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Old 18-09-2009, 23:18   #1
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Buy Now? These Boats?

Buy now? These boats?

Here are my thoughts and plans:

I plan to start sailing the boat in about 2-3 years. I will moor her in Belfast Maine. For 1-2 years I will be preparing her and myself for longer passages. After careful study and evaluation I have chosen the Southern Cross 31. I had initially planned on buying in 2-3 years but with the current economic state I am now thinking maybe it is wise to buy now.

Thanks, Ditch

Here are the boats, what do you think any winners? :
Browse Southern Cross boats for sale - New and Used Southern Cross for sale
1981 Southern Cross Cutter - 31' Cruiser Sailboat for Sale in Pensacola, Florida



My questions are:
1. What are your opinions on when to buy? Will these boat prices go up, stay the same etc. If I purchase now the boat would be stored in the mean time..

2. What are your thoughts on these boats.
A .I am very weary of non factory finished boats. But also confused. For example one boat is a 1985 and is not factory finished and one boat is a 1976 and is factory finished but they are about the same price 9 years is a long time for deterioration.
b. Some of the boat are about the same year but have a difference in price of $10,000-$15,000, this seems mainly do to equipment, but it seems like electronics that are used for a couple of years don’t often have much use left. Should I evaluate what I want for a finished boat, equipment etc. and find a balance-paying special attention to the hull quality; should I ask the owner/broker to evaluate all the equipment’s condition on a scale from 1-10? I have often seen boats advertised that were just back from a long cruise and there is a label on them like “just got back from a long cruise, ready to go back out!!” If it just got back and the owners are ready to sell don’t you think that the equipment could very well be well worn, is it realistic to replace parts or am I better off just assuming I should budget in buying new equipment?



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Old 19-09-2009, 00:06   #2
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To comment on the age issue, 9 years is a big deal, but honestly, it doesn't matter. Why?

The difference between a 24 year old boat and a 33 year old boat really is in how it was maintained. Fiberglass doesn't have a known "terminal lifespan" if it's well cared for. The shrouds and rigging will have been replaced on a boat that age (if the owner was a serious sailor that is)... the question is "what did they replace it with and when?"

The electronics surely won't be factory. What are they and how old are they? How the boat has been maintained? How often was the bottom painted?

I'm only scratching the surface. Evaluating a boat from a distance is a wild guess.

I've heard it said that any boat beyond 9 years old really should be treated basically the same as one that's 30 years old, in terms of questioning the maintenance schedule and competency of upgrades.

It's not like a car and it's not like a house, so don't try to use common knowledge in those areas for boats.


In my shopping around, I saw a 1995 boat that was horrible and I wouldn't pay a cent for because it was falling apart, blistering and the shrouds were visibly frayed.

I also saw a 1971 that was in amazing shape, great hull, upgraded systems and brand new rigging.

Even a boat that was just used might be just fine. If someone replaced all the rigging and had the bottom painted 6 months ago, and "just returned, ready to go out again", it's different than "cruised for 10 years with no budget until things were basically falling apart and just returned, it's your problem now."

Those two ads will read exactly the same, but will be very different boats. :-)

It's all about the owner.
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Old 19-09-2009, 05:23   #3
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I think a lot of times once boats reach a certain age that the older boat becomes a better deal. This is the older boat may have had upgrades, updating, and refit done on it. But because of it's age is priced lower. So I would look at the the refit level of the boats and not the age overall as long as the hull/deck are in good condition.
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Old 19-09-2009, 06:04   #4
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Thanks, for that great advice!! Very helpful insight!!



Ditch
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Old 19-09-2009, 19:14   #5
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Another issue I am thinking about is keeping the boat on the hard for 2-3 year. If properly stored am I ok? Will it fall to ruin? It would be stored in a northern climate with cold winter.



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Old 20-09-2009, 22:40   #6
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Brokers: one thing I am unclear on is how I choose the broker.(not meaning choosing the right/good one).for example I have seen the same boat listed at different places, what if I don’t like any of the brokers listed with the particular boat I like?? Can any broker sell the boat, if there is a broker I like can I choose him??
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Old 21-09-2009, 00:07   #7
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Brokers tend to go with the boat, it is their listing like a realtors listing. You can get a buyer's broker but at the ages you are talking it is probably not worth anyones time other than the listing broker.

Read:
Amazon.com: Inspecting the Aging Sailboat (The International Marine Sailboat Library) (0639785803447): Don Casey: Books

The bigest danger in an older boat is osmosis read:
Surveying Fiberglass Sailboats: A ... - Google Books

And unless you are willing to risk a total disaster, especally with a non-factory boat you need a good surveyor.

Keeping boats on the hard costs money and they deteriorate when not used. Buy when you are closer to using and in the interim you can save up for a nicer boat.
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Old 25-09-2009, 02:04   #8
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Good I am clearer on how things will work in relation to brokers when buying a boat of this age/price. And I am sure you are right, even though paying 20-30 grand for a boat seems a lot to me, the broker will not really “cash” in on this one. Thanks for pointing me towards some reading material!! I love more info on how boats deteriorate on the hard.

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Old 26-09-2009, 05:54   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ditch Leroi View Post
1. What are your opinions on when to buy? Will these boat prices go up, stay the same etc. If I purchase now the boat would be stored in the mean time..
I would wait until you are closer to time. And, if you are actually in China, you don't want to mix in the boat. Even if that means flying back to the US or having someone else buy it. There will be deals in the future, too.
Quote:
Some of the boat are about the same year but have a difference in price of $10,000-$15,000, this seems mainly do to equipment, but it seems like electronics that are used for a couple of years don’t often have much use left. Should I evaluate what I want for a finished boat, equipment etc. and find a balance-paying special attention to the hull quality.
The price of the boat is what ever the buyer and seller agree too. Don't worry too much about the asking price.
Quote:
should I ask the owner/broker to evaluate all the equipment’s condition on a scale from 1-10?
No, owners tend to overestimate the worth.
Quote:
I have often seen boats advertised that were just back from a long cruise and there is a label on them like “just got back from a long cruise, ready to go back out!!” If it just got back and the owners are ready to sell don’t you think that the equipment could very well be well worn, is it realistic to replace parts or am I better off just assuming I should budget in buying new equipment?
You should expect that you will need to buy at least some new gear and expect to have to do repairs, too. The statement "just got back from a long cruise, ready to go back out" is marketing hype.
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Old 02-10-2009, 07:47   #10
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It does seem to make more sense to wait....I was just keeping my eyes out for a killer deal. Probably getting a little itchy for the sound of the ocean and the view off the bow too............. Thanks for you thoughts
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Old 02-10-2009, 08:01   #11
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I think you're right to wait. Buying a boat and putting it on the hard for two years is not a smart thing to do. Everything on a boat starts to go when it's not used regularly. And sitting on the hard for two years it will probably fill up with water from leaks. Buy when you're ready to use it.
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