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Old 16-02-2019, 10:16   #1
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Help please! Dutch buying process/contract/survey

Hi folks

In the process of trying to buy my first yacht in Holland and bring back to UK.

We agreed price in principle before viewing and the yacht was then not up to the high standard described by the broker. Not just cosmetic reasonable wear and tear, but damp forecabin with mould, holes in floorboards, cracks in galley worksurface. The broker was very unreasonable, switching suddenly from "this boat is perfect" to "you should expect that from a 13 year old boat". The seller was entirely reasonable and agreed to fix everything.

Now we are trying to agree the contract and survey. I have no reason to distrust the seller but I don't trust the broker an inch.

I agreed terms of the survey and sea-trial with the seller weeks ago and I want those terms (which resemble a UK standard contract) in our sale agreement. Essentially setting the expectation that issues identified by the surveyor must be rectified or renegotiated, otherwise the contract is void and I get my downpayment back. Then saying the sea-trial is a functional test of all gear and there is a 5pc retention against successful completion. As I said, the seller already said all this was agreeable.

The broker keeps sending me a draft contract that contains none of the above and holds me to the contractual payment unless the surveyor condemns the boat. I keep pushing it back and he just repeats the same: the surveyor is only "allowed" to review a, b and c that the broker has chosen, the sea trial is for engine only and everything else is as seen. So if we launch the boat and nav lights don't work, loos don't flush, winches don't work under load etc I am stuffed.

No explanation why the contract doesn't simply reflect the terms agreed already by the seller.

I am totally fed up. Subject to survey, the boat is fundamentally fine and the seller appears straightforward enough. But the broker is very obtuse and is at risk of making this fall through; I will then be out of pocket for four return flights and probably a surveyors bill.

What next? Do I sign and hope for the best? Or hold the line? Or give up?

Thanks in advance

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Old 16-02-2019, 10:29   #2
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Re: Help please! Dutch buying process/contract/survey

Most Dutch brokers are a member of HISWA, you can contact that organization on +31 (0)20 705 14 24
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Old 16-02-2019, 10:50   #3
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Re: Help please! Dutch buying process/contract/survey

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Originally Posted by De.windhoos View Post
Most Dutch brokers are a member of HISWA, you can contact that organization on +31 (0)20 705 14 24
Thanks, I will.

Another gremlin has just emerged. The seller is contracting to replace the standing rigging . I had understood this would be done professionally and therefore I would get an rigging/inspection report. The brokers latest email says the seller will be doing it himself! News to me. However handy he is, he isn't somebody who has rigged three hundred yachts, whose brand is recognisable by my insurer, and whose reputation depends on it.

I am inches from pulling out of this. The broker is aggressively pursuing the sellers interests and doing nothing to create clear and fair expectations on my side.

Which will be a shame as the boat is otherwise good and I already have sunk costs heading towards £700 on flights and the surveyors time. And for various reasons I have paid for a mooring in UK starting 1st April so reluctant to start from scratch elsewhere.
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Old 16-02-2019, 10:57   #4
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Re: Help please! Dutch buying process/contract/survey

Hello.
So sorry to here that. We had a similar experince with a brooker in Hindeloopen Holland. One year and 6000:- euros lawyercosts later we had no alternativ then go to court or buy the boat. Finally we got a deal. Lawyers are not a funny way.

Never ever pay anything in advance.
Sorry for my bad English
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Old 16-02-2019, 11:11   #5
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Re: Help please! Dutch buying process/contract/survey

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Thanks, I will.

Another gremlin has just emerged. The seller is contracting to replace the standing rigging . I had understood this would be done professionally and therefore I would get an rigging/inspection report. The brokers latest email says the seller will be doing it himself! News to me. However handy he is, he isn't somebody who has rigged three hundred yachts, whose brand is recognisable by my insurer, and whose reputation depends on it.

I am inches from pulling out of this. The broker is aggressively pursuing the sellers interests and doing nothing to create clear and fair expectations on my side.

Which will be a shame as the boat is otherwise good and I already have sunk costs heading towards £700 on flights and the surveyors time. And for various reasons I have paid for a mooring in UK starting 1st April so reluctant to start from scratch elsewhere.
You spend time and money for travel and surveying to discern which boats NOT TO BUY. Those are sunk costs [pun not intended] like water in your wake. Do not ever place value on funds spent, that money is no longer yours.

I agree that the rigging done by an amateur doesn't provide great confidence and as you indicated may fall foul of insurance expectations. That is not to say, amateurs can't do it right, but does make one less assured compared to a professional.

You seem to be talking yourself out of this transaction. Often your inner-voice is worth listening too.

