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Dispatch 09-21-2018 12:32 AM

What To Take Into Account When Considering A 40+ Year Old Sailboat?
 
What are some serious considerations to take into account when thinking about buying a 40+ year old fiberglass sailboat, in decent overall shape?

Yorksailor 09-21-2018 04:18 AM

Re: What To Take Into Account When Considering A 40+ Year Old Sailboat?
 
The age of the standing rigging including the chain plates.

MikeOReilly 09-21-2018 05:01 AM

Re: What To Take Into Account When Considering A 40+ Year Old Sailboat?
 
Many details to consider. As an owner of a 41-year-old boat I would say you need to start with the design and build specs; you want one with good bones to begin with. Then I would look to the quality of the maintenance over the years. A good old boat that was well designed and built, AND has been well maintained should still be an excellent option.

Other than that, the list is long: Big things like standing rigging, water intrusions into the deck (most old boats with balsa decks will have some), deck/hull joint, mast step, engine, thru hull integrityÖ Any hard groundings in its past? Has she ever sunk? How old is the electrical? Etc...

capecodda 09-21-2018 06:00 AM

Re: What To Take Into Account When Considering A 40+ Year Old Sailboat?
 
Boat maintenance and even building new costs are surprisingly spread out. Boats cost $$$ not because of any one thing, because of a million items. They all add up. From engines to standing rigging to water intrusion into FG or cores to pumps to winches to... Not a good answer to your question.

In buying used boats we've found that the single most important question is who owned it? If you can, vet the owner.

I'd prefer a 40 year old boat that's been well taken care of to a 10 year old boat that's been neglected. I'd prefer a boat that's fully in commission to one that's been sitting on hard rotting for a few years.

One other trick. The first thing I look at is the bilge and engine. Clean? Keep looking. A mess of wires left over from multiple rewiring, dirty bilge, oily engine, old hoses showing rot, walk away.

Minnewaska 09-21-2018 06:46 AM

Re: What To Take Into Account When Considering A 40+ Year Old Sailboat?
 
How's the keel attached? Amazing to me to see how many 40 year old sailboats have their original keel bolts. Mine are being replaced this winter and are 14 years old.

I had a buddy with an older Pearson, but can't recall exactly which model. He's passed away. It was a ketch. He had issues with the deck seam separating from the topsides. I can't say if it was his boat, the model or a Pearson thing.

midwesterner 09-21-2018 07:27 AM

34 Attachment(s)
Reviews that I have read say that Pearsons of that era experienced osmotic blistering on the hull. Repairs can be quite expensive, so that would need to be factored into negotiations for the sale price.

Dispatch 09-21-2018 01:43 PM

Re: What To Take Into Account When Considering A 40+ Year Old Sailboat?
 
Thanks, everyone, I appreciate the help.

On its dollar value, is it true that sailboats made before 1980 are not considered high value due to their age?


How do you gauge a sailboats true value being that old?

MikeOReilly 09-21-2018 02:19 PM

Re: What To Take Into Account When Considering A 40+ Year Old Sailboat?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Dispatch (Post 2051554312)
On its dollar value, is it true that sailboats made before 1980 are not considered high value due to their age?

How do you gauge a sailboats true value being that old?

Age is one factor in pricing a boat. Older designs may no longer be in vogue, so this will be another factor. But many quality older boats have reached a stable price which mainly varies with quality of maintenance and perhaps locality.

Not sure what you mean by gauging a boatís true value though. Mine is worth $x according to my surveyor and insurance company, but sheís priceless to me :).

Dispatch 09-21-2018 03:00 PM

Re: What To Take Into Account When Considering A 40+ Year Old Sailboat?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by MikeOReilly (Post 2051554320)
Age is one factor in pricing a boat. Older designs may no longer be in vogue, so this will be another factor. But many quality older boats have reached a stable price which mainly varies with quality of maintenance and perhaps locality.

Not sure what you mean by gauging a boatís true value though. Mine is worth $x according to my surveyor and insurance company, but sheís priceless to me :).

What I mean is, the NADA Guide, is that what is used to give you the true value of a boat?

I don't know if there is a Kelly Blue book for boats.

I was told by a recent 'seller' of a boat I was interested in that in all his many years he's never heard of anyone using the NADA to get the true value of a boat, yet to contradict that I've been told by some that it is used by insurance company's to give the true value of your vessel if its ever totally lost in say a hurricane...http://i561.photobucket.com/albums/s...pspaniwiwo.gif

Minnewaska 09-21-2018 03:09 PM

Re: What To Take Into Account When Considering A 40+ Year Old Sailboat?
 
The problem with "blue books" for sailboats is both the broad differences in condition, as well as how they are equipped. Good, fair, etc, just don't cut it for boats. The specific condition of decks, rigging, engines, etc, create huge differences on value. For some smaller boats, if these are in poor condition, they have theoretical negative value, as the defects cost more to replace than other functional hulls cost. Insurance companies and banks are playing the averages overall. They win some and lose some. That's probably not how you're looking at it.

Another thing to take into account on such an old boat, is it's only getting older. Once you're ready to sell it, as a 50 year old boat, it may be much harder. Hard to say.

MikeOReilly 09-21-2018 03:18 PM

Re: What To Take Into Account When Considering A 40+ Year Old Sailboat?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Dispatch (Post 2051554324)
What I mean is, the NADA Guide, is that what is used to give you the true value of a boat?

I don't know if there is a Kelly Blue book for boats.

I was told by a recent 'seller' of a boat I was interested in that in all his many years he's never heard of anyone using the NADA to get the true value of a boat, yet to contradict that I've been told by some that it is used by insurance company's to give the true value of your vessel if its ever totally lost in say a hurricane...http://i561.photobucket.com/albums/s...pspaniwiwo.gif

I have never heard of anyone seriously using the NADA guide to price boats. I did look up the boats I was interested in (back when I was shopping), and it never gave any useful numbers. Maybe for smaller, mass market boats, it might work. But not for cruising-level boats, and certainly not for older boats which mostly have no real operating market.

