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Old 30-10-2015, 11:33   #31
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Re: A down played failed survey

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Originally Posted by CarlF View Post
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.

This is why he needs his own buyer broker. The buyer broker knows that he will get paid and does not have an emotional attachment to the particular boat being purchased. The broker who the op is talking to represents the opposing party in the transaction and is working to sell this particular boat, not one listed by another broker.

Make sure your broker is not broke. Broke brokers have personal interest in the deal. A broker who has already made it is more likely to be invested in the business for the long haul and does not want the trouble for a couple of bucks. Just my opinion.
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Old 30-10-2015, 12:01   #32
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Re: A down played failed survey

Obviously, everyone is looking at it from their own point of view. The surveyor wants to look knowledgeable and point out issues. Possibly get another inspection from you, and a referral or two.

The sellers broker wants to sell that boat, downplaying any issues. In no way is he representing your interests.
If you had your own buyer's broker, they would be mostly looking after your interests (after their own) Still their may be the odd bias between broker buddies (or competitors) in the industry.

At the end of the day, you have to take it all into account and make your own decision. It sounds like that's what you did. Move on to the next one. Do your best to keep emotion out of it until the boat is yours.
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Old 30-10-2015, 12:07   #33
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Re: A down played failed survey

Unfortunately, I have seen some of the worst broker behavior from brokers supposedly representing buyers. They are tired of going from boat to boat with the buyer spending travel hours on each one. They want to the buyer to buy the next boat - whatever it is - before the broker has spent more time than the commission's worth. I sympathize with them. Some boat buyers can't pull the trigger and some sellers get caught up in what they wish their boat was worth.

Too many times, brokers on both sides of the deal collude together about how best to pressure the buyer and seller into a deal. They sometimes often argue on the commission split between them.

It's hard to find one - but there are some buyer's broker who charge the buyer by the hour and agree in writing to not take any commission (or better - to rebate any commission above the hourly fee to the buyer - perfectly legal by the way).
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Old 30-10-2015, 12:28   #34
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Re: A down played failed survey

Find a good surveyor and trust whatever he says! Whoever said you dodged a bullet had it right! It's so easy to get emotionally attached to a boat by the time you've scheduled a survey that you can't see the tragic flaws but every one that you or he might find is often exponentially more expensive then it could possible seem at the time.
Can I get an AMEN?
Good move trusting the surveyor and not the broker unless the broker is going to give you a 1 year money back guarantee and even then not.
Congratulations!
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Old 30-10-2015, 12:35   #35
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Re: A down played failed survey

I have seen a quote to repair a debonded grid exceed $100,000 on a 45' boat. Not all are close to this bad, but if the grid becomes separated from the hull it is not an easy or cheap fix. In the particular case it required removing the deck mold, the interior, and the grid to access the back side of the grid.

In my eyes your surveyor deserves a bonus! Dinner and drinks at a minimum, he likely saved you a massive repair bill.

The sellers broker... Let's assume he didn't know about the damage before hand sounds like someone I wouldn't want to do business with in the future.
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Old 30-10-2015, 12:40   #36
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Re: A down played failed survey

Dock neighbor went aground outside of Savannah somewhere in their 45' Hunter, liner disbonded, boat was totaled. They are now in a 38' Lagoon.
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Old 30-10-2015, 12:41   #37
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Re: A down played failed survey

If anyone is interested . . . . here is an official investigation report of a case just like this (detached grid on a bendy) where people died . . . it goes into the frequency of the problem, the structural risks and the repair difficulty.
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Old 30-10-2015, 12:43   #38
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Re: A down played failed survey

..... and something to think about, I would cross off this boat model off my list... I think one can assume the manufacturer has a failed bonding procedure when built.
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Old 30-10-2015, 12:49   #39
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Re: A down played failed survey

Inspections here in the UK on homes for a loan from a mortgage company are more stringent. The mortgage company inspector represents the mortgage company. They are VERY thorough and hard because its their money. I have no problem not being present because they will NOT let anything pass and have the final say on whether they will lend the money. I personally took on the Halifax Building Society for a structural problem in a property I purchased with a small mortgage, and their surveyor failed to note the issue. It cost them 40K to fix a foundation and for accommodation and damages for me. Settled out of court and quickly because their reputation was at stake.

Different rules for a cash buyer.

As for a boat............. I would be there for a survey.

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Old 30-10-2015, 12:50   #40
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Re: A down played failed survey

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..... and something to think about, I would cross off this boat model off my list... I think one can assume the manufacturer has a failed bonding procedure when built.
It looks like a build issue that surfaces a lot doesnt it.......
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Old 30-10-2015, 14:08   #41
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Re: A down played failed survey

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There aren't many things worse than a failed hull to deck joint for a boat. You did the right thing.
Not to quibble, but the OP said the issue was the hull liner, not the hull to deck joint. I believe boats with hull liners still have a separate system of bonding the deck to the hull?

