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Learn about buying a boat. Learn about selling a boat

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New Boat Listings

Watch for upcoming announcements of complete kits for our "Miranda" sailing life dinghy, and our "Coin Collection" live aboard voyaging yachts.

Our Current Used Boat Listings & Recommended Designs

     This is the Westsail 32 "Elsa".  She's located in the mid-Atlantic East Coast of the United States.  She looks like she'd be a good bet as a liveaboard and voyaging yacht for either a younger couple or small family with more time and enthusiasm than money, or an older couple wanting a maximum comfort liveaboard voyaging yacht and don't mind a starting with a vessel which needs some work to get ready for serious voyaging.   The owner frankly characterizes her as being in "rough shape" and needing a new mast.  We would assume that this means that all bright work inside and out needs to be completely refinished, gel coat will need to be at least cleaned, buffed, and waxed, and, given that she has been out of water a long time hoses may have perished and she will undoubtedly need a really good cleaning.  Beyond that you and your surveyor should carefully look for any other problems. However, she really looks like a bargain at this price.
     There are several pictures you can look at.

Brief Particulars are as follows:
Length on Deck = 32'
Length on Waterline = 27'6"
Beam = 11'
Draft = 5'
Displacement = 19,500 lbs
Sail Area = 753 square feet in the marconi version.  Assuming this gaff rig was taken directly from the Atkin drawings she would probably have a working Sail Area = 831 square feet.
Hull is solid fiberglass construction, at minimum roughly 4 times as thick as the average stock boat built today, which is not to say that the Westsail 32 is in any way over built, but rather that a large number of stock boats are woefully under built.
Ballast:  Depending upon when she was built she may have up to 7,000 lbs of ballast, though some early versions had less.  If she does not drive along very strongly and feel "stiff", more ballast will not hurt her and will increase her speed to windward.  If she has the 7,000 she may well be a very good performer as is, especially with the much larger than stock rig, which would be excellent for voyaging.
Berths:  Though some versions of the Westsail 32 have had up to 6 berths, in other words far too many, Elsa seems to have a very sensible 4 berths, which should allow more room for storage in a vessel which already has quite a bit.  She will cruise or voyage up to 4 very comfortably.
Fuel Capacity for these vessels was normally 42 gallons.
Water Capacity is normally 80 gallons

We have only an extremely brief equipment list as follows:
(2) 45 pound stainless steel "plow" anchors.  If these are closely patterned after the CQR anchors, they may be a great deal, worth quite a lot, and indicate that someone at some point was willing to spend a lot of money on the vessel.
(1) 75 pound galvanized painted High Tensile Danforth
A gaff cutter rig designed by William Atkin who did the original design for this vessel working from the Colin Archer "Redningskoite" lines upon which Norway based her sailing rescue craft for many years.  Since this rig is much larger than the Marconi cutter rig which is usual for the Westsail 32, if she has plenty of ballast she should be an extremely good performer.  Most Westsails need a large drifter for light airs and normally need about 1500 lbs of additional inside ballast added for best performance.  Then they are really quite spectacular vessels.
     Unfortunately she is listed as needing a mast.  In a way this is a negative in that the new owner will need to either build a mast or have one built.  However it might be viewed as a positive in that these days a custom carbon fiber mast, which would greatly increase stability and therefore windward performance would cost about the same as having a new wooden mast professionally built.  Most of my clients are going for carbon fiber mast these days.
     She is listed as having a new bow sprit - "not installed".
     She has a Perkins 4-108.  The commercial rating for this engine is 37 horsepower at continuous rating rpm.  However I would caution first that this is nearly twice the horsepower that is really necessary, second that it apparently hasn't been run in some years, and third that, given this, a great deal of care should be taken to make sure a knowledgeable mechanic makes sure everything is free, compression is good and the fuel system is all checked out before trying to run it.  I would judge that the owner has discounted the price of the boat partly on the basis that the engine may need extensive work or replacement.  It is often possible to find low time diesel engines for sale in local boat yards because of the tendency for people to believe that they can get their boat to go faster if they just rip out their perfectly good engine and put in a bigger one.  This is almost always not true, but you can often find very nice 20 horsepower engines at ridiculously low prices.
     She is listed as having a "water heat pump - heat and cool".  It is hard to see what this would be likely to do for someone who really wants to cruise and voyage but if one was only interested in living aboard at a marina it might be OK.
     She has an inflatable dinghy which is reported to be "in good shape", a shortwave radio, and a never used Force 10 propane heater.  While we don't recommend the use of propane on boats, this would probably have some value for sale around the boat yards.
     The Bimini top "was" wood on a fixed frame, which seems to imply that it is not in place now.
     "Elsa" is a documented vessel and has been on the hard for 10 years.  All information is from general Westsail information and the owner's limited information as provided.     
     We have not seen "Elsa" but she appears to be priced quire low at an asking price of  $10,000 (reduced from $17,000).  As always you should have a professional survey done by someone with long experience in repairing and upgrading fiberglass boats.  Spruced up I would think she'd be worth more like forty thousand so it looks like you might actually make quite a bit of money on this particular vessel.

