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TCoach 14-07-2009 08:20

Asking Price vs Selling Price - Caribbean Cats?
In my area (Turkey) and for monohulls the situation now is that most monos offered at a price of 100k$, would actually be for sale at a price of 60k$ app.

I've been wondering what the situation would be if I was looking for a cat in the 150k - 200k$ range in the Gulf/Carribean region?
I know that would depend on a lot of factors, but I'm just trying to get a general idea of the market situation.
Anyone care to share his thoughts/experiences?

David M 14-07-2009 08:46

Another consideration are taxes, fees and other costs associated with importing a boat.

TCoach 14-07-2009 08:49

actually I am not going to import it, was planning to sail in the Caribbean area

sailvi767 18-07-2009 18:26

It depends a lot on the type of cat and its past history. Right now the best bargins are Cane and Roberts Cats coming out of the Moorings fleet. They can be had for less then 50 cents on the dollar from their purchase prices 5 years ago. This is because of the economy, poor maintenance on the Moorings part and the sheer number of boats the Moorings dumps on the market every June. All charter cats are down on price but the Moorings boats seem to have taken by far the biggest hit.
If you are looking at a non charter cat in a owners configeration then prices are going to be much higher. The economy in general means there will be bargins but not anything like a former charter boat.

Pblais 18-07-2009 18:32

Bargains are never as easy to find as when times are great. When you have extra money others are willing to sell low knowing the deal could close. The really good boats that might be for sale are being held back rather than being sold for a low price. People that can afford to maintain boats won't be selling a boat now because they don't have to. The concern in these times is that the boat is trashed and has not been kept up. In the haste for a quick sale they lower the price only to find a sucker that can't see the neglect. Caution would always be the advice when times are too good or not looking great.

S/V Illusion 18-07-2009 18:38

I must disagree with Sailvi. When I consider "value", I think in terms of actual worth. In that context, a used/abused x-charter boat has substantially less value inherent in it than a it's contemporary non-charter equivalent.

Although you may well find many x-charter boats at a reduced cost, it is probably because of the fact it's value has been reduced by the abuse and/or lack of maintenance a real owner would have used caring for the boat.
In other words, it may be a "bargin" [sp] for the wrong reasons

Rex Delay 18-07-2009 19:41

A boat is only worth what you are willing to pay for it. Take into consideration condition, equipment etc. A friend of mine just bought a boat listed for $159k for $15k. He was fully aware of what was required to bring it back. The seller was reluctant but agreed in the end that it "needed work".

Kefaa 18-07-2009 19:48

As someone looking to buy for a year now, I concur with Pblais. My experience is buyer beware. A great deal is someone hoping you won't see the problems they cannot afford. Good boats are holding the price because the owners can afford to keep them. The few that are "must sell" deals are bought through word of mouth and you have to be as lucky as winning the lottery.

drboucher 19-07-2009 03:55


Originally Posted by sailvi767 (Post 306208)
It depends a lot on the type of cat and its past history. Right now the best bargins are Cane and Roberts Cats coming out of the Moorings fleet. They can be had for less then 50 cents on the dollar from their purchase prices 5 years ago. This is because of the economy, poor maintenance on the Moorings part and the sheer number of boats the Moorings dumps on the market every June. All charter cats are down on price but the Moorings boats seem to have taken by far the biggest hit.
If you are looking at a non charter cat in a owners configeration then prices are going to be much higher. The economy in general means there will be bargins but not anything like a former charter boat.

I recently spent some time in the BVI to look at several charter catamarans both from different charter companies. Both were Leopard 47's and both maintained on completely different levels with the Moorings on top. I eventually chose to purchase a Moorings charter boat on a large part because of their maintenance schedule. Could you expand on what you mean by poor maintenance? As you probably know there is a service manual with required monthly and annual services done on alll boats, something that might not be able to be said of a private owner. The substantial savings is somewhat due to the fact that these boats have been depreciated vs. a private owner that is unable to recoup losses. The Moorings is said to be down 25-35% in charter bookings so I do feel this moves Moorings to reduce fleet however it is the owner who is selling not Moorings. With this being said, the Leopard 45/47 is a very strong, easily maintained, comfortable, with good performing catamaran to be bought with great value.

