One of my favorite sites is — its a giant relational database, where you can punch in any combination of characteristics and find the exact boat you want.

Want a Formula, years 2002-06, between 32-36 feet, on the East Coast, between $100-200k? There are 16 boats that meet those exact characteristics.

Given the recession and the credit situation, this summer, I have been perusing boat Repos — Bank financed machines that have been defaulted and are now the floating equivalent of REOs.

On, there are some 436 repos available in all sizes and shapes — 127 New, 309 used. Event he used boats tend to be newer (older boats don’t need much in the way of financing). 10 of these repo boats are more than $500k, including one repo that is $7.7 million dollars.

Something more modest, perhaps?  How about:

Length: 22′-29′
Year: 2002-2006
Price: USD $0-50,000

That gets you 29 choices.

As I have noted many times in the past, I am a big believe in being a counter-cyclical spender. I try not to buy stuff when the economy is on fire and everything is overpriced. I don’t believe in using excess credit (Like these folks that ended up having their boats repo-ed)

This year, I have been selectively shopping for , and occasionally buying, whatever I thought was priced right — especially distressed  merchandise.

27′ Crownline 275 BANK REPO
27 crownline

26′ Monterey 265 REPO

26 monterey

28′ Rinker Captive 276 BR **BRAND NEW REPO**

28 Rinker Cpativa

Category: Credit, Economy, Markets

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

58 Responses to “Boat Repos Are Booming”

  1. Marcus Aurelius says:

    Commodore Ritholtz, I presume?

  2. Shnaps says:

    T-Pain is also a known counter-cyclical spender.

    “Ah, shit – get your towels ready…it’s about to go down…”

  3. The Curmudgeon says:

    Buy now or forever be priced out of the market!

  4. Marcus Aurelius says:

    Barry Ritholtz Says:

    I live on an island!

    Well, there you go! You need a boat. Ms. R won’t be able to come up with a valid counter-argument (if she does, buy her a boat, too).

    OTOH, I don’t know if I’d buy a boat that had already been underwater once.

  5. BR,

    Exactly, on both points, “Why should it cost you?”, and, you know, those Bridges are useless when you need them..

    be nice if they had space for one of these: , might have to check out a hull with a longer beam

  6. willid3 says:

    not sure where I saw it, but I saw a boat that was based on an airplane . they taken an old airliner, removed the wings (so all the that remained was the fuselage) and then attached that to a hull. it was a pretty interesting boat

  7. crazyjerrygarcialover says:

    From The Big Picture blog at on 9/17/09, “Given the recession and the credit situation, this summer, I have been perusing boat Repos.”

    Really? Given the recession and my layoff from financial services, I have been perusing the help wanted ads, internet job search sites, networking, etc., etc. All to no avail. However, I am glad to hear this recession is working out for you.

    BTW, this particular post on this blog is a fine example of why more than quite a few taxpaying US citizens (yep, I’m one of those as my UI benefit is taxed) no longer feel but know in their bones that Wall Street is completely out of touch with Main Street. 17% of the nation’s workforce is struggling to find permanent, gainful employment (I’m going to cite U-6 as the BLS U-3 number is a joke) a member of Wall Street is blogging about looking to buy a boat.

    Now, let’s say the price of the boat is $200k. That same amount would hire approximately 3 assistants/new employees at $50k/annum with full benefits. Better to buy the boat.

  8. leftback says:

    “I live on an island!”

    yeah, sure it’s a Long story…. what are the % write-downs on these pups, Barry? I was waiting for the REO luxury cars from failed HEDGIES and ruined BANKSTERS, but I guess we’re not quite there yet.

    LB is a counter-cyclical SCAVENGER, remember that vultures are just nature’s way of cleaning house.


    BR: I approach these discretionary toy purchases assuming its a going to be 100% write-down. Boats, cars, audio equipment, cameras — all are 100% cash gone.

  9. crosey says:

    So BR….when are you having all of us over for a ride?

  10. crazyjgl,

    good going, you hit #1 on your first shot..

    Karl Marx’s “10 Planks” to seize power and destroy freedom:

    1. Abolition of Property in Land and Application of all Rents of Land to Public Purpose.

    or, were you going for:

    4. Confiscation of the Property of All Emigrants and Rebels.

  11. donna says:

    If you had a big enough boat, you could just live on a boat!

