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Old 07-05-2014
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Negotiating new boat purchase

Hi. Anyone have any first hand info on negotiating new boat purchases? Of course there is the "boat show special package", but how much more, if any, can be negotiated? Experiences in this regard?

Realize there are many, many reasons to go used instead, but not really interested in that discussion.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 07-06-2014
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Re: Negotiating new boat purchase

It is all in what you can negotiate. There is some room in the asking price, but likely not as much as people suspect. Each builder is different, and the "exchange" rate can be a player in the "money" part of the deal. It is often easier to get the dealer to "throw in extra gear" than to get a real price reduction.

Just like a used purchase, it comes down to what the boat, new, is worth to you and how confident in the dealership you are. The dealer is or will be, your link to the builder and some are much better than others. Some go out of business in mid deal and you are left hoping the builder steps up.

Get your loan in order or cash in a basket and start talking to the dealers for the boat you want. It is better for you, if that boat is at the dealer's dock. Don't expect an awesome deal on a boat they have to order. Some builders restrict their dealers from competing with each other, and most dealers have a specific geography they can sell to.....make sure what restrictions the dealer has to work under.

Good luck, it can be a great learning experience, but it can also be so frustrating that it takes every bit of your control to get out the other side and sailing.

It is no where near like, buying a house or a car or anything else you buy. If compared to a house, it would be like a builder who builds the house itself, but has NO responsibility for making sure that ANYTHING in the house, works or plays well with the other things in the house.
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Old 07-06-2014
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Re: Negotiating new boat purchase

If you haven't purchased new before, do some serious homework. It is like building a house, only more scary. You pay as you go and have little to show for it until it's done.

To your questions, there isn't usually much negotiating room in the price of the hull. However, you will pay a minimum of 20% more just to commission it to be seaworthy!, let alone as you want it. 50% more isn't uncommon. This is where the markup lies. For starters, the dealer will be able to buy equipment at 25% to as much as 40% below advertised prices. Then, they mark up the labor to install it. They are certainly entitled to a profit, since they will need to warranty the work, but they have some room there.

Demo or boat show hulls can be had for a small discount, as they may get a scratch or two. On some boats, you can get a discount, if you allow your fully commissioned new boat to be used in a boat show before you take delivery.

Personally, I prefer to buy a hull that is under 5 yrs old. Kinks are worked out (and there are many on every new hull), original owner took the brunt of the depreciation, but still like new.
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Re: Negotiating new boat purchase

This depends I think. If you are dealing with a "production" builder that's putting out "volume" I'll bet you can negotiate quite a bit.

If you're dealing with a low volume, semi-custom shop, it's more about an on going relationship. Our boat was in this category, the contract was one page and a hand shake, and issues were resolved quickly during the building process at monthly meetings at the shop. Very little haggling, lots of mutual trust, and in the end some very good friends. We wanted them to stay in business, they wanted us to get a reasonable deal. Easy-peasey.
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Re: Negotiating new boat purchase

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Originally Posted by capecodda View Post
This depends I think. If you are dealing with a "production" builder that's putting out "volume" I'll bet you can negotiate quite a bit.

If you're dealing with a low volume, semi-custom shop, it's more about an on going relationship. Our boat was in this category, the contract was one page and a hand shake, and issues were resolved quickly during the building process at monthly meetings at the shop. Very little haggling, lots of mutual trust, and in the end some very good friends. We wanted them to stay in business, they wanted us to get a reasonable deal. Easy-peasey.
Morris is one of the few companies left, that value the relationship they create when they build a boat. There are a few more out there, but most production builders make and sell their boats like any other commodity.

My boat buying is typical of those production builders. I bought two used boats from the same dealer over the course of 4 or 5 years...who better to BUY a new one, than the guy who has come back for a second boat. You would think that I would get a phone call or email about new boat deals, this dealer has/had. Not even a followup call after buying either boat, let alone a sales call or invite to look at new boats. Take the money and on to another buyer...that is what we are...buyers.

They fail to understand that many of us are not buyers, we are owners. And the boats are more than a payment to us.

Enjoy the Morris, it is one of the best boats I have ever worked on and all owners I have met talk freely and candidly about what an experience owning one is. You are truly part of a unique experience.
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