This is the final post in this series on how to buy a used sailboat. This is based on our journey to buy a Poetry, a 38' Sabre which you can see us sailing on here. If you have been following these steps, you've spent time working out how you will use your sailboat. You have developed a long list then shortened that the list to a few models. You have done your homework and found YOUR boat, now finally it's time to close the deal.
1. Determining the right price: This is tricky as there is no standard formula. During our research we heard many stories of people buying boats for 30+% under the asking price. We were actively considering 3-4 Sabre 38s to make offers on and each was a different case. Two were identical models from the same year and priced the same. One needed a lot of work and the other very little. A third was an earlier model and although it needed a significant upgrade, it would come with a long inventory of extra gear. The last one was overpriced but in good shape.
We decided to make an offer on Poetry, one of the two identical models that would require the least amount of work. The boat had only been on the market for a month and we felt that it would sell from underneath us if we messed around trying to squeeze every penny out of the deal. We believed that 10% below the asking price would be a fair price. Looking at the total cost of ownership, we were confident that Poetry was well within our budget.