Brokerages who deal in older boats probably have data on sale prices. In my experience surveyors use recent sales of similar boats to come up with a value. Insurance companies probably have their own data, but in my limited experience they simply take what the surveyor gives them.

PhilCarlson 09-21-2018 03:32 PM

Re: What To Take Into Account When Considering A 40+ Year Old Sailboat?
 
Have a good look at the structual bulkheads if the chainplates anchor to a wooden structure. Look for indications of water intrusion and hidden rot. If the boat has been on the hard for a while with the rig down or slack those structures will begin to disintegrate when you re-tune the rig. Fixable, but makes for an unpleasant surprise under way.

TomMaine 09-21-2018 03:48 PM

Re: What To Take Into Account When Considering A 40+ Year Old Sailboat?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Dispatch (Post 2051554218)
What are some serious considerations to take into account when thinking about buying a 40+ year old fiberglass sailboat (like a Pearson 36'5' for instance), in decent overall shape?



The good thing about an older boat like a Pearson 36 is that quite a few were built. After 40 years, all the problems inherent in that particular design, will be very well known.

You can weed out designs that can have problems you don't want to deal with.

You find this valuable info online searching owner groups of the design.


Once you find one you like, any surveyor that's worth his fee will also know these - specific to the design - problems. He/she will focus on those areas while looking for typical problems all boats suffer from.

My glass boat is 57 years old. I've fixed a lot of problems on it in 20 years, but there have been no surprises. I knew the design problems when I bought it thanks to this easy online research.

Dispatch 09-21-2018 04:16 PM

Re: What To Take Into Account When Considering A 40+ Year Old Sailboat?
 
In my situation, I don't want to go on what the seller is suggesting because it's too ambiguous, to base it on what the highest asking prices are going for on this very same model is selling for on sailboat selling websites.

As I was told the book value the insurance company will give you is all its worth, regardless of what the seller is saying he invested in it and now wants that money back, mostly though I'm finding its a case of what they 'think' its worth (guessing to the highest power in their favor), with no proof to base it on...

chef2sail 09-21-2018 05:07 PM

Re: What To Take Into Account When Considering A 40+ Year Old Sailboat?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Minnewaska (Post 2051554236)
How's the keel attached? Amazing to me to see how many 40 year old sailboats have their original keel bolts. Mine are being replaced this winter and are 14 years old.

I had a buddy with an older Pearson, but can't recall exactly which model. He's passed away. It was a ketch. He had issues with the deck seam separating from the topsides. I can't say if it was his boat, the model or a Pearson thing.

A boat needing keep bolts replaced in just 14 years......yikes
Many 30+ year old well made boats don't have this issue

It depends on the boat, depends on how it's maintained, depends on the build quality originally, depends on it's history of usage. I don't think you can give a cookie cutter answer based on age.

Barquito 09-21-2018 05:33 PM

Re: What To Take Into Account When Considering A 40+ Year Old Sailboat?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Dispatch (Post 2051554342)
In my situation, I don't want to go on what the seller is suggesting because it's too ambiguous, to base it on what the highest asking prices are going for on this very same model is selling for on sailboat selling websites.

As I was told the book value the insurance company will give you is all its worth, regardless of what the seller is saying he invested in it and now wants that money back, mostly though I'm finding its a case of what they 'think' its worth (guessing to the highest power in their favor), with no proof to base it on...

It may matter what the value of the boat is perceived to be, for the insurance company. However, the real value of the boat is really, really simple to calculate. It is what it sells for. There are factors with the boat that can make the sales price vary by orders of magnitude (even have negative value). AND there are factors with the buyer that will effect the value. Where the boat is located, relative to a potential buyer (may take $10000 to ship across the country), what make and model, what specific equipment. The pool of buyers is certainly not homogeneous.

Dispatch 09-21-2018 08:13 PM

Re: What To Take Into Account When Considering A 40+ Year Old Sailboat?
 
Now, I'm being told by the seller that his insurance company insures for purchase price as long as the survey validates that price. And he's stating that the 'only' book guide to use is BUCNET, which he claims factors in actual sale prices received from around the country, that these reflect true market values and take into consideration age, condition, etc. Considering the source, I still don't trust it. http://i561.photobucket.com/albums/s...psd5nzecqq.gif

boatpoker 09-21-2018 10:12 PM

Re: What To Take Into Account When Considering A 40+ Year Old Sailboat?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Dispatch (Post 2051554362)
Now, I'm being told by the seller that his insurance company insures for purchase price as long as the survey validates that price. And he's stating that the 'only' book guide to use is BUCNET, which he claims factors in actual sale prices received from around the country, that these reflect true market values and take into consideration age, condition, etc. Considering the source, I still don't trust it. http://i561.photobucket.com/albums/s...psd5nzecqq.gif

You are correct. Do not trust BUC or NADA, their values are completely out to lunch.

The best is soldboats.com. Yachtworld requires all brokers who list boats there to report actual sales numbers which are then collated and published on soldboats.

Some will say that the brokers fudge the numbers but I've been using it to do valuation for a couple of decades and have seen no incidences of that. Unfortunately it costs around $600/yr. for access to that website and the actual numbers reported bear no relationship to the numbers published by BUC and NADA.

PS. Neither BUC nor NADA has access to actual sales data, they use depreciation tables.

Sal Paradise 09-22-2018 06:54 AM

Re: What To Take Into Account When Considering A 40+ Year Old Sailboat?
 
Focus on the essential mechanical items; keel bolts can be checked by lifting inspection plates in the floor. Check rudder post for slop. Check keel and rudder for damage. " Sound" the hull and deck and look for any hollow or delaminated sections. Checking the engine should be easy enough to research. Check the condition of standing and running rigging visually. Inspect sails. it goes on and on.

