Like the boatress says. Woody, you are right all the time dear, unless you are wrong, and when you are wrong, your wrong. Ya just can’t win. Yesterday was one of those days. A real moment in the hobby where we all discussed the ups and downs of buying and selling a boat. According to our stats we had around 2500 woody boaters here. I felt very strongly about my position, I suppose that’s what makes good reading. But I was wrong-ish and right -ish. As I read the comments, I started to understand others point of view about certain points. Pricing is in the eye of the beholder. As I said about the over restored boats. There is no limit to them..Responsible pricing. I still stand by my feelings on the “List poaching” and other sleazy tricks and knowing your info when you are selling your boat. But one comment put it all into perspective. I held it back to make sure we all read it. Thanks to fellow Woody Boater Dave Bortner of Freedom Boat Service for sending this in. Here it is in its glory. Thanks Dave for also being part of the conversation.
“Wow, this topic has really hit a chord!
As both a broker and restorer; as a party to the Gar Wood that sold at Hershey; and as a broker who’s sold a “$150,000 skiff”, I can’t help but weigh in.
As I see it, “value”, which becomes “price” when a boat is offered for sale, is incredibly personal and subjective. Ultimately, the only person to whom a buyer has to justify the price paid is the buyer himself (and maybe Mrs. Buyer). What any one person may find an absurd price can make perfect sense to another.
Let me cite three examples of restored boats.
Example one: We sold a 1972 30′ Lyman this spring. The seller had spent over $360,000 on the boat over time to have it constructed exactly the way he wanted it. Whether that makes sense or not is quite beside the point. It sold at $150,000. Is that absurd? Well, that’s a lot for a 30′ Lyman, sure. But if you want one, and want one that’s restored to that level, buying one at less than half price makes some sense, right? The buyer saw the value, and is happy to have it.
Example two: the 1932 28′ Gar Wood “Hornet” that sold at Hershey, hammer price was $360,000. Gar Wood built seven 28′ boats in 1932. We think five still exist. What would it cost to restore one, if one could be found today? More than $360,000! Obviously, the new owner saw value there. In an interesting twist, and to further support the wisdom of dealing with reputable dealers/brokers, the Gar Wood could have been bought from Freedom prior to the auction at a lower price than it brought at the auction.
Example three: 1940 18′ Chris-Craft Sportsman. Right now, we have what I call the worlds’ most expensive 18′ Sportsman listed for sale at $50,000. It’s a restoration we did for a longtime friend and customer who had an 18′ boathouse. He wanted a great boat for that small-ish boathouse, and asked us to do the Sportsman for him. New bottom, complete restoration, kapok cushions, etc., etc. He spent over $80,000 with us, not counting the initial purchase of the boat. Now he’s bought a property with a bigger boathouse, and told us to sell the boat. Is there value in being able to buy a restored boat at half-price? I think so, especially if that’s the boat you want.
I think looking at any price in a vacuum and passing judgment on it can be misleading. The price doesn’t have to be high to be ridiculous, either. I often find boats listed elsewhere, at what I think are relatively reasonable prices, to be heinously overpriced upon inspection.
At the end of the day, the brokers’ job is to provide each party as much accurate information as he can, and to assist buyer and seller in coming to an agreement. Sure, advising the seller on his asking/listing/selling price is part of the process, but at the end of the day, it’s not really up to anyone but the seller to decide. When the paperwork is complete, and the settlement is done, the only person to whom the seller has to justify the price accepted is the seller himself (and maybe Mrs. Seller…..)”