"You make your money buying the boat, not selling it." - Page 3 - SailNet Community
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post #21 of 39 Old 07-04-2013
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Re: "You make your money buying the boat, not selling it."

Not sure I understand the original quote. And while driving a hard bargain in buying a boat is not a bad thing, many boat sellers want their boats to go to nice people and will get offended by an overly arrogant attitude. Some will make the deal anyway, but some others might not - especially if deep down they don't really want to sell (wife is making them, not ready to admit that their health is declining, etc.).

I am convinced that I could have gotten my boat for $2000 less than I paid. But the owner had just lowered the price by $4000 (I was monitoring the boat and called he second I saw the price reduction) and was holding firm on the price. I thought the boat would sit on the market for a few months longer at his listing price, but it was the beginning of the season and I would be losing out on prime sailing season. (I had also looked at other specimens of the same model which were not in as good a condition as this one.) So I paid the extra money so I could start sailing.

It's very important not to let your ego get the best of you. You'll always save money by walking away. Keep walking away and you'll save lots of money, because you'll never buy a boat. Sooner or later you find a boat that you love enough that you'll be willing to pay a little more to get the deal done and start sailing (or start refitting, if it's a project boat).

You can haggle for a couple weeks over $200 in price difference, but that's two weeks of not being able to sail. Once you start dealing in boat bucks, you'll realize that two weeks of sailing is worth a lot more than $200.

I also think that anyone who thinks he'll sell a project boat for twice what he paid for it may be deluding himself. It happens, but not often.


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post #22 of 39 Old 07-04-2013
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Re: "You make your money buying the boat, not selling it."

What he was saying was 100% correct. You shop around and purchase a boat at 30%-50% below its real value and when you sell it you can sell it at 20% below its real value and come out ahead. When you purchase at or close to real value and sell it close to real value, (real value being what it will actually bring when sold, not some NADA type value) you will invariably lose money.

That being said you cannot place a value on the joy you get when using it. Anyone who tells you that they are earning a great deal as an amateur buying and selling boats is either a professional boat dealer skirting the dealer laws, or is not being totally honest. I was a partner in a high volume truck and heavy equipment business for over ten years, and I ran into people who fell into those same categories fairly often. While it is possible to purchase cars, trucks, boats, or recreational type vehicles and do work yourself to bring them up to a better condition for sale and make some money, by the time you factor in your time, tools, and other equipment it is far better to just either become a real dealer and do it full time or just count what you are doing as a hobby and not worry so much about the bottom line in dollars and cents. Place the value on the joy of owning the boat and you will do far better, and you will not stress yourself unnecessarily about the money you spend on repairs and maintenance.

Boats require more maintenance than almost any other type of transport vehicle, with the possible exception of aircraft, and the results of a failure in either one are often deadly. A boat as an investment surely better be a cargo ship, because if you are not hauling a tremendous amount of cargo for money you are not going to see a lot of return on that investment.

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post #23 of 39 Old 07-04-2013
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Re: "You make your money buying the boat, not selling it."

Ask your broker for a historical sales record of same boats over the last 5 years. I did not realize this but it helped a lot in my purchase strategy after I realized I could request it. Brokers have access to a "MLS" system that the public does not. I could see the asking price, selling price, and time boat spent on market. It does not of course take into consideration condition but you'll get the general idea. Immensely helpful!
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post #24 of 39 Old 07-04-2013
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Re: "You make your money buying the boat, not selling it."

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Originally Posted by mark2gmtrans View Post
...You shop around and purchase a boat at 30%-50% below its real value and when you sell it you can sell it at 20% below its real value and come out ahead...
Once in a great while someone needs to unload a boat extremely fast and will accept a low price. But it's very rare, and if you're looking for a specific make or model of boat, the odds if finding that boat for 30-50% below market value are extraordinarily low. It's really a fallacy to think any boat can go for 50% below its "real value." Unless the owner is truly under duress, why would he accept 50% below market value, unless he knows there's something fundamentally wrong with it? Why not wait a little longer for someone who will pay its real value?

