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Old 17-11-2008, 14:26   #1
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What to Expect in Negotiations When Purchasing

After months of research and deciding what would best fit my needs within my budget, I have settled on a 30 – 32 ft. boat, 25 – 30 years old and in the price range of $10,000 - $15,000.

Morgan, Pearson and the like are top on my list. Solid and Seaworthy, not many fancy electronics, may need some TLC on cosmetics.

I realize that boats this age are precarious purchases when a novice is involved and will cough up the cash for a survey.

My question is, in today’s market, what percentage of the asking price is a reasonable expectation (10%, 20%, more?) for an acceptable offer? I realize much depends on the seller and look for those who are impatient and bought a new boat before selling the one I’m looking at.
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Old 17-11-2008, 14:34   #2
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I hope you're asking about 10 - 20% DISCOUNTS off "asking" prices.
Depending upon the boat, those may be reasonable counter-offer discounts.
On realistically priced boats, you'll likely pay very near to asking price.
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Old 17-11-2008, 14:52   #3
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Have you done some research on what to look for yourself. You need to go in with some knowledge yourself. Then call a surveyor to find fault in your judgement, or give you thumbs up. Do some reading, and unfortunatley I cannot suggest a book, then you yourself with be armed with knowledge. Don't be ashamed to low ball an offer. It is business, and selling boats is hard these days. Unless you are out to make a new friend? Cash is king if that is what you are dealing with.......BEST WISHES......i2f
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Old 17-11-2008, 16:51   #4
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I have heard stories of people sailing away when their offer was at 50% of the asking price. I've never found anyone that would keep talking after a 30% off bid was placed, but it does happen.

Normally people saleing boats aren't worried about where their next meal is coming from and can wait as long as they want for the right offer. That said, times are tough right now and in the price range you're looking at you might be able to find someone that wants to sale fast.

I'm looking at a hurricane damaged one right now they are asking 20k for. It needs all the standing rigging replaced, most likely the running rigging as well, the lifelines are torn off, the bow spirt is broken off the boat, it's missing the mizzen boom, the teak cap rail is torn off one side, and the rub rail is torn off with dings, scratches, and black marks all the way down one side. (I must be crazy for even thinking about this one).

I've been putting a few prices together to see what it going to cost to get it in decent shape. Mosy likely more than the boat is worth. After reviewing all that it needs I'll most likely pass on this one as needing way too much work, but if I do make an offer and "IF" there are no cracks in the hull and the inside is in decent shape my first offer will be 5k to 8k. (The broker did say they will consider all offers). I'm guessing they are expecting around 15k and will most likely accept 10 to 13k for this one.

The point I am trying to make is that there are deals out there. Sometimes you have to look long and hard, but they are there. And one never knows how low they'll go if you don't try.

Also if they'll accept a low ball offer then you better get it surveyed. It most likely has a major problem or it may only be that the owners pockets aren't deep enough or they preceive it as a major problem.
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Old 17-11-2008, 16:53   #5
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Guys,
Thanks for your input!! I've practically gone blind purusing the for-sale sites, yet unlike real estate cannot easily locate "comps" that have sold. (I'm a real estate appraiser - or more to the point - practically unemployed these days).

Image2, I had to chuckle at your comment. I have a notorious family reputation for be a haggler and spent too much time in Latin America perfecting my skills. My favorite express (Haggling and otherwise) is: "I'm not here to make friends - I have a friend and he's a pain in the arse - so I can't afford another". Boy how my wife hates that expression.

It's just when it comes to boats I'm in unchartered waters and reaching out to you guys is part of my research. I certainly appreciate any and all advice!!

BTW, my wife says I am so "cheap" that I have a "tartan yamaka". However, I will pay for quality without flinching.
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Old 17-11-2008, 17:03   #6
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Rover:

A good book is Don Casey's "Inspecting the Aging Sailboat" It is not to be used instead ofa surveor but it is very useful on making the decision on whether to make an offer or not. I've used the ideas in the book to help me realize a boat when it is not even worth bringing a surveyor out.
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Old 17-11-2008, 17:44   #7
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Books

Thanks Charlie, just ordered it off Amazon as well as "Surveying Fiberglass Sailboat" (Mustin). Found a 1973 Morgan 30 that seems to be too good to be true for $7,000. May go put my newfound knowledge to the test in a week or so.
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Old 17-11-2008, 17:47   #8
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Guys,

BTW, my wife says I am so "cheap" that I have a "tartan yamaka". .

Certainly an interesting albeit questionable phrase and is quite telling about the author (and you?). You might want to keep this stuff to yourself or at least want to hide it.
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Old 17-11-2008, 19:26   #9
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I like the phrase "he who cares least wins".

We bought our boat for about 65% off the listed price.

