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Old 03-12-2014, 12:00   #46
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Re: Help - how old of a boat should we buy?

Gotta luv Terra Nova's posts. He accuses people of making stuff up & then proceeds to make stuff up. Funny
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Old 03-12-2014, 14:29   #47
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Re: Help - how old of a boat should we buy?

My statements were based on a career as a boat builder, dealing with both experienced and novice sailors/boaters.

Glad you love my posts, but I have a right to ask my accuser to be more specific. What did I make up?
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Old 03-12-2014, 15:24   #48
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Re: Help - how old of a boat should we buy?

I get that your OPINION is based on your experience but so is everyone elses. I have no problem with you expressing your opinion but it's just an opinion, not a fact. When you call someone else out for expressing their opinion it's not just hypocritical, it's counter productive because it inhibits the free flow of expression. If you just want to hear your own voice start a blog.
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Old 04-12-2014, 00:35   #49
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Re: Help - how old of a boat should we buy?

Ed,

As you can see there is a lot of disagreement on this, and the two sides will likely never agree.

Personally we (my extended family) have never bought new large boats. The depreciation hit is just too high. Like with cars you sign for delivery and immediatly loose a third. That being said most of our boats have been between three and five years old at time of purchase. At this point everything still works, there shouldn't be a need for any major work, and aside from routine maintenance no big issues will need to be adressed for years to come.

Generally the first major refit really needs to occur around 15 years old. This is when electrical systems start to fail from corroded wires, plumbing hoses need replacement (a major job), tanks start to leak (if they ever do), ect.

My advice would be to stay in that cushion between 3-8 years old. Old enough that most of the depreciation has been eaten, but young enough that no major systems will need replacing by the time you sell the boat. Sure you will still have the routine stuff, but an eleven year old boat shouldn't need much. Pumps are just replacement items, batteries probably, polish the fuel, change light bulbs, ect.

For the retirement boat... Well I would do the same just bigger.

The trick to all of this is to get a really good survey, a diesel survey, and probably hire a captain for the first six months or so you guys own the boat. If at all possible hire the captain before you buy, and include him as part of the purchasing and refit process. A good captain, even for a year can greatly accelerate the learning curve of what it takes to run a boat like this.
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Old 07-12-2014, 07:53   #50
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Re: Help - how old of a boat should we buy?

Ed
I really do not think there is a right answer. Firstly you can not base depreciation on just the year of the boat , these are just toys with really no monetary value. To say that your boat will be worth x in 3-5 yrs is a bad way to buy a boat. I know more people that have been burned by this way of thinking. Global markets are down and people have saturated the market with boats of this size. (Lots of boats - not a lot of buyers =lower prices). We all think our boats are worth x but in reality its worth what someone wants to pay for it. Will things change by the time you are ready to upgrade who knows.
As for maintenance new verses used. I have seen brand new boats with mechanical, electrical problems most happen right after your warranty runs out , on the other side I have seen older boats with no issues so again not a prediction that can be made.
To say this will fail in 3yrs and a refit needs to be done in 5yrs is a crock in my mind if you keep up with preventive maintenance. Its how the previous owner took care of the boat that will give you an indication of failure rate.
Boats are not like houses, houses do not move (hopefully). you can compare boats to motorhome for maintenance requirement.
So go shopping find the boat that you feel fits the lifestyle you want and enjoy because if you sat down and kept true records of your boat costs you would never buy one!
Rob
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Old 07-12-2014, 08:12   #51
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Re: Help - how old of a boat should we buy?

Personally, if I were a relatively novice boater and was in the market for a boat that I expected to keep 2-3 years and use exclusively on the Delaware and Chesapeake, I would look for a well maintained, moderately used @ 5 year old monohull. Essentially, you're looking for a starter boat to gain experience on, that will be enjoyable, and which you can unload with modest depreciation. You'll find the monohull at a lower price point, less expensive to slip/maintain/maneuver. Tell your wife she can have the third stateroom in 3 years. There is an adage in the boating world that you'll learn: 8 for cocktails, 4 for dinner, and 2 overnight. After a couple years on the mono she may well decide that two staterooms is the perfect size

Another hypothetical reason to steer clear of the cat for the time being is that there has been a relatively big surge in sales of them in recent years as they have become more popular. There is going to be a big surge of them on the used market soon, as a result. Whatever you buy, consider it's past sales numbers and what that spells for that make/model on the used market in the timeframe you're considering selling.

