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Old 07-07-2020, 12:16   #1
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Thoughts: 20+ y/o Privilege vs. new-ish FP/Leopard/Lagoon?

Hello all,

We’re a couple from Amsterdam aiming to move our life onto a catamaran fulltime for the next 5~10 years and see the world while continuing to run our online business.

Our budget allows us to either get a ~5 year old owners version production cat (probably Leopard 40~44 or Nautitech Open 40) or a 1990s “premium” cat (Privilege 435/445/465 or Catana or Antares) that has been extensively refitted recently.

Now we’ve learned that there’s been quite a decrease in build quality with many builders as of 2002~2003 (correct us if we’re wrong). We’ve also heard/read stories of people with older premium cats being in better shape than (much) younger cats built in the last 10 years.
Furthermore, we do love the more naval look and feel of the older models as opposed to the (lack of) atmosphere the more modern floating apartments, BUT we do want “an apartment that sails” as opposed to “a boat you could live on” (we’re in our 30s and will continue to run our fulltime online business from the boat, so comfort and efficiency is a priority).

Now, the main question behind our dilemma is resale value. We’re absolutely convinced that even an old Privilege for instance is much built much more durable / sturdy than a young Leopard, but how far does that stretch? Is there a certain curve to take into consideration?

So for instance, over a 10 year period , is the quality of a Privilege 3X the age of that of a Leopard likely to lead us to more sailing benefits / peace of mind, or will the depreciation of a cat that old lead to a greater loss on the longer run? Perhaps there is a point in age where a Privilege starts to deteriorate faster? We have no idea as we have no experience with older boats.

Hope our question makes sense, many thanks in advance for your thoughts!

Warm regards,
Les & Nancy
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Old 07-07-2020, 18:05   #2
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Re: Thoughts: 20+ y/o Privilege vs. new-ish FP/Leopard/Lagoon?

Cats just about bottom out in price down the road. Because the prices for new ones keep rising a well kept 20 year old boat seems real attractive financially. You just need to find a good one and it doesn't have to be a Privilege, just about any make will do.
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Old 07-07-2020, 18:20   #3
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Re: Thoughts: 20+ y/o Privilege vs. new-ish FP/Leopard/Lagoon?

Thanks Sand Crab, so basically are you saying that a well maintained 20 y/o cat is likely (or at least has the potential) to barely depreciate much more over 5~10 years (provided it's kept in the same condition of course)?

(FWIW - while we were primarily looking at ~2016 Leopards and Nautitech Open 40s, the older boats we've discovered and found ourselves appealed to by are this Privilege 482 and this Privilege 435 EZ Cruise)
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Old 07-07-2020, 18:23   #4
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Re: Thoughts: 20+ y/o Privilege vs. new-ish FP/Leopard/Lagoon?

We went older. Lagoon 42 tpi. It was a very good price, but needed a lot of upgrades.
I dont think any boat will hold its value when you work in maintenance and upgrades. So the longer you have it, the less return percentage you will see.
You will be farther ahead to find a make/model you will be happy in.
But, if you absolutely have to expect a return I would keep looking till you find an older model that has been fully upgraded and snatch it up quick! They come on the market once in a while. Someone has the dream of live aboard who has never sailed offshore. They drop a lot of money making the boat perfect Then first time out it scares the dream right out of them. Those boats usually sell to someone in the marina who has been watching and waiting for it to happen, so those rarely are advertised.
I personally would rather spend a little more and be sailing sooner. It could take years for that deal to happen!
Good luck
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Old 07-07-2020, 18:53   #5
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Re: Thoughts: 20+ y/o Privilege vs. new-ish FP/Leopard/Lagoon?

Personally the cost of a new 45 cat could land me a 10-20 year old 55-60 footer.
I'm not even gonna bother trying to figure out resale but the funny thing is both owner versions of these cats tend to be similar setup, 4 cabins 4 heads. I suspect having longer narrower hulls will allow for a better sailing boat than a newer smaller boat.
While in your case a 5 year old boat should have all it's issues sorted out i'd be pissed buying a new boat and having to deal with teething problems like a new house.
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Old 07-07-2020, 19:04   #6
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Re: Thoughts: 20+ y/o Privilege vs. new-ish FP/Leopard/Lagoon?

@chris_mac: Oh we're definitely looking to set sail very soon. As in, this year. So yes, if those two examples I mentioned earlier turn out to be lemons and nothing else comparable presents itself, we'll go for a ~5 year old Leopard or Nautitech. We were just contemplating about value for money since we have no experience with old boats (a 20 year old boat qualifies as 'old', right?)