TCoach 19-07-2009 07:54

Thanks for all the info. It seems that every boat has to be looked at individually for potential problems, so my conclusion from this would be that the better the bargain seems to be, the more I - being the rather unexperienced person buying his first boat - should have that boat surveyed. That should at least give me some safety that the bargain won't turn into a nightmare.

Pblais 19-07-2009 08:15

Boat shopping has it's costs. Traveling far and wide adds a few thousand dollars and may require multiple trips. Our last boat cost $2000 in extra travel costs not including the trip home and repairs. We didn't have many repairs to make but had one episode that cost about $1000. Boats bought far away have to be brought home and that means work done in a place you are not familiar with over a short period of time. You might not find all the problems that fast.

It pays to exhaust the local (or close) boats for sale first. You learn more about looking at boats the more you look. The market forces in play are not as much global as they are local. You can only consider a small number of boats and the general trend is not easily extrapolated to the one boat you are considering. Compare the boat you see and like to any of the other boats you could and would really think about buying. When you do that the choices and the issues are clear and you can work the prices and extra expenditures to see what the better deal really is for you. Your sale won't change the global economy.


A friend of mine just bought a boat listed for $159k for $15k.
Better deals happen when a willing and knowledgeable buyer meets a willing and knowledgeable seller. You have the least risk and the easiest time coming to terms. A boat listed at 10 times the selling price has an owner problem. They can be a nightmare to close and can come back to haunt you.

GordMay 19-07-2009 12:52


Originally Posted by Pblais (Post 306358)
Boat shopping has it's costs...
... It pays to exhaust the local (or close) boats for sale first. You learn more about looking at boats the more you look...

Well said (Paul's whole post)!

Full Sail 20-07-2009 10:55

I just purchased my boat. I got my pre-approval, had a knowlegable broker who knew what I wanted to spend and knew the market in regards to my model. He steered me away form the "disasters" in regard to boat conditon and owner condition. Then we waited. It took a almost a year, but the right boat came up, the owner wanted to sell pretty badly, I had the money waiting. That added to my negotiation leverage. In the end, I feel I got a good deal.

sailvi767 25-07-2009 06:24

First I should point out that I think a 4700 from the Moorings fleet is a great bargin. I would however never advocate buying a boat without a top notch survey. The 4700's coming out of the Moorings fleet are providing great boats for many people. They will take some money to get in shape and sorted out with proper gear but still are a great boat at a great price.

As far as the Moorings I owned a boat with the Moorings for almost 6 years that has been sold. I now own a boat with another company. The Moorings has a maintenance schedule and all kinds of planned maintenance ect... None if it is being done or has been done for many years. There are no real records, boats are 18 months behind on their 6 month overhuals. Simple things like oil changes may or may not get done. I used my boat quite often with the Moorings. I would initial the oil filter on the engine and mark other service access areas. It was very clear fast that promised maintenance or even documented as done maintenance was not happening. Most Moorings owners are very upset with the state of maintenance there the last few years. The Moorings has promised improvements every year and every year the same complaints keep coming however with the merger with Sunsail and the loss of many jobs things are getting worse not better.
One of the things I find interesting about the Moorings program is the promised overhaul at the end of the contract. Why should that be needed? With the charter company I am with now I have felt every time I went down to the boat I would be happy to take it home. It does not need a overhaul since it is maintained properly all the time.
One last thing about a Moorings boat. Really really look hard at the electrical system. They are a very basic system to start with and battery banks are very undersized. The Moorings has limited to no qualified electricians working on the boats. If they need to splice a wire they wrap it together and put some electrical tape over it. If they have a problem with a circuit breaker tripping they bypass it. Check every breaker on a Moorings boat to insure it has not be bypassed!!!
Again having said all this if I were in the market for a Cat I would certainly consider buying a Moorings Cat. There are several surveyors in the BVI who are very familiar with the Cane and Roberts product and know where and what to look at on the boats. Some of the boats come out of the 5 year program in much better shape then others. Look at many boats and spend the money for a good surveyor on your top 3 choices.
One last thing. There is a hardtop mod available for the 4700 done in the BVI that is excellent. Not cheap but well worth the money if you are purchasing one. Have it done there before you move the boat to its new home.

