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  Topic Review (Newest First)
11-10-2009 09:45 PM
TakeFive David - Thanks for the advice. It's pretty much what I've been thinking. We're going sailing with some friends on a 44' Mason this Saturday, and that may help nail down just how big we want to go. A large part of this is still deciding how big we want, and how nice. A part of me says that with our lack of experience we can't pick the perfect boat at any price, so get in for as little as possible (C27 at <$10,000). I know we can get in for even less, but we have a candidate boat in this range that looks to be well cared for and only really needs new bimini canvas. Less expensive boats would need a lot more work. The other part of me says to dish out as much as possible for a boat we'll be thrilled with (and has all the accessories and canvas that we want with no upgrades), take good care of it, and we'll get most of our money out of it if we still want something else after a few years.

I've emailed an old friend whose brother is a broker who has bought and delivered sailboats all over the country. I'm waiting to hear back first, if that does not pan out I'll look for a local broker.
11-10-2009 08:55 PM
davidpm Mr. Devin gave you one number.

Mr. Doctor you are making this way too hard.

Find a broker, any broker, walk into his office and pour your heart out.
Show him the listing. Tell him you think it is too much money. Ask him if while you watch he wouldn't mind printing out:
1. The soldboat listing comps to prove you are right that your dream boat is too high.
2. The listing for any other boat in your price range your new friend has that he thinks you can sell your wife.

Make a friend, it's you and him trying to find a boat that will make your wife happy and not overpay from the other bad guy.

Of course you know he is not a real friend, but until the closing every broker has a shot at you, and they will do anything to prove they are your buddy.

This is so easy, go out there and make a lot of "friends".

If the soldboat price is indeed 30k compare the inventory of the the sold boats vs this boat. If there isn't 10,000 worth of extras all you can do is make an offer based on what it is worth to you.
You can phrase your offer in such a way to make it appealing.
For example you can say:
  1. This offer is good for 12 hours only.
  2. I will not consider counter offers.
  3. It is not contingent on financing or sea trial.
  4. It is only contingent on survey.
  5. The offer will not be renegotiated based on survey finding. It will be withdrawn or accepted.
An offer worded very strongly has a better chance of motivating a seller to "lets just rid of the boat" than to hold out for every last dime.
Frankly since has just been listed it is not likely to work but as they say about the Connecticut Lottery "You can't win if you don't play"

PS. My wife agrees with your wife. Catalina seems to put just enough wood in the boat so it still feels like a boat but still is priced well, euro styling with all plastic doesn't do it for her either.
11-10-2009 01:47 AM

For that age in 2009 they sold around $30k from Soldboat

If you need more detail PM me
11-09-2009 09:28 PM
TakeFive David,

Thanks for your advice. I can now give some more specifics, since the most recent boat I am interested in has appeared on the web today for the first time:

1993 Catalina 28 Sail Boat For Sale -

A few words about this boat. First, my wife has really gotten to like the Catalina boats. She has liked every one she has gotten on. There are a few brands of boats she has intensely disliked - don't want to offend anyone by mentioning them. Suffice it to say that one of them has a widespread bad reputation, and a couple others are well regarded as great sailing boats and built very sturdily, but the amenities are not as sleek as Catalina provides.

Don at Winters had told me this boat was coming a few weeks ago. The previous owner traded up to a C309 or 310 because they're getting older and wanted RF on the mainsail. His asking price is even higher than I thought he had told me before. I called him today to ask about it, and he said he could come down some, but not as far as my self-imposed price limit. (PM me if you you would like specific numbers.) I tried to steer the discussion to comparables, and Don emphasized that the boat is in exceptional condition and not comparable to others.

I know a lot of guys here don't think NADA means much, but I can't help use it as a guide because I know if I want to sell the boat the next buyer would beat me over the head with NADA's estimated values. NADA gives a retail range of $22-26k for the boat (even with accessories), which is right around my limit. It's hard to imagine even trying to get him to come down that far from a $40k asking price.

The C250 that I was previously considering sold over the weekend. No regrets - I had decided that we definitely want a 27 or 28 footer.

One piece of info would be very helpful - is there anyone here with access to who could run some comparables for me? In addition to sellers playing games with the numbers (like you warned) I am also concerned about sellers "cherry picking" their examples. I'd much rather have someone "on my side" pulling these numbers up for me.



PS - This C28 would be my "dream boat" - at the newest range of boat ages that I would consider. I am considering other older, much less expensive boats. I will post some questions about that other boat in another thread.
11-09-2009 08:13 AM
davidpm The answer to your question is very simple. You broker should volunteer or will if asked print you out comps. In other words if you are looking at a 1995 Catalina 35 ask your broker to print out the sold price for every 35' 1994 to 1996 Catalina 35 for the last year.
Now you will have the supposedly actual price sister boats have sold for recently.
In new cars you can easily lookup the dealer cost and offer a number to the dealer where he makes a fair profit and their will be almost no haggling.
In boating sadly the asking price and the eventual sold price have much less correlation as carrying costs are often so high and emotions run higher. A few years ago 10 percent off asking was almost expected but now there are no rules.

