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Buying a car is easy peasy...low down payment and credit... affordable monthly payments....
Buying a boat is easy too. If you've got the credit to buy a tesla or a BMW you've got the credit to buy a boat. You can amortize a boat over a longer term than you can a car, and boats do seem to hold their value better than cars do.

We have a nice boat, but our cars are a 20 year old Volvo and an 8 year old Subaru!

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I don't see the price of the boat as very important. It's the annual depreciation that is. If you buy a quality $75k 10 year old boat, use it for 5 years and then sell it for $60k, it cost you $3000 a year. A older $35k boat that sells for $20k 5 years later costs the same per year to own. I would rather have owned the first boat.
 

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What's your enjoyment factor?

If you own a $20,000 boat and you get the fun of someone who has paid $1million isn't your boat worth $1 million? I think so.
My mate bought a $15,000 motor boat, his first boat, and now he, his wife and 2 kids are out each weekend in a new life living it up like millionaires.

In another context, my boat is worth $100k buts it's not... It's my home, it's my life. If it sinks I buy another $100k boat, no problem. If we are scared to scratch the boat we have over-invested.
We need the comfort of the Fun Zone being more important than the dollars.

:)
 

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What's your enjoyment factor?

If you own a $20,000 boat and you get the fun of someone who has paid $1million isn't your boat worth $1 million? I think so.
My mate bought a $15,000 motor boat, his first boat, and now he, his wife and 2 kids are out each weekend in a new life living it up like millionaires.

In another context, my boat is worth $100k buts it's not... It's my home, it's my life. If it sinks I buy another $100k boat, no problem. If we are scared to scratch the boat we have over-invested.
We need the comfort of the Fun Zone being more important than the dollars.

:)
Agreed. For us the investment has been worth while. Our old boat was enjoyable. It was a fun but sometimes challenging boat to sail, and it had very basic amenities which were all we needed as a small family. It was like camping in a small van or trailer.

After upgrading to a much larger and much more expensive boat it is a whole new world for us. We can travel much farther much faster and stay away much longer than we could previously. Where we used to put a tarp on the boat in the late fall and take it off in spring, now the boat is ready to go all year round. We get away on her at least once every month of the year even if just over night.

We see it as being like waterfront cottage with changeable scenery and locations. A home away from home.

I disagree with the idea that if you are afraid to scratch it you over-invested. Pride of ownership dictates that we keep our boat in the best condition possible, be it cosmetically or mechanically. That was my philosophy for our last boat as well, not to mention our houses. I will do whatever I can to prevent unnecessary damage to our boat!

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Sander - buying an NEW boat is actually pretty easy to do too. Low payments, now interest, and honestly better depreciation than any motorboat or car.
I've played the new versus used game, and considered the $300-$400 a month payment versus endless repairs. A couple boats have had me wondering. Honestly the funny part is, the more expensive the boat the easier it is to finance, lower the rates, and longer the payments!
 

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Well it is an interesting question of perspective. We like our boat, a lot. She is not what most people would want, but suits us well.

She is a 1987 steel cutter. If I were to sell her I would be lucky to get $100k, not the kind of boat folks are seeking.

Last spring I looked around at newer (2000 or newer) comparable boats (44’ish center cockpit cutter with inline double aft) and they were pretty much $300k and up. So in one sense our boat is worth $300k because that is what it would cost to replace her, minimum.

Now if I wanted to buy a brand new custom steel or aluminum hullsimilar boat I am looking at a custom or at least semi-custom build, which would be upwards of a million.

So after rolling this around in our heads for a bit we decided to do some upgrades and maintenance because we will not be changing boats anytime soon. It pays for us to be more comfortable with the boat we have.

It is a perspective game. And each ones perspective is different. For us she is our home as much as our boat, perhaps more. And she fills those attributes well.
 

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Discussion Starter #27
I don't see the price of the boat as very important. It's the annual depreciation that is. If you buy a quality $75k 10 year old boat, use it for 5 years and then sell it for $60k, it cost you $3000 a year. A older $35k boat that sells for $20k 5 years later costs the same per year to own. I would rather have owned the first boat.
It should be a factor, unless you've inherited a vast family fortune or are otherwise ridiculously wealthy and have tons of disposable income, because in your example you'd pick the 1st boat ( the more expensive one) however you haven't established why the 1st boat would provide more value/enjoyment than the second boat in your example.

Sure the 1st boat could possibly have more bells and whistles, but both will sail just fine (assuming both are reasonably maintained), so whether or not the first boat provides 50k more value (each time they take it out) to the person sailing it, I suppose is subjective.

Btw, I'm neither for nor against expensive / inexpensive boats. All have their place. I'm just doing a bit of soul searching I suppose on what's most important to me.. price or creature comforts. I often flip back n forth on the matter.
 

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It should be a factor, unless you've inherited a vast family fortune or are otherwise ridiculously wealthy and have tons of disposable income, because in your example you'd pick the 1st boat ( the more expensive one) however you haven't established why the 1st boat would provide more value/enjoyment than the second boat in your example.

