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Old 04-08-2008, 20:48   #16
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I've located an Aloha 32 and I've ordered a preliminary survey. I've discovered that the usual process is make an offer, offer is accepted, hire a surveyor, negotiate price if there are issues. I've hired a surveyor to look at the boat and advise me BEFORE I make an offer.

The Aloha isn't the boat I would have selected in the best of all possible worlds, but it seems to be a reasonable compromise.
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Old 05-08-2008, 15:35   #17
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Congratulations on your decision. Everything in the boat world is a compromise. Hope the survey turns out good if it is the boat you truly want.
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Old 05-08-2008, 18:54   #18
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Well, I'm a long way from buying it. Even if the survey is good, there will be a price negotiation.

And the initial inspection will not cover the bottom, since the boat is in the water. The owner (quite rightly) will not agree to pull it until we have a deal. The surveyor will have to come back to do that.

I really don't see the advantages of a longer boat. In fact, if I had unlimited funds I would buy a 28 ft Bristol Channel Cutter and have it gaff rigged. Gaff rigs are cool and they sail pretty well, too.

Also, the costs associated with a boat seem to increase geometrically with size. Boatyards charge by the foot, the cost of the mooring increases by the foot, and so it goes.

My biggest reservation is that, in about a month, alot of very good boats will be coming on the market for not very much money, and I will already have committed myself. The U.S. economy is terrible, and the best time of the year to buy a boat here in New England in in the fall, when the season is over, and owners are facing winter storage and maintenance costs.
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Old 05-08-2008, 19:41   #19
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My biggest reservation is that, in about a month, alot of very good boats will be coming on the market for not very much money, and I will already have committed myself.
Maybe you can agree to a better price on the next boat after you survey it. Maybe it is better to walk right now.

Maybe you can get a discount if you tell the surveyor not to write a report. Most will.
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Old 06-08-2008, 04:26   #20
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Since I haven't made an offer, there is nothing to walk from--yet. If I don't like the survey I can simply thank the owner and broker for their time and move on. I can also make a lowball offer.

But sometimes a bird in hand is preferable. This is a nice, well-maintained boat, sturdy with good sailing qualities. It's not perfect: the hot water system was removed (plumbing is still there), there is no dinghy and no radar. But the rest of the boot looks good: new sails and rigging, good engine with low hours, very clean, etc.
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Old 06-08-2008, 05:13   #21
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You can make an offer, then survey, and then based on the survey renegotiate based on the things you didn't know. You would have at least moved closer to a deal before you spent the money for the surveyor.

If you had written and offer with a check you would have proved you were serious and could have had a discussion as a serious person. Your offer would have been based on what you saw but before the survey. You would have been close to an understanding. You would have been able to back out and get the check back for any reason you wanted. They may have decided they even like you. A little trust and some time and it makes the deal go a little bit easier.

It's not a perfect boat but no used boats are. Now you have spent money on a survey and the seller has no idea if you are serious. Actually they have to think it at least odd. The low ball offer should have been made before the survey. At that point you would have said here is an offer, a contract and a check. He could sign and based on the survey you would just say yes or no and pay cash in 7 days.

You can get someone to move a little based on the survey because they believe you when you say there are things I didn't know in the first place, but you don't reset the whole game.

I would think you had some offer in mind before the survey? It could only have helped if you said so.
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Old 06-08-2008, 05:31   #22
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The broker thought it was a little odd too, but I don't care.

I negotiated a "two stage" deal with the surveyor. If he has issues with the boat he will not write a report and I will pay a discounted price.

Why wouldn't the owner think I'm serious, and why do I care what the owner thinks? Anyone can make an offer and write a check that will never be cashed, but I've already invested $$ in the boat by retaining a surveyor. I've also been pestering the broker for additional information about the boat, and he knows damn well I'm serious.

Yes, I have an offering price in mind.
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Old 06-08-2008, 13:00   #23
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I agree with you on the Bristol Channel Cutter. The Aloha will be a bit roomier though and they are good boats.
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Old 06-08-2008, 17:38   #24
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I agree with you on the Bristol Channel Cutter. The Aloha will be a bit roomier though and they are good boats.
JohnL
Actually I'm going down to Cape Cod to look at a Bristol Channel Cutter on Friday. It's a little out of my price range, but I'd like to get a close look at one.

