sweet spot price wise for buying an older boat - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 9 Old 01-23-2017 Thread Starter
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sweet spot price wise for buying an older boat

this is a bit of a follow up to another post - but since there seem to be a number of posts lately about where to find the best buys I thought I would add my 2 cents.

First not talking about buyers who have a large budget - not an area that I am that familiar with ( too many kids)

But people looking for a boat 36 feet or under - an affordable boat, not a rehab job.

It seems there is a sweet spot for boats under 25K and older than the late 80's - generally they are not boats that a broker will be interested in, they will be very hard to finance - need to pay cash, boats that are too big to trailer and need to be kept in a slip or on a mooring - but not too cheap - when you find 27' feet and up sailboats in Florida that are under $5K to start to attract buyers who are looking to live on it - they are not really sailors just want a cheap place to live.

There is a lot of junk out there but also lots of good bargains - Erickson 30's, Cal's 29-34's for example
If you don't need something newer, with the bigger beam but want a good sailing older design - the buys are out there just need to do a lot of looking.

There are tons of sailboats sitting at docks where the owners have changed their plans - or possibly an aging or dead baby boomer who's family is trying to unload boat - key is to find one that has been maintained.

The hurricanes from about 12 years ago, the great recession , the lack of any new affordable marinas have killed middle class sailboat ownership of boats that need to kept in a slip. Adventure sailing seems to be on the rise, Evergaldes Challenge, the race to Alaska - that sort of thing , PHRF racing is dead or dying in many areas of Florida, all this leaves an a lot of 25-35' sailboats languishing at the docks. The problem for sellers is how many buyers are out there for that type of boat? If your boat is cheap enough, under 5K you can find a buyer - but tough to find them for a older boat in the $10K -$20K range, at least in Florida. Great to be a buyer though - but just remember the same when you go to sell it - buy low sell low is a good motto.
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post #2 of 9 Old 01-23-2017
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Re: sweet spot price wise for buying an older boat

I put these charts together a couple years ago. This is based on the asking price from Yachtworld.
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post #3 of 9 Old 01-23-2017
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Re: sweet spot price wise for buying an older boat

The first graph looks very much like a buckshot pattern from my 12 gauge goose gun.
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post #4 of 9 Old 01-23-2017
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Re: sweet spot price wise for buying an older boat

Good analisys I think. I've been shopping around for either a large trailer sailor or small outboard powered family cruiser.

I have observed quite a few very nice, well equipped, small outboard powered family cruisers from the early-mid 80's in the $5000-10000 range. There are some fantastic deals in the 25-35 foot range, especially I think in the 25-30 foot range where I am looking.

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post #5 of 9 Old 01-23-2017
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Re: sweet spot price wise for buying an older boat

Someone please buy this guys boat... seems like a bargain... I was tempted, and I didn't even want a cruiser.
1985 Wellcraft Starwind 27 sailboat for sale in Tennessee

Boat seems nicely cared for, with decent performance... if you wanted to trailer sail it (you could), get a float off trailer from loadmaster ($6500) or triad ($7200), and you'd have a great sailboat you could keep at home in the off season.

I have no affiliation with the owner, or the boat, except that I considered buying it, and talked to the owner.

So I am basically confirming your belief that boats in the 25-30 foot range, to large to trailer, and to old to finance easily, and generally to small to live aboard or do larger coastal cruising is a sweet price point.
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post #6 of 9 Old 01-25-2017
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Re: sweet spot price wise for buying an older boat

Although there are bargains in buying a 30 foot sailboat, there seem to be no bargains on dockage and storage. At least where I am, in the northeast.
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post #7 of 9 Old 01-25-2017
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Re: sweet spot price wise for buying an older boat

Hey,

Dockage - No

Mooring - Yes. There are many communities on the north shore of Long Island where you can get a 1 season mooring permit for under $200. You do need to buy or rent a mooring and pay someone to set it and recover it for you (unless you have the ability to do that yourself). My annual mooring costs are around $600. You will need some way of getting to / from the boat. I use my own dinghy, which I used to row (now I have a small OB) and there are launch services too (although they are more costly). Personally, I consider the total mooring cost to be very cheap.

Storage is another story. This can be cheap or expensive depending on the size of you boat, and some other options as well - like wet storing.

Barry


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Although there are bargains in buying a 30 foot sailboat, there seem to be no bargains on dockage and storage. At least where I am, in the northeast.
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post #8 of 9 Old 01-25-2017
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Re: sweet spot price wise for buying an older boat

The storage issue really seems to be very important and getting more important. I've been doing a lot of detailed research on the subject lately.

I currently have a 35' boat that is costing me about $5000 per year to dock and store in the 1000 Islands. I'm at about the cheapest place that can handle a boat my size and there are no moorings in the area.

I have been looking hard at downsizing for about a year. Cost wasn't a primary consideration, I've always kind of accepted that I have an expensive hobby. My primary motivation was finding a boat that is more nimble for my 3 yo son and I to sail in the very confined waters that are prevalent in my area. I didn't, and still don't know what I want to downsize to, but when I discovered the potential storage cost savings, that element has become a much bigger priority for me. Who doesn't like to save money?

I have discovered that if I can get a boat that is light enough to be trailered home for the winter, that $5000 I am currently spending turns into about $1800 a year! It's a massive savings and I have the benefit of having the boat in my driveway to do projects on in the winter and the ability to relocate once in a while for exciting adventures in new cruising grounds. If you get a boat that is just a little bit too big (about 27') you lose all those options, and what you get in exchange is a foot or two of extra space and an inboard engine.

I can fully understand why there are so many 27 or 28 or even wide/deep 26 footers on the market cheap, that is one heck of a trade off to have to make.

Last edited by Arcb; 01-25-2017 at 12:40 PM.
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post #9 of 9 Old 01-25-2017
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Re: sweet spot price wise for buying an older boat

A rule of thumb I heard many years ago was the rule of cubes.

It goes like this: The displacement and costs are a function of the overall length cubed. A 27' boat, by this rule, would have a displacement that is a little less than half that of a 36' boat ( 27 x 27 x 27 vs 36 x 36 x 36 ==27/64). When you take into account the increase in number and size of equipment for the larger boat, the rule is still a good estimator.

The rule may not apply to storage (in water or on land) but generally applies in my experience.
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