Who Wants To Be The Guy To Give Them The News?


All stripped and …10 coats of Varnish.

The topic of price/value on cruisers is always a hard conversation to have with folks. It helps when the person/owner is just worn out and just wants to get away. Like Willy Nelson says.”Why is divorce so expensive? Cause its worth it”


OUCH! Maybe its just not advertised right? I am sure a ton of money has been spent.

But when you are still living in the bubble you created in your dream machine, it’s tough to see the reality of the situation. Such is the case most days on ebay. But this one is a little more painful, unless I am missing something. Which as you all know is entirely likely. Woohoo, I spelled “entirely” right without spell check!


Which leads me to the topic of the story. How do you tell someone the real price? Anything? Maybe the seller is in a position to just not care or is trying to get his money back. After all, all that sanding was a bitch and a half to do, and she has new-ish engines. And 10 coats of varnish, and the bottoms been cleaned up? Refastened??? That would be a good question. She looks clean and a great live aboard. maybe it is worth it, maybe we are all conditioned by previous sales? Maybe its good to have folks like this push agressive prices out there. If someone buys it? All cruisers win. Maybe its just not marketed right? We should see it in the water, have a video of the engines running, a full complete photo? Regardless, the story is not about this boat, its about the way to tell people about price?


Tell the dog first?

So. How do you tell someone, with some sort of compassion. ..”Mmmm well, Now, first, I am HUGE cruiser fan, and done stories on the topic, but, you see the market for these sorts of boats is soft. And no Viagra is going to help”.., Or. “Love the boat, and deeply appreciate the time you have devoted to it. I would be happy to give you the 50K if it floated and I could run it and finish the varnish inside, and the helm, and….” Or “Wow, very cool varnish idea on a cruiser. I have seen a few of these. I love it, let me ask my wife about it.” You all have any better ones? Be soft, and kind. Remember, most of us can relate!

20 replies
  1. Jim Staib
    Jim Staib says:

    Maybe someone in Europe will like it. They go for boats without stain.
    The owner probably has a medical Marijuana script and sees a dream no one else does.

  2. Dan T
    Dan T says:

    I don’t know what classic cruisers are worth. I do know mine sold for around $16,000 in 1948. I paid $11,000 ten years ago and have put lots and lots of time and money into her since.

    Is it worth it? YES! Time on a vintage cruiser with the ones you love and waking to the sunrise coming over the bow, priceless!

  3. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    All one needs to do is look at all the other boats for sale for 1/10th of his starting bid or less. eBay will show them to you below the listing.

  4. Old Salt
    Old Salt says:

    Wife- “Honey sell that boat”
    Husband- “Yes Dear”
    Husband- (to himself) How do I keep my word to my wife without having to part with my dream? Hmmmmm… I know…. Let’s set the asking price way high so no one buys the boat and I get to keep it.

  5. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    I tend to believe in the direct approach. “ARE YOU SMOKING CRACK?”

    I LOVE the wood cruisers, but I also know that no matter how much money and love I but into one they are only worth what others will pay for them.

    • Rob
      Rob says:

      I have had wooden cruisers for nearly 40 years and I love them too. Don’t care a bit that it is only valuable to us and I don’t expect our estate will get much for it. I think our old boat looks nice.

      • Greg Lewandowski
        Greg Lewandowski says:

        Rob, I grew up on a CC Sedan, and although I am now owner of two runabout size woodies, your cruiser looks truely beautiful to me!

  6. Fred
    Fred says:

    Years ago I had the opportunity to buy a small planked Chris Craft cruiser that was in the water and running for a couple hundred bucks. The owner didn’t want to pay winter storage. I hesitated long enough that it sank before I had the chance to buy it. It was sad to see what the ice did to it over the winter, as the owner just walked away from it. Haven’t had the urge for a wood cruiser since…….

  7. Randy Rush Captain Grumpy
    Randy Rush Captain Grumpy says:

    I sell real estate for a living and this happens all the time, “What do you mean my piece of shit isn’t worth $2million bucks?” I wonder if anyone explained to him how mush work he signed onto with the varnish vs paint. Glad it isn’t me

  8. John Rothert
    John Rothert says:

    I sold my 1966 CC seastrake 33 footer…well kept…for ONE DOLLAR….just over a year ago after nearly 20 years of devotion.
    Buyer talked the talk….yet to walk the walk….but I moved it on and I know for a fact that the local market for such boats around here…is at rock bottom. Initial sellers remorse lasted but one day I am embarrassed to say…because I went over to the dark side, bought the fiberglassic cruiser and my only regret now is that I have so few things to repair and work on. Far from being saleable…my dear old boat would have just been a disposal problem. but hey…60 degrees here tomorrow…I am GOING BOATING!
    John in Va.

    • Rob
      Rob says:

      You will get no argument from me John. You enjoyed your boat and that is the payback. As I rebuild mine, I still have fun, but maybe someday I will do the same as you. Maybe.

    • Mike W
      Mike W says:

      Fiberglass cruisers are the dark side? Nothing to work on? Avery designed Commanders still look great after 40 to 50 years and are still solid. If you are looking for something to work on both of mine have plenty for you to do. Will be selling the 35 Sport Cruiser. I mean giving it away. Great boats but most newer boaters would rather put 4 times as much money in a 15 year old express Clorox bottle that they think won’t take any maintenance. They think!

  9. Gil Grant
    Gil Grant says:

    We have enjoyed our 25;ft Chris Cavalier for many years from the St Johns to the St Lawrence, she’s big enough to live on but light enough to trailer with a half ton pick up, but at 77 I think it’s time to let someone else enjoy this beauty.

  10. Chad
    Chad says:

    It takes me 5+ years to restore an 18-19 footer. Can you imagine how long it would take me to restore a cruiser?

  11. John Rothert
    John Rothert says:


    it is a job you never finish…time is not relevant therefore.
    I miss doing some of the projects, did the ALL twice at least…no part of my cruiser was left in-messed-with by me….gained a lot of knowledge and a goodly amount of fear. By comparison my Fairchild scout built bulletproof and high end in 1980 is as close to maintenance free as you can get. Poster with the glass commander has a great couple of well built classics!!! I always lusted for a 1964-65 glass 38 commander…the gold standard….just need a Tanker and a Banker.
    John in Va.

  12. Greg wallace
    Greg wallace says:

    He could be manufacturing a tax deduction. Unrealistic value as reserve. Get your buddies to bid up to just under then donate to charity.

  13. Dave Hughes
    Dave Hughes says:

    Someone recently asked on the Matthews FB group page; “what is Mainstay worth”? I tried to explain that it’s only worth what a willing buyer is prepared to pay (if the boat were for sale – which it is not!). Check my photo – in my opinion you can’t put a value on this.

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