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Old 13-06-2015, 08:19   #1
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Boat pricing

In another thread of mine someone mentioned that boats sometimes sell for up to 40% less that the asking price.

Well, that would be awesome to get 40% off...not sure how often it happens.

I have been looking mostly at Yach-World and another site to get an idea of what used boats go for.

So does anyone have any practical knowledge of how much difference the average is from the price asked and actual selling price?

Also, Cash is King they say, if (after you have done all research, survey, ect...) you offer cash does that usually get you even lower?

Lastly, how does seasons affect pricing? For instance buying a convertible or motorcycle here on land during the warm summer months commands a higher price than say buying one in winter. Or is there just such a glut of used boats that it is not an issue?

Thanks,

M
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Old 13-06-2015, 08:41   #2
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Re: Boat pricing

You really can't apply a general assumption to something like this. Every seller, every deal and every boat is different. To say that every boat listed for sale can be had for XX% off the asking price is way to simplistic.

Also will depend hugely on what kind of boat you're looking for. Older 25-30' boat the market in some areas is flooded and you might find a decent fixer upper for free. A not too old 40-45' good name cruising boat in good condition is in high demand and it's unlikely you're going to run into a fire sale.

Some sellers are motivated and will deal. Others don't really want to sell and will hold firm, even if their asking price is ridiculously higher than the market.

If you're looking for fixer uppers, project boats or something that needs a major repair you're more likely to find a super bargain.

Of course there are those occasional, once in a lifetime deals. When I was a broker I ran into a guy that got a nice 45' cruiser almost free when the rich owner died and his widow essentially gave it to the first nice person that came to see it. I sold a 50' Spencer for $20,000 that had the interior stripped but was in great condition otherwise. The buyer spent 6-8 months and about $25,000 to finish the interior and ended up with a boat worth over $100,000.

So, look around and be ready and you might get lucky. While you're waiting for that free boat you can always buy a couple of lottery tickets as a backup plan.
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Old 13-06-2015, 08:44   #3
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Re: Boat pricing

Oh and you asked about seasonal price variations. Not so much in the warmer areas like FL or the Gulf Coast. New England you can sometimes find a deal early fall when the boating season ends and it's time to haul the boats for the winter.

Might help to give you a better answer if you gave some indication of what size and type of boat you're looking for and an approximate budget.
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Old 13-06-2015, 08:51   #4
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Re: Boat pricing

I can't help but to be curious about this as well. Especially recalling info in another past thread, mentioning a (fee) site, where such figures are actually listed. Selling price vs. asking price that is. Albeit, I'm thinking that such a site wouldn't of course, necessarily list private sales, but... it'd be interesting to see the numbers.
Especially as it seems like boat prices just keep dropping, knock on wood.
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Old 13-06-2015, 09:08   #5
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Re: Boat pricing

I am looking for a 27-32' full keel. Will be living on it too.

Contenders on the list are:

Baba

Hans Christian (who does not crave one?)

Nor'sea (would be perfect if they added 2-3'..I could GARA about trailer-ability)

Southern Cross

Pacific Seacrest Maria, Crealock or Orion (tiny tiny)

Shannon 28'

Dana 24 27'

Hinterhoeller Niagara Encore or Classic

28' BCC

Halberg-Rassy Mistral or Monsun

Dutch Flyer (this one I can find nothing on but looks like a very nice boat)


It will serve as my liveaboard and I plan to cruise quite a bit in the next few years. So some of the higher maintenance ones are not as high on the list, like the HC and Baba.

Thanks,

M
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Old 13-06-2015, 09:26   #6
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Re: Boat pricing

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueMaxx View Post
I am looking for a 27-32' full keel. Will be living on it too.

Contenders on the list are:

Baba

Hans Christian (who does not crave one?)

Nor'sea (would be perfect if they added 2-3'..I could GARA about trailer-ability)

Southern Cross

Pacific Seacrest Maria, Crealock or Orion (tiny tiny)

Shannon 28'

Dana 24 27'

Hinterhoeller Niagara Encore or Classic

28' BCC

Halberg-Rassy Mistral or Monsun

Dutch Flyer (this one I can find nothing on but looks like a very nice boat)


It will serve as my liveaboard and I plan to cruise quite a bit in the next few years. So some of the higher maintenance ones are not as high on the list, like the HC and Baba.

Thanks,

M
The good news. Most of the boats on your list are quality boats with a deservedly good reputation.

The bad news. Most of the boats on your list are quality boats with a deservedly good reputation.

