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Old 21-05-2006, 12:18   #1
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Mexico or Bust


After returning from FL I spent less than a day at home than jumped on a plane to look at a boat in San Carlos Mexico. We had an accepted offer on what sounded like a nice boat. The broker said that the boat needed a new headliner but than was ready to sail. Well I did a walk thru and was pretty amazed that the broker could have made a description that said anything like “Sail Away.” First thing I did was look at big holes and obvious delam in the rudder. Then after tapping on the hull I found some more delam and a big chunk of fairing compound taken out of the bottom of the keel. From there I got on top of the boat and saw that the deck had been painted but they hadn’t put any non skid down and even in dry conditions it was pretty darn slippery. Inside the boat looked ok though the lack of a headliner made the boat look like a hovel. Well I told them I didn’t even want to proceed with the survey and did they have any other boats that I could look at. I looked at quite a few but the only one that caught my eye was a mariner centaur 34 and had bad reviews for sailing characteristics on the internet. After thinking about it I decided to do the survey. Things went from bad to worse. The surveyor found more delam in the hull. The tabbing on the bulkheads and the keel grid were delamed. The topper was the keel bolt nuts. I took a screwdriver and was able to start peeling the nuts off the bolts b/c of the rust. The engine was new and started nicely. The electronics were all new so I discussed the repairs with the surveyor and the yard. $5k to $10k. I made an offer of $10k for the boat subject to me paying to have the keel bolt nuts replaced at my cost. If the bolts sheared off when re-torqing it wasn’t my problem and I would walk away. They came back at $15k w/o touching the bolts. Not worth it to me.

I got an expensive education. 1) It is doable to keep a boat in Mexico and sail it sporadically. 2) things are cheaper if you know people. 3) Hire an outside party to inspect the boat before you spend $ to go look at a boat. 4) Mexican beer is still cold and still tastes fabulous. And 5) I really want to go cruising.
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Fair Winds,

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Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other's yarns -- and even convictions. Heart of Darkness
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Old 21-05-2006, 18:47   #2
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Some times the boat you don't buy is the right thing. It's not easy to go all that far and put that much into a decsion and still walk away. Good luck for the next time around.
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Old 21-05-2006, 18:57   #3
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Charlie - I can so empathize with you. I can't tell you the number of times I went to look at a "good" boat, only to find VERY obvious critical problems. Even this boat had more problems that the owner was willing to disclose. Surveyor found some, but (if you buy the boat) mostly found over time as you start delving into fixing things - too late to get any adjustment from the previous owner.

I discuss some of this on my web site - In the Beginning. I can only urge you to not force yourself to buy something just because you put some effort into seeing it and such. With my boat, all things considered, I did buy it, problems and all, with no regrets. I would, however, love to meet the previous owner privately for a nice quiet chat.
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Old 21-05-2006, 19:12   #4
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Nothing quiet about that conversation. I would expect to find the surveyor and the previous owner of our first boat drinking together at some bar. At least you were able to go into this with good knowledge of what you were looking at.
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Old 21-05-2006, 20:09   #5
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Education

thanks for the comments guys. I knew it was right to walk away but what a pain to go that far. From now on I am going to ask more detailed questions and pictures and if it is far away I'll hire a surveyor to do a once over on the boat before I take the time to see it.

BTW I read two good books that were good on surveying. One was called Inspecting the Aging Sailboat by Don Casey the other was Surverying Fiberglass Sailboats by Henry C Mustin. The books were really good in how to look at a boat with a surveyor's eye. I don't think that they are in place of a surveyor but if you want to have a look at a boat before paying for a survey it is a good book. Or if you are buying a day sailer and don't want to pay for a survey.
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Fair Winds,

Charlie

Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other's yarns -- and even convictions. Heart of Darkness
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Old 22-05-2006, 17:02   #6
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David Pascoe has some interesting things to say about long distance buying.

http://www.yachtsurvey.com/long_dist...t_shopping.htm

Good luck with your boat search but be careful.

Phil.
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Old 22-05-2006, 17:33   #7
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Thanks Phil:

That was avery good article on buying boats far away. Not sure that I would want to do it now.
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Charlie

Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other's yarns -- and even convictions. Heart of Darkness
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Old 03-06-2006, 20:52   #8
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I hope you beat the broker soundly about the head.
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Old 03-06-2006, 23:13   #9
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I should have but didn't. Mexican jails are not very appealing.
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Fair Winds,

Charlie

Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other's yarns -- and even convictions. Heart of Darkness
Joseph Conrad
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Old 04-06-2006, 09:49   #10
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Just as an FYI - the boat broker who handled my boat for the previous owner confided in me, AFTER the sale, said he was surprised I hadn't taken the owner (and him) to court. If interested about more things I found wrong - the In the Beginning section on my web site has a few more details.
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Old 04-06-2006, 11:45   #11
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Thanks Thomas:

I will revisit your website. Fortunatley the problems with the boat I looked at in Mexico the problems were so obvious that I picked them out right away. Didn't get to find out about the hidden problems.
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Fair Winds,

Charlie

Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other's yarns -- and even convictions. Heart of Darkness
Joseph Conrad
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