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Senior Smart Aleck
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
There have been a number of posts on this listserv lately that seem to ignore the reality of our current economy: owners (probably not really sellers) who opine that they would never sign a seller's disclosure form, they would never allow a pre-contract survey,...etc.

The reality is the economy is in the tank and probably will be so for a few years. The unfortunate truth is that most people (including boat owners) are one or two tragedies away from financial ruin: a divorce, a business failure, a job loss, or a lawsuit. I see this everyday in my job as a bankruptcy and divorce lawyer. Unfortunately, some of these folks financed their boat purchases and are now experiencing severe financial distress. These individual hardships inevitably affect the overall market, despite the postings on this listserv to the contrary from owners who do not have to sell their boats.

Here is the reality in Virginia: new boat sales are down in Virginia from approximately 17 thousand in 2006 and 2007 to 14,000 in 2008. Owners are abandoning boats in the marinas and the law was changed in 2005 to allow marinas to acquire title faster:


High costs are docking boats -- dailypress.com
 

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Self Grandizing Egotist
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74 Posts
Has Beens going cheap.....

Seems to me after having scoured places like YachtWorld for a year that there are a LOT of used boats for sale and a lot of them fall into the <5 yr old category. I wonder if this is directly a result of the market woes we've encountered.

One would expect a certain percentage of newly used boats to go on the market as a result of things like first time owner/sailor who for reasons other than financial have to let go of the vessel. (Health, unwilling partners, disillusionment with the cruising lifestyle etc). You would also expect nowadays, a larger percentage of used boats sellers to be financially motivated.

However, I have seen that the prices on certain models that I've been watching haven't really been dropping at a rate that suggests desperation. I would've thought that in these times, a seller trying to offload would be offering their vessel at almost rock bottom prices. Enough to pay off any outstanding debt on the vessel and avoid ongoing costs.

This also makes me wonder about the regular maintenance & upkeep these for sale boats are receiving. I don't think someone already strapped for cash, selling the boat out of necessity is going to be overly motivated to continue incurring even the regular maintenance fees (as suggested by your article above).

So, is it a buyers market ? I'd say that as in most times, it's a question of just how desperate the seller is. But nowadays, even with a relatively new "used" boat, a lot of care has to be taken in assuring you aren't buying a recently used though poorly neglected boat.
 

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It's been a buyers market for older sailboats for years. I bought an '78 ODAY 25 2 1/2 years ago that was in very good condition for $1500.00. The deck is solid as a sidewalk, no blistering, rigging is fine. The owner was 900.00 in arrears on her slip rent. The motor was about worn out, but it got me from Oriental NC to Belhaven. Sails are in in fair shape. Shop around, be patient and lowball your offers and you can get some incredible deals on older boats. But it's been that way for years and years.
 

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I'd rather be sailing
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At the same time, certain boats are still retaining their value. Take mine, for instance, a Passport 40. Two years ago there were over a dozen P40's listed on Yachtworld. Today, there is only one, and Wagner-Stevens, owners of Passport, are actually soliciting all P40 owners to see if they are interested in selling.
 
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