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Old 14-04-2019, 07:51   #31
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Re: Buying and selling a sailboat

Sellers of boats often times have very unrealistic expectations of the true value of their boat. First, there is the price they paid, the cost of upgrades over the years, and finally the sweat equity invested in the boat. Sellers have an emotional attachment to their boats, and thus have a biased view of the real market value.

Buyers span the gamut from idealistic novices buying their first boat...to seasoned open water veterans. The novices are comparing everything about your used boat to the photos they've seen in magazines of an Oyster, or new boats they've been on at boat shows...but they can't afford new boat prices and are trying to purchase a boat for as little as possible and are often completely unknowledgable about boat values...they are just trying to go as low as their paltry pocketbook allows.

At the other end of the spectrum...experienced sailors are discriminating and assessing what additional work or upgrades are required for their use. For example, if I am buying a boat to go offshore, and that boat is 30 years old, and the standing rigging is original...that will automatically cut 10K from the cost of a 40ish foot vessel if the owner hasn't taken that into consideration in his/her valuation. These types of buyers have no emotional attachment (yet) and have a lot of experience and understand what may be required to get the boat to the point they want it.

The first rule of boat buying is...NEVER BUY A BOAT YOU FALL IN LOVE WITH AT FIRST SIGHT!

Also, buying a boat without a survey is not only foolish...it is just downright stupid. And the inability to negotiate a price based on a survey is a ridiculous expectation of the seller. If a survey reveals a soft spot in the deck or a corroded chain plate...as a buyer I have a choice...I can either walk away...or I can assess the cost in labor, time, materials to affect a repair and reduce that from the selling price. Additionally...a survey is usually required for insurance purposes, and buyers want the valuation to be above the selling price and with no major issues found.

As for brokers...they are trying to make a buck. They understand the local market. They deal with obnoxious sellers who have emotional attachments to their boats and often want an unrealistic return on their 'investment.' (HINT...boats are never investments.) They also deal with clueless tire-kickers who just want to look at boats and dream, buyers who think they understand more about boats than the broker or the seller, and sometimes...rarely deal with the folks who are know what they want in a boat and have the money to put down. These are the buyers the broker works with the most.

So, there are always different perspectives...but like other things...we only see the world from our own biased and emotional viewpoint.
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Old 14-04-2019, 08:09   #32
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Re: Buying and selling a sailboat

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Originally Posted by Discovery 15797 View Post
Also, buying a boat without a survey is not only foolish...it is just downright stupid.
Without a survey, one might not know that the fire extinguisher is expired or the boat has no carbon monoxide detector. Well worth the $700 to $1000.
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Old 14-04-2019, 08:23   #33
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Re: Buying and selling a sailboat

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Without a survey, one might not know that the fire extinguisher is expired or the boat has no carbon monoxide detector. Well worth the $700 to $1000.
Or, the survey could reveal a rotted deck, a corroded chainplate, a faulty engine mount, dangerous electrical wiring, a bad cutlass bearing, etc.

IMHO, if the only thing a surveyor finds is an out of date extinguisher or missing CO detector...that boat is probably very well maintained and will value well and be easy to insure.

And yes...to me it would be worth the money to have a proper survey for peace of mind and for insurance purposes.
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Old 14-04-2019, 08:45   #34
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Re: Buying and selling a sailboat

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Originally Posted by KTP View Post
Without a survey, one might not know that the fire extinguisher is expired or the boat has no carbon monoxide detector. Well worth the $700 to $1000.
or you may learn that the surveyor missed both holding tank and fuel tank leaks. on a positive note he noted that the VHF was working great
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Old 14-04-2019, 08:46   #35
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Re: Buying and selling a sailboat

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Originally Posted by Discovery 15797 View Post
Or, the survey could reveal a rotted deck, a corroded chainplate, a faulty engine mount, dangerous electrical wiring, a bad cutlass bearing, etc.
I'll give you the deck and hull. Most surveyors seem to do a good job going over those.

The chainplates though are nearly impossible to diagnose by a general survey. Heck, sometimes you can't even tell they are bad even when taken off the boat and inspected under a microscope. Best to just assume they are bad or need replacing if they are more than 10 to 15 years old.

Our survey said the engine mounts needing painting. When we pulled the engine the mounts fell apart into 10 pieces. There was no mention of the cutlass bearing on the survey but I think it might need replacing because I am having some vibration that I can't seem to get rid of with alignment adjustments.

