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Old 16-06-2011, 21:03   #1
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Boat Buying Checklist

I'm buying a used sailboat directly from its owner, in a third world Asian country where reliable marine surveyors deal mainly with large commercial vessles.

Consequently, I'm going to have to do mosty of my own "surveying" as a relative novice. Does anyone have or have a link to a good checklist on what to look for when purchasing a used boat?

Any and all advice will be greatly appreciated.

G2L
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Old 16-06-2011, 21:05   #2
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Let Me Guess ... Re: Boat Buying Checklist

... The first piece of advice will be "Don't Do It"

Regards to all,

G2L
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Old 16-06-2011, 21:44   #3
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Re: Boat Buying Checklist

This is unashamedly borrowed, but it might help.

Do your own vessel survey.
There seems to be a number of boaters who prefer to do their own surveys. It may be they have little confidence in others who have no vested interest in the boat, or they may wish to save money and have some previous experience.
Either way here are some ideas which may help others with their self survey.

1.Work out a detailed form to take with you noting those things which should be checked.
2.Take a friend to help and give second opinions.
3.Take a digital camera with an internal flash and a zoom feature. Take tons of pictures for farther study while away from the boat and as proof of what was found. Get pics in areas where you cannot see by sticking the camera in and snapping a shot with the flash on.
4.Learn how to sample for dry rot in wood and in laminated decks.
5. Learn how to sound the hull for wet spots/blisters.
6. Check the rigging. Both standing and running.
7.Check and operate all electrical systems.
8.Check and operate all plumbing systems.
9.Check and operate all navigational equipment.
10.Check and operate all galley equipment.
11.Check and if possible operate all mechanical systems such as the engine and transmission and steering equipment.
12.Check and operate all thru-hulls and valves.
13.Check and operate all sewage(head)systems possible.
14.Check and open/close all hatches/port lights and related hinges and latches.
15.Make a written report with supporting pictures of everything wrong or faulty or suspect for future reference and submission to the seller.

Here is a link to a site with samples of professional surveys and what they look like to help you make a written record of your findings.
Port Credit Marine Surveys
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Old 16-06-2011, 21:47   #4
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Re: Boat Buying Checklist

Also, have a small torch and a mirror to get a bit clearer sight of difficult places, and a small didital camera can help to get a look at things you can't eyeball.
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Old 18-06-2011, 20:34   #5
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Re: Boat Buying Checklist

must have moisture meter, small tapping hammer to listen to sounds along hull, deck around stanchons, chain plates, all areas where anything is screwed to deck, all thru hulls need to be looked at very carefully to ensure wear is minimal, if ANY doubt, put all thru hulls for replacement, be the cheapest couplethree hundred bucks you spend. check at rudder with meter as well,
do not be afraid to lightly tap the hull in various places, if it has a thunk or hollowsound it is.
blisters and osmosis can be seen with good flash light slid along hull and with head against hll looking along any misforms will be apparent.
check mast step and base as well for cracks, excess wear, and cable age. ( this would also be a good time if it hasn'y been done to re wire the mast electrical at minimum.

the list mentioned above is also a very good start as well.

If you have a friend that does home inspections, and they have a thermal imager have him shoot the boat,
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Old 19-06-2011, 05:00   #6
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Re: Boat Buying Checklist

Everything.

Because once you have bought you will be responsible for repair / replacement / maintanence........of everything, so IMO makes sense to look before writing the cheque.

A list is a good idea - but not on it's own a magic answer as also need an ability to judge whether something is good enough (albeit a lot of that is based aound a finger in the air - unless you can use an angle grinder ).

But as a quick heads up / guide (for boats over a few years old) - open the engine compartment and if you look inside and say to yourself "dear god " then odds are strong that the rest of the boat has had the same level of care.
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Old 19-06-2011, 05:45   #7
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If you're already super-serious about purchasing this boat, how about locate an experienced surveyor abroad and pay for their travel expenses plus a few grand (or whatever they might charge) to check out the boat.....?

Just a thought.
- J
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Old 19-06-2011, 07:30   #8
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Re: Boat Buying Checklist

Take a look at this site - Yacht Survey Online: David Pascoe, Marine Surveyor - the books there may be able to help you.
Don
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Old 19-06-2011, 08:09   #9
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Re: Boat Buying Checklist

Quote:
Originally Posted by VirtualVagabond View Post
Also, have a small torch and a mirror to get a bit clearer sight of difficult places, and a small didital camera can help to get a look at things you can't eyeball.
Dear VV ...

Thanks for the list. Have thought of some of these, but not all. Appreciate your tip on the camera and "torch" = "flashlight" in American, so-called English : )

Best regards,

G2L
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Old 19-06-2011, 08:12   #10
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On "Moisture Meters" etc. - Re: Boat Buying Checklist

Quote:
Originally Posted by knottygurl View Post
must have moisture meter, small tapping hammer to listen to sounds along hull, deck around stanchons, chain plates, all areas where anything is screwed to deck, all thru hulls need to be looked at very carefully to ensure wear is minimal, if ANY doubt, put all thru hulls for replacement, be the cheapest couplethree hundred bucks you spend. check at rudder with meter as well,
do not be afraid to lightly tap the hull in various places, if it has a thunk or hollowsound it is.
blisters and osmosis can be seen with good flash light slid along hull and with head against hll looking along any misforms will be apparent.
check mast step and base as well for cracks, excess wear, and cable age. ( this would also be a good time if it hasn'y been done to re wire the mast electrical at minimum.

the list mentioned above is also a very good start as well.

If you have a friend that does home inspections, and they have a thermal imager have him shoot the boat,
Thank you KN,

Sincerely appreciate your advice. As a complete novice in all such matters, I don't know where I might find a "moisture meter" and how much such a device might set me back.

Any further advice would be greatly appreciated.

Regards,

G2L
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Old 19-06-2011, 08:19   #11
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Re: Boat Buying Checklist

Understood.

Helps to understand one's own disabilities.

Thanks for your input.

G2L
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Old 19-06-2011, 08:21   #12
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Re: Boat Buying Checklist

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjdelrey View Post
If you're already super-serious about purchasing this boat, how about locate an experienced surveyor abroad and pay for their travel expenses plus a few grand (or whatever they might charge) to check out the boat.....?

Just a thought.
- J
I understand your point, but the boat in question is rather inexpensive. Hiring a pro and shipping him or her in would probably cost me more than half of what the boat is actually worth.

Thanks, however for your comment.

Regards,

G2L
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Old 19-06-2011, 10:05   #13
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Re: Boat Buying Checklist

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gone2long View Post
Dear VV ...

Thanks for the list. Have thought of some of these, but not all. Appreciate your tip on the camera and "torch" = "flashlight" in American, so-called English : )

Best regards,

G2L
Yeah, over here on the North American contient (Canada is in the Americas ), we tend to think of "torches" as something that has a flameable nature on the end of it.

A "boot" is something we put on our feet, not on the azz end of a car, a "bonnet" is something oldtimers put on their head if they were female, not something a car's engine is hidden under, and if we dared to say, "I'll knock you up in the morning", well, let's just put it this way,the female you said it too is likely to give you a black eye.

Oh, doncha just love language?
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Old 19-06-2011, 10:30   #14
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Re: Boat Buying Checklist

I found " Inpecting the Aging Sailboat": by Don Casey to be quite helpful.

Best of luck with your purchase.
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Old 19-06-2011, 12:40   #15
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Re: Boat Buying Checklist

I have a list I made a while back, mostly to remind me to check some things....once you get to the boat it's easy to get distracted... you need Excel to open it...
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