2011/2012 Used Boat Pricing - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 23 Old 12-17-2011 Thread Starter
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2011/2012 Used Boat Pricing

I hate to sound mercenary, but does anyone with recent experience in the sales market know what prices are generally going for on used boats relative to their NADA values?

I know it depends on a lot of things, make, model, year, condition, and accessories - but for a boat in average condition are things tending to go for average retail, low retail, 20% off average retail?

It's obviously a buyers market, but I've been looking at quite a few boats, with detailed photos, and there's some nice looking stuff whose gear is worth more than the asking price of the boat, and the boat looks in really nice shape. Then there are some boats listed at 3x over average retail, and it makes no sense other than 'that's what the owners think they should be worth'.

It's hard to know who's high and who's low relative to what they have before pulling the trigger on a $500 survey plus fees for the pull, and I'm not in a position to travel to the location to view the boats I'm looking at, so I'd like to have some better gauge of the market before I bring in the surveyor to be my only eyes and ears.

I'm primarily looking at passage makers, <$35K, most brands of which I know have held their value better over the decades.

Thanks, this is a great forum.

Last edited by Kielanders; 12-17-2011 at 01:30 AM.
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post #2 of 23 Old 12-17-2011
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Some sellers will not accept the current market reality. The owners are in la-la land. Don't even bother with them if they are asking 3x average NADA retail.

You can narrow down the field by asking the sellers to answer in writing a series of condition disclosure questions and provide comprehensive photographs before you travel to inspect the boat or hire a surveyor. You should also ask the seller for his or her survey if the boat was purchased relatively recently.

By asking for a written disclosure and detailed photos, you will eliminate the flippers, the liars, and the con artists, who will either refuse to answer the questions at all, or will tell you the boat is perfect beyond belief in a cursory manner. You will also eliminate the sellers who are just testing the market, or who are not really motivated, or who think you should jump through a number of hoops for the privilege of buying their one-of-a-kind boat.

If the written responses, combined with your experience and knowledge, raise concerns about particular areas, ask more questions about those areas, and ask for more photos. An honest disclosure by a motivated seller of a passagemaker in the <35K price should reveal some defects you can correct or accept.

Finally, submit your proposed written contract to the seller and ask for his or her acceptance of the basic form before you inspect the boat, so the seller knows that he or she will not be selling the boat "as is", with you taking the entire risk of the condition of the boat and spending money on a survey and haul out without any recourse against the seller if it turns out the seller was misrepresenting the condition of the boat. Do not use the standard broker's contract which shifts all the risk to the buyer.

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post #3 of 23 Old 12-17-2011
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NADA is a garbage bin for sail boats above 24 feet...you will do much better having a broker look at sold boats for current, real prices of boats similar to the ones you are looking at.

Better yet, in you price range and boat style, a simple sign on to their respective user's groups on yahoo or the net will bring very realistic information to your computer

I sold my 42' in august, was realistically priced, and we agreed to 8% off the asking price...but the buyer did not want a sea trial or survey, so I jumped. I told him everything that was wrong with the boat, but as he was knowledgeable of the boat and the maker, he was good with his decision.

Finding a true passage maker for <$35K may still be a challenge, unless it is a fixer upper, as passage maker suggests a certain build quality and level of equipment.

I would think 20% off is low on a well priced boat. 50% off on seller who is dreaming is not unheard of.

The boat is worth what you will pay for it. And sadly to use other people's offers, with no other information is asking for trouble. There is no shortcut to seeing the boat in person (pictures lie big time, and brokers often use sistership photos with out telling you), and to haul, survey and sea trial. It may be the best $500 you ever spend. And for sure, do not get attached to a boat, before you OWN her....this is a really bad idea, to convince yourself this is THE boat, when everything else tells you to run.
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post #4 of 23 Old 12-17-2011 Thread Starter
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James & KD3PC,

These are great and substantive replies that leave little gray area moving forward, thanks for your thoughtful replies and time.

There is one boat that's come on the radar the past few days, but the seller has asked me to call in reference to a list of questions that I have sent - which I took as a red flag.

