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  #11  
Old 06-28-2013
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Re: The Search Widens Before it Narrows

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Originally Posted by JulieMor View Post
It really only matters to me in that the boat will take us from point A to point B a bit faster. Most of my sailing was done on a Columbia 45 that needs a small hurricane to get her up to speed.
That is why performance matters to me.

Sailing is so much more fun than motoring. In my part of the world (Seattle) we often have winds under 10 knots. A boat that can go 5 to 6 knots in a 7 to 8 knot breeze will get a lot more sailing time than one that can't.

Pointing also matters to me for the same reason. This is also why I really like good sails, blown out sails really kill your tacking angles.

A boat that points well and handles light air well is also one that usually gets a good PHRF around here. My Pearson could do better in light air (the Catalina 25 that I used to own is faster in <5 knots of wind, I often sail side by side with the new owner), but does pretty well on pointing and was the right compromise for me on LOA (matters for moorage payments), performance, and cruising comfort.

Since little sailing up here is a beam reach I'm not sure that a Catamaran would be any faster. It would scream down wind, but only half of my sailing ends up being downwind. The other half is upwind, a tiny portion is a beam reach.
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  #12  
Old 06-28-2013
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Re: The Search Widens Before it Narrows

Mark, I think you meant "...walked into the ladies room [unintentionally for once] or something."

Julie, I think a lot of us went through the same issue. One thing you'll need to consider is whether you want to find one/two/three boats and wait until that specific boat comes on the market, or whether your goal is to have something soon(ish) that comes close to what those boats offer. Will you be heartbroken if you can't get a boat in the next 2-3 months? If so, then you're "sutck" with whatever is on the market at the time of your search, and you have to go with the "best" of the lot (with best being highly subjective based on your individual wants/needs/budget).
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  #13  
Old 06-28-2013
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Re: The Search Widens Before it Narrows

I think the window on dropping prices seems to be closing. By and large, the models that I have been tracking seem to be selling pretty steadily again at prices that have not dropped in a year or so. The brokers who I talk to frequently tell me that things have really picked up with the inventory of decent boats greatly diminished and even less desirable boats actually selling and so on. They had no problem telling me that things were really slow when things were really slow so I believe them. One told me that he had a bidding war on a boat that had been on the market for nearly two years at the same asking price and sold above its asking price.

It may be a buyers market in that boat asking prices are down perhaps 25% from a three four years ago, but it does not seem as easy to get a bargain as it was last year.

Jeff
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  #14  
Old 06-28-2013
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Re: The Search Widens Before it Narrows

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Originally Posted by Jeff_H View Post
I think the window on dropping prices seems to be closing. By and large, the models that I have been tracking seem to be selling pretty steadily again at prices that have not dropped in a year or so. The brokers who I talk to frequently tell me that things have really picked up with the inventory of decent boats greatly diminished and even less desirable boats actually selling and so on. They had no problem telling me that things were really slow when things were really slow so I believe them. One told me that he had a bidding war on a boat that had been on the market for nearly two years at the same asking price and sold above its asking price.

It may be a buyers market in that boat asking prices are down perhaps 25% from a three four years ago, but it does not seem as easy to get a bargain as it was last year.

Jeff
I spent an hour on the phone yesterday with a friend who is a broker for POPYachts, and he and I were discussing that very issue. He and several others have told me that the market is still very much a buyers market, and that though it is taking time, most sellers are coming down by more than 50% of their original pricing . I had actually called him on a boat that was listed on their site at $15,000.00 reduced from $75,600.00 and was going to purchase it. The vessel had sold, which if I had looked at the ad before calling him I would have been able to see that had happened, about three days before I called. Now I am not saying that is the going trend or that it is indicative of an ongoing trend, but most of the boats ranging from $25,000.00 to $75,000.00 in original listings seem to be going at about half of that at sale day. I talk to him and to several other brokers on a weekly basis and pretty much all are saying the same thing, with the exception that there are some vessels going above asking because the original asking was below value and more than one person was bidding on it.

I would not expect a trend in increasing prices on used sailboats anytime soon outside of a few models and a few localized areas. The economy has not improved, except in just a few areas, and neither has the housing market improved much. The recent improvement in the housing market was the first time in over five years that it has shown significant increase in new home sales, which is a leading indicator that the economy is on the mend. People will buy houses first and boats a few years later most of the time.
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  #15  
Old 06-28-2013
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Re: The Search Widens Before it Narrows

Obviously this may be regional but around here both the housing market and boat market seems to begun rebounding. And yes there are neglected boats getting dumped at 50% of former prices but better designed, built and maintained examples have not dropped anywhere near that.
Jeff
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  #16  
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Re: The Search Widens Before it Narrows

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Originally Posted by Jeff_H View Post
Obviously this may be regional but around here both the housing market and boat market seems to begun rebounding. And yes there are neglected boats getting dumped at 50% of former prices but better designed, built and maintained examples have not dropped anywhere near that.
Jeff
Some of the boats I am talking about are not neglected, most are not anywhere near new, but even some in the 2005 more or less range are going very well below asking. I think that what will eventually hurt the market on used boats in your area there in the North East is going to be the glut of boats on the market after Sandy. In my experience of buying and selling stuff any time there is a lot of stuff on the market it drives the price on most of it down. However, there will be a premium on boats with no damage at all that are very well maintained.

