A small life insurance policy, an inheritance, eager saving or the payment of capital-building benefits plus the sale of your own ship - 40,000 euros is not unattainable.
Of course, the enthusiastic sailor wants to invest the savings in a new ship right away. But how do you get the best deal for the money?
If you approach the themed used boat purchase not from the boat side, i.e. fixed to a certain model, but from the budget side, the possibilities increase in the square. Thinking very broadly, the investment in a community of owners would be possible - 40,000 would become 80,000 euros if two parties split the costs. Large ships are already available for this. Why not? We already discussed how this works and what the owners should pay attention to in YACHT 19/2019.
Dinghy, trailer, mobile home
Another possibility would be to combine a smaller ship such as a Polyvalken or a used Variant18 with a trailer and a mobile home. This opens up new areas and brings flexibility to vacation planning. However, this is not real yacht sailing. If you want to do this, you need an adequate floating base. And opinions differ on the term "adequate". For some, it should be as big as possible, then also older and possibly not in top condition. Handicrafts, even while on vacation, are part of the pleasure of boating. The other prefers something new, with functioning technology and a reliable drive. For this, reductions in size are made.
Old or really old?
What remains is the question of when to buy. An example: The older Winner 9.50 have single-circuit cooled motors, the newer ones run with two cooling circuits; the latter, as expected, have a longer lifespan. But if you like an older, well-maintained model and are a few thousand euros cheaper, the old machine can also be an advantage. Save on the purchase price, put the money aside, run the old engine until it gives up, and then install a new one - that way you can rest on the drive for a long time.
An older boat, in which the originally built-in electronics have already been replaced, may be the better offer compared to a newer model with components that are still working but are getting on in years. Because their exchange is inevitably pending at some point. If you buy the newer and more expensive ship, you basically pay twice for the electronics - once because they are still functional when you buy them, and the second time when they need to be replaced. This shows that new is not always automatically better.
Knockout criterion sailing wardrobe?
Another example: Those who like to be out and about in sports like good sails. A ship with the towels stretched out can then be exactly the right thing: if you negotiate the price accordingly and invest in a new wardrobe according to your own ideas. This is often the better alternative compared to half-good wipes that have to last for a few more years because the personal budget has been exhausted.
Don't exhaust your budget
By the way, used boat buyers are always well advised if they do not fully exhaust their own budget; something always breaks. The boats have often been lying around for a long time. Batteries are quickly defective or the heating no longer starts. Or the tank needs to be cleaned because the diesel plague has taken hold. Especially at the beginning, used boats seem to want to test the new owner from time to time to see whether he is really serious. You should be financially prepared for that.
But there are also things that owners can fix themselves, such as gel coat damage or a defective winch. Most sailors, however, will have to leave other tasks to professionals, such as work on the drive, new sails or making the sprayhood and cake stand. The subject matter is also included, hardly anyone will be able to press it themselves.
Substance vs. Cosmetics
So if you pay for the unchanged good substance of the ship without spending too much on peripherals that will have to be replaced one day anyway, you're doing the right thing. If you have the time and money for it, you buy a substantially good ship, which, however, already makes a somewhat weathered impression. The parts to be exchanged are then renewed, a little personal work is added, and you have a yacht that is as good as new at a fair price.
Here we present candidates in the range of 40,000 euros. There are five quite different boats to illustrate the spectrum of the possible in the approach. Maybe there is the right ship for you. The first part is about the interior.
The spaceship: the Bavari30
The tested Cruiser 30 has been in charter operation since 2006, an average of 20 weeks per year. The tester expects, to put it mildly, a worn-out interior. But that's not it. Well, the companionway stairs have suffered, but that is a matter of a few hours with an orbital sander, varnish and brush.
The veneer on the wooden parts, often disreputed as being too thin, has held up perfectly, hardly any scratches or even holes can be seen. The floor is also in good condition, and this is often where unsightly signs of wear and tear appear first. The Bavari certainly didn't have an easy life, as you will see in the next part on the badly battered deck layout.
In terms of ergonomics, the Franconian has almost no weaknesses. All bunks are long and wide enough at mattress level. Probably because of the high freeboard, a stringer runs from front to stern for stabilization on both sides of the ship. You usually don't notice it; in the foredeck it is camouflaged as a shelf on both sides. Unfortunately, however, it robs a lot of the otherwise lush width of 1.75 meters at shoulder height; In the end, there are only about 1.20 meters left between the shelves, that's just under.
But there is space for a real navigation system, and the pantry and wet room are also generous in comparison. The standing heights of around 1.80 meters are sufficient. Much ship!
The unclear: Dehler 31 TOP
Modern isn't always better. At the beginning of the nineties, Dehler brought the TOP, a further development of the successful Duette 94, which was later called Dehler 31. The tiller can be replaced by a wheel if desired, and white surfaces dominate the picture below deck.
