After much consideration me and my husband thought we found our new 48' sailboat. We put a offer down pending Survey
Sea trial. We viewed the sailboat twice and asked about any major issues that we should be aware off. We told the broker that if the boat had major mechanical issues or structural damage we were not even interested. We were told by the broker that the engine
top end had been rebuilt. He told us the motor
was solid, there was just a small leak in the transmission coolant
line. We were told the deficiency would be fixed prior to the survey
( to include haul out
and sea trial). The contract
was made on the 23rd of January. He had until the 16th of February to fix this issue.
The survey was today ( 16 February ). Today when myself, my husband and the surveyor
showed up the broker told us that we might have a issue because for some reason the motor
isn't starting. He assumed it was the batteries and if not would have a mechanic
in that morning to fix whatever "minor" issue was going on. It was not the batteries. The mechanic
showed up, sprayed some ether in the engine
, the engine started and ran ( harshly and at a very low rpm). The mechanic ran it for 3 minutes, shut it down, tried to restart and it would not start. Then he stated that the transmission coolant
line had not been fixed and that the transmission probably needs to be replaced. The surveyor
inspected the gear
box and found it was dry of any transmission fluid. The motor also had other major issues that made sea trial and haul out
impossible. The broker told us these were issues that the owner and himself were aware of weeks ago (before we initially viewed the boat). He said he had told the owner to fix them. He did not tell us about these issues prior. We stated multiple times since day one that we were ONLY interested in the boat if it could be surveyed sea trialed. He agreed to this and it was added in the contract
When we showed up today it was not capable to be moved under its own power. We were not given any prior notification of this issue. So we showed up with our surveyor and proceeded with the survey not having the knowledge that the motor had major issues and that the transmission leak had not been repaired ( the broker was well aware of this ). The broker had us initiate the survey even though he knew the boat could not be hauled out or sea trialed. This was contrary to the contractual agreement. He did not tell us the haul out was a no go until mid afternoon.
The broker had no information that the surveyor needed even though he was supposed to obtain the knowledge from the owner. His answer to the surveyors questions were most often " I don't know it's not my boat". He proceeded to become more and more rude as the day went on. From the moment we showed up untill the moment we left the impression we got was he was more interested in getting the survey and not interested in even selling the boat. He asked repeatedly for a free copy of the survey throughout the day. He told our broker and us that we could just pay for sea tow if we wanted to have the boat pulled for inspection
. We stated that the only way we would even consider purchasing
this boat was if a certified Perkins
mechanic could come out and inspect the motor. The broker refused and only wanted to use his mechanic. He said there is only 1 Perkins
mechanic in the whole Cortez / Bradenton FL area and that the mechanic was not reputable so he would not allow that. He said if we wanted to proceed with the buying
process we would have to pay sea tow to take the boat to the yard another day. Reschedule an additional survey for the haul out and sea trial then negotiate on price
with the "new" deficiencies.
Is this a breach of contract since the boat could not be sea trialed and hauled out even though the contract explicitly stated this was a requirement? Also, both the broker and owner were aware of major issues on the boat that they did not tell us about prior to the contract. Isn't a broker required to be honest about the condition of a boat?
To add insult to injury, after all was said and done the broker told us he made a good faith effort to get the boat in operable condition so he was entitled to the survey! FOR FREE! This broker was not only unprofessional, rude and a liar but he also went the extra mile and threatened arbitration for the survey when he figured out we did not want anything to do with him or this sale!
Please tell me this is illegal. We feel that this broker had no intention of ever making this boat sale
happen and that he just wanted a free survey.
Does anyone know who we can contact about this broker?
Can we put a lien on the boat or sue the broker / owner for the in water
Any information would be helpful. We feel like we have been had and we don't want another sailor walking into this trap!