I'd suggest talking to the broker about doing a pre survey inspection
There have been books
written on this, and I've seen some excellent websites. There should even be quite a bit in this forum if you care to hunt round.
Some key points that come to mind:-
* Expect the boat to be old. This means that every system - engines, electrics, steering
, you name it, will be old as well. A survey can cover the basics but there is just so much on an old steel boat that can go wrong that time runs out.
* Take a very good look at the engine. A repower
could be very much in her future so be sure you have the additional cash to do one and the rest of what is needed. Figure on 75+hp and a new engine. As a rule
of thumb double the price of the engine to get an idea of cost. Check that the propeller
shaft will take the extra power.
* Can you do work yourself? Cruisers have to be handy but an old steel boat takes this to a whole new level.
* Get yourself two or more small torches and a couple (might drop one!) of those little inspection
mirrors on extension sticks that mechanics use.
* You've got to look at as much of the stringer/bulkhead/frame weld/join as possible so you'll be pulling drawers out and really getting behind furniture. A small digital camera
with a flash could also give much information about hard to see places.
* When negotiating keep in mind that an old cruising yacht may be "fully loaded". Try to get every skerrick of gear/equipment/charts/manuals/books/etc. that you can, even if you have to pry them out of someones garage. Make sure this is written in your offer (if you make one) and fully understood. Photos as you go over the boat can back this up. Don't try and stiff the owner on price.
* Pay particular attention to the steel plating in the chain locker and the lazarette.
* Look for any evidence of water
pooling or rust streaks.
* A bit of rust may not be a deal killer but do include any fixes into your go/no go decision.
may be easier to manage than Sydney
, even if you get professional help to move the boat. Do talk to delivery
skippers before doing anything else if this could be in your plans.
* Steel boats might never be finished. There is just so much work, life is short and it's always going to be a steel boat.
* Take a large notebook with you as you go through and note all repairs/upgrades/fixes/etc. needed. Then go home and add it all up. Double or triple this figure. Do remember that expenditure could be spread out over quite a few years.
* Get the broker to start the engine and see if you can go for a trip round the bay. Pay particular attention to acceleration from rest and going into reverse to stop the boat. Look for exhaust