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A Simple Guide to Buying a Sailboat: The Process Explained

Sailing around the world (with actual sails) is no mean feat, not even in the modern world. The record goes to Francois Gabart, who circled the globe on a sailboat in just over 42 days.

What is well within the realm of possibility in the modern day is buying a sailboat. Tons of average Joes like you have their own ship waiting at the port, opening the door to a world of adventure. If you’ve never owned one before, though, how do you go about buying a boat? 

In this brief guide, we show you how to nab a sailboat for sale and give some sailing tips.

Buying a Sailboat New Is a No-No

A common mistake new owners often make is buying a brand-new vessel. Boats are like houses and wine, they last a long time and get better with age. That, and ships are quite expensive fresh off the factory line.

So, look for someone trying to pawn off the schooner they haven’t had any time to use. Then find some sailboat trailers for sale.

Choose the Right Types of Boats

Are you looking to journey around the world, or around the bay? Think carefully about your future plans with this boat. 

If you plan to go from Seattle to Indonesia, you’ll need a proper yacht. But if you’d rather hug San Francisco Bay, then opt for a ketch.

Get Enough Space

Few people ask themselves the question of who they’re sailing with, or what they plan to bring. You need a berth for every passenger who plans to come with, plus enough storage for their essentials.

Thus, it’s important to decide on a general passenger list. A party boat with all of your extended family might have to be a hefty sloop. One for just you and your beloved could be much smaller, and therefore cheaper.

Find a Harbor

Unless your boat is small enough to take home on a trailer, you’ll need a harbor for it. This will be its home, the place you sail out from, and the place you do repairs. 

Choose a harbor with affordable pier rates, good security, and adequate storm prevention. Find a balance between geographic proximity to your home, and position in relation to ideal ports of call. Choosing a harbor that is a bit further, but with better placement, may be worth it.

Learn How to Sail

Long before you purchase a boat, get yourself up to speed on sailing. Anyone can learn to sail. The last thing you want to do, though, is learn as you’re piloting a several-thousand-dollar investment for the first time.

There are a plethora of books, YouTube videos, and courses to show you the ropes. Familiarize yourself with sailing terms. Never shy away from asking experts.

Get Your Dream Sailboat

Buying a sailboat is the dream of every intrepid globetrotter, but it’s expensive and esoteric. Plan with care for what sort of voyages you intend to take, and who you intend to bring along. Buy a used boat to start off and learn how to sail before you get onboard. 

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