Old Vs. New

Here is a discussion I had with a buyer who has a budget of $150k and he is considering an older catamaran vs. newer:

Let me try to be succinct.... if you can find a really well-maintained Lagoon 37 or 42 then none of what I'm about to say matters.... but the ones in the price range you have been looking at generally need a lot of work and have not been well-maintained. Yachts are like cars in that: at a certain age, everything starts to fall apart. And the repair bills can be endless and you can spend all your time dealing with that and no time sailing/cruising. If you are a "tinkerer"/engineer-type then maybe this is quite alright ...(Are you?).......Different models reach the end of their "maintenance-free life" at different times (Leopard has the longest useful life) but generally the manufacturers have recently been using better materials and components so that the newer boats last longer. If I were in the market now and had to stick to a certain budget, I'd look for the newest boat possible by the best builder possible. The best production builders for 1999 onwards are Lagoon, Privilege, Leopard and Fountaine Pajot can be OK but stick to as late-model as possible and never buy one of their hull #1-5's (when  new model comes out they always have screw-ups/leaks/issues and these dont always get remedied 100% by the manufacturer...FP has a terrible warranty reputation).... 
The 37 and the 42 had some flaws which are not limited to the following and maybe these aren't deal-killers for you:
- their salons are small compared to more recent models....i.e., the newer-designed Mahe 36 has a larger salon than a Lagoon 42! But the 42 has a longer waterline and will sail a little better
- the headliners were constantly falling down and the replacement headliners can almost never look decent
- the flooring lasted about 15 years and needs replacing
- the way the windows are designed creates a "hothouse effect" in the tropics that broils you when sitting in the salon...there are some partial remedies for this (Note: that is why Lagoon went to vertical windows)
- on some 42's the engines were placed under the bunks and the inevitable oil spills/fuel spills on the engine stink up the interior. Some people get sick inhaling this....by the way, when I ran Moorings Yacht Brokerage for 10 years we went to Lagoon about this and they moved the engines aft and sealed them off from the living space but there are only a few models like this
- the 37 can hobby horse (pitch) quite a bit in certain seas
It may sound like I dont like these boats but I really do and have really fond memories of my 42 and 37....but I'm just saying a newer/smaller boat can usually give you the same amount of usable space and will "wear longer"

PDQ Antares 44 and General Market Discussion

We are discussing Antares 44's and the state of the market in general:

- The Antares are great cats... they are semi-custom, well-built boats hand-made in small volumes. I love the high freeboard and the space that creates down below, with the huge amount of "reserve buoyancy" that you will thank God for 1000x if you ever get into really big waves....But when Antares pays for components they pay full wholesale price because they buy one thing at a time. So, they just naturally cost more. Now, when a large builder like Lagoon, which is part of the Beneteau Group (who build thousands of CNBs, Wauquiez, Jeanneaus, Beneteaus, Lagoons, Antares power boats, Swift Trawlers, campers, automobiles, temporary housing, prefab housing, etc)  buy engines, for example, they buy hundreds at a time and get them for less than half of what Antares pays. The same goes for sails, masts, rigging, electrical looms, plumbing parts, resin, etc. So, they build to the same quality for much less and they can afford to pass on a sizable discount to the buyer and still make a good return on their investment for the shareholders. I have owned two Lagoons and like them a lot. Outremer's are proven bluewater cruisers but they have wave slapping issues especially when you equip them with all the stuff most cruisers want and you give up some interior volume to get performance. In my humble opinion, speed is highly over-rated. Being able to go 1-2 knots faster because you are in an Outremer isn't worth the space you have to give up unless you race and want to win bets with other skippers. Privileges are the best-built cats in the world but being a low-volume builder usually cost a lot more than equivalent production boats, their salons are usually very small and to exaggerate a little: "They sail like slugs".... They also are like "hot houses" because their salons have windows directly exposed to the sun...So, in Seattle this wouldn't be noticed, but in the Caribbean it will drive you crazy in about 1 week because your aircons can't keep up and you will feel like a broiling piece of fish sometimes.
I have lived on cats for extended periods and in my humble/biased opinion the most important factors are "live-ability/easy for one person to sail" which supercedes everything else by a factor of 10; and by that I mean, is the salon as large as possible? Does the galley have enough storage space? Is there plenty of storage space elsewhere so clutter isn't everywhere? Is there plenty of room in the engine space to do maintenance or do you need an army of trained midgets to change the oil or bleed the injectors? Is the engine space sealed off from the living space (so those nasty-inevitable smells never get into your space)? Is the steering station high up with good visibility and easy access to the deck when something goes wrong under sail? My most-recent stint aboard was a 6 month cruise to New England/Chesapeake during the summer/fall on a new Prout 45. We loved the large salon. We loved the large raised steering station. We spent 95% of our waking hours in these two spots and had the time of our lives. Having morning coffee and sunset wine in the raised steering station because the views were always awesome was memorable...the rest of the time (at night and in the pouring rain) was spent in the salon. In 6 months I sat down in the cockpit a grand total of two times, so I think large cockpits are a giant waste of space unless I'm docked in St Tropez and I want to watch the French bikini team walking the docks .... 

