Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: New England
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Basically, the price of new boats is so high that the pressure on the used boat market is increasing.
Also, as many boaters become more affluent, get older and start having families, they start looking at larger boats... which are extremely expensive...so they're looking at the boats that were traded in by the previous group of upgraders who are a step ahead of them... 28' owners move up to mid-30's, mid-30' owners move up to 40'+ and so on.
Also, due to the financial situation... a lot of boat manufacturers got wiped in the 70's and 80's. The used boat market had cannibalized the new boat sales, and between that and the increase costs of resin—which is closely related to fuel prices, more and more manufacturers went belly up. Finally, the entry level boat has gotten bigger in many ways.
Most of the boat makers are concentrating on the larger boat market, since that maximizes their profit. The amount of labor that goes into a larger boat isn't all that much more than what goes into a smaller boat—especially with the highly automated production that you see nowadays. The price differences are enormous.
As an example, from boats.com I found these prices: A 28' Catalina is about $94,000, the 309 is about $98,000, the 36' is $163,000 and the 44' is about $335,000.
On the used market boats similar to these are:
A six or seven year old Catalina 310, which is a nicer boat in many ways than the 309, has an asking price of $80,000 and will probably sell closer to $70,000.
A five year old Catalina 36 Mk II is asking for about $125,000, and will probably sell around $110,000—$50,000 less than a new one. Even considering what upgrades and repairs you might have to make, that's going to be a significant savings.
The recent increases in the cost of fuel will soon be reflected in the price of the boats... and it won't be very pretty. Oil is running at about $60 a barrel... all the parts are now more expensive as their transportation costs and energy costs of production are going up. Resin will be going up in price, as it is made from oil IIRC. As the prices go up, the demand for new boats drops.. simple economics... and the demand for the alternative good, used boats, goes up.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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Last edited by sailingdog; 04-13-2007 at 02:59 PM.