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Old 17-01-2011, 08:02   #16
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Supply and demand dictates most boats for sale on the open market won't sell for much less than other similar boats sell for. Boats purchased cheaply often were never advertised (or barely advertised) and purchased from someone who just wanted to get rid of it.

Spinning it at a profit requires that you sell it for more than you bought for and don't put much into it while owning it. Most likely that will mean addressing curb appeal problems you can fix yourself without having to put much money into structural and mechanical problems. It also means you need to buy a boat old enough that is no longer depreciates quickly.

I've spun a couple trailer sailors at close to break even. It's easier to find a deal on them. They can be cheap to store and insure and often don't require the same upgrades a larger cruiser will. Often a couple weekends spent cleaning, painting and working on brightwork can increase the curb appeal dramatically.
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Old 17-01-2011, 15:41   #17
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And re the problem of ballast, it'd be cheaper and better to get some fatso crew and put the weight where you need it.
And that's not even mentioning the fact that fat chicks are always so grateful when they get asked out.
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Old 17-01-2011, 16:00   #18
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And that's not even mentioning the fact that fat chicks are always so grateful when they get asked out.
Sheesh, you're game. So in that spirit I'll also risk the advice that older ones are better still: 'they don't tell, they don't swell and they're as grateful as hell'...Oi!
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Old 18-01-2011, 23:07   #19
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Frank says to stay away from eBay, and I agree with him wholeheartedly. But you can use eBay, ask the seller for his phone number, and then after he doesn't get what he wants, then you can call him up and ask if he'll make a straightforward deal with you. it takes quite a bit of time and energy on your part just to be sure the boat is even worth looking at. Otherwise, you could be running around all over the country looking at boats, and then always getting out bid.or worse yet, buying a piece of junk.

I bought a metal lathe that way, the guy had a minimum bid of $950, and after it didn't sell he was willing to come down to 650.

Best wishes, Tom
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Old 13-10-2012, 20:06   #20
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Re: Buying Good Boat Cheap . . . What's My Best Option ?

I bought a San Juan 7.7 new in 1979. Constantly upgraded including the required keel shoe she never ceases to defeat or equal just about all who try to pass us in less than 7 knots of breeze. It's a light boat with lots of sail ... as the original brochure says "before you step aboard be prepared this is a powerful rig."
Ideal pocket cruiser for Pacific Northwest where light and variable winds prevail in the summertime.
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Old 28-09-2016, 18:49   #21
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Re: Buying Good Boat Cheap . . . What's My Best Option ?

Can't get much better then this......
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Old 28-09-2016, 19:18   #22
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Re: Buying Good Boat Cheap . . . What's My Best Option ?

OOhhh... just the ticket: a 22 foot ferro boat that needs some glass work before she will float. Maybe if the owner would come down a little from "free"...

But then, this is a four year old thread. The OP disappeared without us ever finding out if he made money on his San Juan...

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Old 28-09-2016, 22:41   #23
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Re: Buying Good Boat Cheap . . . What's My Best Option ?

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Can't get much better then this......
One rock looking for another...
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Old 28-09-2016, 22:43   #24
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Re: Buying Good Boat Cheap . . . What's My Best Option ?

Saw this today. A deal if you're on the east coast...

1971 Yankee 30' Sailboat Massachusetts | eBay
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Old 28-09-2016, 23:12   #25
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Re: Buying Good Boat Cheap . . . What's My Best Option ?

There are lots of San Juans for sale, and they are usually no more than about the $5K you are looking at, even in really nice condition. I wouldn't expect to get more.
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Old 29-09-2016, 04:46   #26
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Re: Buying Good Boat Cheap . . . What's My Best Option ?

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Originally Posted by Celestialsailor View Post
Saw this today. A deal if you're on the east coast...

1971 Yankee 30' Sailboat Massachusetts | eBay
Since this is a donation the donor probably could not get even $1,000 for it. A boat junk yard hauler would probably charge some $$ to take it away, between $500 and $1,500 or more depending on the circumstances and on his view of what he can get for it parted out. If there is full set of crisp less than 5 year old sails and the cushions are all there and in decent shape and the engine starts and runs this boat may be worth $1-2K depending on how bad everything else is. Otherwise it has a negative value.

This outfit selling it on ebay is basically looking for a dreamer/newbie/wannabe who will pay more than it costs to haul it away from where it sits. Even for someone who is handy, has the time and extra cash to improve it a 45 year old 30 footer in this shape is not a steal even for free as there are many similar boats out there for the price of a haul but 10-15 years more recent in vintage. But for a kid with mechanical ability and knowledge this IMO would be a perfect project to tinker with as long as he realizes what's involved and has the patience to see it through.

