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Old 26-08-2009, 10:47   #1
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Boat Purchase: Offer Amount Question...

I'm a first time boat buyer and have a question for you. Let's say that an older boat is listed for around $15,000 and the book value is around $9,500. How low would it be appropriate to go for a first offer given the current market and seller situation (explained below)? I'm considering starting off around $9k.

The marina/brokerage said that the seller is pretty much desperate to unload the boat (bad financial situation). I was surprised that they would say that right off the bat and all but invite me to throw out a low offer.

While the boat is in excellent condition (ex. no water in the bilge, updated equipment, very clean interior, etc.), it is still a 1970's boat. I can't imagine that there are a lot of people lined up to purchase a soon to be 40 year old vessel. I don't get the impression that they've been overwhelmed by offers.

I appreciate any advice you might have.
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Old 26-08-2009, 10:58   #2
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It may depend on what boat it is. But if the seller is desperate, and the book price is $9500. I'd go for $5000. Knowing what boat and type of boat would help a lot. Some small boats that old could be considered "give aways" to relieve the owner of expenses.
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Old 26-08-2009, 11:01   #3
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It may depend on what boat it is. But if the seller is desperate, and the book price is $9500. I'd go for $5000. Knowing what boat and type of boat would help a lot. Some small boats that old could be considered "give aways" to relieve the owner of expenses.
It's a ~30' sailboat and the manufacturer is out of business. I'd be more descriptive than that, but it's fairly unique and then I may as well post a link to the sale add. I'm on a budget and I'm just trying to get into a good little boat without having to shell out too much money.
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Old 26-08-2009, 11:12   #4
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Off the Bristol 41' post on this forum: "We bought our 73B34 for only $5700 (avg is $25k for this model), but she had been neglected for a long time"
The way boat sales are, I doubt anyone is going to rush out and grab it! There are some real dog designs out there, hopefully it's not one of those. If it's a name brand that are no longer around then that's a good thing I suppose. or PM me and I might be able to give an opinion...
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Old 26-08-2009, 11:15   #5
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Offer him a buck and a smile if you think you can buy the boat for that much. the only definition of "reasonable" offer is one that you're willing to make and he's willing to accept. If he's asking $15k and the BUC Book value and comparables are $9.5k, either you aren't comparing the same boats or he's delusional.

Could be the wife said "Sell the boat" and he said "Yes Honey" and priced it at $15k to make sure it won't be sold. Personally, I say that anything that hasn't sold in 90 days including houses and boats, either is priced or marketed wrong.

You want THAT boat? Start making offers.
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Old 26-08-2009, 11:20   #6
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good advice HelloSailor! Irecently went through this with the spouse on selling our house. She did her home work and said "but it's taking an average of 7 months to sell a house". My opinion is you only need one looker with the house priced correctly for the market. It takes 7 months for a lot of people because they overprice their house, then they go through the learning curve and find out they are priced too high. Then they still dont price it right but reduce it. then they finally get it down close enough to where someone is willing to offer what it's worth on the market!
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Old 26-08-2009, 11:21   #7
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Originally Posted by Tyler Durden View Post
It's a ~30' sailboat and the manufacturer is out of business. I'd be more descriptive than that, but it's fairly unique and then I may as well post a link to the sale add. I'm on a budget and I'm just trying to get into a good little boat without having to shell out too much money.
Let's back up here.

Many of the so-called "book value" numbers are somewhat questionable. If you really want to get a reasonable idea what it's worth, any broker has access to actual sale prices and can give you a much better idea what the boat you are interested in should bring.
You might get 20 opinions here but everybody has a different way of assessing value vs, asking price, including the seller...

If you can come up with any better way (that a broker's info) of determining it's actual value, I'd be surprised.
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Old 26-08-2009, 11:34   #8
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Actual sales are it for sure... but on boats especially , then there is the condition issue.....
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Old 26-08-2009, 12:08   #9
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Offer him a buck and a smile if you think you can buy the boat for that much. the only definition of "reasonable" offer is one that you're willing to make and he's willing to accept. If he's asking $15k and the BUC Book value and comparables are $9.5k, either you aren't comparing the same boats or he's delusional.

Could be the wife said "Sell the boat" and he said "Yes Honey" and priced it at $15k to make sure it won't be sold. Personally, I say that anything that hasn't sold in 90 days including houses and boats, either is priced or marketed wrong.

