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Old 28-09-2012, 22:18   #1
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Buying and re-selling a boat after 2 years of use in the Caribbean

Hi All,

I'm new to the forum - first post, so if I end up breaking any commonly understood rules, I apologize in advance. I've read FAQ and should be good, just wanted to make it clear I'm new. But this seems like such a fantastic resource, I wanted to be part of it.

As background, I basically want to pack up, take off and head down to the Caribbean for two years and just sail around. I prob. won't do it for a year or two, just b/c I want to hone my sailing skills (among other considerations). I'm hoping to pick up a 30'-35' "ready-to-go" boat, which I believe should be plenty for my needs. This actually isn't necessarily dictated by budget. While I'm relatively young (32 yo), I've been prudent with my spending and believe I have a good understanding of the budget for the trip. I'm not going to be doing total shoestring (I like to enjoy life), but I also live a very simple and frugal lifestyle on land even when I have money, so no real adjustment necessary in that regard. I'm figuring that ~$2K / mo. for living expenses, excluding boat repairs / maintenance (which will also be budgeted for separately), should be sufficient.

What I'm more interested in trying to quantify is this: if I buy a boat, say in Florida, sail it around the islands for 2 years, then need to re-sell, how much of a "bath" should I expect to take? I've seen some boats that appear to be relatively "island ready" for ~$30-$35K.

First question - is this a reasonable price point to get something to sail the Caribbean? Remember this is essentially a short-to mid-term rental. Is my $30-35K number too low? I want something solid, but doesn't need to be over the top, as I will sell the boat at the end of my time.

Next question - Assuming I can get a boat for around this number, what might I be able to sell it for at the end of my trip? And I know that''s a very vague question - it depends on the boat, the condition, "a boat is worth what someone will pay", etc. Just trying to get some range of values or hear from people with experience of re-selling.

Obviously huge variables in this equation and I totally understand. I'm basically trying to quantify a non-quantifiable metric (every situation is unique). I'm just trying to get a sense and open a dialogue with people that have had similar experiences. I will take my time to find the proper boat and hopefully get a proper deal...or at least not overpay. I just want to make sure that the boat "depreciation" is roughly figured into my overall cost. I don't expect to recapture the full cost, but what can I expect to re-coup?

I have a million other questions, but I'll leave it at that for now and explore the other threads that answer my other questions before posting repetitive threads. But any insight on boat re-sale would be appreciated. Again, just trying to get a sense.

Thanks all!

ID
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Old 28-09-2012, 22:36   #2
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Re: Buying and re-selling a boat after 2 years of use in the Caribbean

Welcome aboard.

There is a plethora of information on this forum. Poke around with the search function, and you will discover that a lot of your potential questions may already have been discussed. That being said, do not be afraid to ask... there is a lot of expertise here.
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Old 28-09-2012, 22:44   #3
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I came to terms with the philosophy with at least my boat ownership that I will never make money from a boat after buying it and then resell it. When it comes to boats in strickly my opinion is that you could very realistically cruise a boat for two years and not take a huge hit on the resell as long as you get it back with the major systems working and in decent shape. hull rig engine. In Your budget you will be looking at boats in the 20+ year old range with adequate cruising gear on them so the 2 extra years won't effect their price as like a new boat would depreciate in 2 years. Keep the engine running well and the tranny oil topped. Don't run into anything too hard. Keep up on the bright work and keep an eye on your rigging and replace when needed. As long as you don't buy a 20k boat and dump another 20k in mods I don't see why you can't turn around and resell for near what you bought it for plus you might have a recovering economy in your favor.

Hope that helps
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Old 28-09-2012, 23:46   #4
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Re: Buying and re-selling a boat after 2 years of use in the Caribbean

If you buy smart, you wuill likely only lose the maintenance $, added things $ and broker's fee.
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Old 29-09-2012, 02:30   #5
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Re: Buying and re-selling a boat after 2 years of use in the Caribbean

I'd disagree with the above. As a general observation boat sellers can be totally unrealistic so that just to buy a boat you may have to pay over market. Sure you could luck into a bargain, but stories of that happening are few and far between.

