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post #1 of 6 Old 08-26-2010 Thread Starter
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Buy new or repair old?

I have seen a lot and back and forth over this subject in the past, but I always like to get updated information. As a prospective boat buyer I have seen people save 20k on a 20 yo boat and and sink another 20 in repairs. Where, in hindsight, 40k would have gotten them an newer and updated boat.

So I guess I am looking for genaralities here. I know every boat and is different. There is a lot to be said about learning the hardway and learning the nuances of your boat. After all, how do you know how to fix an engine if you havn't been slowly been replacing it part by part over the years.

SO, throwing all that aside, what is the over and under on buying new vs repairing old? If you have 40-50k to spend who ops for buying newer with less problems and who ops for the deal at say 20k and throwing 20-30k in upgrades. Over the long haul, who wins out?
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post #2 of 6 Old 08-26-2010
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Originally Posted by trailblazer1229 View Post
I have seen a lot and back and forth over this subject in the past, but I always like to get updated information. As a prospective boat buyer I have seen people save 20k on a 20 yo boat and and sink another 20 in repairs. Where, in hindsight, 40k would have gotten them an newer and updated boat.

So I guess I am looking for genaralities here. I know every boat and is different. There is a lot to be said about learning the hardway and learning the nuances of your boat. After all, how do you know how to fix an engine if you havn't been slowly been replacing it part by part over the years.

SO, throwing all that aside, what is the over and under on buying new vs repairing old? If you have 40-50k to spend who ops for buying newer with less problems and who ops for the deal at say 20k and throwing 20-30k in upgrades. Over the long haul, who wins out?
If keeping and using the boat over ten+ years, it's probably about even. At least you understand that the new boat will have (maybe, hopefully) less problems....
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post #3 of 6 Old 08-26-2010
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What length/size boat are we talking about?? Unless it is a very recent boat, then anything over six or seven years old is going to have almost as much maintenance and upgrading needed as a 30 year old boat in good shape and cost significantly more....

A well-maintained 30 year old boat can be worth more than a neglected FIVE year old boat. The question is too open ended and general to really answer properly. If you're buying what Maine Sail calls a 2-percenter boat, that is 30 years old, it may well be worth a lot more in terms of real value than a decent five year old boat while priced about the same.

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post #4 of 6 Old 08-26-2010
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I believe most owners selling an updated boat hope/wish to get back half of what they put into it. From personal experience a needs-work boat is a $$ losing money pit, you will come out ahead financially and state-of-mind if you pay top dollar for a needs-nothing boat...the seller is probably still taking a hosing. Many buyers just can't get beyond the dream of a steal...blinded to value by cheap.

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post #5 of 6 Old 08-26-2010
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In terms of value, a new boat is terrible. For a lot less, you can buy a boat even a few years old. Not only will you spend less on the boat, but you will spend a ton less on outfitting it. New boats need lines, bumpers, anchors, rode, Radar reflectors, etc... Plus, inevitably there are always new boat issues that get taken care of in the first couple years by the manufacturer.

With relatively new, used boat, you get all the gear almost "free" and pay less for the boat. The systems should be working well with little wear.

Buying an older boat is great if it has been exceptionally well cared for or if you don't mind doing repairs. Plenty of folks have the time and enjoy working on boats. If that is you, you can increase the value of an older boat by updating and repairing. If you need to hire everything out, then an older boat won't save you much money.

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post #6 of 6 Old 08-26-2010
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The one additional factor may be if you shop not only the boat, but also shop the seller and the listing; assessing their motivation for selling can speak volumes on their price flexibility and whether there is a deal to be had.

Has the boat been on the market a long time?
Divorce situation?
Seller already bought a bigger boat?
Yard or slip bills mounting while boat goes unused?
Owner has listed it but really doesn't want to part with his "baby"?
Broker or Private Sale?

In general, I think newer boats have a more consistent range of selling prices while older boats can be much more variable; even good condition older boats are out there at very attractive prices.

All that being said though the most important question may be whether you enjoy upgrading yourself or want something turnkey. Upgrading where you do the work yourself will almost always result in fewer hard-dollars spent, but there's your time and maybe lots of it... is that upgrade effort "work" or is it "fun"?

Stated differently, some people like owning boats and others like sailing boats. Which describes you?
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