Wanted to List:  We are especially interested in listings for: "Fisher Motorsailers", "Nicholson 31s", J.Laurent Giles designed "Vertue Class", "Wanderer Class", "Salar 40s" and other Giles designs, "Westsail 32s", "Westsail 42s & 43s", also "Westerly" twin keel yachts from 22' to 32', and of course especially designs by our own design firm. 

Co-Brokered Listings
Email us for more information on particular boats, which will be provided via a private on line link to the material.

More Listings: We will load more listings as we can.  We don't have enough staff to have to run a large brokerage arm, but we do try to list any really good cruising boats that come our way.  Don't hesitate to call or email for more information. Remember we are happy to search for boats to meet your particular needs.

Buying a Boat Through Us

Because we are third-generation boat aficionados with a deep interest and professional experience in Naval Architecture, Surveying and Boat Building, we have acquired a broad knowledge of many specific boats, designs, boat building shops, boat building technologies, etc., including the plusses and minuses of each. Because of this we believe we can help you buy or sell a quality boat, at an appropriate price.

Unlike many brokers, we take an active interest in your search for a boat. When we send you listings, many of which will have been selected by us from our co-brokerage network, we are usually able to add a good deal of relevant information. This is usually in the form of a frank, honest, and well-developed letter referring to each listing in as much detail as we have available. If you decide to look at a boat, we will usually accompany you, unless you prefer to go alone. We will actively seek out the boat's weaknesses as well as her strengths, and will explain them to you in as much detail as you require. This amounts to a "pre-survey", to help you to screen boats and determine the relative values of boats you may be considering. This is not a substitute for an objective survey by an uninvolved party. However, by taking this approach we can help ensure that the independent survey you do order turns out to be a positive one, on a boat you will want to buy.

Our philosophy is not to simply make one sale. Rather we wish to develop a relationship wherein you will want to return to us for future sales and purchases. Hopefully you will also recommend us to friends as reliable and honest allies in your involvement with boats. Brokerage is one of many services we provide so we are not in the position of having to sell a boat "this month" to pay rent, etc.

An important aspect of this is our enthusiasm for small boats, restoration projects, and other "entry-level" sales, as well as higher-priced boats or the specialized requirements in the middle and top end of the market. We appreciate the wisdom of starting small, the important thing being that the buyer makes a good choice, and come back later on when his or her requirements advance or change.

We are also available as consultants when you are considering the purchase of boats which we are not brokering.

In Brokerage and Consulting, the only marketable qualities a firm can have are Integrity and Competence. Please contact us for references. Our customers are our best advertisements.

