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Old 10-12-2009, 17:02   #1
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Real Resale Value of Homebuilt Catamarans

This question is mainly for the Aussies on this forum as it seems to be fertile ground down there for home built cruising cats many which appear to be better designs and better built than many production boats.What i am curious about is if there is any real difference in the resale prices between the flat panel balsa boats such as the designs of Bob Orams and the flat panel plywood boats such as the Easy series ,similar boats ,different materials.It seems to me that these boats have been around long enough for them to be changing hands and we should be able to compare similar vintage designs.
Ive seen the argument made that foam or balsa boats have a higher resale value than plywood but is this fact or fiction?
Steve.
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Old 10-12-2009, 18:09   #2
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All home built boats suffer the same problem. They are all a one off. The design of a boat can be seen clearly but the quality of the construction (the things you can't see) are always an open question. It's not impossible for home built boat to be top quality but you can never prove it. Home built boats are built for one vision and it might not be yours or they may not have been able to get all the way there.

You don't build a boat all on your own because of the potential resale value. If they are building it for that reason then you don't want to buy that boat. They cost too much in labor for the builder to just turn around and sell unless they are forced to. The best home built boats are still out there going places. Some people can do this level of work. It's clear from the home built boats I've seen but not all of them. So the rule is you can never know - for sure. As a general rule home built boats don't resell well. No buyer can really know a lot of things and it can make them afraid unless the price is low enough. What method used to build them is less important than the fact that they were home built.
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Old 10-12-2009, 19:52   #3
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Think of a home built boat like someone who builds a home where the building inspector never shows up. You will always wonder what it looks like under the drywall. As Paul says, it could be good or it could be horrible, but you will never know.
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Old 10-12-2009, 20:16   #4
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I disagree

You can get a survey done by a reputable surveyor that knows something about Multihulls

It can be reasonably obvious when sailing, looking in bilges, inside lockers etc whether a boat is a good or shoddy build or a good performer, although this is no guarantee either, merely and indicator.

Other owners of the design and the designer will usually have some insight as to the quality and performance of a particular boa as well.

I have worked in production boat situations before and just because they are production built is no guarantee of quality either

workers used to come to work stoned and half pissed
workers used to go to the pub for a pissy lunch
Workers did not care about the quality, just the paycheque

I have done modifications on a semi production built catamaran that had newspaper in and area that was cut into (handy to know what date the job was done) and another that was about 50mm out of square (diag.), none of which affected the sailing ability of the vessel, but it does make you wonder.

There are several examples of poorly built production boats ion the internet if you search, things like insufficient resin to glass ratios (dry layup) and incorrect resin to hardener ratios (soft resin) are some that come to mind.

Now compare that to the boat built by someone who loves his boat and loves his family and you can be pretty sure they will not be wanting to put their lives as well as his own at risk by building a shoddy product.

Quite the opposite in fact, often they will spend many more hours getting something right, compared to a vessel that is churned out of a factory for a price.
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Old 10-12-2009, 23:03   #5
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More bitter experience...

Having sold a couple of boats that I built myself (ferro and ply) I have scant evidence to support my theory that an amateur built boat can sell for about the cost of materials used to build it.

Of course if you can do stunning workmanship it could go for more...
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Old 11-12-2009, 03:49   #6
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Quote:
It can be reasonably obvious when sailing, looking in bilges, inside lockers etc whether a boat is a good or shoddy build or a good performer, although this is no guarantee either, merely and indicator.
All boats should be surveyed if you expect to have any assurance about seaworthiness, require a purchase loan, or need insurance. In that respect all boats are equal. Many great boats have been beat to death. Many lessor boats are in great condition.

Home built boats carry one serious flaw - buyer perception! Just as so many new members come here to ask the one question most asked "Which brand of boat should I buy?"

The question has many complexities. When a buyer wants to simplify the search, the answer "home built boat" does not appear logical given they want to ascribe the quality of the brand name to the quality of a boat they have never seen. They want to be able to read the logo on the side of the boat and know they are making a wise choice.

There are always unknown issues. When buyers have doubt they don't offer more money. They look for simple things that can redirect them to the "better" boat. The term "better" has infinite dimensions.
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Old 11-12-2009, 04:08   #7
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Getting back to the original question, which was the comparison of home-built plywood cat prices to those of Duflex or other materials.

For a start, they really aren't similar boats. Easy's are big on accomodation for their length, and are primarily a coastal cruising boat, whereas Orams, Schionnings etc are also suitable for offshore work.

But the price you could sell one for is really a reflection of the build quality. Well built plywood boats fetch good prices. Poorly built Duflex boats go cheap.

