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Old 10-08-2013, 06:02   #1
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Brokers and False Advertising

The Yachtworld writeup started off by describing the Sabre 38 as "turnkey". Prior to actually seeing the boat, we heard nothing from our broker or the listing broker to tell us otherwise. It was also priced the highest of all comparable Sabre 38s.

The writeup, if they were honest, would have said "storm damaged and badly neglected."

The bow pulpit was destroyed in Sandy (confirmed by the broker). The hull was gouged. The port blocks on the mainsheet traveler were blown out and the duct tape the owner put over the hole was brittle and revealed rotted wood underneath. The mast was now a two-piece mast, probably a repair from the storm. And who knows how much other damage it sustained from the storm?

The brightwork was 50% flaked off. Some of the teak was cracked so badly it needed to be replaced. The wheel brake was shot so the rudder was free to bang around.

They had applied a couple rolls of tape as a mast boot but that seemingly wasn't working. They decided to use household spray foam from below to stop the leaks but it wasn't working either. There was a towel at the base of the mast. The cabin sole around the mast was so wet it was swollen. Some of the support members for the bilge covers were rotted away.

And the list went on...

We had a 3 hour round trip to get from where we were staying to the boat. Had the brokers been upfront and honest, we could have saved ourselves the trip.

Last look on Yachtworld?
"Patriot" is a turnkey boat with upgrades that include new Raymarine C90W chartplotter/GPS, New "ultra thin" TV, propane BBQ grill, reverse cycle heat & air and more. Classic example of the Sabre 38' that performs well and is in excellent condition. PRICE REDUCED - CALL NOW!

And I thought YBAA ethics said brokers had to accurately represent the boat.
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Old 10-08-2013, 06:25   #2
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Re: Brokers and False Advertising

Julie : I've dealt with just about every broker in Ontario (Canada) at one time or another and found that they are just the same as plumbers, cops, lawyers and surveyors etc. 80% of them are just average guys trying to make a living (average in the widest possible definition), 10% of them are excellent and 10% are lying parasites who should be taken out behind the barn.

As always ... Caveat emptor
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Old 10-08-2013, 06:30   #3
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Re: Brokers and False Advertising

Hi Julie! Think of brokers as what everyone thinks of "used cars salesmen". Many people consider surveyors are pro at what they are doing; they are not. If you want to really verify the condition of a boat, bring with you some "old salts" and ask them to take a look and sail the boat; pay them for their experience and knowledge. You'll get an unbiased opinion. As an engineer, I would test the electro/mechanical systems on board. I would also look at deterioration in hardware/hull due to usage, neglect or nature's fury; have studied Engineering Structural Analysis and am capable of doing that.

I really would NOT recommend buying any boat older than 10 years, preferably 5 years old unless it will be used as a training boat; a training boat should not exceed $5K USD. After 10 years of constant usage, from engineering point of view, a boat will require major work. While it may look great to the naked eye, engineering cross section analysis of hardware/hull/sails will tell you a different story. Here is a hint...Boats placed in charter programs are recent production, and seldom if ever are 10+ years of age.

This post will certainly cause a lot of controversy. If you have not studied Structural Analysis Engineering, I would not expect you to understand much of what I reasoned. Agree or disagree, I hope that we remain friends.

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Old 10-08-2013, 06:35   #4
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Re: Brokers and False Advertising

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatpoker View Post
10% are lying parasites who should be taken out behind the barn.

As always ... Caveat emptor
I used to be a broker and got to see the business from the inside. As much as I hate to admit it, this is oh so true.

In fact, in addition to the 10% lying parasites I would add 10% that might embellish the facts just a little or possibly omit to mention details that would not impact the seaworthiness of the vessel but would cost you some money to fix.

Then throw in another 10% that are lazy or incompetent.

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Old 10-08-2013, 06:36   #5
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Re: Brokers and False Advertising

Hey Teknav, isn't saying all surveyors are not pro's the same as saying all pilots are not pro's ? all engineers are not pro's ..... the list goes on.

There are too many holes in your blanket statements
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Old 10-08-2013, 06:46   #6
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I can see why the OP would be a little aggrieved. The pictures look good regardless of age but this highlights the issue with *sales* in general: show the good bits then persuade on arrival so to speak?
I thought there were things against misrepresentation to protect prospective purchasers? If what had been said about the condition of the boat was true then this may be the case...
The OP travelled a considerable distance and nothing in the advert suggests anything less than a water worthy vessel.
Happy hunting but yes; caveat emptor indeed. If the boats a wreck; avoid and trust first instincts.
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Old 10-08-2013, 07:26   #7
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Re: Brokers and False Advertising

Quote:
Originally Posted by Julie Mor View Post
The Yachtworld writeup started off by describing the Sabre 38 as "turnkey". Prior to actually seeing the boat, we heard nothing from our broker or the listing broker to tell us otherwise. It was also priced the highest of all comparable Sabre 38s.

