Boat offer prices? Ericson 29? - SailNet Community

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Old 03-18-2008
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Boat offer prices? Ericson 29?

Hello:

I have been reading this forum for a few weeks and am looking to buy my first boat. I have limited experience and want to buy something old and very used, with the intention of "moving up" in 3-5 years.

I have two questions... first about two boats I'm looking at, and next about the more general topic of making an offer.

I have an older friend (he retired to bluewater sail and has 5+ years liveaboard exp) who has been answering all my questions and has offered to give any purchase a once-over. (I'm going to get a legit inspection but want to be serious before I pay for one). I've been considering making an offer on this boat:

YachtWorld.com Boats and Yachts for Sale

Internet, please give me your advice! Know of any others in the price range that might be better? My intended grounds are mid atlantic, no further than the bahamas if I even get that far. If it helps, I have also been considering this:

YachtWorld.com Boats and Yachts for Sale

I've heard less than ideal things about this brand, so I wouldnt offer but maybe 60% of that price and see what happens. This brings me to my next question, about payment and offers on boats.

For easy math, lets say a boat is for sale with asking price of 10k. Are there any informal "rules" about what is a decent offer? I know negotiation is common, but how much of a price decrease can you reasonably expect? Would an offer of 6k be so low as to be insulting? Finally, does the offer change if you offer to pay in cash and/or within 24 hours?

I know I'm asking a lot of information, but any help you give me is useful.
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Old 03-18-2008
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Old adage: "Offer the seller 50% of asking price. But, be prepared for him to say 'yes.'"
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Old 03-18-2008
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Depends on a bunch of stuff......

but, in the end, whatever you offer, you need to be happy with your offer. I typically set an upper limit and don't go over that.

For the boat in question (I am not familiar with the make/model), you need to ask yourself a bunch of questions.
  1. Is the boat/model common or a rarity?
  2. How much work is need to get her ready to sail?
  3. How long has the boat been on the market?
  4. Does the boat have extra stuff over similar boats of the same/make model or size?
  5. How much do you love the boat?
  6. Why is the boat being sold? Current Owner has a new boat coming/in and needs to dump this one, or some other distressed circumstances?
  7. Is the current owner just "testing the waters"? I.e, he has no desire/need to sell unless he gets top dollar.

So factor all of this into the equation and come up with a number range, then go from there.

My approach is to set a limit and offer 70 to 80% of your limit as the first go round. For example if the boat is $11K, your upper limit is $10K, offer 7K. If they come back and offer 9K, you could take it or try to make them drop more. If they don't budge on the asking price, well that tells you something too.

Again, whatever you end up with as a price/offer, you need to feel good about it.

I looked at several boats last year and was presented with a Pearson 10M (1979). The PO had really taken care of her well, with minimal issues. Very clean, excellent shape. Is asking was $27.5K. I had looked at a few other 10M's and they were much older and is less desirable shape for the same or more money. My limit was $25.5K, so I offered 24K, which I thought was good deal for the boat. Owner came back at $25K and the deal was done. I don't think I could have gotten it for much less. The surveyor said I got a sweet deal and I did not end up buying the boat, he would.

DrB
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Old 03-19-2008
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If that is your range..

If that is your price range and you don't want to spend a lot of money on surveys you NEED to buy your own moisture meter AND learn how to use one correctly!!!

Holland Marine Products out of Canada sells this moisture meter:



For $199.00!! Trust me it will pay for itself the FIRST time you use it. Getting a surveyor out to a boat will cost you a minimum of about $400.00 to tell you the thing has decks like sponges. With your own moisture meter, and some studying, about proper use, you can eliminate ten boats a day until you find one with dry decks, that you like, and are then willing to commit to a survey on..


Click on the words Holland Marine Products above then scroll down the main page a bit to see the moisture meter..

You can be penny wise and not buy one but TRUST me it will pay for itself during the first use if used properly.

My personal feeling is that if every boat buyer had a moisture meter brokers would smarten up and be a LOT more honest!!! Many brokers have moisture meters and do check decks before listing a boat but then WON'T admit any problems and force you to hire a surveyor to find out for yourself.. It's like they are in coo hoots together..

The savvy boat purchaser always comes prepared and owning a moisture meter is the number one thing you can do other than reading and studying books on boat surveying and construction ...

Oh, and I'd buy the Ericson over the Grampian 10 times out of 10 !!!!


One more thing is to leave yourself some "slush money". The general rule is a minimum of 10% of the purchase price for upgrades and repairs. Unfortunately, as the price of the boat goes down into the 10K range for a 30+/- foot boat that percentage can grow to as much as 40-50% of the purchase price for upgrades and repairs. Just because the boat is old and inexpensive it doe not change the cost of wire, running or standing rigging, plumbing etc. etc....

A new halyard for a newer 45k 30 footer will run you the same price as a new halyard for a 10k 30 footer.....
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Last edited by Maine Sail; 03-27-2008 at 10:09 AM.
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Old 03-19-2008
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Thanks for all the advice guys! I need all I can get!

Why does everyone dislike the grampian? You're not the first person to say that.
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Old 03-19-2008
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Halekai-

Unfortunately, using a moisture meter properly is a bit of an artform, and there are a lot of things that can throw it off. If the boat was recently hauled out, the hull will show a relatively high, but usually misleading, moisture content. If there is water in the bilge, it may also throw the meter off.

The "slush money" idea is one I definitely recommend as well... since boats are not like cars and generally need to be modified to suit each person's individual sailing needs.

I'd also generally agree that the Ericsons were better boats than the Grampians.
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Old 03-19-2008
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Ericsons are better known esp in the US, and they are probably a notch above the Grampians in all areas. Grampians are, however, surprisingly good performers despite being to some degree Ugly Ducklings (to my eye, anyway.)

For the same condition and similar money I'd go Ericson as well, but the Grampians could provide decent value for the money too - they should sell for less.
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Old 03-19-2008
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lots to think about there, buying a boat without a survey. Assuming you live in the area, NC, bring someone who knows more about boating than you, and wear some old clothes and crawl around the boat, you're looking for soft spots in any of the fiberglass, that's the moisture Halekai's warning you about, then turn to the sails, both the dacron and iron (engine) sails, electronics are disposable and can be replaced, but the wiring/panel is important, the more you know about the boat and it's likely faults the better position you'll be in to make an offer. Your offer can always be lowered once you inspect the vessel.

good luck
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Old 03-19-2008
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The Ericson is a better choice and appears to be in better condition. Concur with all written thus far and will emphasize petegingras - crawl around the boat for a couple of hours. Check for soft spots, mold, or stains where the chainplates or anything else comes through the deck. Take a deep breath OUTSIDE the boat, hold your breath, and go inside. Exhale and breathe in through your nose. What you smell will tell you volumes about how the boat was maintained. Smell musty - run! Smell like fiberglass/metal - you're probably ok.

Engine looks real clean. Ditch the carpet - a mold magnet. Use rubber backed throw carpets, if you must.

Good luck.
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Old 03-19-2008
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BTW, get Don Casey's Inspecting the Aging Sailboat... it has a good check list for doing a 15-minute survey of your own. This isn't to substitute for a professional survey, but to tell you whether it is even worth bothering with hiring a surveyor.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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