8 Tips When Buying a Sailing Boat

Buying a sailing boat is a significant investment and there’s a huge choice, so it’s worth doing plenty of research and taking your time when making your decision. Here are eight things to consider.

  1. How and where will you use your boat?

Are you a member of an inland or offshore sailing club and intending to race? Do you want to go on leisurely day trips, cruise along the coast or go further afield? Deciding on how and where you want to sail, will help you decide on the type of boat to buy.

  1. Size of boat

From a small dinghy to a cruiser, there are different sizes available. How many people do you want to accommodate? How much indoor or outdoor space do you want on a yacht? When buying a boat, there is often a trade-off between size and cost: The bigger the boat, the more it costs.

  1. Class of dinghy

If it’s a dinghy you’re looking for and you’re planning to race, then you’ll need to consider what class to buy. Take into account your height/reach and weight as well as your sailing skills, because some boats are better suited to heavier or lighter crews. Do you want the freedom to sail a single-hander on your own whenever you like, or are you looking for a family boat that can fit three or four people? Are you looking for stability, power or responsiveness in a boat?

Different classes offer different characteristics, so it’s a good idea to try out several classes of dinghy before deciding which one you want. If you’re a member of a sailing club, then see which classes are most popular and why. If you sail as part of a fleet, you can race against other boats of the same class, learn from other sailors and enjoy some friendly competition.

  1. Sailing experience

Consider your own sailing experience and those of others who may be sailing with you. If you’re a beginning, you could be daunted or frustrated if you choose a boat that is too difficult to handle. Alternatively, if you’re an experienced sailor you might enjoy the challenge of a larger, more powerful or complex boat.

  1. Budget

When you have a clearer idea of what type of boat you’d like, you can calculate the budget required. Assess what you’ll need to spend on the boat itself as well as additional equipment such as sails, foils, launching trolley, trailer, boat cover, navigation equipment, etc. Find out what is included in (or excluded from) the purchase price.  They may also be delivery costs, mooring fees, ongoing maintenance and boat insurance to take into account.

  1. Boat condition

The condition of the boat will, of course, impact on the price. A brand-new boat will be more expensive, but will come with the peace of mind that a boat builder’s guarantee offers. If you’re buying a used boat, check for any surface cracks or repairs, which may indicate structural issues. For a larger boat or yacht, investing in an independent survey by a marine surveyor can be money well-spent. The integrity of rigging, sails, foils and safety equipment is crucial to the safe performance of the boat and well worth obtaining a professional opinion if you’re not sure.

  1. Re-sale value

There is a large market for used sailing boats, so buying one that is likely to have a relatively high resale value is a consideration. This is especially relevant if you’re new to sailing and want a boat to start in before progressing to other classes – or if you decide it’s not for you!

  1. Seek advice

Sailors are often passionate about their pastime or sport and are always willing to offer advice and expertise. Talk to experienced sailors, members of sailing or yacht clubs and join online forums, where you can ask questions before making your decision. The Royal Yachting Association also has news and training information on its website.

We hope you’ve found these tips on buying a sailing boat helpful. If you’d like any information about boat insurance, then give our team of experienced advisers a call on 01604 946 796 and they’ll be happy to help.

This is a marketing article from Park Home Assist, multi-award-winning providers of residential park home insurance.  If you would like to speak to an advisor regarding insurance for your park home, please contact our friendly team in our Northampton office on 01604 946 796.

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Published – 08/09/23