Racing sailing yachts represent a very specialised area of boating. Sure there is an ever increasing amount of cruiser/racer sailing yachts being designed and built, however some specialised knowledge is needed when you are looking to buy a racing yacht that is for sale.
Consider these questions when looking at racing yachts for sale:
- What racing yacht do you want to beat? If there is a particular type of yacht that you wish to beat on the water you need to seek expert advice as to whether the yacht you are looking at will be faster in each wind condition. There are many custom yacht designs available these days and some are just faster than others. Many yacht brokers will say “sure this boat is fast and will beat everything out there” however are they just trying to complete a sale?
- What success has the racing yacht had already? If the design is well proven on the water, you need only consider whether this particular example is in good condition. It the racing yacht is used is quite easy to check with the past owner to see how she has faired in racing so far.
- How much racing has she done? It is good to buy a well tested yacht, but racing can give a boat a lot more punishment than cruising. Make sure the race yacht has not been thrashed too long and too hard, otherwise she might need a lot of work in the near future.
- What is her condition? Don’t rush into buying something. Make the sale conditional on expert appraisals. It is very accepted to have a surveyor check the hull and rig, but also consider taking a respected sail maker out with you on the sea trial. How old, worn in and stretched are the yacht’s sales? Sails are perhaps the most important thing in making you beat your competition, particularly if you are class racing. Sails are also a large cost to replace however they their condition is too often overlooked before purchase. If the sails are not in great condition you should price a new mainsail, a couple of headsails and spinnakers and work this cost into the ‘real’ purchase price.
- Will you and your likely crew able to handle your new race yacht? If your yacht is too temperamental to be easily optimized then you should consider something a little less ‘toey’. Also consider your competition – it is no good to be the fasted yacht on the harbour if you have no one to race. Class racing is always the most fun and you can get a huge amount of information and support from the relevant class association. Here is a list of racing yacht class association from around the world.