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Old 08-03-2016, 09:37   #16
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Re: Upgrade before selling or discount sale price?

Thanks everyone for the great response. Here are some additional thoughts about selling our boat based on the responses you have offered:

I will not spend the money to upgrade any of the fully functional electronics or electrics but will reduce the list price to reflect the need to upgrade those devices.

I will upgrade the interior lights to give a more modern appearance.

I will have all the upholstery professionally cleaned. There are no stains or tears but the texture/nap is pretty flat.

We've already gotten bids for a professional exterior detailing of the boat. It will include rubbing out all the fiberglass oxidation and a good wax and polish. We will have all the exterior stainless fittings cleaned and polished.

We will hire professional interior cleaners to detail the interior including cleaning and polishing all interior surfaces. We will also have them clean every litttle nook and cranny on the stove and elsewhere in the galley.

We live aboard and have no residence on land so will have to either rent an apartment for a couple months or buy and move aboard the new boat before selling our current boat.

Here is another question:

The boat has very little exterior teak (hand rails on each side of the cockpit, frame around the companionway, and top of cockpit coamings). Years ago, while cruising the tropics, I stripped all that wood and let it go natural grey. It is well cared for but has no finish on it.

Should I apply varnish, or Cetol to the exterior wood or leave it natural as any lazy tropical cruiser would?
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Old 08-03-2016, 09:46   #17
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Re: Upgrade before selling or discount sale price?

All great info here but I might add a possible good end to your means. You say you receive a large discount on purchase of electronics. You might want to school your broker that you would be willing to share your discount with the buyer. That way they can pick what they want and you don't have to extend your investment. You could put in the listing advert on Yachtworld that " owner is willing to include all new electronics at wholesale " or such. Clean has always sold the best and I would limit my get ready to that. I have gone so far as to have material swatches in the boat and included new upholstery in the listing allowing the buyers wife to choose her favorite.
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Old 08-03-2016, 10:02   #18
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Re: Upgrade before selling or discount sale price?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
-You will not recover your money by upgrading.
-People prefer to buy their own rather than pay for someone else's choice.
Clean, neat and tidy matter.
Good advice. If the electrics work I would only build in a little wiggle room on the price.
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Old 08-03-2016, 10:09   #19
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Re: Upgrade before selling or discount sale price?

When I look at a used boat the first thing I am interested in is the boats history... Was the last owner a meticulous maintainer, or never repaired anything. More than a survey this tells me what to expect. Someone who meticulously maintains things means I won't be suprized by bodged jobs buried in the bilge, or a rats nest of jumper wires at the fuse panel. Or even need to deal with an engine that has had an oil change twice in the owners posession, once when he bought the boat, once when he decided to sell it.

From that perspective if everything works and is well maintained but is aged then I assume the boat has been well maintained. I would actually worry about a boat that was on the market right after installing a whole suite of new electronics and a new interior. It makes me worry about if stuff had been left in a non-functional state for so long that it was easier to just replace than to fix.

There is also the reality that whatever you pick I won't like... My dad for instance far prefers garmin equipment, while I much prefer Raymarine. For neither would this be a make it or break it deal, but it would count in the equation, so which do you install?

From my perspective I would make sure everything works. Of in the event something is non-functional replace it, or remove it. With the removal being well done (patched screw holes, wires actually removed from the boat, cover plates installed in holes, etc). To me this would indicate a boat that has been properly maintained that is simply dated.

The one other thing I might suggest is to have an owner's survey done and made available to potential buyers. While I would expect the eventual buyer to get their own when I am comparing used boats this is the best way to know what you are getting into. If the survey comes back great then it's a good way to justify a premium price on an older boat. If the survey comes back with serious deficiencies then either you can get the work done now, or know you need to discount the price to match.
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Old 08-03-2016, 10:10   #20
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Re: Upgrade before selling or discount sale price?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TacomaSailor View Post

Here is another question:

The boat has very little exterior teak (hand rails on each side of the cockpit, frame around the companionway, and top of cockpit coamings). Years ago, while cruising the tropics, I stripped all that wood and let it go natural grey. It is well cared for but has no finish on it.

Should I apply varnish, or Cetol to the exterior wood or leave it natural as any lazy tropical cruiser would?
Nope, don't bother.

Here's why:

The "natural" progression of "dealing with exterior teak" usually runs like this:

--- teak oil

or

--- Nothing

--- varnish

--- cetol

--- nothing

---teak oil or Semco

--- nothing

--- varnish

--- cetol

Repeat as necessary...

Nothing much has changed in the last 25 years about this subject...

Since everyone has their own choices, let the new owner make it.

I've gone through all of this and mine's gray now.

Are you seeing a pattern here with this and the electrical/electronics?
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Old 08-03-2016, 10:12   #21
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Re: Upgrade before selling or discount sale price?

I agree with all the others that say go with what you have unless something is broken and needs to be replaced, mainly if it is an "essential for safety or navigation" type item, although essential for navigation can be subjective too.

Your choices may not be someone else's choices and for sure they are not going to want to pay retail for them, plus installation. A clean, functional, sound, seaworthy, liveable boat is a good basis for someone to start to add the things that are important to them, and if they feel that they are getting a great deal on the boat (which they might not if you are trying to recover a hefty sum to cover all the stuff you added), at least for me I would be more attracted to that.
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Old 08-03-2016, 10:21   #22
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Re: Upgrade before selling or discount sale price?

Price sells.

Also important...the price.

Do not start making changes to a good working boat. Whatever new electronics you choose, no doubt a new owner will want something different and toss it out anyway. Better to let the new owner choose.

