View Full Version : So, What's it worth?

07-09-2012, 07:45 PM
I have a dilemma and I need some help…………….My five year restoration of the 22 Testa Rossa is nearly finished, and I’m wondering what today’s market would bear. I’ve been thinking about what a new Donzi 22C would cost, we’ve been told it would be in the $100K range, there’s another thread on the possible re-emergence of AMH and that a new 23 Baja Outlaw w/a SBC would be $100K w/a few options.
I’m reminded of the early ‘90’s and the horrible, fortunately long departed, “Luxury Tax” was the law of the land, when even custom vans equipped for wheel chair operator owners were taxed an additional 35%, and the US boat industry was nearly put out of business. And how used boats suddenly became more valuable. I remember there was suddenly a large increase in value of rebuilt, restored cruisers and sport fishermen. Someone could buy a used cruiser or fishboat, have it re-powered, rebuilt exactly the way they wanted it, and end up w/maybe a better-than-new boat for a substantial savings.
I’m wondering if there’s any parallel to “now” and the smaller performance boat market w/o any players, that could fill the void w/restored/rebuilt/re-powered older performance boats???????????
I hope there is, because I’m way upside down in my project! I paid $11,500.00 for the boat, complete w/trailer, which was, I think, a fair price for a rare, low production Donzi 22C that was over 20 years old and untouched. Now, five years later, I have an additional $25-$30K in restoration materials, plus $8-$10K in a new built engine. I’ve tried not to look at the numbers lately. Nor have I thought much about the more than 2,000 hours I have invested in the boat.
So, I’ll throw this open for discussion; in today’s market, what could I possibly get for it? I mean, some person who would like a “NEW” Donzi 22C, which doesn’t exist, and is hopefully willing to pay for the next best (or better) thing.

07-09-2012, 08:52 PM
Actually, I'm not asking for an actual asking price.....I'm really asking if anyone thinks there might be some validity to my reasoning.
Let's hear some opinions!

07-09-2012, 09:04 PM
----While everything you say makes sense to us guys (or at least to me) Im just not too sure how this will translate over to a non-Donzi.com group of buyers weather they like Donzis or not. I know what you have built and how you have built it and it knocks me over. With that said the monied masses may look toward far newer 22 Classics without putting in the time and effort to see and appreciate just what you have here. An auction venue (Mecum comes to mind) may be a way to get those who are interested all torqued up about what they are seeing first hand. Any of this make any sense???.......Bill S

07-09-2012, 10:23 PM
Hmmm. Some nearly random thoughts...in no particular order.

Your comments about the market make sense to me, to a point. Not sure I'd even try to expand on them.

As for what your boat is worth, I think it's nearly all about the buyer. (Including the difficulty in financing any purchase nowadays.) There aren't many of what your're selling. For someone who wants that, what other options does he have that don't involve having his own buy and subsequent restoration done, with all the inherent uncertainties and all the wait.

A 100k 23 Outlaw sounds like an 80k 16C to me. Meaning, I expect no one will buy one.

We've seen Donzi recently offer up new 22s at 80k. Not sure they sold any at that price. We've also seen a 100+ mph one-of-a-kind custom Donzi 22 just sell. I think it was listed for about 90k, right? Not sure what it sold for, and I'm not asking if anyone knows, but I doubt it sold for more than the asking price. But it DID sell, and reasonably quickly. And that boat had a FAR smaller potential market than yours.

Donzi being out of business, at least temporarily, should of course help your value. Demand should be outpacing supply, regardless of where each is today.

Having the huge thread documenting the work should help a lot also. An informed buyer should be able to see something that looks perhaps better than new.

I wouldn't be all that discouraged that you'd not gotten more nibbles up to now. People could see how much was going in, but the boat wasn't finished. I think one cannot overestimate that many serious boat buyers are thinking about taking it out the next weekend. So, if you're trying to move it, I'd say once it's splashed and running it might go a lot more quickly than you'd think.

Maybe hold on for the price like you want and enjoy the fruits of all your work, just keeping it absolutely showroom. Then you can sell it as new, but broken in an dialed in, with public documentation of both. That's in some ways worth more than the gamble of the new boat.

SWAG a number? With patience to find the right buyer I'd think something from $45k to $65k was possible.

Don't know a lot about auctions. Might be perfect. But for cheap you can get huge exposure with nothing more than a boat trader ad and a craigslist ad.

