5 most important factors to consider when buying a sailboat

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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