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Step-by-Step Guide to Choose the Boat for You

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How to select a boat – choosing the right boat can be a daunting process, but breaking it down into steps can make it much more manageable. This resource provides a step-by-step guide to help you find the perfect boat for your needs.

Boats can vary greatly in price, so it’s important to have a clear idea of how much you are willing to spend. Don’t forget to include additional costs such as maintenance, storage, insurance, and fuel.

Evaluating the Manufacturer

As you now know, the boat building industry is very small and, in dealing with the manufacturer – whether directly or through a dealer – you are not in the same position you would be in doing business with, say, Mobil Oil or IBM. Where you probably wouldn’t feel it necessary to check the financial status of a giant, it would be a very good idea to find out as much as you reasonably can about the manufacturers of any boats you consider seriously.

This is one of the first things our company looked into when we were approached by a builder and asked to take on his line of boats. There have been cases in which individuals have ordered boats, given deposits or turned in their current boat as a deposit, and, come spring, found the manufacturer bankrupt. These people have lost their previous boats and/or their cash deposits.

How to find out the cost of a boat?

Some boat manufacturers are publicly held corporations, and so the financial information about them is available either directly or through Dun & Bradstreet reports. Some of the builders are parts of conglomerates; the information about them may be consolidated in the annual report for the total company and not specifically segregated. Still, an inquiry into the general health of the parent company may give you some indication of the state of the water before you jump in.

Probably the most direct way to assess the boat builder is to visit his plant. Just the impression you receive of the general orderliness, cleanliness, size, and level of activity will give you some feel for the company. It is also a good time to find out how many boats the company built last year, how many they expect to build this year, and how long they have been in business continuously.

That is, it is a good time to ask if you haven’t already asked the dealer or salesman you’ve been working with. To give you some parameters, a company that has been in business continuously for five or more years and is producing six hundred or more boats a year in the 25- to 40-foot range is likely to be stable and adequately financed. A key word here is continuous. There are builders who have opened and shut their doors several times in their history.

To drop this somewhat gloomy topic, a factory visit, if it’s at all possible, is also a good opportunity to look into such things as the thickness of the hull, bulkheads, the strength of the engine beds, and the general level of workmanship that is going into the boats.

At the factory, you will see boats in all stages of construction and many things will be visible that will vanish or be extremely difficult to view later.

To take some of those items, the fuel tank and tank beds and attachments will be visible, and it is a good time to inquire into the whys and wherefores of the tank installation and to assess whether or not the installation seems strong.

If you can’t tell by sight, ask what the fuel tank is made of. This is another clue to the real quality of the boat. Monel is the best tank material and is about ten times as expensive as any other material. It is an alloy of two-thirds nickel and one-third copper. It is not, as is commonly thought, the same as stainless steel, which is not a preferred material for fuel tanks because it is subject to developing pinhole leaks. In any case, a builder who is giving you a monel tank in your boat is giving you the best. A quick guide to both types of fuel tanks, from best to worst, is given below.

The trouble with galvanized, steel, or terneplate tanks is that water, which is always present to some degree in the bottom of fuel tanks, eventually corrodes the tank through and the fuel gets dumped into the bilge, where it is highly dangerous in the case of gasoline and very messy in the case of diesel. Tanks of these materials can also be invisibly attacked from underneath by trapped moisture, especially if mounted flush to a flat plywood or fiberglass surface.

Read also: Comprehensive Collection of Common Sailboat Rig Types and Designs

Black iron is the traditional material for diesel tanks and is okay because diesel is a light oil and tends to coat the inside of the tank and protect it from corrosion. In addition, this material has a lot of carbon alloyed in it and tends to resist exterior corrosion.

Other areas I inspect when I visit a factory are the wiring and plumbing. Generally, is it neat and run clear of the bilge? Specifically, does the wiring have extra protection from chafe where it passes through the bulkheads?

All in all, a factory visit can do much either to reinforce your pleasure in your decision to buy a particular boat or to make you revise your decision before it is too late. Open your eyes, use common sense, and, by all means, ask questions.

