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Old 12-18-2010
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advice different approach to sell?

After many years of enjoying my 1985 Catalina 30, it's been out of the water for 3 yrs and I've decided to sell. I think it is worth somewhere be 20 and 25K. Yeah, i know, "good luck" in this economy.

I hit on the following idea and wonder if anyone has every tried it. I placed a local ad with a "try before you buy" headline and have had a number of replies even though its definitely not sailing season in Michigan. If it turns into a reality, there is time to work out the many details and I don't expect anyone to throw cash on the table over night.

The idea is for someone to sign a contract, (sort of a land contract). The buyer will pay all expenses for the first sailing season (2011). This include launching, slipping, mast stepping, insurance, etc. During this first season, if the buyer wants to learn how to sail, it will give me a last hurrah on the water at no cost to me. At the end of the season, the buyer will make a decision to buy or not. If he buys, all expense for the first year will be deducted from my selling price.

Beyond that, I am also willing to hold a lien on the boat and take payments. Unlike a house on a land contract, a boat doesn't stay in one place and wonder how I would track it down if it sailed into the sunset. I also wonder if one season's cost is enough of an de-incentive to someone defaulting. Mostly, I wonder if this is legal. Once before I looked into "renting or leasing" and there are too many legal requirements.

Has anyone every done this? I would expect to see a lawyer and get a contract, require the buyer to have insurance and even if I wasn't teaching, I'd like to check out the boat occasionally to make sure it was being taken care of.

Any advice appreciated.
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Old 12-18-2010
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First thing that 'pops' is insurance... who does that? Will your carrier insure the new guy? Or will his carrier insure a boat he doesn't 'own'? If the latter is possible you/he/they could still be looking at a survey for insurance valuation.

I'd worry too about an unscrupulous 'user'... even if you charged the first year cost up front, if they 'skip' they will end up with a boat for that cost - a pretty good deal as long as they're willing or able to stay under the radar when you go after them (which might be easier to do than you'd think - a Cat 30 is a pretty bread-and-butter boat easily disguised with new numbers, different canvas or a slap dash paintjob)

You'd be one trusting dude to get into such an arrangement, in my opinion. Get lucky and this could be a win-win... as I see it you're the only one in this deal that could come out the loser.
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Last edited by Faster; 12-18-2010 at 12:02 PM.
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Old 12-18-2010
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I bought a book online on buying and selling sailboats for profit. They had a section devoted to just what you are proposing. You would do well to pick up this book, as it also contains the necessary legal documents that you would want in entering into such an agreement. I found it at ibuysailboatsdotcom .
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Old 12-18-2010
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The problem is its so easy to do costly damage to a boat soemthing as simple as not opening the seacock and running the motor can cost a fortune
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Old 12-18-2010
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Suppose you find a taker, and you get past the insurance questions. And at the end of the year, they take it out in a storm, trash the sails, have a dance party in stiletto heels and claim the cabin sole always has those marks in it, and oh yeah, that swamp in the bilge isn't theirs and they have no idea who ran the engine out of oil.

Could be kinda expensive.

If you are in essence going to become a landlord, you have to consider how well you can you screen or interview the "tenant" and how much of a security deposit you really need. If you're a good judge of people or you are lucky, it's a great idea. But then again...you could do just as well chartering out your boat and making it into a 100% business effort, and profit/expense.

Either way, it could make complicated. Just depends on how lucky, or how good a judge of people, you are.
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Old 12-18-2010
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IMHO, it's a really bad idea. It is hard to cover yourself for the risks involved.
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Old 12-18-2010
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Sounds like you will simply be a landlord, not a seller. Worse, you will be a landlord in the red, since there is no return on your capital, simply breakeven on variable costs. Bad move.
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Old 12-18-2010
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What binding clause would you put into your deal that prevents me from simply using your boat for a year in the hope that the maintenace costs will be really low and after which I can simply walk away?

Also, who would decide on the level and frequency of maintenance? If I were your customer I would operate the boat on a shoestring budget and hand it back to you in 12 months with a long list of things to be fixed, systems to be serviced and bottoms to be cleaned.

And then of course the flip-side, I could tell you that I don't need your help sailing the boat and by the time you find out that I'm not sailing out of your marina anymore I could be anywhere in the world and no chance of you finding me.

I agree with SD - this is a bad idea. "Try before you buy" should be restricted to "You and me go for a sail and unless you find something intrinsically wrong with the vessel, you're the lucky new owner"

Just my opinion.
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Funny...I saw your ad this morning and thought it was nicely done. I'm in the market North in Montague but this would be my first boat and need something less expensive. I'll take you up on the learning to sail part though!!
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Where did you see my ad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by flyboyzz1 View Post
Funny...I saw your ad this morning and thought it was nicely done. I'm in the market North in Montague but this would be my first boat and need something less expensive. I'll take you up on the learning to sail part though!!
Even if you are not interested in my deal, I'd like to bounce some ideas off you as you might be representative of a typical first time buyer. Send me a private message and i'll shoot you back a number to call.

Jim
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