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Ive been looking at several boats for sale here in South Florida and am wondering where I could go to get a REALISTIC idea of what a boat should sell for....Ive looked at BUC and NADA but find that those are really unrealistic at least for the Florida market. Boats here dont bring the same prices that northern, and/or fresh water boats bring.

Im considering a 1982 26 footer thats in very good condition and new would have been considered a high end cruiser....The owners asking price seems way too high for a boat thats 27 years old...

Where do I start??
 

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There are a numberr of threads covering this question.

See my post #25 in http://www.sailnet.com/forums/buying-boat/41610-buyer-broker-initial-bidding-strategy.html

Also see
http://www.sailnet.com/forums/buying-boat/11045-asking-vs-selling-price.html

Any source for a market value provides at best a ballpark...a well maintained and equipped boat can be a steal at 150% of market value for that year/model, whereas a beaten, needs-work boat can be a terrible buy even at 50% less than market value. The big challenge is possessing the expertise to figure where a particular boat fits in the value spectrum of that year/model market value. If you can't provide that judgement yourself, in my opinion you should be using a broker.
 

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seems way too high
If your not comfortable and you instincts are telling you its not right, than chance are its not the right boat.
Really, it comes down to how comfortable you are with the boat.
If the buget were unlimited, you had money to burn, and you found your absolute dream boat, than you would probably be willing to over pay for her. But since most of us are not on an unlimited budget, we have to go with our comfort level. Like I said, the price sems high, your not comfortable, keep looking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you both....both have supplied excellent info....I guess one just needs to accept the fact that a boat is not a must have item...its a luxury...its not a home or a car...(in my case its not) and must be treated in that respect. One always hopes to get into a boat with the thought of someday getting out ...so the lower you get in the easier to get out....perhaps its just better to accept the fact that what ever happens...youre just not going to see that money again....at least not all of it...unless its over insured...
 

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Not trying to sound like a smart-ass, but a boat is worth what you (or someone) are willing to pay for it. Because there is such a huge range in condition, age and equipment associated with used boats it is very difficult to pin a specific "market value" on a specific boat. You're doing the right thing by using your gut feelings.

Also, if you look at enough comparable boats or simply boats that interest you, you'll soon get a good feel for what "x" amount of dollars should buy you.

Lastly, don't be afraid to make an offer, even if it's considered low-ball. The worst the seller can say is "no".
 

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I have been looking at a bunch of boats.. what I do, compare some of the same boats,, both private sale and yacht broker sale.. for example: I looked at an xxxx criusing boat, full keel, older. The boat had not been upgraded at all, even though the present owner said it had.. he is "upside down" on her.. meaning he bought her a few years ago.. so I worked down from asking price.. I estimated what each component would cost to upgrade. Bottom, paint, deck, hardware, sails, rigging, on and on.. I used the worst case scenario for each repair/upgrade/fix.. this added up to thousands of dollars.. I deducted this amount from his asking price.. left an offer price of less than half his asking.. for example.. say he was asking $20000.. I offered $10000..
He was highly insulted. I could care less.. my offer was a good one, his asking was a start.. should I have gone ahead and offered close to his asking and then all the repairs/upgrades/etc that he did not do came to fruition .. I would be the fool.. he of course turned me down. And that is the lesson here.. be prepared for getting turned down.. you are watching out for you.. the seller isn't watching out for you... when my offer was submitted, it was in writing. I outlined each and every repair/upgrade/fix/ associated cost in my offer before I ended with price.. he does not want to hear such a thing.. that is fine.. if someone comes along and purchases her near his asking price, good for him. But if you do your homework, figure out what the boat will cost, not what the asking price is .. then that is how one gets to the bottom line.. do not be afraid to tell a seller what you are willing to spend for his boat. He may say no thanks, but that is ok.. you are not looking to help him out, you are looking to purchase a boat... think about it, how much is new standing rigging, running rigging, sails, engine overhaul, bottom paint removal and epoxy barrier coat... adds up.. the boat is still for sale..
 