Checklist for New Boats

This is an attempt to pull together in one place the various elements that go into the evaluation of a boat. The list is applicable to used boats as well as to new although, obviously, some deterioration in exterior finish, rig, engine, and sails is to be expected in a used boat. The presumption is made that before using this list you have found one or more boats that appeal to you and that you want to make a comparative evaluation. I am also assuming that you are satisfied with your first impressions of the quality of the boats and the company from which you are planning to buy.

Exterior.

1 Gel coat like:

  • a new billiard ball;
  • an orange peel.

2 Hard spots (creases) showing where bulkheads are:

  • none,
  • few,
  • a lot.

3 Hull sweeps in smooth curves from bow to stern:

  • no flat spots;
  • a few flat spots;
  • many flat spots.

4 Very faint print-through of roving, if at all.

5 Rudder post substantial (compare one boat to another if same type; spade, spade with skeg, barn door)?

6 Attachment of ballast to hull shows careful work?

7 Cockpit seat lockers sturdy?

8 Good waterways around lockers?

9 Substantial hinges on lockers?

10 Side decks wide enough to allow easy access to foredeck and mast?

11 Lifelines:

  • above knee height;
  • stanchions through-bolted with four bolts;
  • compare lifeline diameters.

12 Chain plates:

  • compare sizes;
  • compare manner of attachment to hull.

13 Hatches:

  • compare for relative;
  • sturdiness;
  • water tightness.

Interior.

1 Compare fundamental work by:

  • looking in hanging locker at final layer of glass; best if it is roving, not mat;
  • checking type of hull-deck joint;
  • looking at smoothness of work at hull-deck joint;
  • finding chain plate buttresses and comparing sizes and level of workmanship, i. e., smoothness and massiveness;
  • opening lockers and (carefully) running hand over glass surfaces to see if smooth and fair or full of raw edges and «icicles» which can cut you;
  • checking engine installation for:
    • sturdiness of beds;
    • shut-off valve on water intake;
    • fuel lines carefully routed and secured with padded fastenings and reinforced neoprene hose with compression fittings between bulkhead mounted filters and engine itself,
  • checking to see that all below-water through-hulls are fitted with bronze shut-offs properly installed with backing blocks;
  • checking wiring to see comparative gauges used and whether or not protected against chafe where it goes through bulkheads – no wiring should go through bilge;
  • checking fuel tank material:
GasDiesel
MonelMonel
AluminumAluminum
Aluminum-coated steelBlack iron
Zinc-coated steel (galvanized steel)Mild steel
Terneplate

 

  • checking mast step area and keel bolts for comparative massiveness of materials and signs of special reinforcement to take heavy loads;
  • checking battery installation; batteries should be in acid-proof plastic boxes with a lid and well strapped down.

2 Compare finish work by:

  • observing fit of joints and seams;
  • the way drawers are made and finished;
  • whether or not drawers and lockers have positive latches (best) as opposed to friction fittings;
  • how smoothly drawers and doors slide, engine covers remove, switches switch, etc.

Cost per Pound. At some appropriate time, take a pocket calculator and divide the weight of the boat (displacement) into the boat’s base price. I know this seems an odd thing to do, but it is a quick way to find out if you are comparing apples to apples. Since the major cost of a boat is her materials, one way to lower the price is to use fewer materials. Thus, one boat may require fewer dollars than another to purchase but actually be at the same price level fundamentally. If the price per pound is the same, the fundamental workmanship and the general finish should be equivalent. Here are some guidelines:

  • $20/pound – Custom construction to highest standards;
  • $10/pound – Production fiberglass to highest standards;
  • $7/pound – Top-line production fiberglass;
  • $5/pound – Mid-range production fiberglass;
  • $3/pound – Production fiberglass daysailers.

Obviously, if one pound of one boat is a lot more than one pound of another, you should be able to see the reasons why yourself, or someone should be able to point them out to you. More on this in the article «Instant Naval Architecture of SailboatsBoat Construction and Main Aspects Performance of Sailboats».

At the Factory:

  • size of plant;
  • general level of orderliness and cleanliness;
  • level of activity; that is, are they really building boats or just stooging around;
  • this is one place where you can really see the boat totally, so look at:
    • hull and bulkhead thicknesses at various points;
    • secondary bonding;
    • exact manner of joining hull and deck;
    • engine and tank installations;
    • wiring installation;
    • insulation of iceboxes,
  • if you are not going to be able to get to the factory and want to check the thickness of the hull, have a through-hull fitting withdrawn on a display model of the boat you are considering.