I also wonder how one reaches the yacht tender market. Pitched the right way, I could see it as a one-of-a-kind yacht toy/tender, with classic lines hardly seen today, and more speed/fun/style for less cost than lots of other options, even at $80k, which wouldn't make those folks even blink. (Is there an uber-red megayacht out there?)

roadtrip se
07-09-2012, 11:56 PM

Let me do a similar accounting to yours. I bought my boat new in 2001 for about $42K.

In the second season, Jill had to have some surgery so I took her recovery time to rig the boat with a 500EFI, gauges, steering, shorty, and a few other things, for roughly $20K.

Then, I put an aluminum Myco under it for $5K.

Fast forward ten years, and the 500 needs a freshening. Send it to Potter for a short stroke job and have Brian Orlandi build out a custom cradle and offshore mounts, install a new HD transom assembly, a new drive, throttle, and a sea strainer. I also had a fiberglass guy strengthen the tub, wrap the stingers, and fix some stress cracking on the bottom. For rounding purposes, let’s say this exercise cost me about $25K.

Then I soon realized the engine needed to breath better, since I wasn’t going the SC route, and I sent it back to Potter for heads, a compression bump, and a different intake. This one cost me about $12K.

So, I am sure I am missing several other items that I have “invested” in for this boat, like props for instance, but I am already at $104K for a twelve year old boat. Funny thing, in Chattanooga, I had someone ask me what it would take to buy the boat in a serious manner, and I responded with a blank stare and told them it wasn’t for sale. I would have no idea what to ask for the Flowerpot, even if I was mildly interested in selling it. Nor is it for sale. But I would imagine it would bring something in the $40-45K range, if I left it intact.

I don’t think looking at what you have invested in the boat in hard dollars, your sweat equity, or comparing it to other boats on the market, have anything to do with what the boat is worth. Just set your price at what you will take (and not choke on it if you get it) and remember, you typically can’t go up, but you can come down.

Good luck with the sale.

07-10-2012, 09:18 AM
George, your logic makes sense. The new boat production is flat, especially on something like Donzi's which fit the mold of semi-custom / limited production boats.

For your boat the sky is the limit on the right buyer. You have also spent the money on things you can touch and feel right now Vs. past expense.

22's right now seem to have gone up in price. I haven't seen any in the sub 15k range recently. I have also been trying to find a sweet 16 personally and there are no bargains to be had anymore. That can only help your situation.

07-10-2012, 11:19 AM
I'd ask 42K and throw in some Donzi Hats:wink:

roadtrip se
07-10-2012, 04:05 PM
I've given this one a little more thought...

The case of the Ilmor boat. That boat was a steal at $84K. Reason? It had less than ten hours on it and breaks 100. Basically a new boat that breaks triple digits, and was built and tuned to handle the power and speed. One of a kind.

To use the Flowerpot as an example again. It's a stock-looking, red Classic, that just happens to have some serious performance and handling enhancements built in, that cost big bucks. The boat handles like it is on rails at WOT, but I sincerely doubt anyone would give me much for what I put into her to make her do that. Period. Realistically, as I stated earlier, I would most likely get $45K out of a $100K+ investment, or less than 50%.

Utilizing your numbers George. On the high side, you have invested $51,500, add some sweat equity at $10K, or a total of $61,500, take half of that and you are around $30K. Get it running and tuned to perform, and I am thinking you have the ability to sell a nice boat at $25-30K. And you can always try for more...

I would keep it and run it for awhile. That's my plan for the Flowerpot.

07-10-2012, 06:26 PM
Finding the right buyer is the key. Enjoy taking it to various boat shows and finding deep pockets that appreciate what you've built and it will sell. I could easily see getting all of your money back but I could also see where more than $50-$60k could reach some resistance, considering this vibrant economic recovery we're enjoying. Finding the right buyer could yield $75k. I would bet some of the wooden boat collectors would love what you built and would get their checkbook out. One of the Miami Heat players would love a classy red boat at their dock.

