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Would you buy a new yacht?

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by Pelagic Dreams, Jul 9, 2011.

  1. Pelagic Dreams

    Pelagic Dreams Senior Member

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    I cannot decide if we should look for a new boat built to our desire, or find a 2-3 year old boat for much less money. Our list for LRC's is Bering, Hampton, and Nordhavan....all have their respective merits, but each come with their first owners desires. Twin, single engine......et al.....we want blue water, go any where as long as you want boat. Any thoughts?
  2. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    All depends how important exactly your own tastes are to you, and how much is involved in making a boat your own. A lot of changes can be made with what you'll save on a 2 or 3 year old boat. A lot of sellers are paying to sell today. I always recommend pre-owned except maybe on full-customs as someone else has lived though the new boat bugs, and the amount of money saved is huge comparred to the hours put on a boat. However, you're talking about passagemakers. They tend to get more hours. So a lot depends on how gentle those hours were.
  3. Fishtigua

    Fishtigua Senior Member

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    I've always told myself never to buy new. Never had a new car and my bike was an ex-Show exhibit.

    I've just bought a new(ish) RIB that had also been hawked around the Boat Show circuit. All I did was call the dealer up and ask them if they had one for sale. The answer was yes and we did a deal. I'm happy and they got rid of a used asset.

    All winners.
  4. dan1000

    dan1000 New Member

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    I got lucky and found a boat that had never been owned by anyone other than the manufacturer, but that was a couple of years old due to the economy. Because it had a few hundred hours on it, we didn't have to suffer through a lot of the "new boat" issues that seem to plague many brand new boat owners. But it's also fair to say that if the boat didn't have pretty much what we wanted on it, we wouldn't have bought it.

    Like you, we wanted trans-oceanic range and economy, great systems and comfort, high dispatch reliability, and so on. We're glad we didn't have to wait two years for a new boat to be built for us. We're also glad we didn't buy a 10 year old boat where things are starting to need serious work.

    After a season's use on our 63 footer, we are pleased with what the boat has done for us, and what we've done for her. We're currently looking for something in the 75 foot range (we're a family of 4 and like having guests aboard). If only the manufacturer of our boat (Sea Spirit Yachts) had a 75 footer already made, we'd seriously look at it. But we still don't want to wait 2 years, so will likely find another pre-existing boat.

    If you're looking at Bering, you're likely already talking to Judy Waldman, who knows immense amounts about all the trawlers out there, and who is a frequent poster on YachtForums. I would suggest that you add Sea Spirit Yachts to your list. The PassageMaker 60 was reviewed on YachtForums a while back.

    Dan

  5. Pelagic Dreams

    Pelagic Dreams Senior Member

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    Yes, I have been in contact with Judy, she is a huge wealth of knowledge...and the Sea Spirit is a very nice boat.

    We have the time to wait for a new build but some of the boats we like are unbuilt designs that have never been reviewed or tested. The main attraction for new is the more modern interiors now being added to passagemakers.....away from the older "Trawler/tug boat look" that seems to have dominated the past trawler market.

    But, the new build would have to come from a builder with merit of after the sale customer service that would make sure all the new boat kinks were worked out in a timely manner.

    I would love to buy an American product, but it seems that most all of the current passage makers are now built in the Far East.....Hampton, Bering, Nordhavn to name a few.
  6. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    What about Northern Marine, built in Seattle, WA? They'll build any interior you want and build a quality boat along the same lines of the Nordhavn
  7. montrachet

    montrachet New Member

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    The feeling of having something new is very special. But it costs what is costs :)
  8. MountainGuy

    MountainGuy Member

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    I got my little sailing boat used, from someone whom I trused, and I knew the boat for years. As it is was made for someone else, I got some things that I would not specify in this way, but with the savings compared to a new boat, I can still change to color of the upholstery and some of the gear, to have it my way.

    The biggest advantage is not have have to fix all the bugs of a new boat, on top of the ones boats always have.
  9. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Everyone complains about fixing the bugs of a new boat. While it may be a minor inconvenience, that is what the warranty is for. Not all new boats have bugs, I ran the heck out of a 45' Sportfish that was new. Delivered it 1000 miles, our routine trip on it was 150 nm round trip......In 6 months, I had to replace 1 item a DC freshwater pump that took me an hour.

    On another Sportfish, this time a 57' I had an entire legal pad page filled up with warranty items, in the first 3 days of running the boat at cruise. So a lot of it, is who builds the boat.

    And, there aren't necessarily more issues with a new boat in a year, than one that's 5 years old.......sometimes yes, sometimes no, but it mainly depends on the builder and ALSO the dealer. Most new boats didn't end up at the dealer, without getting run there from somewhere on their own bottom. As well as haven't done several seatrials.

    I've run some new yachts from certain dealers for a seatrial or to a boat show and handed them a list with 10 items wrong, came back to run the boat a month later and well, all 10 items are still wrong. Other dealers fix things right away, and a lot even have the yacht surveyed right when they list the new yacht for sale........
  10. morbert

    morbert New Member

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    If you want value, buy a used boat. Most of the new boat deals or gone. Cheoy lee has a 66 left. Ocean Alexander might have something left over as well.
  11. PropBet

    PropBet Senior Member

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    Price aside, let someone else cut their teeth and shake the boat down for a year or three. We bought 2 used boats before buying new. New, IMO, is a tough justification in a lot of scenarios. Read: Customizations very specific to your preferences.
  12. YachtForums

    YachtForums Publisher/Admin

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    I'm not a new boat buyer. Depreciation is for deeper pockets. But...

