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Old 13-08-2017, 07:20   #16
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Re: Buy a boat without a survey? or even seeing it?

Bought my 28' based on my own survey and with what knowledge I'd gleaned on doing so from online sources. It helped that the owners were very honest and pointed out as many flaws as they knew of. I haven't found any hidden show stoppers since. But... I was simply lucky, that's still my gut feeling. Found out later the wet bilge was due to loose keel bolts and leaking keel joint.... fixed now. I took the risk of my own survey on two major considerations. One is that I'm decently competent at most things electrical mechanical etc. But the biggest factor was that I was willing to walk away from the boat and the cash outlay completely if I'd screwed up. My boat cost me $4500. Now think about what yours is going to cost you. Is that walk away money to you? If so go for it.
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Old 13-08-2017, 07:42   #17
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Re: Buy a boat without a survey? or even seeing it?

About 15 years agoo i bought a house only seen frrom pictures, my wife was in the house a 3 years before and fall in love. We were lucky it appeared to be an exilent house with only minor problems. As it was in the 350k class this deal gave me some sleeples nights.
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Old 13-08-2017, 07:48   #18
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Re: Buy a boat without a survey? or even seeing it?

If you are planning on having insurance from a reputable marine insurer odds are good you will require a survey to obtain it. Therefore buying without a survey is nuts. JMHO.
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Old 13-08-2017, 08:17   #19
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Re: Buy a boat without a survey? or even seeing it?

Buying sight unseen and un-inspected or inspected by a stranger is just foolish.

As others have said, you will need a survey for insurance. Depending on the price point I would consider flying in a surveyor. As an alternate, you fly in and negotiate price. Then fly in delivery captain to be there while the survey is done. This would also serve as the captain's pre-delivery inspection. Assuming survey and delivery captain are satisfied with boat, have delivery captain stay in town while you settle deal. Once settled into, delivery captain moves onto boat and boat is removed ASAP.

Yes this is conservative, but the fact you are asking makes me think you may be light on experience. So having someone who is going to risk their neck delivering the boat there is very useful.
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Old 13-08-2017, 08:54   #20
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Re: Buy a boat without a survey? or even seeing it?

I bought in auction my 1983 Amel 51. No sea trial no survey. I couldn't even try the engine. The main mast was down. I bid a fourth of what she's worth. Took a big chance but came out great. I also flew to La Rochelle NY to se a 89 maramu which suffered light radiation heat on its port side. Insurance paid of the boat as if It wasn't repairable. The boat was in excellent shape. Also in auction. Didn't win the bid. If you come across a boat you want you have to aleast see it in person.
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Old 13-08-2017, 08:55   #21
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Re: Buy a boat without a survey? or even seeing it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dymaxion View Post
But the biggest factor was that I was willing to walk away from the boat and the cash outlay completely if I'd screwed up. My boat cost me $4500. Now think about what yours is going to cost you. Is that walk away money to you? If so go for it.
I mentioned that earlier. Price dependent, what you can afford to lose and not feel hurt.
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Old 13-08-2017, 08:57   #22
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Re: Buy a boat without a survey? or even seeing it?

Only if you like expensive surprises.
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Old 13-08-2017, 09:05   #23
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Re: Buy a boat without a survey? or even seeing it?

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Look, if you are going cruising you need to figure this stuff out for yourself. Don't buy a boat you don't understand or can't fix yourself. You don't need a survey, only people who don't know this stuff need a survey.
If you can make yourself an "expert" before you buy a boat, then no, you don't need a survey

The problem is that reading books - even good ones - does not make you anything like an expert. Only years of experience can fo that.

Better to admit you're no expert, pay the $$$ to have a boat surveyed AFTER it's passed your "well-read layperson" inspection, and consider that $$$ a fixed cost of owning a boat.

Also better to have an objective third party tell you the cold hard facts on a boat.

Sure, you can "figure it out for yourself" after owning a couple of boats or so - but to think you're gonna become an expert overnight is setting yourself up for trouble. Even experts make mistakes and miss things. Beginner's luck aside, how much will you catch without a professional or at least a very experienced friend?

Then again, if you can afford to buy a boat on faith - and end up losing that money - then no, you don't need a survey.
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Old 13-08-2017, 09:14   #24
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Re: Buy a boat without a survey? or even seeing it?

