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Old 24-08-2016, 10:34   #1
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How to buy a sailboat?

I am considering purchasing a 1993 50' Beneteau. The boat is currently in Carribbean so I only saw in on photos. Owner claims it is in good condition. My main motivation and a main concern is the price - nearly all similar boats are being listed for about $120K, this one is almost half of that. Yet it has not been sold immediately at this great price.
I am planning to travel and see it but I have never owned or purchased a boat (always rented). What should I be paying special attention to? Should I order a professional inspection - at what stage and how much I should expect to pay for it?
How can I verify that the ownership is "clean", i.e. that it is not stolen, disputed, etc?
Do I need a lawyer or broker to complete the sale? I do not know what paperwork is involved.
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Old 24-08-2016, 10:52   #2
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Re: How to buy a sailboat?

Well, I think it's like anything else. If it seems too good to be true, there's a substantial possibility that it is too good to be true...

Unless you feel competent to assess the boat yourself, yes, you should most definitely hire a qualified marine surveyor to do it for you (and I would suggest NOT getting recommendations from the local marina or current owner). This would be at your expense, and can be done either as a contingency to a signed sales agreement (much like a house), or prior to signing an agreement. Likewise, a sea trial is in order, preferably including the surveyor.

As far as clean ownership, I think the likelihood of something fishy probably depends somewhat on where you are purchasing it (which island). Again, I think the cost of an attorney would be well worth it. When you bring the boat into the US, you will certainly need a clean bill of sale as well as other documents from the point of origin.

Overall, not entirely simple, but unless you are willing to risk the worst, I think you need to commit to spending a bit of cash to protect yourself. Insurance. Or roll the dice...

Just my 2 cents. Pete
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Old 24-08-2016, 12:01   #3
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Re: How to buy a sailboat?

Maybe this boat is just too big and complex for you to buy on your own. Hire an experienced in-between then.

Normally, you go to the boat, sail it, look it up on dry then pay the money and the PROBLEM is yours from here till you sell it. I mean, the boat.

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Old 24-08-2016, 12:33   #4
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Re: How to buy a sailboat?

I can guarantee you something is wrong, you have to find out what it is and decide if its an issue for you.
I would recommend you finding yourself a good buyers Broker, they will help you with all the issues with how to escrow the money, find a good surveyor, register the boat and several other problems you don't even know about yet.

It is a lot like buying a house
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Old 24-08-2016, 14:08   #5
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Re: How to buy a sailboat?

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
I would recommend you finding yourself a good buyers Broker, they will help you with all the issues with how to escrow the money, find a good surveyor, register the boat and several other problems you don't even know about yet.
It makes sense. The boat currently is in Dominicana. I don't know where it is registered. If I do the sale in Dominicana, does it mean it will be registered in that country? Are there any advantages to do all legalities in US soil, like US Virgin Islands? Is it better to have it registered in the USA (or any other place)? Does it matter at all (fees/taxes)?
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Old 24-08-2016, 14:51   #6
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Re: How to buy a sailboat?

looks like its been used for charter for the last 25 years , old , tired, worn out, Not something that would be my 1st choice

the ad says its registered in Canada and the broker is also from Canada
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Old 24-08-2016, 15:07   #7
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Re: How to buy a sailboat?

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Originally Posted by Anjulis View Post
It makes sense. The boat currently is in Dominicana. I don't know where it is registered. If I do the sale in Dominicana, does it mean it will be registered in that country? Are there any advantages to do all legalities in US soil, like US Virgin Islands? Is it better to have it registered in the USA (or any other place)? Does it matter at all (fees/taxes)?

These are the kind of questions a good buyers broker will answer


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Old 24-08-2016, 16:57   #8
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Re: How to buy a sailboat?

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looks like its been used for charter for the last 25 years , old , tired, worn out, Not something that would be my 1st choice

the ad says its registered in Canada and the broker is also from Canada
I would love to buy a new and shiny boat. But realistically I will never have money for it. So if there is an opportunity to get a boat like this for, say $40K, I think it makes sense to take it. Wouldn't you agree?
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Old 24-08-2016, 17:58   #9
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Re: How to buy a sailboat?

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These are the kind of questions a good buyers broker will answer
I guess it is easy to find a broker. But how to find a GOOD broker?
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Old 24-08-2016, 17:59   #10
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Re: How to buy a sailboat?

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I guess it is easy to find a broker. But how to find a GOOD broker?

You have to kiss a lot of frogs


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Old 25-08-2016, 00:32   #11
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Re: How to buy a sailboat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anjulis View Post
I would love to buy a new and shiny boat. But realistically I will never have money for it. So if there is an opportunity to get a boat like this for, say $40K, I think it makes sense to take it. Wouldn't you agree?
I think its unrealistic to expect a good Beneteau 50 ft for $40K ?

This one is already listed for half of what others are listed (why ??) so I firmly believe its realistic to expect to spend that difference in getting her ready to sail

if a $40K offer is accepted on this one, I'd seriously reconsider , why would anyone accept $40K (or even 50/60/70K) if comparable yachts are selling for 120K ? , expect to have to spend the difference in getting her ready

but thats just my feeling
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Old 25-08-2016, 04:24   #12
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Re: How to buy a sailboat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anjulis View Post
I would love to buy a new and shiny boat. But realistically I will never have money for it. So if there is an opportunity to get a boat like this for, say $40K, I think it makes sense to take it. Wouldn't you agree?
NO, don't agree.
If somebody is buying a worn out boat for half price because they can't afford a good one, they can not afford to maintain the boat, or repair and upgrade it.
Bad idea, look for a Catalina 30 instead, a good one can be had for your $40k budget.
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Old 25-08-2016, 08:58   #13
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Re: How to buy a sailboat?

I too am skeptic. Given two boats:

A) a bristol condition one at 100k
B) a tlc object at 50k

and assuming I only had 50k:

I would buy none.

Not A - because I cannot afford her.

Nor B - because most boats priced 50% of their regular market asking may require upwards of 2x the asking, to get them to bristol condition.

I participate at various stages of boat purchase, conversion and outfitting projects and from this perspective I must admit most of us, before we get the expensive experience, tend to GROSSLY underestimate the amt of money, time and effort required to convert a tlc object into a bristol condition boat.

My solution/advice: get a bristol boat at 50k.

Cheers,
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Old 25-08-2016, 11:00   #14
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Re: How to buy a sailboat?

If it is to good to be true, it is. Find something close to home you can afford. There of ton's of boats out there, no pun intended.
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Old 25-08-2016, 11:22   #15
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Re: How to buy a sailboat?

Consider this. All boats require TLC and maintenance! Even brand new ones. That being so, you need to figure a budget pre and post purchase that takes this into consideration. If you purchase a decent older boat (structurally sound with no major problems) it is likely before you prep to sail off into the sunset your budget will equal the purchase price. Of course that will equal the price of a new/newer vessel but you'll still have to spend about 10% per annum in maintenance. From what I am hearing, I would agree with another poster (not that I am a Catalina fan) a smaller, less expensive boat for a starter would be more realistic. Also, buy something closer to home where you know the rules and have the safety and protection of same. And, if you do want to but the boat you are considering, get a professional survey done by a surveyor you choose. It will cost about a grand but far better to lose that than 40 to 60 K for a bad investment.
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