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Why are selling prices so much less in Europe than in the US?

Jan 2, 2021
8
Catalina 22 Bend
I'm in the market for a used 30'-35' coastal cruising sailboat... experienced sailor. A quick search of YachtWorld shows prices in Eastern Med for same boat/year are 20-40% less than equal boats in the USA. Even comparing US made to Europe made, prices are far less.

Example: 2008-2012 Beneteau 34, private owner (not charter) selling for $65k-$85k US... same Beneteau in US is $100k-$130K. It seems like a good idea to buy a boat in Europe and sail it to the US... am I thinking right on this?
 
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Jan 11, 2014
7,853
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
I did a quick search of Beneteaus on YW in the 34-37 foot range in Europe and the NA and did not see the price discrepancy you mentioned.

Do not confuse asking and selling prices. Many boat owners greatly over value their boats. Also, the demand for all boats, from kayaks to cruising sailboats has been very high since Covid struck. Once the pandemic is under control (avoiding all editorial comment here, but implied) prices will drop and it will become a buyer's market.

Sailing a boat from Europe to the US is no small matter. You will spend a lot of time and money in Europe properly outfitting the boat, as well as finding and supporting the crew (food, lodging, transportation). I am not completely up on this, however, some countries may not let you sail the boat without getting proper certifications. Not all countries are as lenient as the US when it comes to making sure boaters are competent.
 
Feb 21, 2013
3,794
Hunter 46 Point Richmond, CA
I'm in the market for a used 30'-35' coastal cruising sailboat... experienced sailor. A quick search of YachtWorld shows prices for same boat/year are 20-40% less than equal boats in the US. Even comparing US made to Europe made, prices are far less. Example: 2008-2012 Beneteau 34, private owner (not charter) selling for $65k-$85k US... same Beneteau in US is $100k-$130K. It seems like a good idea to buy a boat in Europe and sail it to the US... am I thinking right on this?
Welcome to the forum!!

I guess you are seeing those selling prices difference here: Beneteau Oceanis 34 boats for sale - YachtWorld. Ditto dlochner......on added cost to outfit the boat for an Altantic crossing then to its fina destination, certification issues, etc. Unless you really have your heart set on 2008-2012 Beneteau 34, I would start looking closer to home first as the cost to transport and/or hire a captain and crew will quickly increase the boat cost.
 

danm1

.
Oct 5, 2013
125
Hunter 34 Mamaroneck, NY
I think you may be seeing lower prices on Mediterranean area boats that are more numerous and stay in the water and get more use, (similar to the lower prices often found on Florida boats) and perhaps boats owned by Brits who can't use them as freely thanks to Brexit. But what do I know.
 
Nov 13, 2013
640
Catalina 34 Tacoma
The US boats are in US dollars, European boats are in Euros. Hamburgers seem cheaper in Europe but they're not.
 

DougM

.
Jul 24, 2005
2,183
Beneteau 323 Manistee, MI
Also if you are comparing boats within the US, fresh water boats tend to bring more money than salt water boats. Partly because salt water boats get more sailing hours/days of use, salt water damage, and sun damage.
 
Oct 26, 2008
5,021
Catalina 320 Barnegat, NJ
I'd bet you are seeing a lot of European charter boats from the Med for sale at cheaper than US market prices. Lots of use & quick turnover is the deal on those boats.
 

DArcy

.
Feb 11, 2017
1,254
Islander Freeport 36 Ottawa
I'd bet you are seeing a lot of European charter boats from the Med for sale at cheaper than US market prices. Lots of use & quick turnover is the deal on those boats.
An acquaintance of mine did just that. Several years ago he was looking for a performance 40 footer and found a fleet of Beneteau First 40s off charter for sale in Turkey. He saved about 70k over buying a similar year boat in North America. I joked he just wanted an excuse to sail the Med and cross the Atlantic. Unfortunately I met him about a year after he brought the boat to Canada so I didn't get a chance to sail across with him :( He owns his own business and was able to get extended time off from work with some working remotely. The time is probably the big expense unless you are retired or independently wealthy.
 

Joe

.
Jun 1, 2004
7,455
Catalina 27 Mission Bay, San Diego
The US boats are in US dollars, European boats are in Euros. Hamburgers seem cheaper in Europe but they're not.
Except all the posted prices on YachtWorld are already converted to US dollars.
 
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May 29, 2018
299
Canel 25 foot Shiogama, japan
Even comparing US made to Europe made, prices are far less.
One consideration is the actual cost of keeping and maintaining a boat.
Europeans could be selling more cheaply to get out of the financial hole of owning, mooring and maintaining a boat there, especially in the Med.
I know it is obvious, but Europeans are selling to European buyers in that market environment.
Americans are doing the same. The environments are different, so the asking prices are a reflection of that.


