For most of us, the dream of sailing off to some new harbor starts with the very pragmatic and real business of finding and buying a boat. Sure, you've been smitten by the come-hither sheer that beckons from the corner of the boatyard or by that brand-spanking-new fresh styrene smell and gleaming stainless steel of a new 40-footer at a boat show. But no matter how alluring the craft-and how determined you are to have it-before you drag your sea bag aboard and pick which bunk to call your own, there'll be some nitty-gritty details to work through.
It all starts with the search. With a number of online sites at your fingertips, it's easy to type in such parameters as price, size, and location and, with the click of your mouse, find what suits your fancy. But buyers beware! There's no telling when those photos of the gleaming saloon, comfy bunks, and ship-shape deck were taken. Was it when the boat was listed, or were they left over from when the current owner, Bob the Slob, bought the boat from Mr. Neatnick?