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The Smart Buyer: Learning to buy with a discerning eye

You should know the type of boat you're looking for and how you will use it before talking to salespeople.Having bought, sold, refit or built more than 40 boats, I like to think I have some idea what it’s about. Even though I’ve worked in the marine industry since 1973, I still find myself buying on emotion instead of sensibility.

Buying anything of significant value is like making an investment; it is worthy of an educated plan of attack. This is what I like to call my “Boat Buyers Survival Kit,” and it can help all of us.



Restoring a classic

Deciding whether to rebuild or buy new is never easy, but when the boat is as pretty as the Rhodes Reliant, the decision might not be as difficult

Famed yacht designer Ted Brewer reportedly once said, “No one yacht is perfect, but the Reliant comes very close to perfection, in my opinion.”

Designed by Phillip Rhodes and built by Cheoy Lee Shipyard in Hong Kong from 1963 to 1976, the Rhodes Reliant 41, with her abundance of teak and polished bronze, is eye candy to classic yacht lovers.

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The Smart Buyer - A surveyor may be only one of the experts you need

A prepurchase survey on a yacht with complex systems may call for hiring a mechanical or other experts in addition to a marine surveyor.A dentist friend of mine asked me to help a patient of his find a reputable surveyor for a 2013 64-foot Italian sport yacht that he was about to pull the trigger on. I spoke to the buyer for about 30 minutes, getting the basic specs on the yacht and making sure his intended use for it lined up with its overall strengths and capabilities.



The Golden Age is now

Perhaps no other period has seen as many advances in boating as the past two decades. Experts give us their top picks

3-D computer-aided design of the Pandion 25 runaboutWhen Michael Peters began designing boats in the 1970s, he thought he had missed boating’s Golden Age. “If only I was old enough to be a designer in 1959 or 1960 when you had fiberglass replacing wood boats, the deep-vee coming on, the invention of the sterndrive,” says Peters, president of Michael Peters Yacht Design in Sarasota, Fla. “I always thought that must have been an incredible time to be developing boats.”



No more rock ‘n’ roll

Seakeeper says its gyro stabilizer technology virtually eliminates boat roll at low speeds and at anchor.Some designers and boatbuilders say gyroscope stabilization will be part of most boats’ standard equipment in the coming decade.

“I see in boats from 45 feet and up a continued growth of gyro stabilization technology,” says Bill Blount, CEO of Donald L. Blount and Associates, a Chesapeake, Va., design firm.



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