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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Boat Review and Purchase Forum
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  #1  
Old 09-20-2009
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Asked to sell your boat?

As boat owners (which we're not yet), what would be your reaction? We know exactly which boat we want, but haven't been able to find one that's in the condition we're looking for. I know what's sold in our area over the last 10 years (selling price and location as well as general condition at time of sale). I figure it wouldn't be too hard to track down current owners.

So I was wondering, what kind of response(s) should I expect if I respectfully asked existing owners if they had an interest in selling? How many owners do you think have thought about selling, but just haven't gone through the trouble of putting it on the market? I realize it would put me at a disadvantage in regards to negotiating, but if it's the right boat, I might be OK with that.

We're looking at what most would consider a 'starter' boat (mid 80's - 28' cruiser). I only mention this as it's probably not in the class that most would consider 'their final boat'.
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Old 09-20-2009
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I've been

I've been asked seriously twice in the last three years. I simply reply that it's not for sale, yet, and if they are still interested when I do decide to sell I'll be glad to give them a call. I don't feel it is offensive in any way..
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Old 09-20-2009
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I have been asked once and was flattered, I don't think anyone would be offended.
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Old 09-20-2009
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I was asked once with the previous boat, and sold it even thought was not listed nor was I ready to sell. However the buyer wanted my boat in great condition and was willing to pay for it. If you approach someone with a boat that's not really for sale don't expect to steal it.
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Old 09-20-2009
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I was approached by a guy who began with, "I'm shopping for a Catalina 36 and I heard that you have the most beautiful one around". Needless to say, I invited him aboard, showed off the boat, answered questions and gave him a beer. Starting with a compliment like that is a great ice breaker. Didn't sell my boat, but it sure made me feel good.

Mike
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Old 09-20-2009
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I was asked as well last winter...I told him he was one day to late.............. or one day to early..
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Old 09-21-2009
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I've asked an owner by leaving a note. I got a reply that he was thinking of selling. His price was too high for me, I moved on to another boat. I later learned that he'd sold it for much, much, less than the asking price.
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Old 09-21-2009
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By all means approach the owner if you're interested... after all it's a compliment at least, a possible opportunity besides that for both of you. But I would let them make the first mention of price/value... you can decide if you're both on the same page without insulting anyone, or putting yourself in a bad position.

A couple of years ago here on Sailnet I put a buyer in touch with an owner - only because he was interested in the same boat. Long story short they ended up buying THAT boat rather than the sistership they'd been looking at to start with. And it had not been for sale at the start of the conversations.

So you never know....
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Old 09-22-2009
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By all means, feel free to ask. Most of the boats (cars/trucks too) that I've bought weren't listed for sale. I've actually only bought one boat (out of 19) that had a for sale sign on it. The rest were all walkups.

Been doing it for years, and found that most peope have no problem with being asked.
Of the few hundred times I've asked I only had one person be cranky about it. (him: Do you see a for sale sign?" no, but I know it'sbeen sitting there for two years untouched "well it aint for sale" ) Two months later I got it in trade for putting a trans in his truck, dollar value of the trans and labor was $850. less than 1/10th what I was willing to pay for it when I asked.

Ken.
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Old 09-22-2009
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The way I approach it, everything is for sale at the right price... well, except for my wife. So, go ahead and make your inquiries; you never know.
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