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Old 16-07-2014, 12:24   #1
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No Survey?!

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.
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Old 16-07-2014, 17:23   #2
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Re: No Survey?!

I would say it is worth more like $4500 with the already known issues and condition, make an offer. Then do an extensive self-survey. When boats get into this price range, surveyors often don't make a serious effort. For example, he might start the engine but won't actually inspect it. You are basically buying a diesel engine with a boat attached to it so consider having a mechanic check out the diesel. If it goes t#ts up you are screwed. Everything else you can fix yourself. At $10,000 it would have to pass a survey that said it only needed a good washing, not deck core repair.

I think I read somewhere that Columbia boats were built by a corporation that specializes in making toilets, something to consider although they do have a reputation for being stout. Check out SkipMac's thread on the Pearson 39, that looked like a better deal.
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Old 16-07-2014, 18:17   #3
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Re: No Survey?!

Why is the current owner telling you he will not allow a survey???

There must be a serious problem!

I would leave it. A survey would be over $600 for a 39 footer.... And I wouldnt get one, but at least you should have an option.

Whats the owner hiding?
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Old 16-07-2014, 18:23   #4
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Re: No Survey?!

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Originally Posted by FromINtoKN View Post
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.
The owner does not want to be bothered with allowing a surveyor to access the boat for inspection, and probably feels that he has been forthright about the condition of the vessel, and also that anyone who cannot assess this boat on his own probably should not be buying a boat in this condition.

It's also possible that there is a problem with the title that the seller does not want to be revealed. It could indicate a money scam.

I would consider purchasing it, but look - I ran into TWO money scams just this week alone - If the price is way to good to be true, then it's probably a scam. However, there is no harm in checking it out.

If you simply ask the seller why he won't allow a survey, he'll probably tell you.

The boat's probably got nearly $7500 in salvage on it.
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Old 16-07-2014, 18:28   #5
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Re: No Survey?!

A 43 year old sail boat? I know the temptation to get one now is strong but a part time job for the next two years and you can look at boats with three to four times the money. It will open up a whole lot more options.
Gotta love the residential handy box in the engine room.
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Old 16-07-2014, 18:31   #6
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Re: No Survey?!

Two prices are listed, 10,000 & 7,500. In that range and having been honest that it is a project boat he probably doesn't want the hassle of a survey. Ask.
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Old 16-07-2014, 18:37   #7
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Re: No Survey?!

I actually might consider buying a boat like this without a survey, but I would never consider buying a boat where a survey was prohibited. To me that just screams that the boat is in worse condition than it appears, and the owner doesn't want a knowledgable person to take a real look at it.
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Old 16-07-2014, 18:52   #8
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Re: No Survey?!

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I actually might consider buying a boat like this without a survey, but I would never consider buying a boat where a survey was prohibited. To me that just screams that the boat is in worse condition than it appears, and the owner doesn't want a knowledgable person to take a real look at it.
Uh huh. The listing says, "Cash only. No surveys." It also ought to say, "Knowledgable sailors need not apply."
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Old 16-07-2014, 19:02   #9
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Re: No Survey?!

I interpret the "no surveys" comment from the seller as a statement that there will be no accomodation for the purpose of a survey; however, if you are looking at the boat it would be expected that you could bring a knowledgeable companion with you. I agree that it is not economic to pay for a full professional survey of this boat with the cost of the survey representing about ten percent the purchase costs. Boats of this nature may be of value only for those willing to risk the expense.
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Old 16-07-2014, 19:03   #10
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Re: No Survey?!

I think these guys are being overly suspicious, but I would say that old boat in bad condition are a dime a dozen.

If this boat is convenient to you, then schedule a look at it.

If you decide you want to purchase, and you still want a survey, THEN you can ask for a survey. At that point, the seller will probably grant it, especially if you give him a little cash earnest deposit for his additional effort.

If it's not convenient to you, move on.

To answer the question, yes I would consider purchasing a boat like this IF I had the skills, time, money, and interest in fixing it.

I recently purchased some foreclosed residential properties without inspections. If the price is low enough, you don't care what the problems are. The only time you need an inspection is if a discovery would change your decision to buy.

A title search is something else - I would not buy any property without title insurance - I don't know what the equivalent would be for a sailboat.
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Old 16-07-2014, 20:10   #11
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Re: No Survey?!

Notice he says "no surveys" not "no surveyors". He's probably right. A survey would show that the boat is uninsurable and unseaworthy in its present state - and that the cost of the repairs to bring the boat into insurable condition is well above $7500 if you pay for someone to do the labor.

Neither of you want that documented.

It's quite another thing to bring along someone who is knowledgeable about boat repairs - a surveyor would be OK but a boat yard guy would be better - to try to estimate the hours and materials cost before you.
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Old 17-07-2014, 02:16   #12
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Re: No Survey?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by FromINtoKN View Post
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.
Welcome to CF.

No one here knows anything about you.

Do you feel knowledgeable enough to evaluate that ad?

Do you know the implications of soft decks and what you will need to do to fix that?

He is telling you clearly that a surveyor is not necessary, because if you cannot evaluate this boat yourself you should not buy this boat. This guy is being dead honest!

This is not an awesomely cheap way for someone short on cash to get a 40 foot boat.

I bolded your last bit - You should not buy this boat.
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Old 17-07-2014, 06:39   #13
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Re: No Survey?!

I'm inclined to agree with those who say that, if you can't assess the condition on your own, then this is probably NOT the boat for you.

On the other hand, the general tone of the ad makes it sound like this seller isn't very serious about getting rid of the boat. My guess is that a year from now the boat will still be for sale, the offer price will have gone down yet again, and the seller will be complaining about getting nothing but "low-ball" offers.
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Old 18-07-2014, 10:13   #14
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Re: No Survey?!

Hmm, didn't think I needed to include a life story in a post. 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.

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.
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Old 18-07-2014, 11:06   #15
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Re: No Survey?!

Of the 3 used cruising sailboats I've purchased, I did not get surveys on two of them and have no regrets. I also would never have purchased the third boat I did without a survey.

The two boats I didn't have surveyed were of a price and age, that I knew they would have to be re-plumbed, re-wired and re-powered. I knew I didn't trust any of the instruments to work or work for long. I saw little need to pay for a survey to tell me what I already knew.

With my other boat, for the price I certainly wasn't willing to accept such work, so got a qualified survey. Also, it's tough in the day and age to insure an older boat without a survey, so you may end up paying for one in the end anyways. Better to have the survey information up front than as a surprise later on.

As Ex-Calif, said nobody here knows you, or your ability to "survey" a boat yourself. Only you know that.
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