07-10-2012, 08:12 PM
I keep looking at my receipts for my restoration project and the next thing I'm doing is getting a stiff drink.... Anyone who does this now better have a love for what there doing, have money to burn and in the long run you will be lucky to get 50 % out of it. It's not an smart investment as very few make money selling restored boats. Cars are the same now, as a friend who been restoring cars for 30 years says this is the worst year. Don't worry with Obama in the white house for another 4 years we'll all be broke .... so spend ,spend, and spend some more as the US in only 15 Trillion in Debt !!! :confused::confused::confused:

07-10-2012, 08:28 PM
To add to what Stan, Todd, and Mike have already said, I stopped looking at the reciepts cuz I'd be sick either from seeing the # or the drinks I'd have adding those #'s up!!!! I went into my project knowing I wouldnt get but MAYBE 35 cents on every $ I put into it "IF" I decided to sell, which I don't!! I have prolly the most expensive 18 Classic out there and there is no way anyone in their right mind would give me close to what I have invested, so with that said, I use my boat and use it hard, 06' with 470 hrs. on the hr meter, I have no problem running it where others wouldn't I built it to enjoy and enjoy it I do, she's no lift/trailer queen and when I hear and feel the power pin me back in my chair it's all worth it, every penny and all the time also invested in making it what it is, it's not only a Donzi but it's my creation, like what many others have done to theirs. It's a illness and many here are all in the same nut house, I enjoy the company I keep!!!!

07-11-2012, 09:38 PM
I agree with your reasoning George,and I think you would be the first to admit that by restoring these boats in today's economy,we are not in it to make money.Your Minx brought top dollar when the economy was ripe AND you found the right buyer.Fast forward to where you are with the testarossa where you have created a work of art,engineering,and mechanical equipment,an original 22 C could not compare with.I think you would definitely be in the 60K to 70K range dialed in and ready to go.Good Luck
When it sells what's in store for the next project?????

07-11-2012, 10:15 PM
Jim, truthfullhy, I've had it doin' this stuff. Particularly at my age and in this economy.

I've had another idea......for awhile, I've been thinking about vintage bikes, a rod, or vintage sportscar!
I'd definatefully entertain trades!

NO Harleys or Corvettes.
W/the right person, it might be interesting.
I'd like to have a nice Vincent.

Donzi Vol
07-11-2012, 11:04 PM
I'm not going to throw out any numbers, mostly since you didn't ask for them, but the one thing that sticks out to me about this boat is that it is better than new. You have taken the time to hand-mold this boat in such a way that you have improved on the already superior technology and build quality of the original Donzi product.

My $.02: If you don't HAVE to sell it, then wait on the right buyer and don't settle.

07-12-2012, 06:49 AM
[ QUOTE=$originalposter]{$pagetext}[/QUOTE]

I'd like to have a nice Vincent.

............or perhaps a Brough?


07-12-2012, 09:21 AM
[ QUOTE=$originalposter]I've given this one a little more thought...

The case of the Ilmor boat. That boat was a steal at $84K. Reason? It had less than ten hours on it and breaks 100. Basically a new boat that breaks triple digits, and was built and tuned to handle the power and speed. One of a kind.

To use the Flowerpot as an example again. It's a stock-looking, red Classic, that just happens to have some serious performance and handling enhancements built in, that cost big bucks. The boat handles like it is on rails at WOT, but I sincerely doubt anyone would give me much for what I put into her to make her do that. Period. Realistically, as I stated earlier, I would most likely get $45K out of a $100K+ investment, or less than 50%.

Utilizing your numbers George. On the high side, you have invested $51,500, add some sweat equity at $10K, or a total of $61,500, take half of that and you are around $30K. Get it running and tuned to perform, and I am thinking you have the ability to sell a nice boat at $25-30K. And you can always try for more...

I would keep it and run it for awhile. That's my plan for the Flowerpot. [/QUOTE]

-Not everyone wants to go 100 miles per hour with their hair on fire.
-There is a reason why most of the classics remain stock or near stock.
-It would take a very particular buyer to pay a premium on a stock looking hot rodded 22.
-That 100 mile per hour 22 is only a deal if that's your 'thing'. Considering there are only a handful of classics that run triple digits I'm going to call a VERY limited market on that one.

There obviously is a market for new stock Donzis or no one would own one. George's boat is as new as you can get right now, so if someone wants a new Donzi his is the best in line.

The only place I think George went wrong on his build is to stick with some of the period correct parts. I think new equipment Vs. period correct would bring more dough. I also think a new stock EFI engine would also pull more dough than a carbed unit.

