BOAT BUYING GUIDE
For those of you who are considering owning your own boat, this section is intended to help you learn about the different ways of purchasing and owning your own boat. Following are the more important decisions you will make when deciding to own your own boat:
Often we see that people have some specific price in their mind which they believe is what they can, or are willing to spend on a boat. Surprisingly, we regularly find this number is often established without any knowledge of what kind of boat is best suited for their goals and needs. Often the budget may not fit the type of boat desired or the client just has no understanding of what kinds of different boats they can afford.
Obviously, your budget is quite important and it is the easiest to resolve. The rule here is simple. If you are not going to pay cash, find out which marine lending institution offers the best rates and get pre-qualified. The bank will approve you for a certain loan amount which helps you begin a realistic budget plan for your boat.
Besides the down payment, which really determines the overall cost of your future boat, there is also the monthly payment to consider. How much, on a monthly basis, can you allocate to support it? Be sure to include moorage, insurance and maintenance, not just the mortgage, when figuring your monthly cashflow requirements.
Working with your banker and broker, if you are using one, you will be able to coordinate and synchronize the amount of your down payment and your monthly cashflow.
New or Used: Once you have a realistic budget which you feel comfortable with, it is time to consider what kind of boat you are looking for. While many people automatically say "used", before you do, consider the following:
A used boat may not have all the features you are looking for. Many highly desirable features such as walk through transoms have only appeared recently. Also, many people believe that depreciation of a new boat driven out of the marina for the first time is like the depreciation a new car experiences when driven off the lot. A new boat is not a new car. We are seeing owners of boats purchased new within the last ten years, selling them for at or very near what they paid originally. Among factors we feel contribute to this are the growth of the Pacific Northwest region and its economy. Perhaps more important, is the decreasing supply of well maintained and equipped used boats nationwide. As a matter of fact, some marine lenders are no longer financing boats over 10-15 years old. Remember that not many new boats were built in the early to mid 90's due to the now repealed luxury tax and the economic and international conditions at the time. However there is an increasing demand for late model boats while the supply has not. This is why we see a trend of rising prices for many well maintained, late model boats. We believe this trend will continue into the future , making a new boat purchase an even better option for many. As more people continue to relocate to the Northwest, its an even safer option.
In many cases purchasing an older boat offers good value on a cost per foot basis, but it may not necessarily provide you with the overall best long term value. Many times you end up spending alot of money bringing that "bargain" back up to standards, and more valuable is the time you lost cruising doing it!
It all depends upon many different factors which vary from person to person. Factors like your budget, the intended use, length of probable ownership, personal tastes and needs and what is available on the used market should determine whether new or used is right for you. A good boat broker can help you determine which makes the most sense, by exploring these factors with you personally and within your budget.
By Broker or By Self: In addition to teaching people how to sail and managing our charter fleet, we help people buy and sell new and used boats. Our experience is that except for very few people, utilizing the services of a professional broker (CPYB) can actually save you time and money. A broker earns their commission by paying for advertising and supporting an office so they can show and represent boats to prospective buyers. The seller, not the buyer, pays the commission. However a frequent misperception is that in buying through a broker, the buyer pays a premium to cover the commission. What is true is that occasionally when a boat is first put up for sale with a broker, the seller insists on a higher "listing" price to cover this cost, which means the boat often takes longer to sell. After having helped many, many people purchase their boats, what we find is that in the end, when the independent survey and valuation is completed, the free market wins. The seller sells and the buyer buys at the boats true "market price".
Using the services of a professional yacht broker is like using a real estate agent. They are able to identify what types of boats might fit your needs, locate them and gather information on them not often available to the public. They are someone experienced in all the details which are part of purchasing a boat and can be invaluable. In our experience, a brokers hard work begins after the offer to purchase is made. Our past customers appreciate that.
If you think that owning your own boat is too expensive and chartering is less expensive than owning, you might be surprised by the comparisons of different methods of owning a boat which follows.
METHODS OF OWNING YOUR BOAT
Traditional Ownership - In the traditional method of owning a boat, you pay for all the expenses yourself and perform or arrange all of your own maintenance. Your boat is available for your own exclusive use, anytime you want. Usually, boats owned this way is used less than three weeks a year. Your boat is waiting for you a lot.
Renting or Chartering - Chartering is a kind of temporary ownership, on a per use basis. Since most owners use their boat less than three weeks a year, renting a boat for a week or two a year through a bareboat charter or some sailshare programs, like the one we offer, can make more sense than personally owning a boat.
Charter Ownership - With this method of ownership you own the boat, but when it is not being used by you, it is available for other qualified sailors to rent through a managing company, such as Bellhaven Charters. It may not always be available for your spontaneous use during a few months out of the year (although you may reserve your boat in advance during these times). There are many benefits to the owner, however. Your new boat can generate enough income to pay over 80% of all the moorage, insurance, maintenance and mortgage expenses. You do not pay sales tax at the time of purchase, saving you thousands of dollars. Your personal enjoyment and actual cruising time is increased due to not having to perform much of the major maintenance. There is more time to purely enjoy owning and sailing your boat, at a significantly reduced cost. To discuss in more detail the pros and cons charter ownership, give us a call.
Contact us for a financial comparison of these three methods of ownership. You decide which makes sense for you.
BELLHAVEN YACHT SALES