Click for Walker Click for Abeking Click for Llebroc Click for Abeking Click for CL Yachts

Guesses on Markets Returning to “Normal”

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by incoming, Jun 25, 2021.

  1. incoming

    incoming Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2021
    Messages:
    51
    Location:
    Deale, MD
    I’m in the market for a used 50’ SF and really don’t want to overpay.

    I’m willing to wait - certainly until this fall or winter, if needed.

    Wondering when folks think the market will return to normal and what signs people are looking for that it has done so?

    I recognize it’s impossible to predict just trying to get people’s thoughts.

    Seems conventional wisdom is that the market will return to normal or even take a dive when people start selling their “COVID boats,” perhaps this fall. But then again maybe many of these new boaters decide they really like it and there will be more boaters out on the waters for years to come?

    Also, is there any sense of whether inflation is playing a part in the pricing surge and we may never get back to pre-COVID pricing for used boats in this class?

    Seems like it wasn’t long ago people were urging caution buying a 15 year old SF because you’d have a really hard time selling it. But man, that certainly doesn’t seem to be the case now
  2. CaboFly

    CaboFly Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2018
    Messages:
    172
    Location:
    Seattle
    I think supply is a major factor when you consider Sportfish prices in that 40 to 55 foot space. Between 2010 and 2014 very few were built as a consequence of the financial crisis and impact on the marine industry. With limited product added to the market during those years along with how expensive comparable new boats have gotten I don't see a major price decline for well maintained used Sportys in that size. Combined with low interest rates and high stock market prices and many boats are seeing full priced offers on top of elevated prices from 2 yes ago.

    I am looking to move from a 40 to 48 Sportfish myself. It is a tough market to be a buyer.
  3. Oscarvan

    Oscarvan Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2015
    Messages:
    967
    Location:
    Chesapeake Bay
    Well there's a case to be made that with the way insurance companies are acting there should be a glut pretty soon anywhere south of Surf City.......
  4. mapism

    mapism Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2008
    Messages:
    1,720
    Location:
    Sardinia
    "Normal" is an adjective that it's very hard to apply to the pleasure boats market, which has always been a rollercoaster, if you look at it with a bit of historical perspective.
    So, the answer to your "when" question could be soon, or only in the long term, or never - pick your poison.
    Mind, the same answers were equally valid if you should have sold a boat in the aftermath of the world crisis, and you would have asked when some buyers will reappear.

    IMHO, when looking for a used boat, finding the right one is much more crucial than what you are actually paying for her.
    I mean, you are buying a money pit anyway, and the purchasing price is the first but surely not the last of your concerns, moneywise.
    But if you like boating, on top of a money pit, you are also buying cruising time - and what's the value of that?
    As Brecht would have put it, do not expect any answer other than your own.
  5. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Messages:
    14,124
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    Inflation is a part of it. New yacht prices have increased so dramatically that used prices are either holding their own or increasing. The other issue driving it, is there is no new inventory, every decent manufacturer is a 6-24 month wait, and with the pandemic people realized, they don't want to wait. I had an owner that bought a used 2020 60' Hatteras MY last year, because he didn't want to wait, when he preferred to buy new. The seller bought a used 75' Hatteras MY for the same reason. Demand is a part of it. I think a good amount of "new" boat owners popped up with the pandemic. And quite honestly, a lot of Americans discovered with the pandemic, that there are A LOT of really nice places to vacation within hours of their homes. Their friends have also bought boats, so now it's more of a all take your boats to the same spot and have a nice get together/bbq etc. Look at hotel prices in the Florida Keys. What was $150 a night on weekdays this time of the year, they now start at $300 a night on up during the week and not even a holiday week. Meanwhile hotels other places in Florida (waterfront) are still starting at $109+ weekdays. I think the demand will slow some, as these new boat owners start figuring out what the real costs are once the equipment is a few years old, things are breaking, and there's no warranty left. But I think boating overall has gained a lot of new owners, which is good because a lot of the yacht owners were aging out of yachting.
  6. incoming

    incoming Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2021
    Messages:
    51
    Location:
    Deale, MD
    "IMHO, when looking for a used boat, finding the right one is much more crucial than what you are actually paying for her."

