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Old 03-10-2005, 14:45   #1
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questions about reselling used boat

I am currently looking at used boats, and will be inspecting some this weekend.
Our plan is to buy a used boat, take a sabbatical cruising in a couple of years, and then sell the boat on.
While investigating a Cheoy Lee Pedrick 38 that is for sale, I found a reference to that same boat being for sale at the same price - 3 years ago!
This made me think harder on that last aspect of our plan - reselling the boat.
Perhaps that particular boat is a real lemon, with an owner who believes otherwise. But it made me realise that I really don't know how long, on average, it takes to sell a boat on.
Can anyone shed any light on the process of selling a used boat? Are there smart choices I can make now in buying a boat that will be easier to re-sell in the future?
I understand that between brokers fees, refitting expenditure, depreciation, storage etc, I am going to lose money on an older used boat, but I'd rather not end up being stuck with it indefinitely.


Thanks in advance,
eustace
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Old 03-10-2005, 16:31   #2
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Tell us more...

Tell us about the planned cruising you are going to do.

I can tell you immediatly, the key to reselling a boat (or a car, or anything) is to make sure you start with a very popular model. Granted, it won't always be the best model, but you will surely be able to unload it when you are finishedm if you buy something the market desires.

If you can describe who is cruising, what types of places you are going, if you plan to do any crossings, etc.... - we will be able to guide you a little more appropriately.

As bad as we all say Hunters and Catalinas are, they are easy to unload since there are a lot of people who want to buy one.

Just watch out for the depreciation curve... don't buy a brand new boat if you can't afford to lose a decent amount of money on the re-sell. Find one that has settled in price, which your Cheoy Lee may have done.
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Old 03-10-2005, 17:39   #3
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if priced fairly, almost any boat will sell. i think it's 6 months average these days, but depends on price and what time of year you list. some just list a boat at a high price - they don't really want to sell.
if it's the same seller, they may have pulled the listing and kept on sailing or there is a serious issue that the seller will not deal with. call and ask. you can easily determine the value of the boat.

you may be assuming it is the same seller just because it is the same boat. maybe someone bought the boat, used it for 3 years, maintained it and now is selling for same asking price. i'll take that deal - no depreciation - just maintain. any boat owner would take that deal. you made the statement you expect to loose money on an older boat - backwards - newer boats depreciate big $ - older boats often need more $ for maintenance but their depreciation is done. for my bet, older boats cost less when you add up all the dollars, especially if you find one in top condition and can do some work yourself.

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Old 03-10-2005, 18:38   #4
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Thanks. Knowing there are experienced people online to offer advice is a big plus going into this venture.

To answer some of the questions/comments.

When I said I expected to lose money on an older boat, I shouldn't have said 'older'. I really meant that I expect to lose money on any boat. In fact I am going for older ones in the hope that the depreciation curve has softened on them.

Regarding us and our plans: We are a couple in our early thirties, and after 10 years of non stop work, would like to take a break before the next 20 to 30 years of non stop work & kids.
We'd like to spend two seasons with the boat weekend sailing, coastal cruisin in the NE on our vacations, learning, and preparing the boat before going south.
Our destination is uncertain. Certainly the Caribbean, if we could make it to Brazil and back up to the Caribbean that would our dream trip.

We don't want to commit financial suicide, so one of the main goals has been to find a 'good old boat' that we could put some sweat equity into, and that should be beyond significant depreciation. Although I figured that we will probably experience depreciation on any expensive/new gear we add to the boat.

With that in mind I've tried to narrow the list of models to look at down a bit.
Maybe some of you can comment on these if you know if these resell well/badly.

Tartan 37 - This seems to be a safe bet. Nice lines, well regarded, well built, proven. Our biggest gripe would be the lack of a private second cabin. We really want to have friends/family out with us often. It is doable with the quarterbirth, but not ideal.

O'Day 37 - Complete opposite to the above, I know. We love the accomodations. Very cheap (though you get what you pay for I guess) Looks like we'd need to spend on some changes to make us comfortable taking it on passages. Might lose some of that investment on resale.

Beneteau First 38 (Early 80's) - People seem to have cruised with these successfully and regard them well, has that aft cabin we'd like.

Morgan Out Island 41 - Figure we may take this one off our list, because it is too big. Love the accomodations though. Seems to be popular, so if the resale was easy and good it might be worth dealing with the larger size & expenses.

Beneteau M38 - This is one I am not sure about. Right size, decent prices. I have this on the list because I figured that despite heavy use, they were probably well maintained by Moorings. May need some upgrades.

I had looked at a fixer-upper catamaran, but I think we need something that is less risky, and not a large repair/upgrade project.

Didn't mean to turn this into another 'the right boat' thread. But if you have suggestions for boats that are solid resellers, potential cruisers, less than 42' and less than 55-60k, let us know.


thanks again,
eustace

p.s. Indeed it may be a different owner selling it at the same price, I will have to check that.
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Old 03-10-2005, 19:25   #5
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i love those "right boat" threads and you have listed some of the "debate" boats, so this should be fun. even mentioned cats - here we go.
someone on this forum told me, and now i will tell you, find a boat for the two of you - don't buy more boat for guests - you have enough to do. your budget is low, so you need a smaller boat, and buying lower quality to gain accomodation is not smart on any level. when you say sweat equity, can you really do the work ? electrical, rigging, carpentry, glass, structural, mechanical, plumbing ? if not, spend or borrow a little more and buy a boat in better condition. point is don't buy more of a project than you can handle. my boat is 31' and with maintainance and upgrades (some optional but needed imo for short handed and realibility, redundency, spares) i will put 10K in this first year. i think, in new england, you will spend 80K or more for a 34 to 36 footer ready to go to the islands (intracoastal - not offshore). many do it with less, but not this boy.

