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Old 05-11-2019, 05:07 AM   #1
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Newer vs Older....

More Newbie questions. Thanks in advance for all your help and guidance. You folks are a really wonderful group.

My biggest concern looking at trawlers is the amount of maintenance required. I don't have much experience with things mechanical and while I'm happy to try, I don't want to get in over my head.

My first thought was to focus on newer boats with newer systems (say 5 years or younger) because I figured they were less likely to have problems. I know newer boats are more expensive but I was thinking of the premium price as prepaid maintenance.

A friend (thanks Mischief Managed) got me looking at Tollycrafts which are all older but I'm amazed at how well maintained so many of them are. That got me looking at boats which are on average 20 years old. Its friggen amazing how much more boat you can buy and still stay way within your budget.

That begs the question - Does a 20 year old, well maintained boat require a lot more maintenance than a 5 year old boat?

Although my my first thought was "of course it does," my experience with houses is quite different. My work moves me around a good bit so in 13 years of marriage we've lived in 6 homes - 2 of which we had custom built. The custom built ones always required more work than the older homes.

So what say you? Will I spend a lot more time in the engine room on an older boat?

BTW - we don't care that much about the interiors. I'm blessed with an admiral who doesn't care all that much about fancy. In fact with kids we'd almost prefer a 20 year old interior because when the kids ruin it (and they always ruin it) then it won't be as expensive.....

Thanks!
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Old 05-11-2019, 05:48 AM   #2
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I think your observations re houses does have some applicability to boats.
To be clear up front I am a buy used type person. Three boats all used, 3 motorhomes all used.
I have been pleased with all 6 above purchases... all different ages for various reasons. Generally when starting out we opted for older to keep budget lower and minimize losses if we decided we didnt like it as well as we thought. We learned from 1st boat & MH that we liked the lifestyle but not our first unit. They served the purpose and didnt hate either so we traveled/ cruised but started looking for a better fit once we knew what we wanted.
Long intro but back to your maint question...
I didn't find I was faced with excessive maint on any of my used purchases and I several friends that purchased new boats & MHs that spent a lit of frustrating hours / days getting problems fixed. Wasnt necessarily big out of pocket $ but frustrating.
Bottom line I believe condition and history are the keys. If an owner provided TLC, was on top of repairs and even made improvements I would not anticipate a string of major breakdowns / repairs.
I do think it is realistic to budget more for older boats for maint just because you will need to replace things or systems that breakdown or wear out.
A newer boat that's been neglected could very well need more work & $ than an older well cared for boat.
I like to talk first hand w owners, see maint records and evaluate condition myself.
At my age (Sr Citizen+) I would have no interest in a 20 YO project boat needing major work to bring it back. I would consider a 20 YO "cream puff" that had an OCD owner that considered boat work a labor of love.
With the "right" choice I dont necessarily think it's time in the ER... things like hatches & rails may need rebedding, canvas replaced, etc.
If you are OK with doing some repairs AND have the patience to pick a good older boat I do believe you can spend less or the same and get "more" for your money.
To me it's all about your personal style and preferences. I dont think the buy new type person would ever be happy with an older anything... just not in their DNA.
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Old 05-11-2019, 05:53 AM   #3
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Don't believe I've said it before, so Welcome!


All boats require maintenance and initial expenses to shape the boat into what you want it to be or what you think you need. Systems that aren't used regularly and properly maintained will break. I don't think anyone can answer your question in bold - at least not with confidence. There are too many variables and variations in the definition of 'well maintained.' New does not equal maintenance free, and (repeating) all boats require maintenance. Not doing the maintenance that all boats require adds items to a list called 'deferred maintenance.'


Best of luck in your search and finding the boat that's right for you.
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Old 05-11-2019, 06:51 AM   #4
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If you can afford newer then buy newer. The possibility of old plumbing, electrical and engine woes are not exactly my idea of a good time.

From what you posted, it also seems that you're relatively new to boating (as I am). An older fixer upper may not be the best choice for a couple with a growing family. I would rather have a newer, turn key boat that you can enjoy now with minimal headaches.
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Old 05-11-2019, 07:43 AM   #5
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As Bacchus said, the key is maintenance. A five year old boat that has been run hard and had little to no maintenance quite likely could turn into a nightmare for the new owner. On the other hand, we just bought a 20 year old boat that had been run at trawler speeds and had been maintained to the n-th degree. We spent far more on modernizing some of the furniture and redecorating than anything else.
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Old 05-11-2019, 08:18 AM   #6
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I've bought several new boats. There is a difference in most areas. But, some new boats were built just just before doors shuttered or company changed hands. Some sad stories.

If you cite some specific vessels models, TF guys could help. Generally though, just wild guessing at this point.

Me, I'd go newer but personal finances always enter into it. A one owner 15 year old boat could be a gem. A three owner same boat maybe not. Good luck, be careful and good question.
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Old 05-11-2019, 08:25 AM   #7
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Posters above covered the maintenance topic well.
If you are new to boating consider that age will also affect items such as insurance (req. surveys) and financing may be very hard and/or a higher rate.
Good luck with your search...
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Old 05-11-2019, 08:30 AM   #8
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There is more that maintenance. How the hull is build - solid fiberglass or cored hull.
I would never buy a cored hull. Is the hull "full displacement or semi-displacement". The difference is in fuel consumption. Is a gas or diesel?. Gas have tendency to Blow-up. Twin or single engine - twin better. Look at a boat from the safety point of view.
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Old 05-11-2019, 08:44 AM   #9
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Greetings,
Re: post #8:


"Gas have tendency to Blow-up." Not so. They CAN but no tendency to.