Final Note. Bear in mind that this list is to be used on a comparative basis, not on an absolute basis. I am not trying to turn you into a structural engineer, but if you look at the same key things on two or three different boats, a picture will emerge showing which boat is likely to be strongest. Like anything else in life, boats are a mixture of good and bad features and your final choice is inevitably going to be a compromise – a compromise, though, illuminated by your knowledge. Not until there are perfect people will there be perfect boats; and if, after all your comparing and checking, you find yourself still in love with a boat that doesn’t seem to measure up, consider having her surveyed when completed at the factory.

Surveying a New Boat

Having a boat surveyed means hiring an outside consultant to take a close look at your choice and answer two basic questions: Is this boat suitable for the type of sailing I intend to do? Is it fairly priced? Further, since it is a rare new item that is unflawed as built, a survey will often point up potential problems and headaches at a stage when correction is easiest.

The people who do this sort of consulting are called marine surveyors and are routinely hired by purchasers of used boats to answer the same two questions as well as to satisfy the insuring and financing companies that:

a the boat does, in fact, exist;

b is afloat;

c is likely to remain so.

Locating a surveyor is relatively easy and is dealt with in the points «How to Buy a Used Boat? Essential TipsThe Fifteen-Minute Survey» and «How to Buy a Used Boat? Essential TipsWooden Sailboats», which covers the process of evaluating and buying a used boat.

Since there are two distinct stages in the life of a new boat – manufacture and make-ready – it is normal for the survey of a new boat to begin at the factory or at the dealer’s showroom and conclude when the boat has been launched and made ready (commissioned) for your use. It makes sense to do it this way because there are many things on a new boat that can’t be checked until they are operational (engines, electronics, plumbing, etc.).

Below is an example of a new boat survey, which shows a typical mix of shortcomings in a new 38-footer. The only item of real substance is the fact that the hot part of the exhaust system was run too close to the fiberglass (resin is flammable) structure of the boat. Forewarning of the other weaknesses, though, enabled the buyer to avoid wasting a weekend and being embarrassed and frustrated.

New Boat Survey

Factory Visit

August 29, 1984

Mr. John Dixon
28 Beacon La.
Hilton, CT 06899
 
Dear Mr. Dixon:
 
Here is the written report to date of the survey I began on Wednesday, August 19, 1984, of your new Halleluiah 38 sloop at the builder’s factory in Portsmouth, Rhode Island.
 
Identification:
 
  • Manufacturer’s Serial №: HBA 00 301 0984;
  • Indicates that this is boat №301 of her model and that construction will be completed in September of 1984.

Underbody.

Procedure: inspect underwater area for smoothness and adhesion of anti-fouling paint; check struts, props, shafts thru-hulls, cutless; pull rudder through full range, check for smoothness and excessive play; sound hull for voids or delaminations. List comments, observations, suggestions:

  • General Information:
    • Prop shaft is 1″ stainless steel (substantial).
    • Rudder stock is 2″ stainless steel (substantial).
  • Prop not fitted.

* Prop shaft rubbing on hull at exit point; best open slot a bit.

Topsides.

Procedure: inspect for general fairness; sound for voids and delaraination. List comments, observations, suggestions:

  • Appear virtually flawless; level of glass work judged excellent.
  • General Information:
    • Hull is 1″ thick at flange (substantial).

Interior.

Procedure: in so far as ceiling and liners permit, examine bulkheads and partial bulkheads, chain plate knees, mast step or support structure for soundness and integrity of attachment to hull; check thru-hull valves for function, hull/deck joint for voids. List comments, observations, suggestions:

  • General Information:
    • Main bulkhead 3/4″ plywood; others 1/2″ plywood (substantial); taping to hull judged excellent.
  • No lifting ring on access panel in forward cabin sole.
  • Reposition manual bilge pump strainer lower in sump.

* Hot part of exhaust riser touches underside of bridge deck; lower to give at least 2″ clearance.

* Install shut-offs at top of fuel tank.