SanderO 09-22-2018 07:11 AM

Re: What To Take Into Account When Considering A 40+ Year Old Sailboat?
 
No matter how experience with boats you are it's best to get a surveyor to evaluate the boat.

I don't get the comment about keel bolts. If there is signs of corrosion it may be a concern. But it also depends on the size and number of bolts.

Obviously things which wear over time with use are

power train - engine transmission, stuffing box / dripless shaft seal and cutlass bearing

steering system - rudder, linkage rods or chain, pedestal, bearings, auto pilot and so forth

sails

standing and running rigging including roller furling

deck hardware including ground tackle

look for signs of de-lamination, soft decks, water intrusion

upholstery, cockpit cushions, canvas items like dodgers and binimis

age and generation of electronics

electrical system, wiring and connector condition, lamping of lighting, battery condition

general GRP and gelcoat and wood cosmetics

Minnewaska 09-22-2018 08:13 AM

Re: What To Take Into Account When Considering A 40+ Year Old Sailboat?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sal Paradise (Post 2051554390)
keel bolts can be checked by lifting inspection plates in the floor.....

Not really. You can only see the exposed part of the bolt. The bigger issue is what it looks like below the bilge and inside the keel. Iíve never known a survey to check this, which is why I would want to know if theyíre original.

In my case, we had a boat yard put rock salt in my bilge to try to melt ice that had formed. She went up on the hard, it poured rain and our keel stepped mast allows meaningful water in, especially when wind is toward the furling mast slot. The bilge drain (remove a through hull near the mast) hadnít been opened yet. Then, as luck would have it, the cold front that produced the rainstorm dropped temps way below freezing. It was a bad situation.

In any case, that dumbass rock salt move has caused severe corrosion on the nuts and threaded posts you can see. I have a strong suspicion, the threads below will be fine.

On the other hand, itís entirely possible that the nuts and threads in the bilge look fine, if theyíve been clean and dry for a lifetime. However, if the keel joint has leaked in the past 30 years, they could be corroded where you canít see. There may or may not be telltales of rust at this joint. It could have been cleaned up and sealed. Further itís possible the rust at the joint is just the iron keel, if it has one, and not the bolts. I know one of our members here has posted pics of his keel bolts, when he dropped his keel. They looked okay on top, but the parts below the bilge were half corroded away.

Iím not saying all boats need new keel boats in 14 years. Iím only saying itís a genuine wildcard on a 30+ year old boat, if theyíre original.

Goat_boy 09-22-2018 08:43 AM

Re: What To Take Into Account When Considering A 40+ Year Old Sailboat?
 
So I am looking at buying a San Juan 24 and it's my first sailboat. There is one for sale at a reasonable price but it has a few cabin leaks

"Cabin leaks are two,one at the back cabin wall gusset and one at a through bolt fitting on the cabin top.... I'm also willing to drop my asking price a little"

What should I look for.... are these serious or just part of owning a sail boat

Steve

Sent from my SM-A530W using Tapatalk

Dispatch 09-23-2018 02:49 AM

Re: What To Take Into Account When Considering A 40+ Year Old Sailboat?
 
I'm trying to cipher if buying one that old is cost-effective, (with the assumption of it being in equally good condition), does a sailboat that many decades old depreciate faster than one that is 10 years or so newer, and if so, how do you determine its reduction rate? http://i561.photobucket.com/albums/s...psleekdugz.gif

SV Siren 09-23-2018 07:47 AM

Re: What To Take Into Account When Considering A 40+ Year Old Sailboat?
 
Goat_boy, leaks like those would generally fall under normal maintanence..things need to be re-bedded for water intrusion as part of owning a boat. Now if the water intrusion has done damage to the core around the leak, that is a whole other can of worms.


Dispatch, Once something gets to be 40+ years old it generally is not going to depreciate anymore, the caveat being that if it is actively maintained, and well kept. If it has been let go, and is a total wreck needing lots of work, the value can drop, even to the point of having a negative value as the cost to scrap it out is more than the value of the bits and pieces.


Just my .02

Jeff_H 09-23-2018 08:57 AM

Re: What To Take Into Account When Considering A 40+ Year Old Sailboat?
 
To a great extent. This is a 'how long is a piece of string' question. There are so many variables that there is no one size fits all answer. There are many basic truths within the discussion points above. The reality is that no matter how much stuff that you put aboard a boat, an older boat will always have it's upper value limited by being a somewhat obsolete design, and if poorly maintained and upgraded it can easily have a negative value.

The upper value of an older boat will barely increase no matter how much equipment and upgrades are added to the boat, since the fundamental fact that the design and basic equipment are out of date is not changed by adding a lot of expensive items to the boat. That is further compounded by the fact that items that are added are used at the time that the boat is being sold.

Additionally 30-40 years ago was not a great time in boat building, especially for companies like Pearson. It was a time when the better boat builder were investing in better quality control and engineering to produce lighter stronger boats. Companies like Morgan, Pearson, Cal, and O'Day were struggling financially and could not put out the capital to improve their build quality and engineering, so continued building comparatively crude designs that were also crudely built. Much of the corners which were cut impacts the long term strength of the hull and the ease of maintenance and updating these boats.

On used boats that are reasonably well maintained, equipped, and maintained they typically reach a floor after 25-30 years where their maximum value doesn't really depreciate any further and their sales price value is solely controlled by their condition.

The way that I have generally priced boats is that I will track a number of similar designs from a number of different manufacturers on Yachtworld and other online sites. I log every one that I find with the asking price when listed, equipment, and price drops, how long it was on the market, and the last price before it was sold. I produce a base price which is the average of the last listed prices, with 10% and 15% knocked off of that number. I typically add 20% of the new cost of each item of recently added gear that is not on all the other boats (i.e. one boat had a new $3500 radar installation, I added $700 to the value of the boat.)

