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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Work is slow and I've been day dreaming. This has brought me to an interesting (to me anyway) question.

Lets say your looking to buy a "new" boat and have a given budget. This budget is high enough to include both, lets call them "lower end" new boats and older more "high end" boats which have depreciated. All other criteria for boat selection remain the same. Which one do you go with and why?


I'm suddenly thinking I'm not really defining what I'm saying, but heck that alone should get interesting.
 

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Deep Blue Crush
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redrider - you and me both on the work front, and the day dreaming too.

These isn't a clear cut answer to your question. Who is buying and what for?

Personally, even if money are not an issue, I would still go with an older boat. But that's me. Four years ago I bought a brand new awesome Wrangler that was an expo model actually, a hybrid between a Rubicon and a Wrangler. Way more expensive than in the US because I bought it in Europe.
I actually got a Wrangler out of necessity, not because it looks great, because I was going up the mountains fairly often, but in serious mountains roads, or lack of, and I really needed a strong 4x4. But that turned out to be a bad move. I exposed the car to a lot of things that can go wrong, that can scratch it, damage it, etc. A second hand Wrangler would have still done the job just fine.
So if you want a boat that should be very comfy and just sits in a fancy marina with 4 sexy girls tanning on the deck, then I would say go for the new boat.
But if you want a boat that you will expose often to nature (and her fury sometimes) and move a lot and especially if it would be your first boat ( as it will be for me), then you will also most probably do plenty of mistakes, damage it at times, so might as well go for an older boat. And of course still treat her like you would treat a woman (as my sailing instructor who is barely 17 told me to do :) , I was so biting my tongue on that one).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Paikea, I expect the answer to change based on who and what they are buying the boat for. Which is part of why I left things vauge. If I were to make the question to defined it would somewhat limit the discussion.

For me I'm day dreaming about moving aboard someday. I don't work quite close enough to the water to actually want to commute everyday. Specifically the plan is to save like crazy, skip the kids and retire early and just go where the wind blows me. Right now I do that in the car (Porsche) or the bike (Triumph) when I get a chance from work. But that is dictated a lot by the fact that I don't get huge times where I am off, and owning a boat that is capable (why does that look wrong) of long distance just isn't in the cards right now. (Yes I own a Porsche, but it's 14 years old with 100k miles and cost less then a new civic)

With that in mind I look at what I would do today with say 150k (what I would buy a house for. Really just a number I pulled out of the air, I could afford more according to those online calculators) and that would put me at a couple year old, but still relitively speaking new say Beneteau, Hunter ect. Or I could go back to the mid 80's and pick up something that is smaller production and really known for being a comfortable boat. Heck sometimes I could even go to something a bit larger.

This is where the question lies for me. With something new, obviously you have the modern technology, more modern systems, which would hopefully mean more reliable, though for some reason I doubt that. I'm also, hopefully, not just inhertiting someone elses problems. That being said, when going to the older boat you get into something where the actual boat is probably put together a bit better. But is the high end build of 20 years ago really that much better then the low (or maybe mid range) build of today? I look at my Porche, and really it's only 300hp, with a 0-60 of 5.something seconds. A base Mustang will at least keep up in a strait line until the speeds just get stupid, and my car was a supercar in it's day (yes, I drive a 911). Now I went with the 911 because even though it's old tech, it is well built and generally doesn't break. I can work on it myself unlike new cars (did you know a BMW needs to be plugged into a dealer computer just to change a battery?) which should keep the repair cost down even if parts costs are high. Plus there are things like re-sale and blah blah blah. End of the day though and I just feel special getting behind the wheel.

I swear i was going somewhere with that. Oh, yea, basically for my car I went with the older more high end version, where I really felt like I got a lot for my money, even though on paper it really isn't any better then a much more "low end" product.
 

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So many variables its tough to say which is the better option; but I think that is the main point: both should be options. The same amount of cash will generally buy a new 35 or an old 47 (to pick two numbers). But so many variables influence the price of an older boat that its impossible to compare new vs. old unless you are talking about specific boats. Some people will only buy new, some will only buy old. Personally, I think that used boats are usually the better value (you get more for your money), but that doesn't mean that in any particular set of circumstances that the older boat is the better choice. Again, so many variables.
 

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yeah lots of variables but here would be my take. used stuff ALWAYS needs work when you get it. if it didn't the previous owner would keep it. used HIGH END stuff needs HIGH END repairs. parts for high end boats will be spendy etc.
a new lower end boat may be of lower quality but you will still get a few years of stress free use. than when repairs become needed you will know what it needs and what has been used to repair it.


so just my take I would go new.
 

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Here's something to factor in. A brand new commissioned boat is often faced with an entire season of warranty repairs and replacements, tweaking, further upgrades, etc.

I say, whether high end or production, your best buy is a lightly used 3 to 5 year old boat. Kinks are worked out, OO takes the biggest depreciation hit, but she's still near new.
 

