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Old 11-21-2007
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Thoughts for those buying or selling...

Hi All.

I hope everyone has been doing well. Hopefully everyone has been playing nice??? At any rate...

It seems I have spent yet another worthless weekend (and part of the week) fruitlessly shopping for boats.

I won't say the type of boat, etc that we are looking at, but it seemed we had finally found the right boat. Beautifully cared for by an anal owner. There were a few glitches, but no massive hurdles. THEN... the survey. We did what I always urge everyone else to do - get a good survey and an engine survey. They really are not expensve. It probably saved our butts this time.

It seems the boat selling market has diminished quite a bit as of late (I am sure Cam can verify this one). Now while you would think that makes for a good time to buy, it also creates a big problem: Comps. Many boats have taken such a hit that when you do find a very well kept and cared for boat, comping it out will be near impossible.

If you are going to pay cash, then you will feel you can keep looking and save 10's of thousands out of pocket. If you are going to take out a loan, the bank will traditionally only lend 80% of SURVEYED value, not agreed to value. Big difference. That means you better really like that boat or get ready to write a very larve check up front in addition to your down.

Either way, it is a lose-lose scenario. Between that, insurance, cost of fuel to ship and the cost of slipping the tub - it may be tough to find a boat. Many of you that want to finance the boat may have some real problems as all of these issues add up. For those of you that do not and wish to pay cash, you better check ALL of your costs before signing on the dotted line.

No matter what, check Sold Boats.com through a broker or your surveyor. BUC seems WAY out of whack. Look at the highest sold boat in the last two year and compare equipment/comps from there. I realize (tongue in cheeck) that the boat you are buying is a much finer vessel than ANY that has ever been sold before, but the banks and surveyors will not see it that way so it may be fruitless to proceed if you are way above the highest comp.

SO what we have found in the market are lots of boats that are total junk bringing down apparent values. Then you have nice boats that people have dumped (probably to save their house, etc) that have deflated the market - but those are gone quickly. Then you have the truely nice tub that has been well cared for... but ain't no way that owner is going to sell it for what it is worth a few years ago so you will reach an empass. Because of the beforementioned factors, its value has decreased considerably. Likely that owner will own that boat for a long time until the market turns around.

Thus, a buyers market is not always a good thing. And in the end, you may be out many thousands of dollars only for a big suprise after you write all the checks.

Buyers be informed and sellers beware: It is a frustrating market right now, no matter which side you sit on.

- CD

PS I will not list the boat type other than to say it is a heavy displacement, blue water cruiser that is well made and respected. I am concerned the owner or others will know the boat... as they very well may. SO we will speak in generalities... ok?
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