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Old 13-01-2015, 08:31   #1
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Would you buy a boat that you knew has sunk in the past?

Here's the situation. There's a boat for sale at a discounted price, probably half its market value. New motor, new windlass, new water pump, etc.... The interior paneling has been painted, but I'm 99% certain that this boat has sunk, and been refurbished. When researching this particular boat make and model, I stumbled across a blog about a couple who ran aground, suffered rudder damage and the boat went to the bottom. Obviously it wasn't too deep since they ran aground, but the forward deck was awash, and even back in the main salon water was well above the floorboards. The boat in the blog is the same make, model, hull color, stripe color home port and NAME as the boat that's for sale. So this brings up an interesting question. IF, a survey came back ok, and the boat checked out, would you buy it, OR would you simply discount it regardless of survey and inspection based on the knowledge that its been full of salt water at some point?

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Old 13-01-2015, 08:40   #2
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Re: Would you buy a boat that you knew has sunk in the past?

Water in and of itself is not an issue for the fiberglass hull or the mast and rigging since those get wet all the time. However unless you plan on gutting the entire boat down to the hull, including all the wood in the cabin, the wiring, motor... everything (huge expensive job) I would pass on it.
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Old 13-01-2015, 08:45   #3
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Re: Would you buy a boat that you knew has sunk in the past?

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Originally Posted by Transporter2112 View Post
Here's the situation. There's a boat for sale at a discounted price, probably half its market value. New motor, new windlass, new water pump, etc.... The interior paneling has been painted, but I'm 99% certain that this boat has sunk, and been refurbished. When researching this particular boat make and model, I stumbled across a blog about a couple who ran aground, suffered rudder damage and the boat went to the bottom. Obviously it wasn't too deep since they ran aground, but the forward deck was awash, and even back in the main salon water was well above the floorboards. The boat in the blog is the same make, model, hull color, stripe color home port and NAME as the boat that's for sale. So this brings up an interesting question. IF, a survey came back ok, and the boat checked out, would you buy it, OR would you simply discount it regardless of survey and inspection based on the knowledge that its been full of salt water at some point?

Some others I'm sure can speak better to this I'm sure. Depending on where you are, it is likely required by law for any salvage history to be disclosed. If you are in the US this probably varies by state.

Secondly, my understanding is that the reason salvaged boats are unmarketable, despite the quality and soundness of repairs and restoration, is the unwillingness of insurers to write policies on salvaged vessels. Things could become complicated if a marina requires proof of insurance or it is needed for financing. I could be wrong on this but was the advice given to me when I was combing through the glut of salvaged boats put on the market after Hurricane Katrina.
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Old 13-01-2015, 08:47   #4
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Re: Would you buy a boat that you knew has sunk in the past?

Do you have a link to the blog and/or boat?
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Old 13-01-2015, 08:51   #5
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Re: Would you buy a boat that you knew has sunk in the past?

Know of a couple who got a boat they otherwise couldn't afford because it sank in its slip and had some water damage. Still a great boat they easily brought back. Prbably depends on the extent of the water damage?

How did it sink and what kind of documentation is there on the rudder repair? Was the hull smashing up against the reef?
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Old 13-01-2015, 08:59   #6
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Re: Would you buy a boat that you knew has sunk in the past?

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Do you have a link to the blog and/or boat?
Well, I'm not going to buy the boat either way, the timing isn't quite right for me. This was more of a general discussion topic. BUT... to illustrate the type of damage my "hypothetical" vessel would suffer check here.

Primrose with Mike and Diane

Its a Moody 42. There's one currently for sale on Ebay, and another listing for the same boat here:

1978 Moody Moody 42 sailboat for sale in Florida
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Old 13-01-2015, 08:59   #7
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If it passed my survey and a surveyor also passed it.. and there was proof of repairs carried out.. invoices etc...
Yes..
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Old 13-01-2015, 09:14   #8
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Re: Would you buy a boat that you knew has sunk in the past?

