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Old 18-07-2014, 11:47   #16
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Re: No Survey?!

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Originally Posted by FromINtoKN View Post
This thread was supposed to be more in reference to would a person purchase a boat without a survey where the owner is adamant against one.
I think that's been answered. The answer is, it depends.

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To me, saying no survey means there is a deeper issue that the owner does not want someone to know about.
Maybe. Or maybe it means that the owner is hoping for a simple, quick sale without the hassles and delays involved in the traditional "survey and sea trial" process. This might be a really good deal for the right person, or it might be a nightmare in the making.

Which is exactly why the answer is, it depends.
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Old 18-07-2014, 12:11   #17
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Re: No Survey?!

This is one of those gross ugly slab sided boats that are probably still causing Bill Tipp to roll over in his grave. Notice they don't have a plan view picture of the boat trying to hide how ugly it is. These Columbias were cheaply built and seem to suffer disproportionately from core rot in the decks. Probably because the hardware wasn't bedded properly from cost cutting at the factory. Would look for another boat as the cost/labor involved in fixing large scale core rot is substantial. If you want a boat for a dockside condominium, they do have huge interior volume.
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Old 18-07-2014, 14:29   #18
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Re: No Survey?!

Looks like obvious paint damage on the bulkhead and cabin sides, which together with soft spots on the deck might mean extensive structural damage from water. Seller says "needs work" but doesn't say what, which means he's afraid it will scare you off if he discloses it. And he's probably right.

Soft spots on the deck of anything that big, can be a $25k yard bill. For a DIY job, they can be a dreambreaker. Which leaves the sucker, ergh, buyer, with forty feet of hazmat to have hauled away and disposed of, and liens from the storage yard to pay until it is gone.

Someone who has to get rid of a turkey can't afford to dictate terms like that. A scammer looking to skin the rubes, definitely will.

By all means, take a daytrip to look over the boat and explore places. But expect that it will be a gaping black hole to suck down money. Leave your checkbook at home, because you don't want to take any chances on being slick-talked into a deposit.
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Old 18-07-2014, 14:58   #19
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Re: No Survey?!

Buy a boat without a survey? Sure. If you can evaluate the boat and the effort and expense to bring it to the standards needed for it to be seaworthy and for you to love it.

Bought four without survey. One was a high quality boat from a builder with a great reputation who built boats designed by one of the most respected designers of sea-going small sailboats...and it was only a few years old and moderately well equipped. I never saw the boat until it was mine and had been trucked a thousand miles to meet me. I trusted my broker to do an inspection and records check and she didn't let me down. I was naive but that was thirty one years ago...still have the boat.

Second was the same model boat many years older that had sunk to deck level and was going to be parted out unless it was adopted by someone who would put her back up to snuff. A survey would have been a waste of time and money. Got it for a song and am happy with it. She sails today minimally equipped as a bay sailor and is slowly regaining her glow and charm.

Two others were smaller boats with great reputations that could be crawled over in a couple of hours and systems inspected by anyone with a little experience and a bit of engineering judgement. I crawled them and made offers that were accepted and bought them. I don't regret that no survey was done.

If a seller doesn't want a survey conducted that wouldn't be a cause of concern for me for an older and poorly maintained boat but I would be concerned if he refused me the all the crawl around and poke around time I needed for my own evaluation...and if he didn't want to allow me to bring someone along informally who knows the boat design and construction that is being evaluated.

If the amount of money you are risking by not surveying is relatively small and you have the experience and good judgment to inspect then a survey might not be needed. You have to make the call based on your skills and time available and financial situation...and the boat you are considering buying.
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Old 18-07-2014, 16:40   #20
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Re: No Survey?!

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post

Soft spots on the deck of anything that big, can be a $25k yard bill. For a DIY job, they can be a dreambreaker. Which leaves the sucker, ergh, buyer, with forty feet of hazmat to have hauled away and disposed of,

Read the Rebel Heart thread and see what a sodt spot can really mean.
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Old 18-07-2014, 17:01   #21
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Re: No Survey?!

