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Old 15-02-2018, 12:56   #1
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20 year old boat or 30 year old boat??

I'd like some feedback about two boats I'm interested in. One is 20 years old, the other is 30 years old. Both boats would be considered by most as well found blue water cruisers. Neither is a project boat by any means. Here's the pro/con for each boat.

30 year old boat
Pro:
Meticulously maintained.
Well set up for coastal cruising or liveaboard.
Sails and standing rigging (chainplate to masthead) upgraded and about 7 years old.
Con:
Engine has high hours but tests clean.
Electronics are all working but 15 years old.


20 year old boat
Pro:
Maintained ok but not as meticulous as the older boat.
Electronics replaced 6 years ago.
Engine hours moderate.
Well set up for coastal cruising or liveaboard.
Con:
Standing rigging & chainplates & sails original.
Original tankage (this model boat has some history of leaking tanks)
This boat is a bit more expensive that the older boat.


So this is another of those "age" old (sorry for the pun) questions. Is it better to go with the older better maintained boat or go with the newer boat, (nice boat but not perfect)? Thoughts, comments appreciated.

-Jim
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Old 15-02-2018, 12:58   #2
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Re: 20 year old boat or 30 year old boat??

Always go with meticulously maintained.
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Old 15-02-2018, 13:00   #3
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Re: 20 year old boat or 30 year old boat??

My opinion:

Electronics are a wash. More than a few years old is just old.

Maintenance trumps age. I'd take the older boat due to better maintenance (less chance of surprises as an owner who maintains a boat will notice things before they become an issue).

Engine: On a diesel how the engine was taken care of will be more important than the number of hours.
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Old 15-02-2018, 13:12   #4
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pirate Re: 20 year old boat or 30 year old boat??

I'd go for the 30yr old.. electrics can be replaced as and when needed to the latest greatest.. engine hours as has been said is only relevant to its maintenance.. and if the pro's are as you've described the engine will have been looked after as well.
Good sailing.
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Old 15-02-2018, 13:22   #5
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Re: 20 year old boat or 30 year old boat??

Actual condition is everything...
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Old 15-02-2018, 13:28   #6
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Re: 20 year old boat or 30 year old boat??

I too would go for the older boat. It already has had the hidden gotchas looked after. while they still lurk ominously in the newer vessel. Besides being a time and money sink at the very best, things like chainplates and tanks can escalate wildly as you dig into them... plenty of tales of woe to be found in these pages!

The electronics? The idea that electroniics become somehow unusable as they age and newer stuff comes along is just marketing hype. With the possible exception of auto pilots, the newer stuff does little that the older does not... more "features" that you will liikely never use, more bling, more networking... but not much actual useful function that is not there in the older stuff.

With no other factors than the ones you mention, I think this is a no brainer decision!

Jim
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Old 15-02-2018, 13:50   #7
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Re: 20 year old boat or 30 year old boat??

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Originally Posted by jimp1234 View Post
Is it better to go with the older better maintained boat or go with the newer boat, (nice boat but not perfect)? Thoughts, comments appreciated.

-Jim
Assuming they are about the same price get the one in the BEST condition. And if they are about the same price and condition get the newer one.

Both the above decisions are overruled by if one of them just speaks to your heart better!
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Old 15-02-2018, 13:55   #8
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Re: 20 year old boat or 30 year old boat??

Where do you plan to sail and what kind of conditions do you anticipate?

Old rigging and original sails means you will want to replace the rig probably now. Single handed Transpac riggers say wire should be replaced every 7 years for offshore work. In all case replace at 12 to 15 years regardless. So the 20year old boat needs immediate attention, with the older boat right behind it.

The tank problems are a bit of a PITA to deal with. Also 30 year old boats might be more prone to blistering than newer laid hull- although I am no expert on when or if the blistering problem ever got resolved.

30 yearbold hulls overall, might be cheaper to buy. Depends on the make/model and what your survey shows. I’d probably go for the older boat, and upgrade the seaworthiness stuff immediately, if it where me...

Good luck!

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Old 15-02-2018, 14:01   #9
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Re: 20 year old boat or 30 year old boat??

maintenance is al ..... most. Depends. Are both boats of same manufacture ? Not nearly enough information to warrant an opinion.
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Old 15-02-2018, 14:24   #10
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Re: 20 year old boat or 30 year old boat??

20 or 30 years makes no difference, they are both old enough to have needed most accessories replaced. Go with the one that has been looked after the best.
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Old 15-02-2018, 15:18   #11
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Re: 20 year old boat or 30 year old boat??

From the information you posted, definitely (IMO) the older for the reasons already posted by others.

As for the electronics, they are both old - new electronics have aged after two years - and Jim's comments (post 6) are spot on.
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Old 15-02-2018, 15:51   #12
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Re: 20 year old boat or 30 year old boat??

Quote:
Originally Posted by dcstrng View Post
Actual condition is everything...
^^This

I set my own priority like this:

0. Teak: no teak deck of any state, period.
1. Structural integrity: probably the most expensive thing you could think of is a major fiberglass work, like osmosis treatment. Keel reconditioning & rebedding is also not for the faint-hearted. No-go or full cost deduction.
2. Engine: a pain and a lot of $$$ to replace. There are some "everlasting" models which are keepers even at an age of 50 (Bukh comes in mind) but modern Volvos and Yanmars are quickly phased out and you are left stranded if you need parts. Might be a difficult argument, the seller claims the 15 year old "green beauty" runs fine - indeed it does however might present you bills half the value of a repower within the first 3 years...
3. Headlining: might be a major job, costing 4-5k€. Again, ask for a serious discount if replacement needed.
4. Rigging: has a certain lifetime, I don't mind much if I have to re-rig

Rest: cosmetics, new sails, new electronics - likely that you'd want to replace these even on a 7-8y old boat. These are mostly user-replaceable parts (alright, solar arch maybe not...)
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Old 15-02-2018, 21:33   #13
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Re: 20 year old boat or 30 year old boat??

Everything else being equal you would expect to pay more for the newer boat... its just the way it is.

I've been helping a friend who is considering buying.... the class they are looking at run between about $70k asking for early ones... late 80's built .... and $130k for late 90's boats.

In their case I would spring for a newer boat .... there is lots of other stuff on a boat that is slowly wearing out.

In your case the major issue in my eyes would be the rig.. the newer boat needs new standing rigging now ( and possibly sails as well ) The older boat still has about 50% life left on sails and rig... based on 12 years for the rig and 15 for the sails... so that expense is down the track just a little way.

Water tanks? Has the older boat had hers replaced already?

General appearance? As they say better to buy a car in good cosmetic condition with a blown motor than one with a new motor but a trashed interior....

Anyway... let me guess... are we talking IPs here?
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Old 16-02-2018, 09:16   #14
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Re: 20 year old boat or 30 year old boat??

older boat, adjust cost of boat to help with the cost of a new engine.
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Old 16-02-2018, 09:27   #15
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Re: 20 year old boat or 30 year old boat??

I dont think age matters too much choosing between 20-30 years old. The particular boat matters. Details... it might matter WHAT engine the older boat has to some extent. Fuel tanks issues and re rigging and old sails are a pretty big thing. The tanks and chainplates especially on some particular boats! The sum of all things matters more. Based on limited knowledge, I'd probably go with the 30 YO.
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