The value of Nic 38s

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This topic contains 14 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by John Tyler John Tyler 1 month, 4 weeks ago.

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December 20, 2010 at 16:43 #4791
Ronar M
Ronar M
Participant

Try to think of another seakindly long keeler that you can sail in your slippers. Difficult isn’t it. So often I’m sailing in my shorts and tee shirt and see all those in open cockpits muffled up in oilies, thermals, gloves and hats. Ok, you can get other boats that can sailed ‘indoors’ but almost all of them are slow, heavy motorsailers that Ronar M leaves bobbing in her wake.
What has prompted this message is that a friend recently pleased me by saying he wanted to sell his Twister 28 and look for a Nic 38. He looked and looked and looked but was unable to locate one within easy viewing reach – he only found two (worldwide) anyway. So they are pretty rare – not often on the market. In the end he has bought a Tradewind 33 and after thinking his days in permanent oilies might be numbered he is back in them.
All this set me thinking that if Nic 38’s are so rarely available and are such good boats with and almost unique specification why are they so cheap? I mentioned to my friend that I would suggest to you that we should all agree to stick, say, £5000 – £10,000, on the number we first think of when and if we ever want sell. He made me promise not to do this until he had bought his Nic 38 so as his quest failed I’m doing it now. I would be interested in your comments. Trevor

December 21, 2010 at 20:46 #8111
Moderator
Moderator
Keymaster

We purchased our Rainshadow about a year ago. I think the PO did tack on your suggested markup to the asking price. She was on the market for ~9 months before we made our ‘low ball’ offer that thne PO hesistantly accepted. We did a thorough survey of other Nic 38’s for sale at that time (found about 8 of them worldwide), and Rainshadow had one of the highest asking prices. She was very well cared for cosmetically, but she needed new sails and new rigging – Ouch!

Why wouldn’t people pay the asking price when this beautiful, unique, practical boat first came on the market? IMHO, it’s because center cockpit boats are not what you see in Hollywood movies(we’ve had non-sailors ask us, what is that? A sailboat??) Also, ketches are intimidating to some sailors (experienced sailors understand ketch sails and rigging cost lots more than for sloops; inexperienced sailors will be intimidated by the sail plan).

In addition, the Halburg-Rassy Rasmus is a contemporary contender if you are searching for a older center cockpit full keel ketch. They are more readily available, and bring in a lower price. In the US, Camper Nicholsons is not a well known make, which also does not help the price.

We had narrowed our search down to a Rasmus and Rainshadow, both in good shape for their age. The Rasmus was 1000 miles away, but was offered for 35% less than Rainshadow. We made the offer on Rainshadow because she was just a 1/2 days sail away from our homeport. We still paid about 20% more for her than the Rasmus, and we don’t regret that. But, the Rasmus probably would have been a very nice boat too…

I would suggest that if we the Nic 38 to be more valuable, we need to let the market know how great these boats are – i.e. through this website or via sailing magazine articles. As we sail Rainshadow around, she turns many people’s heads, but how many of them will start their quest of purchasing one of these beauties? And pay a premium for her without the knowledge of how great they are?

December 22, 2010 at 01:53 #8131
Voltair
Voltair
Participant

You have hit on a topic that will of interest to Robin and me over the next couple of years. We will have owned Voltair for 10 years next season and probably will be selling her to move on to the next project. When we were buying, we decided to buy the dearest one we looked at, whose owner was an engineer and who had got the boat up to Board of Trade chartering standard. And since buying it, we’ve fixed all the things that he had never managed to fix, so now she is better than ever! New, they were about £16K. At 30 years old we paid nearly 3x that much, so at 40 years old, I reckon the price should be nearer to £60K than £55K. Does that include the extra £5-10K that Trevor of Ronar is speaking about or do you think we would be under-selling?

