A sailor looking to buy a sailboat sets off on a voyage to analyse the characteristics a boat must have according to the proposed budget and use. These points are what can affect the price within a given range.
It is very important to remember that purchasing a boat is never an investment, as it begins depreciating the moment you buy it and maintenance costs are high. Nevertheless, there is a series of criteria regarding a boat, as well as the preferred shipyards, that will be key in your final decision.
What to remember when buying a second-hand boat
The first step in looking for a sailboat is to set your budget, how much you want to spend to purchase the boat, on maintenance and on a berth at a shipyard.
There are more and more websites, run by individuals and agencies, selling second-hand boats. Plus, there is the option of going to boat shows to discover the latest models or to purchase vessels. If you buy a boat from an individual, the price listed on the second-hand boat market will be higher than if you buy it directly from an agency, as owners tend to raise prices to cover their investment in maintenance.
The best time of the year to buy a sailboat is just after summer, as this is when holiday season is over in Europe (one of the most important markets in the nautical world), and some of the most important boat shows are held, like those in Barcelona, Monaco and Genoa, among others.
When you buy a second-hand boat, it is very important to ask for all the documents related to the sailboat: work and maintenance done in recent years, certificate of seaworthiness, registration, certification of radio-electric equipment and technical inspection report for vessels (informe de inspección técnica de buques – ITB).
Before sealing the deal on the sailboat, you will also have to pay property transfer tax, which is 4% of the contract price (without taking into account variations in different autonomous communities).
Getting ready to buy a sailboat
When you purchase from an individual, the buyer is responsible for picking up the sailboat and testing it out on the water to see how it handles before signing the final contract. If, however, the transaction is done through a nautical agency, they normally have a team of professionals to help move the boat, charged by its length.
Before taking delivery of the sailboat in question, you should have it looked over by an expert, analysing three basic aspects: the auxiliary engine, the mast and the hull moisture level.