* Install bonding wire between fill and tank, tank and ground.

Deck.

Procedure: sound for evidence of delaminations and mark any for repair; inspect lifelines, stanchions, winches and all fittings generally. List comments, observations, suggestions:

  • Small (palm-sized) area of mold blemishes at aft starboard corner of coach roof.
  • Sharp sound around mast step area on coach roof judged due to different coring, not delamination (confirmed by foreman).

* No emergency tiller seen.

I plan to complete this survey on or about September 10th, at which time I will be going over the deck and interior again.

Submitted without prejudice _____________ signature
Hewitt Schlereth

HS: lab

 

New Boat Survey

Post-Launch

September 13, 1984

Mr. John Dixon
28 Beacon La.
Hilton, CT 06899
 
Dear Mr. Dixon:
 
Here is the completion of the report I began for you August 29, 1984, on your new Halleluiah 38 sloop, «Rosalund B».
 
On the day of my visit, Wednesday, September 12, 1984, the boat was in the process of being commissioned, so I would expect that some of the items noted would be routinely taken care of. In any case, here’s the list:
 
Deck.
 
  • Mast has a rather generous rake – two feet; headstay is rather slack and backstay turnbuckle almost all the way home; check boat for excessive weather helm and adjust headstay as necessary.
  • Tighten lifelines; set up lock nuts.
  • No jib halyard shackle seen.
  • No flag halyards seen.
  • Roller furling control line not rigged.
  • Placement of roller furling control line cleat may make use difficult.
  • Gooseneck cross pin extra long; perhaps to take reefing hooks?
  • Gooseneck tabs welded to mast look a little light; inquire as to users’ experience – any failures?
  • Could not determine purpose of two blocks at mast partners.
  • No mainsheet winch or cleat seen.

* Emergency tiller is a large socket wrench; try out before embarking on any trips.

* Manual bilge pump handle does not fit into socket on pump itself.

  • Loran antenna would have been better located so that it could stand vertical; in any case, strap to stern rail.

* Lid of port propane locker is chafing the feed line.

Interior.

  • Propane locker drains do not have seacocks.
  • Diesel fuel in bilge; clean up.
  • Cushions for navigator’s seat and seat opposite not seen.
  • Ditto starboard settee cushion.
  • Galley sink seacock too stiff for me to operate.
  • Galley foot pump should have shut-off; drips continuously; spurts when pressure pump cycles.
  • Forward and main cabin doors do not latch closed positively; tend to flap open.
  • Hinges on main cabin table scream and groan; lubricate.
  • Gel coat still tacky in several lockers.
  • Pump handle on toilet should be canted forward a bit so that operator’s knuckles clear bulkhead.
  • Lectra-San salt tank not fastened down in locker under sink.

Electrical.

  • 110 Volt:
    • All okay.
  • 12 Volt:
    • All okay.
    • Could not find a spot on boat or in yard from which I could observe powering light.
    • Could not check knotmeter.
    • Loran and radio not mounted.

Engine.

Procedure: note make, model, type and serial number (if possible to locate and read); check beds for attachment to hull, mounts for integrity; visually inspect for signs of leaks and weeps; check vital fluids for level and condition; start engine, check gauges for function, note readings after warm-up; try controls, check that normal power is patently developed, monitor stuffing box for proper level of weeping and any indication of misalignment; watch for any leaks or weeps from engine; recheck all vital fluids after shut-down. If visible, check fuel tank material and appearance, manner of tie-down, location of fill and take-off spuds, shut-off s and type of fuel line. List comments, observations, suggestions:

* Hot part of exhaust riser touches underside of bridge deck.

  • Could not check transmission oil; needs a socket wrench.

* Locking nut missing from forward starboard mounting bolt.

  • Engine starts readily; water flow good.
  • After twenty minute warm-up, gauges read (1 000 RPM):
    • Volts: 13,5 (normal);
    • Oil pressure: №58 (normal);
    • Temperature: 178° (normal).
  • Controls function normally.
  • Stuffing box drip judged excessive; adjust.
  • Refrigerator compressor appears to be locking up; squeals; belt slips.
  • Shut-down normal.

Recommendations Per National Fire Protection Association Code 302.

