Thursday, 09 July 2015
This yacht crossed the Atlantic she's more seaworthy than a new boat.

Obviously, like cars, new boats loose a lot of their value the first day they are bought. Where boats are concerned buying a secondhand boat is often a better option than buying new. I know this from personal experience.

I recall the first and only time that I have bought a brand new yacht. It was 1985 and returning from a lucrative tour of duty in the Middle East with a tax free salary my pockets were bulging with petrodollars. The desire to purchase new was overwhelming. After all I had not put up with heat and dust for two years to deprive myself now! The London Boat Show at Earl’s Court provided the perfect shopping opportunity. I recall that the £26,500 price of a brand new Moody 31 seemed like a good deal. That’s until the very able salesman started to ask questions. “You will want a radar, sir”? “Hot Water”? “Do you want a 4 or 6 person life raft”? My heart sank as every answer to his questions added hundreds if not thousands of pounds to the eventual price to the boat.

Boat purchasers often underestimate the additional costs that they will incur when purchasing a new boat even simple things like warps, fenders and anchors tend to get overlooked until the boat is launched. Secondhand boats are in their vast majority “going concerns”. The vendor steps off the boat with his personal effects and leaves everything else behind including crockery, cutlery and bedding. The boat is generally ready to receive the new owner into relative comfort and security.

One of the arguments for buying new is that you will benefit from the warranty and support of the manufacturer. This is absolutely true but only if the boat is berthed close to the base of the manufacturer. In my own case the Moody 31 was berthed for 3 years at Moody’s yard on the river Hamble. However, if the manufacturer has no service organisation where you plan to keep your boat then you will not benefit from a limited warranty or their expertise, and for many this may mean a trip to France! Only in the case of very expensive and top of the range yachts like Oyster or Discovery will they provide support at remote locations.

A boat that is in commission and regularly used will have many of those niggling “burn in” defects ironed out. Many of the “issues” occur in the first few months. Call me old fashioned but buying the very latest in boating technology is unwise. Let someone else be at the “bleeding edge” of technology.

For the best secondhand boats in Gibraltar the Western Mediterranean come to www.boatshedgibraltar.com.