Originally Posted by JulieMor
Ah, but at what price?
Julie with boats it is pay now or pay later. The cheap fixer upper will ALWAYS cost more in the long run than buying the cleanest, best maintained boat you can find.. Don't be fooled by low prices thinking you are getting a deal.
I have watched far too many people pour gobs of money into a "fixer upper" and still not be "done" or have finished boat yet are sooo upside down in the boat, from a fair market value proposition, that it makes it a very poor investment, not that any boat isn't.
The idea some have that it costs less when fixing it up "pay check to pay check" is also not very sound. You still spend more over time that you would having paid a lump sum for a clean and ready to go boat. It may feel like you paid less, but only in rare occasions would you.
If a boat is rare a "fixer upper" can be a great option but to bring a generic old fiberglass boat from the 70s or 80s back to life when you can buy one already brought back to life for a fraction more than what you'd need to spend is not the best choice. All boats need work even boats in the top 2% so you will ALWAYS have time to putter and work on a boat if that is what you enjoy.
Here's a prime example. A neighbor enlisted my advice when looking at two Catalina 30's. One was in top notch condition, a genuine pristine boat needing nothing but your own fresh linens. The other boat needed nearly everything and was very poorly maintained and cared for but less $$$$$. My neighbor got hung up on the $$$$ aspect and not in the REALITY aspect despite hours of discussions. He fit the true definition of a naive or inexperienced buyer, he knows that now..... .Some things you simply can not teach.
Both boats were the same year, same model and only 8k apart in asking price with the most expensive, at that time, being about 32k asking (not selling). Fast forward three years....
A gear box
New standing riging
New running rigging
Numerous deck core repairs
Wet bulkhead repair
etc. etc. etc.
By the time the boat was "close to" as good as the one for 32k, which he likely could have purchased for 29k, he was sooo upside down it was not even laughable.. For the "junker" he paid 24k which was only approx a 5k up front difference. Three years later he had over 60k, 35k in "fixing" into a 24k purchase price Catalina 30.
Sadly the boat was still worth 28-29k just what the one he didn't buy could have been purchased for.... For 5k more the other boat was already there. This little escapade in penny pinching the initial purchase price cost him $25,000.00 more........ Moral of the story, don't be penny wise pound foolish.... A little more up front, on a pristine example of the boat you want, often goes a LOOOOOOONG way....
Any Sabre 34 that needs that type of repair work, rotted bulkheads, HAS NOT BEEN WELL MAINTAINED. I don't even need to see the boat to know that...