Buying an uncommon boat - would you? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 23 Old 12-09-2006 Thread Starter
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Buying an uncommon boat - would you?

I'm considering buying a boat that is largely unknown in the U.S -- an 1984 Omega 30 designed by Ron Holland and built in Sweden. In fact, if you Google for some background on this boat, you will find virtually nothing - which is unusual considering Google.

In the past, I've owned many boats. One of these, a Cal, was in beautiful condition but was difficult to sell - perhaps because Cal didn't have much of a following in New England. After this, I bought a boat defensively that I came to dislike, Catalina, but was a snap to resell.

So my first question is this, is it worth buying an 80's, virtually unknown boat that I might really like (price is good, not outstanding) ... but when the time comes to resell it, might languish in the classifieds for a long time? I expect to lose money in owning a boat, but I just don't want to get stuck with an albatross.

And my second question concerns the boat - does anyone know anything about the Omega that they could share?

Thanks, rr
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post #2 of 23 Old 12-09-2006
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Ryan...with a designer like Holland and an older boat which faces very little depreciation, I would think you would be pretty safe provided the boat itself is attractive and well built of traditional materials.
Assuming the boat you are talking about is the one in NY...she looks very nice and should be easy to re-sell. Are the teak decks in good shape? they really add some classy looks to the boat but are always concern on an older boat.
Someone here might know more about the 30's:
http://www.ronhollanddesign.com/sail...play.php?fid=6
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post #3 of 23 Old 12-09-2006
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We also own an "unknown" - and it too is a Ron Holland design. A "Fast 345" - a Brazilian-built version of the British Nicholson 345, we have found her to be well appointed, no bad habits, and compared with similar "more familiar" offerings she is better finished at a much lower price. The layout is very good with a fully functional aft cabin (rare in an '80s boat), and the detail is great. Google this one and you get nothing but Portugese language sites (over 100 were built in Brazil)

In the past we have owned other "unknowns" or non production boats (Choate 40, for one) and have been able to enjoy much more boat for the money than with the standard makes and models. We owned the Choate for 12 years, and sold it for about what we paid - discounting upgrade costs - still not a bad deal. It does take a bit longer to sell, but a knowledgable buyer will see quality for what it is.

Your initial investment is usually lower due to the "unkown" factor.

One of the on-going pleasures of owning such a boat is the constant interest - "What kind of boat is that, anyway?" and the conversations that develop from that question. This is something that Hunter/Cata/Bene owners don't get.

So as long as you are able to ensure that the unknown is not of poor quality or design, and it surveys well you will usually get more boat for your money, a quality product, and the uniqueness of not sailing just another you-know-what.

Last edited by Faster; 12-09-2006 at 01:32 PM.
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post #4 of 23 Old 12-09-2006
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I, too, have an unknown boat. (well almost, her sister is 5 times IRC Portuguese champion!!). By my choice of course.

Why?? because nothing in the market was what I wanted.
It really depends on the quality, and design, as faster said.

Unkown+bad quality or home built is a NO GO.

Unknown really well built and bulit by a yard that built more than 10 could be a good thing. Maybe it was a Custom build?

I have received several offers on my "unkown" boat that would top what I spent on her!!! So really depends, You like it? Is it well built?? Know a little of the history??go for it. You can allways sell it later.

Fast, if you need translation of the Brasilian (Portuguese) stuff let me know.
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post #5 of 23 Old 12-10-2006
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I tried to Google it too, because I think C&C designed and built an Omega 30 in the mid to late 70's. It was not pretty and did not stay in production long. Like I said " I think".
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post #6 of 23 Old 12-10-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tigerregis
I tried to Google it too, because I think C&C designed and built an Omega 30 in the mid to late 70's. It was not pretty and did not stay in production long. Like I said " I think".
Are you thinking of the C&C Mega 30? http://groups.yahoo.com/group/mega30sailors/

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post #7 of 23 Old 12-11-2006
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I am trying to put myself in your shoes, because I could easily see myself in the same situation and I can think more rationally about you doing it than I can about what I would do once my emotions were involved.
If you plan to own the boat for less than five years I would be concerned about being able to sell it easily. If you envision that this boat could meet your needs for the foreseeable future up to any major changes in life (retirement, demands for cash elsewhere like kids, college,etc..) then I'd be less concerned and negotiate the best price you can. As I believe Cam said, you are probably buying at or near the bottom of the market given the age of the boat. It's not going to drop a lot more in price and may even hold to around what you're paying.
I must confess that I am always amazed at the number of people who say not to buy this or that boat because you can't get parts, the company is out of business, and they didn't make very many of them. (Yeah, I'm a Cal owner!) I'm never going to buy a new boat and my impression of boats in general is that, even if we could find an original part for ours, we'd either want it slightly different or upgraded in some way anyhow. You'll never get accused of ruining the boat by moving the traveller if nobody knows where the traveller was originally! I could be all wet, but am currently feeling rather dry. Good luck.
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post #8 of 23 Old 12-11-2006
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Personally, I would not buy a boat that didn't have a fairly well-known name. Even if you expect to have it forever, there is likely to come a time when you want to sell it. And they sell much easier if it is a well known name with which people are familiar.

This may be true now more than ever with the Internet being the primary marketing tool. People are not focusing as much on good boats available in their area but on a particular model, as they can find them all in one place on Yachtworld.com or similar sites.
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post #9 of 23 Old 12-11-2006
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SailorMitch, thanks, read it with glee as I used to race on Red Jacket when it was mastheaded with Peter Bowman. Then with fractional and PJ Phelan. Also on Bonaventure V a one off 53. Those names from the past came on as afterguard guests. John Marshall was VP of North NY then and used to fly up with his wife, race, comment on the sails and fly back. The rich and famous do live as Fitzgerald said. Thanks again.
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post #10 of 23 Old 12-11-2006
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Ryan-
I'd say that given the criteria:
1-You don't know if you'll like the boat
2-The boat is virtually unknown in this market
3-You don't want to get stuck if you bail
4-It's a good price not a great price

This is not the boat for you.

If you really wanted this particular boat, or it the price was really great, or if this was some kind of a cult boat (the trimaran from Waterworld?) maybe.

But on the other hand, if there is little interest in it and it has been on the market for a while, maybe you can use that to your advantage and get the price down to where it is worth the risk to you. If something has to sit on the hard for a whole winter...that's money lost from the selling price.
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