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Old 05-08-2007, 05:50   #1
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Question Need Input from Boat Selling Experts!

Need input from boat selling experts or just anyone with an opinion. ha ha


Well, my string of incredible luck/fortune never ceases to deliver!

We just had our survey from our first buyer who was very interested in the boat. As our luck would deliver, we have gel coat cracks below the waterline that has let water in between the gelcoat and the first layer of glass. Nothing structural, but still... it makes a moisture meter go crazy and there is the distinct possiblity of patches of gel coat and bottom paint falling off where the cracks are.

Surveyor suggests grinding down of the gel coat to the fiberglass and then an epoxy barrier coat. Great. We can't afford that.

So, we are now looking at losing just about all the equity we had hoped to get back out of the boat. We're broke yet again. We sure wish our surveyor picked this up 2 years ago. If I relied on my own experience rather than contracting the inspection out, this disaster could have been avoided. I'll never use a surveyor again, but that's a different thread.

So my question is about selling the boat. We do not have a lot of money and now have even less because we have to drastically reduce the price of the boat to offset the need for a barrier coat treatment.

One thing we are thinking heavily about it selling the boat for a ROCK BOTTOM price and stripping out what we need from it. Here is an equipment list of what we would include with the boat for $79K. Does this sound like a reasonable deal, assuming the boat needs a barrier coat? Keep in mind nothing is included that isn't on this equipment list, except things like cushions, spare parts, etc... etc... No big items.

Specification and Equipment List @ $79,900


1987 Hirsh Gulfstar
LOA: 45’
Beam: 13’8”
Draft: 5’5”
Bridge Clearance: 55’


Deck-

Full cockpit enclosure (new 2005)
All cockpit cushions
Garmin GPSMap at Helm
UK Main and Genoa
New Harken Roller Furler (new 2005)
Edson Cable Wheel Steering from Center Cockpit
2 Dorade Vents
Large deck – easy to walk around on
Throwable life ring
Force 10 BBQ grill
Wood Mount for Outboard
Lewmar 52 Self Tailing Winches for Genoa
Lewmar 30 Self Tailing Winch for Main Sheet
Lewmar Winches on Mast (main and genoa halyards)
All Lewmar blocks and tackle
Boom Vang
Lazy Jack System
All Teak Cetoled in 2006
New Running Rigging (Main Sheet) 2007

Electrical-

50 Amp Charger
110VAC system via 2 30 Amp circuits for a total of 60AMPS power
12V System
Recessed Halogen Lighting installed throughout
Frilight electronic dimmers for halogens
Portawattz 700 Watt Inverter


Plumbing-

All new plumbing 2005
New plumbing fixtures in aft head (Graff faucet)
Raritan 5 Gal hot water heater (electric and engine warmed)
140gals of fresh water in 3 tanks
Jabsco head new (2006) – only one – not both

Galley-

Extra deep galley sink
12V fan in galley

Electronics-

Garmin GPSman at helm
AutoHelm 6000 (direct drive)
Sharp Aquos LCD TV
Sony 100 AMP receiver
100 Amp waterproof recessed speakers
Sony Playstation (acts as DVD also)
Datamarine Depth, Wind and Knot Log

Engine Room-

Perkins 4-108 (50hp) Diesel Engine (1101 hours on meter, which seems innacurate)
55 Gal Aluminum Fuel Tank

Interior/Layout-

Center Cockpit
V Berth Foreward
Head #1 Foreward
Pull out Settee to form double berth
Ample Storage in lockers and bilges
Bilge High Water Alarm
Automatic and Manual Bilge Pump
Emergency Tiller
Full Length Mirror
Huge centerline queen berth in aft master cabin
Master head has separate walk-in shower
Nav station
Removable salon tables to maximize space when not needed (large and small table, all new 2006)

Etc-

Lifejackets
Flares
Lights
Assorted lines
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Old 05-08-2007, 06:27   #2
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Sean: What did you have the boat listed for? $79K sounds TOO cheap to me. I looked at the pictures of the boat in a previous post and it looked very nice. To peel and epoxy the bottom, if I remember correctly, is $5K to $7K . If the prospective buyer liked the boat, why not simply reduce the price to him? I bought a boat once with blisters (1000's) and that was the arrangement the seller & I made.
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Old 05-08-2007, 06:47   #3
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The survey is the midpoint in negociations, not a deal killer. Get some prices on what it will cost to cure the problem and then get that prospect on the phone and close the deal
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Old 05-08-2007, 07:10   #4
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How long was the boat out of the water before the moisture readings were taken?
If it was just an hour or so....I'd call bunk on the survey.
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Old 05-08-2007, 08:36   #5
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Your broker is supposed to be working for you(getting you the best price). The surveyor works for the buyer. As far as buyers are concerned what you have is in dire need of repair( A great way to lower the asking price.) As a seller I would ask an independent surveyor to take a look-see. If necessary, I would then ask the yard to give you an estimate for repair. The yard might even give you their impression of the bottom so you do not need to hire a surveyor. Your surveyor 2 years ago might not have picked up on the hull if the boat had dried out in the yard before a new bottom paint was applied. I would start a thread asking other Gulf owners if they have had a similiar problem.