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Old 03-10-2005, 19:49   #6
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The Morgan is a heck of a boat, and sells REALLY fast, so I would not discount it. Very roomy, easy to sail, but big sail area, so it takes some finesse. I am a proponent of smaller boats, and would go so far as to recommend the Nor Seas 27 by Lyle Hess. That would be the small side of the spectrum, but it does have a nice aft cabin, and is easy to sail. I am sure people are tire of seeing me say it, but for an entry level cruiser with a likely resale in a couple of years, and with coastal cruising in mind, I strongly recomend the Catalina 30. Lots of bang for the buck, and resale is as easy as word of mouth. Not to mention the wide beam, and all the room you get. Big for a 30 footer. Watch the adds for a while, and see what turns fast, and what comes back every month with "price reduced". Another nice solid boat in the 35' range is the Challenger 35. Not the fastest boat, naot the belle og the ball, but they have very few problems, and when they come up for sale, they usually sell fast. Lots of room, but no aft cabin.
Hope this helps more than it confuses the issue.
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Old 03-10-2005, 20:41   #7
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Thanks capt lar.
I enjoy those 'right boat' threads too, and have read very, very many. I've also read lots of expert and owner reviews, including buying Practical Sailor reviews of the model's I was really interested in.
I *think* I've learned that the 'right boat' is relatively subjective, and that very good preparation along with a decent boat, should do the trick.
Now I'm pondering what the right boat might be financially.

I hear you about getting a boat for the two of us. The very first boat I looked up on YW a few years ago was a Westail 32. But part of what we are hoping to accomplish on our year off, is to spend real quality time with family and friends. We hope to have guests often on our trip. Also, there is the issue that my fiancee has indicated a strong preference for LOA>35 feet.
Regarding sweat equity, I am willing and I believe capable of taking on some work, but I am not looking for an out and out fixer-upper, and will avoid boats that need major work.


Thx,
-e.

p.s.
I considered that cat, not because it was a cat, but because it was a fixer upper that I thought might be good value. I have since thought better of that idea. I don't want to take on such a risky move without lots of experience.
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Old 03-10-2005, 21:11   #8
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Thx Kai Nui,
That Nor'Sea 27 is a very nice looking boat I hadn't seen one before.
No Challenger 35s in this neck of the woods.
The Catalina 30 is something I hadn't really looked at before either. It does seem very roomy for a 30 footer, cheap too!
Now If we give up on the two seperate cabins idea (which is certainly possible), and my fiancee acquiesces on the 36 foot rule, maybe we'd be in business.
Then I'd have to figure out about upgrading/fitting out one to take it to the Caribbean.
There is such a large amount of choice available in used boats it can be overwhelming.

-e
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Old 03-10-2005, 22:19   #9
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As for the seperate cabins, look at it this way, while underway, seperate space is a given, as the person on watch will most likely be on deck, or at the nav station. In the Carribean, you will probably spend lots of time sleeping on deck. Another major consideration for a boat purchase. THere should be room to sleep in the cockpit comfortably. Something the Nor Seas does not have.
Out fitting any boat for coastal is a matter of personal taste. You can get away with a lead line, a knot log, and a sextant, but a GPS is sure allot nicer. Air conditioning in a Catalina 30 is not very practical, but there is lots of room to sleep on deck. Catalina does make a 34 and a 36, but these are both in a very different price range. The 36 does have a small Qtr cabin aft, and the 34 has a large Qtr berth. I still maintain that the 30 is the best deal for the dollar.
Good luck what ever you decide.
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Old 03-10-2005, 22:59   #10
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Hope You Can Make Both Your Dreams Come True!

Dear eustace,

I really hope that you, and your partner. Can make your dream come true.

Everybody needs a break. Are you a workaholic? Cause if you are. Then you most diffinately, deserve a break. If not a workaholic. Then still, you deserve one.

Good luck.

Regards,

Kevin
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Old 03-10-2005, 23:32   #11
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you are goint to lose on any boat you buy

but !!! what about the joy of sailing to far off places.
i completely rebuilt a tartan 37 and made 7 trips to the carib from long island. It is a GREAT offshore boat if properly refurbished. i went to the extreme and got DOUBLE the book value on resale.
of course i spent triple rebuilding the boat--but what a boat!
get a boat and go sailing far away you won't regret the money you lose. Fair winds,
eric
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Old 04-10-2005, 18:00   #12
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I appreciate the encouragement and advice.
I spoke to the broker about the original boat I mentioned. Says it has been on the market a while - maybe those teak decks have something to do with it.
I will be looking at that and a couple of others over the weekend. If come Tuesday I am 50k or so poorer (but happily so) I will be sure to let you know.

Thanks,
-e
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Old 05-10-2005, 05:43   #13
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Word of advice..

Also take it slowly... don't buy anything over the weekend at all. Most boats sit on the market for quite some time, so don't let the broker talk you into a quick purchase.

Take your time and understand the market. Look at Yachtworld until your eyes are about to fall out. Then do it again. Putting in that extra homework will save you many thousand dollars over a quick purchase.

It took me well over a year to purchase the boat I just got in August. (I'm also in my 30's) I got a great deal on a boat that's perfectly suited to my needs. Shop around.

You won't save any money buying something right at market value - the money to be saved is in the initial purchase price, not in your resale price.
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