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Old 26-11-2009, 13:26   #1
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Trying to Seal A Good Deal

I recently second looked a 1980 Sunkyong 39' Trawler. A decent vessel but Im a little concerned about the price. The owner Started at 99k & now is At 55k. Today he asked me to make him an offer. I have been researching for more than a year and have found many vessels of this size and larger for less money. This is a one owner vessel and appears to have been very well taken care of the only red flag for me was the amount of smoke when he started te engines. I have heard good things about the seaworthiness of boats made in that region but still think its too pricey for a starter vessel that will need some updating. I think an offer above 20k would be crazy.


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Old 26-11-2009, 19:27   #2
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I have been involved in the business and/or actively attending boat shows since the early 1970's and I have never heard of the Sunkyong brand you mention. If it is a Taiwanese-built trawler, made by a company, long out of business, have it surveyed by an experienced surveyor before you close on a deal.Some of the early 1980's Taiwanese trawlers were horribly constructed -- the cabin superstructures were made with cheap fiberglassed plywood prone to delamination and rot, the wiring and plumbing were chaotic and made of inferior materials, and the black iron fuel tanks rusted out over time. Some Taiwanese trawlers were well-made, but only a thorough survey will tell you if you are buying a solid boat or a dream-crushing wreck.

Also have the engines looked at by a good mechanic, and if possible have the engine oil tested.

There is really no established market price for old, off-brand trawlers. If the boat needs a complete re-build and overhaul, there may be no value at all to it. If it is in OK condition there will value to it, but just keep in mind that it is hard to re-sell an off-brand boat, even if it is in good condition. So it is hard for anyone on this forum to specify an appropriate price without knowing much more about the condition of the boat, equipment, upgrades and so forth.

Good luck.

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Old 28-11-2009, 07:44   #3
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For an example of what jsscheiff is talking about:

I looked at a 40' Defever. Due to a failed hose, the insurance company had completely replaced everything in the engine room, except the engines which pulled out and just cleaned up and painted, as they checked out OK. New genset, A/C, water heater, battery charger, etc. All brand new. Wiring was done in wire managers up at the sole. Very professional installation. And the price was right - around $50k (very good for back then).

I figured it would have been checked out carefully before putting all that money in it. So I felt pretty good about it.

Survey says?

I flew down for the survey. The surveyor got to the boat 15 minutes before I did. He was leaning against the boat. "Well, I can do the whole survey if you want, but I can save you some money and stop right now."

Turns out the stringers were rotten. And the bulkheads below deck as well. The boat was worth a negative value.

I can't imagine the people taking out the engines and replacing them without noticing that the stringers were just hollow shells of fiberglass.

My conclusion? That $300 I spent on a survey for a boat I walked away from was possibly the best $300 I have ever spent.

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Old 28-11-2009, 11:50   #4
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all ways make an offer subject to survey and test sail if you do make an offer...
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