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Old 10-03-2017, 01:18   #1
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Buying my first boat, need some advice after survey.

Hi all,

I need some help. I've been looking for a boat for over 2.5yrs (Asia) and struggling to find the right one for the right price. I thought I'd found the right one 33ft motor sailor agreed £25k (GPB) pending nothing major bad on the survey.

Survey came back with the hull having osmosis and a soft area at the bow needing investigated at next haul out. Few other things minor but at a 1976 boat I'm not stupid I expect the ongoing stuff to attend to.

The osmosis is a bit disappointing but the owner has agreed to drop the price by 2k. What really bothers me is the surveyor valuation was only 20k (usd) approx £16500k way below what I expected.

I offered £17500 thinking I should stay around the valuation but the owner won't even entertain that low.
Is it pointless for me to offer anything above the valuation even though I like the boat?
Is it normal for valuations to come in so low all things considered I've not seen anything as nice as this boat for the price and I'm not sure if I should up my price or just walk away.

Thought would be appreciated.

Scottie Dog
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Old 10-03-2017, 02:35   #2
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Re: Buying my first boat, need some advice after survey.

I need pictures to think. You know. It's just one of those things.

I tried thinking about it but then thought to myself "Hmm, what am I thinking about ?".
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Old 10-03-2017, 05:29   #3
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Re: Buying my first boat, need some advice after survey.

Why pics I'm not asking for your opinion on what the boat looks like🙄??
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Old 10-03-2017, 05:36   #4
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Re: Buying my first boat, need some advice after survey.

I am a total newbie and in no way an expert but the difference between asking price and valuation price seems like a red flag to me.
What is the boat model? Where will you purchase this boat?
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Old 10-03-2017, 05:54   #5
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pirate Re: Buying my first boat, need some advice after survey.

As the agreed price is in GBP (£'s) I assume the seller is a Brit.. its quite normal for Brits to factor in a Location, Location, Location Premium into the price.. just got to look at some of the crap for sale in the Med 1/3rd plus over UK prices for the same boats..
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Old 10-03-2017, 06:15   #6
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Re: Buying my first boat, need some advice after survey.

I think too many variables to give an exact answer.

1. Osmosis? By this, does the surveyor mean there are blisters in the fiberglass of the hull? If so, how many, how large and especially how deep? Is there any delamination in the glass around the blisters?

2. Soft area on the bow. How big? How soft? How wet is the core? Is the core end grain balsa or plywood? Is there rot in the core? Will the seller allow you to remove a deck fitting in the area to examine the core?

3. Price. What are other boats of the same make/model/year listed for? Check the internet and compare price even if similar boats are in other parts of the world just to get a feel for the value of that boat.

4. How much will it take to repair any serious IE structural issues based on 1 and 2 above? Can you do it yourself or have to hire a yard? If the later and the issues are extensive then the cost could be more than the value of the boat. If you can't get a more accurate determination of the extent of problems in 1 and 2 then it will be impossible to answer this question. Also remember the very true common wisdom of boat repairs. "Any major boat repair project will cost twice as much and take twice as long as you estimate."

The problems reported could be minor or major. The only way to answer this question is to get more information on how major or minor.
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Old 10-03-2017, 07:33   #7
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Re: Buying my first boat, need some advice after survey.

Like there are no boats without osmosis and soft spots?

Why get stuck. Move on. Find something sound.

Make up your mind if you are into boat repair or boat sailing part of the game.

If you are into boat repair, get something VERY worn out - you will have better bang for your buck this way.

If you are into sailing, get something that does not have issues that require cutting, grinding, laminating and other such time, skill and labour demanding projects.

Cheers,
b.
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Old 10-03-2017, 08:38   #8
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Re: Buying my first boat, need some advice after survey.

Hi.
I just went through a similar type of search and after a very long time, found a boat that I could agree on with all things taken into consideration. To keep it simple as some here don't seem to want to do, buy what you want. if you can't find or afford that, buy what you can be happy with given whatever it takes to get it to where you want it.
As for repairs, get a tech to come and look at the damage and give you a estimate for the repairs. Add all those estimates to the purchase price of the boat, add a couple of thousand more, and if you are happy with that as a finished product then do it. If you are not happy with the deal, DON"T BUY IT. I know it is tough to walk away after mentally preparing for the purchase and going to survey but don't make an emotional decision. I walked away twice after going through and paying for two surveys. It sucked but it was the correct decision. Good luck.
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Old 10-03-2017, 09:00   #9
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Re: Buying my first boat, need some advice after survey.

You are approaching it all wrong. It should not be your concern what the seller thinks or wants. That's up to him. What your goal is or should be is to buy the boat at the price level which will reflect whatever needs to be done to make her decent and still stay within her current market value. So given that the survey came out at 16K#s, less 2k#s to fix whatever needs fixing, less whatever else you or a pro hired by you will find on top of what the surveyor found and you should come out with an offer of 10-12K#s and probably end up somewhere between 12 and 14#s. If the seller is not OK with that price then you move on to look for another boat. You need to realize that there are many more 70s vintage 30-35' boats in decent shape than there are buyers willing to pay more than what the sellers owes to the yard or marina for storage. Unless of course the boat is a highly desirable and very well maintained (both conditions are key here) make and model. But given that the surveyor came up with 16K#s as FMV I don't think this one qualifies.
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Old 10-03-2017, 09:25   #10
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Re: Buying my first boat, need some advice after survey.

