Used boats are REALLY retaining value. - Page 3 - SailNet Community
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post #21 of 63 Old 01-20-2017 Thread Starter
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Re: Used boats are REALLY retaining value.

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Currently cruising Bahamas. Glad to have a look when we're back in Toronto end of May
Actually I wouldn't mind you going through the electrical system. sorry that this is off topic, but do surveyor's provide an hourly rate for such a thing? I don't need to know what the rate is here, but would like the option when a full survey is not required.
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post #22 of 63 Old 01-20-2017
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Re: Used boats are REALLY retaining value.

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5 or 6 times a year I am hired to survey brand new boats. The list of recommendations is often as long and a 40yr. old boat.
Absolutely agree.

I have in my career taken possession of 5 new boats direct from shipyards for sea trial. Each and every one was a total nightmare. Problem alarms, leaky hatches, bad wiring.

I think many new boats really need a 2 year break in period before the owners can get all the bugs worked out. I would never buy a new boat with my own money. Basically, they need to devaluate significantly before they work right.

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post #23 of 63 Old 01-20-2017
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Re: Used boats are REALLY retaining value.

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Actually I wouldn't mind you going through the electrical system. sorry that this is off topic, but do surveyor's provide an hourly rate for such a thing? I don't need to know what the rate is here, but would like the option when a full survey is not required.
Can't speak for anyone else but I do that quite often.
Take a look at Marine Survey 101 , might give you some ideas about what you can check yourself.

The hysterical laughter you hear as you drive a way in your"new" boat ..... is the seller.
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post #24 of 63 Old 01-20-2017
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Re: Used boats are REALLY retaining value.

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I think many new boats really need a 2 year break in period before the owners can get all the bugs worked out. I would never buy a new boat with my own money. Basically, they need to devaluate significantly before they work right.
I bought a new boat once and sold it after it was finally totally dialed in with absolutely no help from the manufacture (mostly remedying installation and commissioning errors) and also took the big depreciation hit. Never again, I'm now only going to be in the market for boats that have hit the flat spot on their depreciation curve and have been well maintained.
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post #25 of 63 Old 01-20-2017
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Re: Used boats are REALLY retaining value.

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Originally Posted by amwbox View Post
Boat manufacturers found out quickly that making boats too structurally sound results in boats hanging around for decades, changing hands on the used market continually, instead proceeding in pieces to the landfill. It would behoove them to think of ways to design at least some measure of timed obsolescence into their current boats so they aren't still haunting them on the used market in 2065.

This is kind of a scary thought, boats are more like airplanes than cars

short of catastrophe.

If I got a hole in my car... I will likely survive without much problem or even notice; a hole in my boat, in the middle of the Atlantic... would be much more serious. If you built a boat to fall apart... could be kind of dangerous.

I understand how there is some danger with a car failure.. but I would much rather my steering in a car to fail in 20 minutes than a boat in the middle of Lake Erie


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Re: Used boats are REALLY retaining value.

Asking price means almost nothing. You need to look at actual selling prices to make any conclusions about retaining value.

About 7 years ago I did extensive analysis of pricing history of a major US manufacturers' boat of many models ranging from 28 to 36 feet. I used Soldboat.com data, which admittedly may create selection bias by focusing on the best maintained boats. I found that, for the most part, boats in the 5-15 year age range sold for about their original purchase price when new. The flat selling price over time meant depreciation, due to owners' loss of opportunity cost (vs. putting their dollars into growth investments), inflation, non-recouped maintenance costs, and all the owner upgrades that did not increase the selling price of the boat. Newer boats sold for higher prices, but they were purchased for higher prices too.
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Agreed with the scarcity of viable used boats. There are lots of used boats out there, but not many that you can sail away without mods and repairs. That situation will grow as the market ages and less new boats come on.

So I think the number of used boats is in decline if you discount the ones that require half or more of their value in refits.
I agree in general, especially when you see the fake wood laminates, foam-backed PVC headliners (which will lose their plasticizer and crack in about 15 years) and other cheapening features of some newer boats.

