By Jason Y. Wood
We spoke to three brokers who each had a Hatteras 70 motoryacht listed on BoatQuest.com. Here’s what they had to say about these proven cruisers, and what buyers should look for in today’s market.
Cory Webster, Galati Yacht Sales; www.galatiyachts.com
“It’s a popular boat for our market here in Texas. First off, being a Hatteras it’s got good bones—it’s a good sound base and it was a well-built boat in its time. You don’t have problems with the hull, it was the best available at the time so it’s a good foundation for somebody to get on an older boat—it was quality construction. You can get a 70-foot boat for under $600,000 that’s in service and usable for $399,000. You can purchase this boat and start enjoying it immediately. I know of 70-foot boats that we market that are $4.5 million. This is a boat that’s great to cruise around the Keys and cruise the Bahamas, but if somebody’s looking for a good liveaboard or a good dock queen it’s going to serve those purposes well too. This is a boat where somebody could add the stern thruster to make it a very easy boat for somebody to learn how to maneuver. It has a crew’s quarters: You’ve got basically two bunks in the forward stateroom with an en suite head and lots of hanging locker stowage, but most of the clients that I have looking at the boat see that as a bonus room either for kids or for extra guests. And if they wanted to hire a captain for a long trip—it’s there. You’ve got to be very careful when you buy a boat of this vintage because it all depends on how the boat has been cared for thoughout its whole life. That’s a long time to expect a boat has been kept in tiptop shape—try to find a boat with very, very good service records so you can track how the boat has been cared for. How are the window frames? What stage are the engines at? Have they been rebuilt? Surveys are key on a boat like this, so the buyer knows exactly what they’re getting into so there’s no surprises.”
Don Miller, United Yacht Sales; www.unitedyacht.com
“The boat we’re selling is located in central New York, in the Syracuse area on the Erie Canal so it’s really on one of the main thoroughfares for the Great Loop. It’s got access to the Hudson River, the New York City area, and then Lake Ontario and the Thousand Islands. You might say it’s centrally located to a wide array of customers from the Great Lakes to the New England coast because of the canal system that we’re on. The owners have installed a hydraulic arch. This particular boat has been in fresh water for the past 13 years and during that time her owner, who lives in upstate New York, has done a number of upgrades, some of which you would expect because of her age but some of which were done to give the boat a more upscale feel. A lot of work has been done on the boat, including the heads. Additionally it’s been Awlgripped within the last three or four years and really will accommodate buyers in the South where this boat is seen more often. Most of my calls have been either from the Atlantic Coast or from Florida and I think they’re really excited about what the boat offers and her condition, and the fact that it’s been in fresh water is always a desirable choice if you can find it. But the location brings pluses and minuses—it’s a long way from here to Florida and is less convenient for southern buyers. We believe we have a really attractive price on the boat. There’s a buyer for each of the different layouts and where you might have a buyer who prefers the VIP suite in the bow, you might have a buyer who prefers something else. There’s a buyer for every option Hatteras makes. Why, you might not get somebody looking for the particular stateroom layout that you have, but there will be other buyers who really are into that type of layout. I don’t find when talking with other brokers and buyers that one layout particularly has an advantage over another. This particular boat has been upgraded with a hydraulic swim platform—the largest one that TNT made at the time, and has a cockpit mezzanine people really love.”
Mike Burke, HMY Yacht Sales; www.hmy.com
“The Luxury Tax is what crippled our industry from 1990 to ’95. So, there weren’t many boats built. These are dependable, seaworthy, stout boats made for entertainment. The galley is usually up so you can prepare food and talk with your guests. Everybody’s kind of on the same level, which is nice. These boats easily fit 25 people without anyone running into each other. But, when you do find a boat of that vintage, you need act like you’re on the show, ‘This Old House.’ Analyze it. “What’s been done to the boat?” Check the engine. Most of vintage boats come with a great, long-running motor, the 12V92s that are dependable, but always check the maintenance records. If the boat has been sitting in the water for 15 to 20 years, check the bottom. Blisters can form. See if there’s a barrier coating where the bottom is peeled and put back together. Another big component are your electronics. Are they old, new, or a hodgepodge? Find out. One Achilles’ heel on vintage boats are the framed windows. We all know what happens when salt water, salt air, aluminum, and stainless steel screws are together. It’s a very costly job to fix. Make sure there are no leaks from the windshields up forward. Last there’s the paint job. A good paint job on a vintage boat will last 10 or 15 years. Your boat will have been just painted or will need to be painted. These five items are your hot spots and your big-ticket repairs. Remember, this is also what makes a vintage boat attractive in price. Take each a look at each boat individually. One could cost you as little as $200 grand or as high as to $400 grand. You have to decide if you have more time, or money to invest. You won’t have to worry about going to sea cruising in these boats. The boat can take more than you can.”