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Seeking Guidance on Boat Value and Purchase Process


SarahSails

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Hello All!

 

Moving from the sailing world into the much calmer waters of the UK canals — and, looking to purchase my first narrowboat. I was wondering if anyone out there might have some time on their hands to give advice and guide.

 

I am looking at this boat:

 

https://www.lakelandleisureboatsales.co.uk/properties/view/rattler

 

And would love some guidance as to what to offer. The price seems high, however it's a boat I like. Does anyone have a keen eye for these things and have an eye for what might be reasonable?

 

Thank you so much for your time! Your expertise is so much appreciated. 

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It looks about the right price to me. I paid a similar amount for my boat last April although mine is 10 years younger. That said, narrowboat prices are high at the moment because demand is outstripping supply. Get a survey done and negotiate. You might get it a bit cheaper.

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I think she has been for sale for a couple of months, I don't know why that should be. Even late in the season boats have sold fairly fast. I saw that another boat they had for sale for ages sold rapidly at another broker for the same asking price. 

 

 

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1 minute ago, Stroudwater1 said:

I think she has been for sale for a couple of months, I don't know why that should be. Even late in the season boats have sold fairly fast. I saw that another boat they had for sale for ages sold rapidly at another broker for the same asking price. 

 

 

Price seems a few K too high to me.

It looks to be worth taking a chance on a full survey.

That will no doubt find a few faults which may get you a price reduction.

BUT   a lift out/dry docking and survey could cost over £1000! and as it may take some time to arrange, someone could pitch up and buy without a survey.

Buying a boat is a stressful business!

I have three T shirts to prove this.

Best of luck!

 

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Thanks everyone, all that info is very helpful!

 

I wonder what is wrong with it? I did find a post nearly 7 months ago regarding this boat.

 

 

The boat buying process is frustrating. Does anyone have any advice on where to best check weekly or daily for new sales? Right now Im dancing between 100's of broker tabs!

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31 minutes ago, SarahSails said:

The boat buying process is frustrating. Does anyone have any advice on where to best check weekly or daily for new sales? Right now Im dancing between 100's of broker tabs!

 

Nearly all narrowboats, even those brokers are selling, go on Apollo duck. However I would advise you to continue hopping brokers websites as often boats new to the market appear on brokers sites before they go on apollo duck. 

As for this boat, it seems in good condition cosmetically and the fit out seems good. But it has a porti potty for a toilet and the gas heating is definitely of it's time. It seems to me to be perhaps £10k overpriced. The fact that it has sat on the market would confirm this. 

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The problem is, Prices of Narrowboats are daft at the minute,  1992  boat 52ft a few years ago £33-40K now this money, the idiots on YouTube and the folks living their dream watching them have a lot to answer for. Maybe certain Vlogers don’t need to be on the canal anymore, have done enough damage, sold their boats or are doing them up to sell and are cashing in.😂

  What are you buying for, investment or to live on?

 

Edited by PD1964
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So, for me ... I'd like to buy one to live in for the next few years, explore the country ... I work for myself, from home — and I love boats, and the English countryside. It seems like a good fit! Just need to navigate this buying process! 

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Might be  OK at £5K less, gas heating is very  expensive.

The stove in corner does not look like a good install, too much woodwork close, and in one end of boat. 

Generally it's been modified to work off shore power, batteries often knackered as owner does not need good batteries. 

Edited by LadyG
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Have you checked out the 2017 survey for potential problems.

Looks like a small water tank at 300 litres?

If you're going cruising for a few years, get the engine looked over, including a compression test.

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9 hours ago, Boaty Jo said:

Have you checked out the 2017 survey for potential problems.

Looks like a small water tank at 300 litres?

If you're going cruising for a few years, get the engine looked over, including a compression test.

2017 survey, too old to be of any real use, all you can do is check all the recommendations on it have been carried out, but still out of date to be relied on.

 

9 hours ago, LadyG said:

Might be  OK at £5K less, gas heating is very  expensive.

The stove in corner does not look like a good install, too much woodwork close, and in one end of boat. 

