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Old 30-10-2015, 08:44   #16
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Re: A down played failed survey

I agree with accepting your surveyor's observations but if the broker or seller persisted I would offer to have another inspection by a mutually agreed expert at the seller's expense with no commitments on my part. if the repair really is minor, they should jump at the offer. Now that the broker is on notice about the problem he may have legal liability if he fails to disclose it to the next prospect. That might account for his aggressively pushing the sale.
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Old 30-10-2015, 08:54   #17
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Re: A down played failed survey

You did the right thing for this particular boat in this particular situation. Unfortunately, it is the cost of buying a boat (in my mind). I have had surveys where I disagreed with the surveyor as to how important a negative finding was. But I gave each one of those things a careful analysis. In a few cases I thought the surveyor was just covering his arse, or trying to show how good he/she was. I was a marine tech for quite a while and I can guarantee you that I know at least as much as most surveyors about some things, but not all things. But to buy a boat after a reputable surveyor gives a negative finding I had better be very sure I understand the issue and what it would take to correct it (money, time) or whether it is really correctable (reasonably).

There aren't many things worse than a failed hull to deck joint for a boat. You did the right thing. And, your motto should be "always expect a broker to look after his/her own interests first and yours second". I.e. they have more incentive to close the deal than to help you out. There are many brokers who would not do that but I would not put this broker in that group.

If it were me I would be reluctant to trust that broker for any advice in the future. Good luck in finding your dream boat. Sorry you had to pay for the survey but be happy you did.
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Old 30-10-2015, 08:55   #18
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Re: A down played failed survey

Wise man = hire reputable surveyor, pay him/her, listen to them. Buyer's market in production boats...
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Old 30-10-2015, 09:27   #19
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Re: A down played failed survey

Was it a major problem or not? We have to rely on opinions of others, and in this case, everyone had a bias. If it were me (analogizing to a house purchase), I would try to find someone to give me an all-in, hard bid for the repair with a 2 year warranty from the most reputable company out there, maybe even Beneteau itself, then present it to the seller and ask him to adjust the price accordingly. Win-win, as seller and his broker know objectively the precise nature magnitude of the problem, and maybe I get a good boat at a fair price with a new keel/hull connection.
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Old 30-10-2015, 09:55   #20
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Re: A down played failed survey

I'm glad to see a surveyor catch this problem. Many are not careful enough and miss it.

The Cheeki Rafiki incident and report showed that this problem was not so uncommon and could kill you and required a "significant structural repair" (in the words of the designer).

Ultimately this is all going to effect the resale price of boats built like this.
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Old 30-10-2015, 10:06   #21
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Re: A down played failed survey

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Originally Posted by basssears View Post
We walked away from a boat after a survey this spring and considered it just that, a successful survey. We spent travel money, days off from work and the cost of the survey and we still considered it a success because we dodged a boat that would have cost us a lot more.

This fall we found same model boat in much better condition that surveyed very well, so it just reinforced that there are lots of boats out there, if you walk away from one for any reason (your gut feeling or the survey) you're doing the smart thing... why try to fix some disaster when you can find another non-disaster boat?
We had the same experience. Survey said the owner lied about a number of things he said worked. I simply told the owner that I was declining his offer to sell the boat to me. I ate the survey $$, happily. The folks who eventually bought that boat have had nothing but headaches.

A week later, we found "our" boat, same surveyor. When i came down to the boat during his survey, he said, "Wow, where'd you find this gem?!?" And this from a surveyor who usually said nothing, absolutely nothing, until he published his report.

You did very well. That's what surveys are for.
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Old 30-10-2015, 10:07   #22
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Re: A down played failed survey

It's just real hard to say. Hull liner separation.... hmmm... not sure how big a deal that is. You really need to go through the survey with the surveyor as he does it. Even if you buy the boat that is a good thing. You learn a lot.
So the surveyor is saying the "glue" that holds the liner to the hull is not bonded in spots I guess? I don't like liner boats in the first place, but if I was buying one I would want :
a) the boat to be stout enough that it doesn't rely on the liner for the needed strength. Rather maybe just for furniture and extra strength.
b) the devil is in the details, how "unbonded" is it? Can you get at those areas?


Of course, there is nothing wrong with walking away either. You have to evaluate the results of a survey and decide.
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Old 30-10-2015, 10:13   #23
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Re: A down played failed survey

I think I would go one step further and file a complaint against the selling broker for failure to disclose this. It would seem very unlikely that he or she did not know about this. I don't know what state this was in or how well regulated the brokers are there, but in many places, the seller via the broker is required to disclose any known defects. It is crazy that you should be out your escrow for a a boat that clearly had major problems, seemingly from an significant impact that was surely known by the seller.

Just my fairly uneducated $.02 worth.
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Old 30-10-2015, 10:18   #24
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Re: A down played failed survey

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Originally Posted by dwoodall View Post
I think I would go one step further and file a complaint against the selling broker for failure to disclose this. It would seem very unlikely that he or she did not know about this. I don't know what state this was in or how well regulated the brokers are there, but in many places, the seller via the broker is required to disclose any known defects. It is crazy that you should be out your escrow for a a boat that clearly had major problems, seemingly from an significant impact that was surely known by the seller.