Your problem comes on the resale. There's a zillion overpriced boats on the market. Some are quite nice, you brought one a couple of years ago, but if you want to sell to cut the maintenance, marina and insurance costs and to get yourself to where there's work you're gunna have to make it attractive to a fussy buyer.

That said pretty boats with good interiors sell well.
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Old 29-09-2012, 05:07   #6
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Re: Buying and re-selling a boat after 2 years of use in the Caribbean

assuming you get a good boat and you take good care of it and you don't want it to sit around forever in 2 years for a buyer; figure on losing 20%

10% to the brokers and 10% on the price discount
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Old 29-09-2012, 05:30   #7
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Re: Buying and re-selling a boat after 2 years of use in the Caribbean

Good luck!!

If you keep it in good shape and nice looking, I think your major deciding factor in selling it is the economy and where you sell it. Try to bring it back to the States. Or, you may just decide to stay out there, or live down there on it. I wouldn't blame you if you did. Enjoy it!!
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Old 29-09-2012, 06:08   #8
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Re: Buying and re-selling a boat after 2 years of use in the Caribbean

I've bought 2 ex-charter boats in the Caribbean and sold them, one after sailing her for 2 years and the other was "flipped" quickly (after taking it "in trade" as part of another transaction). If you choose your boat carefully and then take good care in upgrading the boat you can break even or perhaps make a bit of profit with 2 years of use. One aspect is getting a good deal when you buy the boat. The other is being able and willing to put the boat on the market and to wait for an offer. It takes a lot longer to sell a boat than most people plan on; and then they need to drop the price below their expectations in order to get a quick sale.

My first boat was sold to a Canadian family who took 2 years time out to sail the Caribbean and they subsequently sold the boat for the same price as they bought it from me.
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Old 29-09-2012, 08:12   #9
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Re: Buying and re-selling a boat after 2 years of use in the Caribbean

Yes, you can absolutely do this and I can back that up with several actual examples I know of personally.

I've seen this scenario repeated twice on the same boat by two different owners -- both of whom I taught to sail. The boat was a Pearson 365 and is certainly one of the boats I would recommend for your intended use. Each time the boat was bought and sold within +/- $5K of the original asking price ($40K).

I've had a several former sailing students who've purchase modest boats, sailed them for a while, and then sold them. And, now that I think about it, a couple who've purchased not so modest boats and done the same. Generally, you can resell a boat for about what you paid for it provided you maintained it well in the interim (and of course assuming you don't grossly overpay or under sell). This has been my personal experience buying and selling boats and what occurred in the examples I reference here.

The bad news is that whatever you spend on the boat during your ownership you are not likely to recover. This is true of both normal maintenance and upgrades. So, search for a boat which is in good condition and already reasonably equipped for cruising. Just go sailing and keep her well maintained, but do not spend much on upgrades.

Your price range is on the low end and will make it a bit more difficult, but it is not completely unrealistic in this market. However, if possible, I would bump it up a bit and that will open up a lot more options. If you can go to $40K or even $50K your search will be much easier. But, don't forget this is definitely a buyer's market so use that to your advantage and get a good value buy. As is also true of most other things, "cheap" boats are generally bad deals -- look for a good strong value buy not just the lowest price. This strategy will not only help keep your purchase price competitive, but it will reduce your initial maintenance time and cost, and will help you come resell time too.

There are several boats here on the Rio Dulce which might fit your bill. And a couple of great little boats I know of which are not listed yet, but I expect will be fairly soon. Both owned by former sailing students who I think are about to repeat this scenario again (I really should consider becoming a yacht broker...). One advantage of purchasing in the Carib is that the boat is already here so you can just show up and go sailing.
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Old 29-09-2012, 08:27   #10
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Re: Buying and re-selling a boat after 2 years of use in the Caribbean

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Lucas View Post
assuming you get a good boat and you take good care of it and you don't want it to sit around forever in 2 years for a buyer; figure on losing 20%
20% is good. 25% to 30% is more realistic.
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Old 29-09-2012, 08:42   #11
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Re: Buying and re-selling a boat after 2 years of use in the Caribbean

One other thing to consider, finding a boat that is truly "island ready" is a very long shot. Even brand new boats, boats that are liveaboard adn actively cruising, whatever, 99% odds that your going to spend weeks or more likely months getting the boat ready to go. An older boat bought at a reasonable but still fairly low price plan on at least 2-3 months.