Generally it's been modified to work off shore power, batteries often knackered as owner does not need good batteries. 

The fire is fine typical front fit with ample air gap around. Where do you get the shore power mod and knackered batteries from? The battery monitor is showing over 13v. Most boats have shore power hook up as standard. You can say it has Solar so modified to be off grid? You don’t know what your talking about with boats as usual.

I see 2x Rev counters one with 5400 hours and one with 400hrs, why 2, has it an built in generator or had a new engine? 

  I imagine an old person’s boat who have probably just got too old to enjoy the canals, clean and tidy, if a bit dated interior but typical of that era, but not bad and if you can live with it for a couple of years should be fit for your needs. Also being 52ft easier to handle for you, go anywhere, easier to find moorings and cheaper to license and insure. If I was buying I would start my offers around £44K, but prices are daft at the minute and people do buy a lot of boats Jan/Feb to get ready for April cruising. I don’t think you could go wrong with this boat if you can get at a price your happy with.

  

Edited by PD1964
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I have seen other boats on sale for ages even in this crazy market (one I was actually pretty interested in but passed on was competitively priced but had offputting cosmetic signs of neglect and was still for sale several months later. This one looks like the opposite: very tidy for its age and nice fitout but it's quite highly priced).

Budget boats that are decent sell very quickly now, but people looking in the >£50k range still usually aren't looking for 30 year old 52 footers with an old but not vintage engine.

 

If you've seen the boat and think there's not a lot wrong with it except the price, the fact it's been on the market a while might be a good thing for negotiation. Boats can and do sell below asking price, and brokers will sometimes even hint how much scope there is for negotiation (they want the boat to shift too!)

 

 

3 hours ago, Mad Harold said:

Price seems a few K too high to me.

It looks to be worth taking a chance on a full survey.

That will no doubt find a few faults which may get you a price reduction.

BUT   a lift out/dry docking and survey could cost over £1000! and as it may take some time to arrange, someone could pitch up and buy without a survey.

Buying a boat is a stressful business!

I have three T shirts to prove this.

Best of luck!

Surely you only arrange the survey after having an initial offer accepted and deposit paid, at which point nobody should be pitching up and buying it?

And the surveyor isn't going to solve the price being a few k too high bit, he's just going to spot stuff that costs money to fix, tell you if it matters or not and suggest which fixes the first owner should cover the costs of (or tell you to walk away if it does need thousands spent on it). Which is all helpful stuff, but only if you're happy to spend the agreed price on the boat anyway!

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On 17/01/2022 at 23:31, PD1964 said:

The problem is, Prices of Narrowboats are daft at the minute,  1992  boat 52ft a few years ago £33-40K now this money, the idiots on YouTube and the folks living their dream watching them have a lot to answer for. Maybe certain Vlogers don’t need to be on the canal anymore, have done enough damage, sold their boats or are doing them up to sell and are cashing in.😂

  What are you buying for, investment or to live on?

 

 

I'd say it's not so much YouTube vloggers that have created the increased demand for narrowboats but more about people reacting to covid travel restrictions.

 

Increased demand for second hand boats will always lead to inflated prices but I'm not sure that new people buying boats and coming onto the waterways should be called "damage" - they're no more damaging the waterways than you or I owning boats surely? I've been living on boats for 25 years but I have no more rights or moral authority on the waterways than somebody who buys and licences a boat tomorrow, and neither do you.

 

It's a bit like people sitting in cars in a traffic jam, complaining that they're in a traffic jam and not realising that they are the traffic jam. It's always everyone else's fault.

Edited by blackrose
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Sarah, a boat just like anything else is worth what someone is prepared to pay for it. As you are moving from lumpy water you must have some experience of boat costs for that environment anything from a few hundred pounds to many millions. The inland waterways are similar there are a range of prices from a few thousand up to possibly a quarter of a million. As for the boat you have looked at, judging from what information is available it looks like it would work as a live a board boat, it is a little old fashioned but if that works for you no problem. I sold a 60 foot narrowboat in Oct 2019 for £50,000, that boat was built in 2006 and was in A1 condition when it was sold, I then purchased a Dutch Barge built in 2007 for £80,000. I priced the narrowboat at £55,000 expecting people to offer lower prices, I knew I would accept £50,000 but no lower, so room for negotiation. I made a ridiculous offer for the Dutch  Barge and it was accepted, you never know what the seller will accept, so make a cheeky offer, you can always go up if they say no.