If you are trying to sell one you will be pressed to get what you would have been able to get for something about like it ten years back, and you will also need to do something that I know you would, but so many do not.....Clean it up, make it absolutely tidy and neat and clean and sparkly before having the sales broker come take photos. I hate to see a boat with crap in the toilet, stuff in the sink, and clothes all over the place, because I know that if the owner did not keep his vessel ship shape in all conditions, he surely did not do maintenance as he should have done.
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  #17  
Old 06-29-2013
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Re: The Search Widens Before it Narrows

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Originally Posted by JulieMor View Post
The first broker has already handed us over to his brother citing "too busy" as the reason. I think we wore him out......
Keep in mind that the broker is going to get to keep about 5% of what you pay for the boat, if their employer listed it. Half of that, if the commision is split with another listing broker. I think you're in the 40k shopping range. It's a 1K to 2k payday, IF you buy a boat with them. Think about how often the broker would need to close the deal to make a decent living.

They have to prioritize the clients they think they have the best chance with and is time efficient.

They often deserve some of their unscrupulous reputation, but you are better served having their help. On the other hand, you really do need to narrow down your thoughts, so they can help you. If they see it going to the other way, they need to focus on a better prospect.
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  #18  
Old 06-29-2013
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Re: The Search Widens Before it Narrows

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Originally Posted by dvuyxx View Post
I put together a lot of crazy spreadsheets and decision tree doodles during that process. I realized around that time that performance wasn't that important. As much as I dreamed about wet rails and white knuckle tacks, it was clear that I needed a family cruiser that could take a beating. I bought a sound boat that needed a lot of restoration, but mostly cosmetic.
Your boat isn't exactly slow either but a good combo of stability, accommodations. Performance should be a factor. If it won't sail in 5-10 you be motoring a lot. On a cruising trip of 8 hours per day a boat 1 knot faster picks up 8 miles in a day or an extra day in a week.

It's all about tradeoffs usually, but personally I wouldn't enjoy having a slow boat or motoring while everyone else sailed, or boat which will not go to windward well.
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  #19  
Old 06-29-2013
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Re: The Search Widens Before it Narrows

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Originally Posted by mark2gmtrans View Post
He and several others have told me that the market is still very much a buyers market, and that though it is taking time, most sellers are coming down by more than 50% of their original pricing.
Mark, I know there are regional differences but the market must be much slower in Texas than here. Two local brokers I talk with occasionally tell me they've been very busy on used boats for a while now, while new boat sales are still sluggish.

The bump in interest rates may knock some people off the fence and into the brokers office as well. It's definitely had an effect on home prices and demand.
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  #20  
Old 07-01-2013
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Re: The Search Widens Before it Narrows

We spent the weekend in Michigan for golfing and sailing. In the interim we did a lot of harbor hopping and dock walking. We looked at a lot of boats in our size range and talked to any owners who happened to be aboard. There weren't many but those we did talk to were more than gracious to share their thoughts. One couple was so friendly they almost wouldn't let us leave.

It was educational seeing the boats and talking to the owners. Each had their own reasons for choosing their boat and each their own reasons for owning a boat. It's a very personal decision. And when doing your own search, you need to remember that so you don't buy a boat just because someone else says it's perfect.

We chartered a 2013 Jeanneau 379 for a 2-1/2 hour sail on Lake Michigan. It was more of a "fix" for me than any part of a boat search. Winds were 12-20 knots, waves 1-3 feet. We cruised at around 8 knots and topped out at 9. Even when we reefed after the winds were pushing 20, she was still holding in the 7s on a close reach. Overall, the speeds were a lot faster than I expected that boat to go.

What I absolutely loved was the way the sail controlling lines were laid out and trailed back to the cockpit. Of the boats I've sailed, this was the best design I've seen. The lines lead aft were often "buried" into the deck or cabin and there was little trip hazards when walking forward. But everything was right there and easy to access and work.

Reefing was a breeze. The main had blocks sewn into the sail at the tack and clew of each reef, like the block in the picture below:

I had never seen that before. It was obviously done by the sailmaker. This made reefing much easier than what I've experienced in the past. The first reef was led to the starboard cabin winch and the second to port.

The winches were properly sized and created no unnecessary strain on the crew. There were no electric winches but there didn't need to be. The boat we sailed two weeks ago had undersized winches. Even the men tired working them.

All in all it was well laid out. I could easily singlehand this boat, even now, at my age. Of everything I took away from that sail, what I learned about the the sail controlling lines and gear setup was invaluable. I know that burying the lines isn't possible on boats not designed for that but the rest of that layout is possible, with some good planning (and the right gear), on most any boat. No more need to worry about my age being an issue with sail handling.
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