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Old 31-07-2020, 10:06   #1
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Custom and Semi-Custom Boats

Are custom boats worth it? Longer wait, higher price, resale value, etc.
Lets face it, custom boats are only "custom" to the original purchaser. It's just another off the shelf boat to the second buyer so is it really financially prudent to spend 50% more for "custom" when it loses that value once wet?
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Old 31-07-2020, 13:34   #2
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Re: Custom and Semi-Custom Boats

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Are custom boats worth it? Longer wait, higher price, resale value, etc.
Lets face it, custom boats are only "custom" to the original purchaser. It's just another off the shelf boat to the second buyer so is it really financially prudent to spend 50% more for "custom" when it loses that value once wet?
if you're only decision criteria is pure monetary value buying new almost never makes sense...

you buy new for personal reasons.. for some it's status, for some it truly is about getting EXACTLY what they want, for some they falsely assume no issues for a few years like a car which is never true on a boat... for some it's peace of mind that nothing stupid has been done before you..

in the end it's what matters to you.
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Old 31-07-2020, 13:36   #3
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Re: Custom and Semi-Custom Boats

I don't think it's financially prudent to buy a boat.

But build quality and attention to detail will always be better when it comes to custom, hand built boats, assuming it is a reputable builder. I'd say to some, hell yes it's worth it. To others, not at all.
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Old 01-08-2020, 02:38   #4
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Re: Custom and Semi-Custom Boats

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Are custom boats worth it?
Absolutely. If you have the opportunity, go for it.

My only caution is that it could be a difficult process unless you have some experience sailing, using, maintaining and living on a similar vessel. Also be aware the building process is very enjoyable, but it is time consuming. Donít underestimate the effort involved.

There are all types of variations. Some use a custom build to construct a very typical vessel, but incorporating a higher quality of construction and components. Others build a very specific vessel, often when nothing remotely suitable would otherwise be available.
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Old 01-08-2020, 05:03   #5
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Re: Custom and Semi-Custom Boats

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Absolutely. If you have the opportunity, go for it.

My only caution is that it could be a difficult process unless you have some experience sailing, using, maintaining and living on a similar vessel. Also be aware the building process is very enjoyable, but it is time consuming. Donít underestimate the effort involved.

There are all types of variations. Some use a custom build to construct a very typical vessel, but incorporating a higher quality of construction and components. Others build a very specific vessel, often when nothing remotely suitable would otherwise be available.
I built my 15' catboat myself and it was an enjoyable process. Nothing was available like it on the market so had to build. 600 hour build time over 2 year period. I would NEVER attempt a large boat build myself.

A semi custom might be the safer and less expensive route. Ability to tweak a proved design and spec the equipment is appealing to me. Not many builders offer that.
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Old 01-08-2020, 06:04   #6
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Re: Custom and Semi-Custom Boats

I was referring to having a custom boat built by a professional boat yard, rather than building it yourself.
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Old 01-08-2020, 06:42   #7
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Re: Custom and Semi-Custom Boats

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I was referring to having a custom boat built by a professional boat yard, rather than building it yourself.
So was I.
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Old 01-08-2020, 07:36   #8
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Re: Custom and Semi-Custom Boats

everything on a boat can be corrected, with the proper application of cash

I feel in the boating world semi and custom boats loss their price the fastest. But if you have the cash and are willing to spend it to have just what you want, don't let strangers on a boat forum talk you out of it.
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Old 01-08-2020, 07:47   #9
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Re: Custom and Semi-Custom Boats

I don't think Custom are worth it at all. I've done it. It's an unreliable industry with poor estimating skill, unreliable workers, and lead times that often turn out double or triple. In the end, a boat interior is like a balloon, expand it one place, it gets smaller another place. Most designs are pretty well thought out.
Further, you may end up wishing you did some interior thing different after using the boat you waited so long for and fought so hard to get done and done right anyway.
Not to mention custom boats devalue faster than even a cheap, but well known production boat.
If it's a one off custom you also risk that the design has quirks. Many a marine architect was surprised his boat didn't float on it's lines, had terrible weather helm etc. It's as much an art as a science.
Pick a boat that's close and work with it.
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Old 01-08-2020, 08:08   #10
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Re: Custom and Semi-Custom Boats

I had a custom power boat built and the build quality was just as poor as a production built boat.

I am considering another custom build - a blue water vessel - in the coming years. Yes I would do it again, but it makes NO monetary sense at all. You are throwing money away in huge bags and you know it.
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Old 01-08-2020, 08:11   #11
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Re: Custom and Semi-Custom Boats

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I had a custom power boat built and the build quality was just as poor as a production built boat.

I am considering another custom build - a blue water vessel - in the coming years. Yes I would do it again, but it makes NO monetary sense at all. You are throwing money away in huge bags and you know it.
Yep. But it might be worth it.
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Old 01-08-2020, 08:16   #12
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Re: Custom and Semi-Custom Boats

Yes, thatís exactly right.

But you have to know going into it that your vessel is worth about 50% less the second you launch it, versus a name production boat which is worth about 10-20% less. Plus you have a smaller pool of buyers.

Some things we do in life are not about money. If youíre concerned about cash then buy a vacation home, but not a boat or a car or an RV. I think most here would agree.
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Old 01-08-2020, 08:19   #13
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Re: Custom and Semi-Custom Boats

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Yes, thatís exactly right.

But you have to know going into it that your vessel is worth about 50% less the second you launch it, versus a name production boat which is worth about 10-20% less. Plus you have a smaller pool of buyers.

Some things we do in life are not about money. If youíre concerned about cash then buy a vacation home, but not a boat or a car or an RV. I think most here would agree.
Yes, agreed.
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Old 01-08-2020, 10:13   #14
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Re: Custom and Semi-Custom Boats

If you cannot get what you want in an 'off the shelf' boat, you get a custom or semi-custom one.


Many EU boats are in fact semi-custom. E.g. Ovni, Rustler, etc.


whether it is worth it or not is 100 a personal thing. Worth it for me implies nothing for anybody else.



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Old 01-08-2020, 10:29   #15
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Re: Custom and Semi-Custom Boats

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Originally Posted by kmacdonald View Post
Are custom boats worth it? Longer wait, higher price, resale value, etc.
Lets face it, custom boats are only "custom" to the original purchaser. It's just another off the shelf boat to the second buyer so is it really financially prudent to spend 50% more for "custom" when it loses that value once wet?
Depends on what you have done, if itís unique and has a broad range appeal, it should help in resale, as yours would be the only one like that.

If itís something others wouldnít care about, or even worse like, well
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