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What is the average age to retire from yachting?

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by Joe Deepwater, Feb 10, 2019.

  1. Joe Deepwater

    Joe Deepwater Member

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    At what age does being on a yacht lead to sore muscles and joints to the point it is no longer fun? About how long after retirement from employment does the average person continue to keep a yacht? Does yacht ownership feel more confident while earning a full time salary? Or any less confident and worthwhile during retirement due to being on a fixed income/fear of unknown costs?

    I'm trying to see the macro trend in the US for used boat prices for 50-80 foot power cruisers over the coming years for the purpose of planning a budget. New boat prices are insane. The average age of US retirement is 62 and the boomer bubble is 1946-1964. Using averages to predict macro trends. The oldest boomers are presently 73, youngest are 55. An internet search yielded no stats on average age to retire from yachting. I don't want to plan to cruise the ocean 20 years from now only to discover that I ache too much.

    General thoughts and opinions on the trends in boating styles/ages/locations/amenities that you're observing?
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 11, 2019
  2. gr8trn

    gr8trn Member

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    In my marina there are few retired folks, meaning over 65. As I go down the rows I can only think of two seniors. Neither go away from the dock and choose instead to enjoy the floating weekend or summer home on the water. One heads to AZ and one to Mexico for the winter.
  3. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Like all generalizations, it's dangerous. I know 80+ year old's who are actively continuing to boat and others who had to stop at 60. Health is generally the factor that leads to stopping and health problems hit anywhere from 40 to 80.

    Also, many boaters change. Sailboaters end up owning and operating trawlers and trawler type cruising boats. Happy to go slow, because they always went slow, happy with the low fuel consumption. Also some owners of express cruisers move that way. Then there are the boaters who cruised long distances and often downsize to smaller boats and stay closer to home. Coastal cruising replaces oceans.

    None of this is yachting though, it's just plain old boating.
  4. Seasmaster

    Seasmaster Member

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    It is time to call it quits when you can’t lift the grog to your lips!
  5. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    A+
  6. Joe Deepwater

    Joe Deepwater Member

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    Right, the statistician in me wants to poll at least 100 boaters to avoid confirmation bias, but I'm not sure where to find this info. All of us can identify the exceptions to the rule, but it's the average that I seek. Sorry about the term yachting. I meant to imply boating on a large 50-80 footer instead of dayboating.
  7. Joe Deepwater

    Joe Deepwater Member

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    That's an interesting observation. I would have thought that most retirees would have time to boat, but now they don't have the income. So your observation would imply that an active income trumps the time available in retirement, and possibly implies health related/scratched the boating itch, etc. My marina up north has mostly 50-65 year olds, but its cold here so retirees are less likely to see this as a boating destination. The boat payments are still present even if the boat is only used 5 months per year at best.

    Now we just need another 97 posters to report their observations at their marinas...
  8. Joe Deepwater

    Joe Deepwater Member

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    That's almost as good as the guy whose tagline reads "I spent most of my money on boats, broads, and booze. And I wasted the rest." :)
  9. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    My wife and I don't intend to stop boating until I'm 108 and she's 99, so now you can toss those two into your averages and I just showed you how useless averages are on something like this.

    Average is likely in the 60-70 range but I know many happily boating far beyond that. The reality is age is not the direct cause of stopping but it's often an indirect cause as it leads to health issues. 45 year old is diagnosed with cancer and likely stops. 35 year old is in serious car accident and paralyzed from the waist down and likely stops. It is very often one single health event or health problem that makes boating either impossible or no longer enjoyable. Oh, and I know a couple who retired from boating two years or so ago. They were so happily heading home with their boat they'd purchased from Key West to Knoxville. They are on the TN River and suddenly had a fire on board. They quickly went into the warm water and help arrived from the marina they were close to. They never talked about boating again. Clearly it had an impact on them that those of us who knew them were unaware of and don't understand.

    If you asked how long a healthy couple could boat, I know many who are well into their 70's and that's with no crew.
  10. Beau

    Beau Senior Member

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    When I'm in the casket? When will I stop eating raw clams? When will I stop enjoying the evening stars....I don't get the point of your question. But everyone here knows me as a humfp! If you are trying to buy a boat for the investment opportunity, you're nuts. I don't care how much research you do. I bought my boat almost 20 years ago, 2 years old as a dealers model at a nice discount. I've carried it on my personal financials as ZERO from the day I purchased.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
  11. Oscarvan

    Oscarvan Senior Member

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    My father crawls onto his NE style 18' cat boat for a sail 3-4 days a week during the summer. He started sailing in the late 30's (not HIS late 30's, THE late 30's) He had boats from 16 to 49 feet all his life. He'll be 87 this year. A few times a year they have races and he's as competitive as ever.

