Wednesday, October 12, 2016

When Puyallup Begins to Sound Normal

When Puyallup Begins to Sound Normal 
You know you have lived in the Pacific Northwest for three years.

Our September in Seattle has been consumed with our continued search for our Pacific Northwest Sailboat. We have pretty much determined a 36' is the best size for our needs but we would not count out a 34', 37', or a 38' if it met our needs and goals for this next vessel. After our offer on the 1981 CS36 ran into an unsolvable issue for us we turned back to searching for a Catalina 36. We found one in Port of Brownsville that was very clean and loaded with updated gear. We made an offer and even went as for as the Sea Trial. During that trip an issue with the keel came up and after a discussion with the yard who did the repair and a engineer at Catalina Yachts in Florida we threw in another towel.
During the sea trial we learned the keel had a repair to the aft end of the keel. Also the yard had torqued the keel bolts to 2X the specifications. After a call to an engineer at Catalina Yachts in Florida we decided to let this one go.

Our strategy was to find what brokers call $50K boats. Vessels in the $40-$60K range. you can expect all of these vessels to need some kind of fix up but we just wanted to avoid any major re-fits. 80% of sailboats have bolt on keels so the keel bots are one of the major areas of concern along with the Mast Step.  We figured that if we could find a boat with good keel bolts and a solid mast step  that only required the small stuff we could spend about $10K additional on it and make the boat the way we like.
We even checked out this Beneteau First 375. The owner had taken very good care of it and it had a newer engine. Even though it was made for racing the accommodations down below were pretty nice. After further thought we let this one slide by the wayside as well, what would we do with 12 sails anyway?

I took a quick look at this one in Tacoma and later brought the Admiral back for a closer look. It had an original engine but it seemed to run ok, We thought if we bought it we would just we just save some boat bucks up and if needed just re-power the boat with a higher HP engine.After closer inspection we discovered this on e had one of the major issues.
After this experience we decided to leave the 80's behind. Catalina stopped using wood in the mast step after 1989 so that would keep us from having to deal with mast compression issues. The Admiral became more pro-active and started calling Brokers we had worked with to let them know exactly what we were looking for and to please notify us when they knew of a boat coming on the market. One Broker told her of a 2002 that had not been listed yet but he could show it to us. 

After seeing this vessel for the first time we made an offer. The vessel had just one owner and was immaculate. 

There are several different types of boat evaluations: there is Market Value, Insured Value, and Replacement Value. Those are the official of business end of evaluations. Then there are the subjective evaluations, Like the listed price which is some type of derived price between the owner and the yacht broker. Then there is the Buyers price which is derived from the past experience of the buyer and how savvy he or she is in dealing with all the various players in the purchase of a boat. The selling price is determined by the constant jockeying of the players sort of like a large group of gulls fighting over a single squid.
I use to determine the  market value. It is the same site Brokers use as well. I like BucValue since it gives a range of values based on the condition of the vessel. I also use a free service to BoatUS members on the BoatUS site. It is good to have an idea of the "insured value" since you do not want to be to far above the insured value of the vessel. Of course this is fully determined at a Condition and Value Survey but since Boat US is a major insurer of boats across the US they give a pretty close estimate, however, their value is always lower than BucValue. Using this and the knowledge that most vessels are marked 5% - 10% above market value on yachtworld,  you can come to a pretty close number of plane old "value". I was willing to go a little higher on the 2002 C36 for more than one reason. Especially since bringing a boat up from California could add $3500 to the bill. However it seems the owner and I could not see eye to eye on this one and it will take a buyer with deeper pockets or less boat sense to by this one.

We did a lot of other stuff in September in and around Seattle but right now I am just headed out the door to look at some more boats at some brokers on Lake Union.