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I am considering purchase of a second sailboat. I have one in the water but might want a trailerable.

I like project boats and think I have found one. Unfortunately in my effort to convince the Mrs. I made the statement that "it might be the kind of boat I could resell and make a few bucks." she laughed and said "show me even one story of someone making money on a sailboat otherwise I remain unconvinced."

So can I get an assist here? Anyone have a story? Anyone figured out how to turn a profit in boat buying/fixing/selling?

Thanks...
 

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Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
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Do you have a convenient time machine? The first three or four boats I owned in the 1970s all sold at a profit. Since then, well ...
 

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Anyone figured out how to turn a profit in boat buying/fixing/selling?
Catalina, Beneteau, etc.

For used boats, understand that a boat is not an investment. It is an asset that declines in value if not maintained to a high level. Some boats depreciate more rapidly than others. A boat is generally not like a car that may be sold at auction for high amounts. A boat is bought because the owner wants it.
 

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I actually think it would be "doable" if all you're doing is flipping it. But I think it would take a tremendous amount of time to find the right boat (well equipped and maintained with a below-market price) - then it would be even harder to sell it fast enough to offset dockage fees, etc. The margins are just too small and the risks too big I would think to make it worth trying.

So, doable - probably. Practical - never.
 

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lol...I just bought a Islander 26. Got a great price but with the time and money I am putting into it, I can't imagine getting a profit. Before I bought my "Lifestream" I saw a lot of boats while shopping. Almost all of them sold for below market value. Me thinks the wife wins this one, unless you can get very creative with a new story..
 

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really depends on the deal. For example, the Hurley 22 that my brother and I picked up, even if you include the cost of the trailer refit to strengthen it, plus the few missing rigging parts, we could still turn a decent profit on. That's only because there are no other issues with the boat, other than it needed a very good cleaning, and some turnbuckles replaced. But I'd say it's safe to assume that it's a minority case when that happens, it's really a hit or miss. You basically need a boat that needs almost nothing, that you bought for almost nothing, and can find someone to pay a bit more than nothing.

edit: to elaborate: If you aren't picking it up at well below market value, it'll be almost impossible to resell for a profit. Even doing the labor yourself on projects, you still have material costs. And unless you are in it for way under market, the odds of recovering the cost of the boat + the materials is going to be very hard, and that's assuming you value your time at free.
 

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we did it in 2008 which was a really bad year to sell a boat. Had sailed from Seattle to New Zealand 2007 to 2008. Our son decided he did not want to continue being home schooled and wanted to go to high school so we put boat up for sail in New Zealand. Hired a broker to sell her and that was a disaster, fired him and just put the word out there. Two week later we sold our Mason 44 for 6 K more than we bought her for and put into her and sailed for for two years. Mind you our Mason was in perfect shape all new everything and well maintained. The buyer was from Austria and wanted a boat he could sail in the South Pacific right out of the dock. I took the 6 K and put in a new SSB for him and offered to help sail the boat back to Fiji when the season came.

We hope with our new boat a Boreal 44 that we will break even or make a profit again as the company has now about a 3 year waiting list from order to completion. We get emails from time to time from sailors wanting to buy her if we decide to sell her and at the price we want. I see where Boreal was nominated Europen boat of the year once again.
It can be done.
Cheers
 

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Learning the HARD way...
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I have not, but understand that this is how to do it;
  1. buy late model boat (Bene-hunt-alina) that has suffered some kind of mishap at a discount
  2. immediately put the boat into charter service
  3. deduct any and all improvements/repairs as a business expense
  4. after two years, once the boat is squared away, sell it at a (modest) profit
 
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we did it in 2008 which was a really bad year to sell a boat. Had sailed from Seattle to New Zealand 2007 to 2008. Our son decided he did not want to continue being home schooled and wanted to go to high school so we put boat up for sail in New Zealand. Hired a broker to sell her and that was a disaster, fired him and just put the word out there. Two week later we sold our Mason 44 for 6 K more than we bought her for and put into her and sailed for for two years. Mind you our Mason was in perfect shape all new everything and well maintained. The buyer was from Austria and wanted a boat he could sail in the South Pacific right out of the dock. I took the 6 K and put in a new SSB for him and offered to help sail the boat back to Fiji when the season came.

We hope with our new boat a Boreal 44 that we will break even or make a profit again as the company has now about a 3 year waiting list from order to completion. We get emails from time to time from sailors wanting to buy her if we decide to sell her and at the price we want. I see where Boreal was nominated Europen boat of the year once again.
It can be done.
Cheers
This is actually a great point. Buying a boat in a "strong supply/weak demand" market, then taking it to an area that has "weak supply/strong demand" can definitely work.

Nicely played hannah.
 

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Two years ago I bought a Rhodes 19 for $200 at the end of the season. Had been sitting a couple of years in a field. Over the course of the winter I spent about $4000 on it and did everything myself. That included a new outboard as well. It was very much like a new boat when complete, very pretty, with good hardware and all else. About the 4th time I sailed it a guy offered to buy it. We settled on $7800.