There are owners who buy an older boat, dump a lot of money into the boat and insist that the sales price should reimburse them for most or all of their outlay. Those owners are being unrealistic and frankly usually are not worth negotiating with since they will be typically looking for 20-50% more than that boat would ever be worth and they rarely budge enough to get the price down to something realistic until something changes and they eventually need to sell at a lower more reasonable price. .

And while all of that might suggest that buying a newer design might make sense, I am not sure that it does. There have been several huge jumps in boat prices over the past 30 years. And with those jumps, newer boats tend to be much more expensive to buy, and also tend to have a lot more depreciation over time. After about 10 years of age the boat also moves into a more expensive maintenance cycle of any older boat as sails, standing and running rigging, engine, electronics and so on approach the end of their useful lifespan.

So the only accurate answer on this is 'it all depends'.

Jeff

MikeOReilly 09-23-2018 09:47 AM

Re: What To Take Into Account When Considering A 40+ Year Old Sailboat?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Dispatch (Post 2051554538)
I'm trying to cipher if buying one that old is cost-effective, (with the assumption of it being in equally good condition), does a sailboat that many decades old depreciate faster than one that is 10 years or so newer, and if so, how do you determine its reduction rate? http://i561.photobucket.com/albums/s...psleekdugz.gif

What the others have saidÖ An old boat has probably reached its low price point. You canít really raise it much, but you can lower it through poor maintenance.

If youíre looking for a financial justification to buy a boat, youíre not going to find one. Unless the boat is going to be your primary home, itís almost always going to be a poor financial investment ó but an amazing investment in life!

SanderO 09-23-2018 08:13 PM

Re: What To Take Into Account When Considering A 40+ Year Old Sailboat?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by MikeOReilly (Post 2051554556)
What the others have saidÖ An old boat has probably reached its low price point. You canít really raise it much, but you can lower it through poor maintenance.

If youíre looking for a financial justification to buy a boat, youíre not going to find one. Unless the boat is going to be your primary home, itís almost always going to be a poor financial investment ó but an amazing investment in life!

I suppose one could do a really great restore and raise the value compared to similar hulls and vintage. But clearly you're not dealing with a antique or collectible... it's an old boat!

Tuna Driver 10-03-2018 01:49 PM

Re: What To Take Into Account When Considering A 40+ Year Old Sailboat?
 
Does the boat "Speak" to you? We have a 52 year old boat that we love. We have spent far more than it's worth in improvements and maintenance over the ten years we have been the caretakers. It has given us countless hours of pleasure and delight. Oh, and a few not so delightful hours (We are really good with an angle grinder.) We also had a 40ish boat for a couple of years that was a learning experience. We sold it for a moderate loss. In both cases, we had surveys by an accredited surveyor. There were no surprises. If you find a boat that you like and it fits your needs, get a survey. Make an informed decision. A good old boat has been around long enough for all the quirks to be known. You shouldn't spend a fortune on it. And you can walk away without losing your shirt if it doesn't meet your needs. Buying a boat is, after all, not a rational decision.

Dispatch 06-09-2019 05:08 PM

Re: What To Take Into Account When Considering A 40+ Year Old Sailboat?
 
Since my last post I've looked at so many... boats that weren't even worth going to see and were a total waste of my time, money and efforts in doing so.

With so many boats on the market not selling for years, it's confusing, what would you say is the max you should expect to spend on improving a sailboat of this type and age?

What I mean is, based on what you 'actually will' pay for the boat, is there a maximum percentage (or maximum amount), of that you should not go over for which is too much money to invest to bring it to excellent condition?

Before paying for a professional inspection, how do you determine if a boat is even worth the asking price due to the fact it needs too much to thoroughly fix than it is worth?

How much should you upgrade a sailboat or should you just use it 'as is' if its in usable, bare bones running condition? https://hosting.photobucket.com/imag...080&fit=bounds

boatpoker 06-09-2019 06:32 PM

Re: What To Take Into Account When Considering A 40+ Year Old Sailboat?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Dispatch (Post 2051607608)
Since my last post I've looked at so many... boats that weren't even worth going to see and were a total waste of my time, money and efforts in doing so.

With so many boats on the market not selling for years, it's confusing, what would you say is the max you should expect to spend on improving a sailboat of this type and age?

What I mean is, based on what you 'actually will' pay for the boat, is there a maximum percentage (or maximum amount), of that you should not go over for which is too much money to invest to bring it to excellent condition?

Before paying for a professional inspection, how do you determine if a boat is even worth the asking price due to the fact it needs too much to thoroughly fix than it is worth?

How much should you upgrade a sailboat or should you just use it 'as is' if its in usable, bare bones running condition? https://hosting.photobucket.com/imag...080&fit=bounds

Marine Survey 101

Dispatch 06-09-2019 07:00 PM

Re: What To Take Into Account When Considering A 40+ Year Old Sailboat?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by boatpoker (Post 2051607614)

Been there, done that.

Since I was here last, I've spent about $1,000 in inspection fees on two boats (I've looked a many, many more but only found two that were worth making an offer on), I traveled to and from and made serious offers on to buy(I even put deposits deposit down on), but the owners in both cases would not budge on the asking price even when the inspectors found serious issues the boats needed in order to just simply operate it safely, not to mention other major things they needed.

What makes these arrogant sellers think they can sell a boat at a demanding price, that from day one when they bought the boat they put little to nothing into it, they think they can demand asking price for a provenly neglected vessel?

paulinnanaimo 06-09-2019 09:42 PM

Re: What To Take Into Account When Considering A 40+ Year Old Sailboat?
 
Just a technicality but 'bait and switch' usually involves advertising one item and then trying to sell a different item.
I don't understand the sellers that you are running into; if they have been trying to sell a sketchy boat for a long period of time, I'm surprised that they don't jump at the chance to sell it. Sorry you are having such a hard time.

fallard 06-10-2019 02:18 AM

Re: What To Take Into Account When Considering A 40+ Year Old Sailboat?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Dispatch (Post 2051607648)
Then don't say "I don't feel your pain", it's patronizing.

