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Choosing a Boat

Racing or cruising
Sail configuration
Hull configuration
New or used

The Perfect boat
Part 1
Part 2

The Ketch Rig
Why Cruisers like it
Versatile Rig
Ketch Trim

New or Used

In our opinion, the difference between a good boat and a great boat is meticulous attention to the smallest details.  Great boats can be small or large, expensive or affordable, but they are always well built, well equipped and, if used, well maintained.

If you can afford to commission a new vessel, then you have much to look forward to.  In many cases, it can take a long time to build the vessel of your dreams. There are many benefits for the wait.  New construction techniques have changed many aspects of coastal sailing vessel design.  New lightweight yet sturdy materials provide advantages in handling, new interior layouts maximize space, and new design options make for greater safety on deck and greater comfort below.  And you get to outfit it exactly as you like right down to the color of the cushions.  It’s much like building a house. You’ll see it develop stage by stage, and know her every detail by the time she’s launched.

Whether you build or buy used, you are sure to have a fun experience. After all, what's better than messing about in boats? The boat shows are great places to preview lots of vessels at once!

By the same token, the price of new boats in the popular size ranges has made ownership of new vessels prohibitive for many sailors. Yet it really doesn’t have to be.  Small cruising boats (in the 25 to 35 foot range) can obtained very reasonably on the used boat market.  In addition, the high price of new boats has created a new option for sailors looking for creative ways to own a boat - fractional ownership.  Similar to time sharing, fractional ownership gives all the owners the right to equal shares of time as well as equal share in cost and expenses. It may be worth investigating if you really want to buy new.

Going to the boat shows is a great way to learn what you like and don’t like in boats.  Visit as many new boats as you can, get ideas for upgrades, and talk to brokers to find one you like.  The brokers for major yacht manufacturers deal in used boats as well.  A good broker will interview you and get to know the answer to all the questions we ask here.  If they listen carefully, they will bring you to a selection of boats that suit your needs regardless of whether they are new or used or where the boats lie. 

Also visit  It is a huge searchable worldwide database of vessels for sale.  When last we checked, YachtWorld listed more than 16,000 sailboats for sale in the range of size between 25 feet and 45 feet, the size range most suitable for coastal sailing.   There is one out there waiting for you. You can do a lot of comparison shopping online which will help not only identify potential yachts for consideration but price ranges and options for outfitting.  Once you identify a type of vessel you like, you can also ask YachtWorld to notify you whenever one like it comes on the market.  Sometimes, you’ll like a particular make but not the configuration of a specific model.  YachtWorld can help you locate the exact one you want.

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