So the experience has gone well and you have selected the type of sailing you want to get into more. Racing, cruising, dinghies or yachts, the choice now boils down to what you want to buy.
With the internet has come a new age of boat buying. You can now sit on a comfy chair and view a boat on the other side of the planet. This gives you great power and the ability to know a lot about the boat before you decide to go and view it. Do not buy on the basis of an online ad. Many people have and it has worked out ok but I can assure you a great many more have ended up with little more than a strange shaped garden shed for there efforts.
Try to arrange for someone to meet you half way if the boat is what you want. It encourages them to do you a better deal as they wont want to tow it home again and it saves you some time and money. Always be prepared to walk away. There are plenty more boats out there that don’t need “just a little cosmetic work”, otherwise known as a week with a professional boat builder to make them sea worthy.
The most exciting bit of the process is looking on the market for what you can afford. This is where many people go wrong. They budget 10k to buy a boat and nothing to run it. If you have 10k to spend you shouldn’t buy a 10k boat. If you want a dinghy, look at the storage costs, sailing club membership, insurance. All of this adds up and this is before we have put a new cleat on the boat or a new sail.
Make sure that you have somewhere factored in to store the boat over the winter. Some sailing clubs will ask you to move dinghies out of the car park in the winter as they store yachts there.
If you have a yacht on a mooring, how do you get out to it? Tenders cost money as well.
The chances are that you will have bought a boat that is advertised as ready to go. The reality is that you will spend money on it. This may be due to wanting to replace the aged foresail that you could get away with but don’t want to or it could be due to a nasty little surprise once the engine is started. Most of the time though it comes down to wanting to make the boat your own and fitting a few extra comforts or performance bits. Make sure you take all of this into account when budgeting to purchase your new dinghy/yacht.
Brokers are still the front-line of yacht purchases. There are however good brokers and bad brokers. National chains will be the safest but may not give you the care and attention you feel you deserve. One man bands can vary in the services they offer and the care they can afford to give you. The golden rule is find someone mid sized, who is part of ABYA and who you get on with. You will have to go through a few loops with this guy so find someone you like and trust. Good brokers are worth their weight, once you find one, keep using them and they will not let you down. If you need some advice ring your local Ullman Loft. We work with these guys on a daily basis and know the good ones from the less desirable