On the other hand, if you like the boat and the only thing stopping you is that you think the current owner has it overpriced by 10%, I wouldn't worry about it. You're looking for a good boat, not a good deal, and if you have to pay a bit more than you think you should to get the right boat, that's better than getting a great deal on the wrong boat. Boats arent like cars where the supply is endless. They are more like houses: when you see something you finally like, the price just needs to be reasonable. Trying to get the right boat for a great price will have you waiting another 2.5 years.
Did you ask the surveyor what the basis was for his valuation? He may simply have taken the list price and deducted the cost of the repairs he thinks are necessary, without considering that the owner has already reflected some repair costs in the list price. Have you asked a local broker his opinion of the price is? I would value their opinion more than the surveyors.
Anyways, good luck in your search.
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Old 10-03-2017, 09:33   #11
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Re: Buying my first boat, need some advice after survey.

Serious osmotic blistering will require that the gel coat on the submerged part of the hull be completely peeled, then the hull dried, then a multi layer epoxy barrier coat applied before new bottom paint is applied..
The deck delamination may be irreparable at reasonable cost, but depending on what you're going to do with the boat may not be much of a factor until you want to sell her to an ocean going sailor.
BUT
If the engine, fuel tank, exhaust system and other engine related equipment are worn out or close to it, you are looking at a lot of money to replace them. In my own boating experience, these have been the most expensive items on old boats and are often under-reported in a sailboat survey.

Good luck
John Mardall
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Old 10-03-2017, 09:36   #12
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Re: Buying my first boat, need some advice after survey.

Scottie Dog.
Lots of great advice here. Follow your head and not your heart. It's a straight line decision on $$$ and not what the owner thinks. Your $$$ impact is going to be much greater than what you see in the survey and on the surface of this deal. There are a lot of boats out there. Do a better job on your own evaluation before taking a boat to survey. If you don't have that experience find people who do to help you. Good Luck. From what you have related I would pass this one up.
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Old 10-03-2017, 10:27   #13
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Re: Buying my first boat, need some advice after survey.

I would not get too hung up on the surveyor's valuation. It's basically a guesstimate based on looking at comparable boats in the area in terms of age, model, construction, etc. If there are not a number of the exact type of boat arounds, he's basically throwing darts over his shoulder.

The one consideration is that insurers often peg the replacement value at surveyor's assessed value, so if you pay more than the assessed value and the boat sinks tomorrow, you're out the difference right out of the gate.

Saying the boat suffers from "osmosis" is very general. It could be insignificant, or it could be very serious. Assuming you're looking at a full bottom job, that could be more or less expensive depending on where you are and the process and materials used.

Soft deck...not the end of the world, in general, but again the seriousness and cost to repair can vary wildly depending on how much, where it is, etc.

As for your two questions, IMHO:

1) No, if you really want the boat, expect to keep it for awhile, expect to fix the problems and don't mind having more money into the boat than you'll ever get out of it, which is usually the case the day after purchase anyway. It's all a matter of degree.

2) It's normal to see valuations all over the place. When I bought my boat, the surveyor pegged the value at the agreed on purchase price. When I asked him how he arrived at that number, he said he asked the selling broker what the purchase price was, lol. It was not a big deal as the price was subsequently negotiated down and now five years on and much effort and money invested in the boat, it's irrelevant.
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Old 10-03-2017, 10:45   #14
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Re: Buying my first boat, need some advice after survey.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scottie Dog View Post
Hi all,

I need some help. I've been looking for a boat for over 2.5yrs (Asia) and struggling to find the right one for the right price. I thought I'd found the right one 33ft motor sailor agreed £25k (GPB) pending nothing major bad on the survey.

Survey came back with the hull having osmosis and a soft area at the bow needing investigated at next haul out. Few other things minor but at a 1976 boat I'm not stupid I expect the ongoing stuff to attend to.

The osmosis is a bit disappointing but the owner has agreed to drop the price by 2k. What really bothers me is the surveyor valuation was only 20k (usd) approx £16500k way below what I expected.

I offered £17500 thinking I should stay around the valuation but the owner won't even entertain that low.
Is it pointless for me to offer anything above the valuation even though I like the boat?
Is it normal for valuations to come in so low all things considered I've not seen anything as nice as this boat for the price and I'm not sure if I should up my price or just walk away.

Thought would be appreciated.

Scottie Dog
I'm am confused? Was it an in water survey that found osmosis around the bow. If so walk away. Next haul out could mean two things.
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Old 10-03-2017, 11:07   #15
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Re: Buying my first boat, need some advice after survey.

What I get out of this is that the osmosis was a surprise to both the seller and you. To me the problem is serious, mostly because the degree is an unknown. Could the next step be a repair at the present owner's cost, which, if successfully accomplished, would mean that you buy the boat at the previously agreed price or only a small reduction? Given the complication possibilities and the uncertainty of the cost, perhaps an escrow arrangement would be possible. Banks are usually reliable, although the exact terms may need tweaking to provide for escrow fees and finalization of the transaction. Otherwise, you may want to shut down the deal or go ahead, depending upon your own decision process. Bottom line, the problem is (almost) certainly correctable, but the cost and quality of the result is not so certain. Also, depending upon you exact location (Malaysia or Hong Kong would be my first guesses) you also need to consider the skills of those doing the repairs. Good luck, and keep in the game with this one or another.
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