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Old 21-06-2016, 20:20   #1
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Purchase Yacht Unseen

I am intersted in hearing from anybody who has purchased a yacht 'unseen'

I have my eye on a few boats but they are all on the other side of the world. Sure I could take a week or two off, line all the boats, brokers, stars and planets up and still cross my fingers. But I don't really need to 'see' the boats. They are all the same model and layout and I can see what equipment they all come with. What concerns me is the condition and what work needs doing..

I doubt I am the first person to consider this, so I am keen to hear what got you over the fear/anxiety and the do's and do not's of purchasing a yacht unseen

Cheers
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Old 21-06-2016, 20:27   #2
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Re: Purchase Yacht Unseen

I did. Same as you, I had been on sisterships and researched the likely problems. I sent a surveyor and assumed he would miss at least one major defect. He did. I only spent $1500 for my boat, so it wasn't much of a risk and the whole point was that this is a learner boat so the more I have to fix the more I learn.

While I understand that it may make sense on paper to not travel to see the boats, if you spending more money than you can afford to immediately lose I would not do it. You will look at the boat far more throughly than 99.99% of surveyors.
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Old 21-06-2016, 20:35   #3
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Re: Purchase Yacht Unseen

Do
Not
Do
It.........

Know of someone from WA that did..... on a Queensland boat..

They lost their shirt..... about $100,000 of shirt
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Old 21-06-2016, 21:00   #4
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Re: Purchase Yacht Unseen

Just ask yourself the all important question: what could POSSIBLY go wrong???


Followed by wondering how you will get that unseen and untried boat back home?

A risky business IMO...

Jim
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Old 21-06-2016, 21:05   #5
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Re: Purchase Yacht Unseen

I would not recommend buying any boat sight unseen for numerous reasons. But realize that you may not need to travel to see a boat or assess its condition thanks to the prolific adoption of smartphones, high definition video and high speed internet access.

Try contacting the seller or the broker and ask if they use can use myriad of Android or iPhone high definition video chat apps (i.e. FaceTime, Viber, Tango, Skype, Hangouts, etc) to give you a detailed walk through with you guiding him or her along to assess the condition. Some video chat apps even allow you to record the video which you could use to playback later. Definitely not the optimal solution but it could help inform your decision making process.

Cheers and good luck
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Old 21-06-2016, 21:23   #6
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Re: Purchase Yacht Unseen

Big question, what's the value of the boat you're considering? If a few thousand they you aren't risking much. If many thousands it sounds like penny wise and pound foolish.

I have heard of a few people that did this and it worked out. Have heard of many more that regretted it. Plenty of people run into serious problems with boats they actually inspected so the odds of a problem without inspection are great.

I will go along with the recommendation, if it's money you can afford to lose then give it a go.
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Old 22-06-2016, 06:16   #7
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Re: Purchase Yacht Unseen

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toph View Post
But I don't really need to 'see' the boats... What concerns me is the condition and what work needs doing.
The condition and what work needs doing is why you DO need to "see" the boats!

Either that, or you need to have someone that you trust with absolute certainty "see" the boats. Not some surveyor that someone recommended to you on the internet. Or anything else like that. Someone you TRUST! Someone that you could hand your checkbook and credit cards to, and be sure that they would not misuse them. Because that is essentially what you will be doing.

As mentioned, the amount of money involved plays into this, but if it is substantial then I would make the effort to go over there and see the boats.
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Old 22-06-2016, 06:50   #8
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Re: Purchase Yacht Unseen

When not sailing or studying, I part time on big boat projects, this at times includes lending expertise to buyers and sellers of s/h boats.

From this angle, I would never buy one sight unseen.

I know this does not answer your question. Sorry for that.

Cheers,
b.
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Old 22-06-2016, 06:55   #9
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Re: Purchase Yacht Unseen

