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Old 09-08-2010
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advice on when to sell

Hi, I have a 1978 Catalina 27 std rig, which I put a lot of work into it and upgraded it completely this past season. After sailing it for several months, my wife and I have decided that we want to jump to a bigger boat (30-32) with many specifics that this one doesn't have, since we really enjoy cruising and space! (though have to say the cat 27 is just a great boat)

I was wondering when is the best time to try to sell it; is it now (end of the season) or beginning of next season... I am actually willing to pay for winter storage since I wont be getting the new boat until next year and I dont want to lose my winter storage spot. Any suggestion when to sell it, how to sell it and where to try to sell it?

Thanks for any suggestions
-Abraham
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Old 09-08-2010
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Prime buying season is late Spring/early Summer when everyone wants to get onto the water. Demand and prices are usually highest then. That is in a normal economy.

Hard to say in this economy. I can tell you that Fall and Winter are traditionally buyer's season. People are wanting to unload boats before winter storage and maintenance and let someone else deal with it. Right now, I'd say year round is a buyer's market. Buyers can afford to walk away and wait. There are lots of boats available out there right now.

If you're willing to hold out on winter storage, sit on it and start offering it for sale in March when the weather starts to get warm. If the boat is well-kept, consider going through a broker as an option. They'll be able to put it in front of buyers. Not a lot of brokers will deal in sub $15K boats due to the low commission for the effort but I know a couple in the Annapolis area who will, for example.

Honestly, decide on your asking and accept price and post it in the Spring on Craigslist and the local boat rag when you're ready. If it is a good, well-kept boat, it will sell. Just price it fairly. Certain things add value (electronics, upgrades, new engine, etc), others don't (cushions, rigging, etc).

Some advice for selling:

* Varnish the wood before selling. People like pretty wood. I oil mine now but when my boat goes on the block, I'll varnish the exterior wood.
* Take all your personal gear off the boat before taking pictures or showing it. People want to imagine their stuff on the boat, not yours. Stuff sailbags and other items like life jackets into lockers or storage space to enhance the openness of the boat.
* Wash the exterior and paint the bilge. Clean, dry bilge is good. Shiny, clean boats equates to nicely kept boat in a potential buyer's eyes.

Lots more things you can do but those are good starting points.

Matt
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Old 09-08-2010
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Having just gone through the buying process, I can tell you what my broker told me. He said the boat prices are usually highest in spring (since everyone wants to get a boat in time to enjoy the summer) and usually lowest in fall/winter, when people are facing the cost of storing it for another winter and are thus willing to sell it cheaper.

I think probably the best way to get people interested in buying your boat is to list it on Yachtworld.com. That seems to be the go-to place for boat listings on the internet, and it's how I found my boat. I believe you need to have a broker to get listed on there, and given your questions, getting a broker to help you would probably be a good idea anyways. I don't know what kind of value a Catalina 27 has, but it's probably high enough for the broker's fee (usually 10% of sale price) to be worthwhile.
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Maine Sail has a good list of how to prep a boat for sale... that you should read. I'd second putting it up for sale in the early spring/late winter...
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A 1978, 27 footer is only going to bring so much money. I'm just guessing, but my feeling is the amount of money you spend to keep it over the winter till next spring, will not be re-couped with a slightly higher price you may get in the spring.
You do the math. Storage, insurance, winterizing, etc. How much extra will it cost you to keep the boat till next April?
Of course, even if you put it on the market today, there's no guarantee you're going to sell it before spring anyway.
I found my boat last October but didn't get serious about it until March. Took possession at the beginning of May.

Last edited by chuck53; 09-08-2010 at 05:51 PM.
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The best time to sell a boat will be aboat five years from now,
after the economic recovery. At the moment it is a buyer's
market and boat like an older Cat 27 can be found for $5-10K.
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Thanks guys! this is very helpful!

Although I put a lot of time into the boat, I enjoyed it and learned a lot, and I am not expecting to get my money back for everything...I completely understand that it is a buyers market, and might not even be able to sell it, which is ok, I dont have/need to sell it...

I know it is not an expensive boat at all, I am thinking of asking $8K (just because is in great shape, with new outboard, new sails, new roller furling new electronics (GPS Chartplotter, depth finder, ligths), new rigging etc etc etc all 2010 and would even include winter storage in the price if interested...

we will see, thanks again for all the info! hope to be back soon asking questions about my possible new boat.
-Abraham
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cspaniel View Post

Although I put a lot of time into the boat, I enjoyed it and learned a lot, and I am not expecting to get my money back for everything...
You have the right attitude.
List the boat for sale, if it sells great.
If not, enjoy it a little longer.
Either way you will get your money's worth.
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It might sound simplistic, but the best time to sell a boat is when you have a buyer.

List the boat now with the offer that you will pay for winter storage. List it at a fair market price, and if a serious buyer comes along for the boat you have a deal. If everyone low balls you then you have already decided to pay for storage till spring anyway. If the prices are really low possibly you have over priced it.
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1978 catalina 27' for sale

don't let your emotions determine the price; keep in mind this is a business transaction.

the market (competition) determines the price. what are other 1978 catalina 27 standard rigs actually selling for (not being listed for) and why?
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