Psst! Used-boat buying made easy and cheap? Try the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum on the Eastern Shore in St. Michaels, Maryland.
It’s like the quality consignment shop of boat buying on the Chesapeake Bay. The non-profit gets all sorts of boat donated by people who don’t want to bother selling or gave up on it. It can take years to sell a boat and boat owners figure the tax deduction is worth ease of the donation.
You’ll find a lot of small boats — kayaks, one- or two-person day-sailers and small power runabouts. You might find a 60-foot motor yacht, as well as several sailing cruisers in the 30-foot range.
As of this writing, a 23-foot Chris Craft power boat was available for $13,500. It needed a fresh battery and a few parts to run, but the museum called it an “Ideal light restoration project.” A fully restored version of the same boat was going for nearly $30,000 elsewhere online.
The museum folks price them fair, and are up-front about the used boat’s condition. They admit that some are fixer-upper opportunities.
Here’s the description of a 19-foot power boat, “Old school pocket cruiser / runabout needs some attention. Great looking boat. Excellent titled trailer alone worth the price.”
So check it out if you’re considering buying a used boat. Bookmark the “Boat Donation Program” to keep an eye on what’s available.