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Old 16-08-2016, 16:53   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 5
Newbie question, best way to get parts prices?

Hi all,

We're in the beginning stages of shopping for a boat. And we're starting to take a more in depth look at boats on the market.

I'm trying to compare different boats of the same model but with wildly different prices.

I know the cheaper ones are less outfitted and need more work. The cheaper boats sometime list things like "Saildrive needs replacing", to which I immediately google "How much does a partname_here saildrive cost" and get no useful results.

So clearly I'm doing it wrong. My main question is this:
How do you guys find out how much a particular project will cost for a boat?

With some followup questions:
People say get quotes. Is there a right way or a wrong way to do that?
Is getting quotes really the only way to find parts prices?
What's the motivation for parts manufacturers to not publish prices?

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Old 16-08-2016, 17:22   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 87
Re: Newbie question, best way to get parts prices?

You're going about it right, for the most part. I would be surprised if you got information on a replacement sail drive without a few phone calls. I did a web search for that once out of curiosity, and found pretty much zilch. If you're looking for an installation price too, that'll be more difficult. Our local yard is good, but they'd never give you an installation price, just an hourly rate plus the cost of the sail drive. Imagine them inspecting the boat to see what's involved and working up a detailed quote for $6,738.42. The average person, especially the average person who's just looking at the boat is going to say "thank you, no". How long do you think it takes the yard to figure out that's not how they should spend their time?

Other things, like sails, running rigging, and standing rigging might be easier to determine replacement prices, but it takes a fair amount of homework to get answers.

One bit of wisdom that's oft repeated on sailing sites, and I'm in agreement with it, is to buy the boat that's in better condition, as the one that needs the work is going to cost you as much or more. That's a pretty broad generalization, but it works for me.

Exceptions would be guys who can look at a boat, quickly determine what it needs, know where to get a good price on sail drive X, and do the installation themselves without breaking a sweat. If that's not you, get the better maintained boat.

I bought a 1996 Catalina 28 three years ago at top of the market pricing, and I would defy you to find a nicer one of that vintage. Still, it's a boat, and keeping it tip-top takes money and effort. I'm glad I didn't buy at the lower end. I've done that before, and I wanted low hassle, good sailing.

Of course, the other trick is, if you pay in the upper range for a particular boat, is for it to really be a good boat. It takes a savvy, careful purchaser to accomplish that. An effective and detailed pre-inspection by the purchaser and a professional surveyor from the best surveyor in your area. I like to head problems off at the pass whenever possible.

Best of luck to you.
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