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Old 06-13-2014
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Making an offer for a sailboat

I've been shopping for a new sailboat.

What I'm finding is a lot of boats that seem to be over priced. In my area it is not unusual to find a boat with an asking price 250% of NADA book value. Many of the boats are in "fair" condition, and that's being very generous to say the least.

What's wrong with this picture. Is NADA valuation way off? Is there more price flexibility in boats prices than I realize? Or are there just a lot of unrealistic people in my area?

I don't know what to make of this.
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Old 06-13-2014
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Re: Making an offer for a sailboat

Go to eBay and use those prices as a starter price, It is a buyers market and make sure you take advantage of it or walk away.
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Old 06-13-2014
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Re: Making an offer for a sailboat

On older boats what matters most is condition then original build quality. Blue book type guides are nearly useless in my experience.

On almost every boat <35' and >25 years old the wear items (sails, motor, cushions, canvas, rigging) are worth far more than the overall boat value. A boat which needs everything refit should be really cheap. A boat in amazing condition with new or excellent condition sails, motor, etc, from a good manufacturer would be worth a lot more (around here it would be about $30k for a 30' boat with excellent everything).

Understanding price means being able to understand condition.
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Old 06-13-2014
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Re: Making an offer for a sailboat

My take is that many sellers look at the prices of other boats for sale and sets his or her price similarly, sometimes regardless of condition in case that buyer comes along who doesn't look too deeply thinks the price is fair because the other boats in the area are the same price. This is when good negotiating skills and a spot on survey will help the buyer not make a poor decision.
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Re: Making an offer for a sailboat

What budget range are we talking about ? What size, what age? Makes, models?

I could imagine a wide range of prices in an older boat that's been well cared for and one that's been neglected..or in " Fair" shape.

This spring I was sitting next to a 35 year old, one owner, Sabre that looked like it was just delivered yesterday from the factory. There would be a big swing in price for the same vessel that's been neglected for years.

Just out of curiosity, I looked up my vessel on the NADA site. I thought the asking price they returned was well within reason. I couldn't imagine them coming back with a price 250% more.
Nor would I sell it for 250% less.. ;-)

Seller motivation is something you have to feel out. I saw an asking price drop $20,000 once after being on the market for a year. The actual selling price was $50,000 lower. because the owner purchased his new boat already and just wanted to be done with the deal.

I think it's best to know what you want, and know what you think it's worth to you..and then kick a lot of tires until you find the deal you're happy with, or can live with.
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Re: Making an offer for a sailboat

Hi Archimedes,

For starters, there are regional variations in prices with places like Lake Lanier GA being one of the higher priced areas. I attribute this to supply & demand; fewer boats available for large population of people wanting boats.
Boat prices seem to be cheaper on the east coast than on the left coast & PNW.
So where are you located & what kind of boat(s) are you looking for/at?

Some boat models do sell at a premium price (Pacific Seacraft, Canadian Sailcraft, Swann etc) while some are difficult to give away.
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Re: Making an offer for a sailboat

Interesting, I "priced" out my boat on NADA and it came in at a little over half of a broker appraisal done this past spring. (Broker was putting together a deal on a 40 footer for me and had to sell my present boat before closing on the new one so I think I was getting an honest appraisal.)
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Re: Making an offer for a sailboat

Pacific Seacraft in my dreams, but that's just not in the budget.

This will be my first "big boat". I will be single handing it mostly. Preferably in the 27' to 30' range. I don't think I would need , nor feel comfortable, with anything bigger. Something under $30k

I spend part of the year in FL and part in Cape Cod, so I'm willing to look anywhere on the east coast if a good deal comes along. So far have only looked in FL. Mostly Com-pacs, Hunters, Catalinas. Preferably a shoal draft due to the shallow FL waters I sail in.

I looked at a boat today, almost thirty years old in pretty much original condition. It was fairly maintained, not well maintained, with an asking price of $27k and an NADA $9.5k. and nada assumes average condition, this boat was below average. It makes me scratch my head.

I'm willing to expand my boat brand wish list if anyone has any suggestions.

Are boat brokers a good idea or do they just represent sellers?
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Re: Making an offer for a sailboat

Archimedes, the broker usually represents the seller. You can hire a broker to represent you. Brokers only get paid when the boat sells so they are pretty savvy when it comes to the marketplace. Remember that the price you are looking at is the asking, not closing price. You are free to offer what the boat is worth to you. Boats vary widely in condition, age, and added features. Do a lot of research, kiss a lot of toads. Enjoy the hunt. And remember, someday you too, will be a seller. In my particular case, the broker would be my agent in selling my boat, then an agent for Jeaneau in selling the forty footer.
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Re: Making an offer for a sailboat

Quote:
Originally Posted by archimedes View Post
I've been shopping for a new sailboat.

What I'm finding is a lot of boats that seem to be over priced. In my area it is not unusual to find a boat with an asking price 250% of NADA book value. Many of the boats are in "fair" condition, and that's being very generous to say the least.

What's wrong with this picture. Is NADA valuation way off? Is there more price flexibility in boats prices than I realize? Or are there just a lot of unrealistic people in my area?

I don't know what to make of this.
Until last month I had been doing all the boat valuations for all the banks in Ontario for the last fifteen years. I have worked will all the marine valuation tools available. I came to the conclusion that the NADA values are just about in line with what a bank would loan on a particular vessel and no where close to actual market value.

The most accurate pricing tool I have seen is soldboats.com but it is quite expensive unless you can write it off.
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