SailNet Community banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello:

I have been reading this forum for a few weeks and am looking to buy my first boat. I have limited experience and want to buy something old and very used, with the intention of "moving up" in 3-5 years.

I have two questions... first about two boats I'm looking at, and next about the more general topic of making an offer.

I have an older friend (he retired to bluewater sail and has 5+ years liveaboard exp) who has been answering all my questions and has offered to give any purchase a once-over. (I'm going to get a legit inspection but want to be serious before I pay for one). I've been considering making an offer on this boat:

YachtWorld.com Boats and Yachts for Sale

Internet, please give me your advice! Know of any others in the price range that might be better? My intended grounds are mid atlantic, no further than the bahamas if I even get that far. If it helps, I have also been considering this:

YachtWorld.com Boats and Yachts for Sale

I've heard less than ideal things about this brand, so I wouldnt offer but maybe 60% of that price and see what happens. This brings me to my next question, about payment and offers on boats.

For easy math, lets say a boat is for sale with asking price of 10k. Are there any informal "rules" about what is a decent offer? I know negotiation is common, but how much of a price decrease can you reasonably expect? Would an offer of 6k be so low as to be insulting? Finally, does the offer change if you offer to pay in cash and/or within 24 hours?

I know I'm asking a lot of information, but any help you give me is useful.
 

·
Learning the HARD way...
Joined
·
7,189 Posts
Old adage: "Offer the seller 50% of asking price. But, be prepared for him to say 'yes.'"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
967 Posts
Depends on a bunch of stuff......

but, in the end, whatever you offer, you need to be happy with your offer. I typically set an upper limit and don't go over that.

For the boat in question (I am not familiar with the make/model), you need to ask yourself a bunch of questions.

  1. Is the boat/model common or a rarity?
  2. How much work is need to get her ready to sail?
  3. How long has the boat been on the market?
  4. Does the boat have extra stuff over similar boats of the same/make model or size?
  5. How much do you love the boat?
  6. Why is the boat being sold? Current Owner has a new boat coming/in and needs to dump this one, or some other distressed circumstances?
  7. Is the current owner just "testing the waters"? I.e, he has no desire/need to sell unless he gets top dollar.
So factor all of this into the equation and come up with a number range, then go from there.

My approach is to set a limit and offer 70 to 80% of your limit as the first go round. For example if the boat is $11K, your upper limit is $10K, offer 7K. If they come back and offer 9K, you could take it or try to make them drop more. If they don't budge on the asking price, well that tells you something too.

Again, whatever you end up with as a price/offer, you need to feel good about it.

I looked at several boats last year and was presented with a Pearson 10M (1979). The PO had really taken care of her well, with minimal issues. Very clean, excellent shape. Is asking was $27.5K. I had looked at a few other 10M's and they were much older and is less desirable shape for the same or more money. My limit was $25.5K, so I offered 24K, which I thought was good deal for the boat. Owner came back at $25K and the deal was done. I don't think I could have gotten it for much less. The surveyor said I got a sweet deal and I did not end up buying the boat, he would.

DrB
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
6,759 Posts
If that is your range..

If that is your price range and you don't want to spend a lot of money on surveys you NEED to buy your own moisture meter AND learn how to use one correctly!!!

Holland Marine Products out of Canada sells this moisture meter:



For $199.00!! Trust me it will pay for itself the FIRST time you use it. Getting a surveyor out to a boat will cost you a minimum of about $400.00 to tell you the thing has decks like sponges. With your own moisture meter, and some studying, about proper use, you can eliminate ten boats a day until you find one with dry decks, that you like, and are then willing to commit to a survey on..


Click on the words Holland Marine Products above then scroll down the main page a bit to see the moisture meter..

You can be penny wise and not buy one but TRUST me it will pay for itself during the first use if used properly.

My personal feeling is that if every boat buyer had a moisture meter brokers would smarten up and be a LOT more honest!!! Many brokers have moisture meters and do check decks before listing a boat but then WON'T admit any problems and force you to hire a surveyor to find out for yourself.. It's like they are in coo hoots together..

