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Tartan 34C
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Discussion Starter #1
It's gone in the coo-coo zone up here. It may be due to border restrictions, but even prices for questionable boats are ridiculous. New boaters are buying boats with some significant issues and it's not going to be pretty when they launch them soon.
 

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I agree. I saw lots of these yachts from about the seventies-eighties, less than 40', avertised for more than 75k USD$. I can't understand why. I just think people are trying to valuate their expenses when they sell the boat, forgetting it's age, actual condition, and the amount of money required to bring them at a decent shape.

I mean, I hope the buyer doesn't pay this much for this yacht. An exceptional find with brand new electrical wiring, systems, watermaker, a new engine, solar panel, windvane and all those stuff could value this much. Not an average find with 20-years old or more engine, no such stuff, and a couple of leaks and things to replace.

Some years ago, they called the Island Packets a little overvalued. Now, they are plain average at best, almost beginning to look like a bargain.

Is the dealer trying to make a profit? Probably.

Is the buyer sometimes a little unconscious of what it's worth? More than probably.

I find it aweful too that too few sellers will actually pass on a broker, especially for smaller sized boats. They could just make a decent site, or post and advertising on some free site with good pictures and description, it should make it without costing a arm of fees for the transaction and storage.
 

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Yes, nuts. Our friend sold his boat last month. It was on the hard and he sold it sight unseen for asking price. I was speaking to a local broker about a month ago, who said he’d typically have one to two dozen personal listings this time of year. He only had 6 at that time. As if this week, he’s down to one.
 

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I haven't been boat shopping lately, but I understand prices are way up and availability is way down.

We leased Waterfront (no building) on the St Lawrence River for the next year or two thinking we would be able to get an RV or travel trailer. It's been nutso competitive.

My understanding is new RVs have been unobtanium due to parts shortages and that, along with increased demand has trickled down to the used market. Used market prices have been up by thousands, in the lower end of the market doubling and even tripling prices of clean used units.

Today we got lucky. A unit we liked went on the used market, locally. Made an appointment to look 27 minutes after the listing was made. Got there about 2 hours after the listing was up, did a self inspection and purchased it on the spot.

It seems like in the used RV market, you really need to be that quick. Luckily we know RV systems from being sailors and trailers from being trailer sailors because I am certain it would have slipped through our fingers if we had made a conditional offer.

Any way, all is now good for us. Nice, clean spacious TT, a lease on waterfront that is good for a couple of years that we will be able to keep our trailer sailer on. The season is looking good, assuming this third lock down doesn't last too to long.
 

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Old soul
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Prices are up because demand outstrips supply right now. It's basic market economics. A boat's worth is as variable as a house, and depends on local conditions as much as any inherent value in the item.

So yes, prices are up because more people are buying these days. Of course sellers pricing as high as they can, and of course all those in the business of selling are maximizing their profit. That's how capitalism works.

My view is, sell now if you are a seller. If you are buyer, wait. Once Covid-19 is truly behind us, a lot of pandemic purchases will come back on the market, driving supply up and prices down.
 

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The great depression left an indelible scar on an entire generation‘s economic behavior. It’s possible the pandemic will do the same to those that sought outdoor recreational activity. I think it could be years before we stop talking about COVID, which could keep the backup plans alive. Perhaps prep for the next one. Most people will trend back toward pre-pandemic behaviors, but it only takes a small fraction of the population to keep a higher than (recently) usual demand for boating.
 
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Old soul
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The great depression left an indelible scar on an entire generation‘s economic behavior. It’s possible the pandemic will do the same to those that sought outdoor recreational activity. I think it could be years before we stop talking about COVID, which could keep the backup plans alive. Perhaps prep for the next one. Most people will trend back toward pre-pandemic behaviors, but it only takes a small fraction of the population to keep a higher than (recently) usual demand for boating.
Yes, this seems likely. The market effects will likely depend on the trajectory of this disease over the coming months and few years. If, as we all hope, the vaccines lead to a precipitous drop in infection rates, and more importantly, hospitalization numbers, then I can see a flood back to normalcy.

Of course, if that doesn't happen and the infection rates remain high, people won't return to pre-pandemic patterns. And the longer the current state lasts, the more normal it will become.
 

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How about something else... most people are immune... to most strains... and the infection and death rate drops to a low number... which does inhibit MOST people from "mingling"? Corona does not disappear but it is a problem for a smaller portion of people and can be nasty and fatal.