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Deep Blue Crush
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As mstern and avenger so nicely put it, there are indeed so many variables.
I also agree used boats are better value , but it depends also how you look at it ( for me that is, as a beginner and wannabe liveaboard and cruise around its better value). I certainly learnt my lesson with the Wrangler.
I don't need something new, I need something good and which I can sail and learn and manage alone. By getting something older one also learns a lot by upgrading it and working on it.
Electronics are great, I really have nothing against them, but equally I will never just want to depend on them entirely. Did you happen to have the electricity cut off in your home because they work in the street and suddenly you feel crippled? Almost everything now is linked to the electricity in a house. Its not unusual for boats to have a malfunction on the power end and suddenly you are stuck. Ok, never had that with a boat personally but did have that exactly with a BMW. What a pain.

However, of course everyone will need to do what fits best with their lives and needs and wants and capabilities. There is no right or wrong answer here.
 

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Cars and boats are vastly different when it comes to depreciation;

  • My 2000 Audi cost about $40K when it was new. After footing the bill for maintenance on the damn thing for 6 years (3 years included with the purchase), in 2009 I was glad to be rid of it for $5K, and today, according to NADA, it is worth about $2K. That's a 12% residual after 9 years, and a 2% residual after 14.
  • According to NADA, my '87 O'day cost about $65K when it was new, and is worth almost $30K today. After 27 years, therefore, it has retained 46% of it's value.
Based on past experience, the electronics in any boat will be old after 5 years, and obsolete in 12.
 

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I think the value is in a well-maintained pre-owned boat.

I know a dock neighbor who recently purchased a new large CataBeneJene sailboat and has had a lot of issues, particularly with electrical systems. A new boat is certainly not a guarantee of problem-free ownership.
 

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I won't repeat everyone else's answers (which I concur with). You say you have the funds to go either way... Read this thread over a few times, then go looking - at the new and the used. The one that starts to grab you (you'll know)... research that boat. Bring it here, someone owns one and can give you more information. The "search" is part of the eventual love affair you will have with your boat. :)

Dave
 

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To me its a no-brainer - go used. I agree with Minne that a 3-5 year old lightly used boat would allow you to get an essentially new boat that has been sorted out for a bargain (compared to new). IMO the best value is a quality used boat from the mid-80s to mid-90s (I like boats of that era!) that has been well maintained by the previous owner(s). It will depreciate very little if it's continued to be maintained and will cost a fraction of an equivalent new boat.
 

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Deep Blue Crush
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I think the value is in a well-maintained pre-owned boat.

I know a dock neighbor who recently purchased a new large CataBeneJene sailboat and has had a lot of issues, particularly with electrical systems. A new boat is certainly not a guarantee of problem-free ownership.
That is a very valid point especially for a newbie in sailing and boats and boats maintenance. Most of you posting in here seem to have so many years
experience in so many areas. One of you getting a new boat, yes, I can see that. But for me that wouldn't work well, I would just set myself for failure and constantly depend on others to do things for me. Not something I like.

Based on past experience, the electronics in any boat will be old after 5 years, and obsolete in 12.
Obsolete, or they break easily, and some people make fun of me that I actually learn the sextant, when will I ever use it? Maybe never, maybe one day. For one I actually enjoy studying the science behind it, and for two, I will feel better having one on board and knowing to use it.
 

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Work is slow and I've been day dreaming. This has brought me to an interesting (to me anyway) question.

Lets say your looking to buy a "new" boat and have a given budget. This budget is high enough to include both, lets call them "lower end" new boats and older more "high end" boats which have depreciated. All other criteria for boat selection remain the same. Which one do you go with and why?

I'm suddenly thinking I'm not really defining what I'm saying, but heck that alone should get interesting.
A budget is of primary importance, alright, and you're certainly on the right track to apply it as your starting point... Never ceases to amaze, how many of these "Best Bluewater Boats for a Circumnavigation" threads begin with a post that offers not even any HINT of the poster's budget... :)

As others have said, there are just too many variables to give a solid response that will apply to all... But after determining a budget (and factoring in that initial purchase price will usually be only a modest percentage of that, particularly with older boats), your first step needs to be an honest assessment of what particular type of boat you desire, what sort of sailing you'll be doing with it, and so on... This sounds obvious, of course - but watching someone like northoceanbeach vacillating between 35' IOR raceboats, and 25' full-keelers, it's obvious he hasn't yet clearly defined what he wants in his next boat... When one is shopping solely to a price point, the New vs. Old will often result in matching a new production AWB fin-keeler against a CCA-era boat of higher quality, perhaps. It makes no sense to compare a new Beneteau to an older Hinckley B-40 based on equivalent price, for instance - they are COMPLETELY different types of boats, either of which might be great, or highly unsuitable, for your intended use...