I'm not looking for sympathy, maybe just a little guidance, do you have any idea how hard it is to get the true accuracy on a sailboat that is 2, 3, 4, 5 or more states away from you without going and seeing it in person?

Not to mention trying to gauge one that's in Canada?

What worked for us was identifying a desirable boat on offer about 1400 miles and 9 states away and then doing local research by finding a sister ship and talking with the owner. We did that through the boat builder and lucked out when the sister ship owner invited me to take a look at his boat. The next step was to discuss the boat in detail with a broker that instilled trust. Then we made the trip and shortly thereafter made an offer that was accepted. We still have the boat 23 years later.

The key here was to connect with an honest, knowledgeable broker. Making that determination may require a certain ability to get an accurate reading on peopleónot just boatsóon the phone.

Dispatch 06-10-2019 02:52 AM

Re: What To Take Into Account When Considering A 40+ Year Old Sailboat?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by fallard (Post 2051607668)
What worked for us was identifying a desirable boat on offer about 1400 miles and 9 states away and then doing local research by finding a sister ship and talking with the owner. We did that through the boat builder and lucked out when the sister ship owner invited me to take a look at his boat. The next step was to discuss the boat in detail with a broker that instilled trust. Then we made the trip and shortly thereafter made an offer that was accepted. We still have the boat 23 years later.

The key here was to connect with an honest, knowledgeable broker. Making that determination may require a certain ability to get an accurate reading on peopleónot just boatsóon the phone.

I hear yea, the brokers weren't an issue they passed along what they could I just wish they would have had first hand personal knowledge of the boats to know what condition it was really in.

Some they do, some they don't.

I must have made over a dozen calls back and forth on each one, it was when I received updated photos was when I was surprised to see the vessel wasn't anywhere near the over 5 year ad photos looked like (Morgan 43), that's when I got a little concerned. I was still assured it was a good, clean boat, it was fiction.

On the second boat even the inspector said for me to reconsider buying it as it needed too much investment than it was worth.

If it weren't for the distance you have to travel to see them, it would be a lot simpler and a lot less stressful but I'm finding Canadian boats are far superior in overall good condition and cleanliness. https://hosting.photobucket.com/imag...080&fit=bounds

Minnewaska 06-10-2019 06:39 AM

Re: What To Take Into Account When Considering A 40+ Year Old Sailboat?
 
The situations you describe are not uncommon. However, itís highly unusual to have them as consistently. None of us have the first hand knowledge of each situation youíre describing, but the routine has to make one wonder if youíve done a sufficient personal inspection or if the surveyor is being fully fair with their assessment. Itís also common for surveyors to think they have to earn their fee back and insure they find something negotiable. I personally know boaters who always bid more than they intend to pay, expecting to lock it up in contact and chew the price down post survey. I prefer to have a deal, unless there is something very bad that was undisclosed or unknown. For example, this guy made an offer on a boat with clear water damage to a bulkhead. You could see the staining. Post survey, he wanted a price reduction for the repair. The owner expected it was already considered in his offer. Iím not saying youíre doing the same. Just perspective.

Youíre clearly stuck in the middle. The only solution is to do a sufficient inspection if your own, to hopefully avoid a survey surprise, or accept that youíll have a few failed surveys. We all have.

I hope you find the right boat. Itís hard, but not usually this hard. The 40+ year old statement makes me wonder if youíre expectations and budget are aligned with the likely condition of the target market too.

SV Siren 06-10-2019 07:02 AM

Re: What To Take Into Account When Considering A 40+ Year Old Sailboat?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Dispatch (Post 2051607672)
I was surprised to see the vessel wasn't anywhere near the over 5 year ad photos looked like (Morgan 43), that's when I got a little concerned. I was still assured it was a good, clean boat, it was fiction.

On the second boat even the inspector said for me to reconsider buying it as it needed too much investment than it was worth.
https://hosting.photobucket.com/imag...080&fit=bounds

I found out while boat shopping why adverts were 5 or more years old...only once the hard way after I traveled to see the "derelict". Everyone over the last 5 years had passed on it too, for good reason. Still sucks to find out the hard way sometimes. I wound up keeping a very close eye on listings, but sorted by new listings, as deals would pop up, but would not last very long. Sometimes even listed in the wrong category. A good example of this is a good friend of mine bought a Gulf Star 50 ketch, for a song of a price because it was listed in the powerboat section of Yachtworld, and nobody called on it, it didn't help it was in southern Ohio either.

No boat is an investment, for 99% of the time. You can plan on putting more money into it, that you may or may not ever see a return on when selling...a sad fact of ownership. My own boat included, which I am currently restoring right now...I will lose my shirt on it, most likely. :|

capecodda 06-10-2019 08:13 AM

Re: What To Take Into Account When Considering A 40+ Year Old Sailboat?
 
I've owned 5, sold 4 of them, still on number 5.

I never made money on a boat. Never. Only lost money. Sold them all for less than I purchased them, and dumped money into each one, and lots of it during the time I owned them. I guess if you own a machine shop, you like to work with fiberglass, you can fix electronics, can repair and make sails, you can rebuild engines, and you value your time at $5/hr for all this work, willing to self insure, own your own dock, own a travel lift and a boat yard, maybe you could make a profit on a boat. Even then, just go price a gallon of bottom paint. Unless you own the paint factory :).

IMHO, we don't like to acknowledge ownership cost. If we did it might bring us to our senses. Even a well found boat will cost you the purchase price in on going costs in a very few years. So, I don't even think about resale, recovering my investment, all that stuff. It's an illusion. The only issue is how expensive is this all going to be.

And the cheap part is buying it.

