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Discussion Starter · #21 · (Edited)
Take the information. It doesn't mean you have to do one thing or another. Personally, knowing you and Shiva pretty well I think you will never sell the boat She is worth more in the true sense - the joy she provides, and the happy days aboard.

But markets are markets and every time a price goes up, the choices for buyers widen and other competitive attractive boats become available. A lot of those are maybe not nicer, or faster, or more comfortable - but they are newer and more saleable.

As your friend I always hoped you'd get $75k. But I think now you can sit back and enjoy the boat.
The broker thing was a reality check. He is probably a good broker and sells boats... easier these days apparently. His email confirmed that very little matters other than the age of the boat, how popular the model is and that is sound. He didn't even mention that Contests are not well known and not in demand in this area. But I kinda understood that. I was sort of surprised at the fact that ANY owner improvements / upgrades seem to virtually no impact on the price.
 

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Take the information. It doesn't mean you have to do one thing or another. Personally, knowing you and Shiva pretty well I think you will never sell the boat She is worth more in the true sense - the joy she provides, and the happy days aboard.

But markets are markets and every time a price goes up, the choices for buyers widen and other competitive attractive boats become available. A lot of those are maybe not nicer, or faster, or more comfortable - but they are newer and more saleable.

As your friend I always hoped you'd get $75k. But I think now you can sit back and enjoy the boat.

that is the spirit
 

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The other thing that might not be obvious is that as we get older we don't have to sail the boat. The motor is fine. It would take a lot of stress off to plan a season where the sails are not even bent but put ashore - freeing up space - and motoring, anchoring and overnighting in pretty places.
Certainly now when I do a short run of just a few hours I won't put out more than the furling white things.
 

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I was sort of surprised at the fact that ANY owner improvements / upgrades seem to virtually no impact on the price.
Only a major expense, like brand new sails, standing rigging, electronics, etc, done within the last three years and indistinguishable from new would push the needle, IMO. Then by maybe one third of what they cost. Max.

Upgrades and good care matter, maybe +\- 10%, but not a lot. More likely that a well cared for, upgraded boat simply sells first. But only at what the market will bear.

I think you’ll keep the boat till your final days and that’s a blessing. If not, food for thought is your electronics. I understand the argument that a new buyer may want to make their own choices. But those big dollars stand in the way of purchase dollars. It can also give the “appearance” that the boat was managed on a budget. I’m not arguing it was, just marketing points. It’s hard to point to upgrades, when the really obvious ones aren’t. On the other hand, once you’ve upgraded them and lost 2/3rds of the cost, it can make more sense to just sell as is, at the lower price. That’s how the game is played.

Hope you find this constructive, as intended. Go enjoy your boat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
I will likely not sell but donate the boat when I can't deal with it... and my wife will not want it if I pass before her.
 

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A few weeks ago I decided that my continuing back problem, worsening knees and compromised balance was a reason to end my ownership of Shiva, a Contest 36s I had bought new in August 1985. It was a very hard decision. The boat was our "weekend" home... as we live in an apartment. Even when we didn't sail we would stay aboard for weekends and enjoy the beautiful harbor and the calm. We loved cruising to harbors from City Island to Mount Desert Island. I recall very well when on Sept 11 2001 I drove to pick up my wife and escape to our boat which at the time was moored in Stirling Harbor, Greenport. We felt safe there and had everything on board we need to carry on our lives. There are untold number of memories living in that boat including 5 years of living aboard and cruising the Caribbean. In fact my identity as an architect changed to be a sailor who worked as an architect.
My best friend who introduced me to sailing and mentored me for years... passed away 2 years ago. He used to tell me frequently to keep the boat when I got old because owning the boat, caring for the boat, sailing the boat was therapeutic. He sold his boat a few months before he died. I think to make that easier for his wife.
Over the past months as I mostly worked on my never ending list of projects I realized it was getting harder and hard to do them... I paced myself... I was not in a rush... But I was slowing down. We didn't sail much because the weather was just pain lousy. If this was the coming pattern... that was another reason to exit.
So I contacted a broker and arranged for him to see the boat... which was in great shape. I had no idea what the boat was worth to someone else. Of course I out tens of thousands of dollars into the boat over the years and thousands of hours of work. My improvements made this 36s very special. I have been planning an nav electronics upgrade to N2K but was holding off as my present instruments work perfectly and do the job. I also figured that the next owner would upgrade the electronics to suit them. I think all boat owners enjoy "tricking out" their boats and making them fit to their needs.
So the broker comes by... nice enough fella. He had just sold a Beneteau 37 across the dock from me. He spent less than 45 minutes. Took some photos of the exterior and the interior... But I I found him completely incurious about what I had done. He told me the RIB and OB were not going to be in the listing, He told me to remove everything in the lockers. He didn't want to look at my dry bilge. I offered to show him and lifted the floor board. My impression was he did not know Contest although he told me he had sold Halburg Rassy and had been a Baltic dealer at some point to "give me confidence". He did not mention any familiarity with Contest. And there are very few of them in the States. I think I know of most of the 36s in the region and have been contacted by their owners for assistance. I am the grand daddy of 36s owners. I get referrals for helping new owners from the broker who had been selling them for years. I told the broker I have hundreds of photos of the boat and every detail in it if he wanted them. He seemed indifferent.
A week later an email arrived from the broker.

