Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 07-06-2016, 08:24   #1
Marine Service Provider
 
NoQuarter79's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: currently on Ocracoke Island, NC
Boat: Watkins 27
Posts: 110
Images: 1
Buying a donated boat

We purchased our boat about a month ago from a non-profit organization site unseen. We were very excited at the time and there are a few major questions that we had forgotten to ask. Now we are aboard the boat, and we were informed by a neighbor who had sailed the boat that the motor hadn't been ran in 5 years. We were checking it out a little bit and messing with the raw water thru-hull valve when the handle broke off and the gear that turned the valve got all chewed up. Of course we need to change some filters and whatnot, but we messaged the donation organization to ask for the previous owners contact information to see if they had any issues with the engine and she informed us that the donor told her there was nothing wrong with it. To me, there is quite a big difference in "nothing wrong" and "had been sitting untouched for 5 years."

Our beef is not with the non-profit. I will just be upset if the donor hadn't been 100% truthful when donating the boat. I don't even think the non-profit had seen the boat for themselves when we snagged it up, so they only knew what the donor had told them.

We're not looking to weasel a lawsuit, we just want to know if there are any steps, if any at all, we could take in this situation? We were under the impression it was ready to go, and now after investing a third of our life saving into purchasing the boat, it appears the remaining two-thirds of our savings will go into getting it in running order.
__________________

__________________
NoQuarter79 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2016, 08:46   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 497
Re: Buying a donated boat

Did you have the vessel surveyed prior to purchase?

I would make the assumption that distressed boats are being donated to non-profits. I would then assume at least 50% of the purchase price would go into repairs and upgrades.
__________________

__________________
Shrew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2016, 09:37   #3
I promise to put my pants on
 
sailorboy1's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: On the boat somewhere
Boat: Hunter 410
Posts: 11,568
Re: Buying a donated boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoQuarter79 View Post
We purchased our boat about a month ago from a non-profit organization site unseen.
.................................................. ........

, we just want to know if there are any steps, if any at all, we could take in this situation?
Gee you brought a donated boat (ie a boat someone wanted to get rid of) sight unseen and you are surprised there are problems with it. And I'm sure you didn't get a survey

You aren't going like my advise, but I bet in the long run your best course of action is to donate it back.
__________________
stop typing and go cruising, it will be different than your books
sailorboy1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2016, 09:53   #4
vjm
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 313
Re: Buying a donated boat

You can consult a lawyer, but you need to read the disclaimers that usually accompany these kinds of sales and the exact language used in the ad. My bet is that there is a lot of "nonprofit makes no representations or guarantees", "all info is per seller and is not guaranteed", etc.

If that is so, I can't imagine any recourse. But, of course, check with a lawyer if you want to. It can certainly depend on the particular wording of the ad. Most nonprofits doing this are well aware of how to CYA.
__________________
vjm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2016, 10:03   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Lake Belton, TX, USA, Earth: 3rd rock from the Sun
Boat: Vagabond 14
Posts: 422
Re: Buying a donated boat

Generally these are "as-is where-is" which means that there is absolutely no warranty that it will even float.
__________________
TurninTurtle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2016, 10:20   #6
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cowes (Winter), Baltic (Summer) (the boat!); somewhere in the air (me!)
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 17,550
Re: Buying a donated boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoQuarter79 View Post
We purchased our boat about a month ago from a non-profit organization site unseen. We were very excited at the time and there are a few major questions that we had forgotten to ask. Now we are aboard the boat, and we were informed by a neighbor who had sailed the boat that the motor hadn't been ran in 5 years. We were checking it out a little bit and messing with the raw water thru-hull valve when the handle broke off and the gear that turned the valve got all chewed up. Of course we need to change some filters and whatnot, but we messaged the donation organization to ask for the previous owners contact information to see if they had any issues with the engine and she informed us that the donor told her there was nothing wrong with it. To me, there is quite a big difference in "nothing wrong" and "had been sitting untouched for 5 years."

Our beef is not with the non-profit. I will just be upset if the donor hadn't been 100% truthful when donating the boat. I don't even think the non-profit had seen the boat for themselves when we snagged it up, so they only knew what the donor had told them.

We're not looking to weasel a lawsuit, we just want to know if there are any steps, if any at all, we could take in this situation? We were under the impression it was ready to go, and now after investing a third of our life saving into purchasing the boat, it appears the remaining two-thirds of our savings will go into getting it in running order.
OK, look, we'll try to help here.

There is absolutely no such thing, categorically, as a boat with "nothing wrong with it". Does not exist! Not even a new one! That's why it's really important to have a good survey done before ever buying anything that floats, just to start out with a decent list of what needs fixing and improving.

