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Old 07-11-2008, 06:26 PM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2008
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Hello, I am as new to this forum as I am to the world of used sailboats. Looking at several online used cruiser indexes I was amazed by the unbelievable prices on some of these ships- a 35 ft ketch for $13,500 for example. Can you really get a reasonable ship for a price like this? Would you cross an ocean on a ship that cost around $20,000?


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Old 07-11-2008, 11:56 PM   #2
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Hello RSB, welcome to the forum,

The simple answer to both questions is Yes - it depends.

A sail boat may be sold as part of an estate's assets, at well below its market price - it may be of a vintage where its value has been written down as depreciation. It could be a case where what is being offered are just the bare bones - however, these bones will be proven to be in good nick.

The criteria for a sailboat to cross an ocean must first be its total sea worthiness. Many boats priced at over $100,000 fall short of meeting this criteria - examples would be found in rigging, rudders, keels and sea cocks that fail or break because of serious faults.

The other factor that has to be brought into the equation is the savviness and experience of the skipper - this factor may also determine the level of sea worthiness and success of passage making across oceans.


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Old 07-29-2008, 06:19 PM   #3
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There are a lot of ~30' $20,000 sailboats I'd cruise around the world in. Most of them were built in the '60s or '70s (some even newer) and are priced low because of their age. All of them would need some work done for peace of mind- usually a windvane, new sails, and occasionally a repower.

A knowledgeable friend, or a marine surveyor, will be able to determine exactly what condition the boat is in, and what sort of value it is.

Remember- the only thing more expensive than a cheap boat, is a free one
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Old 07-30-2008, 03:57 PM   #4
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Hello RSB

I purchased an old (late 60s / early 70s) Van der Stadt Buccanneer 23 ft wooden cutter in Cape Town a few years ago for a lot less than 10 000 USD. She was dirty, full of weed and bird droppings, but as solid as you could get. I spent some money on her, but not too much, gave the sails a good service and restitch, updated and purchased all the required safety equipment, and eventually (after a lot of sailing) gave her a good paint. I sailed all over the South African coast with that boat and felt a lot safer in her than in a lot of much bigger boats. She was small, but very seaworthy, and seemed to do better in bigger winds and bigger seas.

I am now looking at a 1970s boat in the USA for about 30 000 USD. She is a proven design with a good hull. Of course she needs work, but when buying a serious boat for the South African coast, pedigree is everything, and cost is a second factor.


Melvin Rautenbach

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