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  #1   IP: 24.126.66.83
Old 05-21-2019, 03:06 PM
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Question selling a boat in need of an A-4

Hi all,
I have a great 30' Catalina, tall rig (1982) in great shape except.....I took out the A-4 engine that had a cracked block. I was going to put in a reconditioned one, but then ended up buying another boat before I could repower it. I need advice on how to sell my boat (where to advertise, how much it is worth, etc). It would be a wonderful opportunity for someone who wants to repower it. I'm new to all this and am in awe of your expertise. I'm just not a motor head! Thanks in advance for any advice you can give.
Katie (Cambridge, Md.)
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Old 05-21-2019, 10:38 PM
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A vintage Catalina 30 in tip top shape is worth somewhere in the mid-to-high teens, maybe low twenties on its best day if the sun is shining. An Atomic 4 affects the value negatively and no engine makes it a project boat regardless of its condition. Certain widely known boats with a pedigree can command higher prices. Sojourn out of the Silver Gate Yacht Club in San Diego comes to mind (legendary Ensenada Race winner in 2009). Catalina 30 #1 would command a higher price too.

Since you admit to mechanical limitations and apparently there isn't mechanical help available, you're left with selling the boat as-is (ouch). To this end I suggest a strategy that the broker who sold my boat to me used. After chatting about my boating history and experience - and knowing that the boat was pretty tired (a real project), he kept repeating that this boat and I were a perfect match. After saying it more times than I could count it became obnoxious, clearly a ploy of a pushy salesman. I didn't consider and would not accept at the time that he was absolutely right.

So the question is, where can you find your boat's perfect match?

Oops, I left out the most important part. The boat I bought was a complete boat with a working engine. Listed price was $15K. With a single one time offer (no back and forth haggling), I bought it for $5K. Total elapsed time between offer and acceptance was about 60 seconds.
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Old 05-22-2019, 11:09 AM
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In general, an old non-running boat is going to sell for scrap value at best and "please get this thing out of here it's free take it I don't want to pay the slip" at worst.
You certainly can see who bites, a buddy just sold a boat that ran well but needed some significant glass work in about a day for $4K. I thought for sure I was going to be taking it to the Maritime Museam for donation in the fall.
You just might meet up with the person that wants a Catalina 30 and has an engine.
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Old 05-22-2019, 11:19 AM
JOHN COOKSON JOHN COOKSON is online now
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Originally Posted by joe_db View Post
You certainly can see who bites, a buddy just sold a boat that ran well but needed some significant glass work in about a day for $4K. I thought for sure I was going to be taking it to the Maritime Museam for donation in the fall.
You just might meet up with the person that wants a Catalina 30 and has an engine.
Yes.
If you don't troll bait you won't catch fish. As with fishing it can take patience to make a catch.

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Old 05-22-2019, 11:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ndutton View Post
Oops, I left out the most important part. The boat I bought was a complete boat with a working engine. Listed price was $15K. With a single one time offer (no back and forth haggling), I bought it for $5K. Total elapsed time between offer and acceptance was about 60 seconds.
So... since a Moyer rebuilt is about $5k, the net value of the engineless hull is...zero?
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Old 05-22-2019, 11:43 AM
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You could do the math that way but if you invested a $5K engine into a $5K boat you'd have a $10K Catalina 30 with a fresh engine. If the boat is as nice as we are told (mine wasn't), the numbers still work pretty well, even better if the buyer finds a running take out to drop in.
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Old 05-22-2019, 01:15 PM
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I like your math better!
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Kday (05-22-2019)
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Old 05-22-2019, 04:50 PM
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Math you can use!

That's sort of what I was thinking....$5K for the boat and then they would need $5K for a reconditioned A-4. What about just putting an outboard on it? Do you think that would help sell it?
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Old 05-22-2019, 05:50 PM
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Re: outboard, I wouldn't. I think a boat the size of a Catalina 30 looks ridiculous with an outboard. If your boat is as nice as you say, an outboard would make the situation worse in my opinion plus probably come close to the same expense as an A4 replacement by the time you add up the cost of the outboard, a mounting system, fuel system, throttle, shift and electrical plus what are you going to do with the existing prop, shaft and strut sticking through the bottom of the hull? You might list it for $6K to have a little room to fall back to, avoid spending anything further on the boat that you'll have to recover in a higher price and let the buyer, if he is the perfect match for a project, decide on a repower for himself? Again, I'm remembering that mechanical labor is off the table for you.