John
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Old 05-08-2007, 10:37   #6
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Scallywag, and Pat you both might be right but that will just lead to a disagreement on who's surveyer is right.

The buyer already bought and paid for his survey , and that's what he'll believe no matter what evidence to the contrary. At the same time, this guy already made an offer on Sean's boat... he wants it. Sean should sell it to him....

Arrange with the yard to repair the damage.. arrange with the buyer to close the day it's finished.

Close on the boat...pay the yard at the closing table, and you're out of there....
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Old 05-08-2007, 10:37   #7
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Originally Posted by ssullivan
Need input from ...............just anyone with an opinion. ha ha
Jeezus dude, if you didn't have bad luck you wouldn't have any luck at all..........can't help cos' I don't know the market in the US / your area....

But have you considered keeping her well insured?

EDIT, just realised that the offer may still be on the table? at this reduced price? Of course I do not know all your circumstances, but the boat does seem to have become a monkey on your back, and I would be sorely tempted to take any offer that simply let you walk away......so you can start rebuilding yourselves financially without the floating money pit.

BTW did you give up on the working in Europe idea?
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Old 05-08-2007, 11:06   #8
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Originally Posted by rickm505
this guy already made an offer on Sean's boat... he wants it. Sean should sell it to him....

To be clear, this buyer did *not* make an offer or put down a deposit. He is surveying a few boats and picking the one that is right before doing an offer and deposit. It's a little backward, but that's how he's doing it.

The likelyhood of him buying our boat is maybe 50%/50% now. This is why I'm looking at new selling strategies, in light of the bad news.
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Old 05-08-2007, 11:08   #9
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Originally Posted by David_Old_Jersey
.

BTW did you give up on the working in Europe idea?

For the time being, yes. We can't set up in Europe yet until we are secure financially. This big loss of our equity in the boat (representing everything we own) prevents us from doing most anything.

We're screwed in a lot of ways now...
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Old 05-08-2007, 11:21   #10
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You realize this discussion is now public and may be available to anyone that wants to purchase the boat. I would assume any buyer will find out since I always found such information on both my prior boat purchases. You can't hide the truth about it or face some serious problems far worse.

At this point your best bet is to disclose the information up front. This isn't something you want to come up on a survey report. It's the type of surprise that becomes a deal breaker when the report comes out. When disclosed up front and presented that way you might actually get an offer that will close. You might be better off hauling the boat and offering it for sale on the hard. Looking at it might reduce the shock of it all.

If you blasted the bottom you might be able to reveal the areas that are most serious and deal with them. The idea of a boat having blisters is sort of the same thing. People totally freak out over something that can be repaired with a very good assurance. I wouldn't see this as any different. It is a psychological barrier to selling. It would be better to fix it first as you could control your expenses rather than the perceived expense of a buyer that feels that they have you. Since you can't afford to repair it first you are stuck with having to be open about it or you'll never sell it.
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Old 05-08-2007, 11:26   #11
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Sean the boat is too inexpensive. I'd increase the asking price for a boat of this quality.
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Old 05-08-2007, 11:33   #12
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RickM505, I was just trying to put the buyer seller relationship into perspective. Taking another peron's surveyor's word for the condition of your yacht should be a red flag. The buyer is trying to get something for nothing. Do you think a marine insurance company would insure the yacht with that type of survey?
Sean, you could always list the boat "as-is". Sell the valuable items separately. Playstation and TV are possibilities. People might feel the TV is a plus for the yacht as the playstation is not important. I did not see a dink with outboard motor listed. A dink and outboard probably bring more sold separately than with a yacht. Hope everthing goes well for you.

John
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Old 05-08-2007, 12:05   #13
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Sean, do you still have your B&B site up, or an on-line listing that we could look at? I never get tired of looking at that boat. The interior is really amazing, and a great blend of modern convenience & cozy, romantic flair. What a nice touch that Little Cod stove is…

79k is the theoretical "stripped" price (so he can "part out" the big pile of non-listed equipment separately, e.g. on Ebay, to get the cash out of it, & try to maximize the total return). Sean's asking price "loaded" was much higher.

