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Old 28-10-2016, 07:55   #16
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Re: Questions to ask when purchasing a used boat


That is a really refreshing response to read. Often times, especially with this sort of plan, all you hear is questions like "But what about your career", "What if you sink", etc... Now, I've certainly thought through all of the possibilities. And ultimately, I've come to the same conclusion as you, albeit from a different direction.

My father was a lawyer his entire life, and he hated it. What he really loved to do was fish. He would go whenever possible, even if that meant fishing the ponds on our local golf course. His plan was to retire and buy a house in the Bahamas, and fish all day. Unfortunately, four years ago he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and a year later he was dead.

This changed my thinking from having all the time in the world, into a mindset of not wasting the time that I have. I'll live the life I want, right now, instead of waiting for when society says that I've earned it.
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Old 28-10-2016, 11:04   #17
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Re: Questions to ask when purchasing a used boat

May I recommend Andrew Simpson's ebook 'Secrets of Buying Secondhand Boats' which can be downloaded at The Ultimate Sailboat Buying Guide; You've Just Found It!
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Old 28-10-2016, 11:28   #18
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Re: Questions to ask when purchasing a used boat

Here's a good How To that lists things to look for. Add them to your list and the good comments already provided. Good luck.

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Many of your questions will be answered if the owner has thorough maintenance records. Some skippers keep them, others not so much. If there are NONE, I would be hesitant.
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Old 28-10-2016, 11:34   #19
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Re: Questions to ask when purchasing a used boat

Originally Posted by TacomaSailor View Post
If your choice boat is a Bavaria in Croatia - the FIRST question I would ask is

Has it been in a charter fleet or otherwise used as a charter boat?

If so How Long and who maintained it?

Are you looking for a boat to sail in the North Sea or in the Adriatic/Med?

Where do you plan to moor/dock/store the boat?
Originally Posted by teddythetwig View Post
TacomaSailor, I've heard this advice around different forums online. I can only assume it's because they are generally not treated very well?

I'm looking to sail more tropical waters, starting in the Med and building confidence and miles until I feel comfortable making an Atlantic crossing. It really depends on the timing for me. My plan is to transition to living full-time on a boat by July 2017 and then seeing where life takes me. I see this as the initial planning stage for that transition.

I think my biggest danger is two-fold. Either picking a boat and moving on it too quickly, or being too cautious and waiting for ever to find the perfect boat. Realistically, I want something that will allow me to achieve the above goal. Gotta find the sweet spot.
The question about being in a charter fleet, along with who maintained them works like this. Boats in charter fleets get used a Lot, at times almost every day. As in out on the ocean sailing, & being the play toy of folks on vacation. Where generally the level of seamanship may be lower, among the folks chartering her. Along with their being in new surroundings, often having cocktails throughout the day, & at times doing things with the boat to try & impress their friends. So gear gets broken, & or, used hard.

Thus maintenance is important, however the charter companies need to have the boats being in sailable condition as much as possible, so that they don't lose $. Which means that the maintenance may not get done in the kind of depth that an owner would lavish TLC on her. And this kind of wear adds up quickly, as does the "cosmetic maintenance" designed to keep them pretty & running. But not necessarily in bristol fashion.

So the net result is that all of her systems see greatly accelerated wear & tear, to even include reef rash on the keel, & overstressed rigging bits. So that if you get a charter boat that's seen a lot of service, she may need all of her major systems rebuilt. Sometimes even to include her structural bits.
End result, by the time you buy her, & then do all of the needed fixing, you could spend far more than you would on a well cared for, one owner boat, in premium condition.

And in fact there was a member on here, who about a year ago went to Croatia looking to inspect some charter boats, & find a deal on a good used one. However his report here on CF stated that after looking at a dozen boats, he hadn't seen one which was worth putting the $ into in order to shine it up, & make it cruise worthy. Since they'd all been sailed hard, & not maintained to even a minimum standard, including structurally.

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Old 28-10-2016, 19:34   #20
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Questions to ask when purchasing a used boat

Once you find a boat that tickles your fancy and seems to be on good shape ask for the Maintance Log or some variation thereof.

If it exists it will tell you if the boat was kept up and what repairs were needed. If it doesn't, the work may have been done. But it says something about the mindset of the owner. When I bought my boat they had some repair receipts in a folder. And the boat was more than rough.

When I sell my boat, the deck logs will also list all repairs, upgrades and maintenance.
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Old 29-10-2016, 00:16   #21
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Re: Questions to ask when purchasing a used boat

Seems to me the best boats come from owners who are eager to tell you about every inch and historical minute and mile in that boat. You won't need to hone a list for that type of seller. If I had to deal with a broker only, I'd be getting a good survey.
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Old 26-11-2016, 16:15   #22
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Re: Questions to ask when purchasing a used boat

One question in the initial list caught my eye: "Has the boat ever been run aground?"

Others rightly pointed out that it might be more useful to ask if the boat had ever been damaged through grounding, and they are right.

But only up to a point. The original question won't tell you much about the boat, but it will tell you something about the owner.

If the answer is "no groundings", then either:
a) the owner has barely used the boat, or
b) the seller is a liar -- because everybody has some groundings

In the course of your inspections, you'll find other questions answered by what you see. But do still ask those questions -- the answers will tell you a lot about how much the seller is being open and honest with you
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