  • Install shut-offs at top of fuel tank. (NFPA 302-20; 324 (c)).
  • Install bonding wire between fuel fill and tank, tank and ground. (NFPA 302-20; (1)).

It is the intent of this report to provide an unbiased judgment of the vessel and her equipment in the light of her intended use. A conscientious effort was made to inspect the entire vessel. However, since this report is based on a visual examination of the vessel, it is not rendered as a warranty or guarantee of the performance or condition of this vessel or her machinery, but solely as my opinion based on what I observed. Defects not discoverable without opening up or removing sheathing, joinerywork, fittings, tanks and/or disassembling machinery or other parts of the boat are not covered by this survey.

Sincerely _____________ signature
Hewitt Schlereth

HS: lab

Equipping a New Boat

Years ago the boating industry was locked in the battle of the «base price». Manufacturers strove to be able to put the lowest possible price in their ads, and so they left more and more things off the boat and put them instead on so-called «option» sheets. Would you believe that at the 1970 New York Boat Show there was a 38-foot sailboat for which the engine was optional?

Fortunately, boat buyers have become more sophisticated and the trend now is definitely away from this sort of thing. Several manufacturers are now offering boats with equipment so complete that it is necessary only to truck the boat from the factory, launch it, rig it, and add sails (not supplied by the boat builder – and a good thing, too) in order to sail away.

One of the difficulties today is that everyone has a slightly different idea of what constitutes «proper» equipment for a boat. Remember, one of the advantages of buying a new boat is that you get to equip it the way you want, to your tastes and prejudices, not to anyone else’s.

Type of boats
Choose a boat for yourself
Source: Freeimages.com

To avoid getting tangled up in endless debate, what I propose to do is to suggest to you what I consider the proper level of equipment for any given size of boat, based upon the prime consideration that you will not keep the boat more than half the length of time that you think. Since you’ll undoubtedly be moving up sooner than you think, my suggestions are made with an eye to the resale market.

In other words, the following equipment guide is made with an eye to making How to Choose the Best Selling Price for Your Boatyour boat as appealing as possible to the used-boat buyer or dealer who is going to have to take her in trade. What I am suggesting is an equipping guide that will maximize the amount of dollars returned to you from the investment originally made in your boat.

22- to 28-foot Outboard-Powered Sailboat:

  • two-tone deck;
  • bow pulpit, lifelines, stern rail;
  • main and jib halyard winches;
  • jiffy reefing gear;
  • genoa gear;
  • large, single-speed genoa sheet winches;
  • 6 (22′), 10 (26′), 15 (28′) HP motor;
  • boarding ladder;
  • lightning-grounded rigging, through-hulls;
  • interior, running lights;
  • interior, exterior handrails;
  • head;
  • cradle;
  • galley with sink, stove;
  • main, jib, genoa, mainsail cover;
  • coast Guard-required equipment.

Many of these things will be standard from the better builders, especially such an item as grounded rigging to protect you from the effects of a lightning strike. Items such as depth finders, shipto-shore radios, and speedometers will not return their investment in this size range of boats.

27- to 31-foot Inboard-Powered Sailboat:

  • bow pulpit, lifelines, stern rail;
  • lifeline gate starboard side;
  • main and jib halyard winches;
  • genoa gear;
  • two-speed genoa sheet winches;
  • two batteries with crossover switch;
  • 15 HP inboard engine;
  • all required safety gear;
  • boarding ladder;
  • lightning-grounded rigging;
  • interior, running lights;
  • interior, exterior handrails;
  • head;
  • cradle;
  • sink in the head;
  • galley with two-burner, flush-mounted stove;
  • main, jib, genoa, mainsail cover;
  • jiffy reefing gear;
  • knotmeter, depth finder, ship-to-shore radio.

At this size boat, steering wheels start to become attractive, but, for purposes of resale, you should consider half the funds invested gone for good.

32 to 35 Feet. Everything on the above list. For the other equipment:

  • wheel with brake, guard, throttle;
  • emergency tiller;
  • double lifelines;
  • mainsheet winch;
  • dodger;
  • two anchors;
  • hot and cold pressure water and shower;
  • briquet-burning cabin heater;
  • three-burner gimballed stove with oven;
  • Loran C receiver.

