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    Budgeting for future 4788 purchase

    Hello all! I've been a lurker around here for a while and I finally decided to sign up. I'm well aware that this place is a treasury of valuable knowledge and I would like to thank all of you for being such a powerful resource. You all have been integral in convincing me that the 4788 (and many other Bayliner/Meridian models) are by far the best in their classes.

    My family of three is looking to get into boating in the not-so-distant future, and we are looking to create a budget plan for purchasing a 4788 PH around 5 years in the future once our finances are fully set. I know no one can see into the future, but I just wanted to know if my numbers are reasonable.

    Please keep in mind that the below estimations are for 5 years in the future, so I don't get laughed at for trying to get a ridiculously unreasonable price on such a nice vessel.

    $129k for good condition 1999-2002 4788 PH (122k base purchase price + 6% FL tax)
    $18k for initial maintenance/repairs, replacing broken or worn out parts
    $4k for survey, documentation, registration
    $12k for electronics and instrumentation upgrade (single MFD in pilothouse, radar, autopilot)
    $7k for watermaker system
    $7k for new appliances, other interior upgrades, detailing
    $3k for "making the boat ours" and personalization (mostly removing walls in 3rd stateroom to make one big master stateroom)
    $2k life raft and EPIRB
    Total purchase cost: $185k (I have a separate budget for regular maintenance, fuel, and dockage which is in addition to these numbers)


    Today in early 2019, 1999-2002 4788s go for $180k-$190k (hopefully I'm not way off). So I am basing depreciation at around 7% per year. Is that anywhere close to reasonable?

    I did what research I can to get a ballpark estimate. I just wanted to know if I'm missing anything or if I'm horribly off somewhere.

    Thank you all very much! I will really appreciate any input.

    #2
    First great boats either 4588 or 4788...have done all of the above a few times now in our 23 years of ownership I think your upgrade costs are off unless you are doing all the work. For example 12K on electronics if you install YES, paid installer maybe not. Watermakers again depends on what size, and who installs as it is very time consuming, I do not think the carpet and upholstery, refer, stove, ice maker in that budget.

    These older boats do noat have a set deprecation, being older each really stand on its own. There are models of our boat at $65K and others $200K or more depending on all the updates, upgrades, enhancements, etc. Just sharing as I think your estimation and simplifying very involved projects.
    Mark
    USCG OUPV
    1990 4588
    Carlsbad, CA

    Comment


      #3
      I would not be suprised if five years from now well equipped and well maintained 4788's sell for the same or maybe 10% less than what they are selling for now. Why? Because they are great boats, popular with knowlegable boaters and there is only a finite number of them out there. Comparable new boats are way over a million dollars apiece and rising every year. And then there is annual inflation to consider as well.
      2001 Bayliner 4788
      Underhulls
      Bow & Stern Thrusters
      330 Cummins
      Langley British Columbia

      Comment


        #4
        Having a budget is a good thing, but I think you are off base number wise.

        On the west coast a well maintained, well equipped late model 4788 is a $200,000 or thereabouts boat.
        You can pay less, but you’ll be paying upgrade and defered maintenance costs, making the apples to apples price still around $200K

        With new boats going for so much more, I see the price being pretty stable. They might go down a bit, but with what a thousand out there and only a few on the market at any particular time the boat speaks for itself.

        KEVIN SANDERS
        4788 LISAS WAY - SEWARD ALASKA

        Comment


          #5
          Thanks for the input! While doing my depreciation research, I saw that very few, if any models of any brand were an exception to the 5-10% depreciation rates as long as they were under 30 years old. Each model I looked at would lose around that much value per year. If the 4788 really does hold up its price in 5 years, I will be pleasantly surprised and it will only strengthen it's position as my purchase of choice.

          And yes, I agree that condition is very important. In fact, I'm very afraid of the "deferred maintenance" which is why I tried to put more of my budget in the upfront mechanical maintenance cost at the time of purchase.

