Getting afloat: local experts share their boat buying tips

PUBLISHED: 14:16 07 January 2014 | UPDATED: 14:16 07 January 2014

Gunfleet Marine yachts

Gunfleet Marine yachts


Thinking of buying a boat to explore the county’s waterways?

Gunfleet Marine yachts - Barry AshmoreGunfleet Marine yachts - Barry Ashmore

Geoff Sinton of Woodbridge Boatyard has years of experience in the boating industry.

“The first thing is to have a very clear idea about what you want to do with the boat,” said Geoff. “People need to think about whether they are going to want to spend weeks on board and go miles away, or whether they are just going to want to go out for day trips locally.”

As well as determining whether you should buy a sailing boat or a motor boat, this will also help you decide the size of boat you should buy and features it needs to have.

As Geoff explains, some of the waterways in Suffolk aren’t very deep, so people who want to sail locally should bear this in mind.

Geoff Sinton is the Managing Director of the Woodbridge Boat Yard.Geoff Sinton is the Managing Director of the Woodbridge Boat Yard.

“In terms of sailing boats, bilge keel boats are very popular around here,” he said. These boats have two keels so they are more stable in shallow water.

Geoff stresses that it’s imperative to have a survey on a boat before you commit to buying.

“After a house, a boat is one of the biggest purchases you could make and it’s sensible to take precautions. Insurance companies will usually insist on seeing a survey.”

Geoff is quick to remind buyers that once they’ve bought a boat it’s important to look after it. If you’re not sure what to do it’s wise to let the professionals help.

Gunfleet Marine yachtsGunfleet Marine yachts

“We look after about 150 boats, and the owners cover the full spectrum – we have some who do everything themselves and all we do is lift the boat in and out of the water, while others ask us to do whatever we think is necessary,” he said.

Basic maintenance includes keeping the boat clean and looking after the engine. Before you put it in the water you should apply anti-fouling paint to the hull to stop barnacles and weeds from growing.

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