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Old 31-03-2011, 14:03   #1
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Cruising Boat Market

My wife and I would like to buy a blue water cruiser and was wondering what others thought of the market out there. People would like to get top dollar for their boats as we would when we list ours for sale, but reality is something completely different. I find myself aways looking on yachtworld.com for boats and I keep seeing the same Tayana 37's, Cabo rico 38's, cape dory 36's and so on. Lets say a boats on the market for a year or more for 60K and a survay shows it's value at about the same. A blue water cruiser I would assume is not something that everybody is looking for so I'm assuming they are going to sit on the market. Would it be inconsiderate to offer 20% less then asking? We're going to list our boat for 15 to 18K and accept around 12K. There is a tayana 37 that I'm very interested in. Maybe if we show the broker that we are preapproved then we can negociate a better price. Thoughts?


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Old 31-03-2011, 14:20   #2
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Re: Cruising boat market

You don't want to insult the owner by starting off with a ridiculous lowball offer. Also, be aware of soft deck issues with the Tayana 37. They're beautiful boats and capable cruisers, but many have had core issues due to those teak decks. If I were shopping a Tayana 37, I would look for one that had had the teak decks removed.
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Old 31-03-2011, 14:32   #3
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Re: Cruising boat market

I think it's a buyers market. I don't think you would insult anyone with alow ball offer, and if you do oh well move on. There are plenty of boats for sale. You never know untill you ask.
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Old 31-03-2011, 14:33   #4
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Re: Cruising boat market

I wouldn't form offers on the basis of some percentage off the asking price. In different cases the asking price might be already more than fair. Or it might be double what is fair. So in those two cases an offer of 20% less will be either a ridiculous lowball or far too high. The important thing is to get to know the market to the extent where you understand the prices. Then start making offers at levels which are lowish but within the realm of reason. Your offers may have all kinds of different relationships to the asking prices.

In my opinion there are a lot of boats out there for sale at 60k which are really worth 35. On the other hand, when I bought my boat two years ago in the very worst of the economic crisis I couldn't bargain a single dollar off the price and paid the full asking price. The price was good to begin with, the boat was really good, others of the type on the market were literally 100's of thousands more, and the seller knew it. I got a great deal, too.
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Old 31-03-2011, 15:21   #5
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Re: Cruising boat market

I don't want to insult anybody either. I think people just want the best possible price for their boats. Unless it's something that really holds it's value and the people just needs it sold then that's a different situation. The Tayana 37 that I would like to look at just had it's decks replaced a couple of years ago. but still has the teak in the cockpit. It also looks like the original tankage was replaced. Doesn't hurt to go look having the boat within a three hour drive.

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Old 31-03-2011, 15:45   #6
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Re: Cruising boat market

There are two types of sellers. Those that need to sell and those that are willing if the price is right. If I saw the same boat on the market for a year, with no change in the asking price, I would be thinking they don't need to sell or don't really want to.

I know or rather knew, one old gentleman, too infirm to even walk to the end of the dock to see his boat, but he loved it dearly. His wife made him put it on the market. He did, at a rather high asking price. Every time someone would come to look at it, he'd start badmouthing his own boat to kill the sale. The boat didn't sell until after his death and for considerably less than the original asking price.

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Old 31-03-2011, 16:12   #7
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Re: Cruising boat market

Another thing is to do everything you can to talk to the owner and negotiate with him or her and not use the broker as an intermediary. I find the owners are usually much more receptive to a low offer if I explain why I'm giving it, whereas a broker has no real idea about the condition of the boat and just wants to sell the boat at the highest price possible. That's one reason to look in places like the BoatUS listings or Soundings where owners are listing their own boats. Yes, some will get upset, but many owners are willing to listen. I have found that if I hit it off with the owner it really makes a difference. I don't fake anything. I just tell him I love the boat, if I do, but it will need, this, this, and this, and he probably knows that already, and besides this is what I can offer. He'll appreciate honesty and the fact you aren't a tire kicker. I've bought several boats at low offers this way.
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Old 31-03-2011, 16:42   #8
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Re: Cruising boat market

Quote:
Originally Posted by ddsailor25 View Post
A blue water cruiser I would assume is not something that everybody is looking for so I'm assuming they are going to sit on the market. Would it be inconsiderate to offer 20% less then asking?
20% less than offer is definitely not a low ball offer. Maybe below 50% would be. At 20%, if you get a counter to split the difference you will be down only 10% from offer.
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Old 31-03-2011, 17:04   #9
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Re: Cruising boat market

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Originally Posted by cabo_sailor View Post
There are two types of sellers. Those that need to sell and those that are willing if the price is right. If I saw the same boat on the market for a year, with no change in the asking price, I would be thinking they don't need to sell or don't really want to.
How true. Because I have a new boat on the way and don't want to own two, I was certainly in the first category. To sell my boat (in OZ) the ticket price was 38K. It eventually sold for $21K last week because the broker and the buyer knew I had to sell. Find the guys who have to sell. Your not insulting them with a low ball offer, your giving them options.

