Thanks, everyone, for the advice and replies. All very good insight, and yes - I am new to this whole boat buying
thing (is it that obvious?!
). Although I live a mere 75 minutes from one of the sailing capitals of the world (Annapolis) it seems most of the boats that interest me are either hundreds of miles north or hundreds of miles south. Based on the (almost) consensus opinion, I'd have to shell out some travel money
just to see 1 or 2 of the most appealing boats so that any offer I make would be considered legit. I get that. The question then becomes how does one avoid having a boat sold out from underneath them between making the travel arrangements and getting to the desired boat's location? I'd hate to drop a grand in airfare, hotel
, and rental car only to get to the marina and be told "sorry, we just sold her". The advice rendered so far doesn't seem to address that, but given the collective brainpower of this site and particularly this thread I'm confident there's an acceptible answer.
Another aspect of this adventure for which I welcome advice is after the closing. I am absolutely not a tire-kicker so I'm going on the premise that I will buy A
boat, just not sure WHICH
boat. Once I close on the boat I would want to get her back to a marina near my home (see above). Ideally I would sail her home, which means I'd want to know going into the deal that she's seaworthy
enough for that trip. Yet not being experienced and technically knowledgeable enough to make that assessment upon my initial inspection
I would need to rely on a surveyor's findings. If the survey
yields results that indicate the vessel would require repairs
that are substantial enough to require that the boat be fixed in place, I may want to back out and pursue another boat. I realize that many of you reading this are already thinking "yeah, so....you back out and walk away". However, I'm trying to avoid throwing money
away in the discovery process. If I spend a thousand bucks to conduct an initial inspection
, then spend (insert reasonable number here) on a survey
only to learn that the boat isn't as turn-key as I hope - and I end up repeating this several times - it would eat into the budget
I have set aside for the purchase
I've read horror stories about buyers who upon seeing the object of their desire for the first time in person were shocked at her state of disrepair and wondered where the hell the seller/broker got the photos and description. Yet by that time the buyer had already dropped hundreds or thousands of dollars into just taking a look with no recourse.
Perhaps this explains my now-generally-scoffed-at approach so I'm wondering: does everyone who buys a boat not in their backyard just suck it up and take their chances on these potentially costly steps? If that's what I gotta do then that's what I gotta do. I was hoping the smart and experienced ones among you could share with me a variation of the process that protects the buyer from paying for their own lack of deep knowledge or from frivolously deceptive advertising.
Again, thanks for the advice. I'm glad I found this forum. It's always great to learn from people who have traveled a path.