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Old 26-12-2007, 14:35   #1
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I think I found my boat...now what?

Ok, I think I have found the perfect boat for me. It is used, in my price range, and she "speaks to me" everytime I see her.

It is at a yacht brokerage, and I would like to make an offer. But I am a little unsure about how to do it.

I assume I would make an offer like "I will pay $xxxx for the boat, pending a satisfactory survey and sea trial." Due to the weather, I would be unable to get a survey done until March, nor get her into the water until then either. But I don't want the boat to sell out from under me...

Is it customary to put a deposit with an offer?
Is there anything besides survey and sea trial that I should add to my list?

Thanks in advance for all your help.
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Old 26-12-2007, 14:46   #2
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You have it right. An executed purchase/sale agreement with a deposit and with the conditions outlined as you indicate (contingencies for survey and sea trial) is all you need. Some brokers may want a deposit along with an offer but most only require the deposit when an offer has been accepted. Really doesn't matter, if you give the broker a deposit with the offer and the offer is rejected you get your money back. Most brokers simply hold the deposit check until an offer is accepted anyway.

Good luck!


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Old 26-12-2007, 14:47   #3
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Originally Posted by Colorado Dreamer View Post
Ok, I think I have found the perfect boat for me. It is used, in my price range, and she "speaks to me" everytime I see her.

It is at a yacht brokerage, and I would like to make an offer. But I am a little unsure about how to do it.

I assume I would make an offer like "I will pay $xxxx for the boat, pending a satisfactory survey and sea trial." Due to the weather, I would be unable to get a survey done until March, nor get her into the water until then either. But I don't want the boat to sell out from under me...

Is it customary to put a deposit with an offer?
Is there anything besides survey and sea trial that I should add to my list?

Thanks in advance for all your help.
Most brokers require 10% down at the time you submit the offer. They hold the check in escrow until the sale closes - like buying a house. The seller, by accepting your offer contingent upon sea trial & survey, is also agreeing to not sell the boat to anyone else until the conditions of your offer have been satisfied. They may or may not be willing to do this, as they tie up the boat for several months while you have a pretty foolproof "escape clause" you can exercise.

Most parts of a survey can be done on the hard - why do you feel you can't get one completed until March?

Congratulations on finding "the boat!" Remember that similar to buying a house, ALL terms in the contract are negotiable. Don't be shy!

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Old 26-12-2007, 15:45   #4
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Most parts of a survey can be done on the hard - why do you feel you can't get one completed until March?
Too much snow!



Plus, it would be nice to have it all done at the same time.
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Old 26-12-2007, 15:56   #5
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If it's a production boat, a sea trial isn't going to tell you much (other than it floats and moves). I would think that most production boats would not be questionable, as far as sailing or motoring ability.

I would insist on finding and hiring my own surveyor. Never use a surveyor that is recommended by the broker. Not that there is necessarily anything dis-honest going on. It will just be putting the control in your hands and you will sleep better. The surveyor must be working for you and no one else. It would even be better if that surveyor is not familiar with the broker at all.

Make sure that you get an engine and gear-box oil analylsis done. That should tell you everything that you need to know about the running gear. Just make sure that the engine cranks over.

Follow the surveyor around and ask LOTS of questions.

What kind of boat is it? Maybe some of us may be familiar with the boat model.
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Old 26-12-2007, 16:43   #6
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Make sure that you get an engine and gear-box oil analylsis done. That should tell you everything that you need to know about the running gear.

What kind of boat is it? Maybe some of us may be familiar with the boat model.
Thanks. Good tip. I would have not thought of that. I do plan to find and hire my own surveyor. It is in a small town, and the brokerage gave me the name of two guys...but I am going to drive my own in when the time comes. I have begun the search already for a guy with experience with wooden boats.

To answer your question about what type of boat...well, It is a custom built wooden boat, built a few years back. I have never seen anything like it before.

I will post some pics and a link to the brokerage once I get my deposit in. I would hate to have someone get in line before me.
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Old 26-12-2007, 16:46   #7
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To answer your question about what type of boat...well, It is a custom built wooden boat, built a few years back. I have never seen anything like it before.

I will post some pics and a link to the brokerage once I get my deposit in. I would hate to have someone get in line before me.
OK.........NOW..a sea trial may be a good thing..

I would recommend getting a surveyor that specializes in wood boats. Even if you have to fly him in from Seattle or something. It will be the wisest couple grand you ever spent.

Remember....fresh water (and dry land) is a wood boat's worst enemy.....sounds like this boat may have seen lots of both. Don't get me wrong....there are lots of nice wood boats out there but for every good one, there are 4 bad ones.
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Old 26-12-2007, 16:56   #8
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OK.........NOW..a sea trial may be a good thing..

I would recommend getting a surveyor that specializes in wood boats. Even if you have to fly him in from Seattle or something. It will be the wisest couple grand you ever spent.