Here is a superbly built plywood boat - SHAWN ARBER COMPROMISE 12 boat details - BoatPoint Australia

I've been on this boat, and the photo's don't do it justice. It is better built than any "professionally" built boat I've been on.

I expect it will sell for a very good price.

But given equal build quality, you'd expect a Duflex, or foam/glass boat to fetch a better price than a ply one.
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Old 11-12-2009, 05:08   #8
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Ah 44cc you beat me to it, the shawn arber boat is a beauty. Brett and Deb did a magnificent job.
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Old 11-12-2009, 05:40   #9
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This ad came up someplace else recently. It's a nice clean looking vessel, and appears to be well made.......i2f
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Old 11-12-2009, 10:26   #10
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Man,it was a mistake to put the word homebuilt in the title,it just muddied the waters,the only reason why i did is that it seems that most of the cats such as the Orams and the Easys are indeed home built.Ok,since we went there ill give my take and then move on to what im really trying to get at.As a proffesional boatbuilder i tend to look at how well a boat is built rather than who built it,i couldnt care less if a chimpanzee built it as long as he/she did a good job and i totally agree with cat man do on this,i do mostly repair work these days and am frankly appalled by some of the crap turned out by "brand name builders"that any knowlegable buyer should never have accepted except that people are like crows and go for the superficial,oooh look,shiny object.The most succesful boat companies are the most sucessful marketing companies,not the best boatbuilders.
Ok,what im trying to get at here is, based on real life boat sales,if you took 2 comparable cats,1 duflex or similar and 1 plywood,is there really a differnce in resale value and if so how much.I picked the Orams and Easy only because they are both flat bottomed hulls built of sheetgoods and because there have been enough examples built to perhaps have some real info available rather than speculation.Also i know of nowhere else in the world where this situation exists and that there may be Aussie members who are plugged in to what the various boats actually sold for rather than just the asking price.
Thanx,Steve.
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Old 11-12-2009, 11:07   #11
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I can't speak to the Australian market, but look at any international website or sailing magazine classified section and the differences in asking prices between production boats and home built boats of similar age and length is apparent. I've seen many home-built boats with fairly low asking prices sit on the market for years.
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Old 11-12-2009, 11:15   #12
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Oops,i am wrong,it looks like both the Orams and Easys are multi chine so both may suffer a stigma when compared to round bottom hulls but not compared to each other. Nautical, im more interested in the difference in actual resale value of the different materials as apposed to percieved value.
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Old 11-12-2009, 12:27   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clockwork orange View Post
... I'm more interested in the difference in actual resale value of the different materials as apposed to percieved value.
Steve.
If resale value = selling price, and selling price = purchase price; who would purchase for more than they perceive an item to be worth?
I think that resale value is perceived value.
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Old 11-12-2009, 14:25   #14
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Originally Posted by clockwork orange View Post
Oops,i am wrong,it looks like both the Orams and Easys are multi chine so both may suffer a stigma when compared to round bottom hulls but not compared to each other. Nautical, im more interested in the difference in actual resale value of the different materials as apposed to percieved value.
Steve.
The Schionning Wilderness series is multichine too. Along with quite a few others. I don't think there is any "stigma" associated with that.

To really answer your question you'd need two identical boats built to the same standard, one of ply, the other of Duflex.

In that case the Dufex boat would sell for more - it will be lighter, and stiffer.

The only "small" Oram boats I know that have been sold were "Mango" designs. They are a similar length to an Easy at 38 feet, but in reality a MUCH smaller volume boat. Much more performance oriented than accomodation oriented compared to the Easy, so they probably have a smaller market.

Even so, I think overall, the Mangoes have sold for slightly higher prices.

If you compare similar volume Duflex Schionning boats to Easys, you'll find the Schionnings get higher prices.
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Old 11-12-2009, 16:16   #15
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Gord,i think of the asking price as being perceived value,its not real,its what the seller perceives his item to be worth but it often bears little resemblance to the actual value which is what a buyer will actually cut a check for,so when i see boats listed for a certain dollar figure it dosnt really help much as i know thats not what it will sell for.
44c,i didnt mean to imply that multi chine boats are in any way inferior,they are not.However in most of the world apart from oz pretty much all are home builds so they carry that stigma by association,im mostly talking monos here.A large proportion of power boats are single chine and are accepted as the norm while very few sailboats are and they are associated with amature built, its unfortunate.For some reason in Australia they have carved out a niche for themselves and are accepted.You brought up an interesting point in your previous post that the Easys are not an offshore capable boat and i had not even considered that,would you mind elaborating on why the Orams would be while the Easys would not.
Steve.
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