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Old 07-03-2011, 10:46   #1
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Any issues buying an older boat?

We are looking at boats in the '85 to '95 year range to cruise for 2 to 5 years. I notice boats in this age range seem to sit on the market for long periods of time if the price is above $80K. Has this always been the case, or is it a result of the current market ?
I was told banks will not loan money to buy a boat more than 20 years old. We will not need a loan to buy a boat so no concern there but are concerned about resale issues. If we buy a boat that is 18 years old will it then become hard to sell 3 years later ?
As a boat ages will it take longer and longer to sell ?
Are these boats I see simply over priced for the market ?

any ideas, opinions appreciated, Bob
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Old 07-03-2011, 10:50   #2
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Re: any issues buying an older boat ?

Have simlar questions, hope this thread takes off......
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Old 07-03-2011, 10:58   #3
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Re: any issues buying an older boat ?

The current market is terrible for all boats, but especially sailboats. There is an article today on Soundings Trade Only about brokerage sales still being down. And, the boats you have been looking at could very well be overpriced too!
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Old 07-03-2011, 11:12   #4
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pirate Re: any issues buying an older boat ?

Hi there Barnie'B'.... Welcome to CF...
The problem is mainly down to owners seeing a 'Diamond' and buyers seeing 'Cubic Zircona'
There's very likely boats out there at $80K that are worth more...
but theres a lot more out there at $80K worth a bit less... its like buying a house... theres a market price for the area and thats what a seller asks...
regardless he's let the property go to crap...
Its down to you to sort the 'Wheat from the Chaff'....
get down and dirty and be prepared to do a lot of walking away...
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Old 07-03-2011, 11:59   #5
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Re: any issues buying an older boat ?

Hi Bob,
We recently purchased a 20 year old boat and are selling a 35 yo one. No question that the market is relatively slow. However, when we were buying in the age range you're looking at, but a higher price point, our broker was able to show us sales for the past year or two. It seemed like the better boats -- often at somewhat higher prices -- are selling more quickly than the ones needing more work. Most folks looking in this price and age range aren't buying their first boat. They know that the purchase price is just the first check written. It seems like boats that have "good bones", have been well maintained and are reasonably priced are selling the fastest. Mediocre twenty year old boats are easy to find. Excellent ones aren't.
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Old 07-03-2011, 12:21   #6
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Re: any issues buying an older boat ?

even EXCELLENT 30 yr old boats havent been selling--is a wakky market-and only depends on what the individual purchaser seems to find acceptable and not-- mine has a slightly oxidized hull. big deal. is mechanically and structurally sound and ready for placement of electronix.. isnt selling. hasnt for 4 yrs. wont sell, now as i wont let anyone kick tires for no reason. i am not desperate--i have a brother who enjoys sailing.
i know my diamond looks a lil topaz-ish, but is a GOOD topaz...LOL
as i donot like the looks and lines of modern sailboats, i keep older ones--i LIKE the strength and lines of the oldies. they are still good boats. all boats NEED work before cruising---even newly built--
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Old 07-03-2011, 12:23   #7
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Re: any issues buying an older boat ?

Can't easily comment on the market right now but a bluewater boat in the 20+ age bracket has always been a fairly specialist bit of kit, with a v small market. So they're always a bit slow (compared to say a new/newish Beneteau) but many of us would argue are a better proposition if you are planning long distance sailing.
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Old 07-03-2011, 12:52   #8
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Re: any issues buying an older boat ?