    Given the state of the economy, a lot of owners have let their boats fall into disrepair. Nothing ages a boat faster than neglect. And if you want mechanical problems, let a boat sit idle, without use, for long periods of time. It's a recipe for headaches. I've seen a lot them lately because I have several friends engaged in the hunt. These poor saps consider me an expert. Little do they know, I get all my expertise from YF!

    In years past, I would search the used market for production boats, but over the past 2-3 years, these are often the owners hit the hardest by the economy and when it's financial bust or boat, the boat loses. And so does the prospective buyer. A good surveyor is mandatory, especially today.

    When the economy was roaring, dealers were commanding premiums. That's all changed now. Most of them just want to get rid of the inventory they have and there ARE deals to be had on new boats, as well as new builds.

    If I was building custom or semi-custom, I would take a good, hard look at building a new boat right now. Builders are making deals like never before just to keep the cash flowing and keep the doors open. In some cases, there are builds in default, or built on spec, now idled. If someone wanted to pick up where another contract left off, I GUARANTEE you will find a good deal.
  13. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    I should think that a lot if not most of those deals are gone by now, and there's not a lot being built on spec for a few years now. The only reason I could see going new these days are if you want custom or are are one of those who just need to own new. But there's a premium to be paid for that, and a new boat is the old boat in a year.
  14. YachtForums

    YachtForums Publisher/Admin

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    Ed, correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think you've visited, or had contact with any of the yards recently? I have and while it's best not to post publically, trust me.. there are some deals. Builders are fully aware they have to compete with their own product in the used market.

    Edit: it's important to add, some material costs have come down as demand has decreased. Builders have laid-off excess workers from their peak and they are no longer padding the bottom line for infrastructure improvement. Overall, the cost of builds might be the same or slightly less right now, but the bottom line isn't as lofty.
  15. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Of course. They're living in the same world as everyone. In the size you deal with to the size I deal with, some people want new. They pay for that, and it's worth it to them. I think it's still the best time to buy new that I can see coming (hopefully), but the pre-owned are still selling at a loss in many cases. Owners are still writing checks to get out, at least as of 2 months ago.
  16. PropBet

    PropBet Senior Member

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    Carl makes a great point. And one that I also know to be true from my Father's experience in a new build that splashed last year. Builders are well aware they are competing in a saturated market of broker boats. That being said, I'd wager there's a good grip of negotiations on a builders margin when you get down to the brass tacks of prices and options.

    I still like the 2 to 3 year old market, but both deserve a close look.
  17. 84far

    84far Senior Member

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    Pelagic Dreams, I was just going to say, some people actually like the experience of buying a new boat because of the involvement and the journey taken from the concept sketches to the first splash (depending on how custom).

    If you’re buying a boat for the first time, maybe go second hand for a year or two, and see what issues you have, maybe the boats to big or small and so on. I guess start making that pros/cons list, and once you’re happy, buy that dream boat you’ve always wanted.

    Just some thoughts. Cheers

    Far
  18. AMG

    AMG YF Moderator

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    I would say it has more to do with your boating experience than the boat. Even when building new, it isn´t until your third boat that you know what you want and how it should be built...
  19. Hattsoff

    Hattsoff New Member

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    Great topic.

    I think there is a lot of value to be had in the 2-3 year old market as mentioned elsewhere in this post vs buying new.

    As much as I know about boats (or think I know) there are people who know much more. With this in mind, I think it's smart to buy a 2-3 year old boat from a very knowledgeable owner as he probably had the boat designed with features that I may have never thought of. Yes you may not like the color of the interior but its much cheaper to replace all that than it is to move holding tanks, generators, transom doors or lack of, bow access, ease of engine room maintainence etc due to a lousy design.

    With the savings that can be realized from a few yr old boat you can afford to do many cosmetic changes and still be ahead of the game. I've seen many used boats on the market that while it wasn't my taste 100% I could certainly live it especially knowing that I saved a huge % of $$$ from new.

    Having said all this, there are also some production builders that make a really nice product and have already thought out all the little problems and for the most part you are getting a well designed boat. Viking comes to my mind right away on this.
  20. nilo

    nilo Senior Member

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    buying a new boat and building a new boat not the same experience

    well, as i said in the topic i feel there is a difference in the definition; which one should clarify before elaborating further on the issue. buying a new boat is like buying a a completed product from the shelf; however building a new boat is creating something to your wishes/desires. although once we own the boat, we can really adopt her well and make her a part of us like any pet, but i am sure people educating their pets from young have a different relationship.

    in my perspective what makes any object more valuable is how much spirit one puts into it. the spirit comes with the passion and work and mental effort one puts in the choosing process and enhances further if one builds the boat to the level of custom boat.

    some may rightly claim that what is important is the process of enjoying the sea and i do agree to a great extend that this is correct. neither the size, nor the price make any boat more enjoyable than the others; it is the attitude of the one who owns her and how much joy one can squeeze out from using her.

    hence, the price or should we call it the value is a result of this perception. i have, except my 1st boat, always had the chance of owning first hand boats and i do agree that some of them were not good investments when the time arrived for parting with them. however, i enjoyed always the building process and making the choices to my desires, because this was also a learning process where a lot of investigation was required.

    in these difficult times, of course there are very good opportunities with second hand boats, as well as series production boats; but unfortunately the cost of building custom boats have not been reduced as much as the market expects. this is indeed one of the main reasons why several custom yards all over the world are either facing acute difficulties or already had to cease operations.

    so, my humble advice would be that one should consider soft issues as well as the hard issues; because at the end of the day we own boats for enjoyment and improving the quality of our lives.