I've been watching very closely big (55ft and bigger) catamarans market for over 1,5 years. Also occasionally I'm checking smaller catamarans market (45-55ft) and 54ft+ monohulls market.
The difference between these categories is huge.
First of all, catamarans market is still simply non-existent comparing to monohulls market. If you like monohull
, you can find almost perfect match according to your needs, liking and budget
. Any price
range, any sail configuration, any desired equipment
and features etc. Thousands and thousands of boats to choose from. It simply will blow your mind, especially after watching catamarans market for some time.
43-50ft catamarans. Very popular category. What quickly sells - relatively cheap
($150K-$250K or $250K-$350K for late models) production catamarans like Lagoons, Leopard
in reasonable shape and some quality catamarans manufactured in very small quantities (like St.Francis 50). I'm not watching this category closely, but I think that other newer (2000 and newer) one-off 43-50ft catamarans should also sell good if priced low (which is not always the case).
51-54ft catamarans. Again, I'm not watching this category closely, but from what I've seen, this category market is closer to 55ft+ market.
Now lets talk about 55ft+ catamarans. Ex-charter, luxury production boats, one-offs, custom boats, aluminum
catamarans - there are all kinds of boats in this category. BUT. First - there are very few boats available altogether (like less than 150 worldwide (!) in 55ft-65ft range)
And second - it's very safe to say that market in this category is dead, not-existent. There are probably two reasons for that, from both sides of market. Sellers are trying to keep prices high, not willing to return to real world and realize that years coming by, their boats getting older, and they will have to take loss sooner or later. And from other side, there are not many private buyers for these boats, people afraid of high marina fees
, high maintenance
cost etc. Charter
companies? I'm sure that they prefer newer boats, and new catamarans been built every year in bigger and bigger quantities, flooding the market.
Since catamarans market is relatively young, there's not much of a choice when it comes to different features. You're lucky if you're happy with old school
design. At least, you will have few models to choose from (again, I'm talking about newer boats, 2001+), some of them might be even reasonably priced. If you like (let say) fly bridge, you stuck with few boats worldwide, none of them are cheap
Now, when I'm saying the market in this category is non-existent, I mean that most boats I've seen 1,5 years ago, still on the market now. It'll be safe to say 90% of them still on the market. When I've pulled sale
results, it turned out that most boats were 2-3 years on the market before they were sold
. This only makes sense if boat
still chartered. Private boat
would eat quite few $$ out of seller's pocket - maintenance
, marina fees
etc, still getting older and older.
Regarding discount. This is question many people are asking. I've pulled sale
results for few 56-62ft production catamarans manufactured 2010-2015 and for couple older ones. Interesting, even with all above, final discount often is not very big, like 10-15%, give or take. Still, it's 100-150K discount on 1M boat. Like beautiful 2013 Leopard
58 which was listed at $1,025M and sold
at $850K (after almost two years on the market). But there are also weird cases, like boat was listed at 750K and was sold for $475K! Now that's some nice discount!
Also, there is small but very funny
category of very old boats, where for 20 years old (or even older!) catamarans people are asking unbelievable amount of money
(700K, 800K even 1M!). And if you're thinking that these are completely refitted boats with $1M spent on refit
last year (like some monohulls out there), you're completely wrong! Some people asking such money
for original or partially updated boats with outdated electronics
, minimum equipment
etc. And these not called Swan or Jongert either in case you're wondering. Well, I'm not sure what these sellers are thinking about. It's not uncommon to see some of these boats sitting on the market for many years, some - like 7 years and more!
Most likely, they finally will be reasonably priced on estate sale (you know what I mean).
Bottom line - if you like living space, not afraid of big catamarans - there are basically two hard choices. First and best - if you can afford, buy new and don't even think about used supercats market. Then you can choose features you like, configuration you like, talk about discount with manufacturer (and as I understand, sometimes discount can be amazing). Or second choice - take your time, watch the market, you will have to watch SAME boats on the market from day to day, from month to month, even from year to year! Occasionally, something might pop up on the market, somewhat meeting your criteria and reasonably priced, or one of the sellers might finally drop the price
to the point where you will be willing to START negotiation. Honestly - it's really hard to imagine, that seller who had listed boat at 750K, will be willing let it go for 475K. He simply had scared most buyers away. Most likely he would get more money if he would list it at $550K to begin with - would get more offers.
And then again, if you're thinking to buy such expensive boat (used) then you probably want certain features and equipment on it (just because you have money for that, right?). And with such scarce choice you most likely will have to add this equipment after the purchase
, along with all necessary repairs
Also prepare to bring your purchase
from other side of the globe, with so few boats on the market you can't be picky and only shop locally.
Situation will change when all these production catamarans, made in the last 5-8 years will get older and more affordable. They already start flooding the market, just prices still are high. After all, these boats are packed with more and more technology, they will become maintenance nightmare for charter
companies and regular people. So they should become sweet opportunity for handyman who has knowledge and don't mind to having full set of tools onboard and do repairs
and maintenance himself.