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Old 05-30-2014, 07:31 AM   #1
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Why some boats don't sell.

Greetings,
In post # 5 of "A serious cruiser". Mr. lll states "I have been following this boat for about 18 months..." To me the vessel in question seems to be quite a nice vessel for a fair price yet it remains unsold after 18 months. Other than the obvious, price too high, poor condition, "weird", one off type... is there any other reason why any boat would be on the market so long? (I'm NOT suggesting, in the least, this vessel is any of those). When I read posts by newbies, a number are looking for a blue water boat, for one reason or another. Given that there are so few ocean capable vessels for a given price why is this gem sitting idle? While a lot of people would love a Nordhavn, a much smaller number can afford or are willing to shell out the $$.
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Old 05-30-2014, 07:41 AM   #2
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The Gulfstar I bought was on the market for over 3 years. The reasons could be, the local economy and the difficulty in having the boat hauled or trucked hundreds or thousands of miles. One off's are tough to sell I have one a 40 Mainship Sedan Bridge with a hardtop that can not be removed. The boat I referenced has been on and off E-Bay and Yachtworld for at least 18 months. I'm not sure why it hasn't sold but in today's economy it takes the right person who wants a specific type boat at the right price for it to move.
It isn't always the vessel itself it's almost a marriage.....
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Old 05-30-2014, 07:46 AM   #3
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I have friends trying to sell a 55 Viking and another selling a 53 Hatteras. One is in great shape all around...another is in OK shape (great cosmetically) and only 1/3 the price. One is from the late sixties I believe and the Viking from the later 80's.

Neither has sold in several years. The Hatt finally down to about $100K and the Viking hovering around $300K. Soon as the Hatt breaks $99K and the Viking $225K I think they may move for even a little less than asking. New boats are out of sight and these boats could get someone cruising with the turn of the key...so it baffles me a little but ....

Just too many people don't want older maintenance intensive boats...and there's too many out there to go look at unless they "feel" like they are being given away...many buyers have to feel they have so little invested...they have little to lose.

The boat in question I think is another other issue...how many blue water power cruisers do you know? In my travels I have met a few...but reality is I know exactly ZERO. I'm on, and around the water 365 between NJ and Fla....just NO ONE I know or meet want's to go much beyond the coast, Bahamas and MAYBE down island. Most will even give up Bermuda (which even a gutsy Grand Banks owner will do in a heartbeat).

So I see it more as a VERY limited selection of potential buyers. Just read TF and you'll get all kinds of advice that supports the "why buy bluewater" if you are never truly going there....

Some dreamer will come along....but only if the price is in the true basement where many "world traveling boat bum dreamers" can afford. The rest of us know that it really isn't in our cards and buy more suitable boats for our cruising.
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Old 05-30-2014, 10:53 AM   #4
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The maintenance of an older steel boat would be enough for me not to "be interested". I like Jolie, but I wouldn't want to own her.
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Old 05-30-2014, 11:03 AM   #5
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Blue Water boats like that Diesel Duck are hard to live with. The dream of far away lands is shared by many, pursued by few, achieved by a tiny sliver of that few.

The overwhelming majority of boat owners seldom if ever travel more than 50 miles from the home berth. Even those on the AIC.
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Old 05-30-2014, 11:28 AM   #6
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The number one reason why boats don't sell is that they are overpriced for the market, their condition, location, etc, etc.

In almost all cases boats that I have watched that I thought were overpriced languished on the market until either a low ball offer was made and the seller capitulated or the seller got real and dropped his price.

Price, price, price are the three things that will sell a boat. The same is true for real estate, but location plays a bigger part in the equation.

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Old 05-30-2014, 12:08 PM   #7
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Lets put Winnie the Pooh in this boat too. Many great thing about both Jolie and Pooh both will take a special buyer. For Jolie, i agree bluewater boats are a bit of a special market, especially power ones. Most buyers with the cash to buy and travel expect better fit and finish than Jolie can offer.

