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  #1  
Old 04-26-2008
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Question 1983 pearson 303

as planned we went aboard a 1985 catalina 30 and a 1983 pearson 303 today... just on casual inspection and the overall layout preferences, the pearson won by a slim margin. seemed to be a bit more attention to detail on the pearson as well.

the boat is a one owner boat... 25 years of TLC and it shows. he is asking $29500 via a local broker.

of course any offer we make will be contingent on a sea trial and survey, but not sure how to calculate a reasonable offer on this boat... any advice would be appreciated.

thx/ alex

edit - the boat has been on the market since 9/07. obviously as nice as this boat is - the market is very slow?
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Last edited by surfsup; 04-26-2008 at 05:51 PM. Reason: added info
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Old 04-27-2008
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"You can never pay too much for a good boat and you can never pay too little for a bad one."

If you get the boat for under 30 thousand dollars, and if it is in good shape - that's not a bad price in my opinion. I am sure there are thousands who will suggest you shouldn't pay more than 10K but personally, I think you get what you pay for.

Tell the owner that you're interested. Then go look at a lot of other boats. After you have seen enough of them, you'll be able to develop a sense of what 30K should buy in your area, and if you think that the boat is competitive then go for it.

I believe that a used 30 foot boat in good condition, decently equipped costs between 30 and 50K. You may spend it all upfront, or you may buy the boat for 5K and then spend 45K bringing it up to snuff - but you WILL spend it somewhere.

So if the work has all been done for you go ahead and have it surveyed.

Good luck !
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Old 04-27-2008
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It is much harder to decide on a fair price in this market and certainly even harder not having seen the boat or its equipment list. If you go onto Yachtworld you can see that there are a very large number of 303's for sale and most are within a $1,500 or so of the boat in question. There is a 303 in New Bern asking $24,900 that you might want to look at as well. YachtWorld.com Boats and Yachts for Sale&

BTW. The stock 303 is a much better boat than a stock Catalina 30 in almost all ways.

You have a couple things working against you. The boat was only listed in September 07, which is a very short time to sell a boat (especially over the winter) even in a bull market which we are not in. This is the beginning of the buying season which means there should be a lot more lookers in the months ahead and the broker and seller should know that.

In any event, I personally would probably start with an offer somewhere between $23,500- $24,500 and see what comes back. If you really like the boat and are afraid of losing it then I would perhaps start a thousand higher. Depending on how the owner understands the market he might refuse your offer without a counteroffer or he might come back with a counter offer intended to signal where he wants to be. Mys ense is that you probably don't want to end up above $27K and that probably a fairer price is below $26K.

Jeff
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Old 04-27-2008
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sailormann/ jeff

both of you offered level headed advice, which i needed to hear. i appreciate you taking time to address my question.

i had already plotted out other boats to visit - and the one in new bern was on the list (also a 303 in washington nc). also, i was unaware that boats stayed on the market for so long.

the one owner aspect is appealing to me... but not a deal maker in itself. and the boat does need work. $30k won't break the bank, but we are due to retire in less than 3 years and we need to make the right decision first time, as we will most likely be in this boat a long. we're finding that 32-34'ers aren't that much more (ha!).

anyway - i was thinking nte $26.5k being about right for a 303... so i might want to come in bit lower, if i make an offer on one?

also discovered that a haul out and survey will run me about $750 for this size boat.

alex
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Old 04-27-2008
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I used a super surveryor who operates out of your area. Feel free to PM me if you need his contact info.

Jeff
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Old 04-28-2008
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I don't know if you have looked at any Bristols in that size range, but they are strong, sea kindly, bluewater boats - built by the Pearson family. The second generation boats are quite roomy and have better accomodations below than the earlier Bristols We've put thousands of bluewater miles and two Force 10 storms under the keel of Paloma. Here's a link to a B29.9, the price is very low, so I'm not sure what condition it's in. YachtWorld.com Boats and Yachts for Sale
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Old 04-28-2008
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Other Pearsons to Consider

If you like the 303, look at a 31-2 or a 33-2 or even a 34 or even a 10M. I am biased and own a Pearson 10M (1979) and $ for $ consider it the best bargain of the one's I mentioned. I don't know what your budget is or what type of sailing you want to do, but the 303 is not performance oriented as the others that I mentioned. By performance I mean it doesn't point high and has a low PHRF rating (180 ish) so it isn't very speedy. If you don't care about those things, than the boat is a very roomy 30 ft floating condo.

You can pick up a 10M for about the same money as the 303 ($25K ish) and you get 3 ft more boat and a lot more performance. It is an older model though (stopped making them in 1980), but it's solid. The 31-2, 33-2, and 34-1 are all going to be in the mid 30's to $50K, but they have better performance and a little more room than the 303. The 34 has a massive cockpit (9') and was my ideal boat until I found our 10M, which I really love.

I agree with others, look at a bunch of 30+ footers before making a decision. I must have looked at 12 boats before I found ours.

Peter Hunt is a good surveyor if you are in the MA/RI area. He has owned several Pearsons, so he knows them inside and out. I think he charges about $15/ft.

DrB
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DrB - we can afford to buy a bit more at the initial price point... the problem is everything seems to go up with it (slip rent, haul outs, etc). but a 32-34 might be do-able? your points are well taken and i had already been warned that the 303's performance might not satisfy me as i became more skilled. that concept seems to hold true in most of life's endeavors... i.e., don't short change yourself up front. so we will be looking at a few longer boats as well. thx/ alex
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Old 04-28-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff_H View Post
I used a super surveryor who operates out of your area. Feel free to PM me if you need his contact info.

Jeff
certainly will consider, pm sent... thanks!
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Old 04-30-2008
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Alex,

I bought a 1983 P303 last fall after looking at MANY boats. While it's true that it won't win you many races, I still find her very fun to sail. It's all what you are looking to use the boat for. As many have mentioned - the accommodations for your buck can't be beat IMHO. I'm cruising the coast with 2-4 people on board for weekends. Pretty comfy for a 30'-er.

I have been working extensively all winter on many of the systems of my P303. Feel free to PM me and I can share with you what I've learned.

Good luck with your search!
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