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In Florida at least seems like the market has collapsed even more for older sailboats on the 25-36 foot range - some is the time of the year - but the economy is humming along - low unemployment - when we hit another recession - what then? There is going to be a lot of abandoned boats or boats donated to charities - the saving grace is that once they get to a certain price point - $3K or under people buy them as housing and anchor out.
 

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Traveling through Florida from Pensacola to Fernandina Beach, I saw countless sailboats that deserved to be scrapped. Some were horrific eye sores, taking valuable anchoring space. But it costs too much to put them out of misery. Unless tons of boats get scrapped, the used sailboat market will continue to be extremely weak.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
There are a lot of large older boats for sale also - in the 40-50 foot range - that I doubt anyone would buy unless they are dirt cheap - if you have the money to afford the docking, upkeep, insurance, survey you probably have the money to buy a much newer boat ready to go. Maybe if the commune culture comes back and 10 hippies want to live aboard together - could bring the market back.
 

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Soon as that starts, wealthy and middle class jurisdictions will crack down on all liveaboarding.

I believe in most places a boat can be properly disposed of for under $3000 or so?
 

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I believe in most places a boat can be properly disposed of for under $3000 or so?
And who is willing to pay that much if you can give away your boat for nothing or next to nothing?
 

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Those that accept a "free" boat are 99% suckers

A boat that costs under say $7,000 that has a sound hull and deck no soft spots, mast & chain plates, keel & rudder, through hulls, solid engine, sound tanks, decent sails & rigging, has been maintained and sailed up to very recently

is worth $10,000 more than a "free" boat not so sound.

The time is coming where more and more people will realize that 99% of the "free" boats out there are more liability than it's worth.

Getting a **good** condition classic plastic for less than you'd pay for a used car is getting easier and easier every year.
 

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Those that accept a "free" boat are 99% suckers
I must be the other 1 :)

Got a $1 boat earlier this year. Wasn't sure what I was going to do with it, kind of thought I might convert it into a speed machine.

Then, unexpectedly, some one offered me a trade on an antique folding SOF kayak in excellent condition. Probably not worth any where close to the $4-6k similar folding SOF kayaks sell new for, but worth one heck of a lot more than $1.

I have seen more free boats on kijiji this year than ever before. I usually ignore them, but if they are small enough and sitting on a road worthy trailer, I find the temptation hard to resist.

:2 boat:
 

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Yes, CF members are definitely in the top 1%, often patient and capable of putting in the time money and energy to find the occasional unicorn of a super-valuable boat being given away or for a crazy low price.

Sometimes, it's a matter of being in the right place at the right time, aka Lady Luck.

But increasing those odds requires being in the thick of the boating scene for big chunks of your life.

“Fortune favors the prepared mind.”
— Louis Pasteur
 

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I must be the other 1 :)

Got a $1 boat earlier this year. Wasn't sure what I was going to do with it, kind of thought I might convert it into a speed machine.

Then, unexpectedly, some one offered me a trade on an antique folding SOF kayak in excellent condition. Probably not worth any where close to the $4-6k similar folding SOF kayaks sell new for, but worth one heck of a lot more than $1.

I have seen more free boats on kijiji this year than ever before. I usually ignore them, but if they are small enough and sitting on a road worthy trailer, I find the temptation hard to resist.

:2 boat:
I don't believe that john61ct has ever owned a sailboat or been sailing.

But he does have opinions.
 

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The market for smaller, older sailboats is definitely soft here in CT too. My friend had an early 2000's vintage 24 foot Beneteau. I would say the condition of the boat was Good to VG. It had a four stroke Honda outboard (well-maintained), and a clean trailer. Last year, he and his partner decided to part with the boat. He couldn't sell it, he couldn't donate it. He wound up giving it away for free.