          Comment


          • kspellman02
            kspellman02 commented
            Editing a comment
            IMHO It is good to have a $ amount in mind and to adjust it as you learn more over the 5 years. We bought ours at a price close to what you are thinking and deferred maintenance was actually a fair bit higher. Think around $25-30k and you will probably be more real with your budget...if you can do the work you can save a bit. Your $4K for Survey, Doc, Registration, AND FLORIDA TAX is low. Tax alone will be around $9k so bump that number overall up to about $13K and you'll cover that one (bought my boat in FL, so I know this one). Electronics is slightly low...maybe by about $2k. Do you need a watermaker? What areas are you planning to cruise in? If you are at the dock on a regular basis the water is included in your slip. I built a watermaker on our Catamaran in the Caribbean and it was $5k for a 20gph unit with my labor. The convenience and costs was worth it (besides being in places that simply had no water to buy). Being in the US and even the Bahamas, I could never recoup that cost. But that is your call. With EPIRB and Life Raft I have to ask again....where are you cruising...do you really need it? You don't mention dinghy. Many do not come with a dinghy so just for "fun" I would add another $10k for one that will haul you and the kids.

            Kevin
            1997 4788 - "No Plan"
            Cummins 330's
            Florida

          #6
          If the next few years are like the past , I tend to agree with the community about being off on your budget...not only on the installaction and upgrades, but you might be a tad off on the future market values, as well. I’m not trying to say you can’t find a great buy and make your budget stretch to match what you hope with sweat equity,

          In my personal experience, the prices the past few years have been pretty stable if not gone up in some cases... For example, when I bought my Omega, there were a lot of 5788’s on the market for about 325-350ish (3-4 years ago).. today I’m not sure you can find a similar sample of boats for under $350-400k, with most of what I’ve noticed being in the 400k+, now. That’s an increase of 15-20% or more.

          On the opposite side, I bought a 4588 6-7 years ago and when I sold it 3 years later, I actually made a profit of about $15k more than I paid for it... and I’ve watched the 4588/4788 markets, since, and they seem to be pretty stable.

          Like Mark said, there are cheap boats out there, but they are definitely fixer-uppers that will cost more to bring back than just buying a better maintained boat that’s twice the price...and also I agree with Kevin in that there is definitely a basic cost of a boat regardless of condition...

          I think one reason the prices of larger boats are so stable is that years prior there were no new boats being built and the inventory of used boats from those who would normally be upgrading was and still is somewhat rather limited when compared to before the housing crisis....there eve many yacht builders building prior to the housing collapse, but most, including Meridian, nearly stopped production. The new market is still stinging and to my knowledge has not rebounded to production levels of th past. I think it will be some time before we might see production levels of the past, which suggests to me the used inventories will hurt for a while longer an will probably help the used market values to be stable,,,

          I hope this helps,
          BJ
          OMEGA
          5788
          BJ
          OMEGA
          5788

          Comment


            #7
            I’m not in any hurry to get older, but now I’m curious as to where the prices will be on the 4788 in 5 years too. After the financial crunch 10 years ago, boating took a huge hit (even before that I think it was in a decline). So the production numbers since then have been way down, meaning supply will be low for newer replacements. But, the midsize cruiser market was pretty much decimated, and those are the people that generally step up to the 47. All the people I hang out with are in their 30’s and 40’s, and none of them have any cruisers or any interest in getting one. The ones that have boats have $100k wakeboard boats and 18-24’ fishing boats. I don’t see any of them stepping up to a big boat at all. They are all getting into RV’s.
            Esteban
            Vancouver, BC
            Former Bayliners 3218, 2859, 2252, 1952

            Comment


              #8
              I've found that owning a boat is NOT for the budget-minded, and I'm on my 17th boat. My current 3388 is the largest cruiser I've owned, and from this experience, if I were to move to a 3988 or 4788, it would have to be with no budget constraints. If money is an issue, don't buy a boat.
              Jeff & Tara
              (And Ginger too)
              Lake Havasu City, AZ

              2000 Bayliner 3388
              "GetAway"
              Cummins 4bta 250s

              In memory of Shadow, the best boat dog ever. Rest in peace, girl. July 2, 2010

              Comment


                #9
                With respect Travelerboating, 5 years is an eternity away. Your family of 3 may become 4, or your circumstances may change completely, which may make your prelim budgeting meaningless X years out. I'm with the other guys, newer boats of the 38 ft upwards aren't flying off the shelves, but because of significant increasing new boat costs, any descent 47 (2000 on) that is not a project boat, is currently holding their price reasonably well around the US$190-200k+ mark, depending on options, condition etc. If the shit hits the fan on the economy front, who knows and all bets are off.