When a boat sells for any price, it becomes a data point for the boat's real value. If you think you got a boat for 50% of its "real value," then as soon as the sale is logged on soldboats.com, its "real value" for future sales of sister ships has dropped for future purchasers.


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1998 Catalina 250WK Take Five (at Anchorage Marina, Essington, on the Delaware River)
1994 Mason 44 Firefly on loan from my BFF (West River, Galesville, MD)
1991 15' Trophy (Lake Wallenpaupack)
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post #25 of 39 Old 07-04-2013
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Re: "You make your money buying the boat, not selling it."

Summer is short - If you figure on spending $10k per year to have a sailboat, then every week is worth about $500..
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post #26 of 39 Old 07-04-2013
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Re: "You make your money buying the boat, not selling it."

This is a funny thread.

The only one who makes money on a boat is the manufacturer, new boat dealer, and broker. After that, it's just a question of rationalizing how much you lose.

This one cracks me up.
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post #27 of 39 Old 07-04-2013
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Re: "You make your money buying the boat, not selling it."

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Originally Posted by TakeFive View Post
Once in a great while someone needs to unload a boat extremely fast and will accept a low price. But it's very rare, and if you're looking for a specific make or model of boat, the odds if finding that boat for 30-50% below market value are extraordinarily low. It's really a fallacy to think any boat can go for 50% below its "real value." Unless the owner is truly under duress, why would he accept 50% below market value, unless he knows there's something fundamentally wrong with it? Why not wait a little longer for someone who will pay its real value?

When a boat sells for any price, it becomes a data point for the boat's real value. If you think you got a boat for 50% of its "real value," then as soon as the sale is logged on soldboats.com, its "real value" for future sales of sister ships has dropped for future purchasers.
Insurance companies, estate sales, divorce sales, and owners who have lost their income are constant occurrences, if you are willing to travel, and to have a boat shipped or take delivery in another state you have many options. Not everyone can purchase from an insurance company, but if you are able you can get stolen and recovered vessels every single day from auctions like Insurance Auto Auctions and other sources. That is how I have bought several boats and hundreds of pieces of heavy equipment and semi trucks. You may have to do repairs, but what boat have you ever purchased used that you did not have to do some repairs.

Not every boat is logged on soldboats.com I know I never logged sales there.

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post #28 of 39 Old 07-05-2013
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Re: "You make your money buying the boat, not selling it."

ahhhh ... I know this one.

It is better to buy a boat which someone has already spent money on than to buy one which you intend to "fix up". It's the same as classic cars ... the money spent restoring/upgrading them is only fractionally recovered in the eventual sale. It is thus much better to spend a bit more money on one which is already fully tricked out, than save a bit up-front but spend lots of time and money making it "just right".

Ask me how I know this ;-)
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post #29 of 39 Old 07-05-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: "You make your money buying the boat, not selling it."

In our search we ran across a boat that appears to have been originally listed in 2007. It looks like the same owner. The original asking price was high (no surprise there!) Then he dropped it 20% after a couple of years. Then another 5% and has stayed there since.

This is pure speculation but this could be an example of an owner who bought at or close to asking price. The manufacturer is highly regarded and the boat looks in great shape but even at today's price it's still about 20% higher than comps.

Maybe the quote would better be rephrased as "You reduce the cost of owning a boat on the buying end, not on the selling end."
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post #30 of 39 Old 07-05-2013
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Re: "You make your money buying the boat, not selling it."

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Originally Posted by JulieMor View Post
In our search we ran across a boat that appears to have been originally listed in 2007. It looks like the same owner. The original asking price was high (no surprise there!) Then he dropped it 20% after a couple of years. Then another 5% and has stayed there since.
I don't think anything that has happened in the last 6 years is indicative of long term values. In this time people have sunk their boats to avoid paying marina fees, have had their houses foreclosed on and parked their multi-million dollar jets to avoid paying the insurance.

If you wanted to sell any asset 2007 was the time to do it. Probably 2011 was the best time to buy anything as it looks like prices are going up. I still think the prices are fairly depressed compared to long term valuation and it is still a buyers market.

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