Atlantic42 25-07-2009 21:33

Back in Feb/March of 2008 we were buyers looking at cats between 36' and 43' in the $200-$300 range. We spent about 45 days living in different hotels every night chasing boats mostly in the Florida area, but as far off as St Martin, Dominican Republic, Georgia and even New York. The boats representing true value were selling quickly. Very quickly! A boat hit the market and only full price offers had a chance to tie up the boat for inspection. In some cases this wasn't even good enough as sellers were holding multiple offers and boats were getting bid up and ultimately selling for more than asking. You know the story...basically, the same situation as the housing market during the boom.

Flash forward to late-July 2009. We just bought another boat a Chris White Atlantic 42 a boat far outside my price range in 2008. A price so good that I jumped on the deal before selling my current boat as I wanted to ensure I wouldn't lose the chance on such a special boat. So, I have first hand knowledge that the market is much softer than about a year ago. But, I also still believe that you must act quickly to get the really good deals. And now as a two boat owner I can tell you based on my observations trying to sell that the market is pretty slow even for really nice boats at what would have been giveaway prices a year and a half ago.
Almost everyone took a hit on net worth over the past few years AND it's harder to get financing now then in the past. I just had a deal blow due to financing and over very few real dollars. Banks are much tougher... as they should have been all along.

Yes, there are still "Real" buyers out there, but now it a buyers market, many boats are for sale due to distressed finances and less discretionary household dollars. It's basic supply and demand. More boats and less buyers = lower prices.
The good news is cats should weather the financial storm better as they represent a segment of the market that is gaining in popularity, especially for those ready to retire and go sailing. Wives tend to like catamarans better than monos as they are easier to live on. Longer term you see lots of guys end up solo on their mono-hull boats as the wives (who rarely were the driving force for a boat in the first place) find living in a cramped dungeon too foreign and want to go home to the grand children. With a cat you can have lots of guest and live up in the daylight. It's more like a floating condo and easier for the wife to assimilate to the lifestyle. This is a big deal for those who don't want to single hand. But, I diverge.

In Summary yes, prices are lower and you have choices in a "buyers market". My advice is to avoid the ex-charter boats in favor of a properly maintained, operated and upgraded privately owned boat. In this market you get more boat for your money and perhaps a privately owned boat at what would have been ex-charter boat prices a year ago.

drboucher 27-07-2009 04:34

Thanks Salvi767 for the first hand info. on Moorings maintenance. Your initialling of regular maintenance itmes sounds like something a pilot may do, hmmmm. We hope your experience was one that was isolated. The condition of our boat from the pre-purchase survey was clean and findings relatively minor. The Moorings have agreed to fix many of the items. This was calculated in the price we finally agreed upon. Considering our cruising plans, the layout, headroom, performance, ease of systems compared to other cats, the Leopard 47 was by far the best value. We have also ordered and will have installed the hardtop from BVI Painters prior to the boat leaving BVI.

Palarran 28-07-2009 20:33

Can you give us an idea how much a hard top costs?

drboucher 29-07-2009 04:22

Chris at BVI Painters in Nanny Cay Marina, Tortolla has the original mold for the 47 Leopard. This hardtop includes dimming lights, and top helmsman window. Installed the price is around 12,000.

Herbseesmoore 31-07-2009 17:37

Price spread boggles mind!
I see a charter boat, Bahia 46, for 548k 2006 and the ad tells me how great it is. I see another Bahia 2001 for 250k out of charter and of course it prob needs something serious, but 300k buys alot of serious. The original post ask what will they really go for, any guesses? Of course I can only think about the one for 250k and would have to get it for a lot less.