    I’m enjoying the recession so far — I found some really amazing boots this year! Well made and fit beautifully. Looking forward to some gorgeous fall fashions designed to last for years instead of minutes…

  12. donna says:

    and it is not that we don’t feel the pain, btw — have two twenty somethings in college and no jobs in sight for them, and several friends out of work, who I do help out financially. But someone has to spend something, and why not well-made goods at great discounts. I like seeing us get back to quality instead of cheap crap that doesn’t last, myself.

  13. leftback says:

    OT (but still in the area of recreation): LB has NO IDEA why Gov Sanford and his buds may have flown the private jet to PRAGUE from Warsaw while on a business trip to Poland. I mean, why would a group of men spend SC taxpayer money to go to Prague? What could they have in Prague that is not available in Warsaw? :

  14. crazyjerrygarcialover says:

    Mark E. Hoffer,

    I was actually going for my own number one:

    A more effective use/deployment of approximately $200k capital in our current economic climate MIGHT just be creating 3 new jobs. But I’m sure deploying it on a repo’ed boat will have a more substantive impact on the velocity of money, since whatever bank holding the now repaid note will be almost certain not to lend the newly freed capital. Granted neither one business hiring nor making a luxury purchae has a statistically significant impact on the velocity of money. However, if enough small business owners choose to deploy available capital by hiring perhaps the big economic picture would be a little bit rosier?


    BR: We hired a new programmer and a graphic designer.

    What about the person who makes his living selling boats (or cars or whatever)? If I stop going out to eat, what about the waiters and chefs?

  15. cjgl,

    make it easy on yourself– if those are BR’s ‘bones’, and that’s how he chooses to roll them– believe that, channeling MSO, “It’s a good thing~”.

    even if you don’t care for the, exact, nature of subject, there’s, still, much to be learned by the example..

    at the minimum, it’s a case-in-point reversal of the ol’ adage: “Act in Haste, Repent in Leisure.”

    needless to say, if, only, more People were as astute as BR, we wouldn’t, even, be having this discussion..

  16. catman says:

    BR – Take a tip from Donna. You could probably get a deal on some topsiders, get dressed up like Noonan, post the picture here. Sweet.

  17. Dennis says:


    Are you suggesting all shopping should cease? That someone who works for themselves and can afford to shop “counter-cyclically” should not be buying anything because you are out of work? The rest of the world –the 90% of people working — are supposed to should stop to honor the people who were laid off?

    Last I checked, BR had 4 jobs, wrote a best selling book, and has an active blog. He should by 2 boats (I have one for sale)!

    The world does not revolve around you . . . .

  18. CJGL: “I’m going to cite U-6 as the BLS U-3 number is a joke”

    I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest the reason you know its a joke is because of the work on U6 that has been done here.

    Unemployment Reporting: A Modest Proposal (U3 + U6) June 2008

    Sorry, bud, but those of us who were prudent, did not get over-leveraged and saved for a rainy day are allowed to go out and spend that money.

  19. Scott F says:

    Maybe you can take the money made shorting Lehman, and buy a boat from a former Lehman employee!


    BR: Now that’s just cruel!

  20. I-Man says:


    My fellow fishing and boating afficionado…

    See if you can find one of these out there, I fancy you would like it for what yall do out there…

    Albin 28

    She’s built like a brick shithouse.


  21. zell says:

    Barry, get into sailing. It’s goes good with the market. Relaxing. No gas fumes or prices. Wind at your back- momentum. Tacking into the wind; storm jibs-reduced exposure; whopping thunderstorms coming across from the Bronx.
    The Sound has some nice water. Take some lessons with Mrs. BP. Then start with an old solid boat with a heavy keel – like an Ensign- 22.5 ft..
    YYou’ll have plenty of time to work your way up to something bigger as it won’t be long before there’ll be a luxury tax on boats.
    We’ll be heading into heavy weather so you have plenty of time.


    BR: I love sailing, but with a wife, 2 big dogs, 3 young nephews, a bunch-o-siblings . . . a smaller bowrider is the likely buy.

  22. Big Joe in FLA says:

    Crazy Jerry Lover: I read this post as discussing credit collapse driven distressed assets — not about boat purchases.

    You read this as a luxury goods discussion.

    IMO, you lack understanding about analysis, finance and economics.

    Crazy Jerry Lover, you might want to consider starting looking for jobs in fields other than finance . . . .

  23. Bruce in Tn says:

    Well car repos can’t be far behind…perhaps many peeps were suckered into buying a car they couldn’t afford recently?