A survey is probably required for insurance purposes but I don't really think you get value for it on a older boat other than inspecting the hull.
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Old 14-04-2019, 18:29   #36
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Re: Buying and selling a sailboat

Not saying a full official survey, but beyond the "deck and hull", include rudder & stock, mast, through hulls. . .

even for a $5-10,000 boat, if the seller claims the engine is in great shape, I'd want that verified, an oil analysis is peanuts! If that checks out, even paying say $500 more to a trusted knowledgeable diesel guy, cheap peace of mind.

Tanks also get pricey to replace. . .
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Old 14-04-2019, 20:01   #37
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Re: Buying and selling a sailboat

Free market, people... I do agree it is annoying to deal with low ball offers if you have a firm price in mind, but what can you do? As someone suggested: list the price as firm, if that is what it is. Then you have the right to cuss someone out if they lowball you. Otherwise, your boat is worth what someone will pay for it.

I do like the idea of stating that the price will not be altered after inspection, assuming you know you boat is in typical condition so far as how it was listed.
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Old 15-04-2019, 04:02   #38
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Re: Buying and selling a sailboat

When you retire is when you should really enjoy your sailing.
I started at the age of 61. Now approaching 79 and enjoying the Med and the warm weather away from the frequent damp weather of the UK.
But will have to sell soon.
Remember the two happiest days of a sailor are the day you buy her and the day you sell her.
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Old 15-04-2019, 05:05   #39
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Re: Buying and selling a sailboat

You guys are taking all of this way too personal. It's a business deal. People are going to try to negotiate. If that offends you then you really shouldn't be selling anything that goes for more than a couple of dollars.


Yeah, sometimes buyers are obnoxious. Sometimes sellers are obnoxious. Sometimes brokers are obnoxious. It's still just a business deal. Figure out your lowest price and then stick to that. It's really not that hard.
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Old 15-04-2019, 06:42   #40
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Re: Buying and selling a sailboat

My two cents, currently owning my fifth sailboat, and having owned one inboard 21 foot skiboat....When I went to buy my 1987 Catalina 30, I hired Pete. I knew nothing about diesel motors and the cost of the out of water survey was cheap insurance relative to the amount of money being spent. It was a fantastic learning experience. I treasure the time Pete spent with me, giving excellent write up and advise. Pete was in his 80ís and turned out to have a PHD in marine engineering. Pete spent most of his life with the US Navy. He did 20-30 surveys per year for something to do and generate a little income. After the survey I took him out to lunch and asked him about his life. I asked, what was the biggest boat he had ever surveyed... ďoh, it was the USS Nimitz, I had about 8 guys working under meĒ. Pete stressed the boat builder had designed the boat to incorporate their cumulative experience and systems are installed for a reason. During first season, replace what are worn out items, or are safety issues. Basic maintenance and sanitation/deep cleaning items are a great investment in time as you start to appreciate and learn about your boat. This boat needed a lot of TLC as it had not been in the water for three years. It was my first larger boat. After eight years I sold that boat. Next boat was a 21 foot Larson open bow ski boat, ten years old, only 200 hours on the engine. I learned the hard way that low running hours on an old engine is not necessarily a good thing. After two months use, I had to spend $1200 to re gasket the engine. I pulled the drain plug after an afternoon on the river and a water & engine oil mix started to pour out. We decided it was time to go back to sailing and bought the first of two Catalina 36ís. I didnít use a surveyor for either boat. Why? I was older, now much more experienced and the sellers demonstrated their love for the boats they were selling. Both boats had extensive maintenance records and were visually mechanically and cosmetically clean. The sellers knew their boats and had compelling reasons for selling the boats. I was comfortable not hiring a surveyor. Why two Catalina 36ís in seven months? Because the trucker hauling the 1995 boat from Eastern Michigan to Western Wisconsin fell asleep at the wheel and the boat was a total loss. (See https://www.catalina36.org/Forum/gen...d-my-boat-us-2)
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Old 19-04-2019, 07:30   #41
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Re: Buying and selling a sailboat

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These are all good anecdotes.

From a buyers' perspective, it's very hard to find a boat in decent condition, and sellers are typically unrealistic as well.

I've looked at boats in pretty poor condition that demand "the going rate". Oh, just needs some TLC? Then give it! Or reduce the asking price!

You can't really tell much about a boat from the ad. You can tell a bit more from the photos. The best information is when an owner shows regular updates. At least then you can see that some maintenance is being done.