Meaning of course that these boats are well known, well made and so have generally have a strong demand and command a higher price. Almost anyone that owns one of these will know what they have and what they're worth and will not be giving them away. If you were buying a used car would you expect to find a bargain on a used Mercedes SL or a used Chevy Nova? Quality holds value, especially if maintained in good condition.

It's lot easier to get a deal on a lower end, off brand, one off or custom built, or any boat that for whatever reason doesn't have quite the fan base.
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Old 13-06-2015, 09:51   #7
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Re: Boat pricing

Well my boat budget I have had to continually revise as I learn more.

Right now I am waiting for my house to sell, so I would hope to perhaps be completed by January of this year.

Location is not a big deal,except to say Id prefer a boat from NE, mid-Atlantic or west coast....not so much the heat baked south.

Over the past several months I check multiple sights daily for availability of my desired boats...that has helped a lot.

Needless to say every boat I listed is within my price range.

Of course the less I pay the more I cruise.

My main concern is finding a boat someone has "loved" not just sailed and not like a step-child left in the harbor constantly.

Safety, design, ease of sail for 2 people..stability and limited bobbing and pounding...safety...ease of maintenance and livability and also a boat that is well equipped already.

I would like to be as self sustaining as I can.

As you can see I am not asking too much!

M
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Old 13-06-2015, 09:52   #8
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Re: Boat pricing

skipmac has it right. Those are all great boats (good eye ), and while the market is small for them, it is a relatively known market. I bet in most cases the owners are pricing them reasonably well. Never hurts to come in lower, but I wouldn't assume you can whittle someone down much.

You mention the "cash is king" thing too. I've never understood this. As the seller, I assume I will be paid in full once the deal is concluded. How the new buyer gets that money is not my concern. If they can't come up with the cash, then there's no deal.

Timing does make sense in northern areas. Here on the Great Lakes buying in the early Spring, before launch costs start to accrue, is a good strategy. Same goes for late in the sailing season, before winter haul and storage costs start to kick in. A seller might be more motivated at those times so as to avoid additional costs.
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Old 13-06-2015, 09:57   #9
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Re: Boat pricing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
You mention the "cash is king" thing too. I've never understood this. As the seller, I assume I will be paid in full once the deal is concluded. How the new buyer gets that money is not my concern. If they can't come up with the cash, then there's no deal.
Good point. Same thing has occurred to me in the past. At the end of the day, unless the seller is financing the boat for the buyer (extremely rare, as in almost never) then the seller will be getting paid in full on closing. Most of the time would not even know if the buyer had the cash, borrowed from a bank or stole it from a bank.

The one point for a buyer, when you go to buy be ready to close, whether your own cash or the bank's. Putting in an offer "subject to financing" is where you lose negotiating power.
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Old 13-06-2015, 10:05   #10
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Re: Boat pricing

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueMaxx View Post
I am looking for a 27-32' full keel. Will be living on it too.

Contenders on the list are:

Baba

Hans Christian (who does not crave one?)

Nor'sea (would be perfect if they added 2-3'..I could GARA about trailer-ability)

Southern Cross

Pacific Seacrest Maria, Crealock or Orion (tiny tiny)

Shannon 28'

Dana 24 27'

Hinterhoeller Niagara Encore or Classic

28' BCC

Halberg-Rassy Mistral or Monsun

Dutch Flyer (this one I can find nothing on but looks like a very nice boat)


It will serve as my liveaboard and I plan to cruise quite a bit in the next few years. So some of the higher maintenance ones are not as high on the list, like the HC and Baba.

Thanks,

M
The Niagara 35 that you listed is not a full keel but it is a very nice boat that sails well and would be up for most offshore passages. I note that you specify a full keel but put the Niagara on your list.
Cast a glance around the freshwater areas in the north as these boats only get used a few months out of each year which means they are generally in nicer condition and the size range you are looking at can often be found in these areas.
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Old 13-06-2015, 10:12   #11
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Re: Boat pricing

Getting a good deal is about shopping around and being flexible.

You can't randomly pull up a listing and EXPECT to get 40% off. But if you shop around and are willing to walk away if they aren't willing to negotiate, you are very likely to get a substantial discount off the list price.

The real question is: how far from reality was the original list price?
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Old 13-06-2015, 10:16   #12
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Re: Boat pricing

In my experience, the single biggest factor in boat pricing is the current owner's attitude.

If the current owner is sentimental about the boat or wants to put the money towards a bigger boat, they probably aren't going to budge much.

If the current owner recently passed and the spouse never liked the boat and is facing financial hardship for paying slip fees, you can likely get a bargain.

If the current owner's spouse said "Get rid of that thing," it will depend on how much they like their spouse.
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Old 13-06-2015, 10:30   #13
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Re: Boat pricing

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueMaxx View Post
I am looking for a 27-32' full keel. Will be living on it too.

