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Old 26-11-2014, 16:31   #16
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Re: Help - how old of a boat should we buy?

She's still asking questions and getting pretty good answers too.
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Old 26-11-2014, 17:27   #17
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Re: Help - how old of a boat should we buy?

Thank you Steadyhand. I will do that.
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Old 26-11-2014, 17:49   #18
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Re: Help - how old of a boat should we buy?

Welcome to CF Ed!

As you and others have said..."this is a learning experience "..
...... so look behind the gloss of a new boat and compare structure and maintainability with older boats that have already been worked on.

It will teach you what to eventuslly expect on any boat you buy.

Choosing your first boat?

As a house builder you know that an old house with good bones is better than a new one poorly built... so finding an older good one that has been well maintained will teach you more about maintenance management than a newer one that is just getting ready to need repairs.

That way if you decide to move up after a few years... you will be far more informed
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Old 26-11-2014, 19:38   #19
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Re: Help - how old of a boat should we buy?

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Originally Posted by edpolton View Post
My wife and I...are looking at power boats in the 45-55 foot range and we plan to keep it 3-5 years...We have ruled out buying new because we just can not stomach the huge depreciation hit.

We are trying to decide whether we should buy a recently used boat, perhaps 5 years old in the $325k range or go to something 15 years old in the 125k range.

We know there will be more maintenance with the older boat but is it significant enough to over come the higher price tag of a 5 year old boat.

Bottom line, should we buy a good 125k boat and spend 50k bringing it up to snuff, or buy a 325k boat that is already there, for the most part? Obviously the first boat will cost half the price, but will it require enough additional maintenance that we should just go with the newer boat? Can we expect the 125k (plus 50k in upgrades) to have roughly the same maintenance costs as the 5 year old boat?...
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...we are looking for...a starter boat...

One of our thoughts is, the depreciation on the older boat will be very small compared to the 5 year old boat. But, will the added maintenance more than offset this amount.
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...I could buy a 125k boat and throw it away in 3 years and still be ahead of a new purchase, as longs a I do not get killed in maintenance costs.
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...I am not generally afraid of an older boat.
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...I am a novice to boating...
Ed--because you are a novice to boating, you believe somehow that you can buy an old cheap boat (that cost $450k new) for $125k, put in another $50k and be done. You believe you have nothing to fear from an older boat. That the $125k boat could simply be discarded after 3 years of so much fun. That the older boat just needs more "maintenance".

Ed--you just don't realize how an older 1/2-million dollar boat can absolutely shred $100k towards a refit. You'd be very lucky to refit for $200k a boat of that caliber.

The reality is the $125k boat needs a $250k refit, not $50k--THAT is why it's only $125k.

Smart money watches for a 2-3 year old cream puff priced at $325k; leveraging hull, engine, and equipment surveys, they negotiates that down to more like $250k and have the yard immediately correct all deficiencies; spend another $50k for upgrades; then they go enjoy their like-new boat. And don't get involved with a career in boat repair.
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Old 27-11-2014, 08:46   #20
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Re: Help - how old of a boat should we buy?

Buy a Lagoon 450 owners version, slightly used as your final boat. Or, if your budget will allow buy a 10 year old Oyster, Discovery or Sunreef and forget about the intermediate plan. Don't buy the fixer upper unless it just needs some refurbishment.
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Old 27-11-2014, 08:51   #21
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Re: Help - how old of a boat should we buy?

Do you worry about property taxes at all? I'd go cheap and then figure it all out. Get a good survey, we sold a Defever 43 that had been completely redone and the owners had no clue even though throughout the seatrial the new owner regaled us with tales of his boating expertise. He got royally screwed when he took the boat out for the first run down the coast and ended up with a minor problem being seized by the boatyard and turned into a complete reprop and new shaft. Foolio. It needed neither.
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Old 27-11-2014, 08:59   #22
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Re: Help - how old of a boat should we buy?

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Originally Posted by Pelagic View Post
Welcome to CF Ed!

As you and others have said..."this is a learning experience "..
...... so look behind the gloss of a new boat and compare structure and maintainability with older boats that have already been worked on.

It will teach you what to eventuslly expect on any boat you buy.

Choosing your first boat?

As a house builder you know that an old house with good bones is better than a new one poorly built... so finding an older good one that has been well maintained will teach you more about maintenance management than a newer one that is just getting ready to need repairs.

