Friday, January 14, 2011

Are you ready to buy a used boat?

Our Newport 30 "Addiction" will turn 30 this year!

Is the summer of 2011 your time for a new to you boat? If it is, this is the time to start formulating a plan of action. Maybe you think that boat ownership is too expensive (I pay $3 a day to own my 30' sailboat on the San Francisco Bay), too time consuming (yes it does take time, however it can be rewarding if you love it), or maybe too much trouble to consider (depends). It can be all those things, but if you get a great boat that brings you good times and fun, it will all be worth it. When I decided it was time to make the leap ten years ago, I spoke to friends who owned boats to determine all the costs involved (about $5k per year ($400/month)for our boat). I then went out and found three like minded friends and we purchased a $15k sailboat that was going on 20 years young. We got lucky and found a boat with a great engine, was a reputable bay boat from a respected company and it was ready to sail. Over the years, we have upgraded a few key components like adding a roller furler, upgrading the stereo and adding awesome cockpit speakers, and a used main sail for $100 from a racing boat. The costs I have mentioned do not include the biannual haulouts to paint the bottom and light maintenance on the boat (about $1500 every 2 years). We now have 5 partners and each pay $100 per month. This more than covers our monthly costs and the extra goes into the kitty for anything that might come up. I manage the financial side and have become the project and maintenance manager as well as I sail the boat the most and I enjoy doing it. I have also learned a great deal over the years. So there you have it. The cost of ownership is high if you never use your boat. But if you head out two-three times a month, you have a great way to get you out on the water and share your time with good friends. For a detailed account of the boat buying experience, the folks at Messing About in Sailboats have put together a terrific boat buying guide that will make your job that much easier. Click here for a downloadable guide. Also click here for one man's opinion on buying a first boat and a breakdown of some good first boats.

Lastly, here was my criteria for buying our boat:
Stand up head room below
30' minimum (good for groups up to 6 folks but also easy to single hand)
2500 lbs. in keel for stability
legal head
inboard diesel engine
sloop with spinnaker (if the spinnaker has a sock, all the better)
sleep four comfortably for week long trips

Good luck!!

1 comment:

R said...

"A sink big enough to fit a 3 gallon keg"?