Remember....fresh water (and dry land) is a wood boat's worst enemy.....sounds like this boat may have seen lots of both. Don't get me wrong....there are lots of nice wood boats out there but for every good one, there are 4 bad ones.
Thanks for the advice. I have always been a little scared of wood boats...and I have never owned one. I "think" I am ready to take the plunge...and all the hard work that is involved.

Are you familiar with the Society of Marine Surveyors? Are they a good bunch? (The Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors, Inc.® - (SAMS®))

Is there a better resource?
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Old 26-12-2007, 17:09   #9
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Good luck with your purchase and surveyor search!! Wooden custom built boats are gorgeous when they are kept up to par. My friend spend tons of money to refit an all wooden boat back to original standards if not better!!

Looks and rides like a dream but it is a lot of maintenance and upkeep to keep the wood looking perfect!! Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to put you off, just keep in mind that there will be ongoing work on it to keep it looking perfect.

Would love to see pics though!! Cheers!
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Old 26-12-2007, 17:13   #10
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Thanks for the advice. I have always been a little scared of wood boats...and I have never owned one. I "think" I am ready to take the plunge...and all the hard work that is involved.

Are you familiar with the Society of Marine Surveyors? Are they a good bunch? (The Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors, Inc.® - (SAMS®))

Is there a better resource?
I'm sure that someone on here can help you come up with a proper surveyor.

A wood boat is an entire specialty. The surveyor must be familiar with wood boat desisign and construction techniques. If this was a home built boat it could be the best boat in the world or it could be the worst and just look pretty. If it was built by a recognised boat builder, with a good reputation, you may be in better shape. A custom boat builder lives or dies by the reputation of each boat. It should be easy enough to find out about the builder's reputation. Do you know who the builder was?

You could be embarking on a very exciting journey here. Wood boat owners either love their boat or they scuddle them. There doesn't seem to be a lot in between. Just be very careful that you aren't walking into a life altering situation here.
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Old 26-12-2007, 17:42   #11
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We used a Sales Contract that specified the offer price, teh deposit amount and the contingencies, including the buyer's right to offer a lesser amount based on survey results. It specified how much time the buyer had to complete the surveys and make the final offer.

If the final offer was not accepted due to findings on the boat that the seller was not willing to further discount the deposit was returned and the buyer was out the survey costs.

If the buyer did not complete the survey on time or forfeited due to financing or other reasons not in control of the seller the deposit was forfeited.

If you PM me I will send along my docs.
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Old 26-12-2007, 17:43   #12
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Originally Posted by Colorado Dreamer View Post
Ok, I think I have found the perfect boat for me. It is used, in my price range, and she "speaks to me" everytime I see her.

It is at a yacht brokerage, and I would like to make an offer. But I am a little unsure about how to do it.

I assume I would make an offer like "I will pay $xxxx for the boat, pending a satisfactory survey and sea trial." Due to the weather, I would be unable to get a survey done until March, nor get her into the water until then either. But I don't want the boat to sell out from under me...

Is it customary to put a deposit with an offer?
Is there anything besides survey and sea trial that I should add to my list?

Thanks in advance for all your help.
Congratulations, CD, on finding a vessel that you like. I remember when you first started posting here, last April, and your questions on sales tax in California.

I recommend that you employ your own "buyer's broker" to submit your offer. The 10% commission is coming out of the seller's proceeds anyway, whether it's all going to his broker, or being split with your's. Unless you have an agent on your side in the transaction, especially as this seems to be your first such purchase, you're possibly setting yourself up for a less than satisfactory experience.

When you state that snow is keeping you from having a survey performed until March, I'm guessing that you're either buying a vessel up here in Colorado (I'm here for the holidays, myself), or it's located in New England or Canada. I agree with the poster who stated that having a survey performed on the hard in the winter is no big deal. You can still have a satisfactory sea trial as a contingency.

It's just my personal belief, but I wouldn't worry too much about a lot of other potential buyer's clamoring to buy a one-off, wooden vessel. You may well be the only person seriously interested. At any rate, I'd advise you to assume you are, and negotiate accordingly. If you enter negotiations with the attitude that a lot of other people are beating the doors of the brokerage down with fists full of cash, demanding to buy "your" boat, you'll probably pay a good deal more than you need to.

Good luck to you, CD. That was a nice "white Christmas" we had here, wasn't it?

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Old 26-12-2007, 18:22   #13
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If I were you, I'd check out some "Wood boat" forums. Some of these guys are real fanatics and might love to give you some quality tips.

I found this one:
Wooden Boat Building and Restoration - Boat Design Forums
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Old 26-12-2007, 19:33   #14
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"If you have to ask the price, you can't afford it"

Of course that most famous quote about the cost of a wooden boat is attributed to J.P.Morgan.

Essentially I believe that he is right.

Until you know the true cost of buying a wooden boat buying one would be most unwise.

My suggestion is to do your homework, study and research until you can look at a wooden boat and intuitively know what it is worth.

Until that time keep your powder dry.
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