June 30, 2013

Boats that hold resale value

WHEN I RAN INTO Old Wotsisname recently he was idly wondering what his ancient concrete boat is worth.

“Thinking of selling?” I asked.

“Just wondering,” he said vaguely. He plays his cards very close to his chest.

I didn’t dare venture an opinion of how much someone might be prepared to pay him. He doesn’t take bad news too well.

The fact is that the market value of some boats drops quicker than others, and his is one of the quick-drop ones. This often comes as an unwelcome surprise when it’s time to sell your boat.

Here are some of the things about sailboats that give them good resale value:

Fiberglass hulls; first-class workmanship from reputable manufacturers; white hulls; conservative rigs; good sails; expensive fittings; clean diesel engines with low hours; sweet-smelling cabins and lockers; dry clean bilges; good ventilation; pretty sheerlines; low coachhouses; and bronze seacocks.

Here are some of the things that lower a boat’s resale value:

Hulls of steel, concrete, or wood (with the exception of modern wood/epoxy construction); one-off racing hulls; blistered gel coat; flimsy construction; a reputation for weather helm; hull colors other than white; experimental rigs; blown-out sails; cheap fittings; neglected gasoline engines; musty smells down below; worn upholstery; dirty, wet, oily bilges; lack of ventilation; unknown designers; ugly deckhouses; in-mast or in-boom reefing; centerboards; unusually skinny or beamy hulls; gate valves instead of seacocks; rust anywhere; and smelly heads.

According to the experts, the resale value of the average 10-year-old steel boat declines by about 50 percent, and ferro-concrete hulls slightly more.

The same experts maintain that you can increase a boat’s value by 10 percent when you want to sell by moving all your personal gear off and scrubbing everything spotlessly clean.

Today’s Thought
If you don’t sell, it’s not the product that’s wrong, it’s you.
— Estée Lauder

Television is the device that acquaints you with all the things going on in the outside world that you would be part of if you weren’t sitting inside watching television.

(Drop by every Monday, Wednesday, Friday for a new Mainly about Boats column.)

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