5 things to consider when buying a boat

The idea of buying a boat is exciting, it seems almost glamorous. I think the image of it is that it's a simple process of finding a boat that looks nice, buying it and then sailing off into the sunset.
In some cases, it might be like that. But in most cases, it is completely different and it can be a stressful time that comes with a lot of decisions and choices.

Here are 5 things to consider when buying a boat:

1. Cost, hidden costs and maintenance.

It's not as simple as paying for the boat. You need to also consider, and budget for the survey, winter storage, mooring costs, maintenance costs, launching into the water, toll and tax costs, insurance costs.
In terms of maintenance, this is where you decide how hands on you want to be. Doing as much work as you can on your boat will save you money, however, if you want to leave it to a boatyard you may end up having to pay quite a considerable amount more (which can be worth it for peace of mind).

2. Do you have enough time to invest?

Winter season doesn't mean a few months off. This is the time you really work hard. Hours of sanding, varnishing, painting, checking for rot and so on. Although this may sound like a lot of hard work, it really is a wonderful time to connect with your boat and to realise what a wonderful thing it is to own. There's also that sense of pride as you launch her into the water and see her looking beautiful, thanks to your hard work.

3. Equipment

Before your boat enters the water, or before you step foot on your boat for the first sail, you need to know what you are doing. We were completely new to sailing and we knew that it would only work out if we researched and learnt exactly what we were getting ourselves into. Knowing your sailing equipment, and making sure you have what you need, and you know how to use it is a really essential part, if not one of the biggest parts of sailing.

4. Community

When we were looking for a boat we hadn't considered the community surrounding it until we found the boat shed we now use for storage in the winter and the mooring space in the summer months. I think the sailing community is split a few ways and there is an element of snobbery here and there, and there are divisions depending on your type of boat, and your purpose for owning a boat (racing, leisure etc).
If being part of a community is something you want to do then it's worth researching mooring sites, events and clubs. A lot of clubs are crying out for new members and these don't always revolve around racing. For example, a local one to us brings families together who go out for a sail and then head off to the nearest pub or hold a big bbq on the bank. Sounds ideal, right?

5. Are you passionate enough?

I think buying a boat brings out a sensitive part in us all. Before, I saw a boat as a piece of wood and if anyone said it could talk to me then I would have told them they were crazy. However, there is an odd connection that you have between yourself and your boat. You talk to each other, you understand each others feelings and also understand that you need to have some form of relationship with your boat, mostly based on trust.
Your boat trusts that you will take care of her. And you trust that she will sail and work the best for you.
This all comes from being passionate, and you have to be able to give your all and to prepare for this bond to form to be able to sail properly and comfortably.

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