Pooh is in a niche too, all-be-it a slightly different one. She too will take a special buyer. For Pooh right out of the gate she has 2 things aginst her. 1) she is technically a motor sailor which isn't overly popular to begin with. and 2) she is a refit/conversion which for some reason seems to bug the crap out of some people.

All that said, I they are both on my list of boats that i'd like to own. they both will sell...at a given price. Everything in this world is worth what someone will pay for it. they just haven't reached that price point...yet.
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Old 05-30-2014, 01:40 PM   #8
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You have to do some serious checking on a 50yr old steel hull. There can be hidden areas in the hull with serious corrosion. Especially if the interior has been built into the hull by a carpenter, and not a shipbuilder, leaving no access to inspect and keep corrosion at bay.

I wonder if that old boat has corrosion issues that keep it from getting sold, waiting for a buyer with a sloppy surveyor.

Still a neat machine. Definitely piqued my interest.
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Old 05-30-2014, 03:19 PM   #9
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I know Jolie would sell down here for that price, if the hull is in good condition. I'd certainly consider it.
A limiting factor for this boat is that it is a "man's" boat. There is nothing girly about it. (is that politically correct?) That may put off about 50% of people.

Also - something I noticed with both Jolie and Winnie the Pooh; - neither boat has a cockpit with outdoor seating. Isn't that where you close the deal when selling your boat?
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Old 05-30-2014, 04:53 PM   #10
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I think AusCan nailed it regarding Jolie. Everytime I come across this boat I have forgotten why I wouldn't buy it. It sure is a man"s boat, or at least a very frugal thinking woman's boat. If I were single it would be a great boat, but my Admiral wants softer appointments, even at the cost of blue-water capability. We can't afford both.

In my opinion, Pooh is a finer finished vessel, but would still appeal to a similar crowd. It's relatively narrow beam makes the boat intentions obvious, and there again, we give rise to an impression of what the vessel was built for. I like them both very much, but only for the type of cruising they appear designed for, namely, a greater, more economical blue-water ability at the cost of a narrower beam and a bit deeper draft.
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Old 05-30-2014, 06:31 PM   #11
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Not talking about this boat specifically, but the people I talk to tell me two types of boats are the most difficult to sell.

At one end you have the "unique" boats. Older or shaped differently or just different layouts. Steel in a size people expect glass. People like to see and look at some boats but don't want to own it. "Nice place to visit but wouldn't want to live there" syndrome. Financing and/or insuring can be an issue. Getting a clean survey might be quite difficult. Generally when people go to an older boat, unless they're really knowledgeable and can do a lot of work themselves, they want boats very much like everyone else. Honestly, that makes a lot of sense too. They can come here and ask about a problem for their Mainship and find others with the identical boat. Go to Hatteras owner's group or Grand Banks. Look at a boat like Carver. You'll find so many who own the exact boat you have and that's an advantage. Then when it comes to aesthetics. It looks like you expect inside and out. Most of us have some picture of what a master stateroom should be like, what we want in our galley. The mass builders are consistent in meeting that expectation. Some of the others not so. We generally don't respond well to "better ideas." But if most are buying an older boat, better be part of a community of owners than by oneself.

The other group is the best boat on the market. People look at base. They look at the prices of the one with the fewest improvements, least electronics, and in the poorest condition. They often underestimate how much it will take to bring it to par. But you take the boat that's in the best condition, got updated equipment, is basically turnkey but priced considerably more than that base boat, it's difficult to get people to look. In fact, they may even miss it on search if they set a dollar limit. Perhaps that dollar limit was to leave enough for some significant work on it and they miss the one that wouldn't require it. But people look at 20 Grand Banks online in a specific size range and age range. They quickly eliminate the couple they see priced 20% over the others and never give it a chance.
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Old 05-30-2014, 06:53 PM   #12
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The boat needs to fit the person(s) and the person(s) need to fit the boat... on many levels.