Thanks to all for the well considered replies, great advice. I do intend to have at least liability insurance as this is a requirement for marinas in the EU and we intend to over winter in a marina in the med. As several have asked if I am willing to gamble the value of the boat, the answer is no, this is not walk away money for me ($60,000.00 might be walk away money for some but definitely not me).

Anyone know of a good surveyor in Greece? Also looking at fight costs as I will go take a look for myself. I am not a marine surveyor but I have been around boats long enough to spot any obvious issues.

As to the timeline I guess spending a couple of weeks in a hotel in Greece is not the worst thing to do while waiting for the transaction to work itself out (or not).

Always good to get a reality check, especially with an itchy trigger finger.

Thanks again!
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Old 13-08-2017, 09:16   #25
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Re: Buy a boat without a survey? or even seeing it?

If it was me I think I would inspect the boat first, If what I saw I liked ,then have a survey with a sea trail.
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Old 13-08-2017, 09:21   #26
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Re: Buy a boat without a survey? or even seeing it?

We purchased our boat sight unseen. Purchase agreement with a contingency clause based on survey and sea trial.

No problems except for being ripped off on what was supposed to be a new set of sails.

Not insisting on having a servey or sea trial would be really...... foolish IMHO when purchasing any boat.
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Old 13-08-2017, 09:42   #27
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Re: Buy a boat without a survey? or even seeing it?

I am not even going to try to answer this question.

If you like to gamble: I know someone in Nigeria who needs to get 100 million worth of gold out of his country send him a deposit and you're in.
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Old 13-08-2017, 09:44   #28
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Re: Buy a boat without a survey? or even seeing it?

Are you saying you will not see the boat first? If so, I would not. If you can see the boat and assess it yourself, and if you feel capable to tell if it has "good bones" then maybe ok. I would want the boat hauled out and inspect the bottom either way.
If the survey is very recent maybe you could talk with the surveyor?
The other option as mentioned is "subject to survey and inspection". You can do this with the statement that you dont intend to negotiate price based on survey findings, just will "accept or reject". I have done that when driving a hard bargain in the past.
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Old 13-08-2017, 09:56   #29
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Re: Buy a boat without a survey? or even seeing it?

I bought my 1988 Catalina 27 without survey or professional inspection, but the price payed wasn't very much. So I didn't care.

My next boat will be at a much different price point, and an inspection by professional and me present is the very least that I am going to do.

My .02
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Old 13-08-2017, 10:04   #30
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Re: Buy a boat without a survey? or even seeing it?

No, we would get it surveyed, check the hull, keel, rudder, engine, trans, all of the systems, running rigging, standing rigging, etc, etc.

Just had some long time sailing friends, who over the years had owned a couple of sailing vessels, 38 and then a 42 footer. Many, many trips to catalina, own their own mooring there, and are quite experienced.

They decided to get of sailing, and purchased a 50 plus foot power boat, from so called friends a couple of gangways down. Done deal.

Well, so far, after one trip to Catalina Island from Alimitos Bay, about 26 miles or so, they find that the engines need overall or replacement.

When I talked to them, and they told me the problems, I asked if they had a survey done. "Nope, Those people were our friends. "

Many thousands of dollars , and the loss of a so called friendship.

Owners of sailing vessels would call our sailing club, to put them in charter, where they get 60% of the revenue and the sailing club gets 40 %. Everyone of them tell us over the phone how pristine and perfect and no problems what so ever regarding their vessel. Their boat would be the queen of the fleet. " Sail her to our docks and we will check the boat out. "

Well, we inspect them, and they are floating junk, with several different problems .

Again, we all plot our personal courses thru life, and that is how it should be, but in general it is strongly suggested you get a survey, and do a below the water line inspection, in additions back all that up and check out on your own what to you can, and take the vessel out for a good day of sea trials.

Sight unseen, for any reason, would be a no go for us.

Or , you can take your chances, but I really do not understand not having the boat surveyed and checked out.

Our usual procedure when sailing a vessel from a sailing club, or bareboating internationally, or skipper a boat that we do not own, it takes us a couple to three hours to go thru that vessel, stem to stern, port to starboard, topsides and below.

I have actually made up a several page check list so that we do not miss anything. We also check off and verify the vessels inventory and every piece of gear and where it is located. Those are all noted on my check out log.

Sight unseen and no independent survey , no sea trial and no personal inspection , would be a NO DEAL for us.
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