                Budgeting with costs on a larger boat is hard. You never know what needs to be changed out irrespective of a planned maintenance list. For example changing out my exhaust mixer cans recently highlighted that one of the turbos needed replacement. 2 grand, kar ching, and that doesn't include labour, most of which I can do myself saving a bunch of money. Getting a mechanic to remove and replace it would probably add close to another grand. If I had to pay someone for every bit of maintenance needed, It would be significantly more than the $15-20k I budget to own my boat (fuel, insurances, registration costs etc included). And that doesn't include the moorage costs as I have a pontoon out the back of my house. Moorage of a 47 (effectively a 52ft with bowsprit and duckboard) typically runs anywhere from $650 to $1k per month depending on marina. Utilities would be additional.

                When your circumstances allow ownership of a larger boat, do your sums then. You'll be working on relevant numbers that have reasonable projectibility versus numbers now that are spurious at best.

                Cheers
                John H
                Brisbane QLD Aust
                "Harbor-nating"

                2000 - 4788/Cummins 370's

                Comment


                  #10
                  Originally posted by TravelerBoating View Post
                  Thanks for the input! While doing my depreciation research, I saw that very few, if any models of any brand were an exception to the 5-10% depreciation rates as long as they were under 30 years old. Each model I looked at would lose around that much value per year. If the 4788 really does hold up its price in 5 years, I will be pleasantly surprised and it will only strengthen it's position as my purchase of choice.

                  And yes, I agree that condition is very important. In fact, I'm very afraid of the "deferred maintenance" which is why I tried to put more of my budget in the upfront mechanical maintenance cost at the time of purchase.
                  FWIW - I have owned 3 of these boats a 1986 4550 and a 1988 4588 and a 1995 4788.
                  Over the years and in each case I have seen the values drop for the 1st 8-10 years (per model year) then stabilize and move up dependent upon the overall financial market at the time.
                  Way back we even collected the sales data for a while and charted the trend.
                  The first one we bought in 1996 and the last one we sold was 3 years back.

                  Northport NY

                  Comment


                    #11
                    Thank you all for your insight into the market. You've managed to convince me that I should budget at a later time because 5 years is still very distant. However, I am still very curious about the used boat market.

                    Many of you have stated that after 10 years, 40+ foot Bayliner/Meridian boats stop depreciating, and might even go up in value.

                    I have spent the last few months looking at the prices for many 40-55 foot Bayliner/Meridian models. I will admit, there are some outliers. Some 1995 4778s have an asking price of even 2000 or 2001 4778s. And there are some well maintained or featured units having asking prices in the high 200s. However, 50-70% of them still seem to follow the depreciation curve. The same is true for the hundreds of Meridian 408s, 411s, 490s, and other models that are well over 10 years old which I looked at.

                    A search on Yachtworld shows 4 Bayliner 4788s below 150k. All of them happen to be older. There are 8 Meridian 490s for sale, of which the two oldest ones happen to be the lowest price and the highest priced ones are the youngest. All of these boats are 12+ years old.

                    Now, I'm not trying to argue with your wisdom and I am sure that you all have tons more experience with this market than me. I just want to understand the reasoning and evidence behind what you're all saying.

                    I know that the phrase "you get what you pay for" is true in the boating world as with most things in this world. So does it mean that all of them are that price not for their age, but for their deferred maintenance costs/lack of features? Does age means almost nothing?

                    Thank you again. This is a wonderful learning experience for me and I cannot stress how much I appreciate all of you.

