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Old 23-05-2016, 20:31   #1
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Should I bring my cat to Florida sell?

I have been trying to sell my catamaran here in Puerto Aventuras Mexico (near Cancun). My plan now is to return with it to Rio Dulce Guatemala and leave it there for the summer (I can store it on the hard, have it kept clean and secure very reasonably, and have cheap labor for more improvements when I return). But my question is, if I come to Florida, could I expect to find a buyer within a month or so? The boat is not perfect but it is fully operational and seaworthy. And where could I expect to find affordable dockage (I have a 25' beam). Here is a link to my Cruisers Forum listing: http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...-a-163908.html
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Old 23-05-2016, 20:52   #2
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Re: Should I bring my cat to Florida sell?

I doubt you could sell it anywhere in a month except at a fire sale. But Florida would be a good place to start.

Secondly the listing is... Poorly written. The entire thing is an exercise in explaining why you don't have some bit of common (or uncommon gear), or justifying the poor condition of something or other. This is a huge mistake when writing out a sales document. You are trying to sell something to someone with a dream, and no ones dream is to have poor condition bits.

Finally there is a serious problem that the boat seems to be a one off, worse it's plywood. While a boat built this way can be very good, it doesn't make people comfortable. Moving somewhere with easy access to surveyors would certainly help, as would paying for an owner's survey by a recognized wood/plywood boat expert.
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Old 24-05-2016, 08:59   #3
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Re: Should I bring my cat to Florida sell?

Thanks for the constructive criticism, Greg. I have never been much of a salesman. My approach has always been brutal honesty. I feel like if someone is going travel here to see the boat that they should be able to see who they will be dealing with and expect straight and honest answers. When I was searching for a boat I wasted a lot of time looking at ones who's condition was misrepresented in the advertising and the brokers just wanting to give a sales pitch while not actually knowing jack about the boat at all (except of course what their commission will be). But maybe I should just hire a broker. I am hoping to find someone who appreciates honesty, wants to avoid brokers commissions, and is actually ready to buy a boat. Not just have to correspond with an endless stream of armchair tire kickers. My recent journey and plan to return is a testament to it's seaworthiness. As for surveys, a haul out alone for my boat, in Florida costs a fortune. Are there any recognized plywood boat surveyors? From what I have seen, most surveys are a joke anyway, simply paperwork to satisfy an insurance company, filling out a form letter of gear and equipment but failing to notice obvious issues. What I have is a fully equipped 40' catamaran ready to sail to Florida, or Guatemala or anywhere else. And that is my dilemma: Florida, or Guatemala
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Old 24-05-2016, 10:58   #4
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Re: Should I bring my cat to Florida sell?

Just as an example...

Water: no watermaker but can store a few hundred gallons in three tanks.

Unless specifically listed I wouldn't expect a boat to have a water maker, so why explain you don't have one. Capacity should be listed in exact numbers (250 gallons).


It isn't dishonest to not mention gear that isn't there. It would only be dishonest to list something that isn't. The same for your opinion of the sails for instance. I assume every cruising boat in the world has poor sails onboard, so if they are bad enough to need to be listed then I would assume they are unusably bad, the only sails I would consider worth thinking about are either so bad I can't use them at all (your listing) or new <1 year old from a major loft.


The survey thing... Plywood boats have an earned reputation for being poor quality. Some of them are not, and plywood has a lot of advantages, but there have just been too many of them that rotted away to make me feel comfortable. So having the boat somewhere that it is easy to see (while I was looking at other boats for instance) would be critical. Getting an owner's survey by someone who knows what to look for, and making that available to prospective buyers would also go a long way to getting your boat added to the shopping list.

This is why I think you need to move it to somewhere that has a lot of foot traffic for boat sales.
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Old 24-05-2016, 11:12   #5
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Re: Should I bring my cat to Florida sell?

Good advice from Greg.

I'm no salesman either, or business minded.

I don't think salesman and brutally honest can be used in the same sentence. That's a personal opinion, btw.
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Old 24-05-2016, 14:05   #6
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Re: Should I bring my cat to Florida sell?

Quote:
Unless specifically listed I wouldn't expect a boat to have a water maker, so why explain you don't have one. Capacity should be listed in exact numbers (250 gallons).
point taken, Stumble. This forum is a fairly informal way to list a boat and once you have said something becomes hard to "unsay" it. Of course I could ask a moderator to delete the whole listing so that I can redo but I don't think it is that bad. As for the survey, we do have a couple of reputable surveyors in Rio Dulce and I will consider it. I have documented most of the repair work and there are no soft spots remaining anywhere on the boat that I am aware of.

Quote:
I don't think salesman and brutally honest can be used in the same sentence
Yes, I am trying a "different" approach but one that I hope my potential buyers will appreciate. If I was in the market, nothing that I have said here would have scared me away. I am willing to have an honest discussion that is not riddled with half truths and omissions as a lot of brokers would do.

I am going back and forth on this Florida thing though. I don't think that I want to spend my entire summer in Florida trying to sell the boat. People do come to Rio Dulce to buy boats but Florida is definitely the "mecca"
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Old 24-05-2016, 14:27   #7
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Re: Should I bring my cat to Florida sell?

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Originally Posted by Stumble View Post
Finally there is a serious problem that the boat seems to be a one off, .
I agree with much of your advice and observations, but the boat isnt a one off. It is or at least was a very popular design with many many boats having been built. Designer was John Hitch.
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Old 24-05-2016, 14:40   #8
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Re: Should I bring my cat to Florida sell?

Thanks for pointing that out Factor. John Hitch is an Australian catamaran designer who specified "twin headsail" rigs, that is with one forestay going to each bow. Thumbs up, however has a conventional single masthead forestay as well as an inner forestay if you want to sail as a "cutter"
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Old 24-05-2016, 15:15   #9
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Re: Should I bring my cat to Florida sell?

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I agree with much of your advice and observations, but the boat isnt a one off. It is or at least was a very popular design with many many boats having been built. Designer was John Hitch.
I obviously missed this... But then it needs to be specifically stated in the add.

Just as an example including something like...

Designed by the noted catamaran designer John Hitch, and built professionally by XXXXX yard, with over YYY number of boats sailing.

A good salesman isn't dishonest they are just experienced at knowing how to list something with its best face forward. Our boat for instance had a poorly installed generator leading to hydrolock and rusting of the block so bad it was trash. If I were to list the boat I wouldn't say that it had a generator pulled out because of a poor installation, I would say something to the effect of....

The boat is currently ready for a fresh generator to be installed, with all the fuel, water, and electrical lines installed by the manufacturer.

I absolutely did not lie. Those lines are there, they were installed when the boat was built, and it would be trivially easy to install a new generator on top of the old mounts. But I don't want to bring up that there was a serious installation issue that lead to a ruined generator previously. It does nothing to help me sell the boat, but raises a lot of questions about the other installed equipment (it's actually fine).

Think of it this way... Sales copy is a lot like going on a first date. You take a shower, put on clean clothes, brush your hair, etc.... Now everyone knows that's not what your like normally, but you don't (or shouldn't) start a first date without washing behind your ears.
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