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Old 26-01-2023, 16:20   #1
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Timing a purchase

I’ve been keeping up with boat buying lately (specifically, Island Packets) and waiting for prices to drop, and spring to come (I live in Maine). What caught me off guard is that “suddenly” this month, Island Packet inventories have vanished. I thought the going theory was that people sold during the fall to avoid upkeep & having to pay haul-out and storage fees for the winter. January…. the heart of winter…. a rush on sales now seems a little backwards?? Or…. the Cruising season is now in full swing??
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Old 26-01-2023, 16:23   #2
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Re: Timing a purchase

Don’t try to time it in this market. People are beating you to it. There are limited numbers of new boats becoming available and lots and lots of new people trying to get into boating.
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Old 26-01-2023, 17:11   #3
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Re: Timing a purchase

What Chotu said.

The last 3 years have gone off-script as far as home sales, car sales, and boat sales are concerned.

My advice: If you find a boat you like and can afford, buy it. Don't try to finesse the price too much because someone else will get there first.

Another factor driving the market from a supply/demand perspective is that many people who lost their boats in IAN (and there were a LOT of boats lost in IAN), have finally been paid by insurance and are now shopping for replacement boats. Greater demand, same supply = higher prices and an even smaller supply when the few boats worth buying have been bought up.

It seems to me that it's still a sellers market out there -- at least for boats in good condition.

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Old 26-01-2023, 17:16   #4
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Re: Timing a purchase

Drop the northern winter mentality. In many areas of the US and elsewhere, your winter is prime sailing season. Sales are ubiquitous regardless of the temperature in Maine
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Old 27-01-2023, 02:10   #5
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Re: Timing a purchase

We were planning to purchase in 2021-2022 to retire and go cruising in 2023. We ended up finding the boat for us at the end of 2017.

Some observations:

- we had some wonderful trips
- boat values for our genre have gone up 25%
- it took nearly 1 year to address deferred maintenance
- much time and money has been spent on a “continuous refit” and spare parts inventory
- we feel ready and are happy to have had the time to prepare

The advice from Bobby Lex is spot on in our area.

Good Luck
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Old 27-01-2023, 05:40   #6
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Re: Timing a purchase

While I agree Ian has thrown us a curve ball, I still believe the market will come back down at some point. The pandemic made people rush to buy all kinds of outdoor equipment, from bicycles to camper trailers to summer cottages. Prices on these things spiked, but the reality is not everyone will stay "into" whatever lifestyle they bought into.

Boating is no different. There's always been a natural "churn" of people buying boats, then eventually realizing it's not for them. Granted, they'll suffer from the delusion that their old, neglected boat is worth what they paid for it. But reality has to sink in eventually.
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Old 27-01-2023, 06:21   #7
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Re: Timing a purchase

Don't start shopping boats until you are ready to buy, and when you do find the right boat, don't waste time waiting on anything. If you do, someone else will be buying your boat.
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Old 27-01-2023, 06:23   #8
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Re: Timing a purchase

Every boat I've ever bought has been in the middle of winter. I lived in NH for 50 years, and only recently moved to a warmer climate.

IMHO, I get the feeling that many people in the north take the boat off the market over the winter, then put it back on again in spring. Otherwise if it sits too long, people start to wonder what is wrong with it and start low-balling.
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Old 27-01-2023, 06:25   #9
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Re: Timing a purchase

also the boats could have been taken off the market. i would say early spring .. which is almost here .. is the market for most boats. maybe folks wanted to beat the rush.
some of the best times of my life were spent on a boat. it just took a long time to realize it.
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Old 27-01-2023, 12:27   #10
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Re: Timing a purchase

Generally I agree with the advice to avoid trying to time markets.

But I will add that, in Northern climates, sellers start to get nervous as winter approaches, with the prospect of paying to winterize, shrink-wrap and store the boat. Most sellers will be more likely to accept a lower offer at that point.

The other side of the argument, of course, is that boats which have sat around unsold until then probably aren't the pick of the crop. So again, timing the market isn't easy.
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Old 27-01-2023, 14:29   #11
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Re: Timing a purchase

If your interested in one manufacturers work there is no market timing…..I am a fisher 37 freak the extrinsic market has little to do with it. If it’s a production boat maybe but casual boaters won’t affect some vessels in my opinion they are just that desirable and overpriced Don’t wait it will be gone
"heaven for climate, hell for company!" Mark Twain
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