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Old 18-01-2011, 18:33   #1
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How to Buy a Boat . . .

I got a lead on a boat, a power boat, from someone on this "sailing" forum.
It's going to cost me a couple of days and a night in a hotel to go see it.
What's the normal procedure before I spend that mula?
Should I throw out an offer first, contingent on personal and professional inspections or what?
Are there some basic steps to follow?
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Old 18-01-2011, 18:54   #2
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A little depends, but like anything, you make an offer, they accept, decline or counter. You negotiate from there and settle on a price. That offer is often contingent upon a survey or personal inspection..etc.

If going through a broker, they likely have standard agreements, otherwise you'll want to come up with something that suits you. After you've inspected or had a survey, you could negotiate further if there are more issues than expected.
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Old 18-01-2011, 18:55   #3
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pix, please.

then survey , make offer,-dont forget to pretend ye dont have any interest in this boat..
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Old 18-01-2011, 19:15   #4
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pix, please.

then survey , make offer,-dont forget to pretend ye dont have any interest in this boat..


Can't do pics just yet ZZzzz. I'm trying to be coy. Whenever I see a boat I like, I do a search on it and often find it listed on a forum with people asking advice. I like it when others show me their hand but I don't like showing mine. Get it? Might not even be a power boat.
Now I gave away my advantage. Woman.
Thanks (really)-
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Old 18-01-2011, 19:25   #5
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See the boat first, then make an initial offer with the condition of a survey, then make your final offer (or walk away) after the survey.
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Old 18-01-2011, 19:32   #6
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Kenny... first off you want as many pictures interior/exterior as you can get...
ask if/when she was last surveyed...
can they scan and e-mail it to you...
if you still like it check out a surveyor near its location and drive down...
if your still liking what you see ask the surveyor to pop over for an hour or two to give you a 'quickie'... see if its worthwhile going further....
then make your offer based on what they want and the surveyors estimated value... subject of course to a satisfactory full survey....
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Old 18-01-2011, 19:45   #7
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i found taking pix of insides of lil hidey spaces is easier than sticking a face into a space wherein it could get stuck-- shows how those tiny spaces are maintained -----
bsides what they ^^^^ said....
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Old 18-01-2011, 19:51   #8
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i found taking pix of insides of lil hidey spaces is easier than sticking a face into a space wherein it could get stuck-- shows how those tiny spaces are maintained -----
bsides what they ^^^^ said....

Gotcha.
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Old 18-01-2011, 21:43   #9
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Kenny-
First come first serve. If you don't have an accepted offer (conditional on whatever) then you may very well travel down, check in, and find out you've wasted the trip. On the other hand, if you make the offer and place a deposit, you may find you've still wasted the trip and need to get the money back as well.
There's no sure and simple way, go with your gut on it. And remember that the brokers usually mean it when they say "believed but not known" and you sadly can't count on anything except whatever proofs you dig up on your own.
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Old 19-01-2011, 00:01   #10
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if you have to travel a long distance, you can always call the owner and ask if he will make a gentlemen's agreement with you not to sell until you have a chance to inspect the boat. They may or may not agree. But I feel that if you're going to invest a few hours of your time driving, that some consideration is due to you.

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Old 19-01-2011, 00:34   #11
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Cost benefit?

Why not work out how much the trip will cost and how much the boat is worth to you.

Multiply the cost of the trip by the number of boats that you expect to see and add this to the anticipated selling price.

If the answer is less than the asking price then it could be worth looking at the boat.

You can ask the broker for as many high quality images as possible, particularly of the engine.

If the boat and broker are readily accessible my favourite is to arrive unannounced. No time to work up a good presentation.
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Old 19-01-2011, 04:40   #12
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Well I reckon Kenny that you shouldn't ever make an offer, let alone put down any cash, on a boat you haven't crawled right over. Photos and descriptions mean nothing; it's what you find and how you feel after the crawl that matters.

So, maybe you miss out on this one. No big deal; there'll always be stacks of boats for sale.

I'm guessing that you live in a place where there are few boats for sale (otherwise you'd be buying local, right?) and that this boat is in a place where there are lots of boats for sale. If that's the case, make sure you have appointments that day to see some others as well.

That will make the trip seem more worthwhile and, if you subtly let the seller know of your busy diary, might even help with the sale price. Driving all the way and paying for a room gives the seller too much leverage, and this tactic might counter it a bit. Allabest.
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Old 19-01-2011, 05:15   #13
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I have just gone through this exercise in frustration, it can be an expensive part of buying a boat imo. You can go through thousands of dollars having boats surveyed, mechanical checks plus the haul out fees each time. So make sure that the boat you decide on is the one you want to pursue before getting all the checks done. You should be able to get a pretty good idea of what repair costs you will be up for by doing a personal inspection, don't listen to the broker as he is trying to make a commision on selling the boat. He is definitely not on your side.

Check the boat for cleanliness, you would be surprised how many sellers have done absolutely nothing to clean up their boat to sell it. If the seller cannot be bothered with the boats presentation then you can bet that they have not done much in the way of maintenance either.

I checked out a boat the other week that sound fantastic and the photos looked really good, I went to look at it in person and boy what an absolute let down it was. The smell damn near bowled me over as I stepped through the hatch to go below deck. This was a luxury cruiser that had obviously not been cared for in quite a while, even had dead roaches laying on the head compartment flooring. The mattress in the V berth was saturated where the hatch above it had been left open to allow the rain to get in. I could not get out of that boat quick enough. YUCK!!

Just remember that you as the buyer are responsible for picking up the bill for the haul out inspection unless you have negotiated otherwise with the broker.

Not sure on how the system works in the USA but here in Australia you cannot do a sea trial of a boat unless you first put a deposit down on it and sign a contract. The contract is written such that it is dependant on a successful sea trial, survey and mechanical report. Should the boat not pass any of these then the buyer can walk away from the deal and get their deposit back immediately. However you are still out of pocket for the survey, mechanical inspection and the haul out fee.

So in essence, choose wisely, look with your head and not your heart, there are thousands and thousands of boats on the market at any one time. It may be a great deal but experience has taught me that there will always be another great deal.
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Old 19-01-2011, 06:07   #14
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Lot's of good ideas. Thanks everyone.
Any problems buying a boat in Canada and bringng it into the States that I should know about?
Thanks again-
Kenny
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Old 19-01-2011, 19:46   #15
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Quote:
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I checked out a boat the other week that sound fantastic and the photos looked really good, I went to look at it in person and boy what an absolute let down it was. The smell damn near bowled me over as I stepped through the hatch to go below deck. This was a luxury cruiser that had obviously not been cared for in quite a while, even had dead roaches laying on the head compartment flooring. The mattress in the V berth was saturated where the hatch above it had been left open to allow the rain to get in. I could not get out of that boat quick enough. YUCK!!
Keep in mind though that dead roaches and wet mattresses can be a good thing in price negotiation. Most people walk away from such boats but these are minor inconveniences rather than real problems. You'll probably find that poor presentation means a price discounted by much more than the cost of a cleanup and that an otherwise sound but untidy/unclean boat can be a got for a real bargain price.

At the extreme end, I know of a boat bought ultra cheap because the stench of dead rats kept most people away from even boarding it. It's a ferro sloop, about 32', and is a very sound vessel. I'm told that it took about a year for the stench to disappear completely, but the owner thought the wait a small price to pay for an otherwise sound vessel. See the boat here: Angas Inlet: Ferro sloop Remy
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