Of course, you could get lucky.
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Old 29-09-2012, 11:53   #12
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Re: Buying and re-selling a boat after 2 years of use in the Caribbean

The price range you're looking at is realistic, especially in today's market and if you have little shame and good bargaining skills. What you didn't qualify in your post is your level of comfort/familiarity with DIY maintenance. Older boats (20+ yrs.) are maintenance challenges and, if you buy one, bring it up to the kind of appearance/dependability/safety standard that a prospective buyer (and yourself) are comfortable with, then you'll have a marketable boat that you shouldn't take a beating on. As previously written, don't expect to get those $$$ back. The definition of cruising is working on your boat in new and exotic locations.
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Old 29-09-2012, 12:10   #13
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Re: Buying and re-selling a boat after 2 years of use in the Caribbean

And this IMHO is why there are so many overpriced boats on the market. Clearly there are people who expect/ plan to sell a boat for what they pay for it after 2 years of use... Perhaps some upgrades or a well-cared-for coveted model might allow you to break even but seriously - would anyone knowingly pay what the current owner paid or more for a boat with 2 more years wear and tear on the engine, sails, rigging, upholstery, pipes and hoses, uv exposure, etc... FML. This whole attitude, not unlike those selling a boat and not disclosing problems/defects, is clearly dishonest to me. Profitting at the expense of others is crappy and just because you can do something doesn't mean you should. IMHO.
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Old 29-09-2012, 17:51   #14
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Re: Buying and re-selling a boat after 2 years of use in the Caribbean

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Originally Posted by terminalcitygrl View Post
And this IMHO is why there are so many overpriced boats on the market. Clearly there are people who expect/ plan to sell a boat for what they pay for it after 2 years of use... Perhaps some upgrades or a well-cared-for coveted model might allow you to break even but seriously - would anyone knowingly pay what the current owner paid or more for a boat with 2 more years wear and tear on the engine, sails, rigging, upholstery, pipes and hoses, uv exposure, etc... FML. This whole attitude, not unlike those selling a boat and not disclosing problems/defects, is clearly dishonest to me. Profitting at the expense of others is crappy and just because you can do something doesn't mean you should. IMHO.
Yes.

But I would only pay what the boat was worth to me........I don't care if I pay half as much as the Vendor did - or twice as much.

In the case of the 2 year voyage and sell, I would say it would be an ask - but not impossible to come out square. but that perhaps also on how you actually count "square". All things being equal (which they rarely are!), buy a boat for which there is a demand (in model and type) in good condition, at the right price and then maintain her well, then likely over 2 years she will be better than average (and given the age of the boat in question a fair chance that she will then be better than when bought)......whether can then be sold for the same money is in the hands of the gods. But all things being equal, a fair enough chance.

One thing to think about for the resale period is where to locate her, and how much it will cost to moor her. Likely that the cheapest monthly deals come with the longer contracts and that the areas most likely to acheive a sale will be the more expensive - so would need a good long hard think on whether to factor in a few months of mooring fees (and maintanence) into the asking price by knocking the equivalent of those off from the getgo on the basis that an early sale means not being stuck with her for 6 months. and possibly plus. and then still dropping the price later. Time of year may also affect the speed of a sale.
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Old 29-09-2012, 22:07   #15
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Re: Buying and re-selling a boat after 2 years of use in the Caribbean

i dont know..... a well bought, and well maintained boat purchased 2 years ago should be worth the same now. whether an Alberg 35 built in the 70's , pearson 365, or passport 40 is 2 years older or not is not as important as it's condition.
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