I bought a steel sailing yacht in 2007 sight unseen and lying the wrong side of the Atlantic from the UK.I paid around 27000 with the owner sailing to the Azores and me picking it up from there.I was delighted with my new yacht and the condition was exactly as described.I spent 6 weeks emailing/talking to the owner and he supplied every bit if information and pictures of any part of the yacht I asked for including opening up the waters tanks in the keel.
This was a low run home built yacht and I believe it is still possible to buy this way the buyer must fully understand what he is looking at and be able to sus out the owner and his replies.
In todays market place if you are looking at a specific type of yacht it is easy to shortlist one or two. Most important is after the condition of the hull is the amount of updating it has received,there are too many yachts out there whose owners think that they can use and then dispose of without any major expenditure and still ask top dollar.
I once asked thro this site if someone would look at a yacht for me again lying the wrong side of the pond.I had a number of replies and the guy spoke to me as he walked about the yacht.
It is your call if you know exactly what you want but there is usually a bunch of interesting yachts nearer to home.
If you go down this route good luck and it adds a much bigger degree of excitment.
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Old 22-06-2016, 07:08   #10
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Re: Purchase Yacht Unseen

If you're planning a complete refit, it seems less risky. Just assume that everything on the unseen boat will be crap and you won't be disappointed. The problem comes when buyers spend all of their budget on the purchase and then find all of the expensive problems.

Under the right conditions, I'd consider it. But then, I've always liked mysterious gifts in unmarked packages. Could be wonderful; could be frightening.
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Old 22-06-2016, 10:00   #11
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Re: Purchase Yacht Unseen

In the modern world, you need to define "sight unseen". Depending on the definition we did it a couple of times with no significant issues.


In the old days, that may have been a 3 line classified add in the back of a boat magazine followed by a phone call or two. There is absolutely no reason to buy a boat based on this kind of limited information.


In the modern world, there is no reason, you can't get quick responses from the owner with new and plentiful pictures of a boat halfway around the world.


What we did:
- Start with the online ads narrowing it down to likely candidates.
- Follow up with email inquiries asking for more info and new pictures. Ask for the date stamp to be included on the pictures. Question the status of the engines and systems.
- If everything still looks good, you can either go in person or get a surveyor.
- Hand over the cash only when on site (gives you a chance to look over what the surveyor found and back out if something really unexpected comes up).


We've bought two boats with a similar process.


The one issue we ran into is the one surveyor, we failed to get sample surveys and the guy didn't bother to take a single photo. It worked out as we asked the owner for photos of the issues found but could have saved a lot of hassle by checking sample surveys and clarifying up front we want lots of photos particularly of any issues found.
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Old 22-06-2016, 10:14   #12
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Re: Purchase Yacht Unseen

Just say NO to purchasing unseen. You have no idea what you are getting. I've asked brokers to walk on the boat while I talked with them on the cell phone. Once I asked "so how does the gel coat on the deck and cabin look? is it all powdery flat and sun baked or is it shiny and nice" He thought it was pretty good. When I flew out to finalize the boat, the damn gel coat looked like fine sandpaper, powdery, pitted etc.
Usually a flight out and inspection can save you more money than the cost.
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Old 22-06-2016, 10:22   #13
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Re: Purchase Yacht Unseen

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
Just say NO to purchasing unseen. You have no idea what you are getting. I've asked brokers to walk on the boat while I talked with them on the cell phone. Once I asked "so how does the gel coat on the deck and cabin look? is it all powdery flat and sun baked or is it shiny and nice" He thought it was pretty good. When I flew out to finalize the boat, the damn gel coat looked like fine sandpaper, powdery, pitted etc.
Usually a flight out and inspection can save you more money than the cost.
Why didn't you ask him to take some pictures right then and there? Yeah, sometimes it's hard to see fine detail but it gives you some idea. Also, the broker may not know how the pictures will turn out so he will be less likely to exaggerate the condition.
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Old 22-06-2016, 18:52   #14
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Re: Purchase Yacht Unseen

We "bought" site unseen an expensive boat. I don't see it as risky at all. I was not willing to spend the travel costs to inspect a boat that I had no idea if I could get the purchase price where I was interested. We got as many questions answered as we could. Many were essentially blown off by the less than helpful listing broker. We made our offers contingent on survey, buyers inspection and sea trial. Eventually we agreed on a price. At that point it was worth travelling for the buyers inspection. After that we setup the survey to happen while we were still present.
We could have backed out at this point if for any reason the buyer, us, did not accept the state of the boat. We also could have bailed on the survey or seatrial. No real extra risk and no travel costs on a boat that isn',t negotiable to an acceptable price.
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Old 22-06-2016, 18:59   #15
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Re: Purchase Yacht Unseen

Google mondaynever

Also do a search on this forum for your question title or just unseen, IIRC the monday never (or never monday) folks posted here recently.

They also have a website.

It's a risk. Comments haver been good at addressing how to overcome those.

Good luck.
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