    September on Track to Be Year’s Lowest for Car Sales

    “The best month of the year for car sales is being quickly followed by what could be the worst month of the year,” said CEO Jeremy Anwyl. “Cash for Clunkers was supposed to prime the pump, but that is a physics concept, and economics is quite different. Demand has dropped off significantly since the program ended.”

  24. I-Man says:

    @ crazyjerrygarcialover:

    Get over your ‘self’…

  25. markd says:

    massive memory dump, my first (and only) boat was a repo. wonder where it’s at now? went up in the attic and dug out the pictures of the good old days, them ektachrome slides don’t hold up well for 30+ years
    if you all have stuff like that think about getting them digitized.

  26. WaveCatcher says:

    @ crazyjerrygarcialover:

    I hear they are hiring some pimps over at ACORN.

  27. leftback says:

    I-Man, ben, AT, and other hyper-self-critical humans, it actually was possible to make more mistakes than I-and-I this year:–with-an-incredible-amount-of-bad-luck-y.html

    We avoided most of these disasters in 2009: (UNG, Treasuries in Q1-2, staying short in March, UUP in Q2).

    Well, LB did try a toe in UNG, but bailed early (dumb but not dumber). Shorted Tsys in Q1-2, got long in June (good). Went long stocks at the LB Lows/DK/BR Bottom (good), and well, let’s not talk about recent Long Dollar Escapades (dumb and dumber).

    Don’t even get started on 2008′s, GDX fiasco …. but long Tsys and tons of cash was good in Q4.
    This ain’t easy, brah.

  28. MRegan says:

    The guy wrote a good book that has sold- let him buy something fun, geez it’s a modest amount in truth and he’ll probably pay cash- that’s a good thing.

    Me- I’m looking for dump trucks…the prices are still moving my way…come to papa!

  29. sapphire_sunburn says:

    “There’s no money in yachts. What’s he want a yacht for?”

    (2:42 mark….

  30. franklin420d says:

    Mr Ritholtz, depending on the size of the boat you purchase, I would be willing to live on it for you, you know just to make sure everything is in tip – top shape and I if you throw in a little extra for the crew, I will hire Jerry Garcia’s Crazy Lover to scrub the decks and give him meaning full employement.

    Anyway let me know when I should start moving in.


  31. Greg0658 says:

    those three look fine .. my 1st boat was $250, born the same year as me, had a missing lower unit (my dad found one vacationing in the Ozarks), seats got re-upolstered, new radio, new tanks … and then took me a year to figure out a what was killing the boat flying down the river – a missing plate for the linkage that sucked exhaust into the carb choking the engine out – after stoppin, opening, fiddlin – walla, works – WTF

    good luck with your choice .. some good times round here boat campin

    and MEH on those planks … this is a paragraph from my photo essay circ1982 .. don’t know if any of you have seen the pic that it highlights .. it didn’t got published out BRs way back then .. the www is about as close as I’m gonna come .. I YELLED for this post only .. primary point in this thread .. how much do you use a boat each year after you’ve had it 10 years .. think of the many styles out there big, small – outboard, inboard, sail – river, ocean .. whats wrong with sharing .. and having a professional tech to keep it going .. ps BR – best wishes with your second money pit (-:

    “The Family of Man in the Garden of Eden, my most controversial shot, to be sure. The garden is a commune set up where labor forces all work for no wages and serve each other. Everything is produced free and given away to the consumer/worker. Can you imagine no price tags? Food, housing, gas, electricity, cars, everything free, if we can manage not to waste? Think how this will affect crime. The following will cease and disist because people will be provided the means of survival; organized crime, prositution, all thievery crimes plus arson. Murder and rape should curtail due to a happier and more content public. Nothing impossible, people do what they do now but no dollar bills to divide the wealth. Airplanes, YACHTS and other recreational gear can be waiting for you at the Bureau of Recreation Services, by reservation of course. Here’s a pitch to keep me alive, all personal belongings are yours and will be yours and your generations for as long as you keep them. In your business you will be president or manager and answer to the public needs and wishes. You may pass on your home and business to your children; or if they have already moved and settled elsewhere, you can give it away through channels.”

    didn’t change any words .. thats me at 24yo .. sorta still the same .. lived in a commune (kinda – grew up in my parents home), a soldiers life in a barracks, worked for a couple super-corps flippin / deliverin pizzas, a union boy .. now a sole proprietor businessman/artist

  32. jdjed says:

    Don’t forget about the two happiest days of a boat owner’s life….