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One always hopes to get into a boat with the thought of someday getting out ...so the lower you get in the easier to get out....perhaps its just better to accept the fact that what ever happens...youre just not going to see that money again....at least not all of it...unless its over insured...
Keep in mind a boat is not an investment, it is a lifestyle and that the someday getting out part could be when you decide to give up that lifestyle. Think of what a die hard golfer spends over the years and what is left to cash in with when the lifestyle ends. Think of it as buying a vacation. I bought mine new and I know I am going to lose over 80% of the money I spent on it by the time I give it up. You don't want to be taking your money six feet under with you. Enjoy life while you can.
 

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I did not say that .. what if your Frogbobber has the original rigging, sails,
engine, absolutely nothing has been upgraded, and the maintenance was pitiful.. But your asking price does not reflect this. Basically you are asking what the boat is worth after the maintenance, upgrades, etc..

As a buyer, I must take this into consideration. Otherwise, after I buy your
Frogbobber, I will be spending thousands of dollars on equipment, upgrades, maintenance that you neglected.

Oh,, and I also never said the seller my "pay" the buyer anything..

The question was how to arrive at an offer price ..

I come and see your Frogbobber. I add up the equipment which will need replacing, if any.. maybe your boat is in perfect condition, and you have maintained her, then the equaltion changes..

Anyhow.. I look, figure, and offer..

If you as a seller do not like the offer, you say no thanks.. and that is that.

It is not adversarial, it is business. Pay a fair price and live with it? Live with what? The boat you neglected? No thanks..

Buying a sailboat is not like getting married. It is a B O A T.. not a wife.

The boat's worth is reflected in the equipment, design, size, maintenance, etc.


And the market.. sometimes the market is better than other times..
 

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My thoughts

Having gone through this process a two years ago:

Things that entered my mine were:
  • Boat Type/Make - How Available
  • Boat Age
  • Boat Condition - Overall
  • If not showroom (nothing is) - Cosmetic or Major "repairs"
  • Is price "fair" for condition - compared to other similar boats
  • What is my budget (with "fixes")
  • Do I want want to accept a boat knowing it has "major" repairs knowing that I would have to fix or pay to have fixed.

I agree with a lot of the advice that others have suggested, but Kwaltersmi's is pretty much the cap note to all the advice. In the end you have to be comfortable with you offer/price. If you think it is worth a million dollars to you, then it is.

I bought a house 10 years ago and my neighbor came over a few weeks later and said that the Previous Owners offered them the house for about 30K less than what we spent. They thought it was too much, which was kind of a backhanded way saying they thought we were screwed. 6 months later a similar house across the street sold for $200K over what we paid, albeit in a bit more showroom condition than ours was when we bought it. My neighbor came over and said looks like we got a pretty good deal.

When I bought my boat, Pearson 10M, I looked at a lot of similar boats. The 10M is a lesser known Pearson model compared to others, so for some reason it doesn't command a as much of a "premium" price. A Pearson 33-2, and Pearson 34, albeit 3 to 5 years younger, were asking 12 to 20K more that what I bought my boat for.

As far as were to start the negotiation, pick your absolute max price that you would pay for the the specific boat that you are looking at and offer 70 to 80%. So say the boat is offered at $20K. You think it worth, $18K because of the factors listed about. Your willing to pay $18K max, so offer $14.5K as a start, If the owner comes back as says $17K, then you have to determine to you want to keep negotiating or take it as that number is below your max. If the owner comes back at $19K, well that tells you something too. Maybe time to move on, put in a counter offer say at $17K, or reevaluate how much you want this boat.

Again, in the end, you have to be comfortable with your price.

DrB
 

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Comfortable with price.. very well put. My last boat, I bought her on the
fly. Didn't do my homework. She is a good old boat, but:: she had hidden
little problems. I dealt with them. If I had done my homework upfront, I
would have offered less, and worked out the issues.. But :: can't look back.

I am now looking at a very similar boat. Some of the same issues. But this time, I have taken my time, and know the issues.

I'd rather not get into another project. So, I looked at the boat, looked at BUC value, NADA value, what other models are offered for, and basically tried as best I could to find what the best price is. The top dog in class, more or less.. Using this price, I worked down. Rig, sails, engine, on and on..

I made an offer, the owner didn't want to hear it.

NO problem.. I moved on.