Terra Nova's advice of buying a recent boat and sinking $50k into the refit for a boat you're going to keep for a handful of years and use locally is not great advice. It's the Chesapeake FFS. Buy a boat and go boating, then sell the boat.
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Old 08-12-2014, 21:37   #52
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Re: Help - how old of a boat should we buy?

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There is an adage in the boating world that you'll learn: 8 for cocktails, 4 for dinner, and 2 overnight. After a couple years on the mono she may well decide that two staterooms is the perfect size

Another hypothetical reason to steer clear of the cat for the time being is that there has been a relatively big surge in sales of them in recent years as they have become more popular. There is going to be a big surge of them on the used market soon, as a result.
.
That is what we were thinking and why we have an approximate 3 year time span on the first boat. We really love the Aquila 48 and figure there might be some nice used ones on the market in 3 years or so.
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Old 12-12-2014, 20:40   #53
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Re: Help - how old of a boat should we buy?

Well, I convinced the wife that we could live with just 2 cabins for a couple of years and it allowed me to look at boats a little bit smaller and more manageable.

We decided to go for an older, well maintained boat as a starter with intentions of selling and buying a 2-3 year old dream boat in three years.

In the past week we have looked at 7 different boats, all about 15 years old and below $100k. I was surprised to find what appear to be well cared for boats in that range. Marine Survey 101 was extremely helpful.

We will be making an offer on our pick this weekend.
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Old 13-12-2014, 03:59   #54
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Re: Help - how old of a boat should we buy?

If you are just looking for a weekend boat (maybe an occasional week) for the next 2-3 yrs, I would definitely go smaller if you have no experience. Maybe in the 30-35' range or just go straight to the big boat. Personally I would lean toward the small boat. Limit refitting to necessary items (preferably find a boat you can cruise on without any refitting). The once you are cruising upgrade what bothers you. Odds are you don't know what you like and you will make mistakes on the first boat. A $50-75k boat will give you a chance to learn those mistakes without losing as much money. When you say you will move up to a bigger boat what are we talking about? 55-60' or 100-150'?
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Old 13-12-2014, 05:04   #55
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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 current thinking is that, as long as I do not go too old (15 years+), I am really just looking for a well cared for boat that fits my needs. If it is on the older side, just be prepared for the higher maintenance but not be concerned about needing a complete refit. If on the younger, expect less maintenance but more depreciation loss. In other words, focus on the quality and survey more than the age.

We are really leaning towards Power Cats. It seems like a good boat for a novice and has the room we need to bring the family along when desired. It is a shame they are so scarce. We like the Lagoon 43 and The Leopard 47 but can find none that are local to us (Philly).

On the mono hull side, we like the layouts of the Carver 46 and 53 Voyagers, and there seem to be a number of them around. My wife is adamant about having at least 3 staterooms and that seems hard to find in most mono hulls under 55 feet. I like the idea of a lower helm.

Quote:
Originally Posted by edpolton View Post
Well, I convinced the wife that we could live with just 2 cabins for a couple of years and it allowed me to look at boats a little bit smaller and more manageable.

We decided to go for an older, well maintained boat as a starter with intentions of selling and buying a 2-3 year old dream boat in three years.

In the past week we have looked at 7 different boats, all about 15 years old and below $100k. I was surprised to find what appear to be well cared for boats in that range. Marine Survey 101 was extremely helpful.

We will be making an offer on our pick this weekend.

Good thoughts already posted...

I'll add that 45-55' is on the large size for cruising the Chesapeake... given that you won't be living aboard, have a house, etc. Not uncommon, of course, but also not necessarily required.