He spelled my name wrong:

Hi Jeffery​
After looking at the comps and I also had a couple of other brokers in my firm run comps. We all felt that a asking price on the vessel should be $39,000. This asking price reflects the current strong market.​
It was also suggested that the vessel should be hauled and a quick structural survey be preformed by a accredited​
marine surveyor.​

WOW was I unimpressed. Wife and I had already decided to keep the boat before the email arrived and were both curious as to what he would tell me. She laughed. The Contest Owners Club members told me that the value was ridiculous and the boats were selling for much more in Europe. And I have looked at those boats and most are newer but hardly as well appointed and upgraded. That's fine. Many people just want a good boat to sail not an ongoing "property" to improve. They own for a number of years and buy a bigger boat. I have not met anyone who has owned the same boat for 36 years. Sure many have been sailing longer and have owned several boats.

We are not going to stay on a dock in summer. It's close and convenient for work... but not a place we would spend a weekend. No privacy, no breeze... no views. Next summer we move back to a mooring in a lovely harbor.

I will have to come up with a plan for the next owner of the boat. It's that time of life. Not there yet...
View attachment 140477
I asked a broker to look at my old Regulator26 that was about 20 years old but had been repowered, repainted, etc. He told me $10,000. As if! I sold it myself for $50K in a couple of weeks. I probably could have tried for more, but I sold it for cash, as is, without any dickering. The broker didn’t seem to know they don’t make the 26 footer anymore. It’s 24 or 30. And they go for $100s of 1000s new. So….brokers. I bought my current sailboat through a broker but had to use a straw man who knew him to get a realistic price.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
I suspect that people who put the boat on the market mostly are intending to move to a bigger or a least a new to them boat... and they also know that they can not expect to recover any money put into the boat. That meme has been around for a long time. Aside from project boats... people expect a boat that they can step on and sail and expect to have to do some work or upgrades. Old boats are nothing like say... classic cars...they are selling for much more than they cost and money put into them doesn't seem to evaporate (as much). Houses also seem to appreciate over time for no particular reason. But some of what a homeowner does can increase the selling price... landscaping for example.

But where do these used prices come from? I suspect mostly from recent sales of the same model and the same model. But a 38' Catalina is a very different boat from a Swan, Sweden yachts, Baltic, or Halberg Rassy or a Beneteau. All boats are not built to the same specs, nor use the same materials. However a lot of these details seem to lose importance in the resale market. It seems to precipitate down to... size.... age, general condition... age of sails or engine hrs and really little more.
 

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Houses also seem to appreciate over time for no particular reason.
There is a very clear reason. Supply. You can’t make more land. Sure, you can develop more land, but that’s typically a long, drawn out process. Even then, certain desirable locations are tapped out. You can make all the boat you want.
 