That way if you decide to move up after a few years... you will be far more informed
great advice! we just bought a '77 cause we wanted a thick solid layup fiberglass hull and also fiberglass decks and house. They don't make them like this anymore. If you opt for a boat with a cored anything of any age expect problems, and if it has a plywood house run!
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Old 27-11-2014, 09:25   #23
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Re: Help - how old of a boat should we buy?

If you're new to boating I'd think about starting a little smaller unless you need it to sleep a lot of people. For a couple 30' to 36' is comfortable & much easier to learn on & handle. Plus you can get a newer better quality boat for the same money that will be a lot easier to sell in 3 years.
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Old 27-11-2014, 10:25   #24
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Re: Help - how old of a boat should we buy?

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Ed--because you are a novice to boating, you believe somehow that you can buy an old cheap boat (that cost $450k new) for $125k, put in another $50k and be done. You believe you have nothing to fear from an older boat. That the $125k boat could simply be discarded after 3 years of so much fun. That the older boat just needs more "maintenance".

Ed--you just don't realize how an older 1/2-million dollar boat can absolutely shred $100k towards a refit. You'd be very lucky to refit for $200k a boat of that caliber.

The reality is the $125k boat needs a $250k refit, not $50k--THAT is why it's only $125k.

Smart money watches for a 2-3 year old cream puff priced at $325k; leveraging hull, engine, and equipment surveys, they negotiates that down to more like $250k and have the yard immediately correct all deficiencies; spend another $50k for upgrades; then they go enjoy their like-new boat. And don't get involved with a career in boat repair.
Thanks for sharing your view. Trust me, I do not "believe" anything yet. That is why I am here, trying to get the opinion of those more experienced. And I may very likely choose the "smart money" path that you suggest.

I do have a question for you though. You recommended buying something 2-3 years old and then spending about $50k in upgrades. For the life of me, I can not understand why a boat that is only a few years old would need so many upgrades. The technology from a couple years ago should be fine, the motors should still be fine. What am I missing?

Likewise, how could I possibly spend $250k on an older boat that I plan to keep for a few years. I do not plan to gut the boat. I figure the worse thing that could happen is I need to replace both motors. Maybe the generator. Perhaps upgrade the electronics. And that is if I am very unfortunate and buy poorly.

Not picking an argument - just trying to learn.
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Old 27-11-2014, 10:29   #25
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Re: Help - how old of a boat should we buy?

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...What am I missing?...
Experience to know better.
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Old 27-11-2014, 10:32   #26
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Re: Help - how old of a boat should we buy?

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Buy a Lagoon 450 owners version, slightly used as your final boat. Or, if your budget will allow buy a 10 year old Oyster, Discovery or Sunreef and forget about the intermediate plan. Don't buy the fixer upper unless it just needs some refurbishment.
I really like the idea of a catamaran. I went on several at the Annapolis Boat Show and the Ft Lauderdale Boat Show. I wish there were some for sale more local to me so I can look into them further. It seems most on the market are ex-charter boats and being sold in BVI or Bahamas.

There is a 5 year old Leopard 47 for sale from Moorings, in the low $350s and it seems perfect for me but I am nervous about buying a charter boat, even if it is not very old.
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Old 27-11-2014, 10:35   #27
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Re: Help - how old of a boat should we buy?

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Originally Posted by Pelagic View Post
Welcome to CF Ed!

As you and others have said..."this is a learning experience "..
...... so look behind the gloss of a new boat and compare structure and maintainability with older boats that have already been worked on.

It will teach you what to eventuslly expect on any boat you buy.

Choosing your first boat?

As a house builder you know that an old house with good bones is better than a new one poorly built... so finding an older good one that has been well maintained will teach you more about maintenance management than a newer one that is just getting ready to need repairs.

That way if you decide to move up after a few years... you will be far more informed
Thanks for the advice. I just wish I knew as much about what makes for a well built boat as I do about houses. It would make this a lot easier!
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Old 27-11-2014, 10:51   #28
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Re: Help - how old of a boat should we buy?

Buy a boat in the best condition that you can actually afford to buy and maintain in the forseeable future. When you do your survey the surveyor will be a good source of info re: cost of repairs, replacements, expected future value, etc. Don't get sucked in by optimistic brokers, sellers or underestimating managers of the boatyard shops.
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Old 27-11-2014, 11:31   #29
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Re: Help - how old of a boat should we buy?

Here's an interesting option that I just found on Craigslist.
2002 Great Harbour N-37 Trawler, Loaded with Factory options Made USA
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Old 28-11-2014, 09:46   #30
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Re: Help - how old of a boat should we buy?

I threw together some numbers. Any opinions? It appears that owning a relatively new boat would only cost about $6k more per year.

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