I'll repeat my usual advice to new buyers, find a well found boat that is in commission and has been in regular heavy use by a knowledgeable owner, and pay up, it will cost you less in the long run. Boat repairs take way longer and cost way more than you you expect. Unless you are the guy I described above, then it's a good idea to go buy a bargain and best of luck.

How do you find a boat like this? If you don't know your way around the local scene, find a good broker with a good reputation. It's a small industry, small volume, everyone knows everyone else....it's not hard to find the good guys. And the bad guys cannot hide.

YMMV.

Jeff_H 06-10-2019 11:32 AM

Re: What To Take Into Account When Considering A 40+ Year Old Sailboat?
 
Okay folks, lets tone this down some.

Whatever Dispatch's capabilities may or may not be, a lot of us have all been there facing similar frustrations with a seller and/or broker, and with boats that are past their 'use by date'. Most of us who have bought boats at one time or another have run into the situation where we have looked a a number of trashed boats with owners who have unrealistic expectations on what their boats are worth to them vs the marketplace. As I have assisted folks in locating the right boat, I have watched a particular buyer looked a large number of boats that have been sitting around for a long time in a neglected condition that was misrepresented in the ad, with an owner that was married to what seemed like too high a price.

And even if this has not been your own personal experience, that is no excuse to dish on a member coming here for advice.

Jeff_H
SailNet Moderator

Jeff_H 06-10-2019 12:47 PM

Re: What To Take Into Account When Considering A 40+ Year Old Sailboat?
 
Now, with my moderator hat hung on its peg, I did want to take a stab at some of the questions raised in this discussion.

I'll start with the question contained withing Post 29: "What would you say is the max you should expect to spend on improving a sailboat of this type and age?"

There is no rule of thumb on this. The way that I have tackled this is to track a particular make and model that interests me on various boat for sail websites. I keep a log with every boat that is listed, its initial asking price, equipage, how long it stayed on the market, and the asking price when it disappeared from the listings. Its not precise but my assumption is that the sale price was probably 10-15% of the last asking price. I also assume that the condition of the boat relative to its asking price was a lot worse than when it was listed if the boat remained on the market a long time. If nothing else this gives me a very rough sense of the marketplace on that model. That can literally take years to develop on a rarer model.

The next thing I factor in is how long I plan to own that boat and how I plan to use it. If I plan to own the boat for a long time, then I don't mind putting a lot into it over time. I see that as a kind of 'user fee' for something that gives me a lot of joy. (I tend to own boats for a long time and have owned Synergy for 18 years and the prior boat for roughly 13 years)

Before even looking at candidate boats I had made a list of "must have now's", and a timeline of must haves over time. Based on my financial situation, I set a budget in the short run and a budget over time. For example on my current boat, I expected to put 100% of the purchase price into the boat over a 10 year period of time and own her at least that long. That 100% of the purchase price number does not include the cost of normal maintenance during the time that I owned her. But part of that cost expectation came from altering the boat to suit my needs rather than the normal things a buyer should expect on the boat.

In the case of Synergy, she had spent most of her life before I owned her as a race boat. Cruising systems had either not been installed or had been allowed to die and not be replaced. Similarly, Synergy had been raced by a crew between 8 and 10 people. For my use I wanted to her adapted to race and cruise single-hand. I readily acknowledged some of the items that needed to be added clearly were things that any potential buyer would want to have aboard, while others were unique to my needs. Those that were typically expected items, I used to evaluate the fairness of the asking price. Those that were unique to me affected what I wanted to pay for the boat in terms of whether I could afford to buy this boat, but were not taken into account in terms of my offers on the boat.

Speaking generically again, once I identified a boat that seemed like a good candidate I visited the boat, and inventoried what was on the boat vs what I wanted on the boat. I compared what was on the boat to same make and model boats as well as the condition of the boat to sister ships. I then made a list of what needed to be replaced immediately vs long term, including costs to survey and move the boat to where I want to use her, and that helps create the price that I offered, and make a determination on whether I could even afford to make an offer on a particular boat. Also, before making an offer I also determined a maximum price that I would be willing to pay for that particular boat and put all of that in writing since I lime most folks, tend to play games in my mind if I like a boat.

When I make an offer on a boat, I do several things, I include contingencies for a sail trial and survey including all systems, and an engine run survey. I include an inventory of equipment that is understood to convey with the boat and note those items that I specifically believe to be operational, as well as acknowledging any defects discovered before survey that are either baked into the mix, or subject to price adjustment if found by survey to be a major issue. I also include a provision that if defects are found during those trails and surveys, the price can be adjusted up to certain percentage. (That said, when I bought Synergy, the seller insisted the price was his rock bottom price so agreement specifically stated that all I could do with discovered defects was to either proceed with the deal or cancel out. No price ajustment was posible and I accepted that). But more typically, I spell out how the costs of repairing defects will be determined and how the cost would be split between buyer and seller, and the maximum amount that either of us were responsible for and how the payment would be handled. (i.e. the cost estimate might be from a specific boat yard or marine chandlery, and the seller's cost deducted sale price or perhaps the funds escrowed from the closing costs, and paid when the work is done.)

I try to work everything out in a purchase agreement before any serious money gets spent on surveys or launching and hauling.

Unlike some above, I will say that I have made money (sale price exceeded purchase price and cost of upgrades) on a few boats that I have owned (if you don't count my labor fixing them up), but most of the boats that I owned have been at best break even, or cost me something beyond maintenance and operating expenses.

Where it gets tough when looking at 40-50 year old boats is that many of these are truly shot. Many have wildly negative values, meaning it will cost several times what they will ever be worth just to put them into reliably usable condition. Many are completely obsolete designs that are not likely to appeal to anyone other than a very small segment of the marketplace. Many were poor designs when compared to their peers and are especially poor designs when compared some of the better boats that are out there at a similar price range from another later era.