And now comes the latest listing, for a 1998 181k ( 387 dollars on the end of that, always makes me laugh), I'm awaiting details. If the hulls are equal and we know they last a good long time. Again 368k buys a lot of everything. So whats up with that. I'll have to take the "cheapie" then add engines, total rerig, and new sails, Oh yeah, who wants old electronics, I'll end up with exactly what I want.

Hows my logic, get the fixer upper, of course thats all I can budget for.

Atlantic42 31-07-2009 18:55

You get what you pay for. Pay now or pay latter. Projects are great, I've had several myself. Consider why you want the boat.... for a project or to sail. Projects = lots of time, sweat, tears, blood and LOTS of money. Or a boat really in your budget that you can afford to sail, upgrade and enjoy?

Life is short... choose how you want to spend you time.

Back in early 2008 when shopping for catamarans by accident I came across a Catamaran undergoing repairs for a major accident! The boat was a FP and in a french boat yard surrounded by lots hulks of broken dreams. The FP had a large portion of the starboard bow was missing and I was marveling at shear amount of foam sandwich construction that was missing or crushed and splayed about. Can't say for sure that is was a charter boat, but based on the overall condition it appeared to be... To think of the poor sucker who ended up getting that boat for a low price later... you get what you pay for. If it seems to good to be true then their is most likely a back story that no one is telling you.

Herbseesmoore 01-08-2009 05:47

Holy Cow
Thats some blog!, so back on topic, what were they asking and how much did you pay. If anyone could give advice on a project boat, you are the Man!

I look at a cat coming out of the charter, Moorings, Sunsail at 250k and wonder what the owner really expects to get. I imagine that no one really knows and that each case is different of course. Part of my "problem" is I'm so happy to be retired (as of Feb) that its hard to stay focused on the boat buying mission. So we remain patient and watchful.

Boo Hoo.
Just bought a Canoe!
Gotta have something on the water!

Full Sail 01-08-2009 07:04


I just bought my Bahia June 1. Its a 1999. I had been looking about a year. The problem with the boats in charter in the Carribean is that many of them aren't available for up to 2 years yet. The French boats are often owned by a corporate group and their asking price is pretty much what they will sell it for. Privately owned boats are the way to go IMHO. Get a good broker, I was using John Anderson of the Catamaran Co. A good broker understands what you are looking for,whats on the market, and gets information on newly available boats before they hit the internet.

Get your preapproval if you are going to get a loan also. Turns out my broker called me one day and told me I needed to check out this boat. It was pretty far out of my range, and I probably wouldn't have made an offer. Well the owner was a wealthy person who wanted to get rid of it so he could get a (gasp) motor boat. Listed $315 and sold for $273. Its an owners version, full of spares. 7 sails...lots of high end electronics..etc.

I feel I just put myself in the right place at the right time with the right people.

PS There is a Bahia in Ft. Lauderdale. Almost everyone looking for a Bahia has seen it. The price on it bounces around a lot, but it is in really bad shape. Delamination of the hulls being one of the problems. Reportedly that was fixed, but I'd probably stay away from that one.

CortoMaltese 01-08-2009 08:07

I am totally new in boats world but i'm serching alot in the internet as i'm looking for my first cat. Something that really impressed me a lot is the difference in price that sometimes there is between the same model/year boat.
Looking about wildcat MK2 for example, i saw hight prices in the Us or caribbean area and much more affordable in South Africa; in some cases in Africa i saw 50% difference!! :confused: (of course no idea about REAL conditions of the boats but said as good shape).
For what i saw till now (maybe i am wrong) but asking prices are very negociable and (again maybe) thrown there just for economic reasons......

Herbseesmoore 01-08-2009 08:51

Thats good info, thanks.
I haven't made it down to Ft Lauderdale yet, and you confirmed what I had been told.
So many variables. Although I'd rather be sailing we are really in no rush. All those things put aside until retirement can now be realized.

Anyone else on the asking price and the Caribbean?