    This is a great point. But the other thing happening now is the lack of inventory and how quickly things are going. I'd like to actually have an opportunity to look at a couple without having to sweat it immediately disappearing. Engine room access in particular I feel like you kind of have to see for yourself, and it's a big concern since I like doing some of my own work and I'm not getting any younger.

    Hopefully even if prices don't drop significantly, at least things will slow down this winter.
  7. RER

    RER Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    Messages:
    1,472
    Location:
    Newport Beach CA
    What does returning to normal mean? 40' to 50' Convertible SF's being mass produced by Hatteras and Viking and Bertram and Ocean etc? That's not going to happen so what was normal will never be normal again.

    Demand will always have it's ups and downs but the supply for this category of boat will continue to be a problem with no solution on the horizon. It's been over a decade with no real numbers in new boat production. They just aren't being produced anymore.

    Brokerage inventory of 40' to 50' Convertibles will continue to age except for a tiny trickle of newer boats at a number that's not enough to make an overall impact.

    So it's going to be picking through old boats to try and find a good one. Perhaps a comparison could be made to what has happened in general aviation over the past 30 to 40 years.

    Now if you want to talk about 40' to 50' million dollar and even multi million dollar day boat sportfishers with outboard power that's another story.
  8. mapism

    mapism Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2008
    Messages:
    1,720
    Location:
    Sardinia
    I understand that this can be frustrating, but don't assume that whoever is placing an offer on a boat that you like before you can even think about it is smarter than yourself.
    It's just that these days some people want a boat, period.
    But most of these guys are likely to regret their choice, rather sooner than later.

    'Fiuaskme, when looking for a used boat, there's no such thing as a missed opportunity.
    There are only other opportunities you are not yet aware of.
    But that also depends on how much time you are willing to invest in the search, and how patient you are.
    The last (and current) used boat I searched took me about a year and a half, several flights and many hours driving - viewing almost 80 (yes, eighty, not a typo) boats in the process.
    And I actually enjoyed all of that, though of course that's only feasible if you are time rich, so to speak...
  9. DOCKMASTER

    DOCKMASTER Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2012
    Messages:
    1,080
    Location:
    Ketchikan, Alaska
    What are you looking for besides just a 50’ SF? Year range, wants and needs? Anything particular you have your heart set on?
  10. incoming

    incoming Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2021
    Messages:
    51
    Location:
    Deale, MD
    I think my ideal is an early 2000's Hatteras with c-18 power, or one of the rare cat powered vikings. I'm interested in looking at one of the 3412 powered hats to see how bad the engine room access is. If I can handle the maintenance situation, that would make it much easier to find one in my price range (less than $500, ideally closer to $300). I'd consider a boat with Manns but haven't found a lot of people who maintain them themselves. If it takes 2 people to change oil and filters and other routine maintenance that's a deal breaker.

    I want gyro stabilization which will very likely need to be a retrofit, so it'd be nice to not max out the purchase price. I'm intrigued by Post because you seem to get a lot of room and performance for the money but I don't want cored hullsides (have to research this a bit more but I thought posts were cored both above and below the waterline)

    I'm interested to look at an ocean but I have a feeling unless I get a lot more or newer boat for the money I'm going to be happier with a viking or hat.

    Not sure if there's a cabo option in this class, if so that'd be great.

    Bottom line - want a good sea boat with owner maintainable 4 strokes, 3 staterooms, and honest 25-30 it cruise.
  11. RER

    RER Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    Messages:
    1,472
    Location:
    Newport Beach CA
    Did you mean to say you don't want a cored bottom? All the boats that you referenced have cored hull sides.
  12. incoming

    incoming Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2021
    Messages:
    51
    Location:
    Deale, MD
    Sorry for the confusion- the distinction I meant was specifically wood coring below the water line. Which I did not think was the case for hats or Vikings younger than 20 years or so, but I’m happy to be corrected if I have that wrong
  13. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Messages:
    14,124
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    You can change MAN oil filters with one person, but you just need to know how to do it.