But for any particular seller, they may love their boat and when they think about replacements, there are only a limited number of choices that they can afford and so they set a price that makes sense to them, and there is no way that they are going to move one way or the other. Its like that with my boat. I would not be willing to sell her for a fair price as long as I can sail her and she suits my needs. But when I am done with her, I would probably sell her for small fraction of what I had in her because I doubt that she would have the kind of universal market appeal that might demand a higher price.

In other words, my general suggestion is to be organized about your search and information gathering. Ask the Broker or Seller very pointed questions about the age of photos, last operation of critical equipment, known damage and so on. In the case of a broker, find out he has been on the boat, when and if there have been any recent offers. Make sure to put as much as possible into the purchase offer.

Jeff

drew1711 06-10-2019 01:54 PM

Re: What To Take Into Account When Considering A 40+ Year Old Sailboat?
 
I closed on a 42 year-old boat two weeks ago. It was an estate sale, so the PO was not available to tell me anything, but he did sit down with his wife and draw up a punch list that she shared with me before I even looked at the boat.

I went through it myself and found a sound structure and mechanical systems that were upgraded and well maintained. The engine, the rig and the sails are all hunky dory.

I made an aggressive but fair offer, given the cosmetic work that will need to be done. It was accepted and so I went through the boat again with an experienced, accredited marine surveyor. He found some things I missed but nothing even close to a deal breaker.

I didn't nickel and dime the estate but handed over a check for what I'd offered. We did the whole deal on a handshake and it worked out well for both parties. So, not everyone acts in bad faith.

To the OP I would say limit your search area geographically and never be in a hurry to buy a boat. There are northern boats put up for sale in Florida after a cruise all the time. So be patient and let her come to you.

OldMan-theSea 06-10-2019 02:22 PM

Re: What To Take Into Account When Considering A 40+ Year Old Sailboat?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Dispatch (Post 2051607672)

I'm finding Canadian boats are far superior in overall good condition and cleanliness. https://hosting.photobucket.com/imag...080&fit=bounds

Canadian boats spend half the year out of the water. Florida boats stay in the water year round and are only pulled when they need a bottom job, etc. That means that when 'life happens" the northern boat has only half the probability of being in the water to deteriorate rapidly. Plus, since they're pulled every year any otherwise invisible problems can be seen and addressed. Plus, some jobs are easier to do while out of the water even if not impossible in the water. Plus, while your boat is on the hard the only way to "enjoy" it is to go do some projects that would be unimportant if you could actually go sailing.

paulinnanaimo 06-10-2019 02:43 PM

Re: What To Take Into Account When Considering A 40+ Year Old Sailboat?
 
Canadian 'Great Lakes' boats and Canadian 'Coastal' boats lead very different lives.

MikeOReilly 06-10-2019 03:57 PM

Re: What To Take Into Account When Considering A 40+ Year Old Sailboat?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by paulinnanaimo (Post 2051607834)
Canadian 'Great Lakes' boats and Canadian 'Coastal' boats lead very different lives.

Good point. And there are lots of American Great Lakes boats that live the same kind of pattern. Heck, most boats on the north east coast of Canada and the USA get hauled out for winter each year.

cdy 06-10-2019 03:58 PM

Re: What To Take Into Account When Considering A 40+ Year Old Sailboat?
 
Used sailboat buying in Florida is different - especially on the lower end ( under $15K) some sellers aren't realistic and won't see the light but many just want to dump the boat to get out of slip payments and insurance - its not rocket science - you will get a feel for how desperate the seller is when talking to him - not saying you are going to pick up a boat at 20 cents on the dollar - but 1/2 the asking price is possible - my latest boat started off at $15K - after being on the market for about a year - I got it for $8K with a new WM dinghy thrown in - again depends on where you are - in Florida there are shrinking number of slips available - more restrictive anchorages and prices just keep going up ( for dockage) , the people left in the market are ones that love sailboats, looking for cheap housing or maybe are young have a year plan to go cruising then back to real life. There are still too many older sailboats sitting in marinas not being used - probably 50 -70% fall into this catagory in the middle class marinas - mostly owned by aging baby boomers - at some time they are all going to be dead or not physically fit to sail - the family wont want the boat - don't think there are enough buyers out there for older sailboats to keep pricing from collapsing even more - unless of course we can get the Chinese interested in the sport/lifestyle - 1.5 billion of them

SchockT 06-10-2019 10:07 PM

Re: What To Take Into Account When Considering A 40+ Year Old Sailboat?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by OldMan-theSea (Post 2051607826)
Canadian boats spend half the year out of the water. Florida boats stay in the water year round and are only pulled when they need a bottom job, etc. That means that when 'life happens" the northern boat has only half the probability of being in the water to deteriorate rapidly. Plus, since they're pulled every year any otherwise invisible problems can be seen and addressed. Plus, some jobs are easier to do while out of the water even if not impossible in the water. Plus, while your boat is on the hard the only way to "enjoy" it is to go do some projects that would be unimportant if you could actually go sailing.

On the west coast of Canada boats live in the water year round. I dont think being in the water year round is what causes boats to deteriorate more rapidly. The big thing is the UV exposure. People quite often buy bargain boats from Florida and bring them up here. A friend brought a 2010 Bavaria up and the canvas on the boat was destroyed, the wood cockpit table was in rough shape, and all the gelcoat looked like I would expect on a 30 year old boat around here. My boat was a local boat of around the same age looks brand new in comparison. The Dodger is only slightly faded and the gelcoat is still like new.

Of course even in the water most boats spend their winter months covered up in their slips so are only getting used 6-8 months of the year.

Sent from my SM-G960W using Tapatalk

SchockT 06-11-2019 10:33 AM

Re: What To Take Into Account When Considering A 40+ Year Old Sailboat?
 
We don't know the particulars of the deals that fell through for the OP. There are 2 sides to every story. What exactly was found by the surveyor that justified an price adjustment? How much was he trying to grind the price? Was the price already on the low side? Without details like that we can't cast judgement on whether it was the buyer or the seller being unreasonable.