The anti vax people will become the spreaders and the ones who get sick and die... if they have no immunity. This is the model of the trump "spreader events"...
That certainly seems like one possible scenario. We currently see outbreaks of other vaccine-preventable diseases in areas with low vaccination rates, so you might be correct as to the future of SARS-CoV-2.

Right now, US infection rates are edging back up. It's not steep, and still short term, so hard to say if it's a real trend or just the final hurrah for this virus. Most of the rest of the world is seeing steep increases in infection, but that's (hopefully) because we're not as advanced with our vaccination rates. That should change rapidly -- at least for the developed world.
 

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Yup. I too believe the Covid played a role in this. At first it was because people wanted to do other things and started looking for something else to do than the basic home stuff. Then because it meant more people not wary of the typical value of the used boat were in to look for one. Then because from working from home they had some time to travel so could look further, so because more boats were looked at, sellers broadly upped their prices, so nowhere would be a bargain, and now, because people have realized Covid is coming to an end, and question their previous lifestyle: Where they really happy doing their jobs in different conditions? If they became ill, would they have thought they had accomplished their dreams? And finally, because the market is experiencing a shortage of sellers, so less sellers and more buyers usually means higher prices, less choices.

To give everyone an idea of what I saw, in two months or so, the average price of a used Cavalier 32, typically sold in Australia or New Zealand, has jumped about 10-15k$, from some 35-45k$, to about 50-55k$ (in Australian dollars).

I saw a Cape George 31 and a Cape George 36, that everyone will agree is not brand new, being some 30-40 years old, and that you can see as a good quality boat, but certainly not that big, especially regarding today's boat normal interior size, being asked for more than 100k$ (109k$-120k$).

I saw some boats in conditions that needed lots of repairs, with people asking way more than 50k$ for these boats.

I thought that before the pandemic the market was high. Now I think it is skyscraping high.

I also see brokers trying to make a fortune out of this situation. They make high profits, while more than often, they don't do a lot in the sale, safe perhaps advertising a bit and writing a description for the boat, and connecting the seller and the buyer, and displacing the boat. Some aren't even there when the boat is visited, and don't know anything about the boat more than what can be read in the announcement, what the seller told them, which isn't always accurate and true.

I see announcements that are pure copy/paste from the web of somebody who wrote something on the boat's brand, or model.

I saw errors that where incredibly unprofessional.

Boats with their year of production in the ad that wasn't even in the production run of the model. Many times. More than five times I can recall.

A boat marketed as being the Island Packet 32, while the boat was in fact the Island Packet 29.

Various typo errors, and errors of coherence. Boats with less then 40'' and supposedly more than 280 gallons of fuel (well, almost 1060 L??? are they crossing the world non-stop, motoring the whole way???), while this wasn't supposed to be gallons, but mere L. A simple re-reading would have prevented this mistake.

Boats that I could identify not working equipement (half disconnected, sometimes partly destroyed) or equipement that had seen really better days, or see leaks of water (one was in fact having a crack on the boat, at the waterline, the owner placed a cushion and the cushion was more wet when I looked at the picture something like 10, and something like 12, or 14 (the patching wasn't even hard to spot)). The description, something like: ''A boat in pristine/superb condition.'' (I can't recall the phrasing but it's what it meant, with no ambiguity.) A conscious and scrupulous broker just barely looking at these pictures wouldn't have said so.

I saw boats that had taken in lots of water with dehumidifiers working to save what remained to be saved, and aweful patches of all kinds, being advertised for some equally aweful sums.

I also have been aware of brokers that have tried to make a huge double profit, that is trading a boat one wants to have for the one they have + cash, and trying to make a profit on both boats.

Now, writing what they wrote, and say, accounting for the time to exchange some mails with the seller would take me 2h, maybe 3h.

Who could think such a job is worth some 10-15k or more (and I am very generous with my numbers) for each sale?

I mean, if you sale the 2M price tag brand new and shining boat, maybe. But if it is the average 50-150k boat, not so much.

A good writer, publishing a book, will be lucky if in one year, he manages to get 10-15k for a whole book he took months to write. Months. Hundreds of hours.

Now I understand I must account for some costs, such as the costs of relocation. But these don't completely justify the expenses, I fear.
 

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My guess is demand for boats may be that people perceived that it's an outdoor activity / sport / leisure activity with no social distance issues.... or minimal as you get to and from the boat. Of course you can't party shore side... but you can cruise, anchor, sail...

Maybe
 

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Oh, and I forgot the other thing that struck out of the lot, the term ''blue water cruiser''.