So I made some money, but I made the mistake of not keeping good track of the time investment. I most likely 'paid' myself way less than minimum wage. I did learn a great deal enjoyed most of the process. I think I will not take on another project boat though, my Catalina was in pretty decent shape, and it is still like a project at times.
 

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I'd be willing to try... ;)

I bought my '72 Pearson 26 for $2500 a little less than 2 years, three new sails, new running rigging, outhaul, downhaul, and vang tackle, a head install, a new mast support white oak crossbeam and compression posts, new Russian Birch bulkhead panels, complete drive unit rebuild on outboard, two winter storages, two launchings, two bottom paintings, two mast unstep/stepping cycles, mast rewiring, and a couple other projects ago. I know... goofy sentence. Read it again and hopefully it'll make sense.

I figure if I can sell it for $7500, I might have a tidy little $500 profit to put towards the Pearson 30 I'd like to buy.

Any takers? :laugher

Barry
 

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I sold my Catalina 25 for more than I purchased it for, but not for more than I spent on rehabbing it (and that doesn't include any time spent).

I made money selling a car once (after owning it for 4 years), so the chances of making money selling a sailboat too in the same lifetime seem remote.
 

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We have owned 8 cruising cats and only lost money on one. Not a great way to make a living as our hourly wage on most of them would have probably been less than a dollar. Labor of love?
 

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If you lived in a house for thirty years and sold it when you downsized,would you count the time you spent mowing the lawn or fixing the gutter.against the profit. Messing with boats sort of comes with the turf. (pun,in case you missed it)
 

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I bought one Thistle for $4K and sold it four years later for $4,200. Because the class association restricts changes in the fifty year-old design, the older boats aren't made obsolete by newer boats. My boat was well made by a reputable builder and would probably still be competitive today and I have been told that it would sell now for more than what I got for it. I frequently advise those new to sailing to buy a one-design boat with an active class association; if the owner doesn't stick with it there's a ready market for the boat on their way out.
 

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It isn't easy but on lower end boats in the 17-25' range it can be done. I have doubled tripled my money on most of my project boats. The key is to buy it right in the first place. Dave Ramsey always says the profit in a house comes at the purchase and not the sale and I belive that holds true with boats too.

The most profit I ever got was on a Catalina 22. It was a retired racer that needed a lot of TLC but it was all there and was solid. After a lot of cleaning, buffing, painting and bright work refinishing it was ready to sell. Basically a lot of elbow grease and man hours. I paid $1,500 for it and was selling it for $3,500. It had a ton of extras like 8 sails, cockpit cushions, lifejackets, Satellite radio, VHF, tons on spare parts, tools, flares, and the list goes on and on. At $3,500 I only got a couple calls. I decided to keep all of the extras and strip the boat down to just the essentials and priced it at $2,500. My phone was ringing off the hook. On the first day of the lower price I ended up trading it for a 2 year old Honda 4X4 quad which I then sold for $3,700. I kept anything that wasn't specific to the Catalina 22 that I could use on future boats. The Catalina sails and spare parts I sold on ebay for about $1,500. So on this boat I turned $1,500 into $5,200. This is not typical but it can be done. It also took me about 6 months to sell all the extras to the profit wasn't overnight either. I would stay away from any boats in the 30'+ size. Parts are to expensive and I think it is a much smaller market of potential buyers. Everyone can afford a cheap boat. Not everyone can afford a $30k+ boat.
 

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Yes, my profit was measured in the enjoyment of rescueing a good old boat sitting in a field, and the joy that was putting her back into the water and sailing her.
There is much more to life than scrambling after bits of green paper.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Ya mean to tell me my wife is right AGAIN??? ☺ of course it would really make her happy to know I had to confirm her opinion with the sailing crowd. I don't think I'll tell her about this thread...
 

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Bought a SHE 36 built for a single handed teams Atlantic race. Owner( a Brit) completed race and put on the hard and went home. It sat for a couple of years. Bought it and it needed nothing but a good cleaning. Sailed it hard and sold it for 10 per cent higher than cost four years later.
Also can buy boats from yard when they been abandoned due to yard bills or litigation and do very well.
Some boats are in long runs as Hannah2 some with waiting lists. Given costs of builds goes up price of well maintained used ones stays good. Morris,HR
Boreal, Outbound, Passport, and Chris White multi s are examples
 

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I bought my Capri 22 for $4000, and sold it for$5000. I think I put almost $800 into it in parts...

My Capri 25, I purchased for $5500, and I sold it for $7500, and I think I put close to $5000 into it (most of it sails). I gave the new owner a folder about 1/2" thick of receipts.. that I NEVER EVER looked at again. The new owner got a GREAT boat... I'll miss that boat, but I'd do it ALL over again. Time to do it to another boat.

I feel VERY happy that the amount of money I put into the boat brought ME so much fun (and it did, boat was a shear PLEASURE to sail, one of the best sailing boats I've been on - OK granted I've not been on many race boats)... I sailed an S2 7.9 and I'm also quite impressed by them. It's a bit less race and more cruise though, not in performance, just in feel. I am HOPING I can get one that in acceptable shape... the whole core damage thing (wet balsa core) is NOT something I want to get into dealing with, but I will if I have to.
 
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