Alan Grand Slam Yacht
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Sarasota, FL
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This is a big question with no simple answers. New sailboats by the major production builders will likely depreciate 15-20% as soon as you are out the door. And 7-10% per year thereafter is probably a realistic expectation. Remember, it is "consumption", not "investment".
But what you get is "your" boat. You'll get some say in how it is equipped--mostly in the add ons like electronics, canvas, davits, color of the settee fabric etc. And you get a bed that no one else has slept in and a head that no one has --- in. And you have a base line for maintenance. You don't worry if the guy you bought it from really changed the oil every 100 hours, etc.
With some of the higher end builders you may find not so much depreciation. The Island Packet guys like to say that they have a low cost of ownership since the boats often sell for what you pay for them 3 years or even 10 years later. But you'll tie up a bunch of cash just so that you keep most of it when you go to sell. Part of this comes from the fact that they build less boats per year than other builders and this tends to keep them scarce on the used market and the other reason is that they have had regular and steady price increases over the years, which make the older models quite attractive given the price of a new boat.
Other high end builders will also give good resale value and although it is true that there are fewer buyers when you are ready to sell, there are also far fewer boats to compete with. I'm thinking here of Sabre, Pacific Seacraft, Morris and others. (Look at Ferenc Mate's Worlds Greatest Sailboats for more.)
But even if you get good resale value on a high quality boat it will still cost ya. It'll still cost you for bottom paint, dockage, insurance, etc.
But is you love it like I do it'll be money well spent.
Remember what they said about a hole in the water that you pour money into?