December 23, 2010 at 00:35 #8141
svgosling
svgosling
Participant

Interesting topic. I wonder if the value estimates are good for the range of C&N boats or are they specific to the 38? We have put a lot of work into Gosling (C&N 42) and have often wondered if our efforts will translate into a better value at selling time, not that we are in a hurry….
I have a feeling that values for our vessels are higher in Europe. We got a great deal on Gosling in San Diego, in large part,I believe because the brand was not known very well. We have seen very few C&N boats in our travels in Mexico and are always thrilled to see Gosling’s little sisters when we do.
Our experience so far this season is that the market for cruising boats, sail or power, is severely depressed. We are in mazatlan at the moment and just across the dock from us is a very well appointed Tayana 37 with lots of bells and whistles going for $45K (US, asking price).
We have had Gosling painted to her original colour scheme. As soon as I get some decent photos I will post them.
Cheers and a very merry Christmas to all.
J-G Nadeau
Gosling
C&N 42/6
El Cid Marina, Mazatlan, MX

December 27, 2010 at 11:31 #8151
Ronar M
Ronar M
Participant

As I suggested in my original ‘post’ I think the Nic 38 is undervalued, not only against other marques but also against some of the other C & N models. Like Voltair, Ronar M is coded for commercial use (I run her as a school boat) which must enhance her value. Most up-together Nic 38s are selling for about £35 – 40k in the UK which, as I said, is surprisingly little for a boat that ticks so many boxes. Ronar needed quite a bit done to her so I bought her for just under £32 in 2004. Now as a coded vessel in excellent condition I would hope to get somewhere between £45 and 50K (this includes my suggested £5 – 10k hike). I think the £55-60k suggested is somewhat optimistic but would be delighted if I could get that for her (though I hope my association with her will continue for quite a time yet). Yes, I’m sure boats are more expensive (like most things) in Europe compared to the US, Trevor

December 27, 2010 at 11:33 #8161
Ronar M
Ronar M
Participant

Correction: I bought her for £32k not £32!!
Trevor

December 29, 2010 at 18:03 #8181
Van
Van
Participant

Just stumbled on a boat I’ve never heard of that sounds of similar pedigree to the Nic 38 – the Fisher 37 (Fisher makes a variety of sized boats). It’s a British built motor sailer (ketch) from the mid 70s with the interesting difference that Fisher still makes these boats.

Fisher seems to have an active user group at
http://www.fisherowners.org/. Their classified ads suggest comparable boats to the Nic 38 have asking prices in the mid-50s (GBP) and up.

Unfortunately, you have to buy membership to look at their forums.

Van

December 31, 2010 at 17:11 #8191
Ronar M
Ronar M
Participant

Hi Van,

Yes, the Fisher Range is still made in the UK. They are fabulous boats but based on a fishing boat rather than a yacht. They are broad and bulky with a wheelhouse and bluff bows. Very solid and heavy with a big motor but relatively small sails. They hold their value very well and are very well regarded but their appeal is in their solidity and spacious,comfortable accommodation rather than any sailing thrills. If you saw one you would not see much resemblence to a Nic 38 except the ketch rig. Trevor

January 3, 2011 at 11:42 #8231
Jeff
Jeff
Participant

‘Morning all,
I bought Sea Eagle in early ’06 & she’d been on the market for probably 18 mths for £42.K. I got her for £36.K.
The PO was a bit miffed, saying that she was the 1st boat he’d ever lost money on, & I still think I paid several K’s too much for her & that he’d been refusing much lower offers over the preceding 18 mths.
As we started some refurbishment work on her, it became apparent that she wasn’t in good condition at all, & had been somewhat neglected for the last few years. The PO had already bought another AWB plastic thingy in the Med somewhere, & had obviously lost interest in the Nicholson quite a while back.
Everything worked OK but it was all old kit, & I threw stuff out & sold some unwanted kit on eBay, bit by bit.
DIY wiring in the engine bay was a disaster waiting to happen & I don’t think the PO had cleaned anything inside for a very long time.
Ironically though, she would typically have been described as “in sail-away condition”, but it wouldn’t have been long before something happened.!