We all know brokers use old photos or sistership photos a lot, for various reasons. If I were going to travel long distance to see a boat I would certainly make sure the broker sent me current condition photos. I might even ask him to go down to the boat and give me a live virtual tour using Messenger or some other video conferencing app. We also have to acknowledge that if the boat has been on the market for a while the boat may have been all clean and polished when listed, but has been neglected since. If I were the seller and I had a buyer coming from out of town I would clean it up, but not everyone thinks that way. Hell, some people don't even declutter before they take pics!

A buyer is also at a disadvantage at the negotiating table if the seller knows that you want their particular model boat and are travelling great distances to find it. Naturally they are going to drive a harder bargain. That doesnt necessarily make them corrupt or fraudulent. (Again, I dont know the particulars of the OP's cases, I'm speaking generally) they know your options are limited, and negotiate accordingly.

My advice to the OP is to be patient, and gather as much info as you can from home before travelling. Monitor the boats that you were unsuccessful on. If they continue to languish on the market then revisit them later, and you may find the owners will be more flexible and you will get your price. If they sell, then perhaps the price the owner was looking for wasn't so unreasonable after all.

In the meantime, don't take anything personally and don't burn bridges. If you cant arrive at an agreement just tell him to contact you if he changes his mind and walk away. He may just do that. If you get angry and call him a fraud etc that is far less likely.

Sent from my SM-G960W using Tapatalk

Jeff_H 06-11-2019 11:16 AM

Re: What To Take Into Account When Considering A 40+ Year Old Sailboat?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Dispatch (Post 2051607972)
On the vessel I'm looking for I've decided a Morgan 43 is a good all around fit, something no older than (unless exceptional), mid 80's, budget 'about' $50k tops (that way it leaves me a little extra to do small fixes).

I'm amazed how difficult it is to simply find one that has simply been kept clean, inside and out.

Being in Florida its extremely hard to drive the many states north but I have traveled as far north as Wisconsin, Canada is a bit more difficult but seems they hold the 'ark of the covenant' for sailboats. https://hosting.photobucket.com/imag...080&fit=bounds

I know the Morgan 43 pretty well. The Morgan 43 was a very nice boat for its day. They sail pretty well and are pretty well built. The downside is that the vast majority of them went into charter and came out of charter really beaten to death. (I helped an acquaintance put one back together plus there is one at the dock next to mine that belongs to a friend of mine.) The charter versions were greatly cheapened up in terms of how they were built and how they were equipped and what they cost new.

In good shape and well equipped non-charter versions of this boats can sell in the $80-100K range. One that is selling for less than $50,000 is likely to be a former charter boat that is in rough shape and in need $30-50K to put back into shape.

I would suggest that you might want to add the Kelly Peterson 44 to your list since these are similar in concept, were slightly better built, and almost none went into charter. The key on those are to find one that has had the teak decks removed and glassed over, or one of the few built without the teak decks. They often actually sell for less than one with teak decks in reasonably sound condition, yet are less expensive boats to own.

But frankly any boat this age will show wear and tear or else at over 40 plus feet be way outside of your price range.

Jeff

OldMan-theSea 06-11-2019 11:58 AM

Re: What To Take Into Account When Considering A 40+ Year Old Sailboat?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by SchockT (Post 2051607942)
On the west coast of Canada boats live in the water year round. I dont think being in the water year round is what causes boats to deteriorate more rapidly. The big thing is the UV exposure. People quite often buy bargain boats from Florida and bring them up here. A friend brought a 2010 Bavaria up and the canvas on the boat was destroyed, the wood cockpit table was in rough shape, and all the gelcoat looked like I would expect on a 30 year old boat around here. My boat was a local boat of around the same age looks brand new in comparison. The Dodger is only slightly faded and the gelcoat is still like new.

Of course even in the water most boats spend their winter months covered up in their slips so are only getting used 6-8 months of the year.

Sent from my SM-G960W using Tapatalk


Agree about the UV. I never thought of boats being covered while in the water, except powerboats in a boathouse (but no "cover").

pcmm 06-12-2019 10:21 AM

Re: What To Take Into Account When Considering A 40+ Year Old Sailboat?
 
As an owner of a 41YO boat (Morgan OI 41) there are a lot of things to consider. Materials have changed a lot, electricial, plumbing, engines, rigging. All need to be inspected and accounted for Any 40+ yo boat is going to need some combination of work and a lot will depend on how handy you are and your time/drive to get it done! Sometimes I feel like I'm doing a full restoration with mine. Costs are a big factor but I think number one is how wiling are you to pick up a grinder and just get in there and do the work. If you need to hire it out, forget it . It will be unaffordable! for example I've had to patch several of my bulkheads from previous cut outs, some rot, etc. Back in the 70's Morgan used ACX exterior grade ply for all the bulkheads and then skinned them with thin Teak ply for appearances. (I have a bulkhead where I can see the ACX stamp on the ply!) just means you have to be mindful when doing repairs (no pointin patching exterior grade ply with a marine ply patch!) If you enjoy the work (like I do) then its no big deal just part of ownership, but if you like the nice shinny bobbles then don't buy an old boat! On the up side, because the tech was lower back then the glass tends to be thicker. The fiberglass at my hull deck joint is over 1/2" thick on the hull and over 3/8" on the deck! ( makes some fittings a bit of a pain to fit like eck glands ,e tc.)

MarkofSeaLife 06-12-2019 04:59 PM

Re: What To Take Into Account When Considering A 40+ Year Old Sailboat?
 
Hi folks,

I removed 35 or 40 posts that were argumentative.

We really think there's great stuff in the substantive discussion on this thread.



So basically there's 2 options: Keep the really good stuff going.... OR Have your post deleted :)


Thanks,


Frank <--- the incognito moderator :)


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