                    Comment


                      #12
                      in my opinion, depending on who you have do the work, and looking at it from an overall cash outlay, i think your numbers are within reason EXCEPT the purchase price.... the purchase price of the boat will NOT determine how many repairs it may need, but assuming you do your homework and look for a nicely kept boat to purchase, the initial cost may be quite a bit higher, and the needed repairs lower...

                      if you are going to buy a fixer upper for cheap and expect to save much money, you are either going to have kind of a shoddy boat, OR its going to cost more to get it in the proper condition than you ever imagined..... (if you could imagine it, you wouldnt even consider buying a fixer upper)

                      when buying a boat and considering the condition of the vessel and the cost of it, its ALMOST ALWAYS better to pay more up front for a well maintained boat, because to buy someone elses "discounted" problems or project, and then believe you are going to fix it up for the offset cost, is NOT a reality and never will be....

                      and a lot of times people who has never had a boat loaded with "systems" only figure in the cost of purchase, fixing up/modernizing and dockage costs, but never figure in the ongoing maintenance costs, which are exponentially larger in relation to the size and creature comforts the boat has... these costs can easily make the boat unaffordable to some people who are on a budget.....


                      NU LIBERTE'
                      Salem, OR

                      1989 Bayliner 2556 Convertible
                      5.7 OMC Cobra - 15.5x11 prop
                      N2K equipped throughout..
                      2014 Ram 3500 crew cab, 6.7 Cummins
                      2007 M-3705 SLC weekend warrior, 5th wheel
                      '04 Polaris Sportsman 700 -- '05 Polaris Sportsman 500 HO
                      Heavy Equipment Repair and Specialty Welding

                      Comment


                      • TravelerBoating
                        TravelerBoating commented
                        Editing a comment
                        That's definitely eye opening. While I wasn't looking for a fixer upper, I didn't consider that buying a better conditioned one was the best choice. But the points you make make a lot of sense. Thank you.

                      #13
                      "Does age means almost nothing?"
                      Of course age means something - so does condition. Older boats will sell for less in the same condition as newer boats. And also keep in mind that these boats have about tripled (3X) in price (for new) over the years as well. So if you bought a 1985 4588 new the price was about 1/3th that of the last year Meridian 48.


                      "I have spent the last few months looking at the prices for many 40-55 foot Bayliner/Meridian models. I will admit, there are some outliers. Some 1995 4778s have an asking price of even 2000 or 2001 4778s. And there are some well maintained or featured units having asking prices in the high 200s. However, 50-70% of them still seem to follow the depreciation curve. The same is true for the hundreds of Meridian 408s, 411s, 490s, and other models that are well over 10 years old which I looked at"

                      How many have you been on and carefully looked at? Once you get to 6 or more I think it will start to make more sense , they will fall into groups so to speak.
                      In general - larger boats are rising in price much faster than other purchased items
                      In general - larger boat production has decreased except for the high end above 65'.
                      In general - as these boats go overseas, get sunk, and fall into poor repair the choices are more limited

                      My thoughts:
                      You can get a good deal on a boat.... it is much better to get a good boat for a fair price then a good deal price on a poor boat.
                      Northport NY

                      Comment


                      • Centerline2
                        Centerline2 commented
                        Editing a comment
                        "it is much better to get a good boat for a fair price then a good deal price on a poor boat."...... I agree.

                        and yes, age does mean something, but not nearly as much as condition does.... a 40yr old fiberglass boat can be kept in great modern condition or even reconditioned, and may still bring a nearly new boat price, whereas a 10yr old boat that has been abused and neglected could well be nearly worthless in a market where there are so many boats in better "condition"....... if one has the time, money and desire to purchase a fixer upper and do the work themselves, its NOT because they have a high passion for boating, but because they like FIXING and working on boats. and afterwards, its unlikely the boat would have as much value as was put into it....
                        which brings us back to what smitty said "it is much better to get a good boat for a fair price then a good deal price on a poor boat."

                      • TravelerBoating
                        TravelerBoating commented
                        Editing a comment
                        That last sentence is really powerful. I will shift my perspective with that and look for a good boat for a fair price, thank you.

                      #14
                      Originally posted by TravelerBoating View Post
                      Thank you all for your insight into the market. You've managed to convince me that I should budget at a later time because 5 years is still very distant. However, I am still very curious about the used boat market.

                      Many of you have stated that after 10 years, 40+ foot Bayliner/Meridian boats stop depreciating, and might even go up in value.

                      I have spent the last few months looking at the prices for many 40-55 foot Bayliner/Meridian models. I will admit, there are some outliers. Some 1995 4778s have an asking price of even 2000 or 2001 4778s. And there are some well maintained or featured units having asking prices in the high 200s. However, 50-70% of them still seem to follow the depreciation curve. The same is true for the hundreds of Meridian 408s, 411s, 490s, and other models that are well over 10 years old which I looked at.

