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Friday, 18 November 2016

New Cheap Boat Market Phenomenon

Even though I've got a boat, I habitually cruise eBay, Gumtree and the other sites keeping an eye out for bargains.

I've been watching for at least 6 years, as I started looking way before I got Sprite 2. Over the years you get a feel for the market and new trends.

The trend for 2016 has been the non-selling boat. I can say there have been at least a dozen boats this year that have been listed 5 times or more on eBay and continue to pop up time after time. Either having been bid on, falling through and relisted, not bid on and relisted or just plain asking too much for the boat.

The other factor regarding yard sale boats is hidden cost. For instance nearly £200 for a lift onto road transport or into the water (reeeeally?).  You'd think they'd offer a free lift just to get rid of the thing, or charge 200 quid for the lift and give the boat away free.

In previous years these boats would have been bought and not seen again, the new owner taking ownership and restoring it, but this year the "never selling boat" has been a striking new phenomenon.

It's interesting to look at the boats to see why they keep coming back. There are the boats that are too big to restore. Big fin keel yachts over 25ft in length where the expense of storing it on land or on water whilst restoring it are not insignificant. You'd need a big wallet to take on such a project. far simpler to buy a yacht already up together and in the water for less money that the project boat would eventually cost you.

In this category I've seen a couple of recurring Tankards on eBay that have been listed at least three times as far as I can remember, along with another big yacht that seems to be covered in green slime and embedded in a bush.

Maybe they should be filed mentally under "biting off more than you can chew" or "can quite easily bankrupt you".

At the other end of the scale there are a few small boats that keep popping up. A few sub-25ft ones in yards where I assume the hidden costs put buyers off.

There are some small boats out there that are way too far gone of course: missing masts, sails, interiors and fittings, or all the above (i.e. bare shells).

Some are single keel boats, making them more expensive to support and therefore less attractive for a small yacht (cradle hire, deep water moorings, etc.)

There are some apparently "doable" projects, it just seem strange that no-one has jumped on them.

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