Sailboat Sea Trial

A test sail is a great way to weed out the painted vixens before spending your hard earned cash on a marine survey. Sure, you could ride around with a Mimosa in one hand while the broker regales you with tales of far away, exotic lands, but a smarter move would be to approach your test sail with planning and a critical eye. Heres how to glean as much info as possible about your potential purchase during a test sail.

Sailboat Test: Bruce King Ericson 34

To begin with, lets make clear which Ericson 34 were reviewing about here because Ericson Yachts has a handful of boats in the 35-foot range. Back in 1967, the first Ericson 35 was a typical Cruising Club of America cruising boat, with a long keel and attached rudder. In 1978, an IOR-inspired Ericson 34 was introduced along with the 34T (same hull with a different deck). The boat we are describing here was built by Ericson and then by Pacific Seacraft, post 1991, where it evolved into the new Ericson 35.

Deck Leaks, Mast Step Are Top Concerns

The Ericson 34-2 hull hand-laminated monocoque structure made from a single mold.

What You Should Expect from a Boat Broker

If you decide to work with a broker, remember that you have options. A brokers fee is always 10 percent upon the sale of the boat, but some offer more services than others for the same price. Brokers asking you for funds up front should be immediately discounted.

Selling Your Boat without a Broker

Im not anti-broker. Ive happily used agents buying and selling boats and houses. They serve a valuable function, bringing buyers and sellers together, managing the viewings for out-of-town and busy owners, and generally helping the transaction go smoothly. They can serve as go between during negotiations, inspections, and formalities. But they also represent a large expense in a transaction, generally 10 percent by default, though this may be negotiated lower (potentially with a reduction in service).

Flim-flam Artists Prey Upon Sellers and Buyers

You will get crank requests for information. The most dangerous are those offering to buy the boat sight unseen. For example, the person described below has not seen the boat perfect since I had not shown the boat and had only cleaned it of clutter that day. The most obvious protections are to meet face-to-face, and to accept payment by wire transfer or cash only, since cashiers checks can be counterfeit. Use the services of a documentation and title company for larger boats. If a cashiers check is the only practical means, do not release the property until the check has cleared.

Kayaks for Cruising Sailboats

Selecting the ideal tender is like picking the ideal sailboat-it depends on what you want. Within the universe of tenders are kayaks, and the diversity within this subset is just as great, with options ranging from inexpensive inflatables to pedal-drive fishing machines. Knowing we could not possibly test every kayak on the market, we focused on familiar brand names, and tested models from each maker with the hopes of answering a simple question: what kayaks best meet the specific needs of a sailor.

The Best Kayak Paddle and Stroke

A paddle should be selected with the same care you buy a shoe, since it is your connection to the water. For long-term cruising a spare may be good idea. A good economical choice is the Aquabound Manta Ray Fiberglass (about $100).

Multihull Special Report

In Part 1 of our special report on multihulls we scrutinized the implications of stability and the benefits derived form a wide stance, buoyancy and hull shape of multihulls. This time well look at structural issues and the energy transfer that takes place due to a multihulls impressive initial resistance to heel. We will also delve into what all this means for the rig, rigging, hull structure and hardware interfaces.

Selling your Sailboat

You want to sell your boat. And youd like to sell it quickly. What can you do to make that happen? We recently interviewed several brokers and surveyors for advice on what helps, what hurts, and what flaws are sure to come to light when you are trying to sell your boat. Remember that the savvy buyer will always overemphasize the unknown, believing that for every fault they uncover there are three more lurking, and that these will cost more to set right than you say or they think. Fortunately, a well-maintained boat can often be prepped for sale with a relatively small investment in time and money. And if the boat hasnt been maintained, youll want to prioritize the tasks required to draw a willing buyer.

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