Hello everyone.  I have been a long time lurker as a guest here and just this weekend decided to take the plunge, come out from behind the shadows and create an actual user account.

The information available in all facets of this website is extremely useful and I thank all of those who have contributed to the aggregate.

A bit about me: I grew up in a coastal town in New England and spent a great deal of my youth surrounded by boats.  Fast forward 30 years, I have a wonderful wife, and two small children (7 and 4).  Over the last several years we toyed with the idea of a vacation home by the beach.  Here in New England, that means a cuboidal residency in a glorified tenement building for half a million bucks.

This time last year we decided the boating life was for us.  While a boat could cost half a million bucks if we buy the wrong one, I'll take that any day over buying an apartment 3 blocks from the beach.

We have unanimously fallen in love with the Commander 47.  We have been searching the usual haunts (YachtWorld, BoatTrader, Craigslist and local marinas (before the COVID-19 restrictions).  What we are finding is a very wide swing in asking prices.  Now before I get flamed, I understand pricing follows condition (in most cases), so a vessel that is half-sunk in the harbor will likely have a favorable asking price to another that is a showpiece.  However, what I am seeing is a swing from around $25K to $125K for Commander 45/47s out there.  

I guess my real question, again I know value is a subjective thing, where is the market on these boats right now?  What is the market doing amidst the pandemic?  Any insight would be great, and I thank you all in advance.

John

 

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I had a '73 E-Type, V12. It never was a money pit, in fact it was quite reliable. I did spend several thousands on it over the years, just to keep it in safe running condition. But every time I walked into the garage, it made my heart jump. Had to sell it when I came down here to a condo and no place to keep it. Now it's making someone else's heart jump!

I saw a Garage Squad episode where they did a Lincoln convertible; you're not kidding about the wiring!

I almost forgot, back to the original topic. The only 47 I've seen in person was here in Edenton until last spring. It was pretty much original, in good shape. DD 8V53's had just been gone through (but not what I would call an overhaul). Owner was trying to get 45k for it. It did sell eventually, not sure how much. A group of guys bought it and took up to New York. I've seen some posted for less, and some for a lot more. Without seeing the boats, it's hard to say if the prices are fair. But compare one of these to a new 40+ boat and these seem like a steal!  Not that you can really compare a classic Chris to a modern anything. 

I'm an electrical engineer by trade, so I get a free pass on electrical disasters.  However, my carpentry skills are atrocious, so I guess you add value where you can.

The wife and I started looking at newer boats early in the search, and we just never felt great about spending several hundreds of thousands of dollars for something smaller than we want with a zillion high-tech systems on board that require specialists to service.

The 47 I'm looking for is becoming difficult to find because I really want a factory 12VDC electrical system, which limits me to a couple of years.  While I am capable of converting the 32V system on earlier models, its a pretty invasive job. Its more than just dropping the voltage, it requires verifying that all conductors are appropriately sized for the additional current; which requires all wiring to be accessible - no thank you.

I emailed the broker down in VA and i am getting a bunch of one-word responses to my carefully thought out questions.  I wish I could take these brokers and say "Hey, you know you would sell more boats if you actually answered questions from prospective buyers!"  My guess is that the commission on boats in the $50K range is not nearly as a palatable as more expensive boats, therefore the customer service is proportional.

Jim Frens said:

I almost forgot, back to the original topic. The only 47 I've seen in person was here in Edenton until last spring. It was pretty much original, in good shape. DD 8V53's had just been gone through (but not what I would call an overhaul). Owner was trying to get 45k for it. It did sell eventually, not sure how much. A group of guys bought it and took up to New York. I've seen some posted for less, and some for a lot more. Without seeing the boats, it's hard to say if the prices are fair. But compare one of these to a new 40+ boat and these seem like a steal!  Not that you can really compare a classic Chris to a modern anything. 

The owner of Constant Dilemma is a club member. 

Here is his a link to his profile.  --> https://commanderclub.com/profile/Jacob?xg_source=profiles_memberList

The boat and owners were at the club rendezvous in St. Michaels MD a few years ago.  Additionally, the boat has been discussed here on the forum in the past.

Update:  Found the discussion from earlier this year -- https://commanderclub.com/forum/topics/1969-47-commander-for-sale-m...

Maybe go direct.  Good luck!

-Darin



John Mario said:

I'm an electrical engineer by trade, so I get a free pass on electrical disasters.  However, my carpentry skills are atrocious, so I guess you add value where you can.

The wife and I started looking at newer boats early in the search, and we just never felt great about spending several hundreds of thousands of dollars for something smaller than we want with a zillion high-tech systems on board that require specialists to service.

The 47 I'm looking for is becoming difficult to find because I really want a factory 12VDC electrical system, which limits me to a couple of years.  While I am capable of converting the 32V system on earlier models, its a pretty invasive job. Its more than just dropping the voltage, it requires verifying that all conductors are appropriately sized for the additional current; which requires all wiring to be accessible - no thank you.

I emailed the broker down in VA and i am getting a bunch of one-word responses to my carefully thought out questions.  I wish I could take these brokers and say "Hey, you know you would sell more boats if you actually answered questions from prospective buyers!"  My guess is that the commission on boats in the $50K range is not nearly as a palatable as more expensive boats, therefore the customer service is proportional.