That's the way it goes. I feel my offer was fair. The owner does not.
No hard feelings, it just did not work out.
I was not "comfortable" with the asking price, and the owner was not
"comfortable" with my offer..

The boat is still on the market. That tells me that the buyers, a limited
amount of folks today, have looked at the boat, and for one reason or
another passed.

If the owner called me today and accepted my offer, I would be thrilled.
I still would need to finish the buying process with a more through inspection etc, but I would be off..

I'm not mad at the owner, and I hope he isn't mad at me..

We just disagree on price.

I do like that idea "comfortable" ..

If I had gone ahead and offered more money, and then gone out and
spent a fortune with fix ups, repairs, etc.. I would never be happy
with my boat ... or COMFORTABLE..
 

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CARDIACPAUL .. wrote "The current trend is that if its a safety-hull integrity/powerplant issue, then it would be repaired at whatever the two parties can negotiate. If its new sails, rigging, electronics, whatever, its up to the next guy."

I could not disagree more.

Who is in charge of "The current trend" ?

I've read the Pardey's books and they certainly don't agree.

A tired old, blown out sail at a new sail price? No thanks.
Rigging that is 30 years old? That isn't a safety issue?
Electronics that do not work?

You expect a buyer to just disregard the rigging, sails, running rigging,
electronics, on and on .. when making an offer to purchase a sailboat?
Duh? ARe you nuts?

Now,, the cushion color. I kinda agree there..

But even cushions can be problemantic. I replace some cushions
on my former boat; $2,000. That is money that is part of what
the boat is worth. The buyer of my boat was very concerned
about the cushions, cockpit cushions, etc. He knew that it is
expensive to get new one..

I hate to write this but you sound like a boat broker..

I have a very low opinion of boat brokers, after dealing with a
few of them through the years. I'm sure some are honest, but
the ones I met and did business with were lying thieves.

I'd hate to see the original questioner go and overpay for his
boat and then be stuck with thousands of dollars in repairs,
fixes, sail replacement, rigging replacement, etc.
 

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Ah Ha ,, a marine surveyor.. I knew that somewhere there was a
connection to the purchase process...

So.. let me see... you survey an old sailboat and report to the
owner that the standing rigging is 30 years old .. but tell him
"don't worry, it will be ok"..

HOly ****.. good thing you aren't working for me.

No thanks..

I'd rather ask the owner "how old is the standing rigging" ..
The owner: "it is original, about 30 years old".

Me:: in that case the standing rigging must be changed.
And I certainly would take the cost of this change into
any price I'd be willing to pay for the boat..
 

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CARDIACPAUL .. wrote "The current trend is that if its a safety-hull integrity/powerplant issue, then it would be repaired at whatever the two parties can negotiate. If its new sails, rigging, electronics, whatever, its up to the next guy."

I could not disagree more.
That's your choice... but CP's right.... new sails, new rigging, electronics, are really up to the buyer... if you don't like what's on the boat... too bad... look for a different boat...just don't expect the seller to pony up so you can have new whatever...

Who is in charge of "The current trend" ?

I've read the Pardey's books and they certainly don't agree.

A tired old, blown out sail at a new sail price? No thanks.
Rigging that is 30 years old? That isn't a safety issue?
Electronics that do not work?

You expect a buyer to just disregard the rigging, sails, running rigging,
electronics, on and on .. when making an offer to purchase a sailboat?
Duh? ARe you nuts?
Who said you're paying a new sail price for the blown out sail???

What's wrong with 30 year old rigging? If the boat was a fresh water boat that was lightly used in northern Michigan, there's a very good chance that 30 year old rigging would be just fine. It really depends... 10 year old rigging on a boat that was raced every week down in Florida might be in worse shape...but it's only 10 years old... DUH....

Now,, the cushion color. I kinda agree there..

But even cushions can be problemantic. I replace some cushions
on my former boat; $2,000. That is money that is part of what
the boat is worth. The buyer of my boat was very concerned
about the cushions, cockpit cushions, etc. He knew that it is
expensive to get new one..

I hate to write this but you sound like a boat broker..

