Travel and Leisure

3 tips for buying a cruising boat

When you run a dinghy around any major harbour, it’s quickly apparent that there’s no such thing as a perfect cruising boat, however, if you’re in the market for a used cruiser, high-end custom one-offs may be better constructed than “classic plastic” production boats. This doesn’t necessarily translate into a better cruising experience, so below are three tips from high-tech performance ocean racers to traditional split-rig wooden boats over several decades. Whitsundays packages have the latest spec for all cruises on the Whitsundays.

#1: Remember the 30:70 rule.

The builder makes 30 per cent of the boat and purchases the remaining 70 per cent from other suppliers, almost all of which has to be replaced at ever-higher prices. The 30:70 rule helps explain high rates of depreciation — typically 50 per cent after the first decade and 75 per cent after the second.

#2: Focus on the total acquisition costs.

The purchase price plus the inevitable refit. As a rule of thumb only use half the budget to buy the boat, then employ the other half for the necessary upgrades. A common boat-buying mistake is not reserving enough money for the overhaul. Also, prepare a realistic annual maintenance budget before the purchase. A boat stuck on the dock is of no use.

#3: Avoid being beguiled by a long list of equipment and cosmetic touch-ups.

Most equipment will probably require replacement. Also, brokers and sellers know that cosmetics help sell boats, but they don’t make them sail any better. Similarly, view claims of a “recent refit” with scepticism. Does a new anchor chain or new sails make the boat worth more when a chain and sails are part of a boat’s normal complement of gear? “Yes” when it comes to sails, but rarely will you find a used boat with a new inventory.