                      A search on Yachtworld shows 4 Bayliner 4788s below 150k. All of them happen to be older. There are 8 Meridian 490s for sale, of which the two oldest ones happen to be the lowest price and the highest priced ones are the youngest. All of these boats are 12+ years old.

                      Now, I'm not trying to argue with your wisdom and I am sure that you all have tons more experience with this market than me. I just want to understand the reasoning and evidence behind what you're all saying.

                      I know that the phrase "you get what you pay for" is true in the boating world as with most things in this world. So does it mean that all of them are that price not for their age, but for their deferred maintenance costs/lack of features? Does age means almost nothing?

                      Thank you again. This is a wonderful learning experience for me and I cannot stress how much I appreciate all of you.
                      You are trying to apply a depreciation curve to something that I think does not work like you think.

                      I see so many people that say that a certain model should sell for X or a certain instance of a certain model should sell for Y

                      In reality a large boat sells for what a buyer is willing to pay, and what a seller is willing to accept. Applying a bunch of rules or curves will not change that.

                      What will ultimantly set the price on the buyers side is how the buyer can elsewhere spend their money. A potential buyer wants a boat. They look at the Bayliner 4788 and the Meridian 490’s and they compare features with other boats in the same general ballpark. Then they make a buying decision based on that competition.

                      On the seller side with newer boats often the price is determined by the loan value. That diminishes as a boat ages as less boats have original owner mortgages on them.

                      Personally I think that boat buyers tend to think of boats sometimes too much like automobiles with their Kelly bluebook depreciation curves.

                      I also see buyers get fixiated on this boat vs that boat pricing. IMO the best method is to start with a 100% boat meaning that it has 100% of the options you want, and is in 100% condition, andf has a recently updated helm package.

                      Then look at other boats and add to their prices what it would take to get them to your “perfect” 100% boat, using hired labor.

                      That to me is the closest way to value a boat, but it is not necessarially the “best” way.

                      To me the best way to buy a boat is to find the boat you really want, and withinn some sembalance of reason strike your best deal on that boat.
                      Then NEVER look back. Just enjoy your boat for what it is.

                      KEVIN SANDERS
                      4788 LISAS WAY - SEWARD ALASKA

                      Comment


                      • TravelerBoating
                        TravelerBoating commented
                        Editing a comment
                        I think that's a really good way to put it!

                        Instead of spending more money on upgrades, I will keep in mind to look for the closest thing to what I am looking for.

                        I probably am looking it it too much like an automobile. Thanks again!

                      #15
                      I agree that her condition is more important than her age.
                      4788 price has gone up last past several years from what I've seen...
                      I have a couple of buddies bought their 4788 about 6-7 yrs ago in Tacoma WA, one paid 125K, the other one was a bit cheaper.
                      you can't touch a running 4788 for that price these days especially in the PNW.
                      I remember when Smitty was selling his well maintained 47 a few years back, I'm thinking he could get 50K more now days
                      I'm one of those only looking for a good deal price on a poor boat than a good boat for a fair price .
                      None of my boats I purchased in the past were running except my current Uniflite .
                      No survey performed since I do my own, but that's just me...
                      Joon, Kathy, Jaden & Tristan
                      Uniflite 42 AC, DD 671N
                      93 3058 sold
                      92 2855 (day boat)
                      91 Fourwinns 205 (lake boat)
                      Longbranch WA
                      Life is Good

                      Comment


                      • Centerline2
                        Centerline2 commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Ruffryder, there are a few of us out here who, like you, look for the "best" deal on a poor boat, but for the most part I believe us to be exceptionally handy with tools and have the know-how to build things in a robust "marine" fashion so it lasts... it takes a person with a higher standard and the knowledge in how to deliver that to make it work...

                        I couldnt give anyone the advice to do it the way we do it because there are few people who are new to the world of boats that know the amount of labor and cost involved in fixing a boat up.... and even WE know it doesnt make sense sometimes, but we still do it just so we can get it OUR way... as I get older, I find myself changing my ways and even sometimes following the advice I give others.... which is almost always the cheaper and quicker way to go...
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