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Old 24-06-2011, 08:11   #1
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A 'No-win' Situation

A while ago, I read the stuff on David Pascoe's website. Of late, I've been re-reading this 'encouraging' material, both to refresh my memory and in consideration of those who market anti-depressants.

David suggests that when you buy an older boat, budget 50% of the purchase price if the boat has 'some deferred maintenance', and 100% if it has 'a lot of deferred maintenance'.

About three weeks ago, we looked at a Catalina 30, asking some $32,000. The boat looked OK to my untrained eye, about what I expected it to look like at that age. What I don't know is how much deferred maintenance lurks beneath. It has the usual Catalina 30 issues for a boat of that era.

It occurred to me as I tossed and turned last night that if I have to sink another $32,000 into it, I will have spent $64,000 for a quarter-century old boat. For that price, I can buy an 8 year-old boat of that type. Then it occurred to me that with an 8 year-old boat, the standing rigging and/or sails would be due in a couple of years, as would the inevitable bill for depreciation.

Seems I can't win. No wonder I'm tossing and turning, trying to figure it all out.

Nomad
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Old 24-06-2011, 08:22   #2
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Re: A 'No-win' situation

in this market why would a catalina 30 be 32k????/ curious......
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Old 24-06-2011, 08:22   #3
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Re: A 'No-win' situation

Nomad, I don't know where you are located, but 32 grand for an old Cat 30 is WAY too much, no matter how well she has been maintained.

I think that you need to do some comparison shopping.

Might ease the tossing and turning some.

Cheers,
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Old 24-06-2011, 08:39   #4
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Re: A 'No-win' situation

Rules of thumb are handy to guide your thinking . . . but can be off by a mile. So for any boat you get serious about, have a survey done, get estimates for the repair/replace costs of each deficient item. Then you can deal with hard numbers, and sleep easy.
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Old 24-06-2011, 08:47   #5
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Re: A 'No-win' situation

surveys are for bank and insurance-they do not tell ye what is truly wrong or right with a boat. gooodluck if you believe otherwise.
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Old 24-06-2011, 08:51   #6
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Re: A 'No-win' situation

If you've ever owne a house, you should be used to buying things that you dump money into.

A boat is no different, except everything you buy is 3 times as much. Buy the boat that is the best fit for you at the best price you can, and just figger there will be some unexpected expenses.

A few sundowners in the cockpit of your new boat, and you'll sleep a lot better.
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Old 24-06-2011, 08:54   #7
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Re: A 'No-win' situation

The "win" in this situation is having a sailboat. She might cost a little more or be a little older or maybe even have some deferred non critical maintenance that you've neglected, but....

You're free man. How many people can get up on Saturday morning with a few supplies and take off onto the water and get away from it all? You have a haven away from the normal world. You have a transport into a beautiful and different subculture of cruisers and sailors. You have a key to doing something that a lot of people can only dream about.

Thats a win. Put it in your pocket. Don't fret over whats done. Spend your money wisely and enjoy your boat !
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Old 24-06-2011, 08:58   #8
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Re: A 'No-win' situation

The age of a boat and the repairs that are required aren't neccessarily going to correspond. Prices of boats can vary wildly with the outfitting and age of rigging and sails and so forth so I think your best bet with any model is to look at members of the same species and find out the pertinant details, such as age of rigging and sails, quality and repair of the mechanicals, if it's a boat where finish can vary check that as well and see how they stack up. As far as I know prices are still very low in the US.
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Old 24-06-2011, 09:02   #9
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Re: A 'No-win' situation

Buying a boat that is going to be insured requires a survey. However, the surveyor works for and is paid for by you. So you can choose the one you want to employ. It is important to get recommendations from as many folks as you can before deciding which one to employ.
- - Also talking to him about what the purpose of the survey is going to be is important. A survey for submission to an insurance company is going to be different than a survey to privately tell you what is right and what is wrong with the boat and how much it is going to cost to fix the stuff.
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Old 24-06-2011, 09:08   #10
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Re: A 'No-win' situation

I'm in the Toronto area. The reason for the price is due in part to the following considerations:

1. It's a fresh-water boat.

2. Our economy is 'in recovery' (and didn't suffer as much as our neighbors to the south). A couple of years ago, I might have been able to low-ball a boat, but things are improving here, and boats are selling.