@grimgrak: 50~60 foot is way too big for us. We're just two and not very experienced yet. Also, we surely wouldn't buy a new boat, even if we get an offer we can't refuse. The newest we would buy would be 3 years old, for the exact reason you mention.
That's not the question though. The question is: is it wiser to go with an old premium builder's boat or with a new-ish "okay" builder's boat if we plan to sail for at least 5 years?

In other words, to put it more bluntly: would anyone recommend buying that 1990 Privilege 482 over a 2016 Leopard 44 for example? I'm not talking about preferences in terms of comfort vs. performance, because I know that's very personal (personally I'm not a performance sailor with a need for speed but I do want to be able to go fast enough when needed). I'm purely talking about quality / durability / longevity etc.
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Old 07-07-2020, 19:15   #7
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Re: Thoughts: 20+ y/o Privilege vs. new-ish FP/Leopard/Lagoon?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lency View Post
Hello all,

We’re a couple from Amsterdam aiming to move our life onto a catamaran fulltime for the next 5~10 years and see the world while continuing to run our online business.

Our budget allows us to either get a ~5 year old owners version production cat (probably Leopard 40~44 or Nautitech Open 40) or a 1990s “premium” cat (Privilege 435/445/465 or Catana or Antares) that has been extensively refitted recently.

Now we’ve learned that there’s been quite a decrease in build quality with many builders as of 2002~2003 (correct us if we’re wrong). We’ve also heard/read stories of people with older premium cats being in better shape than (much) younger cats built in the last 10 years.
Furthermore, we do love the more naval look and feel of the older models as opposed to the (lack of) atmosphere the more modern floating apartments, BUT we do want “an apartment that sails” as opposed to “a boat you could live on” (we’re in our 30s and will continue to run our fulltime online business from the boat, so comfort and efficiency is a priority).

Now, the main question behind our dilemma is resale value. We’re absolutely convinced that even an old Privilege for instance is much built much more durable / sturdy than a young Leopard, but how far does that stretch? Is there a certain curve to take into consideration?

So for instance, over a 10 year period , is the quality of a Privilege 3X the age of that of a Leopard likely to lead us to more sailing benefits / peace of mind, or will the depreciation of a cat that old lead to a greater loss on the longer run? Perhaps there is a point in age where a Privilege starts to deteriorate faster? We have no idea as we have no experience with older boats.

Hope our question makes sense, many thanks in advance for your thoughts!

Warm regards,
Les & Nancy
I saw a older Privilege 51 in a RI boatyard 2 years ago that had huge blisters all over underwater . By huge I mean 4 to 9 inches in dia, and 3/4 inch deep.
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Old 07-07-2020, 19:37   #8
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Re: Thoughts: 20+ y/o Privilege vs. new-ish FP/Leopard/Lagoon?

I crew on a Privilege 50 that is 30+ years old.
Impressive build quality and well preserved.

When work is required access is easy and the systems laid out logically.

Cabinet work and paneling is easy to maintain and it's all removable (so far).

16 tonnes displacement provides a very comfortable ride.

It feels like a boat and accommodates like an apartment.

I'm not a multihull guy but I really like this one.

I expect the owner would turn a profit on any future sale.
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Old 07-07-2020, 20:10   #9
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Re: Thoughts: 20+ y/o Privilege vs. new-ish FP/Leopard/Lagoon?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lency View Post
@chris_mac: Oh we're definitely looking to set sail very soon. As in, this year. So yes, if those two examples I mentioned earlier turn out to be lemons and nothing else comparable presents itself, we'll go for a ~5 year old Leopard or Nautitech. We were just contemplating about value for money since we have no experience with old boats (a 20 year old boat qualifies as 'old', right?)

@grimgrak: 50~60 foot is way too big for us. We're just two and not very experienced yet. Also, we surely wouldn't buy a new boat, even if we get an offer we can't refuse. The newest we would buy would be 3 years old, for the exact reason you mention.
That's not the question though. The question is: is it wiser to go with an old premium builder's boat or with a new-ish "okay" builder's boat if we plan to sail for at least 5 years?

In other words, to put it more bluntly: would anyone recommend buying that 1990 Privilege 482 over a 2016 Leopard 44 for example? I'm not talking about preferences in terms of comfort vs. performance, because I know that's very personal (personally I'm not a performance sailor with a need for speed but I do want to be able to go fast enough when needed). I'm purely talking about quality / durability / longevity etc.
The issue with a 20 year old boat is that stuff is constantly just wearing out. In addition to the regular stuff breaking that naturally happens on all boats. You're already thinking about big stuff like rigging, sails, and engines. But what about everything else. Not just the anchor windlass but the windlass relay. Maybe not the engines, but one starter one month, an alternator the next, the other starter the next month.... Then your fresh water pump goes, next your shower sump, the next month it's your AC circ pump if you have one. And on and on. It's amazing how many subsystems a cat has, all of which are a one day job to fix.