An old boat which has not been used in a few years is just a project, I'm afraid, and you'll need to face that. I bad sea cock is going to be just the very tip of the ice berg. If you end up with a list of less than three or four pages of things to do -- count yourself lucky.

My advice is to get a survey done now -- better late than never. If the result is disastrous -- then try to rescind the sale and give the boat back. If the result is reasonable, then roll your sleeves up and start tackling it. Do the work yourself -- that will not only save you money, but will also get you familiar with your boat and her systems. This learning process is essential to happy boat ownership.

Get to know other sailors with similar boats and ask for advice. Ask for advice on here -- there is a huge wealth of knowledge here, and people will help you figure out how to fix this or that broken system much more cheaply and more efficiently than you could otherwise.

How to evaluate whether the survey is disastrous? Well if the engine doesn't run and doesn't look easily salvageable, then many old boats are not worth repowering. Other big ticket items are sails, rigging, teak deck, any structural problems. You will definitely have to replace all the electronics, so you won't care much about that. Your broken sea cock is par for the course -- if the boat is fairly old and hasn't been used in five years, you will in all likelihood need to replace all of them (unless they are Blakes or the like and can be reground).

When I bought my present boat in 2009, she was only 8 years old and hardly used, with 160 hours on the generator, and surveyed excellently. But after I started using her, one thing after another failed, and even now I still spend at least $10k -- $20k every year on different replacements and upgrades, and sometimes more (like when I replaced my sails last year). If your boat is smaller, it might be cheaper, but you can't just buy any boat and just sail away. Cruising sailboats are continuous projects. There is a pithy and all too true saying that the definition of cruising is "boat repair in exotic places".
__________________
Dockhead is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2016, 10:35   #7
Registered User
 
Steady Hand's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Crewing All of 2017 Available Globally
Boat: OPB = Crewing in 2017
Posts: 4,253
Re: Buying a donated boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
OK, look, we'll try to help here.

There is absolutely no such thing, categorically, as a boat with "nothing wrong with it". Does not exist! Not even a new one! That's why it's really important to have a good survey done before ever buying anything that floats, just to start out with a decent list of what needs fixing and improving.

An old boat which has not been used in a few years is just a project, I'm afraid, and you'll need to face that. I bad sea cock is going to be just the very tip of the ice berg. If you end up with a list of less than three or four pages of things to do -- count yourself lucky.

My advice is to get a survey done now -- better late than never. If the result is disastrous -- then try to rescind the sale and give the boat back. If the result is reasonable, then roll your sleeves up and start tackling it. Do the work yourself -- that will not only save you money, but will also get you familiar with your boat and her systems. This learning process is essential to happy boat ownership.

Get to know other sailors with similar boats and ask for advice. Ask for advice on here -- there is a huge wealth of knowledge here, and people will help you figure out how to fix this or that broken system much more cheaply and more efficiently than you could otherwise.

How to evaluate whether the survey is disastrous? Well if the engine doesn't run and doesn't look easily salvageable, then many old boats are not worth repowering. Other big ticket items are sails, rigging, teak deck, any structural problems. You will definitely have to replace all the electronics, so you won't care much about that. Your broken sea cock is par for the course -- if the boat is fairly old and hasn't been used in five years, you will in all likelihood need to replace all of them (unless they are Blakes or the like and can be reground).

When I bought my present boat in 2009, she was only 8 years old and hardly used, with 160 hours on the generator, and surveyed excellently. But after I started using her, one thing after another failed, and even now I still spend at least $10k -- $20k every year on different replacements and upgrades, and sometimes more (like when I replaced my sails last year). If your boat is smaller, it might be cheaper, but you can't just buy any boat and just sail away. Cruising sailboats are continuous projects. There is a pithy and all too true saying that the definition of cruising is "boat repair in exotic places".
Outstanding post and great advice!
__________________
Ahoy All Sailors! Need experienced crew for a passage or delivery in Atlantic, Pacific, Caribbean, PNW, ICW, coastal or across an ocean anytime in 2017? I am available on 24hr notice. See my CF Profile "About Me" page for details. Happy to lend a hand!
Steady Hand is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2016, 10:35   #8
Senior Cruiser
 
Cheechako's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Skagit City, WA
Posts: 18,455
Re: Buying a donated boat

Most donated boats have wording something like "owner says engine ran when last attempted" Which is a wide open statement. If the engine will turn with a wrench on the crankshaft you may be ok. Hard to say yet.
... and yes, very rare for an boat, even non donated ones , to be "ready to go". Sorry, but boating is at least 50% boat work.
__________________
"I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard











Cheechako is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2016, 10:40   #9
Marine Service Provider
 
NoQuarter79's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: currently on Ocracoke Island, NC
Boat: Watkins 27
Posts: 110
Images: 1
Re: Buying a donated boat

It's a 1981 Watkins 27. We paid $1600 and a survey would probably be half that, and we just can't afford that. We are new to diesels. This is our first inboard, our first galley, our first head. A lot to learn and do with dwindling time and money.
__________________
NoQuarter79 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2016, 10:49   #10
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cowes (Winter), Baltic (Summer) (the boat!); somewhere in the air (me!)
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 17,550
Re: Buying a donated boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoQuarter79 View Post
It's a 1981 Watkins 27. We paid $1600 and a survey would probably be half that, and we just can't afford that. We are new to diesels. This is our first inboard, our first galley, our first head. A lot to learn and do with dwindling time and money.
Oh, I see.

