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  Topic Review (Newest First)
07-12-2007 07:29 PM
sailaway21 In my experience, buying new is never a "deal". Women, cars, and boats seem to have about a two year honeymoon period where maintenance costs can be considered negligible. If not, you bought a lemon, in all three cases.

If all you are getting is a two year respite from the tedium of maintenance does not the question become one of how much maintenance? The older, better quality, boat may require more work but, when the work is properly done, may yield a far better boat than the newer, more initially expensive boat. This logic can be carried to extremes, I am not advocating the buying of a barely floating hulk. But, as previously mentioned, the older boat may often come equipped to a much higher level than the newer and certainly any fixable design deficiencies will have been addressed, some more successfully than others.

I'd wager that less than 5% of the posters on sailnet own a boat they purchased new. And you'll probably drop that number some if you eliminate the hobie cat or sunfish they keep for the grandkids.

Given the magnitude of the purchase of a good size boat I am an advocate of buying the older boat with the proven track record. "No surprises" is my goal. If she's got issues with keel boats, it's nice to know going in versus being the first on your dock to discover that the factory changed the design. Also, the best warranty is the one you never need to use. I also think that the boat owner who does not do a good portion of his/her own maintenance is not very well representative of the sailnet membership. It's the reason many members are here.

I do agree with the idea of buying the smaller boat first, although it does not make sense strictly from an economic standpoint. If you buy right and maintain, you'll sell about what you paid for it. You can receive value from the experience on the smaller boat, but it is tough to actually cost it out in dollars.

Sailormann's chevy/bmw illustration resonates with me. But then I'm from the fix it up, wear it out, and fix it up again school. If I had any sense, I'd sell it before I wore it out. Sense? Did I just bring up sense? Cents, maybe on a good day. But sense has probably flown out the window by the time the boat has been purchased.
07-11-2007 11:58 PM
Is that 2 year old Catalina is going to end up costing me $150,000, $250,000 or much more in 25 years. Is the cheap to buy upfront older Tartan going to cost me $80,000, $150,000, $250,00 or even more in 25 years. I keep hearing that keeping an older boat going can be extremely expensive.
Over 25 years you are going to replace everything on the boat except the hull - regardless of which one you buy. If you buy a 20 year old Tartan and maintain it well, I would venture that it is going to be worth more as a 45 year old boat than a Catalina will be as a 27 year old boat. A vintage BMW is worth more than a vintage Chevy. Not that Tartan quite hits the BMW level ... but it's a tier or two above the Catalina...
07-11-2007 10:47 PM
Gramp34 I was curious about how newer boats depreciate, so I looked up a bunch of values for Catalina 36s of different years at BUC Valu ( If you register with them, you can look up values for one boat at a time for free.

Here's what I got:

BUC Value Guide Prices for Catalina 36

Year Ave Retail Loss per year % per year
2006 $130,750
2005 $125,250 $5,500 4%
2004 $119,750 $5,500 4%
2003 $114,000 $5,750 5%
2002 $108,000 $6,000 5%
2001 $101,650 $6,350 6%
2000 $95,550 $6,100 6%
1999 $89,900 $5,650 6%
1998 $84,300 $5,600 6%
1997 $78,900 $5,400 6%
1996 $73,650 $5,250 7%
1995 $68,650 $5,000 7%
1994 $63,900 $4,750 7%
1993 $59,400 $4,500 7%
1992 $55,600 $3,800 6%
1991 $51,500 $4,100 7%
1990 $48,050 $3,450 7%
1989 $44,450 $3,600 7%
1988 $41,150 $3,300 7%
1987 $38,200 $2,950 7%
1986 $35,450 $2,750 7%
1985 $32,750 $2,700 8%
1984 $33,050 ($300) -1%
1983 $31,100 $1,950 6%
1982 $25,800 $5,300 17%

I made up a graph of this, but unfortunately, I can't figure out how to attach it to this post...

Anyway, I had expected the fastest depreciation to occur when the boat was newest, and that is happening, but not by much. I also expected the value to level off after a rapid drop in the first years. The depreciation does slow down, but not as much as I thought it would.

I also worked out the percent of value lost each year. It turns out the dollars of depreciation go down each year, but the percent of remaining value lost goes up.

Sooo, getting back to the original question, yes a newer boat will lose more value to depreciation each year than an older boat, but maybe not by that much, e.g., $6K vs $3K. On the other hand, the older boat will need more maintenance. I could see those costs easily averaging this $3K difference, especially if someone has to contract any of the work out.

Of course the newer boat will tie up a lot of capital. If it was invested and earned some return, the aftertax income might just pay for the maintenance on the old boat.

In any event, it's certainly not as clear-cut a decision as I thought.


07-11-2007 09:58 PM
sailingdog I agree with the first part, since quality generally tells in the long run. However, I can't agree with the second part completely, since many people really can't figure out what they want/need without buying a boat and then figuring out what the do like and don't like about it...and then getting the boat they need/want based on what they've learned.

Originally Posted by Morgan3820
My advice is buy quality, it is cheaper in the long run. And buy the last boat first. Decide what you need, buy it and keep it.
07-11-2007 09:48 PM
Morgan3820 My advice is buy quality, it is cheaper in the long run. And buy the last boat first. Decide what you need, buy it and keep it.
07-11-2007 09:19 PM
If I had the money though I'd torch it in a second and go new.
That is why some people say, that the best brand is new.
07-10-2007 10:52 PM
xort Anybody have any thoughts on when the depreciation stops? At some point, inflation will overcome depreciation and your boat value should stabilize. My guess is at 5 to 10 years old depreciation really slows down. New boats have about doubled. Obviously care & condition will play into this but given a well cared for boat...
07-10-2007 09:51 PM
Alden68 Buy something 5-10 years old. Cheaper than buying have the money so no real big problem there....but the boat will more than likely be upgraded which will save you thousands.

If you buy something 20 years old or older you are buying into a way of life that requires vast amounts of your time, energy and money. For some this is a real dream as they enjoy the work.....for others it spells the end of boating.

Start off by learning and enjoying [B]sailing[B], then sweat the details.

I bought a 40 year old boat and it has been a mixed bag. In hindsight I made a mistake but then again I have a truley unique boat that makes me pretty proud. If I had the money though I'd torch it in a second and go new.

Good luck!
07-10-2007 08:22 PM
Originally Posted by jorapazu
The question is not if the older boat will cost more on the long run, if you don't have the 160k to invest on a new boat, you only have one way to go, buy old, sail now , enjoy, and fix it while you are at it.

I have the money to buy a new one. Not the point for me. I just would rather not spend more than I have to. I am stingy, cheap, frugal.... whatever you want to call it/me, LOL.... Anyway, I am just starting the journey. Next month, sailing lessons, then I plan on buying a small older boat, 22'-25' to learn on for a while. Then in a few years, close up my business and buy a big boat and sail away. So, yes, I am getting way ahead of myself no doubt but for me that is just the way I do things. I am a planner....
07-10-2007 08:08 PM
jorapazu The question is not if the older boat will cost more on the long run, if you don't have the 160k to invest on a new boat, you only have one way to go, buy old, sail now , enjoy, and fix it while you are at it.
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