Buying a boat : Bartley Sailing Club
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Home / About / Factsheets / Buying a boat

Buying a boat


How much experience do I need before buying a boat?

There is no hard and fast rule but we suggest you are comfortable in all points of sailing, launching and landing un-aided, and competent sailing in winds up to force 4.

What sort of boat should I buy?

The key factors are: how heavy are you? How agile are you? Will you be sailing alone or with a regular crew? How much maintenance do you want to do? Do you want to race competitively? What is your budget?

A basic guide to popular Bartley boats is shown below: (Maintenance is based on hull material wooden hulls require more maintenance than glass fibre. Some boats are available in both materials)

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Other things to consider are: Do I want a competitive race circuit or will most of my sailing be at the club? Is this a family cruiser or tuned race machine?

There are great boats and great classes. For example, there are better single handers on the market than a Laser but the class is a very strong one-design so 40 year old boats are still competitive. The 2000 that you may have learnt in is great for families and holidays and also has a national racing circuit but there aren't many at the club so you could be racing yourself at the weekends. The supernova is a great boat with many of the best sailors in the country at the club, support and advice will be readily available if you join this class. Buying the RS400 is great to develop your high-performance sailing but it is not a good family option for cruising.

How much should I spend?

We suggest less on your first boat as it will take a while to get used to it and it will get a few knocks on the slipway. When you have mastered it then upgrade to something more current. You can pick up older boats that are perfectly good as a starter package for less than £1000. They won't be competitive racers but you are unlikely to lose money on your purchase as you can sell it on to the next person graduating from their sailing course.

New or used?

Used makes more sense for your first boat. Some people rush out and buy a brand-new version of the plastic boat they learnt to sail in, we don't recommend doing this as you will quickly want to progress from a training boat to something more exciting.

What should I look out for?

Lots! Old boats tend to have problems so you need to know where to look, new boats often have upgrades so you need to know your MK1 from your MK2. There is a lot of knowledge at the club so have a chat to someone in the class of boat you are expecting to buy before you spend. In general, though avoid leaking boats, check wooden boats for rot, check where the mast meets the boat for cracks or damage, check centreboard casing for cracks, newer sails are best, good cover and launch trolley, freshwater use, regular use (better maintained).

Where can I buy a sailing dinghy? is the 'go-to' for second hand dinghies. Also look on class association websites, sailing club noticeboards, and auction sites (but beware you need to know what you are looking at).

Do I need a road trailer?

This seems obvious if you are planning to travel with your boat then a towbar and trailer will be necessary unless it is a class that can be put on a roof rack. Check before you buy as you don't want to buy a boat located in Scotland only to find you have no way of towing it to Bartley! You can store boat trailers at Bartley for a small fee, and there are plenty of members who can lend you a trailer if you just want to transport the boat from point of sale to Bartley.

What about insurance?

There are plenty of dinghy insurers on the internet (Newton Crum, Noble Marine, GJW Direct to name a few). You will need at least 3rd party insurance to sail at Bartley.

Can I store my boat at Bartley?

Yes! We have plenty of boat spaces available. These can be purchased with your membership and spaces added or deleted as your fleet grows or diminishes.


Last updated 10:42 on 27 May 2024

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