Deep-drawn parts made of ABS are very popular at Dehler. They are cheap to manufacture and relatively light. The shipyard uses them on the floor and ceiling, plus snow-white surfaces in the pantry and navigation system. You want to keep the saloon cozy and nautical and donated mahogany veneers. The result: a wild mix that looks very restless from today's perspective.
Less lush external dimensions compared to the Bavari cares for confined spaces. So you cannot sit upright on the bunk either in front or in the aft to get dressed. The aft ceiling cladding, a kind of velvet substitute, has absorbed a lot of dirt over time, which is unsightly. In the foredeck the bunk runs to the front. The 2.30 meter length cannot be used in this way.
The standing height in the salon is common at 1.83 meters, but decreases towards the front. The toilet room is perfectly fine. The headroom in the wet room is 1.71 meters. The saloon berths are easy to use thanks to the foldable back cushions. If it should be a Dehler, it would be better to look for a Duett94.
The handy one: Dufour 30
Maybe it's because the Dufour 30 was the smallest candidate in the test and therefore enjoyed something like puppy protection - but all testers liked it right away. Or maybe it's because it doesn't raise any questions; you go on board and feel like you've arrived.
The ship is clearly structured and neatly processed. You look in vain for strange solutions. Everything seems very simple, but complete, almost too clean. The woodwork is neatly done, but the shelves in the salon have no flaps or doors.
Stowed goods can be stowed under the saloon benches and aft in the chamber and in the pantry.
You get the feeling that Dufour wanted to build a real yacht nine meters long, no matter what the cost. Centimeters was haggled everywhere. The saloon floor was placed a few centimeters behind the keel structure, so that an interior height of at least 1.78 meters is possible there; elsewhere it is less.
The inner berth aft is too short, the head is practically on the saildrive. That is a shame, because the machine could have been 15 centimeters forward, which would have created two usable berths. You can't be too big for the Dufour. Because of its easy accessibility, however, it is a perfect entry-level boat, even under sail.
The versatile one: Winner 9.50
You feel comfortable below deck on the Winner, it is light, spacious and offers good seating. The gaze wanders over properly processed wood. This is best around the door to the forecastle. The first models had a right-angled opening there; cracks sometimes formed here under the weight of the rig, the curve introduces forces better.
Speaking of introducing: the galvanized steel frame is almost invisible. It has disappeared under a thick layer of topcoat. Nevertheless, it is important to watch out for cracks carefully. If there is a rust spot somewhere, be sure to inspect the keel seam from the outside. If it is intact and the rust area does not show any hairline cracks, it is usually sufficient to sand the rust and seal it with zinc varnish. Otherwise an expert should be consulted.
The special feature of the Winner is the open aft chamber. It creates space on board because a bulkhead and door can be omitted. Access to the sleeping quarters is via the navigation corner, so that the pantry could be enlarged.
The small wet cell is in the front, it separates the saloon from the foredeck - ideal for families with children, who can sleep in the front in the evening while the grown-ups are still sitting in the saloon.
One of the two skippers will also want to sleep there: 1.34 meters width aft is not enough for a restful sleep for two.
The sporty one: X-342
What makes a meter long. Because although the 342 is a rather sporty representative of its craft, which usually does not speak for a space saver below deck, the saloon delights with airy appearance.
Large windows help of course, as does the light-colored ceiling cladding - but also 1.20 meters longer than the Bavaria, with the same width.
The designer Niels Jeppesen invested the extra length mainly in the bunks. That is good in itself, but it doesn't help if the width decreases so much towards the bow that no two pairs of feet can fit into it.
This is better in the aft bunk, although it too contracts to a width of just 93 centimeters.
The pierced mast ensures moisture in the bilge, so the small swamp is a welcome detail.
The same applies to the oilskin locker behind the wet room, which also puffs into the bilge. There is also the strongback that picks up the keel bolts. It is essential to check whether the connection to the fuselage is intact and that no traces of rust can be seen.
The interior is in good condition, a little maintenance here and there, and everything fits again. The cushions are gone. The covers as well as the foams should be taken out of service. With a replacement, the X looks much fresher - and is an exciting yacht.
Conclusion: good inside
Below deck, none of the ships are really exposed. However, the differences are quite visible.
If you just look at the sheer space inside, there is a clear winner: The Bavari30 does everything right. Bunk dimensions, headroom, brightness, ventilation options - all of this is great in comparison.
The only downside to it is the restless grain of the wooden surfaces, especially on the snap doors. But that's a matter of taste.
The same applies to the colorful mix on the Dehler. Many owners appreciate the light area on the companionway and are happy about the dark mahogany in the saloon.
The winner is brighter, more homogeneous. It is the only one with a different layout: wet cell in front, open aft chamber on starboard. This creates a feeling of air and space, but hardly offers any privacy.
The Dufour is practically the Bavariin Klein: everything a bit shorter and lower, but otherwise just as coherently solved. The X342 plays a meter longer fuselage; everything fits below deck. The quality of the interior fittings was gratifyingly high for all test subjects.