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Old 02-04-2014, 08:55   #1
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Osmosis found prior to purchase

Hi. I'm new to the site! Any help really appreciated! I'm thinking of buying an Amel. The boat was recently lifted from its berth and telltale osmosis bubbles were found. The broker obtained a cost to treat and guarantee works for five years and reduce advertised price by the cost.
My question is what is the overall feeling out there? Take the boat on without work being done,and sort out later; or pay full price ( subject to passable survey on rest of boat). Or ?
I haven't had a boat for a few years. This is to be my retirement dream and I really don't want to be left worrying: to treat or not to treat?
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Old 02-04-2014, 10:31   #2
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Re: Osmosis found prior to purchase

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Originally Posted by peteg View Post
Hi. I'm new to the site! Any help really appreciated! I'm thinking of buying an Amel. The boat was recently lifted from its berth and telltale osmosis bubbles were found. The broker obtained a cost to treat and guarantee works for five years and reduce advertised price by the cost.
My question is what is the overall feeling out there? Take the boat on without work being done,and sort out later; or pay full price ( subject to passable survey on rest of boat). Or ?
I haven't had a boat for a few years. This is to be my retirement dream and I really don't want to be left worrying: to treat or not to treat?
To start with, unless you were planning to pay full price before the osmosis, then why even consider it after allowing for the cost of fixing the blisters? Since you've already found a place that will fix it and guarantee it for 5 years and you know the cost, then since you like the boat, why not proceed with normal negotiations, but starting at the new adjusted price. Once you own it, get the osmotic blistering treated right away.

I recently bought a boat that had engine issues and even though it still ran OK, I would not have enjoyed owning it knowing that it was just a matter of a little time. I wanted a good engine just as you want a sound hull. Since this was discovered after all other price negotiations were over, rather than delaying the deal until a remanufactured engine and entire exhaust system could be installed, the broker told me that in situations like this to get a good estimate with whatever fudge factor I was comfortable with, and make a final price adjustment offer based on that amount. That way, you can get the work done to YOUR satisfaction once you own the boat and the seller knows exactly what he is selling his boat for rather than having it be a big uncertainty and with him having no real incentive to make sure the necessary work is done to the specs you might prefer. That's how we proceeded and it seems to have worked out well for all involved. The seller got his (adjusted price) money right away and I got to specify exactly how I wanted the work done on my boat.

Good luck with your new to you Amel!
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Old 02-04-2014, 10:36   #3
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Re: Osmosis found prior to purchase

You get your own price on the barrier coat from the best.most expensive shop available and hammer the price based on that. That is the strategy.

Fix it though. You will want the peace of mind.
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Old 02-04-2014, 10:39   #4
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Re: Osmosis found prior to purchase

Agree with JT's comments but might add a bit.

For one thing I would consider how serious the blister are. How deep: just into the gel coat or showing delamination in the glass layers, small 1 cm diameter or 10?

So unless they were really big and deep with glass delamination spreading many cm out from the visible bubble I wouldn't worry. If 90% under 1 cm diameter and only into the gel coat then I would be tempted to take the boat with the discount and wait a while to do the treatment. Perhaps you already know that a proper blister fix would require hauling the boat for several months to thoroughly dry the glass unless one does some very aggressive drying procedures like solvent washing, heat, vacuum, low humidity environment, etc. So if you really want to go sailing now and would prefer to lose use of the boat at a later time then you might delay.

Otherwise, the Amel is a great, well built boat and I wouldn't be too concerned.
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Old 03-04-2014, 16:27   #5
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Re: Osmosis found prior to purchase

Ok! Just to say thanks for helpful thoughts on this. Of course they all make sense. Trouble is when your heart rules your head, instead of the other way round. But showed me how this site works. Gave me a good feeling of being able to think aloud and that was much appreciated. Don't want to miss out on her because of over zealous on negotiating or they'll think I'm trying to steal her! Same old...!
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Old 03-04-2014, 16:52   #6
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Re: Osmosis found prior to purchase

peteg, If the blisters bother you, than by all means have the repairs done. But keep in mind that if this is only gelcoat blisters, you do have another option. take the boat, go sailing and have fun. deal with the blisters later, maybe before you sell the boat to someone else. I have been in the marine service business for over 35 years. No boat has ever sank or fell apart because of blisters. Once the bottom is painted and the boat is in the water, only the fish will see it. Others may argue, but if these are indeed blisters and not delamination, they will cause no harm and the boat will sail just as well. Unless you don't plan to use the boat for a while, later might be better. Doing a proper repair is time consuming unless the repair yard has a climate controled shed, the bottom will have to be pealed, allow to dry and then repaired. Sitting outside, the drying time can take weeks or months depending on where the boat is located. Just some food for thought. Chuck
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Old 03-04-2014, 16:56   #7
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Re: Osmosis found prior to purchase