The savvy boat purchaser always comes prepared and owning a moisture meter is the number one thing you can do other than reading and studying books on boat surveying and construction ...

Oh, and I'd buy the Ericson over the Grampian 10 times out of 10 !!!!


One more thing is to leave yourself some "slush money". The general rule is a minimum of 10% of the purchase price for upgrades and repairs. Unfortunately, as the price of the boat goes down into the 10K range for a 30+/- foot boat that percentage can grow to as much as 40-50% of the purchase price for upgrades and repairs. Just because the boat is old and inexpensive it doe not change the cost of wire, running or standing rigging, plumbing etc. etc....

A new halyard for a newer 45k 30 footer will run you the same price as a new halyard for a 10k 30 footer.....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for all the advice guys! I need all I can get!

Why does everyone dislike the grampian? You're not the first person to say that.
 

·
Telstar 28
Joined
·
43,289 Posts
Halekai-

Unfortunately, using a moisture meter properly is a bit of an artform, and there are a lot of things that can throw it off. If the boat was recently hauled out, the hull will show a relatively high, but usually misleading, moisture content. If there is water in the bilge, it may also throw the meter off.

The "slush money" idea is one I definitely recommend as well... since boats are not like cars and generally need to be modified to suit each person's individual sailing needs.

I'd also generally agree that the Ericsons were better boats than the Grampians.
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
19,489 Posts
Ericsons are better known esp in the US, and they are probably a notch above the Grampians in all areas. Grampians are, however, surprisingly good performers despite being to some degree Ugly Ducklings (to my eye, anyway.)

For the same condition and similar money I'd go Ericson as well, but the Grampians could provide decent value for the money too - they should sell for less.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
139 Posts
lots to think about there, buying a boat without a survey. Assuming you live in the area, NC, bring someone who knows more about boating than you, and wear some old clothes and crawl around the boat, you're looking for soft spots in any of the fiberglass, that's the moisture Halekai's warning you about, then turn to the sails, both the dacron and iron (engine) sails, electronics are disposable and can be replaced, but the wiring/panel is important, the more you know about the boat and it's likely faults the better position you'll be in to make an offer. Your offer can always be lowered once you inspect the vessel.

good luck
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,647 Posts
The Ericson is a better choice and appears to be in better condition. Concur with all written thus far and will emphasize petegingras - crawl around the boat for a couple of hours. Check for soft spots, mold, or stains where the chainplates or anything else comes through the deck. Take a deep breath OUTSIDE the boat, hold your breath, and go inside. Exhale and breathe in through your nose. What you smell will tell you volumes about how the boat was maintained. Smell musty - run! Smell like fiberglass/metal - you're probably ok.

Engine looks real clean. Ditch the carpet - a mold magnet. Use rubber backed throw carpets, if you must.

Good luck.
 

·
Telstar 28
Joined
·
43,289 Posts
BTW, get Don Casey's Inspecting the Aging Sailboat... it has a good check list for doing a 15-minute survey of your own. This isn't to substitute for a professional survey, but to tell you whether it is even worth bothering with hiring a surveyor.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
6,759 Posts
Halekai-

Unfortunately, using a moisture meter properly is a bit of an artform, and there are a lot of things that can throw it off. If the boat was recently hauled out, the hull will show a relatively high, but usually misleading, moisture content. If there is water in the bilge, it may also throw the meter off.
That's why I was very careful to say things like;

"With your own moisture meter, and some studying, about proper use"

and

"TRUST me it will pay for itself during the first use if used properly."

Art form? Now that's a bit of a stretch.. Gelcoat repair and Awlgrip work is an art form learning how to use a moisture meter requires common sense and a bit of a learning curve but not a practiced skill that takes years to learn to do properly. I certainly don't consider it rocket science just common sense and a bit of learning.. I've saved thousands of dollars over the years by owning and knowing how to properly use my own moisture meter.

