You don't have to be rich to own a boat

October 3, 2018 Richard Allen

You don’t have to be rich to own a boat. But you do want to chart a sensible course for your money — by choosing a boat that you can afford to buy and afford to maintain.

The hardest thing about buying a used fiberglass sailboat is keeping your head straight. With a new boat you (in theory, at least) get what you pay for, but entering the used boat market can be a bit like going through Alice’s looking glass. Is a shiny new 35-foot performance cruiser beyond your pay grade? Not to worry, there’s a fantastic looking used 36-footer with lots of gear for sale on Craigslist for less than the price of a car. Of course, the reality is rarely that simple. Systems and mechanical fasteners have a way of breaking down over the years, and even fiberglass has its limitations.

A few things to ask yourself when contemplating buying a used boat.

1. How would I spot a bargain?
2. Do I need a professional survey?
3. Should I work with a Broker?
4. What would be potential "deal breakers"?

Leaks?
Spongy deck?
Engine problems?
Chainplate corrosion?

Rig problems?
Keel and rudder corrosion?
Hull damage?
Odor? 


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