    My first memories are on boats (see avatar). I'm 62. I've had boats off an on for the last 30 years, anywhere from 25 to 42 feet. Currently without boat but making very serious plans to get an old Hatt or similar in the next few years. Me and the Admiral have every intention to be on it several months out of the year. Her mother is 89 and (still) drives like a maniac. We have good odds to be enjoying our boat for 15-20 years. Until I can no longer muscle a 5 gallon bucket of engine oil up the gangway.
  12. JWY

    JWY Senior Member

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    I'm not sure there are many averages about anything age-related in boating that you can ascribe to future pricing. Having sold about 200 trawlers and "fast trawlers" probably throws off the averages for my clients. Many of them went from sail to power because of things like bad knees and needing easier workload onboard. I have sold numerous boats to and from buyers in their 80s. I had clients that lived aboard their yacht for 18 years and cruised the world. At age 87, they sold it and went straight from the boat to assisted living, skipping the condo stage. I have also had clients in their 30s, buying a real cruising yacht on which to home-school their children while teaching them about the world through first-hand experience. You can generalize to say health and finances are the main reasons for selling and that affects all ages.
  13. Seasmaster

    Seasmaster Member

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    Assuming we will dispense with stair-lifts, elevators, and motorized scooters (because we are still ambulatory), y'al need a vessel with good access (gangway) and minimal stairs.

    Solution: Elling E4 (reviewed by JWY) or step up and get the E6. I don't know if the E6 will be at Miami, but when I saw it at FLIBS, I was impressed, primarily because it appeared easier to single-hand than the E4 - because it had hydraulic thrusters fore & aft, which allows the operator to "pin" the boat against the dock while running lines.

    And NO, I'm not a broker or agent. I own the E4 and REALLY wish for the hydraulic thruster. With just one step from boarding deck to wheel house, 5 steps from wheel house to salon, and a small step aft into galley/master berth, it's "old-geezer" friendly!!
  14. sgawiser

    sgawiser New Member

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    As a statistician, I would suggest that the variance is so great that the average or median is not meaningful. Just stop by our yacht club sometime. We have had members who spent the summer on their boat in the Bahamas until about 90! But we also have friends who quit in their 60s or earlier due to illness or for other reasons.

    The key is the ability to safely handle the type of boating you want to do. I suspect a whole lot of very young boaters do not fit that standard!

    And just think about how many much older people are still driving a car down here in Florida!
  15. gsholz

    gsholz New Member

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    Based on my observations, if health is not an issue, people seem to retire from boating around 75 give or take a few years. This would imply the peak of the boomer wave would get out of boating in about 10 years. There should be lots of deals then. Interestingly, I just got back into boating at 65 and plan on keeping the boat for 10 years.
  16. chesapeake46

    chesapeake46 Senior Member

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    One of my earlier boats was boat from an older guy's estate. He always wanted a bigger boat but Mama said no way. When she passed he bought himself a brand new, huge ( 26 foot !! ) Pacemaker. A far cry from his aluminum John boat.

    To your point, sgawiser, he was uncomfortable running the boat, reverted back to his John boat while he could and only ever used the Pacemaker for a place to stay the night.

    When I bought it, it still had the original Pacemaker tape and plastic on the head, cushions and accessories. Like a time capsule.
  17. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Age and whether people are retiring or too old to get on and off boats, has little effect on the used market. The economy has every effect on the used (and new) yacht market...….
  18. Oscarvan

    Oscarvan Senior Member

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    Hmmmm, in my close observation of the market it has to do with certain SEGMENTS of the market. For instance the heavy (larger) classic plastic MYs of the late 70's and early 80's are coming to market in pretty large numbers because of the owners timing out. Add to that the fact that the next generation doesn't like them for a variety of reasons and suddenly there's a lot of supply and little demand. Case in point, 15% of all the Hatteras 53 MY's made are currently on YW. Some have been there for years. Now yes, if priced right they will sell. But the "right price" is heading South.... to your initial point that it does not affect the values, it certainly does. Of course the economy as a whole also has an effect.
  19. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Nobody wants them and the right price is heading south because of their age, age of equipment, they now look very old, and they're a relatively poor hull design compared to modern hulls, and many of them are in needy condition because nobody wants to spend $60k to repaint a 1983 53' Motoryacht and you can't get financing to buy them because of the age. Just like when a new model comes out on a car that's drastically different than the old model, the price on the old model drops significantly because it's no longer current.

    I have a customer interested in buying a 45-50' Sportfish and he is/was looking at around $150k, but the more he looks, the more each boat needs and when he adds up the changes and costs just to make it usable (for Bahamas trips and stuff) and clean inside (carpet etc.), he's realizing he can buy an early to mid 2000s 50' Post or similar Ocean or even a Cabo for the same money ($250-300k) with a better hull design, better ride, better speed and fuel economy, and modern systems with the money he'll have invested in an old boat with old technology and engines that belch oil into the bilges. Just look what they'd need $$$ in updating the electronics to current standards.
  20. Oscarvan

    Oscarvan Senior Member

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    Sounds like a lot of fun to me.... But I'm not the average buyer. If you saw my shop and fleet you would understand.:D

    And they look a whole hell of a lot better than the turds they pumped out in subsequent decades. Ride quality is debatable, and a well adjusted DD doesn't belch, it sounds VERY cool and doesn't have to leak oil.

    There are a lot of dogs out there, but also plenty of boats out there that have been kept up.

    More choice and better deals for me.:cool: I'll be buying cash and I got tools. A trailer full of them.

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