And the other 2/3 of your life savings are $3200.

OK, this will require a lot of hard work and creativity. In lieu of a survey, you will really need a knowledgeable friend to go through the boat and tell you if there's anything fatally wrong with it. There are many, many things which can't be fixed for $3200, so the risk of this is significant. Maybe someone on here who is in your area would lend a hand checking it out.

If it can't be put in order with the means you have at your disposal, then you will need to try to rescind the sale or donate the boat back.

If the hull is watertight and the rudder and steering gear are sound, you COULD just sail it without the engine, if the engine can't be fixed. Many people do that with boats that size; you can also mount a small outboard.

With enough elbow grease and ingenuity, amazing things can be done.
__________________
Dockhead is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2016, 10:49   #11
Senior Cruiser
 
Cheechako's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Skagit City, WA
Posts: 18,455
Re: Buying a donated boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoQuarter79 View Post
It's a 1981 Watkins 27. We paid $1600 and a survey would probably be half that, and we just can't afford that. We are new to diesels. This is our first inboard, our first galley, our first head. A lot to learn and do with dwindling time and money.
Those are usually good boats. Helluva deal..... hopefully. Just find out if the engine will rotate and go from there. What engine?
__________________
"I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard











Cheechako is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2016, 11:12   #12
vjm
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 313
Re: Buying a donated boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by TurninTurtle View Post
Generally these are "as-is where-is" which means that there is absolutely no warranty that it will even float.
This is usually absolutely true, but does not always apply if there was an affirmative misrepresentation. So "Owner says engine runs fine" means no grounds for redress, while "We tested the engine and it runs fine" would possibly give you some wiggle room.

I am guessing the latter statement is not what is in the ad. Charities are too smart for that.
__________________
vjm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2016, 11:14   #13
Registered User
 
oldragbaggers's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Wherever the boat is
Boat: Cape Dory 33
Posts: 1,019
Re: Buying a donated boat

Worst case scenario (engine-wise) if the engine is totally shot and you can't afford to replace or repair it, you could go, for the short term, with a used outboard. This boat is a bit heavier than a Catalina 27, but we operated one of those with an outboard. I have known people to operate 30' boats with an outboard when the resources for an inboard didn't exist. Thank Got it's a SAILboat. I wouldn't recommend an outboard for significant travel under power, and it isn't going to do you a lot of good in rough weather (but that usually means there's wind) but it could serve to get you in and out of the dock, not in rough weather, so that you can use your boat until more funds become available for repairs and upgrades.

**I just looked online and found several Watkins 27's advertised with gas outboards, so apparently it's do-able.
__________________
oldragbaggers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2016, 11:18   #14
Registered User
 
oldragbaggers's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Wherever the boat is
Boat: Cape Dory 33
Posts: 1,019
Re: Buying a donated boat

If you don't mind my asking, under what circumstances did you buy your boat? If it was from a charity like Boat Angel, on eBay, they have a quite lengthy as-is disclaimer in all of their postings that says explicitly that the only thing they guarantee is that the boat is "as is" period.. In that case I wouldn't imagine you would have any kind of redress. You said you didn't see the boat before hand, so just wondering.
__________________
oldragbaggers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2016, 11:26   #15
Moderator
 
Don C L's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Channel Islands, CA
Boat: 1962 Columbia 29 MK 1 #37
Posts: 3,274
Images: 27
Re: Buying a donated boat

at $1600 that is not much of a loss if you want to donate it back. It will likely cost you much more than your remaining savings to get her in good shape. You could chalk it up to a lesson well-learned. Some of us have spent a lot more to learn that lesson!
__________________

__________________
DL
Pythagoras
1962 Columbia 29 MKI #37
Don C L is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
buying

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Buying new in France or buying used in the Caribbean? ObiWanSand Multihull Sailboats 33 25-09-2016 06:23
Donated boat and French VAT IRG General Sailing Forum 1 17-03-2016 17:23
British buying US boat and never taking boat to the UK st.matthewsmith Rules of the Road, Regulations & Red Tape 9 19-03-2013 23:35


Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:23.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.