Local Market Flush with Used Hunters and Catalinas...
In the Chesapeake Bay area we have a ton of 70's and 80's Hunter and Catalina boats available. Some which appear to be in better condition and other not so much (based solely on my viewing internet adds).
I am looking for a decent boat for my wife and I to enjoy in the 25-35 foot range... and while there are lots of other options besides Hunters and Catalina's, there are just so many to choose from.
I do not expect a palace, and this won't be the boat that my wife and I sail anywhere other than the Bay and maybe up and down the ICW. I intend on paying cash for a very inexpensive boat and sailing it for 2 maybe 3 years before trying to sell it and double up my new cash and get a better or larger boat. Maybe we will end up liking what we have. In any case, I refuse to get a mortgage, although we cannot afford to pay cash for our "eventual" boat - yet.
So, my question is this: is it unwise to buy a model (assuming it's in acceptable condition and the price is competitive) that has saturated the market, or does that work in your favor when trying to sell because of familiarity?
i think the boats that have a big history is a good thing. if the hunters and cats where not around in abundance it would say something about them... ie they did not last long enough.
for bay work and the icw both hunters ( late 70 to early 80's ) and cats are great boats. i personaly love my 83 hunter 27, yes i would like bigger but i would want the same lay out and looks.
the old boats that are still in good shape are worth the money, as they can be had for little money.
things to watch for on hunters is compression post issues, on cats its the wood in the hull that the keel bolts go thru. they each have good and bad, you really need to look at each to see what you like about them
I'll toss my 2 cents in here ... because I am in a somewhat similar situation ...
and the market here in San Francisco is still dropping ...
ended up with a barebones '67 Cal 28 ... for me and my situation seems still to be the way to go ... learning what eventually will suit best .. getting experience on equipment and systems that we are trying to keep at 20% or less of retail value (yes perhaps not the latest and greatest yet still function for needs) ... and not looking at turning a profit in 3 years when moving to a cruiser ... rather just enough boat to learn on and enjoy ... and enjoy putting back into shape ...
I believe if you take the time to find a specific model or three which you can be comfortable on and in and enjoy ... given your own specific needs ... then shop that model and become as intelligent as possible as to prices .. equipment .. and value .. and not necessarily look at it as an investment .. you will be well served ..
Just my opinion ...
Yea... I am certainly not looking at the boat as an "investment" except maybe an an investment in time :) but I wanted to make sure that the reason the area is so saturated is not because of an imbalance between supply and demand that would work against me when I went to sell in a few years.
Does the market for certain boat builders older models ebb and flow over the years? For example, Will we see a ton of C&C's available next year and no Hunters?
we are in a place, economically, not seen before...many boats are for sale because of that. Certainly there are cycles, and there are boats that tend to be an "investment". I would not buy a boat, even at today's prices and expect to make a profit and trade up in the next few years.
As the boats go up for sale, many dealers and mechanics are getting out..there is not enough business to sustain their markups. I am looking for about 50 hours service work, but simply not willing to pay $65-90 and hour for unskilled labor. Unless you plan to do the work on an inexpensive boat, factor that cost in to the repair, as many repairs will be quite labor intensive.
For example, where I am, they want over $200 setup charge - just to climb the mast, to repair an antenna mount, or to "look" at a wind instrument....this with the "expert" on the deck, not in the chair. The hourly rate starts when the labor heads up, and stops when they walk up the dock. Needless to say, I will wait or find better help.
Second job - to install HnT system...$2K for parts, $3K for labor plus another $1K in added labor, and oh by the way the labor may go up once we "see what the job entails". Or I can save $1K by taking the boat to Norfolk, as the factory rep doesn't like to travel, but you will have to pay transient slip charges nearby for a month, while he does the install...
So, IMHO, just because there are tons of boats for sale, doesn't make the purchase a "good" deal or will help you sell later. I honestly believe you will see more and more boats for sale, until owners and brokers get real on the $$$...
Best of luck, and there is a real nice Cabo for sale near us, been on the market for over a year and a half..
On top of that, the state of the economy has lead to a lot of almost every kind of boat being on the market. It's just that when you have a boat like a Catalina 30 where there were several thousand of them made that means 10% of them being on the market would equate to several hundred boats (nationwide). On the other hand, with a boat where there were only a couple hundred or less made (which is not at all unusual), 10% would mean less than 20 on the market.
I wouldn't worry too much about oversaturation of the market. If you buy the best maintained boat you can get for the least amount of money and keep it that way, you should be able to sell it relatively easily if you price it reasonably. I emphasize reasonably because a lot of these boats that just sit on the market endlessly are way overpriced, either because their owners don't see the boat for the piece of junk it is or because the boat is well maintained and the owner just can't accept that they won't get out the money they've put in. Make peace with the fact that a 30 year old Catalina or Hunter even in bristol condition is worth 15-20k tops no matter how much you put in.
Just kidding zboss. Welcome from another Ches. Bay owner. Hope to see you out there.
I find myself in a different place with this. The real cost of ownership is maintenance, and in the 70's and 80's the build quality of both of the companies (especially Catalina) tended to be just a little below the quality of similar sized boats of that era. Over time, and in this economy, the difference in price has gotten quite small or even non-existent between higher quality boats from a design and build standpoint, and the value oriented boats (like the Hunters, Pearson, Seidelman, Irwins, Seafarers and Catalinas). My thought is that if you can find a well maintained, better quality boat than the bargain basement offerings, then you might come out ahead in terms of lower maintenance costs, greater reliability, and overall better sailing capabilities.
This is exactly what I was looking for.
Let's be clear - I don't look at the boat as being an "investment"... I am not sure where that came through in my previous e-mails. My wish is to buy a boat and maintain the boat enough to keep on top of things and provide a good time sailing. Then, at a later date sell the boat for a reasonable price and roll that cash up into a nicer/larger boat.
I fully expect maintenance to be an issue and I have been scoping out a lot of boats that are obviously way over priced junk. Again, - It doesn't make a lot of sense putting a lot of cash into a boat that doesn't have good bones.
However, my concern was that if I buy a hunter/catalina now in whatever condition, and maintain it within that condition or slightly improve it, that I would be at least able to recoup my purchase price. I would not expect the value of the boat to ever go up unless I completely restored it to like-new condition. That will NEVER happen - I simply don't have the desire to do so.
So, what I am hearing is that I should not discount Hunters and Catalinas just because there are a lot on the market.
And the on-going maint. cost is going to be a lot higher on boats from the "value oriented" list. I would actually pick another adjective... since I believe that real value is a direct function of build and design quality, in the long run.
Anyhow, look at keel attachment, the all-important hull-to-deck joint, and the construction in places where the initial salesman did not expect anyone to look. :o
These are tough times for sellers; sometimes a high end boat goes for a lot less than it should, and often the low end stuff cannot be sold at any price. Another poster noted that the repair cost for labor is the same no matter what quality of boat you own. After owning a "high end" boat for 16 years, I have become very pleased with the top quality basic construction on it!
Try to find an minimally-equipped Tartan or Ericson, etc. rather than some old sailboat-equivalent-to-a-Bayliner with more (old) accessories stuck onto it.
As to "investment" -- in pleasure and satisfaction, not in $$.
And, yeah, this advice is indeed worth about what you paid.
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