We made an offer on a 43 Mainship Trawler. It had run into a rock jetty and was partially submerged. The surveyer found hidden damage under the v-berth where the hull attaches to the deck. There were a few other places where he found some related problems, but I don't remember those details. I was also worried about saltwater intrusion into the wiring. In the end, we decided not to buy the boat and in retrospect, I am very glad
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Old 13-01-2015, 09:14   #9
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Re: Would you buy a boat that you knew has sunk in the past?

There is no such thing as a boat being sold for "half it's market value".

The selling price IS the market value.

A better question you might ask yourself is - with all the used boats on the market, why should I buy the one which sank potentially causing all types of unforseeable problems?

Remember, Surveyors are not omnipotent. Many are incompetent.
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Old 13-01-2015, 09:18   #10
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Re: Would you buy a boat that you knew has sunk in the past?

Why bottom feed when this is a buyer's market?

Look for something well cared for, at a fair price. Not a career in boat building.
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Old 13-01-2015, 09:20   #11
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Re: Would you buy a boat that you knew has sunk in the past?

For me it would have to be

1. An exceptional boat at an exceptional price
OR
2. Repaired or rebuilt to the most demanding standards.
OR
3. Pass and extremely stringent survey.

New engine, wiring, pumps, plumbing, etc is all well and good but I would be very concerned about all the wood in the boat.

How wet were all the plywood floors, bulkheads, etc? If the bulkheads were wet and start delaminating or separating from the hull sides over time you could end up with totally worthless, unsalable boat.
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Old 13-01-2015, 09:30   #12
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Re: Would you buy a boat that you knew has sunk in the past?

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Originally Posted by S/V Illusion View Post
There is no such thing as a boat being sold for "half it's market value".

The selling price IS the market value.
Exactly what I was thinking.

The market value of a boat that has sunk is quite often LESS than half of what it would be if it had not sunk. To a large extent it depends on how long it was filled with water and how the repairs were done. If it was almost immediately re-floated and dried out then not much damage would have been done. Simply painting the interior wood, in this case, might be enough. But if it was left for very long then the damage could be almost impossible to repair without spending many times what the boat would ever be worth.

I might not immediately reject a boat that had sunk, but I would go forward very slowly and carefully, and I would be ready to walk away without hesitation if I couldn't get all of the information that I needed to truly assess its value.
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Old 13-01-2015, 09:44   #13
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Re: Would you buy a boat that you knew has sunk in the past?

Its a good question but I would begin by qualifying the boat, if its a modern design with a full liner then no I would not, there are just too many better options out there.
If it is a classic or a high end boat where you can get to every nook and cranny and I could really get a good inspection plus I absolutely loved the boat and sister ships like it are hard to find then maybe I would.
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Old 13-01-2015, 09:50   #14
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Re: Would you buy a boat that you knew has sunk in the past?

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Originally Posted by Terra Nova View Post
Why bottom feed when this is a buyer's market?

Look for something well cared for, at a fair price. Not a career in boat building.
Good advice.

Most areas inside the boat were never designed to cope with salt water intrusion or exposure.

The problems may not be evident immediately but over time I shudder at the thought of the issues.

You might however buy and scrap the boat selling it piecemeal.

I'd shop around for a good boat at a good price. You will have a much better experience.

Sent from my SM-N900T using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
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Old 13-01-2015, 10:33   #15
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Re: Would you buy a boat that you knew has sunk in the past?

Interesting question.

Some years ago I was employed by the Royal Australian Navy in Sydney, Australia. One day we rec'd on behalf of the Government one solid timber whaler. An exact replica of Captain Cooks whaler on his ship "Endeavour", manufactured in England and presented to the Australian people for the 1988 bicentenary celebrations. It is a beautiful 30 ft vessel made by the exact methods of the 18th century and I was very privileged to have a beer on her thwarts, Etc.

It was clinker built from lumber (timber). These boats dry out and all the seams open up she was so dry we had to SINK her to get the timbers to swell up and then seal from water.

It spent two weeks sunk. We had to fill it with sandbags to get her to sink but it was a Sunken hull and the vessel now sits in the foyer of the Sydney Maritime Department's Office in Sydney. She be perfectly sea worthy even though if they wanted to put her to sea she would have to be SUNK again!!!

The question put is: Would you buy a sunken boat and this one was priceless and will never be sold ever. I sunk her for two weeks.....................
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