Anyone ever sold at a profit? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 49 Old 08-23-2014 Thread Starter
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Anyone ever sold at a profit?

I am considering purchase of a second sailboat. I have one in the water but might want a trailerable.

I like project boats and think I have found one. Unfortunately in my effort to convince the Mrs. I made the statement that "it might be the kind of boat I could resell and make a few bucks." she laughed and said "show me even one story of someone making money on a sailboat otherwise I remain unconvinced."

So can I get an assist here? Anyone have a story? Anyone figured out how to turn a profit in boat buying/fixing/selling?

Thanks...
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post #2 of 49 Old 08-23-2014
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Re: Anyone ever sold at a profit?

Do you have a convenient time machine? The first three or four boats I owned in the 1970s all sold at a profit. Since then, well ...

Back home on Lake Ontario after something over 36,000 nm circumnavigator. Not surprisingly there is a lot of stuff I want to get done on Ainia both cosmetically and functionally. Getting an early start so it will be ready to go for next summer (Lake Superior?).
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post #3 of 49 Old 08-23-2014
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Re: Anyone ever sold at a profit?

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Anyone figured out how to turn a profit in boat buying/fixing/selling?
Catalina, Beneteau, etc.

For used boats, understand that a boat is not an investment. It is an asset that declines in value if not maintained to a high level. Some boats depreciate more rapidly than others. A boat is generally not like a car that may be sold at auction for high amounts. A boat is bought because the owner wants it.

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post #4 of 49 Old 08-23-2014
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Re: Anyone ever sold at a profit?

I actually think it would be "doable" if all you're doing is flipping it. But I think it would take a tremendous amount of time to find the right boat (well equipped and maintained with a below-market price) - then it would be even harder to sell it fast enough to offset dockage fees, etc. The margins are just too small and the risks too big I would think to make it worth trying.

So, doable - probably. Practical - never.
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post #5 of 49 Old 08-23-2014
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Re: Anyone ever sold at a profit?

lol...I just bought a Islander 26. Got a great price but with the time and money I am putting into it, I can't imagine getting a profit. Before I bought my "Lifestream" I saw a lot of boats while shopping. Almost all of them sold for below market value. Me thinks the wife wins this one, unless you can get very creative with a new story..
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post #6 of 49 Old 08-23-2014
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Re: Anyone ever sold at a profit?

really depends on the deal. For example, the Hurley 22 that my brother and I picked up, even if you include the cost of the trailer refit to strengthen it, plus the few missing rigging parts, we could still turn a decent profit on. That's only because there are no other issues with the boat, other than it needed a very good cleaning, and some turnbuckles replaced. But I'd say it's safe to assume that it's a minority case when that happens, it's really a hit or miss. You basically need a boat that needs almost nothing, that you bought for almost nothing, and can find someone to pay a bit more than nothing.

edit: to elaborate: If you aren't picking it up at well below market value, it'll be almost impossible to resell for a profit. Even doing the labor yourself on projects, you still have material costs. And unless you are in it for way under market, the odds of recovering the cost of the boat + the materials is going to be very hard, and that's assuming you value your time at free.

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post #7 of 49 Old 08-23-2014
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Re: Anyone ever sold at a profit?

we did it in 2008 which was a really bad year to sell a boat. Had sailed from Seattle to New Zealand 2007 to 2008. Our son decided he did not want to continue being home schooled and wanted to go to high school so we put boat up for sail in New Zealand. Hired a broker to sell her and that was a disaster, fired him and just put the word out there. Two week later we sold our Mason 44 for 6 K more than we bought her for and put into her and sailed for for two years. Mind you our Mason was in perfect shape all new everything and well maintained. The buyer was from Austria and wanted a boat he could sail in the South Pacific right out of the dock. I took the 6 K and put in a new SSB for him and offered to help sail the boat back to Fiji when the season came.

We hope with our new boat a Boreal 44 that we will break even or make a profit again as the company has now about a 3 year waiting list from order to completion. We get emails from time to time from sailors wanting to buy her if we decide to sell her and at the price we want. I see where Boreal was nominated Europen boat of the year once again.
It can be done.
Cheers
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post #8 of 49 Old 08-23-2014
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Re: Anyone ever sold at a profit?

I have not, but understand that this is how to do it;
  1. buy late model boat (Bene-hunt-alina) that has suffered some kind of mishap at a discount
  2. immediately put the boat into charter service
  3. deduct any and all improvements/repairs as a business expense
  4. after two years, once the boat is squared away, sell it at a (modest) profit
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post #9 of 49 Old 08-23-2014
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Re: Anyone ever sold at a profit?

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Originally Posted by hannah2 View Post
we did it in 2008 which was a really bad year to sell a boat. Had sailed from Seattle to New Zealand 2007 to 2008. Our son decided he did not want to continue being home schooled and wanted to go to high school so we put boat up for sail in New Zealand. Hired a broker to sell her and that was a disaster, fired him and just put the word out there. Two week later we sold our Mason 44 for 6 K more than we bought her for and put into her and sailed for for two years. Mind you our Mason was in perfect shape all new everything and well maintained. The buyer was from Austria and wanted a boat he could sail in the South Pacific right out of the dock. I took the 6 K and put in a new SSB for him and offered to help sail the boat back to Fiji when the season came.

We hope with our new boat a Boreal 44 that we will break even or make a profit again as the company has now about a 3 year waiting list from order to completion. We get emails from time to time from sailors wanting to buy her if we decide to sell her and at the price we want. I see where Boreal was nominated Europen boat of the year once again.
It can be done.
Cheers
This is actually a great point. Buying a boat in a "strong supply/weak demand" market, then taking it to an area that has "weak supply/strong demand" can definitely work.

Nicely played hannah.
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post #10 of 49 Old 08-23-2014
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Re: Anyone ever sold at a profit?

Two years ago I bought a Rhodes 19 for $200 at the end of the season. Had been sitting a couple of years in a field. Over the course of the winter I spent about $4000 on it and did everything myself. That included a new outboard as well. It was very much like a new boat when complete, very pretty, with good hardware and all else. About the 4th time I sailed it a guy offered to buy it. We settled on $7800.

So I made some money, but I made the mistake of not keeping good track of the time investment. I most likely 'paid' myself way less than minimum wage. I did learn a great deal enjoyed most of the process. I think I will not take on another project boat though, my Catalina was in pretty decent shape, and it is still like a project at times.
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