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How you will find your used sailing vessel.

First major questions: Where do we find a used sailing vessels? And who offers used boats? Private owner? Broker? Boat agents?  First reaction as always: Ask the internet. So let's go...


Many boats are offered by web portals.

If you are interested in boating you usually have a rough idea about websites that offer boats. Here is a list of the ones we use(d):

Let us know if you have further websites. We will extend the list with your tips.


Research everywhere ;-)


"Quality website" versus "Quantity website".

If you extend your research range a bit you will find sites that did not make it to Googles first page. These sites do not offer as many boats as the more common ones but they do offer some interesting vessels that you will not find on the larger websites. Examples for pages like this are:

Note: You can find all the list of "quality websites" in SV LIMA premium area. Provide us with a beer and you get access for a full year. Get more info. (If you are already premium user you can reach premium area via top level menu "SV LIMA - Premium". This is only visible if you are premium user) 



Searching parameters

Many filters are being offered on these websites. We went for following parameters that covers the most important data that is for us the lowest common denominator:

  • Keywords: "center cockpit"
  • Length min
  • Length max
  • Price min
  • Price max
  • Year built oldest
  • Year built youngest
  • if available EU VAT paid
  • Region: Europe



The "Three-level-selection" approach

When you have a list of websites to do research you can start. Unfortunately the list gets very long - even with your enabled filters. To being able to get a useful amount of boats to chose from we followed our self invented so called three-level-selection approach.

So here is the ideal approach to follow for finding the right used sailing vessel:

Note: You can find all the detailed explanation of the "three level selection" in SV LIMA premium area. Provide us with a beer and you get access for a full year. Get more info. (If you are already premium user you can reach premium area via top level menu "SV LIMA - Premium". This is only visible if you are premium user) 




"Ship seeing" - another way of finding your boat

Of course we took every change to go on a sightseeing tour of vessels in marinas. Indeed many harbours do have private piers for boat owners. They do have a closed gate which only can be opened by a PIN code or a key card or similar. This is useful if you think about the owners and their privacy. You do not want to have people in front of your house that alway do look at you and your house. And so do boat owners. That is why the marinas make sure that owners do maintain their privacy.

We love walking around in marinas and watching boats - especially owner boats since they have by far more smart ideas and useful clever equipment than the charter vessels do have. But fair enough - we respect the privacy of other owners.

On the other side when owner are not on their boat you have a good chance to join these piers and perhaps do a lucky shot and find a boat that is "for sale" and that fits your own purposes. But in fact this would mean much of luck. But you all know: "A vessel finds the owner and not vice versa".

To bring it to a point: "'Ship seeing' gives you more an idea about what boat you might want than finding your future vessel."


Interconnecting with other owners

In one time we were actually very lucky. In Umag (Istria, Croatia) at the transit pier we saw an awesome looking Najad 40. The owners - an elder couple - have been sitting on the deck. Perky as we were we headed over and asked them about their experiences with their boat and if they were happy with it. In the end we had a nice conversation and a cool boat tour on one of the best maintained used ships we have ever seen. 

So my advice: Simply talk to the people. Be nice and polite and you will get many useful information for your own boat search. They are happy sharing their experiences, Do's and Don'ts.


Our special challenge - Headroom

In terms of "what is really important for us" we had one significant topic: Me - Christoph, the author of this text - I do have a body height of 1.96m. Due to that fact we needed a headroom below deck which is in minimum 2m of height. On longer passages it is never good if it feels tight end squat below deck. You need at least one place to stand upright below deck. 

Getting headroom into consideration wouldn't be too difficult if this information would be part of the boat offers - but unfortunately is was not. Most of the offers did not include the value of the headroom height.

Lucky us we had the bootsprofis as experts working for us. So during their work they requested all relevant boat brokers to go to the vessel and measure the height of the boat below deck for us. Not few of them went out with a measuring tape and did that measurement. After that action we recognised that the amount boat offers with headroom info increased. Perhaps we had a stake in it...


Now the next step of finding the vessel: Check the quality of the boat offer

After executing the "three level selection" this step has been taken over by bootsprofis - our boat experts. They grilled the brokers to make sure the boat offers reflect the reality.

It is always a huge effort in regards of time and money for us visiting boats. Ideally you only visit boats that - if they are technically ok - you really would purchase. So it always has to be clear that it is worth it to see a boat. 

This step eliminated many boat offers for us. We excluded a lot of vessels after talking to the brokers. And in the end we ended up with our shortlist.


Our Top 3 boats

After passing the "Three level selection" several times we ended up with a short list of only three vessels.

  • Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 47 (build year 1994)
  • Contest 46S (build year  1990)
  • Bavaria Ocean 47 (build year  2000)

The Jeanneau and the Contest have been in the same corner of Europe. Only 100km away from each other on the southern coast of France at the Mediterranean Sea. The Bavaria Ocean is located in Turkey.

Our top priority has been both vessels that are in France. So we scheduled and started the 1100km from our hometown Augsburg in Germany to France...

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