There are two A4s on ebay right now, both complete running engines. One is $3950, the other is $3000. With a little patience a buyer for your boat could probably find a used engine for under $1000 as a parts donor for a Moyer short block. There are lots of possibilities.
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  #10   IP: 137.103.82.194
Old 05-23-2019, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Kday View Post
That's sort of what I was thinking....$5K for the boat and then they would need $5K for a reconditioned A-4. What about just putting an outboard on it? Do you think that would help sell it?
In a word, NO.
It is the boating equivalent of doing this to help sell a car with a broken air conditioner:
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Old 05-23-2019, 09:40 AM
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https://www.facebook.com/anchorsoars

This place is in Grasonville MD and has about 5 A4s sitting around. Call them and see if they have a good one.
One of them has FWC, an stainless exhaust, and an oil filter on it.
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Old 05-23-2019, 12:08 PM
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Thank you!

This is really helpful! I'll call right away!
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Old 05-24-2019, 05:14 PM
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follow up

Anchors and Oars has sold all their A-4s, to Moyer! But I had someone contact me who is interested! Good connection.
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Old 05-25-2019, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Kday View Post
Anchors and Oars has sold all their A-4s, to Moyer! But I had someone contact me who is interested! Good connection.
Kday keep looking. I'm in the same boat as i have been thinking about selling my Pearson 30...until the engine quit. I am on my way south tomorrow to pick up a zero hour rebuild.

There is a guy in NJ with a couple of running engines.
If it is of interest and you send me a email at smaarch1 AT gmail.com, I can forward his phone number.
A weekend to drop it in and you have a viable boat for sale
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Old 05-27-2019, 09:35 PM
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Thanks!

What I would really like to do is to sell the boat to someone who wants to put in an engine themselves. I'm paying storage fees and I was hoping to find someone who wants a great boat at a great price that they can customize. Think I'm unrealistic?
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Old 05-28-2019, 01:21 AM
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I don't think you are unrealistic. Luck will play a part though.

Perhaps if you got a running engine sitting in your garage to sell with the boat, it would attract more interest.
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Old 05-28-2019, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Kday View Post
What I would really like to do is to sell the boat to someone who wants to put in an engine themselves. I'm paying storage fees and I was hoping to find someone who wants a great boat at a great price that they can customize. Think I'm unrealistic?
Hi Katie, just a few thoughts from a fellow Eastern Shorean. It's now prime sailing season here, so those buyers looking to buy are mostly looking for "turn key" situations rather than projects. Your engine-less boat sits in Cambridge, so your potential buyer will take that into account when comparing boats as well. When I bought my current boat, I did it the other way round than what you have going on: I bought a brand new MMI rebuild inside a very worn Tartan 30. I made the deal in November with new storage fees on the horizon for the seller and like Neil, the $16,000 asking price dropped to $4 grand.

Project boats are peculiar things. The fact is, this boat doesn't sound as much like a true project boat as it does a simple re-power. Just drop another A-4 in the old girl. Kinda like the transmission going out on a vintage and well-kept '67 Ford Mustang doesn't make it a project so much as it means finding the right buyer. You said you took out the old A-4 so I'm guessing you could put another one back in? Here's one up the road in Chester that is on Craigslist for $1,500.

Atomic 4 for Sale Chester, MD

Strip the cracked block and sell the parts here or on Ebay/Craigslist and maybe you'll not be too deep into a used A-4?

If it were me, I'd put an ad on Craigslist and see what happens. You never know! I sold my last boat on Craigslist at asking price in about 15 minutes on Craigslist. In December!
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Old 05-28-2019, 09:11 AM
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I'd also post flyers on the bulletin boards of local sailing schools, marinas, marine hardware stores. Folks likely to see the flyers in those areas already have an interest.
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1977 Catalina 30
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Old 05-28-2019, 10:03 AM
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IMHO it would be well worth the time and money to install the engine.
If I were the buyer, this is how I would think:
1. I need to tow the boat home.
2. I then need to install the engine.
3. Since the engine is not in the boat, I have no real way to test it.
4. See #3, the uninstalled engine is potentially not useable.
5. See #4, I am going to spend a lot of time finding this out.
6. See #5, I would think who has a non-working boat and a good uninstalled engine? If it actually worked, it would be installed and the boat would be working.

Kind of like the ever-popular Craigslist ad "Car for sale, AC not working, easy fix". If it was easy, YOU would have done it
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Old 05-28-2019, 12:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomG View Post
Hi Katie, just a few thoughts from a fellow Eastern Shorean. It's now prime sailing season here, so those buyers looking to buy are mostly looking for "turn key" situations rather than projects. Your engine-less boat sits in Cambridge, so your potential buyer will take that into account when comparing boats as well. When I bought my current boat, I did it the other way round than what you have going on: I bought a brand new MMI rebuild inside a very worn Tartan 30. I made the deal in November with new storage fees on the horizon for the seller and like Neil, the $16,000 asking price dropped to $4 grand.

