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Old 19-01-2016, 18:51   #1
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Why is 30' the "magic" price point?

I keep hearing that sailboats under 30' are much less expensive than sailboats over 30'. What is the advantage of buying an 29.9' vs an 30.1, or is this just BS?
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Old 19-01-2016, 19:07   #2
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Re: Why is 30' the "magic" price point?

I don't know if I'd call it BS but it is a somewhat arbitrary number that seems to fit. Many, most, boats over 30 are usually not considered for purchase until folks are fairly experienced, and given their added volume are often considered for more than just daysailing. People expect and want more out of a 30+ boat. Under 30 is usually not considered for cruising (I said usually.) Also as size increases forces on the boat increase dramatically so boat parts, sails etc. need to be built to handle it. There are 24 foot boats that cost $50k and 50 foot boats that cost $24K (used, of course.)
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Old 19-01-2016, 19:12   #3
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Re: Why is 30' the "magic" price point?

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldcranky View Post
I keep hearing that sailboats under 30' are much less expensive than sailboats over 30'. What is the advantage of buying an 29.9' vs an 30.1, or is this just BS?
Welcome aboard Oldcranky - as they say, no point in getting older if you can't get cranky

Don't reckon you see much price difference between 29.9 and 30.1 or even between 29 and 31 but the will be some small(ish) differences between say 28 and 32.

Presuming we are comparing apples with apples, then smaller boats need much smaller "every things" like sails, anchors, engines, paints and so on and so forth. Thus they are cheaper to build and maintain. It can be said the internal useful volume (living space etc) of the boat increase at the cube of it's length.

Also they are less attractive to many "older folk" due to their lack of living space, especially if cruising!

But they are cheaper to own and maintain

EDIT: all of my three boats have been sub 31' and have been cruised extensively and lived aboard but right now, I wouldn't say no to a couple of extra feet - not going to happen so no complaints
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Old 19-01-2016, 19:14   #4
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Re: Why is 30' the "magic" price point?

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Originally Posted by oldcranky View Post
buying an 29.9' vs an 30.1, or is this just BS?
If you take it as literally as 29.9' vs. 30.1' then yes, it's BS

If you compare the average costs of buying and keeping + maintaining a 30'ish boat with, say, a 35'-40' boat, you'll start to understand better - as explained above and no doubt also below in a minute
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Old 19-01-2016, 19:17   #5
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pirate Re: Why is 30' the "magic" price point?

Here in Europe 9.9metres is the 'Magic Number'.. an extra 0.2metres will have you paying the same as a 11.9metre boat in the marina.. which can be quite a bit.
The next magic Number is 12..
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Old 19-01-2016, 19:21   #6
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Re: Why is 30' the "magic" price point?

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[Here in Europe 9.9metres is the 'Magic Number']
Not here - and I'm in Europe too
I pay for length x width = still not a lot for my boat

If I wish to park my little plastic butt in a larger slip, it's either length x width or minimal 80% of the slip - whichever makes the marina most money

Either way - slip fees do very much depend on the size of the boat, tho I do think the length x width system is a little more fair then the -more common- max 10, 12 etc. meters slips.
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Old 19-01-2016, 19:28   #7
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Re: Why is 30' the "magic" price point?

Its a volume thing usually ..... under 30 feet in most cases that make more of that boat. Above 30 feet the production numbers go down.

Its an economics thing ......
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Old 19-01-2016, 19:40   #8
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pirate Re: Why is 30' the "magic" price point?

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Originally Posted by Lizzy Belle View Post
Not here - and I'm in Europe too
I pay for length x width = still not a lot for my boat

If I wish to park my little plastic butt in a larger slip, it's either length x width or minimal 80% of the slip - whichever makes the marina most money

Either way - slip fees do very much depend on the size of the boat, tho I do think the length x width system is a little more fair then the -more common- max 10, 12 etc. meters slips.
Once you get travelling you'll find most marina's base their charges 8-10, 10-12, 12-14 etc... average beam for top end is calculated in.. a multi is 50% on top.
Portugal, Spain.. just about the whole Med..
so if you are 8metres you'll pay the same as a 9.9
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Old 19-01-2016, 19:40   #9
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Re: Why is 30' the "magic" price point?

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Originally Posted by oldcranky View Post
I keep hearing that sailboats under 30' are much less expensive than sailboats over 30'. What is the advantage of buying an 29.9' vs an 30.1, or is this just BS?
Hi OldCranky,

Good user name, but I have the license plate of your dreams: CRMUGN...

Monohull sailboats increase disproportionately in volume for each foot of added length, therefore things become more complicated [i.e., larger and costlier] disproportionately as well... [at certain sizes, the interior volume increases ~30% for every additional meter in length...]

Its the old surface area to volume ratio engineering dilemma...

I always joke that I bought the size I have because I couldn't afford to replace all the turnbuckles [my metaphor for rigging, etc.] on the next size up... and this is more true than you might imagine...

Here is a good article in Ocean Navigator that provides more details from a practical perspective.

I hope this helps, and keep up the crankiness- we can always use more of that around here...

Cheers!

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Old 19-01-2016, 22:44   #10
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Re: Why is 30' the "magic" price point?

It's more of an inflexion in the cost curve not an immediate jump.

While marina and other service costs do go up a bit, I don't think that is the main reason.

Below 30' is too small for most people to live aboard so sales tend to be to weekenders or low budget cruisers. Larger boats start to make more sense for long term cruisers and that means more buyers and higher prices.

Again, you won't see much difference between 29.9 and 30.1 but there will typically be a big difference between 27 and 33.
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Old 19-01-2016, 23:47   #11
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Re: Why is 30' the "magic" price point?