Talbot 01-08-2009 11:41


Originally Posted by CortoMaltese (Post 311621)
Looking about wildcat MK2 for example, i saw hight prices in the Us or caribbean area and much more affordable in South Africa; in some cases in Africa i saw 50% difference!! :confused: (..

Probably because the SA crowd are a bit more savvy about the reputation of wildcats

Laidback 02-08-2009 04:01

One factor that has been covered is buying an former chartered catamaran. For example:- a 40ft 2004/5 listed at say $250,000 US.
At survey (excluding motors and drives) comes out clean and in good nick. After bargaining agreed to sell at $197,000 = Deal done.
However, it is probable the boat seldom sailed for very long during each individual charter, resulting in engines that had really worked excessively hard for the boats life (besides the fact that many charted designs contain engines that are under powered) And the other factor is that a Charter cat is fitted with only the minimum basic equipment, just enough for the uninitiated crew to use and understand.
So, on the hypothetical $197,000 paid - what will the new (non-charterer) owner expect to pay to bring the boat to a standard where it can leave happily to cruise the oceans beyond ???
New larger engines & drivetrains.
Electronics upgrade
Communication equipment
Navigation equipment upgrade
Ground Tackle
Cordage renewal
Antifouling - painting
Sails and Rigging where necessary
Tender and engine
Etc... Etc

All the buyer can say is "Thank the Heavens that I didn't buy that boat at the list price !"

Full Sail 02-08-2009 04:51

a fewother items that haven't been mentioned is if you are going to bring the boat back to the US, there are import fees and delivery fees to be considered. Most charter boats AC electrical systems are not compatible with US either.

drboucher 02-08-2009 04:52

I can only speak for a Leopard 47, former Moorings charter from experience. The 47 has 56 hp Yanmars that push at 8 knots, nearly 7 on one engine. Hardly underpowered. No saildrive, straight shaft. Unless you are getting a less than 5 year old boat I would imagine you would update some electronics (probably just the GPS, maybe radar as wind, speed, depth, vhf are fine) before an extended cruise. Typically the charter company (Moorings does) gives you new sails at 50% discount, new bottom paint with zincs, and all rigging inspected and replaced during their phaseout. You can then outfit the boat the way you want too. New electronics, new RO system, new sails, or whatever you want, rather than getting a boat outfitted with some things you may not want, plus they are brand new, installed by you with warranties. No equipment you will pay for that you will take out. So now the theorectical 197,000 base price doesn't look like a such a bad deal after all.

asb 03-08-2009 07:40

I see some very exagerated prices for used cats. Some of the used cats I see are more expensive than the new ones. :)

Maybe it is because VAT and tax issues in that country, but with those prices some of them are impossible to sell.

I quess there are 3 prices for a cat. :)