07-12-2012, 10:13 AM
Bob, those are some interesting points, and valid.
Of course, in some ways I've tried to modernize the boat, like the dash panel.
The old dash structure was so chewed up, that w/o a complete re-structure of
the existing glass in a cosmetic way, it would have been even more labor intensive.
Also, little things like the powder coated vents and rails are so minor that
anyone that bought it would likely change anyway if they cared to, as all the parts are available
and not all that expensive.
I guess I think these points are minor in comparison to the major work that was done.
Maybe what I'm trying to say, is that the things you mention fall into the catagory of things that many
new (to them) Donzi owners would consider changing anyway, like upholstery.
My original upholstery is still very good and I intend to re-install it (original Testa Rossa gray/red).
A new owner mighht want to go w/a new set of red matching upholstery, like Patricke did.
I suppose the engine point is valid, again, maybe a personal preference. My engine builder is of the opinion
this engine is in the 500 HP range, which of course is a little healthier than a HP 500. The basic engine is good
for 572 CI w/a different crank, pistons, and rods. I would say, a lot of potential, but to each his own.

07-12-2012, 10:54 AM
I'm not complaining about your choices, If I did it I would probably have gone the route you did. I was simply coming from a top dollar perspective.

roadtrip se
07-12-2012, 03:06 PM
I used the Ilmor boat example as a disqaulifier for a higher price point justification for a stock Donzi. The Ilmor boat is apples and oranges, when compared to a newer stock Classic, especially a restored one. And just because AMH was asking big money for a stock 22 Classic build, before they went under, doesn't mean they built that many, I think two boats were completed. Very few have spent big money on these boats, stock, modified, or exotic.

I am not arguing that my boat is worth big dough either. Exactly the opposite, actually. As for there being a market for stock Classics, absolutely. But from my rallying experience, there are plenty of folks that modify these things and enjoy doing it for the challenge. But, I am also realistic enough to realize that my upgrades may or may not enhance the overall value of the boat, and I didn't go into it thinking that way to start with. I would contend that the enhancements that I have done make my boat better than most stock boats, especially in the handling and durabilty areas, which make it safer to run at hair-on-fire speeds. Hair-on-fire statements aside, my Classic is better than new from my view, but I wouldn't expect better than new pricing for it, should I chose to sell it.

George, if you are going to look at that kind of power, I would look at modernizing the transom assembly, steering, and drive system. That or go with a milder, more tame EFI plant from Merc. Finally, if you can get $60-70K for this boat, that is great news for us all!

07-12-2012, 05:22 PM
If anyone cares to go back and read some of the build thread, you'll find the transom has been reinforced, in fact, the aft 7' of the hull has been reinforced considerably, including the hull sides.
Steering is full external hydraulic, the gimbal assembly was completely rebuilt, by me, and refinished, w/every wear part and seal replaced, including steering pins. I didn't install heavy duty gimbal pins, only because I wanted the trim gauge to work but the gimbal bushings and pins were replaced and the 5/8" threads in the gimbal ring were HeliCoiled. The outdrive is still the stock Bravo, but it's in excellant original condition.
I think it's a great starting point.
After all, I've not been trying to build the boat to be like Todd's or Mr X's, but to lay a foundation for someone to do what they want w/confidence to add even more power, update the outdrive, and not be concerned that the hull was up to it.

jonzis donzi
07-12-2012, 06:08 PM
[ QUOTE=$originalposter]{$pagetext}[/QUOTE]
Why not put up some pics to let us drool over the finished or near finished boat? This has been a real labor of love over the years. I can't believe it's been five years, my hat is off to you!

07-12-2012, 07:23 PM
It's almost, but not quite ready for prime time.
The engine is almost completely dressed, lacking just a few details yet.
I just had the windshield frame powdercoated (the components, that is) to match the other hardware.
I still need to source the glass (polycarbonate, or whatever) and I need some help on sourcing it (greater Orlando, or Tampa area).
I need an additional two or three hoses fabricated. There's a little more work under the forward deck, but minor, and then the carpet.
My main problem this year has been business has been increasing (finally) and taking up more time.
But the big things have been some health issues.....kidney stones treated successfully w/a laser, then over the last several month having shortness of breath. Had another stress echo followed by a brand new stint. But some related things didn't get better, like continued shortness of breath, even when laying down. A few med changes, another echo, and a conclusion that a pacemaker/defibrulator is in the works. The soonest that can happen is September, so I kinda have to take it easy until then.
But it'll be finished this fall. There's not that much left to do.

07-12-2012, 08:14 PM
So, is the question... What's it is worth or what today’s market would bear? I am not sure that they are the same thing.

07-12-2012, 08:16 PM
It would be helpful to newer members like me to put in a link to the building process thread.

07-12-2012, 08:21 PM

Here ya go;


Phil S
07-12-2012, 09:32 PM
GC –

I kid around a lot, but I do hope you will take this as a compliment with all sincerity.