Prices are completely unrealistic. If your boat hasn't sold in a year, it's overpriced. Boats depreciate. Reduce the price and sell it! You're wasting your money paying for yearly maintenance, and will eventually reduce your price anyway. You'll also have to continue doing maintenance.

And lastly, if you added something three years ago, it's helpful to list that, but it ISN'T new! It only SEEMS like you bought it yesterday. You got the bottom painted three years ago? Helpful information, but needs another paint job now. New sails 10 years ago are no longer new. If I've got to replace something the first year after I buy the boat, I've got to take that into consideration.

Would be better if there were better records of sales prices out there, but clearly brokers know knowledge is power, so they don't really want to share it accurately. At 10%, brokers make a LOT of money on the transaction. What are they doing for all that money, really?
I have been messing with boats for over 50 years. I started as a kid a 13 when I bought my first boat. I live by the following statements

The boat is worth only what someone will pay

Buyer beware.

The seller always thinks his boat is the best boat.

The hysterical laughing you hear as you leave the dock for the first time is the Seller.

When you say people use the survey to get a better price in some cases yes. Some cases no. A Broker has access to price data that the general public does not. The general public often doesnít research what their boat is really worth before putting it on the market.

Often the Broker will encourage a higher offer then the buyer really wants to make on the premise that the survey will prove out. So if the buyer believes this is the boat for them will make the offer. Then the survey report comes back showing the work required to make it the boat the buyer wanted the deal might go pear shaped. The seller has the option to say no thanks on renegotiating. Remember the buyer has skin in the game often a $1,000 or more. The seller may not have known about the problems or did and chose to ignore it as it is a used boat.

For myself I value the guidance from a Good Broker. As a buyer I always give the Broker precisely what I want. A good Broker will go and find the boat. They donít sit on their butt looking at the ads and email me pictures. As a seller a Good Broker will tell you what the real market is. Boats sell at different prices at different times of the year depending on location.

Personally itís worth the commission for good advice.
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Old 19-04-2019, 07:42   #42
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Re: Buying and selling a sailboat

The boat surveys I have had done as a buyer in the States are 'for insurance purposes'. The survey confirms the boat exists; is in reasonable condition (?) and valued at twice what I paid for it.
I've never had the balls to go back to the surveyor with all the problems I later found.
Is there a boat in existance that doesn't have problems?
Does one have a comeback on such professional advice?

Edit - typo
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Old 19-04-2019, 13:37   #43
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Re: Buying and selling a sailboat

Really surprised by the number of boats that are for sale where the owner has obviously done nothing to help sell the boat. The interior and decks are shabby and nothing has been done to clean the boat. But still they ask a price that is fairly high.
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Old 20-04-2019, 05:21   #44
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Re: Buying and selling a sailboat

First after buying and selling sailboats over the last 30 years ( all in Florida) there are a lot of nutjobs out there on both ends of the sales cycle.

I now limit myself to boats that I pay cash for - always under 10K - survey it myself - had surveys done years ago on more expensive boats - a Cal 36 and an Ericson 26 - surveyors missed major issues - so no confidence in them.

Under 10K - Geico/Boat US has not required a survey to insure the boat - full coverage.

Have never paid asking price for boat - but I don't insult owners with low ball offers - figure if the seller has the boat way overpriced - he is unrealistic and won't waste my time. Oddly enough I have sold boats for higher than my asking price - I don't ask why - I just take the money.

My current boat a Pearson 30 - the only thing the the PO were a little untruthful - was how much they used it - for sailing - as a place to dink cocktails possibly but don't think they ever sailed it more than once or twice.

My goal is always buy low - sell low - good price upfront allows you to sell it more easier later.

In Florida - especially for older boats - the value is what someone else is willing to pay - too many boats for sale - few buyers for 30-40 year old sailboats that need to be kept in slips.

I see boats that are overpriced -seller trying to sell himself - advertised for a year or so - no luck - 3 months later they are with a "discount" broker for sale with a 25% price increase - they end up on Ebay with no one ever bidding on them.
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Old 20-04-2019, 09:47   #45
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Re: Buying and selling a sailboat

Just as Skipper53 I bought my Islander 36 without a survey after looking at others that were in pretty rough condition. My boat is a work in progress which is what I was looking for and sailed on a regular basis and people commonly compliment my boat.
I guess sometimes things were meant to be.
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