If you're mechanically inclined none of these are show stoppers. If you enjoy a constant list of jobs like this it might even be considered a positive for you. If you need to hire a mechanic to do any of this or you simply don't enjoy doing it yourself nonstop then it's gonna wear on you after a while. I am so much happier with my 9 year old boat I bought when 5 years old than I was with my 20 year old boat bought at 15, even though I was entirely capable of fixing pretty much everything. In fact being capable of fixing anything is a bit of a curse.
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Old 08-07-2020, 00:20   #10
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Re: Thoughts: 20+ y/o Privilege vs. new-ish FP/Leopard/Lagoon?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lency View Post
Thanks Sand Crab, so basically are you saying that a well maintained 20 y/o cat is likely (or at least has the potential) to barely depreciate much more over 5~10 years (provided it's kept in the same condition of course)?

(FWIW - while we were primarily looking at ~2016 Leopards and Nautitech Open 40s, the older boats we've discovered and found ourselves appealed to by are this Privilege 482 and this Privilege 435 EZ Cruise)
Well I can tell you about that 435 as that is the boat I bought new, lived aboard in the Caribbean and then circumnavigated. The guy I sold to replaced just about everything and the current owners replaced just about everything that wasn't done first time around. That is basically a 2014 or newer boat in an older hull.

I think that boat will still be sailing in another 20 years and will not depreciate as long as the owners keep up with the maintenance.
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Old 08-07-2020, 08:21   #11
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Re: Thoughts: 20+ y/o Privilege vs. new-ish FP/Leopard/Lagoon?

A few years ago, we went with a used and upgraded Antares 44i. Now we are looking for a bigger boat with crew and could buy new, but or experience was so good that I think we will probably go with a well-maintained and upgraded used boat the next time around.

If you are like us, you will spend significant $ making the boat "new to you", in other words, you'll get the sails, electronics, etc. that you want. If the hull, spars, standing rigging, basic electrical, engines and rudders are sound, upgrading an older used boat to your specs can be financially smart. Spend the money on a really, really thorough survey though. Unless you are an expert in building and systems, you want it reviewed by someone who knows.
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Old 08-07-2020, 09:03   #12
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Thumbs up Re: Thoughts: 20+ y/o Privilege vs. new-ish FP/Leopard/Lagoon?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lency View Post

In other words, to put it more bluntly: would anyone recommend buying that 1990 Privilege 482 over a 2016 Leopard 44 for example? I'm not talking about preferences in terms of comfort vs. performance, because I know that's very personal (personally I'm not a performance sailor with a need for speed but I do want to be able to go fast enough when needed). I'm purely talking about quality / durability / longevity etc.
YES.

If I had to make that choice, there is no question which is the better boat.
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Old 08-07-2020, 09:18   #13
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Re: Thoughts: 20+ y/o Privilege vs. new-ish FP/Leopard/Lagoon?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lency View Post


Our budget allows us to either get a ~5 year old owners version production cat (probably Leopard 40~44 or Nautitech Open 40) or a 1990s “premium” cat (Privilege 435/445/465 or Catana or Antares) that has been extensively refitted recently.


Have you been on both boats / kinds of boats?


Are you serious discussing Nautitech Open 40 vs. say a Catana 43 ot Privilege 435?


It is like apples and oranges. The boats are vastly different. Also in build.


My personal biased choice would be a Catana up first, closely followed by a Privilege.



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Old 08-07-2020, 09:21   #14
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Re: Thoughts: 20+ y/o Privilege vs. new-ish FP/Leopard/Lagoon?

Generally, a newer boat will have fewer immediate maintenance issues, all dependent on it's owners mechanical aptitude and it's use. There are stellar examples of older boats that have gone through extensive upgrades, but it may require a really good thorough marine surveyor to find problems, both existing and near term. The biggest question is how mechanically oriented are you both? Cruising and not knowing the basics of boat maintenance leads to a very short cruising dream. Can you do something as simple as bleed the injectors or replace the solenoid on a starter? Newer boats generally have power systems that are capable of dealing with the power hungry electrics and electronics of today. Older boats may need charging systems and battery upgrades to keep up with demand.
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Old 08-07-2020, 10:10   #15
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Re: Thoughts: 20+ y/o Privilege vs. new-ish FP/Leopard/Lagoon?

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Originally Posted by singlespeed View Post
Newer boats generally have power systems that are capable of dealing with the power hungry electrics and electronics of today. Older boats may need charging systems and battery upgrades to keep up with demand.

One of the biggest complaint with Privileges is that "interesting" electrical system. Lots of info here and elsewhere on this.
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