This year, I tried to sell my 1979 Oday 23. A soft spot on the deck, but a less-than one year old four stroke, electric start outboard, 8 year old sails, new life lines, new chartplotter, new tiller, new portable toilet, new battery. Clean. I listed the boat for $2500 for a quick sale. I showed the boat four times, but got no offers. After a month, I lowered the price to $1500, got a ton of calls and emails, and wound up selling her for $1300. I consider myself lucky.
 

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From up here on the Chesapeake, there seems to have been a long=term trend away from both cruising sailboats and racing. One three-day regatta on which I work has lost about two-thirds of its former number of entrants over the last 10 years or so. The Great Recession may have been the start of it, and there has definitely been a long-term trend (30 years that I've been sailing here) to weaker winds here. But it seems to me that there has also been a change in tastes of the population.

Go figure...
 

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Hey, you don't buy a boat and expect to make money on it. I expect to be suicidal when I sell my 1989 boat and figure out how much it's actually cost me per year. But I don't really care.
 

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Hey, you don't buy a boat and expect to make money on it. I expect to be suicidal when I sell my 1989 boat and figure out how much it's actually cost me per year. But I don't really care.
I've steadfastly resisted the temptation to actually run those numbers. Until now. Because of your post. So I blame you.

Actually, it came out to about what I thought it would be. About 10% higher than I expected, but really right in that ballpark. So I'm not even mildly upset.

Those were the numbers for my Oday 23, which I owned for 18 seasons. Except for the outboard and sail maintenance, I did all of the work myself for the first 16 years of ownership. But as I've gotten older, I've become more open to the fact that the professionals can do a better job than I can for skilled labor; so in the past two years, I had the yard mount a new outboard bracket for me (required fabricating an "adapter" and moving the entire apparatus to a new transom location), and fabricate and install new lifelines.

I sold that boat a few weeks ago because I bought a Catalina 28 last fall. All of my costs are now higher, and the easy but time consuming tasks (like polishing and waxing the hull) now take twice as long. I used to be able to wash and wax the Oday's hull and put a coat of paint on the bottom all in one day. Not anymore!

I'm guessing I will NOT be doing those calculations for my new boat anytime soon....
 

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I did not think anyone was talking about making any money, just how it's possible to buy a decent one for incredibly little money these days.
 

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Poor water quality is scaring people away too. I have sail on the Chesapeake for 50+ years and I stopped swimming in the Bay years ago. The MRSA bacteria blooms have put several crew mates in intensive care for weeks at a time with threatened limb amputations. Watermen I know call the Bay a cesspool. Florida’s red tides are scaring people ashore too. What are we doing to this planet? In my lifetime we have only fouled it more each year.
 

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Those that accept a "free" boat are 99% suckers

A boat that costs under say $7,000 that has a sound hull and deck no soft spots, mast & chain plates, keel & rudder, through hulls, solid engine, sound tanks, decent sails & rigging, has been maintained and sailed up to very recently

is worth $10,000 more than a "free" boat not so sound.

The time is coming where more and more people will realize that 99% of the "free" boats out there are more liability than it's worth.

Getting a **good** condition classic plastic for less than you'd pay for a used car is getting easier and easier every year.
They say all Boats cost the same, I have always liked the point made.
 

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Poor water quality is scaring people away too. I have sail on the Chesapeake for 50+ years and I stopped swimming in the Bay years ago. The MRSA bacteria blooms have put several crew mates in intensive care for weeks at a time with threatened limb amputations. Watermen I know call the Bay a cesspool. Florida’s red tides are scaring people ashore too. What are we doing to this planet? In my lifetime we have only fouled it more each year.
Let's steer clear of the social/political issues. However, your examples are very localized and other examples exist too, more commonly in lakes. The Chessy can be bad and it's a real shame. I just don't think it's a broad dynamic.

I can't recall any water quality issues that would scare anyone away from sailing in New England, or most of the planet.
 

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Yes if anything, the ability to easily move on to greener pastures will I think make the sailing life more attractive as disasters become more frequent.
 
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