The writeup, if they were honest, would have said "storm damaged and badly neglected."

The bow pulpit was destroyed in Sandy (confirmed by the broker). The hull was gouged. The port blocks on the mainsheet traveler were blown out and the duct tape the owner put over the hole was brittle and revealed rotted wood underneath. The mast was now a two-piece mast, probably a repair from the storm. And who knows how much other damage it sustained from the storm?

The brightwork was 50% flaked off. Some of the teak was cracked so badly it needed to be replaced. The wheel brake was shot so the rudder was free to bang around.

They had applied a couple rolls of tape as a mast boot but that seemingly wasn't working. They decided to use household spray foam from below to stop the leaks but it wasn't working either. There was a towel at the base of the mast. The cabin sole around the mast was so wet it was swollen. Some of the support members for the bilge covers were rotted away.

And the list went on...

We had a 3 hour round trip to get from where we were staying to the boat. Had the brokers been upfront and honest, we could have saved ourselves the trip.

Last look on Yachtworld?
"Patriot" is a turnkey boat with upgrades that include new Raymarine C90W chartplotter/GPS, New "ultra thin" TV, propane BBQ grill, reverse cycle heat & air and more. Classic example of the Sabre 38' that performs well and is in excellent condition. PRICE REDUCED - CALL NOW!

And I thought YBAA ethics said brokers had to accurately represent the boat.
I think this is a common practice among brokers. After being sent on a wild goose chase, let them know you aren't interested in scoping out listing for them and you expect them to do their job and prescreen out the junk.
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Old 10-08-2013, 08:05   #8
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Re: Brokers and False Advertising

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teknav View Post
Hi Julie! Think of brokers as what everyone thinks of "used cars salesmen".
I guess one could say that brokers in general are salesman but some are quite a bit more than just that. I have known a few brokers that were retired engineers, pilots and similar professionals and many that were very experienced sailors with a lot of knowledge about boats and marine systems.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Teknav View Post
Many people consider surveyors are pro at what they are doing; they are not.
Certainly true for some surveyors but absolutely not true for all. I sold a lot of boats and used a lot of surveyors and I can guarantee that there are surveyors out there that are "pro at what they are doing".


Quote:
Originally Posted by Teknav View Post
If you want to really verify the condition of a boat, bring with you some "old salts" and ask them to take a look and sail the boat; pay them for their experience and knowledge. You'll get an unbiased opinion.
I would say that this would entirely depend on the knowledge, skill, experience and personal opinions of "the old salt". I would not accept the opinion of a a random old salt any more than an unknown broker or surveyor. I've met plenty of old salts that had been sailing for 20-30-40 years whose opinion I wouldn't trust at all. Also plenty who had their own personal bias that significantly influenced their opinions on boating matters.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Teknav View Post
I really would NOT recommend buying any boat older than 10 years, preferably 5 years old unless it will be used as a training boat; a training boat should not exceed $5K USD. After 10 years of constant usage, from engineering point of view, a boat will require major work. While it may look great to the naked eye, engineering cross section analysis of hardware/hull/sails will tell you a different story. Here is a hint...Boats placed in charter programs are recent production, and seldom if ever are 10+ years of age.
10 year old boats good only for "training" boats? What about 10 year old airplanes? Should all the twin Otters before the series 400 be sent to the crusher?

Bottom line:

Hardware can be repaired or replaced.

Sails are replaced all the time. Some racers do it yearly if not more often.

Rigging and chainplates can be replaced. Just did it.

A well built hull can last for way more than 10 years. A careful inspection of the deck, hull/deck joints, bulkheads, floors, keel, etc can easily determine if the boat is in condition for the buyer's planned use.

As long as the purchase price reflects the cost of addressing these issues I see no problem with buying an older boat. Depending on the model and condition, I would not hesitate to sail a 20 or 30 year old boat anywhere.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Teknav View Post
This post will certainly cause a lot of controversy. If you have not studied Structural Analysis Engineering, I would not expect you to understand much of what I reasoned. Agree or disagree, I hope that we remain friends.

