My answer to What is the best live-aboard sailboat to live on for multiple years?
Answer by Desmond Last:
When you buy a yacht it is if you have fallen in love. You are blind to everything including commonsense. When I, as a boat broker for my business on Sydney Harbor, Sydney Boat Sales, took a potential buyer to look at a yachts, I knew that he or she would love it or hate it by the first sight of her.
However there are some practical considerations you should consider before handing over your hard-earned cash.
Are you going to be a live-aboard on a mooring or a berth? Berths can be very expensive particularly in popular locations. Moorings are cheaper. Is there a tender service and does it operate 7 days a week? If you have to row out where can you leave your dinghy?
Are you ever going to go to sea? Live aboard’s can be very expensive to put to sea.When was the last time she went to sea? Stowed sails go mouldy and stitching fails. How old is the rigging?
Even if she is only a live aboard, one day you will get the urge to take her out. When was the last time the hull was cleaned? A fouled hull will go nowhere and overheat the engine.
Golden rule for any boat – power or sail is; Get a survey. Do not buy any boat without one. Boat repairs are not cheap. Most insurance companies will insist you have an out of water survey.
Legal Title. Do not buy a boat unless you have proof of legal title including any monies owed. If monies are owed get proof of the loan being cleared.
OK. What type of yacht? If you can afford it fiber-glass. Timber will require lot of maintenance but has great sailing qualities and natural insulation. Steel is OK provided you are handy with a paintbrush. Forget concrete, unless you are on a budget and can get insurance.
Aft cabin Pilot house is the best setup for live-aboard. You have a separate private cabin and shelter with shade when on deck. The salon will normally have a separate galley and a forward vee berth. 36–40′is an optimum size for single-handed sailing.
Make sure you have a waste tank and the waste pump-out is local.
Generator, Solar Panels,LPG gas, and wind turbine are all good to have. Get the engine checked out by a surveyor who is a qualified mechanic.
Make sure she is dry and the bilges are clean. A good broker will make sure you get the right boat. If the broker is not a member of a National Boating Organisation with broker certification find one who is.