"... twin better". Not necessarily...


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Old 05-11-2019, 08:50 AM   #10
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I lost my boat to 3 experienced boater "playing" with gas. They blow -up their boat and burn mine. Couple years ago, while looking for a boat, I was looking at gas boat. The owner was so happy to show me that engines will start and he forgot (or did not know) to turn the blowers on. I did not know that I can run that fast away. Gasoline boats are dangerus - ticking time bomb.
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Old 05-11-2019, 08:55 AM   #11
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About the twin - easy to maneuver coming to a dock and if one "give up" still have another to got home. In strong current twin are better too, but never run on one engine to save a fuel - you will mess up the transmission. The cost of maintenance is higher, but you will have the power when need.
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Old 05-11-2019, 09:24 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nodestination View Post
I lost my boat to 3 experienced boater "playing" with gas. They blow -up their boat and burn mine. Couple years ago, while looking for a boat, I was looking at gas boat. The owner was so happy to show me that engines will start and he forgot (or did not know) to turn the blowers on. I did not know that I can run that fast away. Gasoline boats are dangerus - ticking time bomb.
Yes of course ...all of those gas boats out there are tremendously dangerous - that is why the insurance rates are virtually the same as diesel.

Additionally twin engines are the only option - after all most all of those commercial boats around us don't know how to pilot their boats.

And not to be missed all cored boats are defective - please don't mention this to the thousands that are out there with no absolutely no issues.

nodestination - - I understand that the balsa cored decks have been an issue on the early Gulfstars.
As well as heavy gel coat blisters which rendered some hulls lacking suitable structure
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Old 05-11-2019, 09:50 AM   #13
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Greetings,
Mr. s. You forgot. Everyone has the wrong anchor except me...


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Old 05-11-2019, 10:04 AM   #14
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Greetings,
Mr. s. You forgot. Everyone has the wrong anchor except me...


I did not think of the anchor actually (sorry) - but I did forget this one which is not accurate in many cases either….
"but never run on one engine to save a fuel - you will mess up the transmission."
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Old 05-11-2019, 10:14 AM   #15
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I think it’s pretty well established that half of us are buy newer and half of us are buy older.

Wish I knew the true answer to this question but I don’t. I do know that 30 year old boats are real cheap. Most marine systems have about a 30 year life. If you can do the work it’s an easy decision. If you contract your work out then it’s not a good decision. So as you go newer were is the break even point? Wish I knew.
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Old 05-11-2019, 10:56 AM   #16
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I think there are more than a few people who would consider the older non-electronic diesels desirable. Perhaps not as fuel efficient, but more easily repaired by an owner.
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Old 05-11-2019, 11:00 AM   #17
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I think it’s almost 100% a case of the maintenance and investments the boat received over it’s life.

A broker once told me the best boat is one that has had several owners that applied their focused skills (most different) in such a way that electrical, mechanical, domestic, paint and finish, navigation equipment and ideally all else was addressed over time such that w each owner pumping many boat bucks, skills and judgement into the boat that it would be a far better boat than a new one. One may not even be able to afford such a boat but several owners can produce it. And in the above case you would be the recipient. Best buy indeed.

So re this post a used “considerably” boat is best. But you the buyer will need to find it. That may take some time.
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Old 05-11-2019, 11:43 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Nomad Willy View Post
I think it’s almost 100% a case of the maintenance and investments the boat received over it’s life.

A broker once told me the best boat is one that has had several owners that applied their focused skills (most different) in such a way that electrical, mechanical, domestic, paint and finish, navigation equipment and ideally all else was addressed over time such that w each owner pumping many boat bucks, skills and judgement into the boat that it would be a far better boat than a new one. One may not even be able to afford such a boat but several owners can produce it. And in the above case you would be the recipient. Best buy indeed.

So re this post a used “considerably” boat is best. But you the buyer will need to find it. That may take some time.
^ This!
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Old 05-11-2019, 12:17 PM   #19
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Welcome to the forum!

If you haven't yet read Boat Search 101, I would definitely recommend that you do so.

A lot of good advice so far, except for maybe one post .

Don't be in a rush to buy a boat, make sure that what you buy really fits your boating needs. Gas/diesel, cored hull/solid hull, single/twin, less than 7 knots/more than 7 knots, new/old/older, big/small, trawler/non-trawler are all acceptable possibilities, based on your budget and how you will use your boat. There is no ONE right boat.

Ask lots of questions as there are folks here with vastly different boating backgrounds who are always happy to help!

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Old 05-11-2019, 01:44 PM   #20
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There's a lot of people out there that are enjoying the water in really old boats. I'm one of them. If I was going to choose between a really well maintained older boat and a new boat for a lot more money, I'd choose to have all that extra money in my pocket. But I can repair, rebuild or maintain anything on a boat.
The first thing I consider in looking at boats is the engines. Are they known for reliability, what do I need to carry in spares - if any, can I get rebuild kits, and are parts available where I'm going.
Don't fall in love with a boat before you buy it.
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