Sure the 1st boat could possibly have more bells and whistles, but both will sail just fine (assuming both are reasonably maintained), so whether or not the first boat provides 50k more value (each time they take it out) to the person sailing it, I suppose is subjective.

Btw, I'm neither for nor against expensive / inexpensive boats. All have their place. I'm just doing a bit of soul searching I suppose on what's most important to me.. price or creature comforts. I often flip back n forth on the matter.
Of course whether you can afford it or not needs to be considered. You would have to be a fool to spend more than you can afford. The people that inherited family fortunes or are ridiculously wealthy are the ones buying brand new boats. The 100k boat you are talking about has long since been cast off by that segment of boat buyer! Their cast-offs are the dream boats of the middle class boat buyer such as ourselves.

Assuming one can afford to upgrade to a bigger, more comfortable boat the decision process is very much the same as buying a nicer car, going on an expensive vacation or any other luxury purchase.

I know a lot of people who fly to vacation destinations a couple of times a year, (or at least they used to!) I am sure they spend far more money in a year in airfares and accommodation than we do on our boat. There are people who get a new car every 5 years. To them it is just a monthly payment. It fits into their budget, so why NOT get a shiny new car when the lease runs up?

From a strictly financial standpoint none of those expenditures are wise financial investments. What they are is investments in lifestyle and quality of life.

If you truly believe that moving from a 45 year old boat to a 10 year old boat wouldn't be an improvement then the decision is easy. Stick with what you've got.

In our case the upgrade has been a huge improvement in every way you can imagine ...except the cost!

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Discussion Starter #29
You sir, are correct. I had a few glasses of wine when I wrote a response the other night, so I'm sure most of what I said was obvious / common sense. I meant no offense. :)

"A lot" of people live within their means. They own / acquire whatever they can afford, that fits their lifestyle / budget, as it should be.

I'm happy with what I have for now, and when the time is right I'll upgrade to something else, and I'm sure whatever I pay for it, will be worth it to me.
 

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I lived this thread in my head until the right boat came along, then the decision made itself. I had a 1968 Cal 2-30 for ten years, most of which I spent restoring. I did the math on how much I would have to spend to keep my boat on the upswing. I came up with $5k for this year because new rigging is something I can't do myself (the rest of the stuff I can). Then next year I have to start re-doing some of the things I did 10 years ago. It's a lather, rinse, repeat that I'm simply not interested in doing. When the price of restoration comes out to what a payment on a newer boat would be, then I have to consider the input of my better half, who enjoys spending time on the boat and it's her money, too.
So, I moved up just last week and my only question now is "What the hell took so long?"
 

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I lived this thread in my head until the right boat came along, then the decision made itself. I had a 1968 Cal 2-30 for ten years, most of which I spent restoring. I did the math on how much I would have to spend to keep my boat on the upswing. I came up with $5k for this year because new rigging is something I can't do myself (the rest of the stuff I can). Then next year I have to start re-doing some of the things I did 10 years ago. It's a lather, rinse, repeat that I'm simply not interested in doing. When the price of restoration comes out to what a payment on a newer boat would be, then I have to consider the input of my better half, who enjoys spending time on the boat and it's her money, too.
So, I moved up just last week and my only question now is "What the hell took so long?"
And you chose a fantastic boat too! The difference is even more noticeable when you go up in size as well as age. Your new boat must feel massive compared to your old one. I know ours did, going from 30 to 39!

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The real estate world subscribes to the “ greater fool” theory of value. In other words, I know I paid a lot, but if I can find a greater fool......
I think trying to value one kind of boat versus another is kind of a fool’s errand. Is the price of a boat equal to what YOU are willing to pay if you’re the buyer, and what someone else is willing to spend if the shoe is on the other foot. In the final analysis very few of us actually have to have a boat. So that’s kinda like comparing a Ferrari Testa Ross’s to a ‘55 Chevy. They’re both transportation. But that Ferrari has so many things a Chevy would never have: mystique, heritage, lineage, performance, aesthetics, on and on. So if you need transportation, that Chevy will probably be just as reliable, far cheaper to maintain, and will turn far fewer heads.
So that Columbia ( I sailed one for 13 years) is going to be more or less reliable and safe, and the sailing experience is not one bit diluted. But it’s not euro-styled, systems may be severely dated, sails a little blown, it’s a “ classic” ( meaning Columbia/Whittaker is long-gone) whereas Beneteau is at current boat shows. There are so many more intangibles. Some value those intangibles highly, some not a whit.
 
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Hey Gang,

I was having a conversation with the fellow in the slip next to me the other day, and both of us were in agreement on this, and it got me to thinking, so I'm curious to hear your thoughts..

First a bit of context. I have a Columbia 39, which for my needs is fantastic. It does fairly well everything I need it to do, and I paid less than 20k for it. My slip neighbor has an islander 35. While he didn't exactly say what he paid for it, I'm guessing he's in the mid to high 20's on it. Both of us are quite satisfied with what we have, and our sailing experiences with these boats.

