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Old 08-03-2019, 16:45   #1
GS1
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How old is too old

Hi all,

In about 5 years I am planning to buy a sailboat and cruise the Caribbean with my wife and 2 kids for about 6 months.
I considered the idea of buying a boat in Croatia that seems like the cheapest place in the med, and sail it across the Atlantic, but it seems like too much hassle for the 6 month trip.
Now to keep it simple, I am thinking of buying directly in the Caribbean. My question is, how old a boat could I buy if I want to minimize the resale time after the six months (newer boats resale faster), and minimize repairs or maintenance during that time?
20 year boats, so around 2000, would be in my budget (80k), and size (about 40’), but I am a bit concerned about a boat that has been baking there for that long, and probably used more than a boat from the Chesapeake bay for instance...
10 y/o probably fine. 20 not sure. 30 most probably will need work, and I want to have a problem free trip. I know there are a ton of people sailing and even circumnavigating in 40 years old boat, but the requires a big deal of work and maintenance...

Thoughts?
Thanks
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Old 08-03-2019, 17:00   #2
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Re: How old is too old

Any boat you buy is going to need work unless you get lucky.
If you don’t already own a boat of some sort or have sailed with somebody else for 20yr or so you really aren’t going to have the ability to figure out what you are buying until after the deed is done.

Buy a small boat now and learn to sail and cruise and anchor then you will have a better idea what you actually need as opposed to uninformed wants.
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Old 08-03-2019, 18:02   #3
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Re: How old is too old

Hi
I have actually been sailing for more than 20 yrs in different parts of the world and owned several boats...
Always newer boats than this though
There is a balance to be had in this equation, I just don't know what the sweet point is..
Thanks
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Old 08-03-2019, 18:55   #4
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Re: How old is too old

If you are lucky / clever enough to get a real bargain deal so you buy a good boat well below market, then you might be able to recoup most of your purchase price within a year of putting it up for resale.

You will most likely not get reimbursed for necessary improvements though, figure on spending 20% or more to get her ready plus while under way.

If your asking price is not an obvious major bargain, it can easily take over a year to sell, and of course needs a lot of ongoing expenses every month you own her.

To be realistic, expect your net out of pocket to be at least half of your initial outlay.

If you do better than that it can be a pleasant surprise.

And of course surprises can go the other way too, so don't spend more than you can afford to lose.

You'll notice the age of the boat really doesn't figure into the above. How well the PO cared for her (you buy the seller not the boat) and how popular the make is are more relevant.
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Old 08-03-2019, 19:38   #5
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Re: How old is too old

Depends on the prospective buyers in your area I suppose and what type of boat is preferred. I don't see this as an age issue necessarily. All boats need to be maintained, and upgraded as necessary. A well-maintained and upgraded old boat can be a bargain, depending on the builder and the original build quality, because the old, thick, hand laid-up hulls are holding up well. It's just that they may not be the kind of designs that people are looking for these days where you are, for the kind of cruising available and for the kinds of preferences buyers have now (in terms of things like size, sugar scoop, showers and provisions for other amenities etc.)
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Old 09-03-2019, 06:15   #6
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Re: How old is too old

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, GS.
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Old 09-03-2019, 09:08   #7
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Re: How old is too old

Too Old is when it wont get the job done.

If you are looking to buy a boat and use it for awhile and then sell it for a profit, I'd rethink my expectations. It can/has been done, but it is rare. It would be doubtful that you would even get the money you put into it back.


If you want to cruise, do so and enjoy the experience. But boats are a lousy investment if you are looking to make a profit.


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Old 09-03-2019, 09:14   #8
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Re: How old is too old

I definitely don't expect to make a profit on this...
Just enjoy the experience and spend as little time as possible in repairs....
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Old 09-03-2019, 09:26   #9
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Re: How old is too old

Quote:
Originally Posted by GS1 View Post
I definitely don't expect to make a profit on this...
Just enjoy the experience and spend as little time as possible in repairs....
100% do not nor every think of profit, this is a life time experience and what is that worth .
Markets go up and down and boats are no different.
first and foremost go out and enjoy life before worrying about what I can get from it this is madness, life id for living , not slaved to the system.
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Old 09-03-2019, 09:26   #10
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Re: How old is too old

There is only one way to minimize resale time.

Price.

Here is what you do now.

Take a family vacation to Grenada and Trinidad. Those are the most likely places to find quitters that actually were well equipped to get that far. Fort Lauderdale is also a quitter spot but those didn’t even get as far as Nassau and will require more outfitting after motoring down the ICW from Connecticut.

In Grenada and Trinidad visit the yards, meet the yard managers, get their CONTACT DETAILS, walk the yards, walk the docks, do a tiki tour around the anchorages. You get the idea.

When you get close to pulling the trigger arrange to be down there when the fleet starts rolling in after crossing the Atlantic, somewhere in that pack and the ones left behind from the previous season you will find your gem.

Added benefit? If you buy down there you have a sleigh ride back to the US ;-)

Prediction? You’ll be sick of it in three months which is just enough time to reach the inlet at Lauderdale.
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Old 09-03-2019, 09:35   #11
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Re: How old is too old

It's a tough question. many boats take 1-2 years to sell, even at a low-ish price. So be prepared. The other thing is is the majority of boats for sale need work. Some a lot of work. My advice is buy the best boat you can find, do nothing to it unless it's a safety issue. Then resell.
An example: My friends bought a 44 foot boat that worked well, but had deficiencies for sure. That allowed them to buy at a low price. The teak deck was warped, bulged up maybe an inch in spots, probably the fiberglass underneath too. They were penny pinchers, They did nothing to the boat other than buy a new cheap mainsail during their cruise. While the rest of us spent our time and money trying to make our boats perfect. After 3-4 years or so cruising they sold the boat for what they paid for it. They were honest about it's cosmetic flaws and sold it low price.
I once thought about buying a Westsail 32 kinda like that, no deck issues but sun faded etc, cosmetically "rode hard put away wet". My plan was to spend the $35k on it, sail it through the Pacific to OZ and just sell it there cheap and pay the duty. The logic being, that you lose money on boats anyway. If I got $15-20k back it was a cheap cruise. Instead I bought an expensive $350k boat and lost $70k + by the time I sold it!
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Old 09-03-2019, 09:37   #12
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Re: How old is too old

akpprb's advice is very rational.


Another way to put it is: buying a boat from afar is not a good idea. Boots on the ground will make all the difference. YOU have to be able to see it, or meet and befriend someone who you learn to trust to alert you.


Happy hunting.
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Old 09-03-2019, 09:49   #13
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Re: How old is too old

I agree, akpprb's advice should be your bible.



What you what is a boat that someone else just finished a refit of. Age is just a number in this case. There are boats in the charter fleet that are young but already need a refit. There are 1980's or even older boats that someone else already refitted. Those are the boats you want to find.
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Old 09-03-2019, 09:51   #14
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Re: How old is too old

Let me suggest that age has very little to do with it....it's the condition, how "Bristol" is she, what is the state of her equipment, how well has she been cared for, and is she a quality built, or a charter rewind, or a "built to a price point to sell lots of boats" kind of boat. I'd put my 30-yr old Taswell up against most anything-but then we've had her for 20 yrs, done lots of upgrades, use her routinely, and keep her in nick; when something breaks, we fix it-correctly. Age is only one of many factors!
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Old 09-03-2019, 09:52   #15
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Re: How old is too old

Ditto on akprb's advice.
Used boats aren't like used cars or houses.
I wouldn't risk my family's lives on an ocean crossing in a boat that I hadn't thoroughly experienced and sailed for some time.
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