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4 hours ago, blackrose said:

 

I'd say it's not so much YouTube vloggers that have created the increased demand for narrowboats but more about people reacting to covid travel restrictions.

 

Increased demand for second hand boats will always lead to inflated prices but I'm not sure that new people buying boats and coming onto the waterways should be called "damage" - they're no more damaging the waterways than you or I owning boats surely? I've been living on boats for 25 years but I have no more rights or moral authority on the waterways than somebody who buys and licences a boat tomorrow, and neither do you.

 

It's a bit like people sitting in cars in a traffic jam, complaining that they're in a traffic jam and not realising that they are the traffic jam. It's always everyone else's fault.

I would say that Vloggers and dreamy boat journalists have fueled the increase in livaboards more so then then COVID travel restrictions. COVID Travel restriction may make a few buy a holiday boat, but the increase in prices I would say have been caused by livaboards wanting a cheap way of living not because they can’t go abroad for a holiday. Nearly all of the new boaters I’ve met have said they have been watching the Vlogs and want to live on the canals. Not because they couldn’t travel to Benidorm. If COVID Travel restrictions was the case then whenever normal holiday travel is resumed there should be a massive influx of boats for sale, as why would you need a holiday boat when you can go to sunny climates? I doubt that is going to happen soon though.

Edited by PD1964
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If you are determined to cc, and that is OK by me 🎉

I would advise you, initially, only to look at boats which have been successfully cc d. 

Unsucesfull cc boating is the sort of thing I imagine might happen if I let my boat go to rack and ruin: never replace batteries, rely on a frame generator to annoy neighbours, run genny four hours a day, let paintwork flake and rust, black only when selling, pile several trees on roof, cover leaky areas with blue tarps. 

Inside ignore cleanliness, never inspect bilges, never clean engine hole, ignore fire installation guidelines, borrow neighbour's fire extinguishers and Co and fire alarms for the BSC. 

Smoke in bed! 

Edited by LadyG
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5 minutes ago, LadyG said:

If you are determined to cc, and that is OK by me 🎉

I would advise you, initially, only to look at boats which have been successfully cc d. 

Unsucesfull cc boating is the sort of thing I imagine might happen if I let my boat go to rack and ruin: never replace batteries, rely on a frame generator to annoy neighbours, run genny four hours a day, let paintwork flake and rust, black only when selling, pile several trees on roof, cover leaky areas with blue tarps. 

Inside ignore cleanliness, never inspect bilges, never clean engine hole, ignore fire installation guidelines, borrow neighbour's fire extinguishers and Co and fire alarms for the BSC. 

Smoke in bed! 

All of which is nothing to do with the boat but just bad owner, boats in bad condition are successfully CC,d everyday. You want a boat in good nick, CC,d or not.

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6 minutes ago, LadyG said:

If you are determined to cc, and that is OK by me 🎉

I would advise you, initially, only to look at boats which have been successfully cc d. 

Unsucesfull cc boating is the sort of thing I imagine might happen if I let my boat go to rack and ruin: never replace batteries, rely on a frame generator to annoy neighbours, run genny four hours a day, let paintwork flake and rust, black only when selling, pile several trees on roof, cover leaky areas with blue tarps. 

Inside ignore cleanliness, never inspect bilges, never clean engine hole, ignore fire installation guidelines, borrow neighbour's fire extinguishers and Co and fire alarms for the BSC. 

Smoke in bed! 

