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Today’s Boat Buyer: Part IV

South Florida resident Andy Newman was considering a repower for his 1996 Aquasport 225 Osprey. He had bought the boat, equipped with twin 200-hp Johnson 2-strokes, in 1999.

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“[It] served me pretty well up until last spring,” says Newman, 53, a public relations executive. “When gas began climbing through the roof, the Osprey was really becoming a burden, and I wondered what to do about it.”

Newman began pricing new 4-strokes for better fuel efficiency, but discovered it was more economical to buy a boat, especially with the low prices he was seeing in the current market. In January, he bought a used 2007 Sailfish 2660 with twin 150-hp Yamaha 4-strokes from Coastal Marine Center in Brunswick, Ga.

“I had socked some money away with the intent that something like this might happen,” says Newman. “When I was down in the Keys in September, I saw someone with a Sailfish 2660, and though I wasn’t familiar with the boat, I thought, ‘Wow, it looks nice.’ ”

“Each individual only lives once, and I had my Osprey for nine-and-a-half years. I hope to keep this boat at least that long.”
-Andy Newman

Newman says he was looking for something in the 26- to 28-foot range because he prefers to trailer, rather than find dockage in the competitive Florida market. “Technically I could still trailer a 31- or 33-footer, but I don’t have room for that at my house,” he says.

Newman found his Sailfish late last year through a Coastal Marine Center advertisement. But it came with twin 200-hp Yamaha 4-strokes. Not needing that much horsepower, he asked if it could be outfitted with 150-hp Yamaha 4-strokes, and the dealer was able to oblige. Also, Yamaha was offering an extended warranty on the engines: six years as opposed to the standard three.

“The fact the dealer was able to switch the engines and get the warranty deal — that was the clincher for me,” says Newman. And Coastal Marine delivered the boat to him in Florida for the sea trials.

Newman says it was pretty easy to negotiate financing for part of the boat but declined to give further details. “I will say this: Sailfish does stand behind their product in terms of customer support,” he says. “I wasn’t expecting the same level of service to transfer over to the second owner, but when I contacted them after the purchase to ask a few questions I was pleasantly surprised.”

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As for Newman’s Aquasport, he was able to sell it in December within days through Craigslist. “This indicates to me that the market is not dead. People are just looking for a good value,” says Newman. “I priced [the Osprey] about $1,500 to $2,000 below what I should have been able to have commanded in a normal market.”

Newman says he is excited about his Sailfish and hopes to enjoy many years with it. “Each individual only lives once, and I had my Osprey for nine-and-a-half years,” he says. “I hope to keep this boat at least that long.”

— Liz Ellis

This is the fourth in a five-part boat-buyer series leading up to this week’s Miami International Boat Show. Click here for Part I, click here for Part II, or click here for Part III. Tomorrow, meet Greg Gondek, who bought a Skeeter ZX190 bass boat at the Hartford (Conn.) Boat Show.

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