1. Price that your heart desires. (which is the highest)
2. Asking price
3. Selling price

sailvi767 03-08-2009 08:39

There is some miss information here. Most charter cats are not underpowered. Usually they are ordered with the largest engine offered as a option. The Moorings 4700 comes with 56 HP yanmars. The Moorings 4300 and Voyage 440 for charter come with 40 HP yanmars. The Voyage 440 will motor at almost 9 knots flat out and cruise at 6.5 knots on one engine at 2700 rpm burning 1 gallon per hour of fuel. The 4700 will motor at 8.5 knots on both motors and I once had one bashing into a 30 knot wind still doing 6 knots plus at cruise rpms.
As far as condition of the boats this is where getting a good surveyor who knows the boat type is very important. The Moorings is very good at cosmetic repairs and very bad at structural repairs. If a boat suffers bad damage they often don't even notify the owner because they want to fix it themselves and get it back on the water asap. Their structural repairs will rarely if ever conform to the builders manual. A good surveyor will catch this type of repair. Most boats in the Moorings fleet do not suffer major structural damage while in charter but you want to make sure you don't get the boat that did.
A typical 4700 will have about 5000 hours of run time on the main engines. There will be more time on the port engine since it runs the mechanical fridge unit. These engines are good for 10,000 hours. Its unlikely as a new owner you will put 5000 more hours on the engine in under 10 years. The genset is however another issue. Since the Moorings boats have undersized house battery banks and no inverter the gensets get abused. If a charterer wants to blend a drink they fire up the genset and then shut if right back down when down with the blender. 10 minutes later someone else on the boat starts it up to run the microwave for popcorn ect... Diesel engines hate being started and stopped often. Unless the genset recently died and the Moorings replaced it I would consider any genset on a Moorings boat as DOA if you are purchasing the boat. They also require oil changes every 200 hours or basically each charter and that is not being done by the Moorings.
If you pick up a structurally sound 4700 after the 5 year charter program with the Moorings and put a new electrical system into the boat along with a hardtop bimini you can get it all down and be out the door for 300k. This would include a 800 amp hour house bank, 2500 watt inverter, new genset. You can have a great boat at a excellent price.
On the last subject of sail verses shaft drives. I really like shaft drives from a maintenance standpoint. When I decided to go with the Voyage 440 the sail drives were a big concern and almost made me look at other options. Sail drives however give you many advantages. They are quieter and smoother. The engines are further aft and isolated completely from the main cabin in their own watertight compartment. The 4300 and 4700 always seemed to have a bit of engine smell in the aft staterooms since the engines are under the berths and not isolated. In the end I think its a wash between the to options. Don't however get me started on cone clutches in sail drives!!


asb 07-08-2009 02:55

Last few weeks I have been talking to some distributors of Cat companies. Here are my conclusions:

The Cat companies and their distributors are ready to discuss discounts on the new boat purchases. They told me that they have special prices before I asked. This wasn't the case when I bought my last boat few years ago. This is good news for us buyers.

I have the impression that new boat orders are sharply declining and the companies will be pushed for deeper discounts when the summer is over, for 2010 deliveries.

I haven't concluded the purchase yet, because it is summer here and in winter (October-November) it is ideal time to start hard bargaining. I know from experience that best prices you can get when it is snowing!! Not forgetting the markets will also slip further then.

So don't be shy to ask for discounts. This is more so for the used boats. The chances are high that you get the price you want.

asb 08-08-2009 03:42

I did a quick search in Yachtworld. The numbers are the totals for sale at the moment. And only in Yachworld. The numbers must be higher when we consider the other websites.

It is definitely a "buyers market" at the moment. Good time for buying, I guess.

Lagoon - 270

Fountaine Pajot - 247

Leopard - 63

Catana - 90

Privilege - 122

Palarran 08-08-2009 10:03

The number of boats available on Yachtworld by manufacturer has gone up but not significantly. I've been following the FP Bahia's for almost two years now and they tend to have about 40 for sale with 10 of them being double listings of the same boat. But, I'd say that of the 30 different boats, twenty of them have been there for over a year. The charter boat asking price has come down from $280k to $250k.

It would be nice to have a forum member post there sale data sometime. I've yet to see someone say "Listed at $380k, offered $300, settled at $340k"

If your going after a charter cat in the caribbean, it's my opinion that next April is the time to get really serious. As most know, charter bookings are down 30% this year and the companies are discounting the rates from 20 to 30%. It never really was a great deal to own a charter boat anyway so with this drop, many owners are going to unload. Supply = high, Demand = Low, Add monthly costs and depreciation and you get serious discounts. For the FP Bahia, I'm convinced that next year you will be able to buy a 7 or 8 year old charter version for under $200k. Which, when I look at that boat, is what it should be.

jkd 08-08-2009 10:39


Originally Posted by rigamarole (Post 314784)
It would be nice to have a forum member post there sale data sometime. I've yet to see someone say "Listed at $380k, offered $300, settled at $340k"

