A rule of thumb (or something like it)…

I have a CAL 34…

Admittedly, it’s not really a CAL 34 anymore having done countless changes, modifications, and implemented schemes (which seemed like a good idea at the time) that just may have the late Bill Lapworth spinning like a top. That said, if there is an afterlife I expect that Mr Lapworth is simply taking note of my playing/flailing with his great design and enjoying the carnage.

Anyway, the upside is I keep a weather eye out on the CAL 34 market and in doing so it has taught me quite a lot about what a boat should cost. Especially what a 1969 CAL 34 should cost…

Like this one

Which is pretty much right on the money for a turnkey boat in near Bristol condition at just about $13K.

Of course, you can find any number of CAL 34’s for $5K and a surprising number for as much as $30K but my studies on the subject tell me that somewhere between $12k and $15K is what you should be spending for a CAL 34 in good turnkey condition.

If you choose to go the $2k-$6k route you’ll, more than likely, find you need to spend the differential between the fixer upper and the turnkey boat if you’re careful, don’t try to make it into something it’s not, and do your own work. On the other hand, if you decide you want to turn it into a silk purse and hire marine professionals to do the cornucopia of jobs such a boat requires you’re just screwed and welcome to the hole-in-the-water-yacht-club.

A lot of people opt for the $25K zone which follows the whole “you get what you pay for dude” idiocy and is just a text book example of someone who paid too much for their boat selling it off at a silly price to someone with no common sense but an insane urge to spend.

Finding the right price takes a little time but it is really quite simple. Check the ads to get a feel for the price as chances are the right price will be something right in the middle as an average. Just take all the examples of the boat you’re looking for and find the average price. Like I said… simple.

As a double check I like to look at how long boats have been up for sale as the too fucking high priced boats or the cheap fixer uppers just don’t sell in a speedy manner. Good boats at the right price do. As it happens, I know of one $30k CAL 34 that has been for sale for going on five years now which is both sad and stupid but it really does tell you everything you need to know about how not to sell a sailboat.

More on cheap seats fixer uppers soonish…

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