It happened to term many many many boats larger than 35 fts. Some calls where just ridiculous. Speedy ships that I recall two men in the working age, with some 35-40 years old could barely hold in 1) a protected harbour, 2) with winds of no more than 20-25 knts, 3) years of experience, 4) an extensive experience of many many boats.

Who would decently call this kind of pure racer, speed demon, an ocean worthy boat? At least without writing nearby "with a crew, and a lot of experience, some alterations''?

The construction was light, to go VERY fast, and I know this was made at this expense of strenght, because that boat was made to BE RACED NEAR SHORE.

If you had a racing team at hand, some real money to work along with a lot of things, maybe.

But if you are any newcomer that comes along and doesn't get a clue to differentiate a potable blue water cruiser and a pure coastal RACER, SOLELY MADE TO BE RACED WITH A CREW AT HAND, a boat uncontrollable in windy conditions, and one that has to be always watched because of the uber-huge amount of sail carried, would you be able to make it to the ocean?

I really don't think so.
 

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Farr 11.6 (Farr 38)
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Oh, and I forgot the other thing that struck out of the lot, the term ''blue water cruiser''.

It happened to term many many many boats larger than 35 fts. Some calls where just ridiculous. Speedy ships that I recall two men in the working age, with some 35-40 years old could barely hold in 1) a protected harbour, 2) with winds of no more than 20-25 knts, 3) years of experience, 4) an extensive experience of many many boats.

Who would decently call this kind of pure racer, speed demon, an ocean worthy boat? At least without writing nearby "with a crew, and a lot of experience, some alterations''?

The construction was light, to go VERY fast, and I know this was made at this expense of strenght, because that boat was made to BE RACED NEAR SHORE.

If you had a racing team at hand, some real money to work along with a lot of things, maybe.

But if you are any newcomer that comes along and doesn't get a clue to differentiate a potable blue water cruiser and a pure coastal RACER, SOLELY MADE TO BE RACED WITH A CREW AT HAND, a boat uncontrollable in windy conditions, and one that has to be always watched because of the uber-huge amount of sail carried, would you be able to make it to the ocean?

I really don't think so.
Just out of curiosity, what model boat was that racer?
 

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Freedom isn't free
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Jeff I think I'm with you. Haven't seen to older mono racers that wouldn't hold up off shore. Sure neglected - but I'd say that applies to any boat.
I've had at least 3 of my prior boats called "tender," or "poorly built," because they were classified as racers. Hell even my C&C 32 I've heard people call "tender." I'd love to get that beast out in some water - it'd be a hoot!
 

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Tartan 34C
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Discussion Starter #14
Oh it's definitely due to Covid, around here at least. We are under prolonged restrictions. All our bars and restaurant remain closed. No concerts, no professional sports, no group leisure activities at all really. In a city of 5 million this is bound to effect the remaining options. And rv's and boating are a couple of them. It is nearly impossible to book a campsite in our province. All sold out. So we're seeing, (around here), people who are very new to boating buying anything they can get their hands out of desperation. I have witnessed, first hand this week, someone going into near panic mode because his offer on a boat, (in questionable condition), might fall through. I don't think he has ever sailed before.
Comparable boats on the Canadian side of the Great Lakes appear to be selling for 10-20% more. Impossible to know how much condition plays a part without seeing all of them in person, but it does look irregular to say the least.
 

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I see announcements that are pure copy/paste from the web of somebody who wrote something on the boat's brand, or model....Various typo errors, and errors of coherence.
This is nothing new, and has been the case on boat sales websites as long they've existed. Not to mention the more shoddy the listing the more the photography tends to be abysmal as well.
 
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A well loved Irwin 52 Ketch just came on the market for $165k. It's fully loaded with amenities & except for two small areas that were in-process of upgrade, it's Bristol inside. It's listed on Yacht word, either in Indiantown or Ft. Pierce FL. The owner (a friend) had a stroke & passed a couple of weeks ago. His widow is unable to handle the boat without him. It needs to sell soon.

This is a centerboard boat with 5.5' draft board up & 12' board down. Everything is up to date, except for the new autopilot which needs to be installed and the new boom cover that she has material for. Lots of Spectra, nice washing machine, big water maker, big gen set, AC, 4 cylinder Perkins, Master head has stand up shower & bath tub, recent solar upgrades, full galley, 3 heads, 3 state rooms, gorgeous floors & bright work, etc. If it was in my price range, I would buy it. I don't have that kind of money loose & I can't bring myself to lowball the widow. It's a nice find for the right person.
 