Ahh, this is the problem with human nature..... no one wants to be thought of as a schmuck when someone says later.. 'oh, I could have bought that boat for (fill in the blank (less))'.
But here is a sample; A friend made an offer (sight unseen) on this boat...2000 Robertson and Caine Leopard 38 Sail Boat For Sale -
Made an offer of 138k with a new rib and outboard, the engines rebuilt (offer accepted) but backed out as a 2 boat owner and financing issues.
It's tough to get a real feel for what's going on unless you know the secret handshake I guess.:whistling:


asb 09-08-2009 01:40


Originally Posted by jkd (Post 314801)
A friend made an offer (sight unseen) on this boat...2000 Robertson and Caine Leopard 38 Sail Boat For Sale -
Made an offer of 138k with a new rib and outboard, the engines rebuilt (offer accepted) but backed out as a 2 boat owner and financing issues.
It's tough to get a real feel for what's going on unless you know the secret handshake I guess.:whistling:

I guess he could have asked for more. He offered less than %10 discount on the asked price.

Here in East Med you can normally get %15-20 discount on asked prices for used boats. Ok, sometimes the owners put some bargaining margin on top of their desired prices, but this only increases the discount percentage.

Otherwise their boats stays "for sale" many months (or years) to come.

At the end of the day, the market conditions and the financial health of the buyers dictate the end price.

And as crisis deepens, it is definitely a "buyers market". Good for the buyers, bad for the sellers.

katja&david 11-08-2009 10:19

Looking for a Cat (38-41 / Lagoon or FP) we had been told to cut the offers in half. We tried by 30% off, but are still on-shore.

Dockhead 11-08-2009 11:27

There's no hard and fast rule. Some boats are grossly overpriced, and the owners know it, and will bargain like crazy. Some boats are grossly overpriced, and the owners don't know it, and won't budge. Some boats are already cut-price, and the prices are more or less firm. In all my shopping this year I have run across all of these scenarios. The boat we finally settled on could be bargained down only 12% from the asking price, but it was priced aggressively to begin with. The boat we almost bought but didn't ended up at 35% off, and was still no bargain.

Another issue just to complicate things is what turns up in the survey.

There's really no way to know what the right price is, without doing a lot of research, and actually getting out there and bargaining. You should think twice if your first offer is accepted. You should make a few offers that get rejected before you start to think you have a feel of what is possible.

In this market another big thing is to find a really motivated seller. There are a few of them out there. Most boats -- not all! -- are selling slower than they otherwise would, and here are a few buyers -- not all! -- who need to unload their boats and will make you a particularly good bargain. Unfortunately, such seller aren't usually the ones who are selling the most desirable boats.

muskoka 12-08-2009 00:32

Ours was listed at $346K and we bought her for $285K in a healthy market (2007). That's 18% off the asking price. The boat had originally been listed at $370K about 10 months prior.

My experience has been that you can get quite remarkable discounts in good and bad markets. We managed to similarly discount the price when buying our first boat. Obviously a lousy economic climate gives the buyer more negotiating power.

Our basic strategy is:
1. Tons of research & spreadsheets so we know the new & used cost of the boat and every major option;
2. Be willing to put in an offer based upon what you think the boat is worth (not what the Owner or Broker think its worth). Don't budge and don't spend any time chatting about why it may be worth more as this tends to legitimize the asking price in the eyes of the vendor. Be polite but firm!
3. Cash in hand is a must.
4. Keep the validity of the offer very short - we usually insist on an agreement by midnight the same day. If accepted the survey is completed within a few days and everything finalized.

jdoe71 12-08-2009 04:49

I recently saw a listing of boats like ours that had sold on Yachtworld in the last few years. Very interesting. Junk boats were being discounted heavily. OK boats with maybe some warts or needing equipment were being discounted 20%. But good boats, with good equipment and maintenance, were selling for damn near what they were listed at. There was the odd exception where a real good boat sold below what it should have, estate sales, owner lost job, etc., but in general there were no fire sales for good boats, well equipped and well maintained.

muskoka 12-08-2009 07:16

I forgot to add:

Our catamaran was just 2 years old when purchased and she had 50 hours on the primary engines and 65 hours on the genset. She was barely used and in mint condition with a load of rather pricey options (genset / aircon / owners version / engine upgrades / extra sails).

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