How to Find Sailing Boats for Sale

Looking to Sail? Here’s How to Find the Best Sailing Boats for Sale.

Have you ever thought about taking up sailing? It’s a rewarding hobby for millions of people, but it can be hard to find a boat—especially for a reasonable price—when you’re just getting started. Finding the right sailing boats for sale can be a challenge, and if you’re new to the hobby, it can be completely overwhelming.

This guide will teach you all the basics you need to get started.

The Basics of Sailing

Before you think about buying a sailing boat, you should understand the basics of sailing—and feel comfortable that this is a hobby you’ll genuinely want to pursue. Too many people get ahead of themselves and buy a sailing boat before they truly understand how to sail, or what sailing involves, and they end up wasting their money.

Fortunately, you’ll have many options to expose yourself to the activity. The RYA is the most well-known provider of sailing courses in the UK, and the American Sailing Association and U.S. Sailing are the two main certifying bodies in the United States if you’re looking for formal training, but you can also learn from an experienced individual teacher. Depending on your budget and your goals, you can sign up for a multi-day course for a few hundred pounds/dollars/euros, or simply ask to come along with a friend when they go on their next sailing adventure.

One of the best first steps you can take is visiting the local sailing scene. Wait for a sailing meetup or boat show event and talk to other people who are into sailing. Where did they go to get their training? Are they willing or able to take on students of their own? If you’re lucky, you’ll find an entry point into the hobby. Even if you’re not, you’ll stand to learn something.

Please note that during the COVID-19 pandemic, lockdown and social distancing measures will mean that some of these ways to start your sailing training will be limited or unavailable. However some training centres offer online courses for so you can at least start learning the theory elements now and complete the practical aspects later on.

Key Questions Before Finding Sailing Boats for Sale

Once you’ve been on a few sailing excursions, and/or once you’ve learned the basic skills required to sail, you’ll be ready to purchase your first sailing boat. Before you do, ask yourself these questions:

  • What will your future look like? This is a big question, of course, but think about what your future holds. Are you about to enter retirement, with all the free time in the world, or do you plan on working another 20 years, with only a few days a month available for sailing? Do you anticipate having a big family with whom to share the experience with, or will this be a solo adventure? These questions will help you determine how much to spend, how big of a boat you’ll need, and how seriously you should take your investment.
  • How much maintenance are you willing to perform? Different types of vessels will need different types of care. For example, if you buy a wooden sailing boat, you’ll need to spend extra time varnishing the surface to keep it protected; if you don’t, it could deteriorate quickly. If you buy a fixer-upper, you’ll need to invest tons of time and effort keeping up with maintenance and getting it in better shape.
  • Who else will you be sailing with? It’s also important to know who you’re going to be sailing with. Is this something you and your spouse will do together on the weekends? Do you plan on taking a big group of people out to the water? Or are you going to be by yourself most of the time? Don’t buy a bigger vessel than you truly need; bigger vessels are both more expensive and more demanding when it comes to maintenance.
  • How much can you afford now? It’s always important to understand how much you can truly afford, but when it comes to sailing boats, you’ll need to think about your budget in two terms; how much can you afford now, and how much will you be able to afford in the future? For starters, there’s the entry price of the sailboat. Can you afford this purchase with your personal savings? If you take out a loan, how much will the payments be? Don’t stretch your finances too thin when buying a boat.
  • How much can you afford in the coming years? You’ll also need to consider how much you’ll be willing to spend on maintenance in the coming years, and indefinitely into the future. You’ll need to invest time, money, and effort keeping your sailing boat in good condition, sometimes amounting to thousands a year. Can you afford that?
  • Where are you going to sail? Finally, think about where you’re going to sail. How far are you going to take this vessel? Will you be sailing in calm territory, or will the waters be turbulent? Will you need to think about storing this in the winter? Your location will make a big difference in the type of vessel you ultimately buy.

Looking for Sailing Boats for Sale

Once you’ve answered those questions, you’ll be ready to start looking for sailing boats for sale. These are some of your best options:

  • An online marketplace. Online marketplaces, like TheYachtMarket, are known for bringing sailing enthusiasts together. Online, you’ll find thousands of sailing boats for sale, in every classification and with every option you can think of.
  • Sailing meetups and boat shows. You can also visit local sailing events or sailing meetups and try to find people who are passionate about sailing. If they don’t have a boat to sell you, they’ll know someone who does.
  • Local ads. Though buying from an individual through local ads can be risky, it’s also a good way to find a bargain.
  • Dealerships. If the other options fail you, you could always shop at a local dealership to find sailing boats for sale.

If you’re interested in finding a diverse array of different sailing boats for sale, you’ve come to the right place. At TheYachtMarket, we have one of the most robust online platforms for boat sales online. Browse our selection of sailing boats for sale, and find a vessel you’ll fall in love with.

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