Times were much better then. And to be fair the boat needed a lot of work but was also priced to reflect most of the repairs.
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Old 17-11-2008, 19:31   #10
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Quote:
My question is, in today’s market, what percentage of the asking price is a reasonable expectation (10%, 20%, more?) for an acceptable offer?
It's all in the home work. You never offer more money for a boat than you know you can use to buy a better boat some place else. In that case you always know the right offer. It's not a game where I know you'll offer 20% less so I'll ask 20% more. If I knew you were offering 20% less I would have asked for 25% more. That would presume that everyone was equally uninformed. If you require a seller that is uninformed you may be buying a poorly maintained boat. If they can't sell it, they probably never could sail or keep it up in the first place. You'll come out better with a smart seller than a dumb one.

There is the price you pay to take it home and second price you pay to take off. You'll pay both times.
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Old 17-11-2008, 19:34   #11
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Wow ...

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Guys,
I am so "cheap" that I have a "tartan yamaka".
I'm guessing you mean "yarmulke" -- and, yikes, it's amazing how you managed to get TWO ethnic slurs into one little phrase, putting down both Scots and Jews. Impressive.
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Old 17-11-2008, 19:56   #12
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Ethnic slur?? I'm getting more credit than I deserve!!

First off, I have primarily Jewish (Ukraine), Scottish, Irish (actually Scot Irish) and German linage as well as a mixture of other ancestral blood. Therefore, I can seldom insult anyone, save Eskimos, without insulting my own “cultural heritage”.

However, no offense was intended to anyone – especially Eskimos.

So, lighten up…… Are all sailors so politically correct and overly sensitive to be offended by a poorly chosen reference to my fiscal mannerisms? H*ll, I’m proud to be a cheapskate!!

Jeez, I honestly believed that only when we are able to make fun of ourselves we become truly mainstream.

A sense of humor, even a bad one, separates us from our simian cousins. Yet the PC trend has been a true backward move in human evolution.

Again apologies to anyone offended. Just know I am a staunch equal opportunity offender and will make fun of anyone regardless or race, creed, color, sex or national origin.

Especially myself.
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Old 17-11-2008, 20:07   #13
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Pblias,
Sage advice that is well received. I will continue my homework and education before making any offers. Funny how your theories are so similar to those taught in real estate appraisal school (known as the law of substitution). Thanks
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Old 17-11-2008, 21:01   #14
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... yet unlike real estate cannot easily locate "comps" that have sold.
(1) Google BUC
(2) Try the archived listings at http://www.sailingtexas.com/cboats99.html
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Old 17-11-2008, 22:18   #15
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Not another Series Rover owner getting into sailboats?? Going from one outdated, uncomfortable, wet, slow form of transportation to one that's even worse.

As far as pricing, make rediculous offers. You will be surprized what might come your way. In this market, a seller is lucky to find any buyer, let alone one willing to pay near asking price. I doubt that you will find any of the above boats much less than $10,000 with any new and/or usable equipment but you'll never know unless you ask. If you are near major boating areas, start prowling the docks and yards looking for neglected boats. If you can find the owners, they may only need a nudge to get them to sell the boat cheap.

Some boats to consider that I've seen advertised close to $10,000 or heard of them selling around that price: Bristol 32 & 35; Morgan 30, 33, and 34; Tartan 30 and 34; Rawson 30; the Charlie Morgan and S&S designed Columbias from the '60s. Don't even think about a later Columbia, however; Allied's boats in your size range. Their was a Cal 34 with diesel for sale here in the Islands for less than $10,000 recently.

Figure on any of these boats you will need to replace the standing rigging. A wheel is a detriment to a cruising boat as they don't interface well with most self-steering vanes and could be a big expense to rebuild if they are worn out, besides belonging on BMW's and Destroyers, only. A diesel engine is a big plus. The increased cruising range and safety are a big deal and could save you $10,000 should you decide you want a diesel later. The hull and deck finish will be oxidizing on most of these boats. Live with it. If you want it to look beautiful, wait till you get back to repaint as cruising is hard on boat finishes. Minimum water tankage is around 40 gallons. Pressure water is a waste. Tear it out and replace with foot pumps. It will cut your water consumption by at least 1/2. Install a galley salt water foot pump to extend your water supply even further. Steer clear of outhouse tanks. They are a smelly nuisance that take up valuable space in boats this small. Roller furling headsails are really nice and a huge savings if already installed. Try and get a boat with servicable sails. Minimum equipage with furling would be main, 130% jiib, 100% Jib, and a light air sail like reacher drifter or asym. chute. If the boat doesn't have good sails, discount the value and look for replacement sails on Ebay, Bacons or other used sail sources. Sails don't have to fit exactly, just be close.

Good luck in the hunt

Aloha
Peter O.
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