BTW the meter Holland sells is the identical meter to the one I own except I got HOSED on mine. At the time I did not know about Holland Marine Products... Wish I did..!!



With the above said I'm going to inject a little opinion garnered in 35 year's of boating and over 25 owned boats. Oops make that 25+/- as I just bought another boat on Monday..:confused::confused::confused: Someone commit me!!;););) If you don't agree, fine, but do take the time to read it because it CAN save you money even though it seems counter intuitive..


Here it goes;

All boats are bottomless pits but a fixer upper is NO DEAL! Trust me on this one. Many of the other long timers on here will also agree. Spending a little more on a boat in good to pristine condition pays off in the long run in more ways than one!

My buddy & first time "big boat" owner knew everything and refused to take mine or other friends advice. We tried to talk him into a very, very nice, & exceptionally well maintained, 1988 Catalina 30 for a 30k asking price (read; bargain). When all was said and done he ignored our advice and chose the 17k asking 15k buy 1980 Catalina 30 (read; piece of crap).

The end of the story, even now, is nowhere in site and at this point, 20+ months later, he now has, at last count, 37k invested in a boat still worth, on a good day, 19-20k at best!

Here's what he's had to do so far: New furler, new sails, new interior cushions, new running rigging, new bulkhead, new spreaders, new steering cable & chain, new keel bolts, new exhaust hose, removed the wooden laminate in the keel stub & re-glassed it, new exhaust manifold & elbow, new water pump, new batteries, new wiring, new head, new plumbing, new running lights & mast wiring, etc. etc. and on and on. He's still facing an engine rebuild, at minimum, and about 30% of the deck needs to be re-cored. By the time he finishes he will have well over 45k maybe 50k into a 19-20k boat, on a good day, and he's done 90% of this work himself...

Cheap boats are NO DEAL even if you do ALL the work your self. A SURVEY IS A MUST !!!!!!!

After 30+ years and 25+ boats, I now only buy 1 PERCENTERS. A 1% boat is that needle in a haystack boat that is in absolutely pristine condition with maintenance, upkeep and upgrades done only with the best materials and care for quality. These boats are hard to find but they do pop up. You'll at least want a boat in the top 15%, condition wise, or it's going to cost you.

The devil is in the details. This is one of the drawers in the v-berth of our 1979 1 percenter. No mold, no scratches, no discoloration of the wood no drips, runs or sags in the varnish. The P.O. of our boat knew boats and boating so he finish sanded each of the boats drawers inside and out then varnished them to prevent & minimize mold, mildew and moisture absorbtion. A 1% is a boat that has been finished well above and beyond factory standards.... Did I mention that this boat is a 1979!!!! and this photo was taken in 2007. You get what you pay for especially with boats.

Take this advice or leave it but the gain from buying a top condition boat up front saves you in lots of areas! You may pay 10-20% more, up front, for the identical boat (vintage wise) in pristine condition but that 10-20% pays you back HUGE !!! Trust me you'll never get the cheapest worst condition example of a particular model to the same condition as the finest example on the market with a 10-20% upgrade budget even if you do all the work your self..

Just my .02...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,354 Posts
Hello,

Maine Sail wrote:

"All boats are bottomless pits but a fixer upper is NO DEAL! Trust me on this one. Many of the other long timers on here will also agree. Spending a little more on a boat in good to pristine condition pays off in the long run in more ways than one!"


I agree - if you plan on keeping the boat. If you aren't sure you like sailing, or know the type of boat you want, or think you may move up soon, then you can buy something cheap.

Don't buy a piece of crap, but you can buy something that you can sail now, but needs cosmetic or some other repair. Buy the boat, sail it often, have fun, and learn more about what you want / don't want. A few years later you can sell the boat for something close to what you paid, and then buy the right boat for you.

I paid $4500 for my first boat, a Catalina 22. I sold it a year later for $4000. I didn't put any money into it. I bought my second boat (Newport 28) for $15000. Sailed it for 3.5 years and sold it for $14000. I did put some money into it, but not too much.