It seems like a good idea to buy a boat in Europe and sail it to the US... am I thinking right on this?
Basically it is a good idea (on paper), however there are a lot of logistics and unforseen costs involved. Beware!

gary
 
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Jan 2, 2021
8
Catalina 22 Bend
An acquaintance of mine did just that. Several years ago he was looking for a performance 40 footer and found a fleet of Beneteau First 40s off charter for sale in Turkey. He saved about 70k over buying a similar year boat in North America.
D'Arcy, you are the first responder to see what I am seeing. Used boats in Croatia, Greece, Turkey with PRIVATE owners, not charter companies, selling for a HUGE discount to US prices... buying out-of-charter 2-3 year old boats save even more. I'm putting the numbers together...
1) It appears to me I can sail from the Eastern Med to USA East Coast (or Panama if going to US West Coast) for a cost of appx $15k, including 2 crew, provisions, fuel, dock fees, etc.
2) I am assuming no major upgrades or outfitting of the boat... have everything tuned up (engine, standing rig, sails) and do major maintenance... then go. A few things I would buy: Backup Autohelm, redundant GPS, extra fuel and water storage (liferaft, SatPhone & EPIRB if not on board)... what else?
3) Total time required, purchase + sail out of Med + cross Atlantic, 3 months

I'm retired, so no lost income. I would save anywhere from $30,000 - $50,000 under the cost of buying same boat/specs in US. Seems like a smart move to me. What am I missing?
 
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Oct 29, 2016
1,822
Hunter 41 DS Port Huron
While not experienced at this I don't see that you are missing anything, boats in Greece I believe are as someone already stated inflation and cost of ownership have provided the necessity to sell thus the sell for a very reasonable asking price. What a fantastic trip it could be as well. While I have dreamed about crossing the big water, I don't believe that I have the experience to actually do it, but, it sure sounds like it would be a memorable journey.
 
Oct 26, 2008
5,021
Catalina 320 Barnegat, NJ
I'm retired, so no lost income. I would save anywhere from $30,000 - $50,000 under the cost of buying same boat/specs in US. Seems like a smart move to me. What am I missing?
I don't know ... I'm not seeing anything with that kind of price spread. Show us an example ....
 
Jan 2, 2021
8
Catalina 22 Bend
Unless you really have your heart set on 2008-2012 Beneteau 34, I would start looking closer to home first as the cost to transport and/or hire a captain and crew will quickly increase the boat cost.
Not at all! I would look at Jeanneau, Bavaria, Southerly, Beneteau, Dehler, etc... all the Euro Biggies. If I did this, rather than 30'-34' (which would be fine for coastal cruising), I would look at 34'-40' boats. I would find a boat well equipped, not needing much of anything to cross the Atlantic. See my post above... buying in the Eastern Med and sailing to US East Coast, cost appx $15k... still results in a net cost $30-$50k less than buying in the US... Bonus Prize: Med & Atlantic Crossings!!!
 
Feb 21, 2013
3,794
Hunter 46 Point Richmond, CA
billder99...........Go for it!! Sounds like an exciting adventure............looking for and buying a sailboat overseas then sailing her back, unless you decie to stay. Hope to here more about your adventure.
 

DArcy

.
Feb 11, 2017
1,254
Islander Freeport 36 Ottawa
Bonus Prize: Med & Atlantic Crossings!!!
This is the real incentive. It sounds like you are looking for an adventure as much as a new boat :) I raced a Dehler 36SQ for a while that was a very nice boat, certainly worth checking out.
 
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May 17, 2004
3,484
Beneteau Oceanis 37 LE Havre de Grace
Are there any tax implications buying in Europe, being there long enough to complete outfitting, and then registering in the US?
 
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Jan 2, 2021
8
Catalina 22 Bend
Davida: Good question. Also buying in Eastern Med... taxes, registration or certification needed to take posession of boat, US cost & process to re-register as US boat... lot's of details to consider.
 
Jan 2, 2021
8
Catalina 22 Bend
This is the real incentive. It sounds like you are looking for an adventure as much as a new boat :) I raced a Dehler 36SQ for a while that was a very nice boat, certainly worth checking out.
The adventure is the real goal, the financial advantage is the incentive. I think I'll focus on 34'-36' boats. This is a great size for a coastal cruiser on the US & Mexico West Coast... my wife and I, and occasional couples as guests. The smaller size is MUCH less to maintain over time. I will look at all the Dehler boats in this size range... great reputation!