"Mid Size Power Boats" - Buyers' Guide by David Pascoe

Buying a Boat or Yacht

by David Pascoe

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  • Boat Repossessions Auctions

    Are boat auctions a good way to find a great deal on a used boat? Having managed a few boat auctions myself, I know a bit about their strengths and weaknesses. If it’s a real auction, there’s no way of knowing how the bidding will go. It may be heavy, in which case it drives the price beyond reasonable; the lighter the bidding, the better the chance of getting a low price. The volume of bidding usually depends on the quality or desirability of boats being offered.  Entire Article

  • Beyond Glitz and Glitter

    What You Should Know about Buying a Boat, to Keep the Pleasure in Pleasure Boating

    If you are a longtime boat owner, you know that owning a boat is a costly affair. Making decisions that keep not only the cost of your initial purchase, but also the long-term cost of ownership, well within you financial means is one of the critical factors of keeping the pleasure in boating. Its very hard to enjoy your boat when it becomes an unexpected drain on your financial resources. If you're buying your first boat, or are making a considerable step up in size, the following are some important points that should be carefully considered to help you achieve maximum enjoyment from your purchase. Entire Article

  • Top Twenty Design and Construction Faults:

    Updated for Y2K

    I've changed the name to Top Twenty because I'm no longer including the sailboat information as we have limited ourselves to powerboat surveys only. Entire Article

  • Recent Design, Construction and Materials Improvements

    1996 - 2000 Models

    It's not all bad news out there. Here are a few across-the-board, or at least more common improvements made by the industry in recent years that we have detected. Entire Article

  • Bubble Boats -

    The Space Shuttle Goes to Sea

    Do you see anything wrong with the design of the boat pictured below? In reality, it is a personal injury lawyer's dream. Can you see why? If not, don't feel bad because the design faults of this boat are the sort of thing that only experienced boaters are usually able to discern. Unfortunately, boating novices usually aren't aware of the dangers that a boat designed like an automobile or a space ship can present to themselves and their passengers. This is a perfect example of what I call an entry level boat because the designers prey on the potential buyer's ignorance, whereas more experienced owners begin to understand why boats should have flat, not round decks. Entire Article

  • Why Internal Hull Areas Should Be Accessible?

    Are There Bogymen in Your Basement?

    During the last several months we've encountered numerous boats that have concealed compartments within the hull. We've long advanced the argument that builders should make as much of the interior of a hull as accessible as reasonably possible. Instead, the opposite, has occurred where a majority of builders today are building boats in such a way as that almost NO area of the internal hull is accessible. Not even the bilges.Entire Article

  • Windows, Windows, Those Leaky, Leaking Windows

    Boat Design Faults and Window Leaks

    Leaking windows are inconvenient because they let the water that is supposed to remain on the outside into places it shouldn't be. Oh, its aggravating enough that you might have to try to sleep on a wet mattress, but that's hardly the least of your problems when you have a leaky boat. The real kicker is when those leaks cause a lot of damage, as they are wont to do, that cost you a whole lot of money to repair, and even more money when you go to sell the boat if you don't. Entire Article

  • Screw it!:

    Graphic Reasons Not to Fasten Boat Parts With Screws

    Here's yet another good reason why, when you spend a lot of your hard-earned money for a boat, you shouldn't automatically assume that the builder knew what he was doing when he built the boat. How the components of a boat are fastened together, particularly the hull and deck, can make a world of difference. Unfortunately, there are a lot of builders, as well as boat owners, who don't understand that different applications require specific methods of fastening. Here are some examples of what can happen when the wrong fasteners are used. Entire Article

  • All About Buying Used and Older Boats

    There are Great Values in Used Boats, But the Cost is More Than Just the Price

    When we were young, we just loved the idea of buying a new car. But by the time we've owned three or four of them - often without paying off the balance of last one before buying the next - eventually we discover what a tremendous waste of our financial resources this is. When it comes to boats the situation's not much different, except now we're talking about serious money. Entire Article

  • To Buy or Not to Buy . . . A Blistered Boat, That Is.

    One of the most frequently asked questions that a marine surveyor gets is, "Should I buy a boat that has blisters?" This is a question that I've wrangled with for many years, and after a great deal of research involving thousands of boats. This essay will answer your questions a bit more directly than some of our more detailed blister essays, which many of you found hard to understand. That's understandable because this is a very complex subject. But be prepared that the answer is populated with a lot of ifs, ands, and buts. Entire Article

  • How to Avoid Buying a Stolen Boat

    The thought of unwittingly purchasing a stolen boat does not occur to most boat buyers. When it happens it doesn't make the morning paper or the evening TV news. Yet the number of small boats that are stolen each year has been steadily increasing for several decades, to the point where it involves several hundred thousand boats annually across the nation. The odds of running across one of these has become uncomfortably high. Entire Article

