Boats are at best a great compromise. Not one will fit all your needs.
However, with careful research, you might just get what will best suit your individual needs.
New boats are expensive! They depreciate substantially in the first few years. However, you will not need to worry for 6 to 7 years regarding new: ·
* Out-dated, old navigation equipment and electronics
* Engine overhaul/replacement etc.
Used boats, like any other used things, may have suffered abuse that is hard to detect. Saying all of the above, one need to appreciate that quality control is not as good as with cars and most new boat builders these days build to a price rather than the need of the cruising sailor. Therefore new boats may have significant defects and those need to be identified and possibly rectified before purchase (see Boat Buyer’s Checklist).
When considering what size of boat you need, consider not only your capacity to spend!
It is vitally important to consider following: ·
Are you planning to do your sailing mostly shorthanded or have crew on board? ·
Consider the costs of gear, sails, berthing, winter storage, etc. ·
Maintenance and other costs are disproportionally higher on larger boats. Much, much higher! ·
Larger boats are faster, but need more gadgets (and working gadgets) to be operated efficiently when shorthanded.
Most cruisers will agree that the best boat is a boat that does not depend on electrics and/or hydraulics to work all the time in order for a couple to safely and efficiently handle the boat in many most testing situations.
This by itself limits the size for shorthanded sailing to a 40 to 45ft vessel.
On Cool Change, we proud ourselves, that if all electrics fail, we still will be able to manage the vessel efficiently.
What about safety?
Due to the fact that most boat builders build to a price these days, make sure you specify “Solid Bronze” seacocks! NO IF’s or
BUT’s! Even if it means to pay a bit more! But this is more preferable than your boat suddenly going down in a hurry! If you need some convincing regarding this topic, read the book from Allan Sparkes – The Cost of Bravery. Allan took his family from Europe to Australia across the Atlantic and Pacific on a 47ft sailing vessel, only to have it sink in a berth in Coffs Harbour due to a failing
The other thing you should be adamant about is the way the boat is put together. For example, some production boat builders only glue the bulkheads into the hull. If you only plan to just sail around the harbour, yeah OK! Save some money if you absolutely must! However, if you want to trust your safety and potentially that of your family, make sure the bulkheads are glued and glassed in solidly. And don’t satisfy yourself with the assurances of the salesperson on this one!
On that note, happy boat hunting!
Subscribers can also access the “Sailboat Buyer’s Checklist” ….click here!