36 to 42 feet:

  • everything above;
  • storm trysail and storm jib;
  • log (records elapsed miles, like odometer on car);
  • two-speed jib halyard winch;
  • two-speed mainsheet winch.

Somewhere around 34 feet, a split rig (yawl or ketch) becomes desirable from the point of view of eventual resale in a cruising boat.

The rational reason for installing a pedestal steering wheel on a boat is simply for the mechanical advantage. Once a boat reaches around five tons displacement, the forces generated at the rudder are quite large and steering with a tiller becomes very tiring. In smaller boats (27 to 32 feet), the wheel will cancel out the torque effect of the propeller, a force which makes the boat want to turn in one direction when under power. A pedestal wheel makes it possible for even small children to steer while under power.

In addition to these rational reasons, there is the irrational fact that a wheel is a real ego booster for most people. It just looks and feels «right». On an outboard-powered boat, however, a wheel is an affectation and your sailing friends will be embarrassed to know you. So, if you want a wheel, get inboard power.

Case History

Years ago while I How to Choose a Boat Broker: Tips on Yacht Sales, Consignments, Fees, and Trade-Inswas a broker, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Smith came into our office. They had been sailing in rented daysailers for a few years and were now considering the purchase of a small cruising boat. Their feeling was that a 26-footer would be about right for them.

On the way out to the showroom to look at boats in this size range, Mr. Smith asked how much a 26-footer was likely to cost. «By the time you have her completely equipped», I replied, «about $9 000». (The same boat today is nearly $20 000.) Mr. and Mrs. Smith halted with stricken looks on their faces. Good heavens, they thought you could buy a boat of this size for about $5 000 complete!

I told them they could get a 22-footer for about $5 000, but they had been sailing 22-footers and knew that they were just too small for their requirements. I suggested that we take a look at the 25- and 26-footers in the showroom and we proceeded to do this.

When we got on the first boat, Mr. Smith was very interested in the way the boat was built, how well she sailed, and other more or less technical aspects of the boat.

The first question Mrs. Smith asked, however, was if a shower could be installed – and couldn’t the head be put to one side so there would be complete privacy for using the head and for the forward berths?

I explained that there was only so much the designers could do with the cubic feet available in a 26-footer and that the arrangement we were looking at was the most practical for this size boat.

Further, I pointed out that there was no way to heat water for a shower system on this boat. That required an inboard engine with a heat exchanger and boats with inboards cost a lot more than boats powered with outboards.

At this point, Mr. and Mrs. Smith were getting a little frustrated, so to clear the air a little I suggested we look at a used boat that I figured was within reasonable range of their intended budget, and we went outside to look at it.

Now, this particular used boat was a year-old model of the new one in the showroom. In my opinion, it was as clean as a new coin and, if anything, more appealing than the new one because of some personal touches added by the owner – such things as a brass clock and barometer on one bulkhead and a handsome kerosene lamp on the other.

Mrs. Smith, however, noticed some minute amounts of dust in the corners of the shelves, a little mildew in the hanging locker, and rust rings from beer cans in the bottom of the icebox, and it became very obvious to me that Mrs. Smith was never going to buy a used boat. Back to the showroom.

It will be interesting: How to Purchase the Perfect Boat: Evaluation to Final Sale

This time I decided to go for broke. I got them onto a 35-footer that had all the things Mrs. Smith wanted: a truly private head with shower, a door for the forward cabin, a large stove with oven. This was the boat for Mrs. Smith, all right! She lighted up and couldn’t stop talking. Obviously, this was what she had had in mind all the time, but, being unused to the scale of boats, she had thought the amenities she wanted could be had in a very small boat.

Mr. Smith was also enthusiastic about the boat. He particularly liked the steering wheel and the diesel engine. I could tell, however, that he was wondering what all this would cost. Before we went into that, I suggested that we look at some boats in the 30- to 33-foot range to see if any of them would suit the Smiths. Not one did. That 35-footer had all they wanted in a boat.

Mr. Smith now asked the price of the 35-footer, and now it was my turn to be surprised. Instead of turning pale at the figure (about six times what they were initially figuring on investing), Mr. Smith simply asked me if I thought he could handle such a big boat.