  • Long Distance Boat Shopping

    How to Avoid Wasting Time and Travel Expenses

    It happens as many as two to three times per week. A boat buyer calls me up and says that he’s about to come to Florida to look at a boat on the week end. Could I do the survey the following week, and if so he’ll call me. Nine out of ten times I never hear from him again.
    As everyone who has ever done it knows, boat shopping is not easy. Yet it never ceases to amaze me how far people will travel to look at a boat, often a thousand miles or more even for a small one. Unfortunately, all too often they travel those long distances only to be sorely disappointed that the boat was not in the condition that it was represented to be. That surprises them, but it shouldn’t. Entire Article

  • It's Got Recent Overhauls! - Dealing with Engines Part I

    We hear this statement a lot, but the reality rarely lives up to the claim.
    Typical Situation: After signing a contract, a client arrives in town from out of state for a survey. He was told by the buyer that the engines were recently overhauled. Upon completion of the survey, the buyer is told by the surveyor that there is no evidence of recent overhauls. The engines are rusty, there's no sign of a bolt having been turned. Maybe there's some sign of recent spray paint activity of the hit and miss variety. Entire Article

  • What Does an Overhaul Entail?- Dealing with Engines Part II

    In the first part of this series, we discussed how to view the claim that a used boat has overhauled or rebuilt engines. The bottom line is to view such claims with suspicion until the claim can be proven. In this part we discuss in greater detail why that is so, and just how complex the issue can be.Entire Article

  • After the Survey

    Boat Buying 101: Used Boats - The Issues You Face and How to Deal With Them

    You've spent months, possibly even years researching the ideal boat you want to buy. You finally reach the big day when you have found it, have made an offer, and it has been accepted. The boat has gone to survey, which is now complete, and the survey report is now in hand. Just one problem: Despite the fact that the boat looked great before you made the offer, the survey didn't quite confirm your expectations. Entire Article

  • From Cores and Structural Issues

  • More on Cores

    And Why New Boat Surveys are Becoming a Necessity.

    Putting cores in boat structures is now THE thing to do. Almost all late model boats we run into have more and more coring. Decks, hull sides, bottoms. Which leads me to wonder if boat builders know why they're doing this and what the potential consequences for their future reputation is.
    Builders are coring everything because their cost analysis suggests that using a lot of foam is cheaper than very high cost plastic resin, particularly the vinylesters and orthos that are needed on bottoms to avoid blistering. After all, cores make structures stronger, right? Entire Article

  • From Marine Surveying

  • Moisture Meters on Boat Hulls:

    Do They Produce Reliable Results?

    This article and the two months of research that preceded it were prompted by the numerous phone calls and e-mails that I receive from boat buyers asking this question. They have had surveys performed on boats they propose to buy on which the surveyor used a moisture meter on the hull. The surveyors gave them the results of the meter readings, but were apparently unwilling or unable to provide a comprehensive explanation of those results; at best, these people told me, the surveyor’s advice was vague. This, of course, left the boat buyer with more questions than were answered. Entire Article

  • Direct Links to Some Chapter Contents

  • Chapter 1 
    Basic Considerations
    (Mid Size Power Boats)

  • Chapter 2  
    Boat Types: Which is Right for You?
    Mid Size Power Boats)

  • Chapter 3  
    Old Boats, New Boats and Quality
    (Mid Size Power Boats)

  • Chapter 14
    The Art of the Deal
    (Mid Size Power Boats)

Last modified November 07, 2015.

David Pascoe Power Boat Books

Buyers' Guide to Outboard Boats Surveying Fiberglass Power Boats (2E)

David Pascoe - Biography

David Pascoe is a second generation marine surveyor in his family who began his surveying career at age 16 as an apprentice in 1965 as the era of wooden boats was drawing to a close.

Certified by the National Association of Marine Surveyors in 1972, he has conducted over 5,000 pre purchase surveys in addition to having conducted hundreds of boating accident investigations, including fires, sinkings, hull failures and machinery failure analysis.

Over forty years of knowledge and experience are brought to bear in following books. David Pascoe is the author of:

In addition to readers in the United States, boaters and boat industry professionals worldwide from nearly 80 countries have purchased David Pascoe's books, since introduction of his first book in 2001.

In 2012, David Pascoe has retired from marine surveying business at age 65.

On November 23rd, 2018, David Pascoe has passed away at age 71.

Biography - Long version

David Pascoe's
Power Boat Books

Mid Size Power Boats Mid Size Power Boats
A Guide for Discriminating Buyers
Focuses exclusively cruiser class generally 30-55 feet
With discussions on the pros and cons of each type: Expresses, trawlers, motor yachts, multi purpose types, sportfishermen and sedan cruisers.
Buyers' Guide to Outboard Boats
Selecting and Evaluating New and Used Boats
Dedicated for offshore outboard boats
A hard and realistic look at the marine market place and delves into issues of boat quality and durability that most other marine writers are unwilling to touch.
Surveying Fiberglass Powewr Boats
Surveying Fiberglass Power Boats
2nd Edition
The Art of Pre-Purchase Survey The very first of its kind, this book provides the essentials that every novice needs to know, as well as a wealth of esoteric details.
Marine Investigations
Pleasure crafts investigations to court testimony The first and only book of its kind on the subject of investigating pleasure craft casualties and other issues.
Nearly 80 countries
Countries List
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