It just pains me to see people paying through the nose to such outfits for the boats they can otherwise have for free or for the cost of a haul or a trailer. Especially considering that the donor of this boat had given her away for free.
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Old 29-09-2016, 09:26   #27
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Re: Buying Good Boat Cheap . . . What's My Best Option ?

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Since this is a donation the donor probably could not get even $1,000 for it. A boat junk yard hauler would probably charge some $$ to take it away, between $500 and $1,500 or more depending on the circumstances and on his view of what he can get for it parted out. If there is full set of crisp less than 5 year old sails and the cushions are all there and in decent shape and the engine starts and runs this boat may be worth $1-2K depending on how bad everything else is. Otherwise it has a negative value.

This outfit selling it on ebay is basically looking for a dreamer/newbie/wannabe who will pay more than it costs to haul it away from where it sits. Even for someone who is handy, has the time and extra cash to improve it a 45 year old 30 footer in this shape is not a steal even for free as there are many similar boats out there for the price of a haul but 10-15 years more recent in vintage. But for a kid with mechanical ability and knowledge this IMO would be a perfect project to tinker with as long as he realizes what's involved and has the patience to see it through.

It just pains me to see people paying through the nose to such outfits for the boats they can otherwise have for free or for the cost of a haul or a trailer. Especially considering that the donor of this boat had given her away for free.

Not that I disagree that boats like this need a good amount of elbow grease, they are miles away from being hauled off. This boat is a Yankee 30 and was built by a reputable builder in the US. It was designed by Sparkman/Stevens. Possibly the most famous of all time. It's not like it's a MacGregor, O'Day or Clipper Marine. They were an active racing fleet in both Northern and Southern Ca. As well, a few of them did circumnavigations as well as cruising Canada to South America and Hawaii. If I'm not mistaken, Jim Cate was one of those people.
They currently bring anywhere from $15K, al the way up to $30K depending on the condition and how well outfitted. So "If there is full set of crisp less than 5 year old sails and the cushions are all there and in decent shape and the engine starts and runs this boat may be worth $1-2K" is a far fetched statement. Below is a boat I found in the desert outside of Barstow Ca., basically for the cost of trucking it up to Northern Ca. Spent a few years turning it around and sailed it for 4 more years while living aboard. Admittedly, I put over $20K into her, but saved that much in renting a house over that 4 years. Sold her for $35K and used that as a down payment on a beach house house in Santa Cruz, Ca. which doubled in price the next 4 years.





Then there was this boat, a Hood designed Douglas & McCloud (Tartan) 37 which was at least floating in the water that I bought for cheap, fixed it up, sailed her for 5 years and sold her for $40K and put that as a down on a Hawaii home and flipped 3 years later after it tripled in price over 2 1/2 years months before the crash. Thanks to the proceeds from that vessel, I no longer have a mortgage and own a comfortable home in Northern Ca.


Then there is my current vessel, my Hallberg Rassy 35 (see below) which I found needing a lot of help. But over a few years, rebuilt the engine and upgraded the electronics and safety gear. I used the money from my home in Northern Ca. as a rental while I lived on the boat to pay for all the upgrades. So far I have cruised her down to Mexico and hopes next year to the South Pacific.


If there is a point to my ramblings, it is unlikely you can profit from a boat but it's a great way to get a lump of cash saved up to invest in something else.
Doing this kind of work on boats is not for everyone, as you pointed out, it's a young mans dream. On the boat I first mentioned, I knew nothing about boats but due to my economic situation at the time, the boat taught me. I could wrench on cars and motorcycles, so I had the where with all to use my hands...and I wasn't lazy. That is the big part in this sort of restoration. You have to climb off te couch and actually pursue the dream. Unfortunately today it's even harder since the Internet. It's a lot easier to sit behind a CPU screen and live a dream through others. All that said, I doubt I have another boat in me to restore again. So in 3 week I'm off to Mananaland to spend a season on "Joli Elle".
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Old 01-10-2016, 06:44   #28
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Re: Buying Good Boat Cheap . . . What's My Best Option ?

Agree with most of what you said especially with the idea that if you're going to invest time and $ into a project it better be a great boat to begin with.

As far as "crisp set of sails, good cushions, etc" I have personal experience and not just once of such boats being available for free or next to nothing. Not Hinckleys of course but decent enough makes to make the price worthwhile.

