Buying a sailboat is a huge investment. According to godownsize.com, the average price of a sailboat is around $61,000 new and $21,000 used, depending on many features such as its design and/or its perks. Follow these tips to find the best sailboat today:
You should check the size of your preferred sailboat. If you like cruising alone with your travel items only or with a pet or two, a small sailboat will do. However, if you intend to carry your family along or have crews during trips, you will need a bigger sailboat. These attributes will also dictate the size of the sailboat that you will require:
- Experience: Inexperienced folks should start with a small sailboat and upgrade or transition to a larger sailboat as they gain experience
- Budget: Most of us dream of buying large and opulent sailboats without acknowledging the correlation between size and price. A large sailboat has a higher acquisition cost compared to a smaller one. The maintenance costs are also slightly higher
Environment: A boat with a large keel might run aground on a shallow river and cost you a lot of money on heavy repairs. Buying a small sailboat that cannot sail through big waves on open ocean waters might also be a safety hazard
Sailboats come with the following custom-designed sails to satisfy different needs:
- Cruising sails: These can have a tri-radial or cross-cut design with rounder aft sections and deeper entry angles. Cruising sails are good for day-long sailing
- Racing sails: These triple-stitched sails have partial or full battens with robust hardware. Built with performance in mind, they can withstand a lot of abuse
- One design sails: Customizable sails that fit most on one-design sailboats
- Catamaran sails: Like cruising sails, catamaran sails can have tri-radial or cross-cut designs with full battens (round or flat) and a pointed or square top
You should compare the available options and buy a design that will satisfy your needs.
You will find sailboats with hulls made from numerous materials such as fiberglass, steel, aluminum, and wood. Fiberglass and aluminum are popular because of their affordability and weight, but they have average to poor collision resistance. Steel is heavier, which increases drag, but offers the best collision resistance. Wood such as teak is luxurious and provides above-average collision resistance, but is costly to maintain.
The safety of your sailboat should be top-notch. Irrespective of the design that you go for, choose a sailboat that meets the recommendations for safety such as accreditation from the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS). Your preferred sailboat should also come fitted with an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) device, a few life jackets with harnesses, a Very High Frequency (VHF) radio for seamless communication, and modernized navigational equipment such as autopilot and a big screen chart plotter. You should be able to protect your health while traveling on a sailboat.
Do not buy the first cheap brand of sailboats you come across. Look for a vessel that is of the correct size and that is within your budget. It should have a good safety rating and a premium design with a streamlined hull and a well-engineered stock or customized sail.