The more I follow these sorts of discussions, the more I've come to believe that anyone weighing these issues first owes it to themselves to read Bob Perry's book... It's the single best starting point I can think of, Bob does a masterful - and very entertaining and readable - job of covering all the bases, and trying all the elements of yacht design and construction together. You'll really get an education on the advantages and liabilities of every sort of design out there, and I can't imagine why anyone would contemplate such a significant purchase, without first being armed with such an understanding...

Really, it is a GREAT book, highly recommended... Nothing better out there to help one target their search for the boat that is right for them, in my opinion...

 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
hmmmm. Maybe I should of defined my question better from the start, since the answer seems to boil down to "it depends" more then anything else.

First, I'm not talking about looking for a boat for me, I'm just day dreaming and probably 15-20 years out from actually buying something. I just find this question interesting because on that time frame, the high end dream boats of today will be the older high end boats when i'm looking to buy, and the low end is the stuff that hasn't actually been built yet.

Personally, it would be the cruising boat that has the option to go anywhere. The boat would be my home, and when I get bored of where I am, I leave and go someplace new. Something I can sail single handed when needed, but that can take on a small crew, or just company. Maybe even end up going around the world eventually.

I was sort of hoping this would turn into a "given this mission i'd go with a used ____ over a new ___" or the other way around. Still being an interesting read though. IDK, I'm taking a half day today and just trying to waste some time before I leave in like 10 minutes.
 

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Deep Blue Crush
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Really, it is a GREAT book, highly recommended... Nothing better out there to help one target their search for the boat that is right for them, in my opinion...

I just ordered the book actually! Should arrive any moment. The often advise I got here was "go sailing all sort of boats and then all these questions will be answered" and although I totally agree with that, right now I live in a city that is not a hot sailing spot. All I can do here is sailing Lasers and Hunters, small boats and that's also great from the sailing perspective, but doesn't help me deciding what kind of boat I am looking for to liveaboard. And I am still deciding on a marina to settle in, and hence meanwhile I cant do sailing on larger boats to gain experience, so all I can do is read forums , and books and try to be better prepared in terms of data when I actually have sorted the which marina/country question. Which should be fairly soon.
Thank you.
 

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If there weren't dreamers out there buying new boats there'd be fewer tried and tested used vessels. Some have to step up to the plate and take the hit to support the system. Brownie points for time spent working out the warranty covered bugs and screwups. (which will later become your own agenda). Consider that in the future new becomes used at a given rate and personal bugs and defects also become agenda. Wait for it.
 

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day dreaming? huh? well Ill tell you after day dreaming comes spending(wasting) time on forums...

and we all know how fun that can get jajaja

wink wink

after that I dont know what will come...oh no
 

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Cars and boats are vastly different when it comes to depreciation;

  • My 2000 Audi cost about $40K when it was new. After footing the bill for maintenance on the damn thing for 6 years (3 years included with the purchase), in 2009 I was glad to be rid of it for $5K, and today, according to NADA, it is worth about $2K. That's a 12% residual after 9 years, and a 2% residual after 14.
  • According to NADA, my '87 O'day cost about $65K when it was new, and is worth almost $30K today. After 27 years, therefore, it has retained 46% of it's value.
Based on past experience, the electronics in any boat will be old after 5 years, and obsolete in 12.
Basing a boat purchase on residual value, or rationalizing the purchase as a fun investment, is really not rational. What were the costs of owning the boat versus the costs of the car? I would think considerably higher unless you got a real lemon of a car and own your own dock for the boat.

Owning boats has always been one of my great pleasures. I love them. However, I look at them as entertainment and not something with a residual value. Sure, it is there, but adding up the costs of maintenance, slip fees, insurance, etc. makes it a damn expensive hobby. Worth every penny, but still expensive.
 

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?....I know a dock neighbor who recently purchased a new large CataBeneJene sailboat and has had a lot of issues, particularly with electrical systems.....
Unless it's lights or some basic systems, I've found most electrical systems, such as navigation and air conditioning, are often installed on new boats by local vendors. That experience itself may not translate from dealer to dealer. Nevertheless, new boats all seem to have something wrong.
 

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Unless it's lights or some basic systems, I've found most electrical systems, such as navigation and air conditioning, are often installed on new boats by local vendors. That experience itself may not translate from dealer to dealer. Nevertheless, new boats all seem to have something wrong.
It's the bow thruster/Dock-n-Go system plus nav/radar, plus a few other little electrical gremlins. I do believe the nav electrical issues were a dealer issue, but thruster was a manufacturer issue. Point being, as you noted, is that new boats have issues too.

For me, the case for purchasing new would involve:

1) Interest in a new design/technology not available from pre-owned vessels
2) Desire for custom design, custom features
3) Big or nearly unlimited budget
4) Wanting to be the first and only owner
 
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