  33. Onlooker from Troy says:


    Unfortunately the folks in D.C. (at the frenzied behest of the gov of Mich and the auto industry) will take that as a sign that they need to roll out another giveaway program, because the first one was “fabulously successful” and “we just need some more confidence” and “govt needs to step in to prop up demand in the auto industry until the consumer is back on his feet.” And on and on. Certainly they wouldn’t step back and really try to understand what’s really going on. :roll:

  34. OkieLawyer says:


    You make a good point (I think) about happiness with recreational vehicles. I suppose what you mean are the days that boat owner are the happiest are the days that they buy and sell their craft.


    Keep in mind that all recreational vehicles are “white elephants.” It isn’t just the cost to buy the darn things; it’s also the upkeep, maintenance and storage. I think you are right to think smaller.


    BR: Thats a gimme — I asusme it s money gone. That’s partly why I am splitting it with my younger brother, who lives 20 minutes from me (I am a short walk to the L.I. Sound, and have a Marina 2 blocks away)

  35. Bruce in Tn says:


    Seems to me if the pump didn’t stay “primed” and is dropping like a stone, then quite probably people bought who shouldn’t have….

    ..just my 1 1/2 cents…

  36. Cursive says:

    “I don’t believe in using excess credit…”

    Tell that to Ken Fisher.

    BR, please, I’m pleading with you, post a snippet of the Ken Fisher interview from TechTicker. It is simply too much. Fisher thinks we are – and this a hoot of a word – “underindebted!” He then proceeds to describe how to construct a massive Ponzi scheme. BR, please, there needs to be a public repudiation of Mr. Fisher’s views. Calling Steve Barry, Mr. Barry, please report to the hotel lobby….


    BR: Reminds of this debate from a few years ago: James Altucher: “The Underlevered American Household

  37. Does the curse of the Yacht (I think that’s what they call it) count against repos? :)

    Can we begin to write off your company now Barry?

    I agree with your countercyclical spending. There were actually some good buys this recession. This recession I was able to beef up my clothing with great markdowns. Two of the benefits of adulthood. Your clothing fits you for life, assuming you watch your weight (maybe buy some room in your purchases), and you can wait to buy in recessions.

    Next one I hope to make it a new place to live. Had I stretched it I would have picked up a (repoed ;) ) car this time around but my old one was in way too good of shape. Let’s hope this one lasts until the next recession. :)

    Also, the next recession the boomers should be exiting the housing market in droves so there should be some great deals. I don’t expect to pick up anything in the cottage format for cheap though

    I guess the trick is to get into the habit of spending little during the booms and stock up during the recessions. Isn’t that what the rich do to save a fortune, only they do it with corporations. There is no reason why you can’t do it with other things too assuming you have the closet/garage space. I suppose a credit contraction like this will not come along again so we probably will not have the same opportunity in the future. It is fun while it lasts though. It kinda is compensation for all the suffering we have done for other people’s (especially government’s) spending

  38. BTW, the $200k, 36 foot was an example of the relational database — NOT what I am looking at (MRS. BP would cut my gonads off!)

    Note the photos I included are 27 feet, $30k boats

  39. bergsten says:

    @Cursive — your wish (even though directed to someone else) is my command:

    @BR — Have you ever OWNED a boat? More importantly, have you ever USED andor MAINTAINED a boat? Fun to buy, fun to look at, fun to ride around in (be sure to get a GPS, the north shore gets foggy and all the harbors look alike). Not as much fun shlepping it to the water (or rowing out to your mooring), painting, oiling, cleaning, registering, chasing away new friends and relatives, etc. etc.


    BR: The MRS grew up with a dad and two brothers who all had boats (small sailboat, speedboat, and fishing craft).

    Several close friends have boats in various partys of the island — I’ve heard all of the ugly details

  40. Cursive says:


    A tip of the hat, old boy. Careful, now you’ve conjured visions of Barbara Eden…Agreed on the carrying costs. Good times or bad, why own what you can easily rent?

  41. Space_Cowboy_NW says:

    From the flight deck…..

    Aircraft are seeing MAJOR markdowns. A mid time & well maintained (Cessna) Citation II was going for 2.5m a few years ago. Today, the same ship is valued @ 1.5m. Owner wants to trade up….bigger ship of course…..but will have to come with more $$$$ to make it happen.

    BC & A (Business @ Commerical Aviation) states that ANY ship (er, corp/private jet) that is 15 years or older will NEVER return to it previous value. Too much new (and better) iron in the pipeline (ie lower ops costs). The VLJ (very light jet/owner flown) is dead in the water.
    Eclipse 500 (and Day Jet) had the lead and now gone.