- another reason I like Lagoon and Leopards are because of this reason: they are used by more charter fleets than any other brand (because they "wear-well"). When you charter one, you are given a "comment sheet" to fill out. There are over 100,000 charter weeks sold per year on all the Lagoons and Leopards worldwide, so they get back 70,000 comment sheets....A lot of "Type A", very intelligent people charter these boats and they love to write for hours about what works well on the boat, (most-importantly) what doesn't, and what changes should be made in the next model. These manufacturers listen closely and incorporate changes every year, and it really does make a difference. Antares, Outremer and Privilege don't have this constant and massive input and couldn't afford to make the changes anyway because they aren't set up for this....so you see a lot of little nuances on these Lagoon/Leopard that really are nice. I can show them to you if we get together and look at some boats.
- you may be interested to read my eBook "Insider Secrets To Buying Catamarans" which I attached and has been a 22 year "work-in-progress".... It is designed to educate you on all the mistakes I have seen/made (in over 1,450 deals I've been involved with over 23 years) so you don't waste time and money like I and others have done....I have owned 37 yachts and have learned some lessons the hard (expensive!) way.

- Regarding the 2005 Antares...here is a list of all Antares sold since 2008...I have full specs and photos of that one that sold in NC for $450k if you want to see them. She was on the market for over a year and the owner just wanted it gone so he accepted $100k less than he was asking at the time ... that happened in 2009. I have a private database that has all selling prices of all yachts sold since 1998 and will share all details with you....it costs me over $600/month for this.


YearCodesListed US$Sold US$Location
44'PDQ Antares2005S U TD FG 619,000(07/11)585,000(04/12)FL, USA
44'PDQ Antares2004S U TD FG 599,000(01/11)570,000(05/12)VA, USA
44'PDQ Antares2004S U TD FG 535,000(05/11)535,000(07/11)USA
44'PDQ Antares 44i2005S U TD FG 550,000(03/08)450,000(05/09)NC, USA
44'PDQ Antares 50k in Opt...2006S U TD FG 795,000(12/07)675,000(08/08)NC, USA

Here is a list of all the Antares offered for sale now:

LengthBoatsYearCurrent US$LocationName

44'PDQ Antares 44i2006649,000 Cruising in Florida, FLBLUE

44'PDQ Antares 44i 2006635,000 Jacksonville, FLMER SOLEIL

44'PDQ Antares 4425 I2008975,000 Marmaris, TurkeySPIRIT OF NINA

    Some general market comments: 
The Caribbean still has the best deals because we see an imbalance of sellers to buyers if you are considering production yachts...the Euro may be making a dramatic move and if Greece abandons the Euro and the "PIGS" (Portugal, Italy, Greece, Spain) can't cover their debt payments, then the Euro will drop against the dollar. If it goes to par, or below the dollar, then all those French tax shelter yachts will become huge bargains for Americans/Canadians/Aussies/Kiwis...if the Euro doesn't make the move, be sure to play the seasonal price trends and locational discounts I mention in my eBook. The time to buy is between now and November 15th.......then again next summer...The Aussies are the biggest buyers in the world right now which is preventing the bottom from falling out of the market....because their currency is strong and they are mining gold and silver like crazy, they are spending money like drunken sailors...the Norwegians are right behind them... Norway has no debt and huge oil reserves and their economy is booming. Having a Viking heritage that genetically predisposes them to take advantage of crises elsewhere, they can't help themselves but to snap up bargains when they see them.

Besides what you mentioned, I think you should look at Lagoon 440's/500's and Leopard 46's ...and when your wife sees how much more room you get in a Lagoon and the level of fit and finish of a Leopard (for significantly less money than an Antares) she will probably twist your arm in that direction... 
I really think you should focus on younger 4-6 year old yachts and not those older models you mentioned...Everything just starts falling apart at age 7 and it's never-ending (dealing with that) after that...Also, technology has improved in recent years and you see a lot of nice improvements.....so I think if you have a budget of "x" then it's better to go with a smaller newer (post 2007) boat than a larger/older "money pit" (a large hole in the water into which you pour money)... I hope this all helps 

Best Deal On A Small Cruising Cat

This 2007 Fountaine Pajot Mahe 36 will sell for only 120,000 Euros. This is well under what they have been selling for. One reason is that it is teh end of teh charter season and this charter boat is phasing out and the charter company needs to cash out. The other reason is that is does have some osmotic blisters; however, they are being repaired by the manufacturer and you will get a 5 year warranty on this. Contact Gary Fretz at bigyachts@gmail.com or at our Florida office 001.954.609.6282 for more details. Lying Caribbean. 2400 engine hours. 3 stateroom layout. This is a deal!

Boat Shows 2012-13

2012 - 2013 

September 11th to 16th2012 Cannes 
September 19th to 24th2012 La Rochelle 
September 26th to 30th2012 Barcelona 
October 06th to 14th2012 Genova 
December 08th to 16th2012 Paris 
January 19th to 27th2013 Düsseldorf 
April 10th to 14th2013 La Grande Motte