There are plenty of older boats out there that have been well maintained, repowered, maybe new sails/rigging, maybe rewired, etc. I think it's easy to overlook how much money it would cost to refit even a mid-90s boat, shiny though it may be.
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Old 07-03-2011, 14:43   #9
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Re: any issues buying an older boat ?

thanks for all the information, lots of good stuff.
The boats I looked at were in great shape, well maintained, might need some new electronics but otherwise seemed very good. As we all know they all need constant attention and maintenace.
Some have been for sale for almost a year. I was wondering if I buy one and want to sell it 3 years from now will it take a year or two to sell it ? I know no one can answer that.
The link to Sounding I really appreciated. It seems to indicate the time to sell a crusing sailboat is about 200+ days, so if I'm going to pull the trigger on this I just need to accept that and include it in my budget if that is the way it works, unless there is a better way ??
I can't help wondering if they reduced the price of a boat would it sell quickly and then would they have more money in hand in the end ?

Bob
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Old 07-03-2011, 14:55   #10
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Re: any issues buying an older boat ?

I think there is a tendency for owners to overvalue their older boats because they put so much time, effort, and money into fixing them up. They think because they spent $5000 upgrading the rigging that the boat should be worth $5000 more than it used to be, but in reality their rigging job is probably now at least 5 years old and is really no better than a lot of similar boats on the market. The same goes for lots of what owners think are upgrades. They think of all the money they spent on electronics, cushions, anchor chain, etc., yet it all has to be done over again by the new owner eventually. I would also say in general that of the people I know their sales of older boats generally took a year or more. Often what happens is they want to sell at the end of the season, which is exactly when nobody is buying, so that adds at least six months right there. And then a boat doesn't look too hot after a long winter in storage, and that's when the buyers are looking. The best time to sell is early in the season just after a boat has been launched and spruced up and looks great and summer vacations are right around the corner, but if a seller gets to that point with their boat they tend to not be too anxious to sell it. Lots of timing issues. One thing to do is work hard to sell it yourself--you can do a much better job than a broker, but it can be helpful to find a broker that is willing to let you also list it yourself. They are out there.
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Old 07-03-2011, 14:58   #11
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pirate Re: any issues buying an older boat ?

I generally put mine up for sale the day after I move on board.... it takes a while...
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Old 07-03-2011, 15:14   #12
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Re: any issues buying an older boat ?

Isn't EVERYTHING for sale ALL the time?

You can get loans for older boats as long as theysurvey out. Sometimes the less know boats are easier because there isn't anyway to just "look up" the value.

But the current problem with selling older boats I believe is that the mass produced builders have gotten so good at scales of production that the price is of a younger boat is just so much better. For the same price as an early 80s boat from a builder long gone I got a 2001 boat with modern systems.
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Old 07-03-2011, 15:32   #13
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Re: any issues buying an older boat ?

Not sure what boats you have been looking at, but for the price I bought my 1978 38-footer I couldn't buy a 26-foot weekender built in the 2000s. I think that is actually one of the huge issues for used boat sellers--there is a lot more stock around because most of the old boats haven't gone away and they are so much cheaper than the newer boats. But, I like my boats simple, and for someone who wants all the systems the price difference may not be so great. But all the basic systems, things like rigs, sails, anchoring gear, engines, stoves, water systems, etc. have changed very little in 30 years. In many cases the older systems were much better built to begin with so there is little deterioration. Take my 1970s era Perkins 4.236 diesel engine. It's big, it's powerful, it's simple, and as far as I can tell gets about the same fuel mileage as any of the newer engines, yet because it is so understressed it will last twice as long. Of course old electronics are useless, but even three or four-year old electronics aren't too hot either, so plan on replacing those almost no matter what boat you get unless it's brand new. I guess my impression of the market is very different, because I just don't see the value in newer boats.
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Old 07-03-2011, 15:44   #14
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pirate Re: any issues buying an older boat ?

Well... I picked this up in '06 for $60K.... its a 2001 34ftr.... pretty good W-E Atlantic/Med cruiser....
The surf canoe on the foredeck was extra... oh... and the dinghy O/B, solararch/panel/windgenerator...lol
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Old 07-03-2011, 15:48   #15
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Re: any issues buying an older boat ?

''OLD BOAT 85-95'' JEEZ mines an oldy./.../.
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