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Hi,

There are quite a couple of racers that I can think of that won’t be a good choice offshore because the crew basically acts as a ballast, and because the boat is made big, and very responsive, with a huge sail plan, so if the seas went confused, you would have a hard time to cope with such a boat alone, or with a wife, and maybe, if lucky, an adult or older kid. If you don’t have a 6+ crew, the boat will not really be manageable in offshore conditions.

Unless you have way more money than the average guy or girl looking for a bargain, and paying such prices.

I am not asking if you could bring, but if you think it should be a recommendation to take such a boat, considering that with this price you are appealing to a group of people that don’t have the money at hand to make the necessary changes to make it practical and realistic, and also don’t have so much experience.

These people are looking for a really cheap find, and will have a lot of deception visiting or if they buy the boat, realizing that it is not gonna be a boat they can handle.

The second point has more to do with the kind of behavior this suggests.

Do you think it’s more of a broker interest to recommend a poor design and poorly manageable design to ocean sailing, or a buyer’s interest?

Do you think such a thing is more or less justified by the fact a broker KNOWS the buyer would rave to have a boat he could take to the sea AND NOT PAY A LOT, and so the broker is basically not representing rigorously and trustfully the interests of mainly the seller, but also, taking care of the buyer, trying to help him/her make the BEST decision possible?

Why doesn’t this person say the boat is manageable offshore… with a crew?

Why isn’t such a caveat made?

Do you think such a broker is more of an illusionist trying to make a profit out of an unaware fool, or a sincere and good broker?

Do you think at the end of the day, it is more the money the broker will make in the sale rather than the satisfaction of having helped both parties come to an agreement out of which none is very likely to regret either the buy or the sale, that count?

The same goes for any financial consultant. If, say, Joe Doe tells me to buy in the stock he bought last week SO HE CAN MAKE A PROFIT, he is not doing professionally his job: his job is to pick the stocks accounting for what’s the interest of the client in a way that he won’t pay too much or pay for junk. If he doesn’t do this, he should not be considered to be a wise counsellor.

Now let’s return to our case.

I don’t know of a design that can’t be brought to sea, safe perhaps a pool noodle and some T-shirt acting as a sail. That won’t last very long, I promise.

But I do know designs that are poor sailors in all manners, especially those that have a construction made in the days you could become a boat builder just like that, and make the ship the very way you wanted, not accounting for any math, without any calculations of what’s best in the ratio of the fiberglass, how things should be made to last, and taking all sorts of shortcuts with everything. These boats I wouldn’t term for an ad purpose ‘’ocean-cruiser’’ if I were honest, and if I wanted to keep any reputation. What will any buyer say when problems start to show up?

‘’Ooops, I thought I picked the cheap choice, but on the long run, I picked the one with a lot of expensive fixtures? My broker was giving me advised guidance all the way to make the best use of the money I had at hand?’’

Another point.

Look at teak decks, and how leaky and costly they are to repair.

Now wonder. May any ship be built strong? Sure. Then why does the average American boat made with this material on deck in the 1960-1980 leaks before 15 years have passed?

I know of some boats made with teak decks in Northern Europe that have endured 30 years (yes, you read correctly) of beating, still, without having any deck leaks.

But does a builder trying to cut corners to save money be more likely to have taken to account the proper ways of building such a structure, or the most economical ones, to be able to produce something cheap that looked initially good?

Now wonder. If I were to tell any buyer interested in this specific boat that the broker termed ‘’ocean-going yacht’’, that the boat is made in a way in which it is not going to be the deck the problem (which is already painful and expensive enough, and more so if the yacht is bigger, and even more if it had delamination, moistures, and other issues because of those leaks to fix), but probably the whole structure, when it will take a beating, would you feel like this is the yacht to get?

Should anyone be encouraged to TAKE THEIR TIME to look upon a vessel that is not made very strong? Not made well enough to be able to sustain with as little structural dommage as possible the real strength of ocean waves?

And in general, my last point, do you feel currently the people buying such boats at such prices have a lot of experience?

Do you then think they will do better in an ocean? Take the best decisions? Even more with such a not-so-good yacht?

Will they be happy then to have a much less-than-perfect boat so they can have more risks and difficulties to cope with?

Do you feel these people are buying out of experience, or out of no experience at all?