Ultimately, I chose a Nic-38 for the reputed sea-keeping ability but if I’d wanted a luxurious liveaboard, then this is the wrong boat. I value practicality higher than luxury anyway.
The Fisher 37 was my 1st choice in a Motor-Sailer, mainly because of the enclosed wheelhouse, but I heard a couple of very un-complimentary remarks from experienced sailors regarding the incessant rolling motion & lack of performance, due to the hull-shape, & I immediately dropped them off my list.

Sea Eagle is currently insured for just under £60K & this is ‘under-insured’ for what I’ve spent on her. HKJ won’t increase cover without another survey, (£££s) & this would also increase the annual premium a bit so I’m slightly reluctant to proceed any further just now. I’d be interested to know what premium others are paying, on what value, etc. I pay £330 with the ‘CA member’ discount.
Jeff

January 3, 2011 at 12:20 #8241
Jeff
Jeff
Participant

Just to add to my previous post…

I’m all in favour of upping the value of these yachts (now that I’ve bought mine!)but you then come close to what the Victory 40 sells for, & with a very similiar rig & underwater hull-shape, & only 2ft longer, is a very different animal.
They have an absolutely brilliant aft-cabin, without any cramped spaces anywhere & are my No-1 choice for an affordable live-aboard blue-water cruiser.
I wish I’d had an extra £5-£10K available at the time I bought Sea Eagle. (As I indeed DID have, shortly after having done the deal. Alas, it was then too late.!)
I went to see every Nic-38 on the market at the time, & the best one, away up North was asking £52-3K IIRC. She was on the market for years & I watched the asking price come down slowly, to around £42K. He would probably have accepted less than that as well, just to finally get her off his hands.
Jeff

June 10, 2013 at 20:59 #13691
John Tyler
John Tyler
Participant

Hi Jeff
I saw your post re replacing old electronic gear. Can you tell me what you did about installing an instrument control panel in the saloon?.
I have a lot of old electronic kit on Aquarius [Hull 100] & want to incorporate a main panel.
Cheers
John

June 11, 2013 at 10:18 #13701
Jeff
Jeff
Participant

Hi there John,
I had the nav-area re-designed in ’07 & ditched the old fuse-panel. New one is a Blue Sea Systems Circuit-breaker panel with the trip-switch panel on the bulk-head underneath the chart-table, & you could choose any size of C/b panel to suit your requirements. Excellent brand & well made. I should have bought a larger panel though, with enough spare switches for future installations. As it is, I have to connect new equip’t onto terminals that are being used already which I’m not altogether happy with, but space was an issue at the time the new panel was bought.
I’ve just taken 2x photos for you, which Marilyn may be kind enough to post on for me.
Regards,
Jeff

Moderator comment: Photos have been posted near the top in this topic.

June 11, 2013 at 21:14 #13711

Orion
Participant

Hey Everyone!

Wow! I’m floored by the numbers being tossed around, here. I know the intrinsic value of the Nic 38, but am still trying to get used to these prices. Orion was purchased for 8k US. It was a fair price, for an essentially abandoned boat. The Nic 38, I just found, in Berkeley Harbor, on San Fran Bay(see Marilyn’s post for “mystery Nic 38), would get a 5k US opening offer, from me. I’d go as high as 8k, but no more. I’m close to finding the owner, of it. I think I’m developing a knack, for finding abandoned Nic 38s! I’ve got my eyes open, for a third!

michael
Orion

September 10, 2017 at 15:19 #26160
John Tyler
John Tyler
Participant

Current [2017] value seems to be between £25K to £38K, with more at the lower end. mayber a sign of the [post-crisis] times? Also there are about 5 up for sale as I type this.

September 25, 2017 at 11:51 #26162
John Tyler
John Tyler
Participant

I did get a saloon control panel fitted on Aquarius & there are currently 2 Nic 38s in the UK going for £27K approx

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