I have a very low opinion of boat brokers, after dealing with a
few of them through the years. I'm sure some are honest, but
the ones I met and did business with were lying thieves.
If you're dumb enough to work with and do business with someone you consider to be a lying thief, you pretty much deserve whatever happens to you. Think about it... you can choose to walk away from someone who's a thief... or you can be stupid and get robbed because you chose to deal with them, even if you thought they were a thief...

I'd hate to see the original questioner go and overpay for his
boat and then be stuck with thousands of dollars in repairs,
fixes, sail replacement, rigging replacement, etc.
Over paying for a boat sucks... but it happens... usually to people who don't get a good surveyor on their side...

That's kind of why I started my Boat Inspection Trip Tips thread in the Boat Buying forum... so that people could learn enough to tell whether a boat was a POS or worth getting a surveyor to look at...
 

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Total BS .. most surveyors are in the pocket of the broker who has
recommended the surveyor to some unsuspecting newbee sailboat buyer.

Listen up.. I've been owner of, sailed on, etc sailboats for 35 years..

And although I am no expert, I've had dealings with some surveyors and many brokers.. the brokers were by and large lying thieves. The surveyors did a job, the couple I knew didn't do much that the average experienced boat owner could not do himself ,, given the time.

I'd rather take care of me.. no brokers and no surveryors..
 

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Anyone stupid enough to use the surveyor the boat broker recommends generally gets what they deserve.

There is a very vast difference between a "surveyor" and a good surveyor. One has a piece of paper saying that he is qualified to survey boats, whether or not he really is, the other has the knowledge, experience, skill and willingness to actually survey boats and knows what the common problem areas for different boats are. This isn't just true of surveyors, but of all fields. I know amateurs in many different fields that would put most pros in the same field to shame. The only thing being a professional actually means is that the IRS knows you get paid to do something. It doesn't necessarily mean that they're any damn good at what they do.

Most surveyors have a limited specialization to some degree... if you're buying a steel boat, you need to get a surveyor who has a lot of experience and knowledge about STEEL BOATS. If you're buying a sailboat, don't use a surveyor who mainly does powerboats.

Having 35 years of experience sailing on, owning, using sailboats doesn't mean JACK if you haven't bothered to learn anything significant about them in that time. My sister has owned and driven cars for over 20 years and still doesn't know how to check the oil in one.

I know people who have been boating for forty plus years, that still think a 13 lb. Danforth with 6' of chain and 1/2" nylon is a proper ground tackle setup for a 41' powerboat... It obviously isn't, but they never bothered to learn any better.

Total BS .. most surveyors are in the pocket of the broker who has
recommended the surveyor to some unsuspecting newbee sailboat buyer.

Listen up.. I've been owner of, sailed on, etc sailboats for 35 years..

And although I am no expert, I've had dealings with some surveyors and many brokers.. the brokers were by and large lying thieves. The surveyors did a job, the couple I knew didn't do much that the average experienced boat owner could not do himself ,, given the time.

I'd rather take care of me.. no brokers and no surveryors..
 

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I held my tongue on this issue, But I have some comments to add.

As a licensed Capt. I am hired about a dozen to 30 times a year to run a boat for sea trails. Usually you have a full boat load of people on board! The boat Owner, Broker, Surveyor , and new buyer and many times wifes and girlfriends!

I have seen this subject form both sides of the fence. I have seen the Surveyor and Broker more or less tag team the new buyer with a sales pitch during the sea trail about what a good boat this is. "listen to the engine purrs like a kitten." "Don't those sails set nice." All the time distracting the new buyer and calling attention to what they want him to see.

Then there is my favorite type of Surveyor. Where the broker or the new buyer asks what do you think, when we only been off the dock for 15min, he says I will tell you when I done. Then, while he down in the engine room he shouting to me rev her up, back to idle, shift to neutral, now reverse! Then he moves on to every system on the boat. This includes steering and electronics, sails and running rigging, and everything else. He will get behind the wheel and check how the boat handles himself and just not take my word for it. I like a surveyor that is to busy to chit chat during the sea trail.

What I am trying to say here if you want a recommendation of Good Surveyor ask a Capt. who is paid to run boats, because we have worked with most Surveyors in our areas and we know. Just like the nurses know the good Dr's. from the Bad Dr's.
 
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