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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail > Thinking about buying my first boat. Am I crazy?
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Thread: Thinking about buying my first boat. Am I crazy? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
01-09-2012 03:04 PM
MarkSF
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pointy_End View Post
You know, I am afraid to low ball and I don't think I'm alone. I think it's partly because I'm worried about offending someone, but also I'm not sure what the difference between a lowball offer and a ridiculous offer is in the boat world.

Let's say someone is asking $10k. Assuming average circumstances, is $7k to $8k an expected offer, $5k lowball and $2k ridiculous?
Yes, I would say that's about right - if the 8-10K asking price was reasonable.

In my case the broker gave me the soldboats printout for the last dozen similar Bristols sold, which gives you the initial asking and sold prices. Using this I decided that a 20% low first offer was reasonable.
01-08-2012 07:56 PM
Jumperken Add Content
12-16-2011 09:17 AM
lillia28 Used to call it the "flinch test". If the reaction to your FIRST bid is not an obvious one, you are too high! All kinds of cautions though. Some folks will get offended and end discussion, so if its a boat you really want, be a bit more cautious. Also don't try to "steal" every boat, but if the boat has been for sale for a few years, its worth a shot. If its a Bristol condition Hinckley, be honest and say its way out of my price range, I cant afford more than Y. It might start a conversation. A couple of examples, my Mariner 28 was listed for $12,000, had been taken by the yard for non payment of fees, and was not producing income. I bid $2700, expecting a counter around 4,000 but they sold it to me. Not as great a deal as it looks. There were some odds and ends I should have included in the sale, but didn't and cost me another few thousand before I got it in the water. I will spend over 10,000 by the time its the way I want it, but a lot of it will be new and the way I want it. A friend bought a Catalina 30 for around $4000 and a Ranger 33 went for $500.00 (no sails)! "abandoned" boats may need a lot of maintenance. But if you are careful you can be sailing a great boat, and fix it up as you schedule "maintenance". Its a lot like poker, and a lot depends on the interaction between buyer and seller or buyer and broker. If you've been looking all this time, and I mean looking at physically boats, not just reading ads, you've got a good handle on the market. Have at it! Good Luck!
lou
12-16-2011 07:43 AM
Minnewaska
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pointy_End View Post
You know, I am afraid to low ball and I don't think I'm alone. I think it's partly because I'm worried about offending someone, but also I'm not sure what the difference between a lowball offer and a ridiculous offer is in the boat world.

Let's say someone is asking $10k. Assuming average circumstances, is $7k to $8k an expected offer, $5k lowball and $2k ridiculous?
That depends entirely on how close the asking price is to the real value. All sellers don't mark up by the same percentage, so you can't mark down by one. Requires research.

Be wary of hidden flaws that pictures and amateur surveys miss. Wet cores, rigging issues, engine issues, worn sails can be expensive. With some less expensive boats, it is routine that these issues exceed the value of the boat. That's why so many sit abandon in marinas. I'm not trying to scare you away. Just don't assume the biggest discount is the best boat.
12-16-2011 04:09 AM
Pointy_End
Quote:
Originally Posted by RobGallagher View Post
Don't be afraid to low ball.

You know, I am afraid to low ball and I don't think I'm alone. I think it's partly because I'm worried about offending someone, but also I'm not sure what the difference between a lowball offer and a ridiculous offer is in the boat world.

Let's say someone is asking $10k. Assuming average circumstances, is $7k to $8k an expected offer, $5k lowball and $2k ridiculous?
12-16-2011 04:00 AM
Pointy_End Thanks for bumping this thread, I'd forgotten all about it. I had a good time re-reading it with all the good advice.

