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Old 02-11-2012, 20:07   #1
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Bought unseen?

So there is a boat for sale, it's on the other side if the world, you know the make and model and know it will be sound (subject to survey obviously) The seller is under pressure to sell and it's at a bargain price. How many out there would go ahead with a survey and take that at face value and purchase the boat unseen?
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Old 02-11-2012, 20:14   #2
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Re: Bought unseen?

I recently put a bid on a boat sight unseen and did not plan to get a survey, but my bid price was less than the salvage value of parts.
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Old 02-11-2012, 20:17   #3
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Re: Bought unseen?

Negotiating the boat sight unseen is reasonable. I would still make the deal subject to personal inspection. It is just one more out you have in the process.
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Old 02-11-2012, 21:07   #4
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Re: Bought unseen?

Quote:
Originally Posted by frazerhalliday View Post
So there is a boat for sale, it's on the other side if the world, you know the make and model and know it will be sound (subject to survey obviously) The seller is under pressure to sell and it's at a bargain price. How many out there would go ahead with a survey and take that at face value and purchase the boat unseen?
I would never "purchase" a boat sight unseen. I may contract to buy the boat with conditions, but I will see that boat before I sign the final papers.

Doing a full purchase without seeing a boat, is a very dangerous scenario.

James L
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Old 02-11-2012, 21:20   #5
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Re: Bought unseen?

I did it.. based on a good survey... the boat is the FIRST 42 we have now had for 10 years now.. had been looking for a 38 for a few years.. the 42 came up for sale and I bought it, sight unseen, (except photos)..
I sent a 10k draft to hold the boat for survey.. the survey took place a week later and the day after recieving the paperwork, I sent the balance of 90k in another draft to the broker..
The whole process took less than one week and it was the best money I've ever spent.. sure there were little things I found later that I didnt like but in a whole, I was satisfied..
If its the boat you have been looking for, BUY IT..
The money wont change your lifestyle, the boat will!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 02-11-2012, 23:58   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frazerhalliday
So there is a boat for sale, it's on the other side if the world, you know the make and model and know it will be sound (subject to survey obviously) The seller is under pressure to sell and it's at a bargain price. How many out there would go ahead with a survey and take that at face value and purchase the boat unseen?
LA is about as far from Nebraska as you can get without getting your feet wet or a passport. I was contacted by the owner of my favorite boat and was told I could have the boat for a reasonable price.

Deal seems great. Survey came back thumbs up, only needed minor engine part and lots of cleaning.

Hired a uship driver and the sailboat made it just past the rocky mountains before his truck broke down. 32 foot Clipper Marine ketch was too much load for his vehicle in the mountains.

I started up my toter home and headed for Denver.

Sometimes you just have to trust people.

Boat is perfect in every detail. (For a sailboat approaching 40 years old) even the original sails are in pretty good shape. The PO put a lot of money into her, then switched coasts, and ended up with health issues.

I pull it locally with the F-550 and road trips that need things like a place to sleep, I grab the Kenworth.

The reason I love this boat so much it two fold. I wanted the biggest sailboat that can be trailered without permits and does not cost 200 grand. Secondly, I really like the designs of William Crealock. This sailboat is an original Crealock design, and at the time, the largest sailboat to be easily trailerable anywhere. It is still one of the largest trailerable anywhere sailboats ever made. There were about 500 made. Many still are seen all over the world. Mine is an aft cabin, center cockpit, ketch. It also came in an aft cockpit sloop, and I have one of those also, which I also traided for sight unseen. That one is ruff in spots. Lol. Sailed it once and decided it sailed nice, but was too far gone to restore. Using it for a parts boat for my keeper.

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W.I.B. Crealock when asked what he thought of the easily trailerable Clipper Marine sailboats by a naval design collegue, Gentelman Bill responded, "I am very proud of them".
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Old 03-11-2012, 14:01   #7
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Re: Bought unseen?

I would not buy a boat sight unseen. Even sight seen can get you in a bunch of trouble if there are hidden issues that a survey doesn't disclose.
kind regards,
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Old 03-11-2012, 14:11   #8
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Re: Bought unseen?

