5 most important factors to consider when buying a sailboat

November 3, 2015

Sailing is one of the most simultaneously relaxing and exciting hobbies imaginable. It's not always smart to just buy the first sailboat that comes your way, though. Purchasing a sailboat is an investment, and the following five tips will ensure you make a good one.

5 most important factors to consider when buying a sailboat

1. Where will you be sailing?

  • This is one of the most important considerations. Sailboats are built differently depending on where they're meant to go.
  • A person who solely plans on coastal sailing, for instance, would be wasting money by purchasing a boat meant for the open sea that was built to withstand potentially rough ocean conditions.
  • Also, some waterways are not meant for larger boats.
  • A five-metre long craft in the Chesapeake Bay, for instance, is more likely to ground you than give you a good time.

2. How long will you be on the sailboat?

  • Planned lengths of stay should also be considered before making a purchase. A sailboat that's perfect for a day trip may not accommodate those who want to head out for the weekend or longer.
  • Those planning on lengthier stays out on the water should consider the number of berths, accommodations, available galley equipment, and shower and head facilities.

3. Cost considerations

  • As with any purchase, price matters. A used boat costs less than a new one, and previous owners of these boats often put substantial amounts of time and money into improving them.
  • This means that you could get a great boat at a good price that comes with plenty of gear that would prove even more expensive if purchased new.

4. Experience matters

  • It's possible that a person could find the perfect boat at a great price only to discover later that corners were cut during the building process and the boat doesn't live up to their standards.
  • This is why it's important to purchase boats built by companies with a strong pedigree.

5. Don't forget the survey

  • When an offer is made on a boat, it's often contingent on finance availability and a sea trial, but it's also important to not forget the survey.
  • A professional survey of the vessel will cost around $11 per foot, but this will pay off greatly in the end.
  • It will ensure that no mechanical surprises will pop up later. If an issue is found with the boat, it is possible to renegotiate a price before making the final commitment.
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