Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Swarthmore, PA
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Re: What Is A Boat Really Worth?
I think some of the advice to "just make an offer" was made before it was known that you have only seen four boats. It would not be unusual for someone to look at 40 or 50 boats before making an offer. Although it's certainly possible you've already seen the right boat for you, it would be very unusual to make an offer after only seeing four boats. Don't let others rush you into this.
When I bought my boat, we did a shopping trip every weekend for about four months. (Some of those trips were chronicled here, with some similar frustrations to what you have shown.)
I can't remember how many boats we saw, but here's an estimate: 16 trips (different brokerages from Norfolk, VA to Kingston, NY) x 4-6 boats per trip = 64 to 96 boats.
Like you, we turned each trip into an excuse to have some fun, partly to ease the pain of seeing rotting, neglected, moldy hull carcasses being passed off as sail-away condition.
FYI, I also placed offers on 3 or 4 boats along the way, but I'm glad they were rejected because they were too big for the type of daysailing that our busy lives restrict us to.
Take your time and find the right boat. You might want to focus on gaining experience looking without worrying about price for awhile.
FYI, the Catalina 250 that we bought was a sister ship of the first boat we looked at. However, the first one had some issues that we were unwilling to accept. The specimen we ended up buying was one year newer (significant, because Catalina made some significant upgrades in our model year) and in much better condition. It was also located at the exact same marina as the first one we saw, although ours was a FSBO, not a brokerage boat.
The broker that showed us the first boat had "sized us up" perfectly - he just didn't have the right specimen of boat at the time. The fact that we bought the same model boat from someone else at his own marina frustrated him a bit, and I tease him about it at every boat show. I don't think he minds, because he's a nice guy and he knows I'll likely come his way for my next boat.
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1998 Catalina 250WK Take Five (at Anchorage Marina, Essington, on the Delaware River)
1994 Mason 44 Firefly on loan from my BFF (West River, Galesville, MD)
1991 15' Trophy (Lake Wallenpaupack)
1985 14' Phantom (Lake Wallenpaupack)
Last edited by TakeFive; 07-26-2013 at 01:20 PM.