So honestly, I can think of quite a couple of racers that won’t be a good choice offshore because the crew (6+ persons) basically acts as a ballast, is required to manage a huge sail plan, cope with the sensibility of the rudder, or these boats are too heavy and big to manage for the average couple, which has maybe one or two children to deal with at the same time. If you don’t have that crew, then the boat will not really be manageable in offshore conditions. It won’t make an easy thing to sail in weather, safe perhaps if you don’t sail at all and motor the whole way.

And sincerely, I don’t say it is impossible to sail with a bad design, of aweful construction.

I say your life is at stake in offshore conditions, and you deserve much more than 1) paying a fortune for a decent performer, which I find is sort of being the case right now, 2) paying for a poor design in which you will have lots of shortcuts to cope with and that will end up costing you way more than what you initially paid, ending for you the dream of a bargain, BUT KEEPING THE BROKER FOREVER WITH A VERY GOOD AMOUNT OF CASH IN HIS WALLET, and being confronted to the fact that you now have paid a lot and still don’t have even close to what you would have if you realized prior to the purchase it was going to cost you this much to pay for upgrading, and choose instead either not to buy, or to buy a better design, with decent sail area, a boat which is normally doing a good performance on all points of sail (not a perfect performance, that doesn’t exist, but a good), have decent light air and heavy air performance, and a less uncomfortable motion in a seaway.

What I say is advertising this boat as being a blue water cruiser is not a very thoughtful recommendation, one I wouldn’t make to a dear friend seeking a reasonable advice.

The ad is made by someone who should have thought about what was the design made for, and can such a boat be for most a real blue water cruiser, or only for those with crews at hand and a desire for pure performance?

There is also a notion that when somebody calls it a ‘’blue water cruiser’’, the word ‘’cruiser’’ is there to mean something, which for most people doesn’t equal to the feeling coming from a very ‘’pure racer’’ and really not to the feeling of a ‘’pure racer that is not close to good to deal with offshore’’.

I can understand a cruiser with a desire for performance. Sure thing.

I can think of not so pricey choices to consider for blue water cruising.

But if my friend, or anyone I sincerely care to tell the truth, came nearby, asking me for some help to select a boat, I wouldn’t point him any real all-racer meant to be of the round-the-buoy type, old, and left to decay, beaten, or a boat of which I know poor constructions practices explain the price tag, and the state of the boat leaves me cold at best.

I would not say this would be worth thousands of dollars of advice.

So yes, sure, I can borrow a canoe and cross the Atlantic with this. Would it be a good choice for most?

If as a broker, you can’t understand the very difference between having this used for blue water once, and suggesting this IS a good choice for blue water cruising, what’s the money coming for?

3-4 emails between you and the seller, and the relocation costs? While there is plenty of space because there are a lot of sales now? You probably copy-pasted the emails’ information anyway and changed a couple of things in the emails to make the ad… And you didn’t displace yourself to see the ship and offer no guarantee of its condition.

So what is it for?

For telling the seller somebody’s interested in the boat and offering the prospective buyer the contact information of the seller so contact could be made?

This would be worth thousands of dollars?

Even a lawyer won’t make such a fortune for such a thing if so.

And yes, I do know some brokers are not like that. Are knowledgeable, have real desire to tell the buyer the truth, and won't suggest over-inflated prices. But with the current market climate, I feel they are rare to price reasonably.

I forgot to add: price in the amount of abuse such a pure racer will have taken in its lifetime.

Well, now you see why it wouldn’t strike me as a good choice, such a boat not likely in a good shape.

I hope I have answered the questions/doubts/clarified my point.

Oh, for the name of the brand and model I’ll try to recover it, it was a couple of months ago, and I know the ship isn’t marketed anymore. My memory will try to remember what it was. I’ll do my best and tell you if I can recall it.
 

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Yes, 4arch, I know, but it is a real shame. With the high price, comes the low quality of some brokers.
 

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We are turning away 6-7 surveys a day. The vast majority are people buying 36' - 45' boats. 90% of them have never been on a boat before.

We frequently hear that they have already bought the boat and just found out they need a survey to get insurance. We don't take those jobs anymore as we are tired of telling people their boat is junk.

Be careful this summer ... all those people are going to be out there.
 

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Be careful this summer ... all those people are going to be out there.
We found last summer on the water crazy. People were drunk, stoned, aggressive and generally incompetent. It was not fun being on the Rideau and border line scary in the Thousand Islands with kids. One of the reasons we decided to try RVing. Ontario waterways are nuts right now.
 
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