I've wondered if it isn't due to the age of my slightly older counterparts of the Baby Boom generation. I'm at the point where I can semi-retire and finally have time to sail and liveaboard
part of the year.
I've been seeing lots of ads for 20, 30 and 40 year old boats with statements like, "We have grown too old to sail and must sail our boat due to health
has been reduced to sell." Some of them sound like good boats, some requiring some TLC and updating, and have remained on the listings for 4 months
It's sad, to think about, but that 70 to 80 year old demographic is one of the largest in the US.
It's sad for them, but it's good for me, because it seems like it is a real buyers market right now for 20 to 30 year old boats. Many sound like they are ready to sail and only need the kind of repairs
or upgrades that can be done as the new owner has time and money
to do them.
This means that the more needy boats are likely to sit and not get new owners. I'm seeing some boats from the mid 1980's in ads that report being fitted with a new motor
a year ago, new sails
a year ago and a new hull
job with an insurance survey
from last season and they are listed for only a few thousand more than some boats with an original engine
, 8 year old sails and in need of a bottom job.
Those boats are going to sit in the listings for a while, experience a few price
reductions and then eventually get abandoned. I called on one boat where the husband had passed away and a broker was managing the sale
for the widow. He admitted that the boat was over priced for the year and condition. The wife wasn't a sailor, but she had written the all checks for a complete bottom job, new sails, new rigging
, new electronics
and a larger capacity alternator
in past three years when her husband was still alive. She thought that she should expect to get back a bigger portion of what they had put into it. The broker hinted that he had tried to advise her otherwise but she told him to keep trying. He encouraged me to make an offer and keep checking back.
I've talked to some older retired sellers who said that they spent a lot of money
a year or two ago updating and upgrading their boat to sail, then got sick or disabled but have delayed listing it for sale
because they have been hoping that their health
would change. Now they have realized that it isn't and they have to sell. If somebody in the same situation dies, I can see where a boat might get forgotten by the heirs.
It seems that I am just in the right age group and era to benefit from my older peers.