Project boats are peculiar things. The fact is, this boat doesn't sound as much like a true project boat as it does a simple re-power. Just drop another A-4 in the old girl. Kinda like the transmission going out on a vintage and well-kept '67 Ford Mustang doesn't make it a project so much as it means finding the right buyer. You said you took out the old A-4 so I'm guessing you could put another one back in? Here's one up the road in Chester that is on Craigslist for $1,500.

Atomic 4 for Sale Chester, MD

Strip the cracked block and sell the parts here or on Ebay/Craigslist and maybe you'll not be too deep into a used A-4?

If it were me, I'd put an ad on Craigslist and see what happens. You never know! I sold my last boat on Craigslist at asking price in about 15 minutes on Craigslist. In December!
Wow - if that engine is rebuilt, I would hate to see a non-rebuilt one
Even so it may run fine. It is probably about 2 miles from my house too.
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Old 05-28-2019, 01:41 PM
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Wow - if that engine is rebuilt, I would hate to see a non-rebuilt one
Even so it may run fine. It is probably about 2 miles from my house too.
This brings up a good point - The asking price is one thing and the offered price might be something else. "Rebuilt" could also mean any number of things. Would this A4, considering it is sound and running, at $700 be a good option? This example was the result of a single 5 second search of the Eastern Shore Craigslist. A broader search could reveal anything from free to 5 grand. Dunno. Caveat emptor I suppose.

If it were me and I were trying to sell a production 30 foot sailboat in otherwise excellent condition, I'd find a used, running A4 and drop that baby in the boat, and sell it. As it is, you have a boat that isn't very desirable, even though it's in excellent condition. A Moyer rebuild would be the buyers dream, but you'd never get your return out of a fresh engine I think.
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Old 05-28-2019, 07:20 PM
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Regarding that engine in Chester, MD - I've NEVER seen an A4 with a 'Velvet Drive' transmission. Suspect the seller is suffering from 'photo mixup'. Which also makes me leery of the first picture. Buyer beware.
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Old 05-30-2019, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by TomG View Post
A Moyer rebuild would be the buyers dream, but you'd never get your return out of a fresh engine I think.
Not sure I agree with this. Up here in the PNW, a well equipped, good condition C30 sells for $15K to $20K. Based on what I'm reading in this thread, it seems that $6K Moyer engine might not be a bad investment.

Yes, a good running used engine for ~$1K might be a better investment, but also riskier. Unless that engine can be run and tested for compression etc. prior to buying it, it's like Gump's box of chocolates. I've heard too many horror stories that begin with "I think it ran when we pulled it out" and "a previous owner told me it had been rebuilt".

Good luck! If that Cat 30 were here on the left coast, I'd snap it up for a song, rebuild an A4 in my garage for about $1500, toss that puppy in there and flip that boat (for profit, not literally in the water).
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Old 05-30-2019, 05:18 PM
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Not sure I agree with this. Up here in the PNW, a well equipped, good condition C30 sells for $15K to $20K. Based on what I'm reading in this thread, it seems that $6K Moyer engine might not be a bad investment.

Yes, a good running used engine for ~$1K might be a better investment, but also riskier. Unless that engine can be run and tested for compression etc. prior to buying it, it's like Gump's box of chocolates. I've heard too many horror stories that begin with "I think it ran when we pulled it out" and "a previous owner told me it had been rebuilt".

Good luck! If that Cat 30 were here on the left coast, I'd snap it up for a song, rebuild an A4 in my garage for about $1500, toss that puppy in there and flip that boat (for profit, not literally in the water).
I'm confused - you say you disagree with the point that a Moyer rebuild might not get the return on value but close by saying you'd do exactly as I mentioned and put in a rebuilt A4 and sell it.

Here on the Chesapeake, there are many sailboats in the 28 to 32 foot range that are in good or better condition that can be had for $6,000 that do not need an engine. This is who Katy is competing with. I do wish her luck and hope she lets us know how it goes!
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Old 05-30-2019, 05:42 PM
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I'm confused - you say you disagree with the point that a Moyer rebuild might not get the return on value but close by saying you'd do exactly as I mentioned and put in a rebuilt A4 and sell it.
What I'm saying is that in my opinion a $6K motor from Moyer might have payback in this particular case. I'm also saying an even better solution would be to do a garage rebuild of an A4 for $1500 and drop that in, but that's not feasible for many people

Quote:
Originally Posted by TomG View Post
Here on the Chesapeake, there are many sailboats in the 28 to 32 foot range that are in good or better condition that can be had for $6,000 that do not need an engine. This is who Katy is competing with. I do wish her luck and hope she lets us know how it goes!
Up here in the PNW, Catalina 30's seem to command a higher price than other 30 footers of that vintage. Might just be because of the interior roominess of the C30 compared to others Vs our weather. Things might be different on the Chesapeake.
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