3. Boats cost more in Canada, it's a fact of life I've had to live with for 36 years. Now is a better time to buy a boat than at any time in my living memory, since our dollar is above par, the FST is gone, and the duty on U.S. built boats has been eliminated. Boats purchased in the eighties, however, were subject to:

a) An exchange rate penalty of anywhere from 17% (early eighties) to 40% (mid eighties),
b) Duty payable at a rate of 15% of the Canadian dollar value,
c) Federal sales tax at 12-13.5% of the duty-paid value,
d) Provincial tax at 8% of the sum of the above.

Whatever a boat cost in 1980 in the U.S., the duty and FST paid price here was 53% higher. By 1985, it was 83% higher. Hey, we have 'free' health care.

People who bought ten years ago when our dollar was worth 61 cents are hurting now, and I suppose they are trying to minimize their losses. It is my understanding that sellers are not getting their asking prices, but the low-ball days are past. I could have bought two years ago, when things were at their worst, but then again my investments were also down, so I would not have been any further ahead.

As has been suggested, I will have to do some comparison shopping, and make any purchase decisions accordingly.

Nomad
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Old 24-06-2011, 09:18   #11
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Re: A 'No-win' situation

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Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
surveys are for bank and insurance-they do not tell ye what is truly wrong or right with a boat. gooodluck if you believe otherwise.
Thank you, Zeehag. No, I don't believe otherwise. My last surveyor missed a couple of things. The holding tank, which was located under the V-berth, leaked its contents into the bilge (oh joy!). The fellow I engaged to replace it said that the factory installation was 'scary'. They essentially made a triangular tank consisting of two sides, which they then attached to the bulkhead, which formed the third side.

The water tank leaked. When I removed it, held it upside down and peered into the fill opening, it was as though peeing into the night sky, the holes at the bottom of the tank appearing as stars.

There's quite a story behind the purchase of that boat, and I sometimes questioned whether I even ought to have it surveyed, let alone purchased, but on balance, I had gotten relatively lucky overall. The really painful part was the depreciation, which I hadn't anticipated on an 11/12 year old boat. Previous experience was in the inflationary '70s, when there was no apparent depreciation.

Nomad
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Old 24-06-2011, 09:19   #12
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Re: A 'No-win' situation

Our prices didn't go low like the US. Here's some price comparisons to look at if you're interested. The boat your looking at appears to be priced at a reasonable starting point for a boat in good shape: Boat for Sale - Buying and Selling boats in Canada. Power, Sail and Equipment ads
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Old 24-06-2011, 09:24   #13
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Re: A 'No-win' situation

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Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
in this market why would a catalina 30 be 32k????/ curious......
Hmm, yachtworld lists about 12 pages of them, so lots to choose from.

catalina 30 Boats For Sale

The big ticket items will be condition of sails, rigging and the engine, but with care you may find a yacht which these items have been recently replaced helping to keep running costs down.

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Old 24-06-2011, 09:25   #14
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Re: A 'No-win' situation

1) In Toronto, you do NOT need to replace the standing rigging every ten years. That's generally a salt-water rule. My boat's 38 years old, with original rigging, which I closely inspect every year. Why? It's never seen salt.

2) There are cheaper boats here. You just have to shop harder. Also, a Cat 30, while a decent boat, is very old in terms of design and I just hate, as a sailor, that huge companionway gaping hole.

3) Too bad for those minimizing losses. Not your problem. You can go to Shumway Marine in Rochester and buy a 30 footer to 10 grand (9,850 Cdn.!) tomorrow (a friend got a Pearson 30 for $10K three years ago that needed about $2K of fixing) that's in decent shape for Lake Ontario, where you need a tough boat for the weather, but not a fancy boat.

If you want a dock queen with all mod cons and A/C, you are in the wrong size range. If you want a smaller-end of mid-sized boats (29 to 34 feet), the market is excellent, because these were the LAST boats guys bought in the '70s. Now they are past 80 and too old to sail, so you get the benefit of their care and maintenance for a fraction of the cost.

4) Good luck. I recommend perusing the cork boards of various Toronto yacht cliubs and having a surveyor on speed dial.
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Old 24-06-2011, 09:25   #15
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Re: A 'No-win' situation

The boat in question has a 'recent' survey, which the seller will allow me to view if I make an offer. I was considering, depending on how long ago the survey was done, of relying on that survey, rather than having another one done.

The only reason I am considering this is that the selling broker is the same one who sold our boat, in my estimation a reasonably honest man, as brokers go. He has revealed to me the shortcomings of the boat, and what needs to be repaired, with an estimate of cost as per his consultation with the fiberglass man at our yard. The usual Cat 30 issues of compression post damage and one stantion base repair.

Is this a reasonable approach?

Nomad
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