When I was in the house buying
era (oh so long ago) I found that a well educated buyer knew what the final selling price would be to within a few hundred dollars.
It didn't take much more than driving round with a few agents and chatting to them about what the houses had sold for. After checking out a few hundred houses I knew the price.
Boats are more difficult. To start with they are all over the place so actually looking at a reasonable number is almost impossible. Then their condition may also vary wildly from total cream puff to near sinking derelict.
So what to do. First, get a clear idea in your head
about why you want to buy a boat. What's the dream? What's the plan? What's the budget
My dream was to go cruising. My plan, after seeing the asking prices, was to buy a fixer upper, fix it up and then to cruise
. Now, I would have done things differently but not being psychic...
I ended up with a budget
of "$X" for the boat and 25% of "$X" as the p.a. running costs. For me this was a key part as, with a boat, unlike a house or even a car, there is no way any serious part of that money
is ever coming back. 5 years on, despite the GFC and a looming recession I'm still on track. Scary and comforting at the same time.
This is the time to be brutally honest with yourself. Just why (no need to tell anyone) do you want/need this boat?
At this stage in the buying
process I started to print out the listings of boats that I liked put them in one of those folders with clear plastic "pages" and talked to the brokers. I must have come across as a serious buyer because every broker was happy to chat.
I looked a brokerage boats and private sales. All were grossly overpriced for my budget and plan. I particularly remember one boat that was almost perfect, but was double what I had budgeted. While I dithered someone else brought it.
I met the buyer a few years later. His plans hadn't worked out, he had paid pretty well full price as he would have been aware that I was after the boat, had spent a lot of money
and time fixing it but was now trying to sell it, still rather over priced for the market. As far as I am aware at the moment he is still trying to sell the boat in a falling market.
I found that (a guess) roughly half of the boats that I was looking at over my two year period sold. I made "notes" as to their estimated selling price (based on conversations with brokers, last known advertised price, and my opinion of the boat. I did get a pretty good idea of what boats cost).
The reason I really liked this Forum was that it kept me in tune with other boat owners and what it costs to keep, as opposed to buy, a boat. It became clear that 1) I needed way more knowledge of how to "fix" a cruising boat and 2) I needed to improve the training and experience of both myself and my crew. This meant that I needed to buy a boat that needed fixing and was also useable. Hence Boracay!
So you're at the beginning of the buying process.The more time that you can spend refining what you want and determining what boats actually sell for the better. I ended up getting the price right to within 20%. I trust that you can do better.