You’ve decided to buy a boat!

As a new contributor to this boating blog I’m thrilled at the opportunity to make your dreams of boat ownership easy and fun.  In the coming weeks, I’ll cover ways to expedite finding, purchasing, and enjoying your new boat.  We’ll navigate brokers, surveyors, finance, insurance, maintenance and answer your frequently-asked questions.  Regardless of how many boats you’ve owned, wants you to be a savvy and satisfied boat buyer, and I will do my best to be a useful resource.

Decided to Buy a Boat

Decided to Buy a Boat

As a former editor at a well-known sailing magazine and manager of a large boatyard in the Northeast, I have experience in the pleasure boating industry that should help me help you find the boat that meets your needs.  I’ve assisted brokers and surveyors in assessing a boat’s condition and have overseen upgrades and repairs for owners.  I’ve written boat reviews and managed the commissioning of new boats.  Personally, I enjoy sailboat racing, but have operated and maintained all manner and sizes of power boats.  I reveled in do-it-yourself projects even when I was making a living maintaining other people’s boats.

I’ve bought many boats over the years, and for each of my boats I had a use in mind: a skiff for lobstering, a daysailer to teach my son to sail, a race boat to compete in.  When the use was no longer there, I sold and moved on.  My current boat sitting in the driveway was to become a floating waterfront cottage, but more on that in a future post.  First and foremost, I want to encourage you to buy a boat that meets your intended use.

It is a pleasure for me to share the enjoyment, experience, and excitement of boating with others. My next entry will focus on how to identify the boat that meets your needs.


  1. Angie says:

    looking at purchasing a 1997 Thompson 3400 Santa Cruz. The door to the swim platform will not close all the way. The door is about a 1/2 inch bigger (wider) than the opening for the door. Would this be an indicator of structural damage? There are no signs of stress cracks on the outside of the boat anywhere near the swim platform or door. There are 4 small cracks in the transom, but the transom feels hard and not spongy or soft. Boat runs great, Really like the boat, just concerned about the structure since the door is now wider than the opening for it. Seems like this could possibly be caused by the sides of the boat bending inward, I’m not sure. What do you think?

    • Dear Angie,

      It is always nice to find a boat that you like and it pays to be discriminating. It doesn’t sound right that the transom door on the
      1997 Thompson 3400 Santa Cruz you are interested in doesn’t fit and you are prudent to investigate further. First, does it appear ½ inch too large everywhere or just in one corner. If it is not square to the opening, it could be as simple as the hinges need refastening. If it seems overlarge overall more extensive research is warranted. It is possible that someone replaced the door with a non-standard door from another manufacturer or as you suspect some other damage has caused it not to fit. Look for small clues like a difference in gel-coat coloring or be bold and just ask the seller or seller’s broker about it. If that doesn’t reveal the problem have a boat yard or marine surveyor look it over to give you their professional opinion. In any case, I always recommend hiring a qualified surveyor to thoroughly inspect any boat you are about to buy. Good luck with your new boat purchase!

      Peter d’Anjou

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