A failed hull to deck joint is obviously serious, while hull liner is less clear-cut I think? Depends on whether the hull liner is structural.
Are all hull liners structural, or are some there just for cosmetic reasons? (eg, cover up the fiberglass so it looks more like a condo)
I guess on a Beneteau with a hull liner it's pretty safe to assume the hull liner is structural?
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Old 30-10-2015, 14:24   #42
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Re: A down played failed survey

The broker is not your pal or your buddy. He wants to get paid. His job is to convince you to buy. If he can pressure you into buying a boat that needs repair...he gets paid, you get to repair. I suggest you cannot believe anything the broker says. In fact, it says that in writing on all his forms..."facts to be verified by the buyer". He also will pressure the seller to lower the price. No sale, no commission.

You paid for the survey. It was your protection against making a big mistake. You chose the surveyor to protect your interests...and he did. You made a good call.

We had an excellent, well known surveyor here in Kingston by the name of Jonathon Watson. He was excellent. Unfortunately, he missed something important on a boat he surveyed...I don't know the details...except that the young couple headed offshore, the boat sank, lives were lost. Mr Watson felt personally responsible, went into a depression, and eventually took his own life. A sad story all round.

If your surveyor says its a problem...believe him. If the broker's surveyor tells you its fine, ask him how much the broker is paying him to say that.
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Old 30-10-2015, 14:30   #43
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Re: A down played failed survey

When you are talking Beneteau (and similar others), you are not dealing with vessels built up to a standard of quality, but instead down to a price. Moulded and bonded floor grids are the cheapest and fastest way of putting something looking like a structure in the bottom of a vessel. Incidentally, it is also very fragile, extremely difficult to repair and at least as fragile afterwards.

The first FRP yachts I know of that featured internal moulded shells were old Dufour boats from the late 1960s and those shells only covered the hull sides and provided attachment points for the plywood accommodation. Fair enough, but I would rule out any hull where I can't actually see and access the hull laminate in the bilges.

I had taken a First 35S5 across the English channel for a sailing school in 1992 with a strong following wind forecast. It was a near-new boat they had leased to increase their fleet. Turned out to blow up straight onto our nose and much stronger. We just shouldered it at moderate speed under deep-reefed main and got across. By the time we reached France that boat was leaking like a sieve from mysterious, invisible and inaccessible places, even at rest, but the floor grid looked great. We had been bailing the boat out at sea with a bucket now and then - you just keep your boots on down-below, bail before the water gets too deep for them and it is no worries really. I would write it in the owner's manual. All the saloon accommodation had long collapsed into a big heap of scrap ply in the middle due to the hull flexing, with the water tanks following suit and also dumping their contents into the bilge. The mast had buckled under compression during the night, but the S-bend in it looked quite trendy and we were still sailing.

I wrote them a report and the owner's insurer wrote the boat off. We had just sailed it conservatively across the Channel on a bad autumn day.

I have since come up with a few thoughts. There are things in life that can harm your health. Throwing yourself underneath a bus, drinking battery acid for breakfast or going to sea in some cheap French piece of plastic all fall into that category.
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Old 30-10-2015, 14:44   #44
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Re: A down played failed survey

I had about the same thing happen this week. The survey turned up hull to strut separation under the battery bank, mast cable with 4 broken strands, chain plate issues, cracked back stay sledge at the mast top, wiring issues, and many other minor issues. I also walked away. The broker did understand why I backed away, but did also downplay them. I would consider that his job just as it's the surveyors job to identify the issues.

Yes it cost me a trip to the islands, the cost of a survey, so lots of $$$ down the drain. But no where near as many $$$ as would have been the case if I bought that boat. I feel both the broker and the surveyor were doing the job they were hired to do. And I did what I had to do and will look for another boat.
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Old 30-10-2015, 15:32   #45
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Re: A down played failed survey

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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.
..... There is no such thing as passing or failing.
I agree. I am a Realtor too and I can't tell you how many homes I've had on both the buy and sell side of the transaction have come back with less than perfect inspections. They are used as a basis to help the buyer decide if the items to be repaired are something they want to tackle or make sense financially and can be used at that time as a negotiation tool. In the real estate business the inspection report is the property of the Buyer (or whoever paid for it) until it is shared with the other party with the express permission of the original payee - one would think this is the same with a survey.

I also agree with some of you who have said that anyone who espouses to tell you how much something will cost to repair without benefit of a first hand look at it and without first hand experience on the same repair is preposterous.

I've had two surveys on potential boats and I walked from them both, so I know first hand your dilemma and feeling in the aftermath. There will be more boats for you.

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