We bought our '84 camper-Nic without a survey & while in the water. Hurricane Ivan handled the hull unkindly. I assumed blisters, I was right. They were 1 per square inch at least in the gel coat and there were 7 dinner-plate sized de-laminations. We put a new bottom on it on our own sweat-equity. Biggest cost was Interprotect (22 gallons). It took all summer and my fix has held 5 years now. I think that all old boats, particularly, boats form the 70's to mid 90's. After that, the reputable builders are said to build more responsibly. Points made by the other posters are good; how big, how deep? Gell coat only? What is the maker's reputation?

I think it is naive to think that any boat is immune form blisters.

Member Galleries - Cruisers & Sailing Photo Gallery my photos here for some of our repairs. Hull, rudder, blisters
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Old 03-04-2014, 17:32   #8
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Re: Osmosis found prior to purchase

Peteg,

Is the broker your best friend? I would get my own quote. With all the ifs, maybe and worse case costs included. I wouldn't even think about a price until I had my own guy look at it and tell me and only me what it was going to take.
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Old 05-04-2014, 01:54   #9
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Re: Osmosis found prior to purchase

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Peteg,

Is the broker your best friend? I would get my own quote. With all the ifs, maybe and worse case costs included. I wouldn't even think about a price until I had my own guy look at it and tell me and only me what it was going to take.
When I bought my Baltic, osmosis was found. We got a quote to treat it and my broker told me "it was normal to split the bill between seller and buyer". That certainly wasn't what was said in the contract (10% of value to correct problems was 100% for the seller). But in the end I relented as the boat is rare, and it was a good deal anyway. Later I found evidence in the boat that the broker had been in business with the seller.... He also called in the former Baltic importer who tried to downplay the damage. Turns out he was a mate of both as well. Don't trust your broker!

Not too long after, we found that the osmosis damage was much larger than expected and the boat needed to be completely relaminated under the waterline. The original estimation was out of whack by factor 5. I have no regrets but it does still heard.

This level of osmosis damage is rare, but please be careful. It may be worse than you thought. And it is very difficult to assess what level of damage you can expect - you need to let the boat dry out and only then you can find out how much moisture is still there. Only when you strip the gelcoat you will see exactly what you're dealing with.


Onno
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Old 05-04-2014, 02:23   #10
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Re: Osmosis found prior to purchase

If its any help, we had exactly this problem, fairly big blisters seen at survey time, costed and price changed accordingly. The actual cost was higher, but thats life, we liked the boat enough. A real problem if you are about to "set off" on your dream cruise is drying out time (yes the boat not the owner!), which in our case was a lot more than we expected. We bought the boat in Barcelona, sailed it to Turkey and had the work done that winter, it took longer to wash out and dry than we had anticipated because the blisters went deeper than we had presumed and that lost us time the following season. There was no alternative, although heating lamps can speed the process, we were heedful of the original cause of the problem! The problem was caused when the previous owner, 7 years before, had been persuaded that while the boat was out of the water at survey time, he might as well protect the boat against osmosis in the future. The treatment was applied on the still damp hull and that locked in the problem!
Whatever you do, make sure the people know their stuff, but if thats the boat you want, then the problem can be solved!
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Old 05-04-2014, 04:23   #11
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Re: Osmosis found prior to purchase

I would double the cost of repairs then reduce the price by at least that much. Or walk if they say no. Now the broker knows he has to disclose to other buyers l, hows that going effect their selling it?

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Old 05-04-2014, 10:02   #12
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Re: Osmosis found prior to purchase

peteg. Internet advise is one thing but in no way a substitute for a thorough survey by a qualified surveyor WORKING FOR YOU. Then and only then can you make an informed determination. So while speculation is interesting, you aren't going to have an answer until you get a professional to look at the problem and decide the best course of action and the best way to handle this as part of the sale. Chuck
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