 I imagine the boat the OP is looking at and is being discussed on here is a far better boat and has been better maintained then yours, reading all the problems you have had and how little cruising you have done on your boat.
  Looking at it, it has been well maintained and would be perfectly suitable to CC
 

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1 hour ago, Mike Hurley said:

All of which is nothing to do with the boat but just bad owner, boats in bad condition are successfully CC,d everyday. You want a boat in good nick, CC,d or not.

Correct, I strayed off the point, what I should say is that a boat which has been looked after and cc d should not require modifications. A boat which has been on shore power and only cruised for a few months in summer will not necessarily be adapted for cc. 

My boat for example needed new batteries, as they had been charged up 24 7 on shore power. On the cut they were hopeless. 

The solar was about 200 W, now its 550, else I'd have to top up nearly every day. A new controller required to match. 

 

There are other small things that folks who always have shore power forget about. Its not my idea, other cc s who I have met have mentioned it. People don't know everything before they buy a boat, but they are better to buy something that best meets their requirements than not. I understand there are wide beams for sale on narrow canals, an innocent might assume he can hand over the cash and set off...... 

Edited by LadyG
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Thank's everyone for helping so much, all that incredible information and history! It seems like the inland waterways community is the same as all the others I have experienced, kind and generous .. and very knowledgeable!

 

I have put in an offer on "Rattler" aka "Bethany Bear" and It was accepted! Now to survey and hopefully to cruising come June. I hope to see you out there, please stop and say hi if you see this boat!

 

Two more questions if I might! Does anyone have any suggestions as to the prettiest canals? I work from home and don't need to be near any towns etc. I just hope to explore the English Countryside, cruise onward every few days, take a lot of walks and hunt for peace and quiet. I expect some canals are far busier than others due to their proximity to things ... and secondly, any recommendations for good boat repainters, she's lovely on the inside but Id love to give her a shiny new look on the exterior! Very excited to hunt for the love heart cut out on the rudder! What a beautiful touch! 

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39 minutes ago, SarahSails said:

Two more questions if I might! Does anyone have any suggestions as to the prettiest canals?

 

For easy, trouble-free rural cruising its had to beat the Oxford canal. Also I really like the Coventry, not so much for scenery as for it being, just, well so interesting, and the boaters seem more committed to boating than the holidayers one gets a lot of on the Oxford.

 

But for real unbeatable scenery, the pennine-crossing canals are what you need. Hard work and prone to stoppages I gather though. 

 

P.S. I keep misreading your username as "SarahSnails"! 

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56 minutes ago, SarahSails said:

 

Two more questions if I might! Does anyone have any suggestions as to the prettiest canals? 

Given the boat's at Saul junction, I'd go up the Severn to Stourport and then up the S&W which I think is a really lovely canal. From there you have loads of choices, up the Shroppie or around Brum and then anywhere north or east !

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Well done, Did you actually look at her in the flesh? The exterior from my recollection a few months ago isn't too bad- I looked briefly at her as was looking at another boat at the time that we didn't buy.

 

A proper exterior repaint maybe in be in the order of £6-8,000 so its perhaps  best to bide your time, and if you spot a nicely painted one ask where it was done. Some painters have very long waiting lists too. 

 

The canals and River Avon are lovely from where you are, an option is head up the Avon to Stratford then up the locks to the junction with the Grand Union. From there head to the Oxford and then Coventry that MtB suggests. Do keep an eye on the weather for floods, The Severn and Avon can get flooded and so boating has to stop. 

 

Theres very little mooring on the Severn, though loads on the way to Gloucester on the G&S, a trip to Sharpness is worthwhile to get the measure of your new boat, its quiet and wide with no locks.   

 

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2 hours ago, SarahSails said:

, any recommendations for good boat repainters, she's lovely on the inside but Id love to give her a shiny new look on the exterior!

As above, having a boat painted costs many thousands. You could do it yourself, albeit DIY can take years, whereas professional takes a few weeks. 

 

Watch John barnards videos and see whether you think you could do it.

 

https://www.johnbarnard.biz/tips-tricks-videos/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIh6-vlsu-9QIVmJftCh2Y_wAHEAAYASAEEgJ7p_D_BwE

 

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