Well it's been 3 months since I started this thread and last weekend my wife and I just completed the CYA Day Skipper course. I had a great time despite having to clear the ice off the deck on some mornings. I guess that means I have the sailing bug bad. My wife was not as enthusiastic on those mornings

I still don't have a boat but I'm still looking. I'm going to look at a Tanzer 7.5 tomorrow that is 2hrs away; I'm going to visit family in the same direction so I figured why not. They are asking less than $3000 which peaked my interest, and the pictures look good inside and out. I think I'm willing to compromise on having 6' standing headroom for that price, especially since it has a real head and a roller furling. Plus I can always sail it back to Victoria in a couple weekends....I think

I stumbled on (via a google search) a thread here with a large list of good starter boats in the 23ft to 25ft range, but I'll be damned if I can find it again.

I still sway back in forth between something like the Tanzer 7.5 and something bigger like a Cat27 with a diesel. I like the idea of a diesel, but I worry about high maintenance costs, especially if something catastrophic happens.

I need to buy something soon before I go crazy from looking. If it were possible to "wear out" the Craigslist website I'd have done it by now!
12-15-2011 05:31 PM
RobGallagher The C25 is pretty roomy for it's size and loads of fun to sail. I think you might outgrow it quickly.

If you don't mind possibly moving up in a couple of years there are loads of great deals on used boats in the under 10K market. Don't be afraid to low ball.

Depending on your needs, the C27 is a great day sailor with comparable living space to many older 30 ft boats.
12-15-2011 05:02 PM
lillia28 Welcome! I had a 22 for years, and moved up to a 28 last year. 22's become cramped very quickly, I'd suggest a 25 or the 27. I was nervous about the "big jump" to 28, but an hour on the water and I wondered what I was worried about. The bigger boat is easier to sail and a heck of a lot more comfortable Unless there are specific cost reasons (that is storage costs) for a swing keel and trailer, I'd go go with fixed keel. My experience looking 2 years ago was that a fixed keel was less expensive than a boat and trailer combination. That may have changed. There are no boat junk yards and getting rid of an unwanted hull is a challenge, BUT that fact can work to your advantage as a buyer! Just remember: the most expensive thing in the world is a free boat! Good luck!
Lou
10-03-2011 06:46 PM
ujk Hey Pointy End!
Welcome from another newbie sailor! Took the plunge after a few lessons on Colgate 26 into a 30', my first. At first, people thought me crazy but heck, have been called worse names before! I figured after i bought the boat i had naught but one choice and that is to master it! Not quite there yet, not for a long time, but the road to ownership and sailing is quite fun and adventuresome. I'm glad i took the risk and i love every minute of it! Best of luck and always have fun!
10-03-2011 05:56 PM
Cherie320 Any of the 22-25 ft boats that have been reasonably well maintained will do what you want. Be aware that the more you spend on a boat the more you either lose or have to get out of it when you sell. Used gear(sails) can help keep costs down. A shorter boat is less expensive to berth and to maintain. Unless you have lots of friends, a 22/23 will work fine. The smaller boat can be sailed with less reliance on winches for halyards and sheets. Being able to adjust the main quickly, lets you learn to play the gusts and you gain some of the dinghy skills without going swiming. On the 6ft thing - it's really about how limber you are. You will be on your knees or sitting on a small boat. If that is not a problem for you, the small boat won't be either. To get full standing headroom is a challenge, but look at boats with a pop top. An open hatch where you need to stand helps too, just be carefull when/where you stand. I'm 6-4 and did Ok on a 5-4 clear cabin. Try a few and see what works for you. But the point is, you do not need standing head room.

Toilets - if you have a girl friend/wife, they will love an electric toilet. It takes a big boat or a creative installation to support one, but is worth the time and money. A very good excuse to buy up when the time comes. In the interim, a good quality porta-poty is as good as a manual marine head. Self contained requires less space and is not so likely to be a maintenance problem. You want to sail, not fix things.

A thought to consider - It's difficult to find, but some folks want separation, even in a small boat. Separate head, separate sleeping, separate storage, separate cooking. Others can do it all in one space. Figure out what you like/need. That will drive you to the type of boat you like.

A boat can be stored on a trailer at a boat yard. Cheap haul out.

Finally - get a tiller - you have time to use a wheel when you retire.

Good Luck
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