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Old 08-08-2016, 09:48   #1
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Questions to ask Owner when considering purchase

Hello all, first time poster so take it easy. Looking for an blue water capable cruiser 45ft - 50ft, center console, mono-haul design to cruise the world with.

Trying to put together a list of preliminary questions to ask an owner for the initial/first inspection of boat before the all important Stage II Survey>HaulOut>Offer stage.

While on board I will be doing my best to look for signs both good and bad of overall condition of boat, engine hours, soggy decks, leaks, wiring etc...

But what questions should i be asking the owner to get a better understanding of condition, care of boat etc..?

Example: How old is the standing rigging? How often do you change the engine oil? Etc.. Basically innocuous questions that will help me paint a better picture of how the boat has been cared for, what future expenses I may be incurring, etc...

I tried searching for a list on the forum but did not find anything.

TIA!
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Old 08-08-2016, 09:59   #2
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Re: Questions to ask Owner when considering purchase

What expenses were occurred in the past 5 years and produce receipts? when you do have a boat in mind and are at the stage of a survey, keep in mind that not all surveyors are created equal.
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Old 08-08-2016, 10:36   #3
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Re: Questions to ask Owner when considering purchase

I never, not once I don't think met the owner when I was looking for boats. No, that's not true, the first boat I bought, the one that busted the survey, I met them, but not until after and offer was made.
Myself, if you wanted to see receipts, I don't keep receipts, cause knock on wood, I have done everything myself maintenance wise.
Average owner is I believe an idiot. Like my wife, she has a through understanding on how the car works, you stick the key it and turn it, add fuel once a week or so.
She has been driving for forty years, has driven hundreds of thousands of miles, she must be an expert, right?

Depending on the boat type your looking for, read as much as you can about it, if your a Jack of all trades, decent Diesel mechanic, electrician etc., you can tell if one has been buggered up or not.
If I were looking at boats than can have a wet deck, I'd get myself a moisture reader, only to try to cull ones though before I spent money on a survey.

Do your best to find a surveyor that is an expert on THAT particular boat. When I was looking at a Hunter the surveyor that I used, ran the line at Hunter before retirement, he knew exactly what to look for, and the Hunter user forum told me exactly what to look for on that particular year model boat, they are a wealth of information.
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Old 08-08-2016, 11:02   #4
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Re: Questions to ask Owner when considering purchase

If you are really planning on deep water cruising I wouldn't even bother asking... I would assume I was also buying new sails, rigging, and an engine rebuild. On an older boat I would also plan to drop the keel and inspect the keel bolts. Unless the owner could show proof that those things had been done in the last few years.

Past that it's all normal inspection stuff that a reputable surveyor who knows the boat should be able to pick out.
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Old 08-08-2016, 12:57   #5
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Re: Questions to ask Owner when considering purchase

Chances of meeting the owner are slim. Hope the listing is accurate and detailed.
Look for a log book. Read the hour meter. Check the oil/tranny fluid. inspect the sails. Look for signs of leaks. Look for half-assed repairs, wiring etc.
Depend on your own eyes and the surveyor.
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Old 08-08-2016, 13:19   #6
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Re: Questions to ask Owner when considering purchase

I feel about like Greg. You might meet the owner in the process and if you do it won't hurt to chat with him/her but at the end of the day, would you believe what a total stranger tells you about a boat you plan to take offshore.

If the owner says things like the rigging is original, the engine has 8,000 hours or other negatives then OK but if the owner tells you the engine has been overhauled ask for documentation. But, like A64 I don't really save receipts. Do most of it myself and the stuff I do pay for I don't want to have to keep track of a receipt any longer than I need it for warranty.
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Old 08-08-2016, 14:03   #7
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Re: Questions to ask Owner when considering purchase

I tried to sell our boat once. Somehow a buyer ended up talking directly to me one day with no broker around. We sat down with a beer and I blabbed everything. The guy passed on the boat.
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Old 08-08-2016, 14:11   #8
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Re: Questions to ask Owner when considering purchase

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guy View Post
I tried to sell our boat once. Somehow a buyer ended up talking directly to me one day with no broker around. We sat down with a beer and I blabbed everything. The guy passed on the boat.

I'd guess better than 90% are dreamers, tire kickers whatever. A few I believe go look at boats and houses, etc., with no intent to buy, it's fun and gives them something to do.

Until I got a buyers broker, many if not most wouldn't even return my call or it was some sort of auto reply on email. Other brokers, I guess they take seriously as she was able to set up viewings that I wasn't.


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Old 08-08-2016, 16:06   #9
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Re: Questions to ask Owner when considering purchase

For starters, I would look for something a little smaller to start out with to see if you like cruising.


Making a huge mistake with a 35' $40k boat is going to be a lot easier to swallow than with a 50' $300k boat. This isn't meant as a slam against you but it's pretty clear from your post that you aren't familiar with large cruising sailboats. What sounds good after reading a bunch of magazines isn't necessarily what you will like once you are on the boat.


There is no magic questions that will get the owner to tell you all the secrets. They will either be honest with you or they won't. You are best off assuming they won't tell you anything. If you do get someone who tells you the little issues, I would place more trust in that boat than one where the guy tries to gloss over anything you find.


Look thru everything yourself and then hire a good surveyor (include rigging and engines which are often separate).
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Old 08-08-2016, 20:08   #10
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Re: Questions to ask Owner when considering purchase

Quote:
Originally Posted by ElectroFroggy View Post
Hello all, first time poster so take it easy. Looking for an blue water capable cruiser 45ft - 50ft, center console, mono-haul design to cruise the world with.
I'm going to assume that you don't actually mean you want a 50' center console and suggest you start with Marine Survey 101 which will give you a few ideas on how to inspect a boat before laying out money for a surveyor.

If you really do mean you want a 50' center console to travel the world, well I don't think anyone here can help you
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Old 09-08-2016, 02:12   #11
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Re: Questions to ask Owner when considering purchase

"...center console, mono-haul..."
I suggest reading up a bit more...
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Old 09-08-2016, 04:36   #12
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Re: Questions to ask Owner when considering purchase

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Froggy.
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Old 09-08-2016, 07:17   #13
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Re: Questions to ask Owner when considering purchase

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post

Average owner is I believe an idiot. Like my wife, . . .
OT I know, but never, ever have the words "idiot" and "wife" near each other.
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Old 09-08-2016, 09:49   #14
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Re: Questions to ask Owner when considering purchase

Thanks everybody for the helpful replies. As some of you picked up I meant to type Center Cockpit, not Center Console, still stuck in my Powerboat world but not for much longer ;-)
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Old 09-08-2016, 10:07   #15
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Re: Questions to ask Owner when considering purchase

If you really get to sit with the owner on the boat, that's a very good thing. In my experience, brokers don't like owners there, the reason is owners often say too much about there boat. That's a good thing for the buyer. Listen for little hints of past issues etc, probe further when you hear one. Once you ask "why" or "how" about 3 times you'll get good info. :>)
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