We put an offer on a boat sight unseen in September. Luckily for us, it was not accepted. In the 6 or 7 weeks since, we would have flown across country to sea trial and survey the boat and arranged to have her shipped coast to coast. We say "luckily" now because of 2 happenings. The first was the Dan Steadley/ Big Dog Marine transport fiasco as read here on CF. We knew shipping the boat would be expensive but had no idea how wrong things could go before reading that thread. We have decided since that if we buy long distance we will be present when the boat is loaded and unloaded and we will travel behind her in our car when she is shipped. We wouldn't have thought to do that 6 weeks ago. Also the time frame for moving her was likely to have been around the end of October so she could have still been in NY when Sandy rolled through. We talked about how horrible trying to arrange to have her moved to safety could have been not being there and knowing local resources. Then the worry waiting for info, the hassle of insurance claims... We felt we had dodged a bullet. For us, buying a boat will represent a significant chunk of our life savings and the past few weeks have really opened our eyes to how a dream purchase could become a nightmare. I realize these are exceptional circumstances but they have definitely changed the way we will buy our boat and it is unlikely that we will do that long distance now. If we do we will make sure we have the time to stay with the boat while the purchase and paperwork are finalized and will travel with her home.
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Old 03-11-2012, 15:48   #9
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Re: Bought unseen?

I am old fashioned about this. I get in to too much trouble buying a boat I have crawled all over already. If I bought boats unseen I might as well try to by Yachtworld, because I would owe more money to them than my house is worth...
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Old 03-11-2012, 16:35   #10
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Re: Bought unseen?

The "I did it" stories remind me of the guy jumping out a 10 story high window saying "so far, so good" as he passed the 2nd floor.

Unless you feel lucky and are willing to accept the consequences, there are FAR too many boats for sale everywhere to risk any significant money on one you can't inspect personally.

There are good surveyors who miss major defects. There are even more bad surveyors who are oblivious to significant defects. And there are negligent surveyors. PICK WHICH ONE you like!
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Old 03-11-2012, 16:41   #11
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Re: Bought unseen?

Much depends on how well you know the surveyor and trust his judgement.
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Old 03-11-2012, 16:57   #12
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Re: Bought unseen?

terminalcitygrl, I am so glad you didn't buy in NY. There are so many boats available within a days drive of Vancouver, why buy on the other side of the Continent? Take your time, look in every locker, under every hatch. Use a mirror and strong flashlight. Take pictures. Sit down and smell the boat. Take your time...If something can't be proven to work, it doesn't exist as far as I'm concerned. Oh, the pictures you see on line may have been taken years before the boat was listed.

Edit: I almost forgot about the tanks...don't forget to inspect every tank on the boat. Do you need to dismantle the interior to get the fuel or water tank out?
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Old 03-11-2012, 19:10   #13
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Re: Bought unseen?

I would make one exception to the buying sight unseen statement I made above. If the total cost of the vessel was well within my means to throw away the money then I would buy it if it sounded good and or had a good survey already accomplished. For example, there was one fellow on here who bought his Bristol 24 for $760 on eBay from the Angel Ministries. That seemed to me to be a case where I might bite.
kind regards,
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Old 03-11-2012, 20:21   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S/V Illusion
there are FAR too many boats for sale everywhere to risk any significant money on one you can't inspect personally.
Nebraska? Are you kidding?

Mine was the first 32 foot sailboat ever in this state as far as I know. A rich guy on my dock with a 30 imported a 33 to not be outdone.

Part of my trust was because I was purchasing from someone I trusted, a bank officer.
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W.I.B. Crealock when asked what he thought of the easily trailerable Clipper Marine sailboats by a naval design collegue, Gentelman Bill responded, "I am very proud of them".
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Old 03-11-2012, 20:31   #15
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Re: Bought unseen?

I sold a Trailer Yacht that way. I was honest in my advertising and honest with during the phone calls. The buyer was from another state. He won the ebay auction and traveled 1000 kms to pick the boat up. It was a good deal for both parties.

However, I was honest with the guy and told him what needed doing as well as what was good. As a buyer thats the most you can expect from the vendor.

In this case, its a much bigger investment and the risk of a surveyor getting it wrong is higher. And Surveryors have lovely little disclaimer clause indemnifying them from anything they omit.

In the case of the OP, I would have a long conversation with the Surveyor and find out his experience with this model of boat and its machinery. If the surveyor doesnt know the class, find another surveyor.
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