I told him I was sure he could. I pointed out that, although the 35-footer weighed nearly three times as much as the 26, she didn’t have even twice the sail area and the winches were three times as powerful. So, sail handling would be relatively easier. With the inboard engine and wheel, manuevering under power would also be easier. I suggested that he talk with some friends who had boats of around 35 feet and see what they thought.

Mr. Smith did this and then he and his wife spent about a month looking at other makes of boats before finally settling on one of our 35-footers. Mrs. Smith was particularly happy because she got to choose a lovely hull color for their new boat.

I have told this story because it was replayed many times at our office and resulted in an often-repeated piece of advice (a sales pitch, if you will): buy as big a boat as you can, right off the bat. There are many cogent reasons for this and some of them arise from the basic physical laws discussed in the article «Instant Naval Architecture» – that is, in any given weather or sea condition, a large boat is more stable, drier, and altogether more comfortable than a small one.

Up to 40 feet, a sailboat is easily within the competence of any adult who knows his limitations and exercises common sense. Indeed, I, having been taught to sail by the make-a-mistake-and-you-capsize method, am frankly amazed at the high degree of competence that raw newcomers acquire and the speed with which they acquire it. It’s all a question of motivation.

To return to Mr. Smith for a moment, there is another Key Points for Buying and Selling a Boataspect of buying big to begin with and that is financial. As you know, inflation is not likely to go away. So, not only has Mr. Smith not had to go through the (expensive) process of trading up every two years, but the replacement cost of his boat is now such (about 50 percent more than he paid) that his boat, on the used market, would return him more dollars than he originally invested. There are many people who haven’t done that well in the stock market in the past years.

With their boat, the Smiths have had a lot of fun and some adventures, gone places in a peaceful and normal manner, entertained – and, yes, impressed – their friends. To top it all, their investment is secure and will be there when they want it returned in cash.

Author
Author photo - Olga Nesvetailova
Freelancer
Literature
  1. Cruising World, Subscription Service Dept., P. O. Box 953, Farmingdale, NY 11737.
  2. Motor Boating & Sailing, P. O. Box 10075, Des Moines, IA 50350.
  3. Multi-hulls, 421 Hancock St., N. Quincy, MA 02171-9981.
  4. Nautical Quarterly, 373 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10016.
  5. Sail Magazine, P. O. Box 10210, Des Moines, IA 50336.
  6. Sailing, P. O. Box 248, Port Washington, WI 53704.
  7. Small Boat Journal, P. O. Box 400, Bennington, VT 05201.
  8. Soundings, Soundings Publications, Inc., Pratt Street, Essex, CT 06426.
  9. The Practical Sailor, Subscription Dept., P. O. Box 971, Farmingdale, NY 11737.
  10. Wooden Boat, Subscription Dept., P. O. Box 956, Farming-dale, NY 11737.
  11. Yacht Racing/Cruising, North American Building, 401 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19108.
  12. Yachting, P. O. Box 2704, Boulder, CO 80321.
  13. Beiser, Arthur. The Proper Yacht, 2nd ed. Camden, Maine: International Publishing Co., 1978.
  14. Chapman, Charles F. Piloting, Seamanship and Small Boat Handling, 56th ed. New York: Hearst Marine Books, 1983.
  15. Coles, Adlard. Heavy Weather Sailing, 3rd rev. ed. Clinton Corners, N. Y.: John De Graff, Inc., 1981.
  16. Pardey, Lin and Larry. Cruising in Seraffyn and Seraffyn’s Mediterranean Adventure (W. W. Norton, 1981).
  17. Roth, Hal. After 50 000 Miles (W. W. Norton, 1977) and Two Against Cape Horn (W. W. Norton, 1968).
  18. Royce, Patrick M. Royce’s Sailing Illustrated, 8th ed. Ventura, Calif.: Western Marine Enterprises, Inc., 1979.
  19. Kinney, Francis S. Skene’s Elements of Yacht Design, 8th ed. New York: Dodd, Mead, 1981.
  20. Street, Donald M., Jr. The Ocean Sailing Yacht, Vols. I and II. New York: W. W. Norton, 1973, 1978.

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