Contenders on the list are:

Baba

Hans Christian (who does not crave one?)

Nor'sea (would be perfect if they added 2-3'..I could GARA about trailer-ability)

Southern Cross

Pacific Seacrest Maria, Crealock or Orion (tiny tiny)

Shannon 28'

Dana 24 27'

Hinterhoeller Niagara Encore or Classic

28' BCC

Halberg-Rassy Mistral or Monsun

Dutch Flyer (this one I can find nothing on but looks like a very nice boat)


It will serve as my liveaboard and I plan to cruise quite a bit in the next few years. So some of the higher maintenance ones are not as high on the list, like the HC and Baba.

Thanks,

M
That's pretty spot on with my list when I was looking. Lot's of good boats to choose from. Assume you've come across this site: Atom Voyages - Good Old Boats List

My budget was about $30G for the purchase. A lot of people question the premium a nice boat this size can run you, but quality and purpose were more important to me than LOA. Smaller boats aren't for everyone, but I have no regrets.

How tall are you? If you're over 6', standing headroom can be tough "luxury" to come by for some of these. I almost bought a Monsun, but the 5'10" headroom was a dealbreaker for me.

Good luck in the search.
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Old 13-06-2015, 11:03   #14
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Re: Boat pricing

There have been many discussions on pricing. Skipmac has it about right. The discounts are real, but every situation is different. Location, condition, how you approach your deal etc.
-One key is length of time on the market. many boats don't get sold for a long time, and sellers have costs of a boat just sitting.
-The other is the broker or brokerage. Some brokers it's like pulling teeth to show the boat, get info etc.
-Persistence can pay off with this situation.
Discounts from asking are very real. 10% is almost a given, 40% is a maybe.


Some examples:
I returned from a cruise to FL with the Hans Christian 38 shown in my avatar. The brokers research indicated the boat should be listed at $135K to $139K. (The brokers research probably just was what every other HC38 in the country was listed at! and some of those had been on the market for a while) The boat was in excellent shape with a lot of cruising gear. (dodger, bimini, wind charger, hi output alt/reg, 15hp outboard, GPS, Radar, Yanmar diesel, Watermaker, recent complete bottom, deck and cabin paint, etc etc)
1.5 years later, in a strong economy the boat finally sold for $90k. That's about 35% off asking on a boat in great condition, in a strong economy. As a seller I was just needing to get it gone.


As a buyer, I agreed to buy a 44 cutter prior to Survey for $117k. Long story short, there was a long list after survey, including deck core issues etc. I closed the deal for $65k. The aging seller just needed it gone.... it had already been neglected for a while. That's about a 45% discount. However, when all was done refurbishing it, I had as much as the original offer in it. But sold it for about $50k more than that!


It just comes down to the boat, the seller, the broker and how intuitive the buyer is.
I usually try a lowball offer first. The answer to that tells me a lot. If a sell wants $100k and I offer $65k, with a list of reasons why, what's important is the response. (it's important as a buyer that you know how to "sell", be smart, diplomatic and convincing, giving the seller a reason to accept)
If he immediately comes down to $85k... I know he's motivated. If he comes down to $98k I know I have to either walk or pay probably $95k for the boat.... prior to survey anyway!


The problem is, no one really knows what many boats are worth, the brokers guess high and see what happens.
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Old 13-06-2015, 11:39   #15
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Re: Boat pricing

I've seen many boats for sale at prices so good that they only lasted on the market for a few days with multiple full price offers, even some over asking price. It all depends on the specific boat and its specifics. The owner/broker is just as capable of under-pricing a given boat as over-pricing it. Boats that are grossly over-priced may sit for years, even after dramatic price reductions, and still not find a willing buyer. There are absolutely not good "rules" as to what to offer for a boat.

Oftentimes boats are well-priced but the owner needs the cash ASAP so will take a low offer. Other times even a 10% lower offer will not move a seller to accept. And too low an offer may irritate the seller to such an extent they do not want to entertain even a higher offer from a particular "potential" buyer. Imagine that - a seller might actually turn away real money. Trust me - it happens. They may regret it a year from then but it happens.

The good ones sell fast. Don't expect that you are the only person who has discovered an underpriced gem. I could name a few boats that I wish I had bought and then resold above what I could have paid for them, even considering taxes, etc. My strategy is to watch the market in detail for a while for a particular model and see what happens. Some yacht brokers, if you are seriously working with them to buy a new boat, will run a report on actual sold prices for a particular model. But you have to factor in all the knowns and unknowns of specific boats but it will give you more data to chew.
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