Jim Frens said:

I almost forgot, back to the original topic. The only 47 I've seen in person was here in Edenton until last spring. It was pretty much original, in good shape. DD 8V53's had just been gone through (but not what I would call an overhaul). Owner was trying to get 45k for it. It did sell eventually, not sure how much. A group of guys bought it and took up to New York. I've seen some posted for less, and some for a lot more. Without seeing the boats, it's hard to say if the prices are fair. But compare one of these to a new 40+ boat and these seem like a steal!  Not that you can really compare a classic Chris to a modern anything. 

John - I own Constant Dilemma - Give me a call. Happy to discuss. 202-930-3435



John Mario said:

Hi Darin,

I will most definitely have reputable Detroit technician do the full evaluation on the engines.  At $2-4K a hole for a major, the hundreds spent on a proper inspection is a no-brainer.

To comment on a previous post, I would love nothing better than to deal with an owner, rather then a broker, but these days the chance of finding the boat you want for sale by owner is slim.

Thanks again for the advice - duly noted.

Darin H said:

John,

The Maryland boat, Constant Dilemma belongs to a club member and is a very original boat.  I have seen her on both sides of the Bay over the last few summers and she was at a club rendezvous event at St. Michaels MD a number of years ago.  Maybe you and the owners can work something out.

The '71 in Chesapeake VA has had the interior modified.  For my taste, it's hard to get that to look right.  It always seems to reflect the era it was modified.  I've seen purple countertops in boats from the 80s, etc.  Nonetheless, when it's your boat you can do whatever you like.

Just like classic cars, it's cheaper to buy a boat in the condition you want than to get it in the condition you want.  Unless you have the skills and time to do you it yourself.

We looked at many 47s before buying ours and even paid for engine inspections on a set of Detroit Diesels in a boat we didn't buy.  As Lee and I have discussed many times, paying for an engine inspection for a boat that you didn't buy is the best money spent.

-Darin

Hi Jacob,

I am looking for a 12V boat for reasons I had mentioned earlier in the post.  Thanks for reaching out though.

Jacob said:

John - I own Constant Dilemma - Give me a call. Happy to discuss. 202-930-3435



John Mario said:

Hi Darin,

I will most definitely have reputable Detroit technician do the full evaluation on the engines.  At $2-4K a hole for a major, the hundreds spent on a proper inspection is a no-brainer.

To comment on a previous post, I would love nothing better than to deal with an owner, rather then a broker, but these days the chance of finding the boat you want for sale by owner is slim.

Thanks again for the advice - duly noted.

Darin H said:

John,

The Maryland boat, Constant Dilemma belongs to a club member and is a very original boat.  I have seen her on both sides of the Bay over the last few summers and she was at a club rendezvous event at St. Michaels MD a number of years ago.  Maybe you and the owners can work something out.

The '71 in Chesapeake VA has had the interior modified.  For my taste, it's hard to get that to look right.  It always seems to reflect the era it was modified.  I've seen purple countertops in boats from the 80s, etc.  Nonetheless, when it's your boat you can do whatever you like.

Just like classic cars, it's cheaper to buy a boat in the condition you want than to get it in the condition you want.  Unless you have the skills and time to do you it yourself.

We looked at many 47s before buying ours and even paid for engine inspections on a set of Detroit Diesels in a boat we didn't buy.  As Lee and I have discussed many times, paying for an engine inspection for a boat that you didn't buy is the best money spent.

-Darin

I'm an hour from Chesapeake VA. If your questions could be answered by a quick visit, let me know.

Thanks Jim.  I communicated with the broker last night and the long and short is that "as-is, where-is" in the context of this boat means that the $45K price is firm and no concession will be made to repair the overheating starboard engine.  Based on that and his tone, I'm passing on that boat.

Jim Frens said:

I'm an hour from Chesapeake VA. If your questions could be answered by a quick visit, let me know.

Have you talked to the broker that has the listing for the one in Pittsburgh? It is a 1975 with VT-903's that should be a 12 volt boat. I don't think he is going to get near is asking price.

Hi Paul,

I looked at it online, and based on the photos I think the Cummins diesels are the most it has going for it.  Why don't people clean their boats before listing them?  It seems like common sense, but with a $90K asking price, the hull shouldn't be chaulked out covered in stains...jeesh.  In addition, it doesn't have the tri-cabin floor plan.  I'm with whoever suggested a private party sale - I feel like many brokers stymie the process and block potential sales opportunities.  I find it hard to believe that anyone's price is firm (unless its a total fire sale) these days.

Paul A Mathias said:

Have you talked to the broker that has the listing for the one in Pittsburgh? It is a 1975 with VT-903's that should be a 12 volt boat. I don't think he is going to get near is asking price.

What's the concern with 12V vs. 32V?

I thought just the engines are 32V.  Does all the house power run on 32V?  I assumed there was a converter somewhere that brought the house power back to 32v.

-Darin

John Mario said:

Hi Paul,

I looked at it online, and based on the photos I think the Cummins diesels are the most it has going for it.  Why don't people clean their boats before listing them?  It seems like common sense, but with a $90K asking price, the hull shouldn't be chaulked out covered in stains...jeesh.  In addition, it doesn't have the tri-cabin floor plan.  I'm with whoever suggested a private party sale - I feel like many brokers stymie the process and block potential sales opportunities.  I find it hard to believe that anyone's price is firm (unless its a total fire sale) these days.

Paul A Mathias said:

Have you talked to the broker that has the listing for the one in Pittsburgh? It is a 1975 with VT-903's that should be a 12 volt boat. I don't think he is going to get near is asking price.

https://commanderclub.com/forum/topics/1979-commander-451

It was for sale back in 2016 but it is a good example of what is out there in a 45

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