You want THAT boat? Start making offers.
That's true. I already have a high figure in my head about what the boat is worth (to me).

The impression I got (could be wrong) is that he's taking a loss on it and is trying to get what he can out of it. The fact that the engine was winterized last fall and the boat hasn't been used all year would support that assumption.

Yup. I'll sack up and do that this afternoon.

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Let's back up here.

Many of the so-called "book value" numbers are somewhat questionable. If you really want to get a reasonable idea what it's worth, any broker has access to actual sale prices and can give you a much better idea what the boat you are interested in should bring.
You might get 20 opinions here but everybody has a different way of assessing value vs, asking price, including the seller...

If you can come up with any better way (that a broker's info) of determining it's actual value, I'd be surprised.
I tried going that route. There isn't another one of this exact model for sale in the country. There's one that's similar and seems to be where he got his price from.

At the moment, I'm going to have to say that this boat is worth what someone (i.e. me) is willing to pay for it. My main concern is that I'd come in too low and basically piss off the broker and/or the seller. In my humble opinion, I would be shocked if he winds up selling it within $4,000 of his asking price (regardless of its condition).

The previous owner did a LOT of work to the boat. Any nostalgia or vintage value that the boat may have held is gone (again...my opinion). Anyone that WANTS an older boat would probably be turned off by that.
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Old 26-08-2009, 12:12   #10
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Don't make his problems yours. Offer what you are comfortable with, and move on if need be........i2f
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Old 26-08-2009, 12:16   #11
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Tyler, reading your descriptions (and seeing that you're in the same state) makes me think this was the same boat that I looked at this weekend. A very interesting specimen indeed, although I have decided not my sort of specimen. My estimation was I could probably have bought it for $9K, if I were still interested.
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Old 26-08-2009, 12:23   #12
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Be careful unless you know some history of the boat. If there are no others around, and it is little known, it could have design problems. I once bought a hull and deck and spent 2.5 years of my life making a "perfect" boat....Only to find out that the hull shape of the boat caused extreme weather helm in beam/close reach conditions... to the point where you couldnt steer the boat! It was a very cool looking boat, well built hull etc from a little known designer...
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Old 26-08-2009, 12:44   #13
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Tyler, reading your descriptions (and seeing that you're in the same state) makes me think this was the same boat that I looked at this weekend. A very interesting specimen indeed, although I have decided not my sort of specimen. My estimation was I could probably have bought it for $9K, if I were still interested.
Yup. That's right around what I was thinking. I put in an offer a few minutes ago, but the broker said that he "didn't think that would fly." For the money, it's a lot of boat (though it is a bit...different).

I got the impression after talking to the broker today that the seller isn't very flexible on the price. Like you alluded to...I don't see anyone paying $10k+ for that.

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Be careful unless you know some history of the boat. If there are no others around, and it is little known, it could have design problems. I once bought a hull and deck and spent 2.5 years of my life making a "perfect" boat....Only to find out that the hull shape of the boat caused extreme weather helm in beam/close reach conditions... to the point where you couldnt steer the boat! It was a very cool looking boat, well built hull etc from a little known designer...
I opened up everything I could get my hands on. I even moved the carpet and pulled up all of the bilge boards. I was surprised to see that there wasn't a drop of water down there (considering it's been sitting for a while).
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Old 26-08-2009, 12:58   #14
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With a quality boat, well maintained, age is not an issue. I would offer exactly the amount I consider good value for the boat I want. My thinking is that if I offered less and took financial advantage of somebody else's (poor) financial standing then I would have bad pangs spoiling the pleasure every time I go sailing. So I prefer to pay a price I consider fair and in this way 'buy' myself clear consciousness and perhaps some fair winds too.

But the market now is the buyer's market anyway so I think it is OK to offer a relatively low price.

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Old 26-08-2009, 13:02   #15
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With a quality boat, well maintained, age is not an issue. I would offer exactly the amount I consider good value for the boat I want. My thinking is that if I offered less and took financial advantage of somebody else's (poor) financial standing then I would have bad pangs spoiling the pleasure every time I go sailing. So I prefer to pay a price I consider fair and in this way 'buy' myself clear consciousness and perhaps some fair winds too.

But the market now is the buyer's market anyway so I think it is OK to offer a relatively low price.

b.
Yup. I would have a guilty conscience about that kind of thing too, which is one of the reasons I asked (how low is too low).
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