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Old 31-03-2011, 17:17   #10
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Re: Cruising Boat Market

The market around here is really soft, both real estate and various toys. I really doubt it has bottomed yet. Sales are slow, the new market is almost nonexistant except for the very wealthy, the good news is there are lots of boats for sale at very good prices.
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Old 31-03-2011, 18:00   #11
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Re: Cruising Boat Market

A broker is a beast and may have no interest in your buying cheap much as they will have interest in you buying (!). Try to get right to the owner and then offer them the price you find right for the quality, age and condition of the boat.

I think the cruising boat market on the US side is outstanding right now and no buyer should have any problem getting their deal. The other issue is what sort of boat your require as some of them are simply old boats and getting fewer and apart with each consecutive year. On the EU side the market is much worse - we have fewer good old boats here but a lot of newer boats that some owners got with a credit and now they want to sell their toys off at impossible prices. Good on them.

You may be wrong to think that a boat year ago at 60k and this year at 60k are the same value (not your words, but how I read them, maybe I read you wrong). It was, in fact, very likely a better value last year - I have seen only few owners care a lot for a boat once she goes into brokerage. A boat in the harbour ... I bet, you know the rest.

I believe it is OK to offer ANY figure for the boat you like, be it 20, 40 or 80% below the asking. Depending on the country, your offer may get accepted, rejected or laughed off. But it is not a shame at all to offer what you consider the right price (even if what you consider right is dictated by how much actually you can afford).

We got our boat in Sweden and we got NO (zero, null) deal. We paid the asking. But we got every cent of what we paid for (in fact, the ex owner chucked in a good deal of equipment and help, and we are still friends today!). I know from my US friends (and from this forum) that it is OK to haggle. So be it.

My personal take on blue water boats is that I would rather pay too much for a good one than get a bargain on a wreck. That is to say, if the blue water cruising boat is bought for blue water cruising. If she is to be a floating house rather than a sailing boat, the less able, lower priced boat may be the way to go. But as I said, this is strictly personal and other sailors/buyers will have other attitudes. None better than other, after you allow for each standpoint!

Finally, if you are very good at boats and can fix and get things going and if you have a good place and plenty of time, a less than perfect, low priced sample of a good design may be the way to go. Some boats are very low priced only because they look dinky. If you have the experience to tell the cosmetics from the essentials, then you may get a good boat very cheaply. But avoid this road if you are not experienced or if you cannot fix / prepare the boat. The cost of hired workforce / surveyors / etc. never pays off, unless the boat is of historical value and a toy rather than a tool.

Well, my two.

Cheers,
b.
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Old 31-03-2011, 18:58   #12
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Re: Cruising Boat Market

Quote:
If you have the experience to tell the cosmetics from the essentials, then you may get a good boat very cheaply. But avoid this road if you are not experienced or if you cannot fix / prepare the boat. The cost of hired workforce / surveyors / etc. never pays off, unless the boat is of historical value and a toy rather than a tool.
Very well said! I look for boats that are basically very well built, but are not looking good cosmetically and/or need upgrades on equipment. It is very difficult to repair a poor structure and make it a good boat, but you can make up for a lot of neglect of a boat that was well-built to begin with.
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Old 31-03-2011, 19:12   #13
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Re: Cruising Boat Market

An honest offer, politely made, with acknowledgment that it is a low offer, is never an insult.
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Old 31-03-2011, 19:27   #14
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Re: Cruising Boat Market

Its like buying anything else figure out what the boat and equipment is WORTH to you then make an offer based on that. As long as you don't pay more than the boat is WORTH to YOU and you are happy with the deal then its a good value. The same boat and equipment might not be worth the same to me or someone else.
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Old 31-03-2011, 21:37   #15
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Re: Cruising Boat Market

I'm a Golden Rule kind of guy. Treat others as you would have them treat you.

If I had a boat listed for $60k, regardless of the time on market, I would not be offended if someone offered me 20% less, $48k. I understand that all kinds of people with all kinds of budgets are searching all kinds of markets for all kinds of deals. To me, serious offers are ultimately one of two kinds, those that I will ultimately reject, and those I will ultimately act on. Neither of these is offensive to me.

Sometimes you have not because you ask not. Conditions can change at any time. If someone who was sitting on a firm price listing 'suddenly' becomes ready to sell, for whatever reason, you will never be the one that picks up the deal if you were/are too shy, or too fearful of offending to make your offer. If they are firm on their price, they will likely say so, but they also will likely remember your offer.

What will you loose by offering your considered price on any boat? If someone takes offence, that is THEIR problem, not yours! What is THEIR over-excitability to YOU? Not much, I would hope. After all, if you make what to you is a serious offer, whether they ultimately reject it or come back to you on it, these are the only two real considerations - in neither case does it really matter if they were initially offended.

"A man should never mince words to spare the sensibilities of the thin-skinned or the ignorant."
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