By my experiences looking for an own boat (a trimaran
for living + working) over last months I have seen 90% overprized sales offers. In total I looked at 10 boats now.
In my understanding, owners mostly overestimate the value of their boats, as they mainly take into account the original prize and the re-investments over last years plus all the work they had - beside sailing it.
I dont talk about boats at the age of 5-10 years. I talk about boats of 20-30 years age.
What I see mostly is following: Imagine, you would get the sales offer for a 25 year old Porsche 911 Turbo
(in comparison the new prize of a 911 Turbo S built in 2014 is in the range of 182 Thousand US Dollars
- 300,000 kilometers on the clock (= equivalent to a very old diesel engine which consumes a lot of oil and very noisy)
- Very rosty chassis (= equivalent to a coat with Osmosis)
- 10 year old tires (= equivalent to 10 year old "tired sails")
- the interior of leather seats is full of scratches (= equivalent of very old mattress in the berth)
- no navigation system in the car (equivalent = no modern Chart plotter/no radar)
- no air condition in the car (equivalent = no heating system for all years living on the boat and no hatches for tropical zones)
- no airbag in the Porsche (equivalent = no modern safety equipment on board (Radar, Epirb, VHF with AIS))
Lets say the owner want for this 20-25 year old Porsche still 120 Thousand Dollars. Would you buy it ???? The answer is clear. By sure not.
One can get such a car at the prize of 15-20 Thousand in the market. So is the reality.
But so it is not in the world of boatings. The owners think to expect lots of money
for their old "beloved ones". - Why ?
As a buyer I dont buy in the "romantic factor". What counts is the total investment and not the stories I get told by the owner that his baby has seen Alaska
and laying front great barrier reef
of Australia. A real nonsense of "romanticism". And I dont like to hear that his boat still can sail in stormy weather
, because its normal, that a sea going vessel can sail in such conditions. It is built to do so. No extra payment for seaworthyness. Its an urgent "must", and not a "nice to have" feature paying an extra prize for.
Let us be realistically... a boat owner should think about first, what the buyer needs to invest to refit the boat to bring it to a modern standard
, thats the relevant point. And still then, the hull
and rig has 20-25 years of age. An owner cant neglate this. Boat design nowadays is using computer simulations, 3D design... and not old fashion "hand drawn".
Old is old... thats fact.
Only because the boat gets a new painting, a new sink, a new water
maker or generator
it does not make it to a new boat.
So what is the correct formula
? I handle it as following:
First question: What costs a "new boat" with modern standard? - Lets say: a 40 footer at a prize of 400,000 US dollars.
What costs same boat as used, one day after the buying
with modern standard ? The prize drops immediatelly 40%. So are the market rules
The loss for the new owner is on first day: 160 Thousand US dollars, rest value = 240 Thousand. Yes, terrible world this capitalism. But so it is.
Thats the rest value I think about as potential buyer... as maximum total investment (sales prize + refit).
So lets say, I look at a 40 footer of 25 years age... then
I calculate all the investments to pimp it up, individually and qualitatively. It depends from boat to boat. I dont talk her about luxury and "extreme comfort". I talk about the standards of IMO/SOLAS.
E.g. new sails
maker (so far no bigger water tanks
can be installed) which is urgent on multihulls to keep them "light displacement built", new chart plotter, exchange the VHF
by a VHF with AIS
, exchange the old radar
by a modern one with high resolution, solar panels
etc. etc. etc. ... all details come into account, till the last tiny little screw.
I'd have to invest 140,000 US dollars (for equipment
+ working hours (wages/fees)). In consequences....
I'd then pay for the 25 year old 40 footer maximum 100,000 US dollars (compared to the 240,000), so far the boat speed can compete with the new boat of same size/brand/type. 99% of all boats wont do so.
If this old boat is to be seen as slower, even with modern sails
... and having less space in the cockpit
or under deck
... again the prize drops far under 100,000 US dollars.
Lower speed, less sportiveness is a value one buys in with newer boats. Mostly elder boats cant compete against.
So probably I'd pay maximum 60-70,000 for the old boat, and not 120,00 US dollars as demanded by the owner. The relevant factor is the ongoing investment after the buy in.
I know that owners dont like to experience such a drop down of 50%. But it has to be. Why ? If the buyer dont have enough liquid cash in reserves for repairing and refit
, the boat will suffer and its substance will be damaged further on in the aggressive environment
of salt water
and Ultra violet light.
6.) Last aspect:
The owners should deliver a qualitatively survey
by a certified naval architect. It is not costly... for a boat in the range of 15-20 meters its something around 7-800 US dollars. Not too expensive I would say if one demands 120,000 US dollars.
I always wonder why boat owners are shy to orgnize such a survey
Are they scared to read the reality printed in ink on white paper to recognize that their boats aren't of that high value they project
in their minds ?
Of all ten boats I have looked at only 2 boats got a survey. One naval architect recognized osmosis
, so the old boat owner had the chance to repair the damages. It helps all three: the old owner, the boat and the new owner.
Only one owner did a survey in the 90th and then again in 2014. So it was obviously what has been changed over more than 15 years. Compliment to this owner. He overtakes responsability for his own doing against the new potential owner.
With another investment of 120,000 US dollars for the refitting (in the given example) I'd get a boat with a total investment of 180-200,000 US dollars... the same values (quality, size, speed, comfort, handling, seaworthyness, safetyness etc. ...) compared to the brand new boat of 400,000 US dollars.
By all the calculations I did, I can say as "quick formula": double the sales prize then you get the extra investment.
E.g. buy a boat at 40 Thousand, then you need to invest another 70-80 Thousand to modernize it. Buy a smaller boat at 30 Thousand, you need to invest 50-60 Thousand... it goes always the same procedure.
The benefits are clear to buy in a "used boat" so long its a fair sales prize.
If boat owners would follow upper described "method" (pos. 1.-6.), it would be a fair deal, isnt ?
The drop down same calculates some other aspects, e.g. extra costs for the sales contract
. e.g. lawyer, flight costs/travelling expenses, delivery
(transfer by skipper
+ crew) etc. ... an owner has to take into account all the efforts a buyer is bringing up till he has the boat in own harbour.