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Old 31-03-2011, 06:54   #1
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Survey: Who Should Pay ?

I'm looking at a boat in on the East coast, I'm on the west. The owner said he would not pay for a survey, I didn't expect him to, but he also wants me to pay for his lodging while the boat is out of the water. I expect the survey to be done mostly in the water but a quick haul to look at the bottom and back in, less than a day. Still, I can do it, but I don't think it's necessary or proper.

Next he says that he wants the next owner to be "worthy" of the boat, and he's thinking he might take it off the market.

My question is, if I spend the money to cross the country to look at the boat, pay for the survey, the quick haul, and his night in the hotel, and then he decides I'm "unworthy", do you think I have a case to take him to court and get all my money back or force the sale? (I estimate it would be about $5000 at this point.)
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Old 31-03-2011, 06:57   #2
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Re: Just wondering what ya'll think.

He sounds a bit like a nutter to me, and not all nutters are bad!! Simply tell him that you're not willing to spend that much on a boat that may not be up for sale. Then get him to send a signed letter declaring that he is offering the boat for sale. If he's as barmy as he sounds, that should force him into a decision one way or the other.
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Old 31-03-2011, 07:28   #3
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Re: Just wondering what ya'll think.

Considering the economy, and the fact that is a buyers market why would you consider traveling accross the country to look at this guys boat? Is the boat the most special craft you have ever seen for a bargin basement price? Sounds to me like this experience is already causing pain and you haven't even been to the vessel yet, were is going to go from here?

As posted above my first thought was your dealing with a nut job.
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Old 31-03-2011, 07:58   #4
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Re: Just wondering what ya'll think.

If you are going to spend that much just to look at this boat, book a trip to the Rio Dulce and go boat shopping there. They go there and never leave. You can get a real bargain there.
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Old 31-03-2011, 08:07   #5
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Re: Just wondering what ya'll think.

Having been in the boat business I have seen pleny of owners that kind of wanted to sell or even needed to sell their boat but were too emotionally attached to do it. The most common symptoms are like you describe, often includes asking an unreasonable price for the boat compared to similar boats on the market.

I would be extremely reluctant to invest in a trip across country, survey, etc without some written guarantee from the seller that he would not back out. This should include a signed sales agreement (of course subject to your acceptance of the survey) locking in the price and all terms of the deal. The agreement should also include his agreement to pay all of your expenses for travel and survey if you accept the deal and he backs out or changes his mind.

It is standard for the buyer to pay all costs for the haul, survey and any related expenses but not for the seller's personal expenses. It would be extemely unusual for a survey to take overnight so no need for the seller to rent a room anyway.

To me it sounds like this guy is a prime candidate for changing his mind and leaving you holding the bag. Don't book the trip without something in writing.
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Old 31-03-2011, 08:09   #6
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Re: Just wondering what ya'll think.

While its fairly typical for the prospective buyer to pay for the survey, this business about you paying for his lodging is, well...its a load of crap. There are other boats out there, I'd move on.
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Old 31-03-2011, 08:14   #7
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Re: Just wondering what ya'll think.

What Skipmac and Mimsy said - in spades.
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Old 31-03-2011, 08:29   #8
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Re: Survey: Who Should Pay?

To answer your question: No, I don't think you have a case. Assuming you go forward as described, you went willingly and with the information that this idiot actually wants you to pass an audition before selling the boat to you. That is his stated position. What part of that are you confused about?

Your question implies to me that what you really want is a guarantee that he will sell you the boat if you choose to buy it after spending the money to inspect it. From what you have described about his expectations and state of indecision (not to mention that he is currently living aboard with no alternate living arrangements), I don't think you will get that guarantee from him, and without that, I don't think that a court will find in your favor and force the guy to reimburse you.

The things this seller has already said to you should be considered a very loud warning signal that you should run, not walk, away from this. Find a boat with a serious seller.
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Old 31-03-2011, 08:38   #9
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Re: Survey: Who Should Pay?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don1500 View Post
I'm looking at a boat in on the East coast, ...
My question is, if I spend the money to cross the country to look at the boat, pay for the survey, the quick haul, and his night in the hotel, and then he decides I'm "unworthy", do you think I have a case to take him to court and get all my money back or force the sale? (I estimate it would be about $5000 at this point.)
FWIW an acceptable Report of Survey is normally a contingency to an already agreed sale. One would not undertake the expense of a haul and survey unless one already had a firm purchase agreement. While there may be further price negotiation following a Survey depending upon the the Report, at that point the decision to close the sale is the buyer's, not the seller's.

