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Old 23-10-2015, 11:39   #1
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Unhappy My Dilemma and a Sick Friend's Boat

I've been thinking of buying a bigger boat, one that I can take the wife on. A trawler type boat.

I have a friend who has a trawler he had been keeping in his garage for the past few years.

He wanted to renovate the interior, says the motor ran fine the last time it was out a few years ago.

I called him, told him I might be willing to take the boat off his hands in a couple of years so I can do the loop.

A close friend of his called today and tells me he needs to sell her soon. If I took the boat now, it would take a load off her mind.

My wife of course says no. I can't go for at least a couple of years till the kid is out of college. Paying storage until then will be difficult, plus I'd have to hire out renovating the interior.

My head says no, heart says yes.
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Old 23-10-2015, 12:20   #2
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Re: My Delinma and a Sick Friend's Boat

If you have to hire out the interior work no is the answer. This is one to follow your head on.
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Old 23-10-2015, 12:40   #3
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Re: My Delinma and a Sick Friend's Boat

No to try to sound too ugly, but this sounds like the kind of boat that is given away, cause nobody will buy it.
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Old 23-10-2015, 13:05   #4
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Re: My Delinma and a Sick Friend's Boat

If the boat is stored in a garage I'm assuming it's on a trailer and maybe 25' or so max.

Unless the boat was in impeccable condition and an incredible deal I would say wait. The market for 30' and under boats is oversupplied and deals are to be had all the time.

In this case with the boat sitting up for years (often not good for the boat to just sit) and needing interior work I would say no unless as mentioned it's an incredible deal. In this case that would mean not only a deal on price but it would also need to be a very special boat, high model or something else to make it worth the time and money.

You know the old rule of thumb for boat repairs. It will take twice and long and cost twice as much as you estimate. This sounds like a joke but I'm now approaching the end of the third major boat overhaul in my career and I even with 40 years experience fixing boats the rule still ran true.
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Old 23-10-2015, 20:34   #5
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Re: My Delinma and a Sick Friend's Boat

You have been given very good advice. When the time is right though......don't let your wife be the deciding factor.......just come home and ask her to step outside to see you have named your mistress after her!
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Old 23-10-2015, 22:05   #6
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Re: My Delinma and a Sick Friend's Boat

Run away. 99% chance it has sat in his garage because it's such a great deal. Paying for interior work will easily kill any supposed savings.


Also, there are plenty of small boats available (a trawler good for a couple doing the loop is typically way too large to be put in a garage).


If you can't use the boat for a few years, you are better waiting.
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Old 23-10-2015, 22:33   #7
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Re: My Delinma and a Sick Friend's Boat

If the interior needs renovating and you have the ability to do it over the next 2 years you may be able to justify the purchase, but the price would need to be pretty low. "The motor ran fine .. a few years ago" does not convey warm feelings about it to me. There could be a lot of unexpected expenses or you may be lucky. Maybe he put off doing all work himself because he realised it wasn't worth doing, but couldn't bring himself to sell it ... or too hard to sell .... maybe he tried.

Nevertheless, assuming you can fairly judge the boat's true value, you would want to pay a lot less due to the long storage period you will have it, and possibly allow for more depreciation in value in the meantime.

You are then faced with a different dilemma. Buying from friends can cause more grief than you expect. If you find nasty surprises, will you believe your friend didn't know about them? Alternately, assuming you get it for a great bargain, how will your friend view this down the track? Maybe he will always hold a grudge because you got his beloved boat for way below it's true value, so you "owe him".

But if health is focing the sale, then maybe you could be doing a favour. How about getting it listed for sale with the reserve above what you would pay, and then see how the market responds. Best bet would be to help him sell it to get the best value, and buy something yourself in 2 years.
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Old 24-10-2015, 08:26   #8
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Re: My Delinma and a Sick Friend's Boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbodine88 View Post
I've been thinking of buying a bigger boat, one that I can take the wife on. A trawler type boat.

I have a friend who has a trawler he had been keeping in his garage for the past few years.

He wanted to renovate the interior, says the motor ran fine the last time it was out a few years ago.

I called him, told him I might be willing to take the boat off his hands in a couple of years so I can do the loop.

A close friend of his called today and tells me he needs to sell her soon. If I took the boat now, it would take a load off her mind.

My wife of course says no. I can't go for at least a couple of years till the kid is out of college. Paying storage until then will be difficult, plus I'd have to hire out renovating the interior.

My head says no, heart says yes.
i quit reading at, "My wife of course says no."
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Old 24-10-2015, 08:30   #9
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Re: My Delinma and a Sick Friend's Boat

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Originally Posted by jrbogie View Post
i quit reading at, "My wife of course says no."
Could not have said it better. The rest are details.
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Old 24-10-2015, 08:33   #10
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Re: My Delinma and a Sick Friend's Boat

Many years ago I drove Mercedes 240D/300D relentlessly as they just "ran forever". I parked a 240D while working out of region knowing it had developed an issue I could not put my finger on. Several years later I sold it cheap to one of my sons, having completely forgot why I parked it. I remember telling him "it ran fine when I parked it". As the issue reared it's head, I remembered and helped take care of it, but even the best intentions are subject to failing time and memory tests. Just sayin'...
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Old 24-10-2015, 08:53   #11
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Re: My Dilemma and a Sick Friend's Boat

Take it only if it's free. Then there's nothing to lose when you sort out the power plant. Sounds too small for a liveaboard doing The Loop.
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Old 24-10-2015, 08:58   #12
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Re: My Dilemma and a Sick Friend's Boat

Some thoughts:
- what is the best outcome for your friend? If an outright sale is in their best interest, then you should be prepared to do just that (either buy it yourself, or help them sell it), with quick payment, so that they have the outome they need.
- if you do want the boat, you have to be satisfied that you are fully aware of the boat's true market value, and of your ability to complete the project. People have already weighed in on that; my take is that if you can't do the interior or potential mechanical work yourself... you should pass... unless you're wealthy.
- is there a middle ground? buying the boat, but being able to leave it and work on it where it is? Is there a chance that the friend would be able to enjoy the boat if you took it over and got it in the water sooner?
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Old 24-10-2015, 09:17   #13
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Re: My Delinma and a Sick Friend's Boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
You know the old rule of thumb for boat repairs. It will take twice and long and cost twice as much as you estimate.
So, if you take this rule of thumb into account and double your estimate does that mean you will eventually double the revised estimate?
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Old 24-10-2015, 09:28   #14
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Re: My Dilemma and a Sick Friend's Boat

If you are unsure then do nothing.
Remember the mantra that cash is king......and in a couple of years your capital should have grown (no storage fee's, no insurance etc) and you'll be able to leverage the cash you do have to buy a suitable trawler.
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Old 24-10-2015, 09:34   #15
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Re: My Dilemma and a Sick Friend's Boat

There's boating and there's working on a boat. These are inseparable concepts. The trick is to start with a vessel you can immediately go boating on, then the working on the boat part is fun and not so overwhelming.

Many working on the boat projects get passed along from one would be boater to another, never to see the water and often eventually getting parted out.

Listening to my wife has added many more years to my life and dollars to my accounts than any (who know me) would have imagined.

The exception I draw is in restoring a classic.
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