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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Guys & Gals,

for various reasons I have put my yacht on the market and one of the items I am debating about is whether to upgrade the autopilot. The existing Benmar autopilot has been fairly flukey and recently gave us a lot of problems on a three week trip. Existing system is about 30 years old.

Thinking of replacing with a Raymarine system, which will probably be around $3,000 (Oz $) plus $1,000 installation.

The advice from the broker is that there have been some negative comments on the age of the electronics. He suggested that buyers are normally looking for a depthsounder, GPS / Nav system and auto pilot. The first two are already covered.

If the yacht does'nt sell by Xmas I'm planning a 2 week cruise down south where the autopilot will come in handy.

I'm thinking it is a no brainer and I should replace, however interested in any comments / experience people have.

Ilenart
 

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ASA and PSIA Instructor
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Expect at best to gewt back half of any upgrades/equipment you put into the boat...so if what use you'll get of the AP is worth $2000 to you, go for it.
 

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In a tight market, what ever you can do to get folks interested, is usually good. On the other hand, is it worth it to spend 4G to get an additional 2G along with putting an additional 10-20% in the brokers pocket..........

You can probably go both ways on this. BUT, if it were me, I would leave the price lower, and if she has not sold by the time you take the Dec cruise, THEN put the AP in it. I the mean time, a 50% loss of the cost to sell it quicker......I'm thinking I'd be better off dropping the price another $2G to make up for the lack of AP! Let the next owner spend the 4G on the unit they want.

This is my way of going at it. I've spent many folks $$ toing upgrades to homes landscapes to help them sell, some get the money back, other do too much and do not get there money back. This looks like one while it may be important, not THAT important!

Marty
 

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Hi Guys & Gals,

for various reasons I have put my yacht on the market and one of the items I am debating about is whether to upgrade the autopilot. The existing Benmar autopilot has been fairly flukey and recently gave us a lot of problems on a three week trip. Existing system is about 30 years old.

Thinking of replacing with a Raymarine system, which will probably be around $3,000 (Oz $) plus $1,000 installation.

The advice from the broker is that there have been some negative comments on the age of the electronics. He suggested that buyers are normally looking for a depthsounder, GPS / Nav system and auto pilot. The first two are already covered.

If the yacht does'nt sell by Xmas I'm planning a 2 week cruise down south where the autopilot will come in handy.

I'm thinking it is a no brainer and I should replace, however interested in any comments / experience people have.

Ilenart
The boat will sell without the electronics - if its buggy - remove it, and now its a boat with expansion in mind instead of major replace. Tricky words and phrases but if I pose this:

Would you buy:

1. Buy with no autopilot - knowing you can add your own..

2. Buy with a an outdated unit, buggier than all, and now the customer thinks its part of the price and wants it replaced.


Remove it - and don't invest in a new one.
 

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I think I'd rather see no autopilot at all than a buggy antique.

If you want to keep it another year, get something new and basic, and enjoy the use of it until a fresh attempt to sell.

If not, pull it out. When we bought the boat we are equipping to cruise, we appreciated that while there was a lot to do, there wasn't a lot of outdated/post-functional crap to undo.
 

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Barking Dog
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This is what I would do.

Install the new autopilot, take the boat off the market and go sailing. Problem solved.

If you are really going to sell, remove what's there and/or offer the buyer $2k cash back at closing towards a new one. I never understood why this works, buy the automobile industry has been sucessfully doing this cash back thing forever.
 

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I think I'd rather see no autopilot at all than a buggy antique.

If you want to keep it another year, get something new and basic, and enjoy the use of it until a fresh attempt to sell.

If not, pull it out. When we bought the boat we are equipping to cruise, we appreciated that while there was a lot to do, there wasn't a lot of outdated/post-functional crap to undo.
I agree. When we were looking we found the difference between a boat at the bottom of our price range and the top was usually the OWNER'S view of the value of the electronics. Most were asking what they paid for, and the stuff was at least 3 years old. That makes it obsolete in the eyes of my geek hubby.:)

We bought at the low end and he will happily spend the difference filling the boat with his choice of goodies. (And probably then some :D )

Another comment. Most of the boats we looked at were either neglected looking or had been torn apart for repairs which were not finished. Neither was an encouragement to purchase, especially at top dollar. In the end we chose a boat which reflected its age and was obviously being used by a caring but poor owner. :) It will need some work and a few $$, but will be OUR boat!
 

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Coastal Traveler
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I've found that you never get what you paid for out of an item that you put on a boat. You're better off taking the old one out and either not installing another one, or offering the prospective buyer some $$$ to wards a new one. Or you could look for a used one in good shape (If there is such a thing) and install it.

Dave
 

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FWIW I bought a boat last year with no electronics on it - one of the attractions was a boat in good shape with a price that reflected that it didnt have any of that stuff - so I could put exactly what I wanted with the money I saved by not buying a boat with somebody else's idea of what it should have.
 

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You could always put in a "sellers credit" for new electronics based on full price offer. Talk to your broker about that.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for all the comments.

Removing "dud" equipment sounds like a good idea. The Broker has already suggested removing an ancient radar that has never worked since I have owned the boat.

I'm probably still leaning towards replacing the item, however I was planning on waiting a bit, however there is often a 2-3 month wait for electrical installations around here (West Australian economy still pretty busy).

FYI I have kept the boat in "ready to sail" condition as I just completed an 800NM coastal passage and are planning on doing a 300NM coastal trip in December. The old auto pilot really sticks out as the main item that is not up to scratch in doing these coastal trips.

Once again thanks for all the comments.

Ilenart
 
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