Outside of getting a survey done by our own surveyor, is there anything else you recommend we look out for or do?
Yes, get the survey
. Little things that can mean a lot are what you get a survey for after you basically look the boat over and decide you like it. You'll need it for insurance
purposes too. Just don't fall in love until after the wedding.
Any boat this old has things that may work but have a lot of wear. This of course is subjective. Sails
, and upholstery generally don't last this long. Plumbing hardware
accessories (stuff attached to the engine) can show a great deal of wear. Original rigging
may be suspect. These are the things you may have to replace say in the next 4 years either planned or by surprise.
When you are on a budget
and can't plunk down ten times that for a larger brand new boat you need to see the future a little bit and be ready. Lots of things you can do for yourself but others are not so much labor as just stuff you need to replace that costs a lot.
If you use the boat a lot all these things start to show up on the "list" and the list grows. If you don't use the boat much then the list won't grow so quick. Not using the boat much means you should not have purchased it in the first place.
It means you'll need more money
later. Right now list prices on these boats are running $10K to $50K with the nice ones at about $40K. I would seriously consider looking at another similar boat or two before you hire the survey. The idea is you need to understand what a better Ericson
32 looks like and what a worse one looks like. YachtWorld.Com had a 1997 for $75K. The basic design can fulfill a lot of good coastal sailing and carry lots of stuff. Getting the most for your money
means you know what the "other" real deal might be. Only real boats you saw in person count! Pictures never count. It becomes easier to see which boat has a lot more for the money if you just go out and see one or two. Personally, I would find the best one possible to compare. In a list of possible boats you could actually buy and saw it's better end of the list are the best choices for the money spent up front. They all cost you later but it's nice to start with a nicer boat.
On the surface this could be a good deal for you but what I suggest is you will know it for sure yourself. If you make the effort to date other boats you'll know the best one and you'll learn a bit more too. Be smarter or work harder.
Last advice: The Admiral knows a poor boat when she sees one. It's a universal boating