Just my fairly uneducated $.02 worth.
In fairness, I'm not sure how a broker would know that under the floors there are gaps between a liner and the hull........?
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Old 30-10-2015, 10:31   #25
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Re: A down played failed survey

The surveyor did a great job and earned his fee. I would use him again. The fact that he mentioned something to the broker is no big deal. Obviously, the broker would be told by the buyer once he had the survey. The broker most likely didn't know about the issue. He may be right that is isn't a major problem. But, he should have offered to work with you to determine the cost of repair. I'm sure the surveyor could recommend someone also. The only reason to walk away, before getting the repair costs, is if you don't feel comfortable managing the repairs.

However, I would trust the surveyor's opinion as to whether or not it is a major issue before the broker's opinion.
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Old 30-10-2015, 10:39   #26
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Re: A down played failed survey

I've also been down that road. Remember that the broker and surveyor represent whomever pays them. For the broker it is the seller and the surveyor it should be the buyer. You should always find your own surveyor and not rely on the suggestions of the broker as they may have a cozy relationship with surveyors that they recommend.

In fact, in my case, I used the recommendations of the broker to exclude possible surveyors.
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Old 30-10-2015, 10:53   #27
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Re: A down played failed survey

tip the surveyor
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Old 30-10-2015, 11:08   #28
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Re: A down played failed survey

If the money I have available for a vessel is $150K. Im looking at $100k for the vessel and $50k for a refit.

What I do NOT want is structural issues in the 100K. In this case, The surveyor found an upfront 20K structural issue.

What I do is look at the problem and determine the cost of repair AND the cost of fixing what needs to removed and replaced for the rectification process to occur AND the time involved.

If the rest of the boat is sound and does not ring alarm bells, AND it is the vessel I want for whatever reason, I will get a fixed repair quote and then push it back on the broker for that money to be discounted on the asking price.

There are too many boats out there to be negotiating on a boat at the top end of the used price. Interest in a vessel is usually lost by me at a certain point based on above criteria if a deal is not done in a speedy fashion. I have no intention of negotiating if the price I want to pay is rejected and does not arrive back at it on the 1st and only counter offer. Im not greedy and I dont want to steal, but I do know what Im WILLING to pay with all the details in place. Take it or leave it.

A good surveyor gives a factual report. Based on that, comes the acceptance of the asking price or a negotiation, or a walk away decision.

Thats it. No emotion or tantrums or obligation.

I tend not to worry about brokers and their comments or attitude. The buyer is in charge always.
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Old 30-10-2015, 11:24   #29
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Re: A down played failed survey

I sell houses for a living and can tell you that a report given to a client without them being there to discuss with the inspector is just asking for problems. You need to see this with your own eyes. You need to dialogue with the inspector as you go through the inspection.

Is there a chance that the inspector only spoke to the broker without you there because the broker was in attendance and you as the buyer were not in attendance?

regardless of the outcome of walking away or getting it repaired, my experience tells me that trouble will be had if a buyer is not present for the inspection.

I advise my clients that the report is the technicality that is needed as a part to facilitate negotiations. What you are paying for with the actual inspection is to have someone walk you though and show you what you are buying at a level of greater detail than what you do on your own. Being absent from an inspection is the main thing that was a fail. To claim a boat "failed" inspection tells me that there is a very high lack of understanding on the process so my next question is....How big or little a deal is the issue? Based on the fact that not even knowing an inspection cannot be failed but stating a boat failed inspection tells me that there is little guidance. Perhaps you need to have your own broker represent you instead of using the sellers broker. Speculation of a 20k repair or a 200 dollar repair based on internet advice from people not involved with the deal????
Again without actually looking at it and having a further evaluation this just seems like a whole bunch of jumping to conclusions without a thorough understanding.

Your inspector needed to recommend further evaluation from someone who might in fact be qualified to further evaluate and conduct repairs so as that an **informed** decision can be made one way or the other.

Right now it seems like you are going off of he said, she said and also adding internet advice (including mine) to the mix only furthers the emotional state that you are in that affects you decision as opposed to getting the factual information from an expert in person whom you hire to give you an estimate on that job.

There is no such thing as passing or failing.
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Old 30-10-2015, 11:28   #30
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Re: A down played failed survey

Unfortunately, the broker isn't really representing the seller or the buyer. He's representing himself.

He has no fiduciary duty to either the seller or buyer. His business is to close boat sales. That's how he get's paid. His profit is the commission minus the time he's spent selling the boat. The profit goes down a lot if there's a buyer's broker in the sale.

This is a conflict of interest that give an incentive to the broker to tell owners to accept a low offer or take a sale where there isn't a 2nd broker to split the commission. It also gives the broker an incentive to tell buyers to overlook surveys or buyer concerns about the boat's condition.

Not ever broker behaves this way on every sale - but the conflict of interest is there. They just don't want to talk about it.
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