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post #1 of 18 Old 05-02-2010 Thread Starter
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Assesing boat value based on included equipment

Hi everyone,

I have been noticing that similar boats can have there values doubled when they have alot of equipment( this makes sense ). As someone that has never owned a sailboat I am wondering if you all can add some comments on the value of particular things. I know I can find the price of certain items fairly easily, but beig a novice I feel their may be hidden costs that only an experienced sailor would know. I would like a boat that is rigged primarily for a single occupant. I dont plan on purchasing anything with alot of bells and whistles, but there are certain items that are needed and I may not actually be saving anything by buying a boat without these items and then realizing I need them anyhow. So how much does it cost for a roller furling, bimini top, new rigging, anchors, electronics, solar and wind power, repairing spft spots etc. I am looking at boats around 25 to 28 ft long and Ive noticed that boats for under $10000 usually seem stripped of gear vs a $15000 dollar boat( $15000 is about as high as I can afford if I ever actually want to set sail with a kitty ). Any comments are appreciated.
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post #2 of 18 Old 05-02-2010
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Rule of thumb(s)
1. Consider most owner added electronic equipment on boats that are over 5-6 years old .... is junk. Feel lucky if they last more than a year or two.
2. Figure at least an additional 15-20% of the purchase price to get the boat into 'tip-top' shape (includes instrumentation upgrades, etc.)

For replacement pricing, etc.: West Marine: Home Page Discount Marine and Boat Supplies - Inflatable Sales - Defender, etc.
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post #3 of 18 Old 05-02-2010
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Don't worry about electronics. In fact if the radio, chartplotter, depth finder, wind instruments, autopilot, etc. is more than 5 years old, it's value may be negative. Often sellers seem to think that if they paid $800 for a chart plotter 10 years ago that it should still add $800 of value to the boat.
Canvas, on the other hand, (dodger, bimini, enclosure) is a durable investment. A boat with a dodger and bimini in good condition, especially if they are custom fitted, is easily worth $1- $1.5k more than a similar boat without, because it will easily cost you $1.5- 2.5K to have a custom dodger and bimini built for your boat.
Good quality, well maintained furling gear will add value, but a poorly maintained furler which doesn't work is a negative.
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post #4 of 18 Old 05-02-2010 Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies, I would have never guessed that about the electronics. That is why I am asking these questions, I would have assumes electronic equipment from 2005 or so to be good. So from what was posted maybe the best thing to consider for adding value is sails, rigging, bimini/dodger etc., and except the fact that I will have to add most electronics.
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post #5 of 18 Old 05-03-2010
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This is not totally applicable for the boats between $10k-$15k, but when determining value, the most important items are the big items. Big items are almost immutable pieces of equipment. Big items have a high cost barrier for installment. For instance, these are big items:
* In-mast furling - $30k to switch from standard rig
* Low Hour Generator - $20k to install
* Low Hour Engine - $20k to repower

Small items are easily installable. These add little to no value. In fact, many buyers prefer to *not* to have them, so they can purchase and install exactly what they like. Electronics is the best example of this type.
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post #6 of 18 Old 05-03-2010
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IMO the 1st thing to look for in a vessel is one that is well found.
That is: the hull, the rig and the major systems: Engine, sails, seacocks, thru-hulls, ground tackle, tankage, etc. etc.

Only after the above systems check out, would I then begin to add value for additional equipment, ie. dodgers and biminis, required safety equipment, electronics. I don't necessarily agree that all 5 year old electronics are junk.
If they are installed and in good operable conditions they have some value.
My autopilot, depth sounder, knot meter are all over 15 years old and work just fine. Had they not been installed, it would have cost me a few grand to install them. Instead, I was able to take care of other things.

If all things are equal, I would apply some value to the extras, like safety equipment, electronics, fenders, etc etc. Those incidentals add up quickly.
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post #7 of 18 Old 05-03-2010
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For small, less expensive boats (like those that you are in the market for), "extras" like electronics should not be what drives the price. The things I find most valuable in a boat that size and price range (25-27 ft, 10-15K) are in order of importance: solid hull with no blisters; sound deck with no delamination; servicable sails; well-maintained engine; interior cushions in good shape; standing rigging in good shape and less than 10 years old; running rigging in good shape. Fixing any one of the first four could take up all or your time for quite awhile (assuming you are capable of doing the work yourself), or cost from 30%-50% of your intial purchase price. Even the most bitchin' chart plotter/radar/depth sounder/stereo system won't offset that. You need a sound boat that doesn't need major work, not one with bells and whistles.
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post #8 of 18 Old 05-03-2010
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My best recommendation is that you hire a professional marine surveyor. In addition to assessing the condition of the boat, the surveyor will establish a fair market value of the boat and equipment as a whole as a part of the survey.

I'm in agreement with what's been said about electronics. Even new electronics add little to the value of a boat nowadays. New rigging, new machinery, upgrades to electrical systems, etc. get much more consideration where value is concerned.

Maintenance, location, and desirability of the boat (aka 'branding') in the marketplace also play important roles.

Again, hire a professional marine surveyor.

Bill & Lisa Ballard
S/V Jo Beth
1984 Pacific Seacraft Crealock 34, Hull #16

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post #9 of 18 Old 05-03-2010
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Since you stated you plan on single hand the boat, gear that allows you to do that would be significant value to you. So if you find two comparable boats, but one has a functional autopilot and the other does not, the AP would be a benefit. Note that a basic AP costs over $1000 and that does not include installation. Same thing with roller furling - probably over $2K when you consider the cost of the furler, installation, having the headsail(s) modified for the furler, new forestay, etc.

Oh course, gear that you don't want / need has zero value to you. So if the owner added a $2K refrigerator to the boat, but you only plan on daysailing, the fridge doesn't many anything to you.

I disagree about the electronic comments. Many autopilots can last for 10+ years. Basic wind / depth / speed instruments last longer than that and haven't changed much if at all. A basic VHF will last forever, and if the antenna is good and run properly, the latest and greatest VHF will be under $300 and can be installed in a short time. A fancy 10 year old chartplotter or radar probably does have very little value though.

If you want a dodger and bimini note that they can cost over $1000 each. Heck, a decent sail cover can cost $500. Lastly, be sure to value the sails - new ones are $1500 - $2000.

A surveyor will help, but you MUST be able to value things ahead of time. The surveyor only gets involved after you make and offer and get the offer accepted. You don't want to offer something like $15K, have the offer accepted, then have the surveyor state the boat is only worth $10K. Sure, you can back out or try to renegotiate, but by that time you have lost a lot of time and money.

Good luck,

Barry Lenoble
Deep Blue C, 2002 C&C 110
Mt. Sinai, NY

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post #10 of 18 Old 05-03-2010
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The one category of equipment that in my opinion can really add value to a boat purchase is a set of good quality, relatively new sails. While older (3-5 yr) but serviceable sails I would consider neutral in value to the boat, and older yet, frayed/patched or baggy sails might decrease the value of the boat, a good set of quality and relatively new sails are certainly more valuable than a good chartplotter, radio, radar, etc. This is particularly try on a larger boat, where a good racing/cruising main or 150 Genoa can run upwards of $3-5K each.

In addition, I have rarely seen boats with good working sails that are poorly cared for in other ways. A 10-20 y/o boat with poor sails, or god forbid "original" sails tells me that the owner nay not have been taking care of that boat. It is certainly a red flag. Unfortunately you won't find out much about the sails without a sea trial.

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"The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails." - William Arthur Ward
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