Boating is a hobby of mine, so I try to make light of the money that it takes to enjoy this expensive hobby and don’t take it too seriously. It is a very enjoyable escape for me and my family, and I obviously enjoy doing it a Donzi. The heritage, performance, and what I believe to be, simply a gorgeous old boat adds that much more to it. That’s why I own the old tub that I do. She’s not worth much to anyone but me, certainly not going to set any speed records, and with a little help occasionally by being a “Platinum” membership card-holder with Sea-Tow, she gets me back to the dock every time. J

All that to say this: If I win the Powerball this Saturday, after picking up my check, I’m headed to the airport and will be knocking on your door Monday morning. If your asking price is north of 100k…there will be no questions asked, and I will be humbled by the opportunity to purchase your creation, and by your willingness to even part with it. There are those out there where money is no object...unfortunately for me, it is an object, but I can easily see it commanding a superior price from the right audience. (maybe one day I'll have a seat in the nosebleed section of that audience, but I'm not even able to talk to the scalpers to that event yet ) :frown:

GC, this is a masterpiece of a restoration of an extremely beautiful and rare boat. You have basically hand-built it to a standard far beyond the quality one could buy new from a production facility, in my opinion. Thank you for letting us watch and learn from your expertise and craftsmanship during this restoration. I am certain that many, and far more than you realize, have gained a tremendous amount of education from you throughout this process. I know I have, and thank you for your generosity of sharing your restoration skills, expertise, and attention to detail.

I’ve already purchased my tickets for Saturday night’s drawing, so I’m hoping to see you on Monday. In the remote chance I don’t win, I still get down to Fl a few times a year, so I would love an invitation to drive over to meet you and see this piece of artwork in person, even if I can’t buy it.

Thank you, and wishing you all the best with her.

More importantly though, wishing you all the best.

With kindest personal regards,

Phil S.

07-12-2012, 10:37 PM
Those are very kind words Phil and you'd be welcome to drop by any anytime you're in FL.

07-13-2012, 02:44 AM
I couldn't have said it better than Phil. Great work, George. It might even be difficult to sell it with all your blood, sweat, and tears. I had a similar situation with a 1964 Land Rover 88" that I restored. I regretfully sold it and the buyer doubled his money selling it on Ebay - made me even more regretful - lol. I say it was similar in that it is hard selling something you put so much of yourself into. Bill

07-13-2012, 08:11 AM

there is alot of truth in many statements here, but this is sort of like the meaning of life question, it is many different things to many different people.

you have done a wonderful job resto/mod 'ing your boat to your vision.The problem is to get the best value you need to find a buyer who sees things your way.

everyone who has started a resto or to improve their boat had a plan, return it to original, modernize just the powertrain, or make a custom statement.

then throw into the mix what you started with and the rare, really rare, or limited graphics of a common classic and establishing a value can be like a cat trying to bury **** on a marble floor.

the other unknown factor is what value to you place on your enjoyment. my project is no where near yours and I just took it for a small semi successful water test and i got to tell you the smile and satisfaction of hearing it run and pulling away from the dock was worth all the money effort and sweat equity.

the project you have built will last a long time it is done right,any half saavy buyer is going to see that .

an example would be the pumpkin same thing alot of money and effort went into it and when complete it was not worth 25k to a buyer, cause a newer 18 could be had for the same money but now some 11 years later the boat looks the same( perfect) as it does when it was completed has been used for 11 years ( the boat even when in the water is not really in the water Pearson does not baby it at all). well 11 years later the boat is still worth 25k and is built to last the newer 18's would not of held up to those 11 yrs as well and not worth 25k today.

so what is 11 yrs of trouble free boating enjoyment worth??

07-13-2012, 09:32 AM
Keep it and enjoy your labors..

07-13-2012, 10:14 AM
It's a unique boat, although one of a few it's now one of a kind due to your efforts George. I'd probably list it in the $50K range and stand your ground.

I've thought of selling mine lately and although they are much different boats I'd have a hard time selling mine for under $50K. Again they are unique, good running boats and as everyone has stated, you can't go out now and buy a new one.

Greg Guimond
07-13-2012, 10:36 AM
Proper exposure will be the key to getting a good number for it. You might consider slightly different venues like Autoweek, Bring a Trailer, and perhaps even Hemmings to "get the word out". I also think that in addition to the Ebay route that it would be worth contacting the auction guys to find out the parameters. A big number will require an impulse buyer and you could get that at one of the high end auctions.

Be prepared to wait a while for the right buyer.