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Well I have studied structural analysis. Not my major but have a passing acquaintance with the field and do have a bit of experience with boats. Even did a bit of flying though nothing bigger than a 172.

Don't worry. My opinion of you has nothing to do with my opinion of your opinions.
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Old 10-08-2013, 08:07   #9
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Re: Brokers and False Advertising

I saw a whole lot of this during the four years I spent shopping for my latest (and last) boat. I'd say its much higher than 10% that need some behind the shed treatment. More like 50% or more. I traveled through nine states and three different countries searching, and it was pretty universal. Lying is a brokers job description.
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Old 10-08-2013, 08:12   #10
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Re: Brokers and False Advertising

So, who was the listing broker? Post him here so everyone else knows he is full of sxxt.

Did you happen to get photos of the damage? If so, I would file in small claims court for time and costs for your trip. The listing is more than just exaggerations, it is outright lies. Make him face the music. Even if you dont win you get a chance to have your say in court and be heard.
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Old 10-08-2013, 08:20   #11
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Re: Brokers and False Advertising

It's probably best to question the selling broker extensively at a minimum beore making a long trip. It's likely harder for most to exagerate or lie outright in a direct conversation, or if they are, you might pick up clues that raise suspicions. You can take the opportunity to define what "turnkey" means to you, so there is no room for misunderstanding.
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Old 10-08-2013, 08:21   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidLGCrawford View Post
So, who was the listing broker? Post him here so everyone else knows he is full of sxxt.

Did you happen to get photos of the damage? If so, I would file in small claims court for time and costs for your trip. The listing is more than just exaggerations, it is outright lies. Make him face the music. Even if you dont win you get a chance to have your say in court and be heard.
Have a look. The OP gave the boats name; there's only 5 else 5 of that type (Sabre 38) and the vessels name *Patriot* was given...
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Old 10-08-2013, 08:37   #13
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Re: Brokers and False Advertising

Here's how I advise my clients if there are hours and hours of travel or a flight involved to get to the prospective boat. If the boat is listed with a broker I have dealt with and trust, then I send the clients down knowing they can trust the description. If I do not know the broker or if the boat is in the islands, then I recommend they hire a surveyor to do a quick inspection with pictures. With this info then they can decide whether to travel to inspect in person. Typically the costs for this quick inspection by a surveyor is a couple hundred bucks. Much cheaper then a flight to the Caribb or to another state!
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Old 10-08-2013, 08:49   #14
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Re: Brokers and False Advertising

I would certainly send an email or letter to the listing broker and let him know how disappointed you are at his misrepresentation. I would further tell him you will be certain to keep up with his listings so that you never waste a moment of time considering a boat he is representing and that you will be sure to let others you know who are looking to purchase your experience.

Until they get hit in their wallet, they are unlikely to change. Ask around for reputable brokers and keep an eye on their listings. Lots of boats out there, might as well buy one from a reputable broker. When the crap brokers can't make money, they will go on to other jobs. Its your time and money and you have every right to decide who and where you spend it with.

I'm sorry this was such an utter waste of time.
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Old 10-08-2013, 08:51   #15
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Re: Brokers and False Advertising

I spent about three years seriously looking before buying our current (hopefully last) boat. I learned:
  • To ignore all verbage like "turnkey, cruise-ready, sail-away-condition, ready to go, etc." Just skip right past it. It's meaningless bafflegab.
  • If a boat ad spends a lot of time on extraneous "upgrades" like chartplotters, sound systems, BBQs, etc then I immediately become suspicious. If they emphasis crap like new TVs then I run.
  • I would always ask very specific questions early on in probing process: "Are there ANY leaks through deck/ports/? Are there ANY soft spots on the deck? Is there any damage beyond cosmetic? Does all the equipment listed in the ad actually work? How has the boat been used in the last year? Has it been maintained, etc. Get as specific as you can about the import an issues.
  • Ask to see the most recent survey. Even if it's a few years old, it is worth seeing. If they balk, then walk.
  • I learned that all-too-often the broker had never even looked at the boat they were selling. They were relying on info provided by the seller, which was often incomplete, sketchy or just plain wrong. Ask the broker if they've shown the boat before, and if the ad is accurate.
  • Ask to communicate directly with the owner. Some brokers are understandably twitchy about this, so you have to establish trust. But in the end the broker doesn't know much about the boat. I want to talk to the owner.
None of this protected me from dud visits. I recall more than one boat where I feared for my life just walking on the decks -- and this after being told there were no soft spots. Enjoy the process, and tell people about dud brokers. If their business suffers, they may change.
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