. It was a pretty common issue with many of the boats I looked at, quite a few had not seen the water in a few years.
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Old 26-02-2014, 17:35   #59
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Re: Opinions Sought on Newish Old vs. Older Boat Purchase

Newish Old vs. Older Boat Purchase
I have been asking myself the same question and looking around.
Seems the best dollar and sailing value is in an older boat that someone has had a passion for, updated and then used lightly (them having some extra cash helps). This seems like alot to ask, but there quite a few boat ads that say recently outfit for passage or completely updated (electrical, electronics, sonar, nav, etc.) and new rig, but ... health, family, career, etc. The upfront costs on their major repairs was high but the retail value 3-5 years later is low. For the price, what you give up in the interior space possible in a newer, smaller boat, you can gain in length and improved seaworthiness (crew confidence and feel in weather) in an older, well maintained boat. The trick is be patient enough to find the right previous proud owner / now seller.
The suggestion to look around the Great Lakes is a good one.

Best of luck. Patience, Grasshopper.
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Old 26-02-2014, 18:00   #60
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Re: Opinions Sought on Newish Old vs. Older Boat Purchase

I spent the last two years looking. I vacillated all over the place, and finally decided I needed to be realistic to the type of sailing I would do... In my case often single handed.

As such, that meant 35' or less. I then decided brand was not important, but condition and construction was. The Benehuntalinas are fine boats for their intended purpose, and work for many people. They all had idiosyncrasies I chose not to deal with.

The boat I purchased does not have a large following. Consequently, I got it at a steep discount over an equivalent Catalina, with arguably better construction, and certainly better maintenance than any others I had looked at.

Of course when I sell it, it will also be less than the Benehuntalinas. So be it. I get to do my sailing I want now, at a lesser cost.
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