In both of the keel boats that I have bought, I have paid a few thousand dollars premium for better than average condition, with the expectation that repairs and reliability would be better, which is critically important due to the cost of losing sailing time if something breaks. An old, worn boat can be far more costly to keep going in the long run.

I keep hearing these stories of old cheap boats that "just need a little TLC to triple their value. I see a lot of them in boat yards, not sailing. Haven't really seen one yet where the owner was able to turn it around quickly and cheaply into a much more valuable vessel. You can pour a lot of time, energy, and materials into it and still end up with a boat that was worth about what you paid for it.

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post #27 of 63 Old 01-21-2017
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Re: Used boats are REALLY retaining value.

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I keep hearing these stories of old cheap boats that "just need a little TLC to triple their value. I see a lot of them in boat yards, not sailing. Haven't really seen one yet where the owner was able to turn it around quickly and cheaply into a much more valuable vessel. You can pour a lot of time, energy, and materials into it and still end up with a boat that was worth about what you paid for it.
Thats because labor rates in the US are unbelievably high. Marine firms in yards can demand $100/hour billable rate from owners and pay their employees $15-20 an hour. Its borderline criminal, especially considering some of the absolute hack jobs you see some yards and techs perform.

If someone wants to buy an older boat and do a stem to stern refit, the only option you have is DIY or to somehow get the boat out of the USA and to a yard in Guatemala, Grenada, Trinidad. But how many of those project boats you see in yards are capable of that kind of journey! Some of my friends in Florida are hopeful about Cuba for this kind of "nearshoring" due to the quality of labor thats dirt cheap....but then again, parts and supplies are rare commodities there...maybe in a few years.

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Re: Used boats are REALLY retaining value.

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.....I found that, for the most part, boats in the 5-15 year age range sold for about their original purchase price when new.....
Are you sure you put that correctly? All boat prices depreciate significantly in the first few years. For this to be true, prices would then need to go back up again, in that window. This does eventually happen, but I think it takes substantially longer.

My 12 yr old boat is worth a bit less than half of its new cost. I bought her at about 4 years old, so I haven't taken that big of a hit.
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Re: Used boats are REALLY retaining value.

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.....Marine firms in yards can demand $100/hour billable rate from owners and pay their employees $15-20 an hour....
I can understand the huge disparity, because the yard rates are also paying for the yard, not just the employee. However, what bothers me is that we pay the same rate, regardless of the skill of the employee. Their best and their worst diesel mechanic are the same rate to the customer, but are paid differently, so have a different profit margin to the yard. Therefore, it would stand to reason, the yard wants to use the less skilled as much as they can. I believe this is a major factor in all of our incompetent yard employee stories.

It also bothers me that I literally pay the same hourly rate for the experienced diesel mechanic, as I pay for the entry level worker who does nothing more than grind the winch to send the rigger up my mast. Then just stands there and waits, while the clock runs at the same rate times 2 people. I paid the same rate for the experienced rigger to restep my mast as I paid for the low man on the totem pole, who was assigned to roll on a coat of bottom paint. The only exception I recall was when I asked for a quote to aggressively scrub all my non-skid, before having my hull waxed (so that the cleaner wouldn't strip the wax, if I waited to do it, after she was launched). $50 per hour for a guy to push on pole attached to a scrub brush and haul a bucket around. A job I do in about 90 minutes, but they estimated 3 hours! I passed.


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post #30 of 63 Old 01-21-2017
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Re: Used boats are REALLY retaining value.

I remember a period in the 70s when inflation was hot and sailing was a growth industry when you could buy a new boat, use it few years, and sell it for more than you paid. The main reason for this was the price of new boats were going up so quickly, the lightly used one looked like a bargain. I doubt (and hope) we never see an economy like that again.

Depreciation is a fact of life for boats today. I always thought the sweet spot for boats was between 5 and 15 years old. Had taken the big depreciation hit and were still new enough to not need a lot of updating. I now think that looking at even older boats makes sense. Primarily because so many sailboat maker when out of business around 1990 and there is a much wider choice of different boats when you look a bit earlier. Does mean you have to look a lot harder to find the well maintained ones. But find a gem and you can use it for a number of years and maybe even sell it later for close to what you paid.
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