I'm new to buying
boats, but the whole brokerage business seems a funny
field. Are there any recognized national standards of conduct, legally or ethically? I know realtors have codified ethics and legal
obligations that protect the buyer.
For example, less than a year ago, I turned down a home-built, steel
46-footer. Among other reasons for turning the boat down was that the surveyor
said that the hull
needed numerous pits in the steel
filled and a few small areas of plates replaced as a result of galvanic corrosion
. Also, the engine
was questionable and the interior
needed, in my opinion, a full gut.
The boat was cheap
and soon was off the market, sold I assumed. Then, a few months later, I saw the boat for sale
again, this time by a foreign broker. But fresh pictures showed the hull
with the same ground out areas where the ultrasound was done but the price
had gone up over 4 times the original asking price
. The hull clearly was not properly repainted and so I'm sure no plates were replaced. When I asked the new broker what, if any repairs
to the engine
or hull had been done on the boat, he only said that the boat had been sold.
Though there are other ways that this scenario may have gone down, it seems that either someone is flipping the boat or the original owner has decided that the boat was worth far more than the original asking price despite the hull deterioration. I also am aware that some people make their livings by buffing up old boats, often concealing defects, and then selling them for a big profit.
What are the legal
protections to the boat buyer other than a survey
and caveat emptor? Do yacht bokers need a license
by law? And what kind of legal requirements are necessay to get a license