Both entities have many nuances that need to “capitulate” in order to form a pleasant bond and experience. This "cooperative copulation need" is due to the fact that boating and boat ownership results from ongoing compromise; by both the owner and the boat. If owner is single then it’s usually easier for that person and a specific boat to meet correctly at ample points so the “marriage” is happy. When a couple are entailed in boat purchase and usage equasions – well – it tain’t always easy!

Price, location, condition, size, layout, equipment, design features and looks, maneuverability, sound, comfort, color, brand, speed, seaworthiness... and still many other factors come into play.

Linda and I took several years “searching” together before we located our Tolly that suits our needs and desires very well.

When the correct boat “Finds-You” both you and the boat will know it! Well, sort of anyway - LOL

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Old 05-30-2014, 10:19 PM   #13
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I guess I have been lucky my wife loves boating. She enjoys both our boats. Even though we won't be two boat owners for ever it's nice having a partner that appreciates our boats and all the boats toys. She has certain standards she won't take a shower standing or squatting over the head, a separate stall shower is required, high volume hot water, a Raritan Marine Elegance head (fresh water) don't ask.... She loves having the internet and Direct TV. She is the best watch and knows how to use the navigation equipment and the FLIR. She is my watch when we cruise at night. Without her boating would be difficult if not impossible. However I make the purchase deccisions.
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Old 05-30-2014, 11:15 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Billylll View Post
. However I make the purchase deccisions.
Bill
Wifey B: She just let's you think you do. She says must have this, this, this, and this and then leaves it to you to select otherwise. Sounds fair. Oh and I do agree with her on her requirements. I know many who say they shower less when cruising but showering at least daily and often twice a day with hot water is just important to me as is having a good toilet. Of course it is also to my hubby and internet critical to us both. Television as well is nice to have at times. I would miss it. And love the FLIR. I'm a little better at reading radar and sonar than my hubby but he's better at many of the other aspects at the helm. Actually he's better at planning routes. I guess I do take a bit greater role in purchases but we do it all so much jointly that it's hard to know who is deciding what.
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Old 05-30-2014, 11:57 PM   #15
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My wife like you is better at reading the radar and keeping an eye on the sonar. I think her vision is almost as good as our FLIR!
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Old 05-30-2014, 11:59 PM   #16
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The PO of my boat lowered his price over 20% before I bought it. (and I still probably paid too much!)
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Old 05-31-2014, 12:43 AM   #17
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My wife like you is better at reading the radar and keeping an eye on the sonar. I think her vision is almost as good as our FLIR!
Bill
My wife interprets 3D faster than I do. I'm a 2 Dimension type. She's also just more visual than I am.
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Old 05-31-2014, 01:55 AM   #18
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Quote:
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The PO of my boat lowered his price over 20% before I bought it. (and I still probably paid too much!)
You sure did, seein' it sank. I'd ask for my money back if I was you.
At least that's what your avatar says...
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Old 05-31-2014, 11:37 AM   #19
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Nothing complicated as to why some boats take longer to sell. On the don't buy list are key issues such as wood, steel, boat still full of stuff, visually bad, poorly maintained, wrong builder, older and it shows and for sure old tired DDs.

Some (under $1million) boats have good followings and if well taken care of and priced right move pretty quickly - such as AT, NT, Nordhavn, DeFever, Fleming, Tollycraft and Willard. Once you get under $100,000 there are many boats for sale but not enough buyers, so as mentioned by earlier posters condition and location are preeminent.
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Old 05-31-2014, 11:57 AM   #20
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I've been on both Pooh and the Sutton, and Pooh is a much nicer boat-- not super fancy, but way cleaner and shows better care IMO.

I'm sure the Sutton is more stable underway with the heavier displacement and the prarvanes out, but it's definitely a "man's" boat as Larry puts it. I knew immediate that my wife would not approve.
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