As for the Aloha, I think this particular one is a good boat. We'll see when I get the survey report.
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Old 06-08-2008, 17:51   #25
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You can make an offer, then survey, and then based on the survey renegotiate based on the things you didn't know. You would have at least moved closer to a deal before you spent the money for the surveyor.
Pauil - That's exactly how we did ours. We priced the boat based on visual inspection. We made an offer with a conditionally refundable downpayment. The offer gave us "rights" to surveying work and sea trials with a stipulation that we would renegotiate based on any significant findings.

We completed the survey, talked over the findings with the PO. He wasn't willing to come down any more on price, at which point we were free to walk and retain our deposit. We decided the findings were something we could live with at the price.

The key was that we got about 15% off the price before the survey. It would have been a PITA to have our 15% reduced price in mind and then only presented that price after the survey. If the owner said no we were stuck with money invested. As it was we had the discount in the bag and only the possibility of further reduction after the survey.
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Old 06-08-2008, 18:32   #26
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I do not have enough experience with boats over 20 ft. to price a boat fairly and make an offer based on visual inspection alone. I view my surveyor as half inspector, half buyer's broker.

The initial cost of this Aloha is less than the cost of my car, and my car is a Subaru, not a Porsche. If I really like the boat, it's not worth alienating the seller for one or two thousand bucks, even if I think he's very anxious to sell. If the seller is reasonably happy with the deal, I will have better cooperation going forward and I will avoid lots of headaches.

I negotiate deals for a living, and if I weren't at least decent at it, I could not afford the boat. Trust me when I tell you that it never really pays for a buyer to squeeze every last concession from a seller. It's false economy.
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Old 06-08-2008, 18:45   #27
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I do not have enough experience with boats over 20 ft. to price a boat fairly based on visual inspection alone.
I dont' think that many people do, including myself. A seller sells his boat on average, what, every 8 years? A buyer the same? Brokers see lot's of boats and should have a good sense of things. However brokers are distracted by things like getting paid and getting a percentage which motivates them to put the buyer in a boat quickly.

It's not bad, IMO, just the way things are.

I priced my boat by doing a worldwide search on my boat type and other 25-27 foot boats. I factored in the small market we have here that drives prices up a bit, considered that most owners are going to leave some wiggle room in their selling price, and finally considered the "cosmetic" aspects of the boat.

It gets a lot more difficult when you are doing this with a small fleet of boats. i.e. a brand that they didn't make too many of. There is not a lot of listings to get comparative info.

At the end of the day I think Paulb likes to say "the boat is worth what the seller and buyer are willing to exchange for." Or something like that.
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Old 06-08-2008, 19:03   #28
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I do not have enough experience with boats over 20 ft. to price a boat fairly and make an offer based on visual inspection alone. I view my surveyor as half inspector, half buyer's broker.

The initial cost of this Aloha is less than the cost of my car, and my car is a Subaru, not a Porsche. If I really like the boat, it's not worth alienating the seller for one or two thousand bucks, even if I think he's very anxious to sell. If the seller is reasonably happy with the deal, I will have better cooperation going forward and I will avoid lots of headaches.

I negotiate deals for a living, and if I weren't at least decent at it, I could not afford the boat. Trust me when I tell you that it never really pays for a buyer to squeeze every last concession from a seller. It's false economy.
Very true, especially considering that a PO will be your best source of information regarding all the little things that will be unique to your boat. A friendly PO can save you literally days of work in figuring stuff out... especially for a larger boat.
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Old 06-08-2008, 19:05   #29
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I'm going to price the boat based on what my surveyor tells me. Isn't that better than guessing, and then adjusting the price downwards based on what the surveyor tells me?
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Old 06-08-2008, 19:38   #30
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Sounds pretty logical to me. Bottom line is, this isn't a 200K purchase, so I wouldn't sweat the details.
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