Further, the haul may be "in-and-out" but it commonly is not, particularly if you elect to close the sale as you may choose to have work done on the boat, or have it preped for shipment. In such event the Seller would normally be off the boat anyway although you might give him or her an opportunity to return aboard to recover personal property not included in the sale (although his or her return should not be unaccompanied against the possibility that equipment might be removed or substituted ex post facto which you only discover too late to do much about it--as happened to me). Given the foregoing, the Seller's cost for temporary accomodaton would be his own. Accordingly, I suggest you agree to foot the bill for a one-night stand if the sale is not closed but otherwise, the cost of the accomodation is to be credited against the sale price at the closing and transfer of title. (Further, ensure there is a title search done on the boat before you pay for a survey!).

Frankly, there's no shortage of yachts available for purchase. Accordingly, if the deal doesn't fit your requirements, don't do it. There's never a last great opportunity.
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Old 31-03-2011, 09:14   #10
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Re: Survey: Who Should Pay?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don1500 View Post
I'm looking at a boat in on the East coast, I'm on the west. The owner said he would not pay for a survey, I didn't expect him to, but he also wants me to pay for his lodging while the boat is out of the water. I expect the survey to be done mostly in the water but a quick haul to look at the bottom and back in, less than a day. Still, I can do it, but I don't think it's necessary or proper.

Next he says that he wants the next owner to be "worthy" of the boat, and he's thinking he might take it off the market.

My question is, if I spend the money to cross the country to look at the boat, pay for the survey, the quick haul, and his night in the hotel, and then he decides I'm "unworthy", do you think I have a case to take him to court and get all my money back or force the sale? (I estimate it would be about $5000 at this point.)
Run away. You know there's only one thing that is produced when dealing with an a-hole.
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Old 31-03-2011, 09:24   #11
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Re: Survey: Who Should Pay?

Actually it LOOKs like a good deal, a 38' Boat, well maintained (He says), a good sturdy design, all for <$20,000. Anything normal I could overlook at that price, my budget can stand a total of $30,000 - $40,000 more if needed to refit. But the low price, and the attempt to discourage a survey, tend to have me wondering. I would need a survey for insurance purposes anyway so I expect to pay.

I would be adding this destination to my east coast tour. And I only expect to survey one boat, the one I buy. I will have done an interior/top side survey myself and accepted what I saw before having a professional do his work. I would never call in a survey before seeing the boat myself.

There are too many boats on the market to worry too much about this one. I've been saying that about a lot of boats in the past year.
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Old 31-03-2011, 09:32   #12
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Re: Survey: Who Should Pay?

Okay, so maybe he really is a nutter - perhaps on the senile side, and he's fallen in love with his boat, and really does want it to go to a good home... If you're visiting that way anyway, I really don't see the problem. You'll be able to suss out how serious he is in person, before committing.

I feel sorry for the old geezer already.
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Old 31-03-2011, 09:39   #13
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Re: Survey: Who Should Pay?

Quote:
What svHyLyte said:

"One would not undertake the expense of a haul and survey unless one already had a firm purchase agreement."
If you have a signed sales contract, which doesn't include any clause allowing him to arbitrarily change his mind, then he cannot back-out just because you are not "worthy." If he tries, then you definitely have a case for taking him to court to sue for "specific performance" (which means the court FORCES him to go through with the sale).

Under NO circumstances should you be paying for his lodging!
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Old 31-03-2011, 09:41   #14
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Re: Survey: Who Should Pay?

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Originally Posted by Saucy Sailoress View Post

I feel sorry for the old geezer already.
He ain't that old(<55). I got him beat in that respect.
Like I said, it will be a stop on the tour. I'll worry about the survey if and when it happens.
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Old 31-03-2011, 09:52   #15
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Re: Survey: Who Should Pay?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don1500 View Post
My question is, if I spend the money to cross the country to look at the boat, pay for the survey, the quick haul, and his night in the hotel, and then he decides I'm "unworthy", do you think I have a case to take him to court and get all my money back or force the sale? (I estimate it would be about $5000 at this point.)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Don1500 View Post
I would be adding this destination to my east coast tour. And I only expect to survey one boat, the one I buy.

There are too many boats on the market to worry too much about this one. I've been saying that about a lot of boats in the past year.
Wait a minute.... you wanted our opinion on whether you can take this guy to court for the expense of inspecting his boat, and now you admit that you are actually coming to "tour" the east coast to inspect a number of different boats?

The forum decorum prevents me from providing a further opinion.
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