There is nothing like the feeling of being out on the water, with the breeze in your face and sun on your back. As a result, sailing is an ever-growing sport the world over. It’s not difficult to get addicted to this pastime either as a hobby or a serious activity and when you do, the purchase of your first sailing boat rises to the top of your agenda. When looking at sailing boats for sale there are plenty of options and lots of information. Here are four things to look for when buying a sailing boat.
1. Fit for Purpose
The first and foundation issue is ensuring the sailing boat you buy is fit for your purpose. For this, you need to ask yourself a few questions regarding its use. For example where will you be using it – on the ocean or on the coast? Do you want to sail it across the seas or do you want it for short trips around the coastal region in which you live? How many people do you want it to accommodate? All of those points give the direction you need to what kind of sailing boat to buy.
If you are new to sailing, you will need to focus on simplicity – simple rigging and ease of use will probably direct your attention to a smaller size – one that you can handle, learn on and develop your skills. If you are a veteran to sailing, you will have a far greater knowledge as to what it entails and will already be equipped with most of the information you require to decide how the vessel will fit your purpose and what exactly you want.
It is recommended that if you are a beginner that you join a local yacht club and spend some time learning about the sport and industry to ascertain whether this will be a passing phase or something for the long term.
2. Purchase and Maintenance Costs
When buying a sailing boat, apart from its use, one of the next most important questions you will need to ask yourself is what your budget is and what are the maintenance costs? It’s easy to get carried away with the cost of sailing boats for sale and think that the price ends there. What many sailors don’t realise is that maintenance fees usually come to about 10% of the purchase price per year. Apart from that, you need a definitive strategy for its storage. Where will you be keeping the sailing boat when not in use? Apart from annual maintenance, there will also be marina and mooring fees.
3. New or Used
The second-hand yachting industry is massive. Boats are always changing hands, so you are spoiled for choice when it comes to deciding between a new or used sailing boat. The advantages of buying new are that the vessel will come from a shipyard that will have a history and reputation and you will be able to get references. With new you will always get a guarantee and if there are any defects encountered, you can go straight back to the vendor. If you are a novice, however, you need to know that learning on a new vessel may result in dents and scratches that you would prefer to avoid. Learning on a solid well researched pre-owned sailing boat may serve your purpose better, enabling you to sell it on once you are more advanced.
4. Due Diligence & Assessment
A sailing boat is a large purchase – and if you are planning on buying a pre-owned vessel, you need to do due diligence. As with buying a car you can buy through a private seller or a reputable vendor. Make sure you do some homework on the background of the private seller or agent you use so you don’t get someone who lacks a reputation. Find out the full history and ownership of the sailing boat before making a decision to buy a used boat. You also need to know the legality of owning a yacht, where you are permitted to sail and what your legal obligations are. One of the best things to do when looking at sailing boats for sale is to ask a veteran sailor their advice on what to buy and have him look over the sailing boat that you have in mind. He will know what to look for when it comes to repair marks and where to look for leaks. He can also assist you in taking it out for a sail to see how easy it would be for you to handle.
A sailing boat is an exciting purchase. Careful consideration of your requirements along with due diligence in the buying process is sure to enable you to buy a vessel that will suit your needs and provide many years of pleasure.