5 Tips for Buying a Sailboat

Buying a sailboat is a dream come true for many, but like any other major purchase, there are some things to consider before making the final decision. However, the essentials are almost the same as for other vessels, whether you are in the market to buy a new or used sailboat. You want a boat that you can comfortably afford, that meets your specific needs, and that you can be able to sell afterward. Here are some tips that will make buying your sailboat much easier.

1.   Determine what type of sailboat you want to buy

Choosing the right sailboat depends on how and where you intend to use it. For instance, blue water cruising on the open sea will require a different boat from sailing along the coast of Maine. Whether coastal sailing or blue cruising, you should consider a vessel that can offer everyone on board the needed comfort and safety.

2.   Check the rigging of the sailboat

Rigging is essential for the safety and performance of your sailboat. The most common types are sloop rigged sailboats and often come with a single mast that supports two sails. Sloop-rigged sailboats are easy to control, making them perfect for less experienced sailors.

Another common type of sailboat rigging is the ketch, which features two masts with the rear mast carrying the mainsail. Ketch-rigged sailboats seem more complex due to the additional mast, but their small sails are easy to handle. You might also need to invest in professionally designed and fabricated sails from Far East Sails to help improve your sailboat’s performance.  

3.   Consider the size of the sailboat

Note the size of the boat and the amount of space you want or need. A 40-foot vessel, for instance, will have twice the volume of a 30-foot option. However, ensure you look at the waterline length since the size allows more accommodation and storage, and longer boats might sail faster and more efficiently than a small model. A larger boat also means more passengers and longer sailing.

4.   Determine whether you want a new or used sailboat

Another essential thing to consider is whether you want to buy a new or used sailboat. Purchasing a new sailboat may be the best option, especially when you know your needed features. A brand-new sailboat comes fully equipped and ready to start sailing after buying it. In addition, it comes with a manufacturer’s boat insurance or warranty, meaning you won’t attract additional expenses in case of an issue.

On the other hand, buying a used sailboat can be the best option if you have a limited budget. Buying a used sailboat could make it possible to own a larger vessel at a lower price.

5.   Consider the total acquisition costs

Determine the total acquisition costs, including the purchase price and inevitable repairs. A general rule of thumb is to spend only half of your budget to purchase the sailboat and the other half on the essential upgrades. In addition, prepare a realistic yearly maintenance budget before you buy your sailboat.


While buying a sailboat, keeping these tips in mind can help you find one that best suits your specific needs and budget. Typically, you may expect to pay more for a bigger boat than a small model. A larger sailboat will cost you more on maintenance and upfront payment. 

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