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Trying to make sense of the market is an exercise in contradictions.
The same broker who was explaining to me about been a seller market trying to tempt me with an overpriced boat was explaining why my boat was not going to sell well because ......BS!!!
I am not interested in trading, was just talking and enjoining his twisted logic.
May be Planet Earth is now rotating in a different axis?
Maybe the aliens have taken over, and we did not notice it
Maybe the beer is not strong enough?
May be should double my night cap.
Sayonara.
 

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Ironically, fiberglass killed boat manufacturers. Too many boats last too long.
Good for buyers of used boats, not so good for sellers.
This is why the large builders like Groupe Beneteau release new designs on a 5 year cycle. There will always be people who want the latest design and most modern looking boats. That frees up newer used boats. After 40 years of that trickle down effect those '80s boats are starting to look very unappealing compared to newer designs.

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
This is why the large builders like Groupe Beneteau release new designs on a 5 year cycle. There will always be people who want the latest design and most modern looking boats. That frees up newer used boats. After 40 years of that trickle down effect those '80s boats are starting to look very unappealing compared to newer designs.

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Yes and no.... Some aspects "new designs" are not appealing to me at least.
 

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Yes and no.... Some aspects "new designs" are not appealing to me at least.
That's true. Not everybody likes modern boats and for them it is a good thing that the old designs are getting cheaper. Then again you aren't exactly the target market for new yachts. And for people with the money for a new yacht who prefer "classic" designs there are boutique builders that would be happy to build what you want for a premium price!

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This is why the large builders like Groupe Beneteau release new designs on a 5 year cycle.
I remember, in about the 2010 timeframe, they not only released new models, but they substantially lowered base prices, as I recall. Bronze thru hulls went to plastic, real teak or real veneer, went to "manufactured" teak and painted on grain. It was a smart move in a tough economic time, coming out of the bottom of the great recession. They survived, while most died and never went back. Of course, there were other reasons why plastic parts may have been superior to bronze and less expensive. It put a serious dent in the value of what I thought, in the moment, were superior products, made just a few years earlier.
 

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I was on a pretty new Leopard 40 Catamaran the other day with my GF and the Ikea plastic didn't worry her at all.
Her cleaning abilities extend only to "hose it out". But she loved the huge plastic bathrooms, huge plastic storage areas, huge plastic kitchen.

We were also on a near new 72 foot catamaran kinda like a mini Superyacht with captain and crew. Again all plastics. Everything. (and air-conditioner everywhere. Millions of air-conditioners).

She doesn't want teak (doesn't know what it is) she doesn't want Old Man colours... She doesn't want to piddle in a Head(s) she wants bathrooms, kitchens, lounges with plush soft-on-the-butt cushions. Oh, and fricken colored lights that change with the wifi'd music.

Believe me, there no room for my boat on her shopping list!


Mark 😊
 
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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
The other thing that might not be obvious is that as we get older we don't have to sail the boat. The motor is fine. It would take a lot of stress off to plan a season where the sails are not even bent but put ashore - freeing up space - and motoring, anchoring and overnighting in pretty places.
Certainly now when I do a short run of just a few hours I won't put out more than the furling white things.
Unfurling head sail takes no effort at all. Setting the main with the Milwaukee drill driving the winch to raise the sail takes little effort. Even when I have the notion to sail to a close harbor for the weekend... motoring their is not very appealing and why I am underway less these days. Sure you do get a lovely sailing to and are forced to motor back. However I don't usually raise the main underway. It's up at the start and even when motoring in no wind... it stays up until I arrive. I would gain storage space if I don't use the sails.... except maybe the cruising spinnaker.
 

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Sander, as an owner of Contest (43 CC, in Boston), I can tell you most brokers know nothing about Contest, HR, Najad and that breed. Very few boats are built at this quality that lasts forever. If maintained well - and it looks like yours is in a great shape, attention to details etc., this boat can survive like new for another 32 years… And the 36S has been one of the best models built by Contest - ever!

Good you enjoy maintaining and sailing her, even with the limitations, keep her like that and one day the right educated buyer will show up.

Take care and be well!
 
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