OTOH, that "3-stateroom/drag the family along" thing does speak to overall size. There are 3-stateroom boats that "will do," for short family visits... and then there are 3-stateroom boats that work better for longer visits. Size of the extra staterooms is one factor, number and location of heads and showers (ideally split) is another. You might ask yourself how much visiting (how long) you might want to encourage. (After 3 days, guests and fish start to smell...)

Were it me, I think I'd be aiming for the boat you want for the long term. It has taken me 3-5 years with each of our larger boats to "get to know her" and much of that process has been about doing the maintenance myself. That's helped me learn more about what's there in the first place (water pumps, sanitation systems, etc.) and also how to fix it/replace it/upgrade it as necessary over the long term.

We weren't able to do that ourselves, partly because of cost, partly because a boat like we have now (stairs -- not a ladder -- to the flybridge) didn't exist when we were first shopping to larger boats. You might not have either of those problems.

In our current case, starting with a good boat -- no arm and leg or first-born required -- and simply keeping it that way has worked. None of our boats needed a major refit from the git-go; it's always just been about standard service/maintenance and a little gradual improvement here and there. (A new electronics suite, eventually, for example.)

I'd also take depreciation out of the equation. Find what will work best, keep it forever, make any easy/minor modifications you might find useful over time, adapt yourselves to the boat when necessary, spend more time using it and enjoying it than worrying about it. Not everyone can do that, of course, but it sounds like you can.

-Chris
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Old 13-12-2014, 17:45   #56
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Re: Help - how old of a boat should we buy?

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Originally Posted by edpolton View Post
...We decided to go for an older, well maintained boat as a starter...
In the past week we have looked at 7 different boats, all about 15 years old and below $100k...
We will be making an offer on our pick this weekend.
If you found a cream puff, particularly one which has been continually maintained and upgraded, it will be quite obvious. And it will be the best buy, even if it isn't the cheapest.

Good luck with your purchase.
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Old 13-12-2014, 18:52   #57
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Re: Help - how old of a boat should we buy?

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Keep your options open. SOME older boats are good buys. Some arent.
edpolton, Growley Monster summed it all up with this short conclusion. I would buy the older boat that has had a single owner for many years that has meticulously maintained the boat.

Finding such a boat is only possible for those that are patient and fortunate. Take my boat as an example. (Not specifically for you because it's not the type of vessel you want) We've had the same boat for thirty years and over these years we have replaced almost everything. We've never left our boat without care for these decades and we've put far more into it than we can expect to recoup at the time of sale. "Book value" for our boat is listed by average condition for such a 40 year old production boat at about ten percent of the cost of a similar new boat. We can only expect to sell our boat at the high end of the book value or listed market value.

The difficulty for someone in your position to gain the value of well cared for and updated old boat is that they rarely make it to the market. I have no plans to sell my boat, but I already have a line waiting and one with "first right of refusal".

Recently, I helped my son-in-law and daughter find their live-aboard trawler in Florida. We looked at about 25 boats and assigned each a value from 0 to 1.0 by rated each that we surveyed according to ten factors,- i.e. Engine condition, hull configuaration, layout, electronics....etc. He ended up buying a 0.86 that had been owned by the same people since it was new back in the early eighties. They are very pleased!

Buy a fairly new boat and the search can be easy. Save some money with the older boat, but expect patience, a long hunt and having some slip by just out of your grasp.
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Old 14-12-2014, 05:00   #58
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Re: Help - how old of a boat should we buy?

Ditto what Hudson Force said. This was exactly the case with our 28-year old First 375. The new owners got a fine vessel, far far cheaper than a much newer one, and of much better construction. And, she acquitted herself very well on her 2000nm+ delivery trip to prove it! Hard to find, but if you can find a model you like, don't walk away because of her age.
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Old 14-12-2014, 20:25   #59
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Re: Help - how old of a boat should we buy?

Well the man subj seems to be the owner getting experience with the maintance issues on a boat. This is very impt for someone that wants to become self sufficient , out on there own taking care of business. So any older boat that serves his purpose works
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Old 14-12-2014, 20:35   #60
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Re: Help - how old of a boat should we buy?

You might consider what you'll want to do with the vessel after your done sailing.
Investment strategy is very tricky with any boat.
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