You have tried your hand at sailing and you love it, and why not? It’s such a great feeling to be out on the water and sailing without the use of a motor. It takes some skill and time to learn but you will enjoy a great source of recreations and freedom with sailing. So now it’s time to buy a sailboat. What do you do and how can you get a good deal? Here are some helpful tips to put you on the right track.
New or Used?
Is it better to buy a used boat or a new one? This depends on what kind of condition the boat is in. If budget is a big concern, you may have no choice but to look at used vessels. With a used boat you may save on price and on boat insurance. However, you will find many good reasons to buy new. For example:
- You are the first owner and you know exactly what you are getting.
- You will receive the best warranty.
- You can enjoy the latest in sailing technology.
- There is no need for repairs or a lot of maintenance and this means more time to go sailing.
What is the Best Kind of Sailboat?
Choosing the right boat is essential and it will depend on your sailing needs. Here are some common types:
- Sloop – this is the most common type of sailing vessel and is used for cruising. Sloops have one mast and a couple of sails (mainsail and jib). A sloop is not too expensive as they are simple in design and you can buy one as small as 8 feet, or longer than 100 feet.
- Ketch – has two masts, a main mast and a mizzen mast (in the rear). You have 3 sails that are smaller and a little easier to use than the larger sails on a sloop.
- Fixed keel - a boat keel is on the bottom and keeps the boat from tipping over. Keels also keep the vessel from being blown to the side from winds. Fixed keels have no moving parts and are very sturdy and safe. However, one cannot get into shallow waters with a fixed keel.
- Centerboard – similar to a swing keel. This is a special kind of keel which can be raised or lowered due to its unique construction. Having an adjustable keel makes it possible to venture into shallow water. In addition, they are easier to load onto trailers and haul.
- Other kinds – there are several other types of sailboats you may need to consider.
The Importance of Location
Where you plan to sail is very important. For example, if the waters are very deep a fixed keel may be the best option. However, if you plan to sail in a variety of locations, you may want to consider something with a centerboard.
When you plan to do a great deal of sailing and venture far from land, you may want to get a sailboat with a motor. This will make it easier on you if the wind dies down.
If you are unfamiliar with sailboats, you should consider professional help or use someone you know that has a lot of experience. If you are not sure who to talk to, contact your insurance broker, and he or she can point you in the right direction.