Selling a Boat Through Us

What you may expect of us: We will show your boat's listing to any person who contacts us, if the boat seems appropriate to their needs in our judgment. We will act as a go between in the negotiation of a possible sale, working on your behalf, while dealing openly and honestly with the prospective buyer. We will make the listing available to our co-brokerage associates, so they can present it to their contacts as well. If one of our co-brokers has a customer who is interested in your boat, we will make the initial contact with you to make the necessary arrangements. In many cases we may suggest that you have direct contact with a co-broker or their customer. You are under no obligation to do so, and we will be happy to be your only direct contact if you prefer. We may elect to advertise your boat, but due to our limited resources we cannot guarantee that we will do so.

If a customer provided by a co-broker purchases your boat there is no extra cost to you. We then split the commission with the co-broker, with the proportions of the split depending on our arrangements with the individual co-broker.

We will relay to you all offers, including those which we feel are too low, and we will not hold any offer back, even if negotiations are in progress.

We will present your listing in as fair and accurate a manner as possible, and we will not withhold information from a prospective buyer even if it reflects negatively on the boat. We recommend that all buyers obtain an objective survey before purchasing any boat. Our policy is to attempt to find and discuss with the prospective buyer any faults which a survey would reveal, prior to the survey. We believe that this policy actually increases buyer confidence and the likelihood of a sale, while reducing the possibility that a survey will halt a deal or needlessly increase negotiation time at the last minute.

We will provide the necessary paperwork to close the sale, when and if a sale is negotiated.

We try to be as flexible as possible. You may have a particular need which the material we send you does not cover. Our contract may seem to restrict you from something you may want to do. We would be happy to discuss your situation and where possible, tailor our service to suit.

Brokerage is a profession that demands a reputation for absolute honesty and integrity, and you may expect this from us at all times.

What we expect of you: We expect that, as much as possible, you will provide us with accurate information about your boat. It is important that you make us aware of your boat's defects, if any, as well as her good points. This allows us to present the boat fairly and accurately with a minimum of unpleasant surprises or extended negotiations as a result of problems found by a survey.

The Listing Agreement offers you a choice between two options. Option 1 states that you will sell the boat for the asking price if it is offered without additional conditions. This demonstrates that you are seriously interested in selling the boat. This mostly affects the willingness of our co-brokerage associates to put effort into selling your boat, an effective tool for obtaining as prompt a sale as possible.

In some cases it is important for a boat with historic or sentimental value to go to the right sort of person, so you will feel comfortable concerning her future. Option 2 allows you to specify any criteria a possible buyer must meet. While we fully support this idea, it does make it somewhat more difficult to market the boat, especially through a co-broker. Therefore we feel it is important that we know this is a criterion up front.

Neither option affects the nature of your decision making below the asking price. We do not characterize your willingness to accept offers below the asking price except as instructed by you. We do ask that if the asking price is firm you so indicate, as most buyers will assume there is some dickering room unless we actually state that there is not. The wisest policy seems to be to allow some dickering room. Most buyers seem to feel they have gotten a better deal if they "talk you down" somewhat. The words, "We encourage reasonable offers" after the price seems to increase interest. We recommend that you have your minimum price firmly in mind when you put your boat on the market. However there is no need to communicate this figure to us, unless you instruct us to reject offers below a certain figure without contacting you. Most people choose to keep this figure to themselves, and prefer to hear all offers.

We expect that you will treat us fairly and not compromise our position by making arrangements with other brokers of which we are unaware. We expect that you will not take any action to avoid a commission which we would be due under the terms of the listing agreement.

We expect that you will do everything you can reasonably do to make the boat available for showings consistent with any restrictions you have put upon this in the listing agreement. Restrictions might include a certain amount of notice, non-interruption of a cruise in progress, our being there to supervise the customer, etc. Restrictions of this type should be kept to the minimum with which you are comfortable.

In the event you are unhappy with our service, we ask that you notify us of the reasons why you are dissatisfied. We will do everything in our power to correct whatever problem has occurred. In the event that you no longer wish to sell the boat or if you no longer want us to act as your broker, we expect you to notify us of this fact, as provided for by the listing agreement.

In Brokerage, there is no substitute for repeat business and positive word-of-mouth recommendations.

Advice on any boat related topic, by email, phone, mail, or fax, is always free. Please don't hesitate to contact us.