2 years ago found a free 1979 O'Day 25 (the one that became my nickname here). It was in A- condition which for a then 35 year old boat should be considered A++. Sails were 7 years old but used only 1 season and stored at the owner's home. Meanwhile the PO had a bunch of kids and some family issues which prevented him from sailing. All this time he had the boat stored at a friends' heated barn 1 hour away from his house. When his friends were splitting up and put the house on the market he tried to sell the boat but the logistics of him being an hour away and friends', due to their now bad divorce induced attitude, would not allow strangers unaccompanied into their barn (I witnessed this acrimony during the initial look see and later during the haul) he had no choice but to give it away to the 1st person who showed any interest to take it off his hands.

The boat was great, I had fun with it for 2 seasons but since I was getting it for a trip down ICW the lack of a diesel and my unwillingness to deal with the outboard plus low head room of 5'6" forced me to sell her. I was happy to sell her to 2 dreamy young kids for the cost of my haul, launch and some misc. expenses. Plus I needed the mooring for the next boat, a solid though not famous outside of New England maker, which I found for all of $1,500, in almost as good condition, a B+ probably, similar age but with a diesel and a set of crispy brand new(!) sails, good cushions, etc. Ended up replacing a conked out Universal with a used Yanmar (all together the replacement motor and boat yard guy's labor costing me $1,500). So now for $3,000 and 2 weekends of my sweat (had to help the yard guy to get that rate) I finally have a decent 28' boat to take down South through the ICW.
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Old 01-10-2016, 07:26   #29
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Re: Buying Good Boat Cheap . . . What's My Best Option ?

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Agree with most of what you said especially with the idea that if you're going to invest time and $ into a project it better be a great boat to begin with.

As far as "crisp set of sails, good cushions, etc" I have personal experience and not just once of such boats being available for free or next to nothing. Not Hinckleys of course but decent enough makes to make the price worthwhile.

2 years ago found a free 1979 O'Day 25 (the one that became my nickname here). It was in A- condition which for a then 35 year old boat should be considered A++. Sails were 7 years old but used only 1 season and stored at the owner's home. Meanwhile the PO had a bunch of kids and some family issues which prevented him from sailing. All this time he had the boat stored at a friends' heated barn 1 hour away from his house. When his friends were splitting up and put the house on the market he tried to sell the boat but the logistics of him being an hour away and friends', due to their now bad divorce induced attitude, would not allow strangers unaccompanied into their barn (I witnessed this acrimony during the initial look see and later during the haul) he had no choice but to give it away to the 1st person who showed any interest to take it off his hands.

The boat was great, I had fun with it for 2 seasons but since I was getting it for a trip down ICW the lack of a diesel and my unwillingness to deal with the outboard plus low head room of 5'6" forced me to sell her. I was happy to sell her to 2 dreamy young kids for the cost of my haul, launch and some misc. expenses. Plus I needed the mooring for the next boat, a solid though not famous outside of New England maker, which I found for all of $1,500, in almost as good condition, a B+ probably, similar age but with a diesel and a set of crispy brand new(!) sails, good cushions, etc. Ended up replacing a conked out Universal with a used Yanmar (all together the replacement motor and boat yard guy's labor costing me $1,500). So now for $3,000 and 2 weekends of my sweat (had to help the yard guy to get that rate) I finally have a decent 28' boat to take down South through the ICW.
Great points and I sincerely apologize for mentioning O'day in my list.
I always tell people, when looking to by a sailboat is to look at the sails (especially a Ketch) and the engine, to be absolutely sure they are in very good to excellent shape. Those two items are the engines of the boat and some of the most expensive gear, you can put on a boat. If a 40ft. Ketch needed an engine and sails and rigging, you're looking at $25K with engine labor easily.
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Old 01-10-2016, 19:33   #30
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Re: Buying Good Boat Cheap . . . What's My Best Option ?

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Great points and I sincerely apologize for mentioning O'day in my list.
I always tell people, when looking to by a sailboat is to look at the sails (especially a Ketch) and the engine, to be absolutely sure they are in very good to excellent shape. Those two items are the engines of the boat and some of the most expensive gear, you can put on a boat. If a 40ft. Ketch needed an engine and sails and rigging, you're looking at $25K with engine labor easily.
No need to apologize, O'day was all over the place quality wise, with its larger models being better made overall and the under 27' were mass produced for the masses. My O25 was decent for its intended purpose - coastal sailing, may be even racing in its day. I actually started my sailing learning curve the other way around - on a 39 footer which happened to be one of the last 3 or 4 hulls made by O'day before they closed the shop. The design was a Jenneau tuned up by Jensen Marine (same as mid-late 80s Cal 39) and she was a very decent sailor and quality wise was better than average. It stood up well to lots of abuse from the club members including more frequent than usual groundings, etc. As one old salt once told me - one does not learn how good the boat is until a few groundings, beachings or some such.
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