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How to Buy a Boat

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Featured Article:   How to buy a boat without getting burnt!

     Or most things you need to know about buying a boat but have no one to ask.     (by Rod Lynch)
 
G'day, my name's Rod Lynch and I live beside the sea, in a place called Wollongong, about 50 miles south of Sydney, Australia.
 
I went to sea as a deck boy back in 1964 and I've spent the last 20 odd years sailing on and off, cruised Australia's East Coast a couple of times, done a bit of boat building and run a brokerage for a while.
 
Why am I writing this? 'Cos I hate seeing people's dreams turn into nightmares. It's always intrigued me why 19 out of 20 first time boat owners buy a pup. They simply buy their first boat for all the wrong reasons. (As I did, I might add!)
 
What's the best type of boat to buy? Well, 'best' is one of those 'relative' words. 75% or 80% of boats on the market today are neglected. The average Joe (or Jo-ann) assumes a coat of paint or polish will restore it, W-R-O-N-G! Let's talk about a neglected yacht.
 
Most people's first boat is in the $20,000 to $50,000 range. Buying the wrong powerboat can cost you big time later. The wrong sailboat the same.
 
A collapsing rig could put you in dire peril so you must re-rig it and step the mast and overhaul it and also replace halyards, say $5000. You can bet because the boat will be, on average, 15 to 20 years old, the sails will need to be replaced, at least a Main and a Jib or Genoa. Say $3500 Then there's the motor/s.
 
Now it or they may sound OK to you now, but the odds are sometime in the first couple of years it will probably die. Another $5000 to $10000.
 
Then we've got the hull, which, as time goes on will look uglier and uglier to you to the point where you'll want to spend more money to restore it.
 
Then there's the crappy wiring, the cushions are worn out, the timber- work is scuffed and the galley and head stink.
 
Need I go on? Does this reasonably describe the last few boats you've looked at, (check with your partner before you answer!)
 
Sounds depressing doesn't it, don't despair, just follow some sensible advice and you'll be out on the water in your new boat, sailing or cruising with new friends and having a ball.
 
Here is the golden rule when buying a boat..... Continue to next page of story, "How to Buy a Boat Without Getting Burnt"
 

Not sure what size boat is right for you?
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Additional resources for those buying their First Boat:
 
  • Buying a big sailboat?
    Get some advice from Forbes in their feature, Sailboat Buying Guide
    by Sara Clemence
     
  • Boat reviews
    Check out our boat tests to see detailed overviews with pictures and video of the best boats.
     
  • Boats for sale & auction
    Find new and used boats for sale and auction in our boats for sale section.
     
  • Buying new?
    Check out our directory of boat manufacturers to see who makes the best boats, and to find local boat dealers.

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