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1971 Columbia 39 sailboat for sale in Virginia

Would anyone here purchase a project boat without a survey being conducted on it? I am looking for a project boat but I could not fathom buying anything out of water (okay, even in water) without a professional surveyor assessing the boat for me.
Even with more than 40 years of sailing time, 30 years of boat ownership experience and 50 + years of going to sea would I ever again buy a boat without a survey. Did it twice. I was lucky once.

And, a project boat that is not currently sailing is not a dream but a money pit nightmare. It will anchor you to that project boat and not allow you to purchase something that comes along that is truly a dream come true at the right price.

Good luck in your decision whichever way you decide to go. All we can do here at CF is offer our opinions based on our experiences. We don't know your experiences.
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Old 18-07-2014, 17:11   #22
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Post Re: No Survey?!

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Hmm, didn't think I needed to include a life story in a post.
Welcome to CF, where everyone expects to get in yer business...

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I work full time as a Program Manager for a rather large company, and I want a project boat to take me away from my phone and tablet. Money is not the issue for what boat I am buying, nor is being able to "look" at a boat and see the condition of it on the outside areas. I was more worried about things that I do not yet know but am apt to learn.
If you have weekends and vacations to work on a boat do not get a boat that needs structural repairs or major rigging work. Or at least don't expect to go sailing for about 5 years.


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This thread was supposed to be more in reference to would a person purchase a boat without a survey where the owner is adamant against one. I just threw that link in there as an example of a boat presently on the market that states no surveys. To me, saying no survey means there is a deeper issue that the owner does not want someone to know about. I don't think the seller in this ad is being dishonest about anything or trying to hide something, but by stating no survey's it gives off that appearance.
I think you are saying that this owner is being unreasonable in his limitation that he won't allow a professional survey.

Most agree with you. Some are interpreting this as the owner has disclosed that this is a project boat and that if you can't evaluate it yourself you shouldn't buy it.

Would I buy a boat with no survey - Yes. If I were in the market for a project boat I would go look and talk to this guy and see what his story is and look at the boat (carefully) and figure out what his deal it.

I would randomly judge him on an internet forum.

We have no idea what's on this guys mind.

Now if I were buying a complex, non-project boat I definitely would get a survey. I'm a pretty mechanical guy but there is a ton I don't know. I (personally) would find a surveyor that I could shadow on the boat and watch - but that's me...
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Old 18-07-2014, 17:13   #23
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Re: No Survey?!

Why survey a boat if you want a project?

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Old 18-07-2014, 18:54   #24
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Re: No Survey?!

Since the money isn't the issue here, and since the OP seems to think he'll enjoy learning about working on boats, why should we not encourage him? it's his life, his time, his money.

IMO, that deck soft spots are disclosed is a huge warning. I'd want to see how big they are. One or two small ones, no biggie, vs. the possibility of having to rebuild the whole deck structure. Yuck. But the OP's mileage may vary on that. Maybe he'd find it fun scooping out smelly rotten balsa, or whatever it's cored with--how about rotted plywood?.

Good luck with it. Unless you walk away, I think you're going to need luck. Project boats are money pits, but some people enjoy learning to be shipwrights.

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Old 19-07-2014, 12:29   #25
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Re: No Survey?!

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Even with more than 40 years of sailing time, 30 years of boat ownership experience and 50 + years of going to sea would I ever again buy a boat without a survey. Did it twice. I was lucky once.

And, a project boat that is not currently sailing is not a dream but a money pit nightmare. It will anchor you to that project boat and not allow you to purchase something that comes along that is truly a dream come true at the right price.

Good luck in your decision whichever way you decide to go. All we can do here at CF is offer our opinions based on our experiences. We don't know your experiences.
I have to amend what I said before since I read the ad and looked at the photos. I gave some bitter advice since I got taken once. This project looks much better than mine and is way less than half what I paid so if you want to learn how to replace soft decks then the next thing I'd advise is to be very cautious about chainplates. That's where I'd get a surveyor's opinion. Remember that whatever you invest you must be willing to cut as a possible loss.
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Old 19-07-2014, 13:42   #26
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Re: No Survey?!

The presence of soft spots in the deck may be a structural problem or it may be a cosmetic problem. If a buyer is not able to evaluate the significance of the soft spots on a deck and, at the same time, they are unwilling to risk the purchase price, then a survey would be needed.

..... otherwise the cost might just be the entry ticket to a project adventure.
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