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Old 07-02-2014, 05:16   #16
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Re: Things to look for in a used fiberglass sloop.

I too suggest working with a broker. I wouldn't rely on CL to turn up a good candidate except at the lower price ranges. You should be able to find a good boat for <$5000.
The Dashew book is good. Also look at Nigel Calder's books, especially the one about cruising. Read it! You should be familiar with everything boat related in the book if you want to tackle a project like you are considering. (I didn't say "master" BTW.)

Every project will take more time and be way more costly than you think.
If you can cultivate a relationship with a local marine professional, do so. A few lunches, etc. will be money well spent.
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Old 07-02-2014, 06:34   #17
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Re: Things to look for in a used fiberglass sloop.

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Originally Posted by jostalli View Post
I really wish there were more boats for sale by owner but that is simply not the case over a certain price point (say $50k). Therefore you must look on Yachtworld, which is broker city. Might as well find a trustworthy buyers broker. Can't hurt.
The OP is looking for boats in the 7-10K range. There are lots and lots of those for sale by owner, if you can find them.
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Old 07-02-2014, 06:50   #18
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Re: Things to look for in a used fiberglass sloop.

Alternative to yachtworld; Sailboat Listings - sailboats for sale

Good hunting
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Old 07-02-2014, 07:25   #19
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Re: Things to look for in a used fiberglass sloop.

I had my boat listed with a broker last year. He did it really as a favor to me, as I had been a customer at his affiliated boat yard for some years. His home office doesn't want him to take any listings that net less than a $2000 commission…i.e., $20,000 list price or more. My boat is a 1988 27' Pearson and it's not worth $20k. The two times it was shown, I showed it, not the broker. I had a similar experience when I was shopping for the boat. Usually the owner showed it, or the broker unlocked it and told me the location, but couldn't even bother to come out and meet me.

I'd prefer to sell through a broker, because it would limit my risk in collecting the money, but it's just not feasible in this price range and given I keep it in a harbor with no sailboat brokers.

It didn't sell, so this year I will market it myself. As for what to look for: Take my boat as an example. I'll list it for $12,900 this year. The jib and harken furler are 2009 vintage. The Universal diesel is original, and works fine. Heat exchanger replaced in 2010 or 2011. Radar on pole at stern, installed 2010. Propane cooktop, 2009, tank in dedicated cockpit locker. Head with holding tank and shower (ok it's small!). 2011 VHF with AIS receiver and small chartplotter(2008). I am the third owner and I have enjoyed maintaining this boat and doing some upgrades. Pearsons are great; this is my second 27. As has been said on other threads, people tend to love their own boats.

You can get a well-maintained boat. Don't settle for less. I later ran into one of the two who looked at my boat, and asked him why he didn't buy it. He said after seeing my boat, he immediately eliminated several others he had been considering, because mine was in such good condition with nice add-ons. He ended up buying a slightly larger sloop for a couple thousand more.

So, there are nice, clean, well-maintained boats out there for very little money. Take your time; it's a buyer's market. As for me, until I sell it, I'm going to have some fun in the Monday night race series at the yacht club!
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Old 07-02-2014, 10:00   #20
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Re: Things to look for in a used fiberglass sloop.

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Originally Posted by letsgetsailing3 View Post
The OP is looking for boats in the 7-10K range. There are lots and lots of those for sale by owner, if you can find them.
Any broker will put the effort into helping OP that matches the likely commission. Apart from that being next to zero, the odds of OP buying from a specific broker will be low.....broker will know all that and act accordingly.
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Old 07-02-2014, 12:59   #21
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Re: Things to look for in a used fiberglass sloop.

Actually I would avoid brokers all together when starting a search. I would call a reputable surveyor and let him/her know what you're looking for. Get their opinions most surveyors are more than willing to give their opinion on the types of vessels you're interested in. Call a few of them and after getting an idea make a list of boats and then go to as many brokers you can find in the locations you're looking if you are unable to find any fsbo.

Don't worry about broker reputation (unless they have been known to steal deposits) before you buy any boat I don't care how big or how much it's worth you should hire a reputable surveyor NOT recommended by the broker. Never ever take advice from a broker alone. My own brother is a broker and I would not even take his advice. Not saying he is not honest or has the best interest of his clients at heart. He's a salesman for a living and there is nothing wrong with that.

Don't rely on your knowledge either I have a undergraduate and graduate degree in marine engineering and propulsion systems and have been crewing and running yachts professionally for almost 30 years and I still hire a surveyor to go through anything I'm considering.