    Post is good, but getting around the front of the motors to get to the outbound sides can be tough if you're bigger. Post didn't core the bottom

    A 48' Cabo would also be a good choice.
  14. DOCKMASTER

    DOCKMASTER Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2012
    Messages:
    1,080
    Location:
    Ketchikan, Alaska
    I haven’t looked at the market in quite some time. However, I’m wondering if you can get everything you are looking for in the $300k range? Seems like you would have to go an older boat and have a harder time finding 4 strokes then. Are you seeing boats that meet your criteria in your budget range?
  15. CaboFly

    CaboFly Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2018
    Messages:
    172
    Location:
    Seattle
    I am actively looking for a 48 to 52 Sportfish with 3 staterooms. Specifically a 48 Cabo that is clean. Aside from a major recession I am expecting $625k to $725k depending on location and condition.

    To get to sub 500k on a top tier production boat you are early 2000's with non common rail diesels and in need of some tlc. Just my 2 cents.
  16. incoming

    incoming Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2021
    Messages:
    51
    Location:
    Deale, MD
    Lol not many thus the premise of the original question

    Yes this is what I’m seeing at this point. It seems, if I’m lucky, I could get 3406’s or maybe 3412’s. C-18’s look to be out of reach. I don’t know what the Mann non-common rail equivalents are.

    This means if I want speed I’ll probably be in a lighter ocean or post, and if I prioritize sea handling I’ll struggle to make my 25kt cruise requirement (certainly won’t make my 30kt goal) in a 3406 Hatteras, all from the early 2000’s (or maybe late 90’s). The exception could be a 3412 hat, but I need to see if the engine room is workable.

    I’m just learning this market - But I do know the small (<40’ SF) market quite well. Prices seem to be about 30% up from where they were 3 or 4 years ago for the same vintage boat (so now older with more hours).

    Applying that 30% factor to a $700k priced boat today means, prior to this surge, it would have been obtainable for under $500k.
  17. bayoubud

    bayoubud Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2017
    Messages:
    1,069
    Location:
    Florida
    Skip the 50c Hatt with 3412's unless you check out the er thoroughly. It will not be fun if you do your own maintenance. Had one, great for fishing, cruising, and fast but very crowed er. I would only buy another 50c Hatt with 3406's 0r c18's. If speed is not an issue the 3406 's would be fine. The early 2000 models were very well built.
  18. incoming

    incoming Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2021
    Messages:
    51
    Location:
    Deale, MD
    Thanks, this is helpful and in line with what Ive heard. I'll still look because a 30+ knot cruise would be nice but I'm 6'2" 220lbs, so...

    Looking at the Cabos...doesn't look like I'll be able to afford a 48 but the 47's are in my price range. Giving up the 3rd stateroom but the guest state room has two singles and a queen(?).

    Could suit my needs and leave me with money for repairs and upgrades

    Appreciate all the inputs folks.
  19. CaboFly

    CaboFly Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2018
    Messages:
    172
    Location:
    Seattle
    I would say in the 40 to 48 space that boat prices from 4 yrs ago to today are up 10% when looking at actual selling prices. While these Sportys have aged a bit and have seen addtl hours they have also received updated equipment and constant maintenance. If both have been absent then I doubt after survey that boat will see the price asked and actual closing price will be much lower. Only way to see that is access to broker data on YW.
  20. bayoubud

    bayoubud Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2017
    Messages:
    1,069
    Location:
    Florida
    The 50 Hatt er would be difficult for your size to access with 3412's, not an issue if you hire out the maintenance. The port side s/r on the Hatt is small. We used it for storage, the washer drier was in there too, good for kids.