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Old 01-01-2015, 10:54   #1
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Buying a boat. What is a fair question?

Is it a fair question to ask the boat's owner if to their knowledge their boat has ever had a casuality? When I bring this up to a broker they all direct me to something related to a carmax reporting system. Which as in the case of the ones for autos, they sometimes hide more then reveal. Thanks for any input.
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Old 01-01-2015, 11:01   #2
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Re: Buying a boat. What is a fair question?

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Originally Posted by lsearite View Post
Is it a fair question to ask the boat's owner if to their knowledge their boat has ever had a casuality? When I bring this up to a broker they all direct me to something related to a carmax reporting system. Which as in the case of the ones for autos, they sometimes hide more then reveal. Thanks for any input.
Louise
Louise , it's not only fair, it's crucial and it gives you great "comeback power" if defects are hidden. Read the BoatUS article on the boating version of Carfax.
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Old 01-01-2015, 11:04   #3
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Re: Buying a boat. What is a fair question?

When considering all questions related to the condition and history of a boat that is for sale, I can't think of any "unfair" question.
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Old 01-01-2015, 11:12   #4
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Re: Buying a boat. What is a fair question?

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When considering all questions related to the condition and history of a boat that is for sale, I can't think of any "unfair" question.
Absolutely. Anything about the boat is totally fair game.

Now asking what happened on board after last year's Christmas party might be off limits.
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Old 01-01-2015, 11:18   #5
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Re: Buying a boat. What is a fair question?

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Louise , it's not only fair, it's crucial and it gives you great "comeback power" if defects are hidden. Read the BoatUS article on the boating version of Carfax.
Yes it's fair. After a couple bad "Blister Boats" that had had quick and dirty fixes to sell the boat....I started asking if the boat has ever had any blisters and if so ....to what extent. If I got an answer, and eventually made an offer on the boat... I included a statement for the owner to sign stating what I was told! That will get you a real clear answer... Never take what the Broker says as legitimate.


I cant imagine any place like Carfax being any better for boats than it is for cars. There may be info on those sites, but what you don't know is the info that's missing...
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Old 02-01-2015, 00:15   #6
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Re: Buying a boat. What is a fair question?

When boat hunting, I used to send out a questionaire. It saved a lot of miles!

My questions included:

Why is she for sale?

How long in current ownership?

What sort of sailing has she done? Local cruising, blue water, previous owners, etc.

Is she afloat or ashore? If afloat, when do you plan to haul out for the winter?

Has the hull had an anti osmosis treatment?

Has she been subject to a heavy grounding/accident?

When were all the antifouling removed and the hull taken back to bare gel coat?

Has the engine been overhauled or rebuilt?

Have the gearbox splines been modified? This is a well known weakness on the 2000 series engines.

When was the fuel tank removed/cleaned?

When where the water tanks last cleaned?

How old is the standing and running rigging?

What make is the headsail furling gear?

When were the gas flexible hoses replaced?

Has she been rewired?

Is the upholstery original?

Is the teak deck/cockpit teak original? Has it been recaulked or refurbished?

Any other major work carried out?


Of course, a good survey is essential.
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Old 02-01-2015, 08:33   #7
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Re: Buying a boat. What is a fair question?

Thanks to everybody for all the good comments/advice. I think I need to get me head on straight and put this broker on notice that trying to appease me an't gett'n it. Several things he has actied a little indignant about. Thanks again!
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Old 02-01-2015, 08:37   #8
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Re: Buying a boat. What is a fair question?

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Thanks to everybody for all the good comments/advice. I think I need to get me head on straight and put this broker on notice that trying to appease me an't gett'n it. Several things he has actied a little indignant about. Thanks again!

If the broker is getting an attitude then time to put him on notice that you're a serious buyer and if the attitude continues you will go elsewhere.

After all, you're the customer and (most of the time) the customer is right.
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Old 02-01-2015, 08:49   #9
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Re: Buying a boat. What is a fair question?

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Absolutely. Anything about the boat is totally fair game.

Now asking what happened on board after last year's Christmas party might be off limits.
HA HA Skip... I was thinking this very thing...
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Old 02-01-2015, 08:54   #10
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Re: Buying a boat. What is a fair question?

Indignant?!? Unless you have been jerking this dealer around for a long time, he should at least pretend to be on your side.
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Old 02-01-2015, 09:04   #11
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Re: Buying a boat. What is a fair question?

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Originally Posted by lsearite View Post
Thanks to everybody for all the good comments/advice. I think I need to get me head on straight and put this broker on notice that trying to appease me an't gett'n it. Several things he has actied a little indignant about. Thanks again!
In our area there are many brokers. I met quite a few before finding the ones that were a good personality match for me and had an inventory matching my expectations. The brokers that treated me like an idiot were soon dispatched. The brokers that treated me kindly, took the effort to understand my needs, and helped educate me on the buying process earned my loyalty and their commission.
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Old 02-01-2015, 10:06   #12
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Re: Buying a boat. What is a fair question?

I'm not sure where people dying on the boat factors in unless there a design flaw damage that caused the fatality.

But asking about accidents or any damage, the boat has been involved in is completely legitimate. A refusal to answer and I assume the worst.
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Old 02-01-2015, 10:06   #13
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Re: Buying a boat. What is a fair question?

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HA HA Skip... I was thinking this very thing...
I thought about this because of one of my previous boats. Years ago I bought a 63' steel ketch from a very nice Englishman. When we started cleaning out the boat to move onboard I found a painting of the PO wearing a Nazi cap, panties, black stockings and garters. The boat was upholstered in red velvet.

I was very, very afraid to ask.

Kind of wish I had kept the painting. What a conversation starter.
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Old 02-01-2015, 10:11   #14
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Re: Buying a boat. What is a fair question?

Any and all questions are fair but remember you may not get an honest answer. Here is my best don't ever use this broker again story:

Drove from Newport area to Alameda to see boat. Had to rent a motel room.
Called broker to let him know we had arrived and agreed to meet at dock next morning.
Arrived at boat 20 min before broker the next morning.
After waiting an hour we called broker, he was still in bed. Said he'd be there in 20.
Waited another 45 min.
Broker showed up smelling of alcohol as in if you lit a bic in front of his lips he'd explode. He was trying not to throw up the entire time we looked at this awful boat.
Gross experience and expensive waste of time and money.
Brokers are a dime a dozen, find a good one and the next deal he'll get back at you somehow. Same with insurance agents and realtors.
One step above a car salesman.

Sorry so negative but that is a true story and the rest I believe I have experienced in real time.
Good luck to boat buyers everywhere!
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Old 02-01-2015, 10:16   #15
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Re: Buying a boat. What is a fair question?

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Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
I thought about this because of one of my previous boats. Years ago I bought a 63' steel ketch from a very nice Englishman. When we started cleaning out the boat to move onboard I found a painting of the PO wearing a Nazi cap, panties, black stockings and garters. The boat was upholstered in red velvet.

I was very, very afraid to ask.

Kind of wish I had kept the painting. What a conversation starter.
OMG... That's hilarious!

A PAINTING to boot... As in... I put a lot of thought and purposeful effort into this endeavor vs. an inebriated moment of indiscretion!
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