Also, there are constant changes and improvements to electronics. What you install today might already be "obsolete" in 6 months.

I've bought 8 boats, and I'm looking for number 9. I look for a structurally solid boat, engine and rig with decent sails. Everything else might make the boat more attractive, but I'd rather get a good price and choose my own gear.

It sounds like you have a great boat for sale. I suggest you don't change a thing. Make it super clean and tidy, and keep the price down. When I look for boats, I do an online search and sort by PRICE.

Also, IMHO, better to ask a reasonable (low) price to start and get it sold, rather than show it dozens of times just to lower the price later.

I would not remove anything...if it works, it has value.
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Old 08-03-2016, 10:37   #23
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Re: Upgrade before selling or discount sale price?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TacomaSailor View Post
Most of the electronics and electrics are over 20-years old, not shiny and new, and definitely not in color. I suspect new boat owners would be turned off by the “ancient” technology that has served us so well. So, what to do?

Would the prospective purchaser prefer to do all the upgrades while I discount the selling price?

Will more prospective purchasers look at the boat if I have already done the upgrades?

What are your thoughts about LOOKING at the boat and BUYING the boat with or without the upgrades?

Were it me shopping...

I'd completely ignore electronics to determine what I think is a fair price for the boat. I'd be shopping for "bones" -- not add-ons.

Edit: And that's without even bothering to read your electronics list.

If it happens the existing 20-year-old electronics suite is functional, usable while I puzzle out what I'd really want, that'd maybe be a bit of a plus... but not much.

Might actually be different if that stuff was all nearly new, but then whatever you chose might turn me off as much as on. But then I have very definite ideas about electronics; others may differ.

Other upgrades; different. New plumbing, new fridges, soft goods, galley stuff, bimini/dodger, sails, etc. may make the boat more attractive/usable -- if they really needed replacement. Even in that case, I doubt I'd try to upgrade just before a sale, given I'd have little chance to enjoy all that stuff myself. OTOH, I've been pretty quick to upgrade for our own use, and most of those good improvements would likely affect how quickly ours were to sell, if offered.

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Old 08-03-2016, 10:47   #24
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Re: Upgrade before selling or discount sale price?

You'd probably get more back on the price from doing an oil change, fuel filter changes, belt change and maybe even new plumbing hoses than all the electronic/electric stuff. You have great equipment already. KISS.
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Old 08-03-2016, 11:02   #25
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Re: Upgrade before selling or discount sale price?

Going back to a nice clean presentation. I get a kick out of brokers posts with pics that look like the proverbial **** house. If someone keeps things like that it would make you wonder? On the other hand, the pics with the place mats and wine glasses on the galley table, brought by a good selling broke, I am sure? A nicely kept boat, not just bull **** wine glasses will sell. Maybe I am being repetitive if the electronics work don't worry about it. I doubt that upgrading the electrics would pay for itself.
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Old 08-03-2016, 11:34   #26
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Re: Upgrade before selling or discount sale price?

We just purchased our first boat a few weeks ago. As newbs to the world of sailing we focused our cash towards used boats.
We started our search with basic parameters - price, length, and keel depth.
The items important to us were the hull/paint/blisters, rigging, sails, and motor. Those were the items that we took dead serious.
Extras like floor layout, electronics, and safety gear were used as tie breakers.
We never made it to the tie breaker part of the selection process because the previous demands already filtered our boat down to a few.
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Old 08-03-2016, 11:38   #27
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Re: Upgrade before selling or discount sale price?

In some ways it's like buying and selling a house. You want to make it look pretty. But, unlike a house, you will not recover your expenses by adding stuff. Look to the BAC price of your boat, not necessarily what your make and model are listed for. A good broker will be able to tell you what they are selling for. You can get the BAC price on your own. We bought our boat with wind, solar, all the electronic except an SSB, and got it for under the BAC price because it needed a new mainsail and engine work. If they'd paid attention to the stuff the boat needs, they would have gotten more.
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Old 08-03-2016, 11:50   #28
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Re: Upgrade before selling or discount sale price?

I would price it as fully loaded with all the electronics. You can always bargain the price down but most sellers would not move much because fully functional instruments are old. I would lightly sand and oil the exterior teak. Easy job and better appearance. The day before showing it oil again. I would not go for the trouble to varnish.
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Old 08-03-2016, 12:18   #29
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Re: Upgrade before selling or discount sale price?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave22q View Post
I do not have experience in selling boats but I think it's safe to generalize. Rule 1- if it ain't broke don't fix it. For every buyer who wants the latest and greatest installed there are probably a dozen who don't and everybody looks at the price. Rule 2- cosmetics matter. Limited investments to look 'pretty' generally pay. I think this common sense applies to selling most anything. You never know what a prospect will fixate on. Good luck with you sale.
You have to be careful applying rule 1. A good boat maintenance program will include updating functional but tired equipment. This helps improve vessel enjoyment and pride of ownership, and value. Any vessel in clean, functional, but outdated condition, is worth about 30% less than than the equal boat on up to date condition. Turning the outdated boat into an up to date boat will coat about 100% of value more. This is why it is not worth doing for a new owner, but is worth doing for a current owner if they plan on owning the boat for considerable time.
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Old 08-03-2016, 12:22   #30
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Re: Upgrade before selling or discount sale price?

One more thing, the saddest crime is when someone purchases a very we'll maintained and updated boat, and let's it rot.

So rule 1 should be, never buy a boat you can't afford to maintain and update to keep it in the same relative condition. This just makes you a DPO(darned previous owner).
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