Good luck,
Barry
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,394 Posts
"That's why I was very careful to say things like;

"With your own moisture meter, and some studying, about proper use"

and

"TRUST me it will pay for itself during the first use if used properly."

Art form? Now that's a bit of a stretch.. Gelcoat repair and Awlgrip work is an art form learning how to use a moisture meter requires common sense and a bit of a learning curve but not a practiced skill that takes years to learn to do properly. I certainly don't consider it rocket science just common sense and a bit of learning.."


it's the "bit of learning" that gets well intentioned "new" folks in a pickle and a half.

Depending on the boat, construction method, & materials, (I know of a very well known brand that will show wetter than a babies bottom even after a month on the hard) bottom paint, topsides paint (if any), ambient temp humidity, timeline of recent wet weather patterns and subsequent dry sunny hot days, length of time "on the hard" and which flip-flops I put on that day...

I can make a moisture meter read like a saint or a sinner. Not to mention where I decide on the boat to get my readings.

In short, the guy can spend 200.00 on a meter, wander out to a boat, ascertain that the decks are spongebob square pants in the morning and walk away.

Or, I can come out at 4:00pm the same afternoon and pronounce it either dry or wet, depending on the matrix above.

If was buddy that just bought his 200.00 meter, how would he know???

Yes, you've got 35 years of experience over 25 boats. This fellow... doesn't.

No, its not magic, but "it ain't that eazy neither"
oh, just as a general comment... that drawer sure does look nice, but for me, I'd wonder where the water is coming from.....
 

·
Telstar 28
Joined
·
43,289 Posts
The 35 years of experience over 25 boats learning curve pretty much covers why I said it is a bit of an artform to read a moisture meter properly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
221 Posts
You say you have limited experience and this is your first boat. How limited is your experience? What boats have you sailed in the past? How quickly will you do offshore to Bahamas, etc?

May make sense to get something smaller and in better shape - provide you with an opportunity to "experience" boat ownership -time involved, expense, etc.

my $0.01 or share of Bear Stears stock...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
You say you have limited experience and this is your first boat. How limited is your experience? What boats have you sailed in the past? How quickly will you do offshore to Bahamas, etc?

May make sense to get something smaller and in better shape - provide you with an opportunity to "experience" boat ownership -time involved, expense, etc.

my $0.01 or share of Bear Stears stock...
I sailed various smaller boats when I was younger (sunfish up to daysailers that are 18' or so) but once I got out of high school I never had the opportunity to do it anymore. Now I've moved back to the coast and I'm near the beach. I see the water every day and I cant help myself!

I'm not planning on going anywhere anytime soon, but I want to learn how to handle boats of this size. I looked at trailerables, etc, but I have a place I can store a boat for free in the water until at least jan 09.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
For what its worth

First I'm by no means a sailboat expert and fairly new to sailing myself. By no means new to boating though with 35 yrs of boating on the gulf coast. I agree that buying a cheap peice of crap is a money pit. There are however alot of good deals out there on that size range boat. Craigslist and ebay are decent places to shop, like anything else with due caution. I think you'll get better deals dealing directly with owners than with brokers. For instance I bought an 81 Hunter 27 last year for $1500, my 1st sailboat, and yes I know what most on here think of Hunters but if you read the reviews of those that have them I've yet to see one that says anything negative. At any rate I basically paid what the guy owed in back slip fees and took the boat. With a bottom jod, replacing the hatches and port window glasses, fuel line and impellar replacement on the 8 Hp Renault, and some elbow grease cleaning, I have about $3500 in it and a very nice boat for my purposes, i.e inland bays and Texas gulf coast.
My two cents for what its worth basically is if you're patient and look around you can get into sailing with a decent boat for less that 5K. FYI, there's a Morgan 28 OI on craigslist in Wilmington, NC right now for $3500. Might or might not be a good deal but as described looks like it might. Again, I'm not an expert, just my opinion.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top