Originally Posted by camaraderie
You might try looking at some of the other discussions on actually buying a boat that are here. There is a lot more to it and this is a frequent topic here with lots of good advice including some with significant buying/selling experience of their own as well as brokers.
Personally I am not a proponent of narrowing it down to 5 boats...you should narrow it down to one boat...the one you love that appears to be in the condition you want. You MUST be prepared to let the deal fall through but it is a buyers market and another one will appear shortly as JoeShulz recently found.
Good advice. Again there are thousands of threads with thousands of opinions on sailnet, I can't possibly cover all the angles.
I think it has a lot to do with geographic location too, because in So Cal for example, If I want a Cal 30 or Catalina 30, I could probably find 20 for sale within 50 miles right now. So, its a lot easier to find 5 boats in similar condition for similar prices in So Cal, but in a smaller demographic, you might only find one or two that meet your criteria. But then if you look at the Owning a Boat is Expensive! thread's responses, you can see several owners of boats in smaller demographics, where they know that their boat is in great shape and "at the top of its class" and they're not going to back off of their price much if at all. Some are proud of their boat, and the price reflects it.