Also seek out owners groups for vessels of interest and monitor them for a few months. You'll get a good idea of what you're getting yourself into.

Also something else I do that might sound rather unusual is before I purchase any vessel I walk around the marina or yard where the vessel regularly alongside or hauled and I ask other people what they know about the boat without disclosing that I'm a potential buyer. It's you in the end that will be funding her.
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Old 07-02-2014, 15:50   #22
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Re: Things to look for in a used fiberglass sloop.

In the size range that you are looking at, I think a survey would be justified. If you look over the boat yourself and don't see anything that would be a deal breaker, then make an offer subject to a survey. It will cost you around $300 to haul the boat, and around another $300 for the survey, but it will be $600 well spent. If there is any major problem with the boat, you can bet the farm it will cost well over the $600 to fix it.
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Old 08-02-2014, 15:51   #23
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Re: Things to look for in a used fiberglass sloop.

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Most times that much water intrusion will be from a leaky stuffing box... That should not be a deal killer... _______Grant.
I remember the guy muttering something about a stuffing box, he said he was going to get that fixed before he sells it, I'll tell him to make sure that problem is fixed before I see it again before making the decision, thanks Grant.

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Originally Posted by David_Old_Jersey View Post
deal breakers are anything I can't fix myself (or don't want to! - from either lack of time or laziness!) or if they need a pro repair is too expensive (for that yer need to know what the repair will cost, at least ballpark).

I was looking for common problem that you might have encountered, I agree with your way of looking at it but I was looking for specific issues.

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Originally Posted by goat View Post
Alternative to yachtworld; Sailboat Listings - sailboats for sale

I've browsed it and found boats but the post would be created 2-3 years ago, surely the boat has been sold in that time. Very few recent posts in my area.

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Originally Posted by La Porte Rouge View Post
...make an offer subject to a survey. It will cost you around $300 to haul the boat, and around another $300 for the survey, but it will be $600 well spent.

I've already seen two boats that have not been hauled out in over a year and have mentioned to the owner that if I make an offer, at the very least I'm subtracting the cost of a haul out from the asking price because I'm not comfortable buying their boat without taking a look at the bottom. Getting it surveyed would be the next step but honestly I could spend my entire budget just surveying potential boats, I know that being cheap and not getting it surveyed can potentially cost me twice my budget but thats why I'm looking for the "deal breakers" so at the very least I will weed out the most major issues.




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Old 08-02-2014, 17:16   #24
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Re: Things to look for in a used fiberglass sloop.

OK so speaking while biased -- as I am selling my Catalina 27, but basically when I looked at boats, I wanted to make sure some of the hard work has already been done -- barrier coat entails getting rid of all blisters (if there were any) and then epoxying the bottom before bottom paint. This process only gets done once, and then one major headache is gone. Then you want to make sure the decks are solid, no spot spots etc. Then the chainplates and that bulkhead, which is a pain to replace, that all needs to be good.

Everything else is fixable easily, but it can add up (e.g new standing rigging etc.). I agree with what has been said that if you don't have to repower or get new sails, then you are getting an even better deal, but I also like getting my own sails. When I bought the C27 the first thing we did is get new sails. Now a bigger boat and we're also looking at new sails...
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Old 08-02-2014, 18:31   #25
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Re: Things to look for in a used fiberglass sloop.

Shellphish, fixing a leaky stuffing box can be as simple as an 1/8 or 1/4 turn of tightening,which is fine or a less scrupulous owner might just tighten the hell out of it to stop a leak, which means it really needed repacking, and will overheat and score the shaft. If you are in doubt about a FIXED stuffing box, reach in and see if the shaft will turn with the transmission in nuetral. It should turn with a little effort, but not need brute force to turn. Good luck. _____Grant.
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Old 08-02-2014, 18:44   #26
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Re: Things to look for in a used fiberglass sloop.

Another day, another boat. And guys I think I found her. Saw a Santana 35 today and she looks good, best boat I've seen so far (out of 3...). Missing cushions and could use a haul out and repaint (the guy told me that, unlike most sellers) the rigging will need to be replaced eventually and he admitted to a bit of a leak where the mast comes through the deck (its been raining for a few days and there was very little water in the tiny bilge). It is a bit of a racer so few amenities but I'm fine with that plus its much roomier then the two 30s I've looked at. The guy was more then happy to take me out once the weather clears up (I think he just wants one last sail before he lets her go, he is not in a hurry to sell but will to a good owner) so I'm going to take a buddy who's an experienced sailor and go out on a test ride hopefully very soon. Any thoughts about the boat?
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