    Nothing like the desperation of principle(s) of aircraft who desperately want to hang on but cannot indicated by 5k per day reduction in price until it is sold. Going coach and going through TSA must be
    humiliating after having your own ship. Oh…the pain and degradation!

    Hence a buy rec on MESA (Note: have many shares in the account) as it (like the industry) is not going away.

    Oh, and auto deals are to be had by astute shopping. Picked up a ’08 328i from a dealer with 4600 miles on the clock for 28.5k. Sticker was 40k. Full warrenty/support for the next four years.

    Was not looking for anything, but this deal was too good to pass on.

    Senor Barry…do not buy any boat that has been salt water. Enough said :(

  42. withere says:

    CJGL: You were clearly in the wrong business.

  43. Cursive says:

    Is Barbara Eden in the TBP moderation filter?

  44. Cursive says:

    (Laughing) Why on earth does the TBP filter catch B a r b a r a E d e n ?

  45. nemo says:

    Various things come to mind. Such as . . .

    So where are the customers’ yachts?

    A three-hour tour . . . If not for the courage of the fearless crew . . .

    The two happiest days in a boat owner’s life (already cited by jdjed above) are the day he buys it and the day he sells it.

    The old saying in the boating world: A boat is just a hole in the water to throw money into.

    “So BR….when are you having all of us over for a ride?”

    “I love sailing, but with a wife, 2 big dogs, 3 young nephews, a bunch-o-siblings . . .”

    Both of those comments remind me of the old saying in the Minnesota lake country:

    You’ll never know how many friends you have until you buy yourself some nice lake front property (or a really nice boat).

  46. nemo says:

    “. . . chasing away new friends and relatives, etc. etc.”

    Hear, hear.

  47. can you get timeshares for watercraft? :)

  48. Greg0658,

    re: communes, see: , as one version..

    and/or , as a single ex.

    and to go w/ the QOTD: “”A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything, and the value of nothing.” —Oscar Wilde

    “A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not even worth
    glancing at, for it leaves out the one country at which humanity is always
    —Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man Under Socialism

    LSS: if that is how People, freely, choose to prosecute their affairs, it bothers me, not, at all..

    note: many of the, still considered, finest minds that We have produced have, long, been enamored with similiar Ideals..

    though, to me, we should simplify that pursuit by remembering the sagacity of Mises dicta: “Socialism can’t Calculate.”

  49. Greg0658,

    re: communes, see: , as one version..

    and/or , as a single ex.

    and to go w/ the QOTD: “”A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything, and the value of nothing.” —Oscar Wilde

    “A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not even worth
    glancing at, for it leaves out the one country at which humanity is always
    —Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man Under Soci@lism

    LSS: if that is how People, freely, choose to prosecute their affairs, it bothers me, not, at all..

    note: many of the, still considered, finest minds that We have produced have, long, been enamored with similiar Ideals..

    though, to me, we should simplify, that, pursuit by remembering the sagacity of Mises dicta: “Soci@lism can’t Calculate.”

    past that, WP’s suppression algos, still, Suck.

  50. ScarsdaleFatty says:

    I’ll be sending you a nautical-theme pashmina afghan…

  51. The Best Times to Make 14 Major Purchases
    September 17, 2009

  52. catman says:

    Captain Nemo – And a case of Grain Belt Premium

  53. Greg0658 says:

    thanks for the links last night MEH .. good job on the repost – 6 min to replace the bad words … I captured your whole post to think about getting more involved (or not) … guess I now copy the orig

  54. Greg,

    3posts, in actuality, & 6 minutes, to figure out what was going on + remove, all instances of, offending spellings. It was Fun !

    Glad you liked the links~

  55. Greg0658 says:

    Good Morning America ….. (buried down here – but what the hey/hay)

    right now an fyi news segment going – taxing your soft drinks .. ya I hear – 17 teaspooons in a 16oz soda – nice display with what a year would look like

    this is my point and why here in this thread .. our capitalist system is treating us humans like livestock .. how best can the system* extract profit from each of us and/or retain as much as possible for the corporatist

    * coda – (why there is a discussion/fight in the 1st place) – I gotta protect my wealth by protecting your health … baaahhhaaaa

    Onward (something) Soldiers …. healthcare reform .. thats a start …. to somewhere

  56. Greg0658 says:

    now hawkin the newest brain radiating cell phones .. I almost still love this country with all my heart

  57. [...] none of these ideas would become giant monetary sinkhole (I’ve been told that is the job of a boat). Foremost of these potential money pits has been the [...]