Like cars, the moment a sailboat leaves the manufacturers premises, the price instantly goes down. This is something that we are used to, and it might be good news for those of you who want to get into the hobby, yet do not have the cash needed to buy a brand new sailboat.
Another advantage of used sailboats is that they allow you to practice and get the basics. Like used cars, it wouold not hurt you as much if you crash it or make a mistake with it in your learning stages as it would if you were handling a new sailboat.
However, like used cars, you should also pay attention to the working conditions of used sailboats. Otherwise, you might end up paying more than what you expected to if you discover later that there are repairs and extras you need to pay, which you had not thought of. There is a saying among owners of used sailboats. A sailboat is a hole in the water into which you throw money. You do not really want to deepen the hole more than necessary.
Moreover, you do not want to risk your safety or your life by discovering a malfunction in the middle of the sea, where it is much more difficult to get help and where your life is more in danger than on the side of the road. Since a lot of people think of used sailboats for entertainment and relaxing purposes, this is something that they tend to forget. However, imagine if you bought a car and discovered in the middle of a long highway that the car has no breaks. Well, you want its equivalent in used sailboats to happen to you.
One of the most practical things you can do when comparing used sailboats is taking them for a test drive. You would not buy a used car without at least a test drive, right? Well the same thing applies to used sailboats.
In fact, if the owner refuses to let you take it for a test drive, then you can start suspecting there that there is something wrong with the boat. It is a pretty common request when dealing with used sailboats, so there should be no reason he should not allow it. If there is a problem, an honest seller will let you know what is wrong with the boat and what you should do to fix it, which is perhaps the reason the boat is being sold in the first place.
Finally, taking the boat for a test drive will also let you see how well you adapt to handling it. Different boats have different ways of steering, stopping and such, and it is very important that you feel comfortable with this before making a purchase.