I say supposedly because brokers have a vested interest in keeping the numbers higher and have been known to fiddle a little. It at least gives you an idea.

While you are to to be applauded for not wanting to russel any feathers here I doubt if it will be a problem. If you identify the specific boat you are looking at this community will almost certainly be able to give you better pricing guidelines and more importantly some other makes and models that are comparable that you may not have thought of.
11-09-2009 07:19 AM
tommays Well having bought and sold 5 of my own new and used boats over the last 28 years

A trade in that a dealer owns may have the least flex and be pretty complex as right now there are a LOT of new boats sitting that the only profit may well be the trade selling

And at least here the only places staying in business have massive boat storage/service yards and selling boats is not there primary income

AND i have allways done best finding private sales as it cuts out a lot of the middle man costs
11-09-2009 05:52 AM
Originally Posted by scottyt View Post for making a profit, he makes a profit no matter what, the seller is the one who might loose out if they have a loan. the broker makes 10 % no matter what to him making 1000 real fast is better than making 1100 over 3 months of listing....
Just to clarify, the situation that I am most interested in is where the broker has a trade-in. This statement is not true for that situation.
11-09-2009 01:54 AM
scottyt from what i have heard and read. in the summer prices are high up north and during hurricane season they are low down south.

i dont think there is a business model that brokers work on. they want to make money and as much as they can. they will list a boat higher than they have seen or sold one before. ( all based on good condition ) that way they can drop the price and still make what they want. then there are brokers who dont want to hold the boat at all and the faster they sell it the better ( these are ones that take trade ins )

it works just like cars, a really clean and popular boat they will ask higher. i watched a boat sit on craigslist that was posted by a broker. it was a 27 hunter like mine, it started at 11 k and sold for 5500. he was dropping the price for the first few months by 50 per week, at the end it was 1 to 200 per week.

go low ball him for 50 % of asking, if he says no hand him your number and walk away, a week later you might get a call. if he counters he will counter with about about twice the difference from your offer he is willing to take. ie asking is 10 k you offer 5 he says no he cant do lower than 8 i would bet he would take 6500

as for making a profit, he makes a profit no matter what, the seller is the one who might loose out if they have a loan. the broker makes 10 % no matter what to him making 1000 real fast is better than making 1100 over 3 months of listing. its the ones who want to let the boat sit in a slip that he is not paying for for 6 months for the extra 300 bucks are the ones you want to avoid
11-08-2009 11:16 PM
gr8trn I am glad to hear that you are all about the win-win. So many are listening to too much WIIFM (What's In It For Me).
I am not sure the the NADA or BUC stuff is of real help.
Let's take the brokered boat first. You name it. If the seller wants to sell, and the boat is clean, the boat will sell. This is what offer sheets are for. Like you said, let the broker take the offer to the seller. It seems that the broker is in for about 10% commission on the sale. Of course, the House gets some, the Listing broker gets some and the Selling broker gets some.

As for the trade-in that is on sale at a brokerage, I have one example for you. Boat was traded in and the buyer was given a trade-in value of $74K. The boat went for around $89K in a matter of a few weeks. This was summer of this year. That boat according to NADA should have been $72K retail. There were several on Yachtworld listing from $105K to $85K. Of course fit and finish and extra goodies play a huge roll in all of this.

Sometimes you have to do things an you may not have all the info that you would like. If the boat you like is out there, find out what they are listing for, find out how they are decked out and maintained. Give it your best shot.

Hint: boats floating at a dealership in brokerage are more likely to be "on sale" that those FSBO and floating at their own slips and sitting in their own back yards or driveways.

11-08-2009 08:38 PM
Originally Posted by mstern View Post
Doc: have you asked this broker about his "standard" margin, and his "standard" expected rate of return? I guess that the veracity of his response will be no better or worse than anyone else who responds here. I can report from my own experience in this same situation that I think the answer depends as much on the boat as anything else. I dealt with a broker who had a (for his business) small boat (27 or 28 feet). He had taken it in trade and was willing to let it go for less than BUC value because he didn't have the time or interest to market it.
No, I have not asked the broker directly. I suppose I could do that. I just like to do some homework first to see what others might have done.

I tend to dislike the whole "lowball offer" thing. I much prefer to understand how the business works, go in understanding that he deserves to make some profit, and come up with a number that is reasonable as a first offer. While I don't want to be his business partner, I do think it is good to keep it a win-win situation since I may want to get good service from him later.
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