Negotiating for a new boat - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 7 Old 06-12-2002 Thread Starter
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Negotiating for a new boat

I have just read most of the threads posted on this board over the past couple months. I am not sure why, after reading, I am still brave (probably stupid) enough to still post something but here goes ...

Because of several unrelated reasons, I have not had a boat for about 5 years. Before that I had a series of boats all of which I purchased used. I am now seriously looking for a boat, most likely spending between $150-175K.

I have read plenty on new v. used, I have read plenty of opinions of Beneteaus, Hunters, Tartans, J''s, and others. I promise I am considering all of that good advice.

My question is how much negotiating power does a buyer have when purchasing a new boat? I have plenty of experience buying used boats, but none buying a new one. How much is a dealer expecting to take off his orginal quote on a new, pretty well equiped boat? Is the base price really firm? Prices on some of the electronics and other options seem to be rather inflated to me, but maybe installing modern stuff is a lot harder than it use to be way back when. If one goes for a off the shelf production boats (ok, here you can read Beneteau), is checking out multiple brokers worthwhile or are they a closed network?

And last, so I get all of my questions out of the way right up front, if you are going to buy a new boat, would it be better/worse/the same to do so at a major boat show or any other particular time of the year? I have waited this long for a boat, I can probably wait another six months. (I have always bought my used boats near the end of the season and felt I have had a lot more negotiating power at that time.)

Thanks -- Steven
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post #2 of 7 Old 06-12-2002 Thread Starter
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Negotiating for a new boat

Ok ... on closer look I found this topic covered somewhat (under the heading of dealer margins) a couple weeks ago. If folks have anything else to add, beyond that posting, that would be great. If not, it the replies ot the other posting give me somewhat of an answer.

A couple of weeks ago I saw a guy at Circuit City try to negotiate on the price of a TV with a sales guy who was at most 18 years old. The kid was trying to explain that the prices were fixed and the buyer was not getting it.

-- Steven
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post #3 of 7 Old 06-12-2002
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Negotiating for a new boat

I started the previous thread on dealer margins. I would summarize what I''ve learned so far as follows. Dealers will compete with one another. Get the Boat Show deal from the manufacturer and negotiate with the dealer from there. Dealers seem to be able to negotiate on commissioning, storage, dockage and other items beyond their margin. Margins on new boats do seem to be 20% or more. In at least some cases, margins are a lot more than 20% but not on the popular models. Some states have odd sales and use taxes. In Illinois, for example, there is sales tax on new boats but no tax on used boats purchased through a broker.
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post #4 of 7 Old 06-13-2002
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Negotiating for a new boat

I know of a boater rebuilding a sailboat and he got good deals on the various stuff (engine, self tailing winches...etc that he needed) by making a deal on the last day of various boat shows he attended. Don''t know if this would be the case for a sailboat as well. Another idea is to look for a virtually new boat in a place like Ft. Lauderdale. Let''s say a couple fullfills the dream (usually the guy''s dream) by buying the boat and outfitting it and they get as far as Georgetown in the Bahamas before the wife ''packs it in''. At this point the wife says ''it''s the boat or me''. Some continue on by themselves, or with new crew (depends upon the strength of the marriage, of course), and some turn around and head for the docks in Ft.Lauderdale.

I would think that there has to be a well outfitted sailboat of the make and model you are looking for, looking for a new owner, somewhere in Ft. Lauderdale.

Rent a skiff and cruise the canals there.
They are everywhere.
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post #5 of 7 Old 06-13-2002 Thread Starter
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Negotiating for a new boat

*Laugh* I really like this idea. In the past I have had good luck with a similar strategy of buying fairly new boats at the end of the season (in the Northeast) as folks are looking at a winter''s worth of boat payments for something they barely used the previous summer.

But going up and down the marinas in FtL listening for angry couples might even be more effective!
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post #6 of 7 Old 06-15-2002
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Negotiating for a new boat

Hey Steven, not to be morbid but watch the obits. Kinda kidding but there are many boats that just sit, old Benny wouldn''t sell before he died and she hated it anyway.
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post #7 of 7 Old 07-18-2002
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Negotiating for a new boat

Dear Steven,

If I had a million dollars to spend, I''d still buy a lightly used, proven sailer within my budget, matched to my sailing abilities, and one that will take me and mine where I want to go. If I had 50 million, and three years I might buy and new custom yacht. What a thought!

In your price range, you can find a wonderful opportunity I am sure. Widen your willing to ship your vessel...get a surveyer you get a lot more for your money!
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