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Old 07-12-2018, 21:07   #1
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older really strong boat or newer not-so-strong

Just joined the forum, nice to be here. Been sailing in fresh water for about 40 years plus 7-8 Caribbean charters. Now looking for a blue water boat initially to hone my skills but eventually for long passages (don't want to upgrade later). Any advice as to whether it's better to buy an older boat, say a 90's Pacific Seacraft, Valiant, Gozzard, etc. or a newer, say 2010 Tartan, Catalina, Beneteau? I like skeg rudders, keel stepped masts, and not too beamy, but a newer boat with those is out of my budget. I think most will say buy the boat built better in the first place, but I'd like to hear from some of the newer boat folks too.
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Old 07-12-2018, 21:51   #2
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Re: older really strong boat or newer not-so-strong

Where do you want to go? Eventually...? Important to any potential answer.
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Old 07-12-2018, 22:11   #3
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Re: older really strong boat or newer not-so-strong

90's is an older boat? I think of that as new! Well... I guess that's 25 years.. that does SOUND old doesn't it?
...but "not-so-strong" is not something I'd really want to see on my boat's resume or survey no matter what the age

but, yes it helps to know your budget and location, and it sounds like you are looking at around 40' is that right?
bluewaterboats.org is a good starting point for some time-tested (older) designs and builders too.

BTW Welcome aboard!
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Old 07-12-2018, 22:55   #4
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Re: older really strong boat or newer not-so-strong

Yep, 40-something LOA, and would like to have potential to circ. Budget is 150-230k.
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Old 07-12-2018, 23:06   #5
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Re: older really strong boat or newer not-so-strong

Over-built fiberglass boats were built in the sixties.
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Old 08-12-2018, 00:04   #6
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Re: older really strong boat or newer not-so-strong

So if you're going from Mexico to Australia you'd recommend a 1968 Hinckley over a 2010 Beneteau? I know it depends on how she's outfitted but I can upgrade/refit/replace everything but the hull, so that's why I'm asking.
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Old 08-12-2018, 00:09   #7
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Re: older really strong boat or newer not-so-strong

There two key considersations that need to be separated so you can make the best decision for you.
-Hull Design
-Build Quality

Some older boats are a 10 in one respect and something much less than 10 in the other. Your on the right track. Just be sure the boat you choose checks both boxes.
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Old 08-12-2018, 00:15   #8
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Re: older really strong boat or newer not-so-strong

Not so strong is a very broad statement.

You can have a hull 2 inches think but if the through hulls are bad then a "strong" hull is irrelevant.

Personally I went with a more modern boat because I was over old, old boats often have alot of "old" stuff on them. If you can find an old boat that you like in great condition, then no problem.

Remember a boat is alot more than just the hull, it's made up of so many bits and pieces and systems. Old wiring amongst other things can make a "strong" boat a liability at sea.

Also one other thing, not all more modern boats are built poorly. Take the outbound 44 for example. My Catalina 470 IMO is quite a well built boat, if I thought it wasn't up for the task of going around the world I wouldn't of chosen it.

Most that will give you opinions are just regurgitating stuff they hear, bar room myths that become reality.

I can assure you there are many modern designs successfully sailing the oceans of the world providing, speed, comfort, safety and reliability.

Number 1 rule for me is buy on condition.
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Old 08-12-2018, 05:11   #9
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Re: older really strong boat or newer not-so-strong

All about your budget and timeframe.

There **are** new super strong hulls, or you can even commission a build strong enough for the Northwest Passage.

Finding a very well-maintained used example 90% ready to go to sea is of course **lots** less expensive.

But of course the newer ones more so.

The legendary 60s models can be picked up for a tiny fraction, but to get one quickly restored would end up being at least as expensive overall.
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Old 08-12-2018, 06:39   #10
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Re: older really strong boat or newer not-so-strong

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, ThaidUp.

With a (total all-up, I presume) budget of < $230K, I suspect you’ll be limited towards the “older” well-found forty footers.
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Old 08-12-2018, 09:23   #11
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Re: older really strong boat or newer not-so-strong

In 1994 when moved aboard and left to go cruising the Caribbean, we bought a very well maintained 1975 Whitby ketch. The hull was 1" thick solid glass. She surveyed very well. Little had been done to the boat in terms of upgrades so we had essentially a blank canvas to customize the boat to our needs. It worked out great for us. We had a lot of confidence that the boat could take much more than we could and the ketch rig gave us more heavy weather sail options, which we did our best not to need! Yeah, she didn't point better than about 38 degrees and it took a little breeze to get her moving due to the weight, but she was a great home, fun to sail in the trade winds, and had a 80 hp Lehman with 200 gallons of diesel to get us where we wanted to go when the wind didn't cooperate. The boat is still out cruising, we saw her just a couple years ago and she looked better than ever! So, from our experience, there's nothing wrong with buying an older well made boat.
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Old 08-12-2018, 09:26   #12
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Re: older really strong boat or newer not-so-strong

1966 hinkley is rather wet offshore... from experience !
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Old 08-12-2018, 09:27   #13
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Re: older really strong boat or newer not-so-strong

The difference between an overnight trip in coastal waters like the Caribbean Islands and an ocean crossing is like the difference between 35kn squall and a 3 day gale. Whatever the age boat all the gear needs to be upgraded from coastal to ocean otherwise you get constant problems with fatigue in things like rigging, sails, steering and hull structures. You also need a boat that does not require lots of input so make sure it hoves too well and will jog along under autopilot in 35kn without you having to fuss over her.
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Old 08-12-2018, 09:58   #14
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Re: older really strong boat or newer not-so-strong

What does "newer" mean? Buying a strong, well built hull from a reputable builder is one thing. But say it's 10 years old? Hmm, new sails? New standing rigging? Right running rigging? What about the bearings, prop shaft tube, prop shaft and don't forget about the electronics. 10 years old might not be what you're looking for.

I have bought an old monohull Landfall 39 (leaky Teaky) that was a perfect boat to to go around the world in. Spent many years refurbishing it etc. That boat was sold and resides in Mexico last I heard. It had been through 2 hurricanes and not on the outer edge.

I now own a Catamaran that I can singlehand. When I bought it I knew I was buying the hull. All electronics need to be replaced, boom needed replacement, sails, prop shafts, prop tubes, steering cables. Engines need paint and the engine rooms were disgusting. A lot of work. Some the yard got to do, the rest I am as well as gutted the salon and am rebuilding it as we speak. I'm also adding a heat pump (have a gen set), Watermaker and other niceties to make my crying max enjoyable. For me, buying the older1994 boat made sense. In the end I will have exactly the boat I want well pithing my budget.
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Old 08-12-2018, 10:16   #15
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Re: older really strong boat or newer not-so-strong

Given the budget and the 40' length, many good boats can be recommended, and age alone is probably not going to be a primary consideration because a strong 60's hull and a strong 2018 hull are both still strong. If you find a well found 40' boat in your budget, it might be more productive to ask here about others' experiences are with that particular boat. It might be helpful to pin down your "must-haves" and "would-be-nice-to-haves." Many folks must have an aft cabin or a shower, for example. The "must-have" list often depends on your prior experiences and cruising ground and how many are on the boat and how far you are going.. etc. If I had that budget I can think of a few boats I'd like to have, but my needs and preferences and desires would most likely be very different. We could probably give you a list of good 40' boats in the 175K - 200K range (not a good idea to shoot the whole wad on the purchase.) I'm guessing you have ruled out multi-hulls right?
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