When are Catamaran Sailboats for Sale at the Lowest Prices?

Catamarans For SaleCheap yachts sounds like an oxymoron. But there are times of the year when you can find catamaran sailboats for sale at lower prices than at other times of the year. Saving on luxury yachts for sale is very dependent on the time of year and the region you find the boat of your dreams.

Pre-Owned Yacht Prices In The Fall In The Northeast US

On the northeast coast of the US, pre-owned sailboat prices typically are lower in the fall when winter looms. Boat owners have to either lay their boats up for winter or sell it. Winterizing a boat is time-consuming and costly. Even though the boat will be hauled out, you still have to pay the same dockage / storage fees and insurance while the boat is winterized for six months or more.

The seller is often willing to be more flexible about negotiating price to avoid the costs and hassles. Buying a catamaran or any other type of sailboat in the US Northeast in the fall can save you not only on the price, but also the boat seller is more likely to agree to have identified defects repaired at his cost. If you buy your yacht at this time, you can walk away with a superb deal, especially with a good negotiator at your side.

Get Deals On New Yachts In The Fall On the East Coast of the US

On the East coast during the fall (September through November), big sailboat shows are in full swing. Sailors of all types flock to Newport, Annapolis, and Fort Lauderdale. Buying a new boat at a boat show can be a great place to make a deal. All the manufacturers have special “boat show deals” with great discounts on the base price of the boat and will often thow in additional options and free equipment like a chart plotter or an autopilot. In some cases, dealers will give you a further discounts if you agree to have the boat displayed in future boat shows. The factory executives and decision makers are usually present at the shows and are very willing to make a deal if they know that they can sell the boat at the show.

But be warned: Go to the show prepared with all your research and be armed with all the facts. Smooth-talking sales people can easily overwhelm you. One common problem is the so-called “base price” of the boat. On the face of it, the price looks great but the base price often does not include things like bimini, cockpit cushions, air conditioner, electronics, and other “necessities”. The “sail-away price” has all or most of that stuff included. So when you compare manufacturers and dealers, make sure you compare apples with apples.

Get Used Deals In The Caribbean During “Phase-Out” Time

If you are looking to buy a pre-owned catamaran, the best time to buy is during “phase-out” time in the Caribbean. The big first-tier charter companies typically phase out their catamarans before they are 5 years old. In the Caribbean, the “phase-out” period is around the end of July through September. First tier (or first level) charter companies generally run their fleet equipped with the latest hardware and options like auto-pilot, AC, GPS, chart plotters, and entertainment equipment. This is a great option if you desire the extra features but retrofitting any of these features is easy enough, so don’t be blinded by the bells and whistles..

First-tier charter company programs require owners to phase-out their boats after five years in service to keep their Caribbean-based catamaran fleets young. Owners can choose to:

  • Sell their current boat and upgrade to a newer boat,
  • sell their boat outright and be done with chartering and ownership
  • take possession of the boat to go cruising themselves
  • or contract for a second-tier charter company to use the boat for another 2 to 5 years.

The first two options are the most popular options. It means that charter companies are eager to get rid of their catamarans fast. Often fifty of these catamarans are for sale all at once. The competition to sell the quickest is fierce. Not only does the “charter boat” label drive the price down, but also the yearly market saturation created by placing the same model catamarans (Leopard being the most popular) for sale all at the same time.

These conditions generate a catamaran buyers’ market where you can pit deals against one another to get a fantastic deal on one of these phase-out boats. However, not all charter catamarans are maintained well and so proceed with caution. Hire a good surveyor and a buyer’s broker who knows not only the catamaran model, but the charter yacht market. These are essential members of your catamaran-buying team who can advise you of potential pitfalls. If the catamaran you are interested in buying does not have all your requirements, find out what it will cost to retrofit. Your yacht broker should be able to help with that or find an industry expert to give you estimates

Hurricane Season Blows In Deals On Cruising Catamarans

In Florida and the Caribbean, hurricane season (June through November) triggers liquidation of used catamarans and other types of yachts. Insurance premiums can double during storm season in the hurricane belt. Many cruisers avoid higher premiums by making a beeline south for Trinidad or Grenada to lay their boats up in a marina for the season while they return home to the US. During this lay-up period, many sailing couples decide to put their catamarans up for sale rather than go through the hassle and expense of repositioning the boat back up to the US or Caribbean. An added bonus is that if the boat needs any repair work, Trinidad offers excellent workmanship with low labor prices.

West Coast Sellers Know They Are Not In Prime Sailing Location

The west coast of the US is trickier to get the very best deal. Catamarans tend to hold their prices pretty well since there are few cats on the west coast. However, boats also stay on the market much longer because most buyers in the catamaran market want their boats in the Caribbean or Bahamas for cruising or chartering. Delivery from the west coast can be a long and expensive process. That has a big impact on the catamaran’s price. Your yacht broker can tell you how long your choice of catamaran has been on the market and how much delivery to Florida will cost. Based on that, make an offer. Sellers on the west coast understand their predicament and will make a deal.

What’s The First Step In Getting The Best Deal On A Catamaran?

Identify a buyer’s broker who will guide you not only through the process of finding catamaran sailboats for sale that meet your requirements, but also will prepare you for using it. Whether you plan to be a live-aboard, place the yacht in a charter business, or dock it for your personal use, there is a lot to learn. When searching for a yacht broker, ensure they can help you get the sailing education you need as well as support you through the boat buying process.  What you should do next:

While there really are no cheap yachts for sale, you can find a deal if you look in the right place at the right time. Comments please!


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2 thoughts on “When are Catamaran Sailboats for Sale at the Lowest Prices?”

  1. Gabriel Hernandez

    Just beging the process that may last several years till we become more educated on the subject and see if this is a possibility for us.


  2. Catamaran Guru

    Hi Gabriel, you are doing the right thing! Research is very valuable. Some blogs and websites like this one give good information but be careful not to believe everything that you read. Feel free to email us with questions!

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