Many sellers with whom I've inquired already have their own .pdf file of information complete with photographs of both the boat and problem areas, which they send first and offer to discuss the document via phone, which I thought was very beneficial.

Thanks Again.
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post #5 of 23 Old 12-17-2011
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Survey from Seller

Quote:
Originally Posted by jameswilson29 View Post
You should also ask the seller for his or her survey if the boat was purchased relatively recently.
Agree with everything except the survey part. If I paid $300+ for a survey, I'm not handing it over. I'm not sure it is usual for a survey to be provided by the seller. Generally, if you want a survey done on the boat you pay for one yourself.

Besides, you'll want a survey done as close as possible to the date on which you purchase the boat. Things may have changed since the last survey was done.

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post #6 of 23 Old 12-17-2011
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I've said this on another thread... The boat market is like the housing market. There are some great deals out there. Then there are those who want to sell their boat at what THEY think it's worth so they can run out and buy one of these great deals.

i.e.: The housing market is still in the tank, yet there are houses out there that are over priced and the owners are just hoping some idiot will come along and bail them out so they can move to FL and buy a house with a dock for 175K.

Offer what YOU feel comfortable paying. All they can say is no.

I know several people who have made offers at 50% of the asking price and got the boat. It's simple, they sell the boat, sail it or it sits there. If they sail it, good on them. If it sits, every month it's 30 days closer to becoming a project boat.

Three years ago I had an offer of 18K for my boat. Due to piss poor communication from my broker and the fact that I had plans that month for a cruise it ended up making it very difficult for the buyer and he walked away. I happily left it listed and sailed it. Finally I gave up on brokers and Last month I sold the boat for a MUCH less.

Two years listed with brokers and two people looked at it. Two months on Craigslist and one person looked at it.

Bottom line is that unless it's the lowest priced boat on the block, there won't be offers.
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post #7 of 23 Old 12-17-2011
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[QUOTE=

Two years listed with brokers and two people looked at it. Two months on Craigslist and one person looked at it.

Bottom line is that unless it's the lowest priced boat on the block, there won't be offers.[/QUOTE]

What was the boat?
Oh and congratulations on the sale, three years is a long time to wait.
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post #8 of 23 Old 12-17-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kielanders View Post
There is one boat that's come on the radar the past few days, but the seller has asked me to call in reference to a list of questions that I have sent - which I took as a red flag.
It could be a red flag or it could just be that he doesn't like to write. Some folks are very bad at it.
You could make the call then write down what he said and ask him to sign it.
Same difference as far as you are concerned.

You may get even more information from a phone call.
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post #9 of 23 Old 12-17-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jameswilson29 View Post
Finally, submit your proposed written contract to the seller and ask for his or her acceptance of the basic form before you inspect the boat, so the seller knows that he or she will not be selling the boat "as is", with you taking the entire risk of the condition of the boat and spending money on a survey and haul out without any recourse against the seller if it turns out the seller was misrepresenting the condition of the boat. Do not use the standard broker's contract which shifts all the risk to the buyer.
Would you elaborate as to what you mean here?
How do you get the seller to assume part of the risk?
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post #10 of 23 Old 12-17-2011
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It definitely remains a buyers market out there. But as a seller (b/c I'm also a recent buyer), one thing that really ticks me off about some potential purchasers is when they send a list of questions about stuff that is well documented on the ad, and on our for sale website (www.elysian.ca if anyone is curious ).

I am more than happy to answer any questions for a serious buyer. I know how hard it is to make decisions from a far (we are "a far" from most buyers), and I want to answer the buyers questions as fully as possible. I'm even happy to send out our most recent survey gratis, although I know this is not common. But it is a waste of both my time, and the buyers, when they don't bother to do their basic homework, and read the info that is already in front of them.

Oh, and don't ask "What is your lowest price?" It's listed on the ad , with "negotiable" beside it (aren't all prices negotiable?1?). Make an offer. I don't care if it's a low-ball or not. I'm a big boy. I know how to say "no."
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