Our neighbor across the way has a Benateau 35. My guess is that he's well over 100, probably closer to 150 on what he paid for it. I've only peeked at it a bit, and while it does have a few nicer upgrades than my boat, It's not 100k nicer (in my opinion) than my boat if you catch my drift.

I freely admit that my Columbia 39 isn't the sexiest looking kid on the block, but (in my opinion) that's hardly worth the extra spend.

So this is my question. At what point, does blowing an extra 75 or 100k on a boat give you 75 or 100k more value? Because in looking at his more modern Benateau, I'm just not seeing it. Perhaps it's my amateurish skill set that don't allow me to see the value in the extra spend of his boat (and admittidly the owner didn't give me a full tour), but some of the more experienced people here can chime in and help me to understand at what price point the value increases exponentially (or if even does at all)?

I ask this, because I have always thought of my Columbia like a first car. It's great, and I'm learning tons on it, but when I move on to my next boat, I want to make sure that the money I spend on it is for the right reasons, and not just because well, it's a Mercedes and they're "supposed" to be expensive (please excuse the car reference, best analogy I could come up at the moment).

Thanks for all of your opinions, they're most appreciated!
The car analogy is appropriate and I only bought a new car once and never did again, let others take the new car hit. I was always proud that you could buy maybe 5 of a car I might buy for, say, the cost of a new Land Cruiser. Granted, the land cruiser might be safer than a car I might buy, bigger, heavier, but I also have not had a ticket for 40 years either. To each his own. many different brands of boats are made in the same buildings in Taiwan, often right next to each other by the same men with different specs. Delivery captains will tell you that often they will have several pages of sometimes serious repairs that will be needed upon arrival at destination Regardless of brand or cost. Paying thousands doesn’t mean that problems will not reveal themselves! Buying used with proper inspections can save thousands and give years of exploring the same places that a new boat will. I have met many people that will spend $6k on new cockpit cushions and forgo needed rig repairs. It has been quite shocking to me how many people, with no experience at all, buy multi thousand dollar boats and then cross oceans. “If a teenager can do it, so can I, and with my young family”! As to your question....... whatever.....it is worth what someone is willing to spend to buy it. Dock ornaments are important to some, others not so much. Lots of dock ornaments never leave the dock or the nearby bay! The important thing is that the rig and all gear are safe for you and others.
My wife bought a new dinghy for $6000 once at a boat show. I objected so we never picked it up. I found the same dinghy on craigs list, a year old, with an engine, for a song. Sold the old dinghy we had and the engine that came with the new rig. Ended up with our old, almost new engine, a one year old dinghy in new condition and made $500!
A friend recently sold a boat they bought sight unseen two years ago. Sailed it from Florida to San Diego and all islands and countries in between and sold it for more than they bought it for. Almost never happens.
To each his or her own. It’s not what you do it’s how you do it.
Best Karma,
S/Y Nautilus
San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico
 

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This is an interesting question that has a lot of perceptive answers. And perception is everything.

We had a 1984 Endeavour 40' CC for about 7 years. We took care of it, but did not perform any major refit other than having the bottom skimmed and redone with a new layer of fiberglass, new barrier coat, new bottom paint after finding the very thin bottom after purchase (37 layers of paint hid the 10's of thousands of tiny bubbles). We were new to the game then. We babied the engine, it had an unknown number of engine hours but it purred otherwise. Over the years of ownership we sailed and sailed, up and down, around the Bay. During those years we realized that to be the boat we wanted it to be the engine would need a rebuild, no a replacement, too late for a rebuild. She needs de-masting and new rigging. The electrical system was an 80's and beyond hodge-podge with many problems from previous owners. We both work full time jobs that do not involve leaving us time during the week to go work on a boat. The weekends were dedicated to me making sure my daughter (from another) got as best a childhood possible, or sailing. I'm not a mechanic, or HVAC tech, or an electrician, but I wanted to play one on TV so I started learning as much as I could. Meanwhile a real diesel mechanic kept the motor going as things started breaking on the engine and we did the maintenance in regards to filters, oil changes, bleeding the fuel lines, etc.

Fast forward a bit to more recent and then we realized that for it to be what we wanted, it needed to be hauled out and worked on for a season to to a major refit. Or... we sell and buy another boat that we thought had things we want, or more easily install the things we want with a better canvas so to speak. The purchase of the current vessel 20 years newer provided that option. The 2004 vessel has newer design concepts, sails better, faster, and we could get that shiny new electronics array and install it ourselves after purchase. Decent sails, slightly torn genoa, well we can get a new one of those made and a new main in a few years too. We work hard and pool our resources to do those things and like many have said, couldn't care less about our vehicles other than that they are pretty dependable because of those jobs.

One day we hope to cross paths with some of the awesome people who I see posting on the forums, and avoid the salty ones of course.
 

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Discussion Starter #40
Hi Loxxsail, yes, the new (to us) boat is the 2004 Catalina 470 pictured in my profile. Sorry for the delay!
Silly me, I could have just looked at your profile and figured that out huh? But thanks for sharing, it is a great looking boat. :)
 
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