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Originally Posted by wrwakefield View Post

Monohull sailboats increase disproportionately in volume for each foot of added length, therefore things become more complicated [i.e., larger and costlier] disproportionately as well... [at certain sizes, the interior volume increases ~30% for every additional meter in length...]

Its the old surface area to volume ratio engineering dilemma...
Bill's right for the right reasons, too.

There are, like all other things in life, exceptions to the rule.

For example, some (not all) 28 foot boats from some vendors have been among the costliest per foot of ALL of their line/models. The Catalina 28 had all the systems of a much bigger boat: pressure hot & cold water, water heater, shower sump & pump, and all the rest of the stuff found on 30+ footers. It was originally, IMHO, way over priced' remains that way for used models. It turned out to be a tad too small for many of my friends who bought them, thinking big boat systems would make it a big boat and learned they were wrong. An expensive lesson. They might have been better off with an Orion. Only 27 feet, but a real big boat.

In addition, most boats below 30 feet do NOT have all those systems, which, of curse, cost money to build. Almost all boats over 30' have those systems.

It all depends, but 30' is usually the break point for pricing if you're comparing WITHIN the line of any given manufacturer.

If you try to compare across different builders, you'd go nuts. Or, you could be answering the proverbial "What's the BEST boat?" kinda questions.
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Old 20-01-2016, 06:17   #12
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Re: Why is 30' the "magic" price point?

I'm not sure if 30ft really is a magic price point.

After a lot of extensive searching recently through boats of a similar age, boats of 30ft and under in the same market, are frequently around the same price or more expensive than 30ft to 36ft boats (there's a lot of choice on the market presently). Of course advertised price doesn't necessarily bear any relationship to the actual sale price.

For me the sweet spot continues to be, 32ft. I'm in the process of buying one.

PS Even within the same length, cost of maintenance can be different. For example the boat I am buying needs '7' kits for CopperCoat application, compared to '9' kits for another 32ft boat I was interested in.
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Old 20-01-2016, 06:45   #13
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Re: Why is 30' the "magic" price point?

When I was looking, I wouldn't look at under 30, based solely on in the part of the world I live in , a slip cost is the same if you put a dinghy or a 40' boat in it, and I wanted either a trailer sailor that I didn't have to rent a slip or a boat big enough for us to stay in comfortably. I went for a boat big enough to stay in as I'm far enough away that if I didn't, I would be renting Motel rooms, and that cost is at least as high as slip rent, and there is work in preparing a trailer sailer to sail of course.

I don't understand the logic in charging different prices for the same slip for a boat, now if your tied alongside of a dock, then of course it makes sense, but a slip? Now there are big slips for bigger boats, and of course they cost more. In my marina I think there are three different types / sizes of slip, and three different prices.
Big slips, smaller slips, and covered slips for the powerboaters if they wish.

But I think, that 30+ is generally considered to be about the average size of a boat that is usually suitable for a couple to do extended time in, as has been said, has most of the systems of a bigger boat etc.
I came real close to buying a newer IP 320, but the wife commented it would get real close in there on a rainy day with the kids and all, but if it had been just us, I think the 320 would have been fine.
I've been astonished at late how many have commented on they "need" at least 50' to be comfortable in, and sometimes they are even talking a 50' Cat?
Makes me wonder if the "Mcmansion" phenomena is extending to sailing or if it has always been there?
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Old 20-01-2016, 07:19   #14
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pirate Re: Why is 30' the "magic" price point?

When I got my Longbow I joined the 'Big Boys' at 31ft LOA.. prior to that my biggest mono had been a 24ftr with sitting headroom..
This had a salon I could throw a disco in.. changed when I got to the Med and Palma de Mallorca.. suddenly I was smaller than some Yacht tenders.. like a 40ft Bendi with its own crane fully rigged and ready to launch at a moments notice..
I think.. once again.. its an E-W divide.. here in Europe the bulk of the population is used to living in what would and is called by Americans.. those cute Teeny house's..
Having lived in the State's (kinda).. and having made a few friends from Vermont down to N. Carolina I know why.. you like BIG...
In Oriental for example.. the average home plot would in the UK provide at least two blocks with 8 2-3 B'rm apartments in each..
We're kinda between you and the Japanese..
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Old 20-01-2016, 07:36   #15
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Re: Why is 30' the "magic" price point?

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post

I've been astonished at late how many have commented on they "need" at least 50' to be comfortable in, and sometimes they are even talking a 50' Cat?
Makes me wonder if the "Mcmansion" phenomena is extending to sailing or if it has always been there?
Must admit my mind boggles a lot at the size liabilities some people seem all too keen to take on. Same anchorage, same sunset, and all that.


Quote:
Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
I think.. once again.. its an E-W divide.. here in Europe the bulk of the population is used to living in what would and is called by Americans.. those cute Teeny house's..
Having lived in the State's (kinda).. and having made a few friends from Vermont down to N. Carolina I know why.. you like BIG...
In Oriental for example.. the average home plot would in the UK provide at least two blocks with 8 2-3 B'rm apartments in each..
We're kinda between you and the Japanese..
Must admit I really don't understand it. I've lived in two real Mansions in my life. Born in one, then lived in another in my 20's.

They were so darned draughty and cold, I really couldn't face living in another.

I'd get home from work in the winter, light the fire in the living room, chuck a huge log on it, then disappear down the pub until closing time, sat by the fire to keep warm.

By stop tap and getting home, the living room with its huge windows and high ceilings, was just about warm.

That place was so cold, I have woken up in the morning with inches of ice inside the bedroom window, and the duvet so frozen solid that I couldn't get out.

PASS!
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