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I have an old VW Vanagon. It's my third one. I've owned d them for a long time. When I bought my first one it was just an old car but I liked the practicality of it- how much stuff it could haul around and still function like a passenger car, albeit a slow one.

In recent years there has been a spike in interest and their value has shot up. I had 4WD model I sold years ago for $4000 and now see them regularly for over $15,000.

I'm wondering if any sail boats have ever seen a similar phenomenon?

I've always loved Olson 30's and have seen their value hold steady for 15-20 years. Now I am contemplating purchasing a much bigger boat for live aboard purposes as a retirement option (cashing out of our house). I know a boat will never appreciate the way our house has but I would like to think we leave something of value to our daughter when we pass on.

Any thoughts on what boats that best hold their value?
 

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A new boat looses 20% it's value the moment it leaves the dealer. A used boat might keep its value, or slightly appreciate since the moment bought used but this is quite rare. Examples of sailboats that hold their value better then others would be Valiants, Island Packets, Swans, Halberg Rassys, Amels, Hauticats. Your mileage may vary.
 

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Kinda tough to predict. I personally am a fan of the Pacific Seacraft stuff, and a lot of the Perry designs if they've been de-teaked a bit. The Seacraft stuff in particular seems to stay high priced as the years wear on, as do a lot of the Babas and the non-blistered Valiants.

Trouble is that the qualities that make a boat age well and remain an excellent tool for a purpose over time aren't necessarily related to a boat's more common purpose as a status symbol or a trendy design. A big, modernist cabin and a broad beam are what people seem to want going forward, especially people new to the sailing world. I think certain "classics" probably have a higher floor than a lot of boats...but eventually there will be few left who appreciate those sorts of designs. Remains to be seen if the newer, lighter built designs will have the staying power as they age.
 

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My father-in-law bought a new, styrofoam Sea Snark from Sears for $100 in the early 1970s. More than 20 years later, he sold it for $200. He is the only person I know who has ever made money on the sale of a boat.

A boat is a crappy investment. It's not like real estate; it won't appreciate. If you're lucky, it will hold its value but will require constant investment in upkeep. And even if its value appears to hold steady, it will be losing real value because inflation erodes the purchasing power of your money.

Buy a boat because you love it and because you can afford to own it. Don't buy it because you think it might appreciate in value over time.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yeah, not expecting to make money, just minimize my losses by choosing a boat with good (better than bad) resale, not for really me but for my daughter when I kick the bucket.

I own a home that has appreciated considerably. I can retire at 60 with full health but a minuscule income and would not be able to afford the mortgage. If I cash out I can get a nice boat 100-200k and have enough cash to manage for 25-30 years....

It's an option I'm investigating. I appreciate any advice. Thanks.
 

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Is there any hard data on the depreciation curve of used boats? I understand that there are a lot of variables that go into the price of a boat such as location, condition, equipment. We are still discussing selling out Nor'sea 27 with trailer (hint hint) then move up to a larger boat.
 

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Our 1976 Cal 2-29 originally sold for $14,500 in 1976. We sold her for $21,500 in June 2002. In a way, I wish we still had her. She was a great boat but my (much) better half wanted something larger as she said she always felt "nervous" when the "little boat" heeled.

Hindsight is always 20/20, eh?
 

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Hey,

i can't think of any boats that appreciate in value.

You certainly might be able to buy a boat, and 10 years later sell it for more than you bought it. But - in that time you must put a lot of money into maintenance - sails, electronics, bottom paint, etc. So I can't think any way you will come out ahead financially.

My bottom line is: Buy a boat you like - that you think is pretty, and sails nicely, and makes you want to spend time on the water. Keep the boat in good condition and you will be way ahead in the end regardless of selling price.

Barry
 

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I bought my first sailboat (Capri 14.2) for $700 back in 1998. Sold it a few years later for $2,000 when I bought a bigger boat. That was awesome. Unfortunately it was the only time I didn't take a bath on selling a boat. :(
 

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Nonsuch seem to retain value fairly well. Not sure if they appreciate or not, but they're always selling for markedly more than similar sized and aged boats.
 

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I've read (fwiw) that Tartan 37s still cost the same as new. Admittedly a dollar doesn't go quite as far as it used to.
This just isn't possible. There's no way a Tartan 37 has the same value today as it did when new in the 70s and 80s, even if you don't account for inflation.

The modern equivalent of a Tartan 37 would be probably a 3400 or 3700.Space wise, closer to the 3400. A 2007 3700 is listed for sale here: 2007 Tartan 3700 Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

You can buy two vintage Tartan 37's for that price!
 

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Not just Jboats, but racing boats in general seem to live hard lives. I have looked at many whose ads seemed too good to be true, and when I saw them in person they were aged well beyond their years.

I am not sure what boats hold their value best, but I think not racing boats.
 

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I've always loved Olson 30's and have seen their value hold steady for 15-20 years.
According to soldboats.com their actual average selling price (not asking price) has dropped by 50-60% over that period. Their actual selling prices have dropped to the point where brokers won't list them on yachtworld.com as there is not enough commission in it for them to justify listing them.
 

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This just isn't possible. There's no way a Tartan 37 has the same value today as it did when new in the 70s and 80s, even if you don't account for inflation.

The modern equivalent of a Tartan 37 would be probably a 3400 or 3700.Space wise, closer to the 3400. A 2007 3700 is listed for sale here: 2007 Tartan 3700 Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

You can buy two vintage Tartan 37's for that price!
He's saying the well kept old 37s are selling now for what they cost....when new.
And that's basically true.
 

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He's saying the well kept old 37s are selling now for what they cost....when new.
And that's basically true.
Only if you pretend there is no difference in the value of the dollar and the effect of inflation.
 

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Only if you pretend there is no difference in the value of the dollar and the effect of inflation.
That $50k boat original has probably had another 50-75 put into it over those 30ish years.

But it's true they sell near original price...:)

BTW....
Looks like y'all might get some break in the bad weather down there fairly soon.
 

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“Cult” boats, like PSC, Hinckley, and catboats in general, might lose significant value when new, but seem to hold their value after about 10 years. In other words, you might buy a 10 year old boat in this category and not see it depreciate (in current dollars) when you sell it 10 years later.

Anecdotal evidence might not be compelling, but I bought a 1972 18’ catboat for $8000 in 1982 and sold it for $7750 16 years later. I see the same boat (HA18) of comparable vintage being offered for even more today (as listed in the Catboat Associations” “Cats for Sale”. Of course, we are talking about well-maintained boats.
 
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