I think the finished product of all your uprgrades & "sweat equity" gives this boat a lot of valuable slip appeal, and without it, there'd be little to offset the hull problem in a buyer's mind. You don't try to make your sister uglier when you're looking to set her up with a friend. I'd leave it as one package & take advantage of that strong selling point, because the total effect really is beautiful.

Yes, this will cause you to have to court the buyer, and I agree, it's more of a psychological barrier that anything else. Turn up those people skills & approach him with the idea that seller would cover that repair, and how successful & permanent those repair outcomes are. Have a couple of hard estimates in hand, and photos to remind him of the jewel she is. Sure, this changes the negotiations, but it doesn't have to be a deal-breaker, and you can convince him of that. Clear a path.

As a last resort, you may choose to put your cards on the table and reveal what your actual pay-off on the loan is, if you don't think buyers are plentiful and you are reduced to a 'take it or leave it, but I need this much to walk away" position.

If he gets away, be honest but conscious of the timing of revealing this condition to any future buyers: after the idea of the yacht actually being his has had a chance to sink in & so is more acceptable. A man discounts new flaws he finds in his fiancée that would have given him serious misgivings if discovered on the first date.

Sean, this is my very best advice to you, and I'm going to give it one more try: If it were me, I'd still get angry at that loan, get three or four jobs between the two of us & work with laser-like intensity for a few months to beat the hell out of it, pay it off myself and have my yacht free and clear & pay for the repair, and maybe put a few additional thousands in the bank before I took my tie off again. I think you're always been too pessimistic about this. You're young, and energetic, and smart and entrepreneurial: if you put those skills to use in the marketplace and work really hard for just a little while, you can retire that loan and have the boat, and that would be a wonderful position to be in to consider future plans. Sit down with a pencil, take servicing that loan out of your budget, and see if the new monthly numbers aren't a lot nicer, and decide if you'd like to live there.

My Best to You, & Fair Winds,
Jeff
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Old 05-08-2007, 13:49   #14
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Wow Sean, DON'T PANIC just yet. This is a total knee jerk reaction. I have not read all the posts yet, so hopefully I am echoing someone else here. But how was this test done?? How long had the boat been out and drying for before the meter was used???
Cracks in gel DO NOT let water seep under the gel coat. Calm down and think very clearly about this. Gel coat is a chemicaly linked part of the rest of the resin underneath. IT IS NOT a paint that can allow something under it. If you have a blister problem, that is somehting totaly different and will give very different results and you should see very different effects. To measure water like this guy is doing, suggests the surveyor has no clue what he is doing. I would dismiss this one episode. Unless the potential buyer is really seriouse and is wanting to talk turkey, I would suggest he is tire kicking and looking at a non-credible way of reducing the price.
I think this is situation is totaly bogus mate. Don't react to it.
Besides, if it is just cracking, then a good dry out, a good abrasive sand to key and a good epoxy coating is all that is needed.
All can be done by you. It is not hard.
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Old 05-08-2007, 14:16   #15
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Sean, this is my very best advice to you, and I'm going to give it one more try: If it were me, I'd still get angry at that loan, get three or four jobs between the two of us & work with laser-like intensity for a few months to beat the hell out of it, pay it off myself and have my yacht free and clear & pay for the repair, and maybe put a few additional thousands in the bank before I took my tie off again. I think you're always been too pessimistic about this. You're young, and energetic, and smart and entrepreneurial: if you put those skills to use in the marketplace and work really hard for just a little while, you can retire that loan and have the boat, and that would be a wonderful position to be in to consider future plans. Sit down with a pencil, take servicing that loan out of your budget, and see if the new monthly numbers aren't a lot nicer, and decide if you'd like to live there.

My Best to You, & Fair Winds,
Jeff
I could not agree with this more....I don't even know you Sean but I've seen plenty of your posts on here and one thing stands WAAAAY out and that is your PASSION for your boat...it made me sick to see you were going to sell it because of the outstanding loan.....Money is just that...it's only money...it comes and goes in life ALL the time...Experience has taught me that if something you are doing is difficult and doesn't seem to be working out then you are probably not supposed to be doing it....you have worked bloody hard to make that beautiful boat what it is....now put that effort into paying it off!!!!!....just do whatever it damn well takes....move ashore and work if you have to...make whatever sacrifice you have to to MAKE it happen!!!...I think you deserve WAY more than you are giving yourself.....Experience has also taught me that when things are going well then you are probably doing something you are supposed to be doing....also that sometimes things screw up and become hard JUST a little....I think that is to teach us to fully appreciate what we have....you have an amazing boat because of what you have done with it...do NOT give it up coz it's a little bit hard as you get near the bottom of the hill....Sean...FIND A WAY...yer a sailor dammit.....sail this stormy sea...don't go abandoning ship because the weather is a little rough!!!!!!
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