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Old 25-03-2019, 05:28   #1
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Wet Decks - Buy or Fly?

We're contracted on a sailboat that has some issues. Our contract price is 40% less than sold prices average on the same model. The deck has a couple of soft spots, one about 5-10 sq/ft, the other around a stanchion. I know how to fix everything but the core problems. Not that I can't learn.


Just curious how those here, when looking to buy a boat, would respond or have responded to wet decks. Not looking for advice on making the purchase.
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Old 25-03-2019, 05:49   #2
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Re: Wet Decks - Buy or Fly?

The "compared to other sales" metric does not count for much IMO.

Is that 40% of $200,000 or 40% of $10,000?

Is it a uniquely attractive design / classic model you "just love" otherwise completely perfect, all modern electronics ne sails etc so you believe it to be worth double or something?

Is the time and cost involved in fixing that issue not a big deal at all to you, compared to getting out on the water sooner?

Really it is the subjective factors make the most difference to the decision.
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Old 25-03-2019, 06:18   #3
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Wet Decks - Buy or Fly?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jules_M View Post

Just curious how those here, when looking to buy a boat, would respond or have responded to wet decks. Not looking for advice on making the purchase.

You get an estimate for the cost of the repair and use that to negotiate down the final purchase price. Thatís standard post-survey practice; anything that turns up that differs from how the boat was presented in the listing is fair game for further negotiation.

Of course in your case getting any remotely accurate estimate is going to be difficult until the deck is opened up but a good fiberglass repair person can at least give you a range.
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Old 25-03-2019, 07:22   #4
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Re: Wet Decks - Buy or Fly?

Knowledge is king for both your negotiation and how you may spend your time and money after the sale. I have gotten second surveyors for specific areas and would always get several estimates from those that have the best reputations in your boat type and boat material and construction type. Keeping in mind that the actual cost and time rarely comes in under the estimated cost and time. Suijin's advice follows. A lot of damage can occur before a deck feels soft, so your damaged area may extend beyond what you think.
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Old 25-03-2019, 07:26   #5
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Re: Wet Decks - Buy or Fly?

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Originally Posted by john61ct View Post
The "compared to other sales" metric does not count for much IMO.

Is that 40% of $200,000 or 40% of $10,000?

Is it a uniquely attractive design / classic model you "just love" otherwise completely perfect, all modern electronics ne sails etc so you believe it to be worth double or something?

Is the time and cost involved in fixing that issue not a big deal at all to you, compared to getting out on the water sooner?

Really it is the subjective factors make the most difference to the decision.



Exactly. Fixing soft decks is normally a very big job, and can easily cost more than the vessel is worth. You need to sharpen your pencil and draw a realistic financial picture of the whole situation before you can make a reasonable decision.



If it's an otherwise beautiful $200 000 boat, then it might not be so bad, but if it's a $20 000 boat, it is unlikely to be worth messing with.


And any boat which has been left with soft decks is likely to have other issues as well, so a good survey will be crucial to understanding what you are dealing with, and being able to draw the realistic financial picture, which should be your guide.




As a general rule, "bargain" boats might sometimes really be bargains, but are probably more often money and time pits which are not worth the discount, and might very well not be worth anything at all (because cost of repairs is greater than the post-repair value). The most reliable good deals in used boats are those which have just been extensively refit, and which are sold not at a discount, but a premium. That premium rarely reflects the cost, much less the trouble, of doing all the work, and that's very often the REAL bargain.
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Old 25-03-2019, 07:39   #6
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Re: Wet Decks - Buy or Fly?

well said!
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Old 25-03-2019, 08:12   #7
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Re: Wet Decks - Buy or Fly?

More of a big deal on an occasional use boat vs a liveaboard or cruiser.

I've redone some of my decks but spent just as much time cleaning up my workspace to go home rather than keep working. Would have gone 5x faster if I stayed onboard.

It's always worse than expected but the actual repair is simple.
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Old 25-03-2019, 08:21   #8
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Re: Wet Decks - Buy or Fly?

It's best to stay away from boats with soft spots even if you can fix it especially since there are so many boats out there for sale.

My boat is 45 years old and has no soft spots in the deck. There's sometimes creaking in the cockpit in Winter near the rudder but that's it.

It was a $2,000 boat. I've sailed it for 8 years and am just now starting to fix it up a bit. I still need to paint the decks though
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Old 25-03-2019, 08:37   #9
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Re: Wet Decks - Buy or Fly?

Teak decks over? That might make a big difference. Also, it's likely hard to find a boat without some deck intrusion. Your big area is a little disconcerting. It would help to know more info, where is that big spot located?
I had a big area like that on the foredeck above the V berth on one boat, I fixed it myself from the inside. While that was a bit messy, I didnt have to worry about Gel coat matching, non skid etc like if I had done it from the top. That is much easier for a layman.
Other comments about what boat design and price are appropriate also. $100k boat? Easy to find design? On a $100 k boat it may be a $15k job. Is it worth it?.. or find one without a big problem?
It's also possible you could just ignore it. There are two types of sailors out there: ones with wet decks and waterlogged rudders who worry about getting them fixed, and ones with wet decks and rudders who don't want to know about it! (OK, a bit of exaggeration but some truth in there)
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Old 25-03-2019, 08:53   #10
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Re: Wet Decks - Buy or Fly?

If fiberglass work is no big deal to you, then fixing soft decks are no big deal. And its really not that expensive to do yourself. Assume its about 3 times worse than you think when figuring cost. Get a estimate for the repair and reduce the buying price by that..the estimate should also assume its a bigger area, because it probably is.
It will take time, and youll hate it, and probably swear youll never do it again..but if saving the money allows you to buy the boat you couldn't otherwise afford ...that's why we do it.
If you don't want to do the work yourself, I would just buy one that doesn't have issues...I have very very rarely seen a "deal" end up as a deal when the boatyard did the repair.VERY rarely. And Ive worked in a lot of boatyards.
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Old 25-03-2019, 09:23   #11
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Re: Wet Decks - Buy or Fly?

I've got a guy out there today to give an estimate on fixing the decks. But I was just curious to see how others react to running into wet decks.


I think it was Don Casey who said wet decks scare off many buyers, unjustifiably so. Maybe it's just another skill to learn.
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Old 25-03-2019, 09:27   #12
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Re: Wet Decks - Buy or Fly?

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but if saving the money allows you to buy the boat you couldn't otherwise afford ...that's why we do it.
Count me in that crowd. But I also like doing things I've never done before. Some things I never want to do again but I had to satisfy the curiosity.
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Old 25-03-2019, 09:54   #13
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Re: Wet Decks - Buy or Fly?

As Cheechako said I had 3 spots on our side decks I removed the ceilings and head liner, used a cut off wheel to score the glass from under side, ripped out the core until I got to dry stuff, put in new recovered, put it back together after surveyor checked it! He liked what I did, and signed off ! You just have to think it out and go step by step ! And no I never did this type of work before, and did during the winter under a shrink wrapped cover !
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Old 25-03-2019, 10:46   #14
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Re: Wet Decks - Buy or Fly?

https://injectadeck.com/
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Old 25-03-2019, 10:57   #15
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Re: Wet Decks - Buy or Fly?

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Now that's what I'm talking about! Suddenly that wet deck just got a lot cheaper and easier to repair.



Have you tried it?
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