All the best.
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Old 16-02-2019, 11:29   #6
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Re: Help please! Dutch buying process/contract/survey

Here’s a typical hiswa contract (in dutch , but use google translate to see a loosely translated english version)

Koopovereenkomst

You can add or take out any portion you want , anything you want in that contract (ie any repairs / replacements done by a reputable professional followed up by a visit from YOUR surveyor to give the OK)

If the seller / broker do not want to comply , walk away .. or renegotiate the price taking into consideration ALL shortcomings you have seen and need to be replaced / fixed by a reputable company
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Old 16-02-2019, 11:30   #7
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Re: Help please! Dutch buying process/contract/survey

I'd walk away.
It's already causing stress.
Plenty more boats out there for sale.
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Old 16-02-2019, 11:31   #8
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Re: Help please! Dutch buying process/contract/survey

Google engrish translation

https://translate.google.com/transla...ederlands.html
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Old 16-02-2019, 13:50   #9
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Re: Help please! Dutch buying process/contract/survey

Either, have a Dutch lawyer draft the contract that you and the seller want and have agreed to, or walk away from the deal.

There's no reason that you and the seller can't make a contract directly, and then you "only" have to worry about the terms being fulfilled--or going to court abroad seeking enforcement.

The broker showed the boat, arguably earned his commission by getting the buyer (you) and if he's a problem? tell him to get lost, conclude with the seller directly. Issues like "I found some street urchins to change the rigging" can still exist, but there are less likely to be surprises if you get that broker out of the picture. His job is done.
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Old 16-02-2019, 15:21   #10
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Re: Help please! Dutch buying process/contract/survey

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Thanks, really useful. And in term of "material defects" rectification that conforms closely to the UK standard contract, and to the wording I proposed and was agreed by the seller.

Broker will be advised of this!
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Old 17-02-2019, 04:57   #11
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Re: Help please! Dutch buying process/contract/survey

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You spend time and money for travel and surveying to discern which boats NOT TO BUY. Those are sunk costs [pun not intended] like water in your wake. Do not ever place value on funds spent, that money is no longer yours.

I agree that the rigging done by an amateur doesn't provide great confidence and as you indicated may fall foul of insurance expectations. That is not to say, amateurs can't do it right, but does make one less assured compared to a professional.

You seem to be talking yourself out of this transaction. Often your inner-voice is worth listening too.

All the best.
Very well put thanks.

I have just had another really snotty email from the broker. I had said the seatrial would be for full functional checks of every system; everything the surveyor can't do on land. Seller agreed. Now the broker is trying to say (and have in the contract) that it's engine only. So if the loos don't flush or navlights don't work, I'm sucking it up.

I can't sign this!
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Old 17-02-2019, 05:36   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richr View Post
Very well put thanks.

I have just had another really snotty email from the broker. I had said the seatrial would be for full functional checks of every system; everything the surveyor can't do on land. Seller agreed. Now the broker is trying to say (and have in the contract) that it's engine only. So if the loos don't flush or navlights don't work, I'm sucking it up.

I can't sign this!
Sea trial is primarily for sails, rig, hull integrity and engine..
Lights etc can be tested on land by flicking a switch, toilet you just pour a bucket of water in the pan and flush, inlet you stick a hose in and turn on the water.. after opening the valve.
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Old 17-02-2019, 07:05   #13
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Re: Help please! Dutch buying process/contract/survey

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I can't sign this!
Then donít !

Let the seller and broker know you are sending them your copy of the HISWA sales contract with the points in it that you and the seller agreed on and that if the broker does not agree with this version of the sales contract you will walk or they will have to agree to a much lower price as you will have to assume that all the systems you and your surveyor are not allowed to test during the sea trial are defective and need to be replaced

Ive never heard of a broker acting this difficult ?
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Old 17-02-2019, 07:14   #14
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Re: Help please! Dutch buying process/contract/survey

Ps I dont know if you already have a dutch surveyor but i can recommend Olav Cox. Circumnavigator himself , and nothing but extremely good reviews

Ritme van de oceaan - Cox Zeiljachtexpertise

You can ask him (if you take him on as your surveyor) what he thinks about the way this is going as it might be ‘just’ a dutch thing and language barrier misunderstanding between yourself and the broker ?
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Old 17-02-2019, 07:26   #15
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Re: Help please! Dutch buying process/contract/survey

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Then donít !

Let the seller and broker know you are sending them your copy of the HISWA sales contract with the points in it that you and the seller agreed on and that if the broker does not agree with this version of the sales contract you will walk or they will have to agree to a much lower price as you will have to assume that all the systems you and your surveyor are not allowed to test during the sea trial are defective and need to be replaced

Ive never heard of a broker acting this difficult ?
Thanks, that's what I have done, and asked them to explain (1) why they have removed the relevant paragraphs; it turns out they HAVE used the HISWA document except the paragraphs that protect me (2) what in their mind will happen if the surveyor finds defects.
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