Yes, a grotty engine box is a turnoff. When you look at the engine, look for "tracks", where coolant
or oil have run.
Put your hand on it. If it's warm, it has been run recently, usually to make sure it will start easily the second time. So, how come it doesn't ALWAYS start easily? Ask owner and evaluate statement. Be sure to throw in a question or two you know the answer to already, as an honesty check. If you own a compression
tester, you might want to take it with you to use. Or, if you're naive about engines, hire a friendly mechanic
. Engine oil analysis can tell you quite a lot, too.
The broker might have been looking after you, or trying to manipulate you [the apparent willingness to have a mechanic look at it could be to protect you, or to discourage you from hiring the mechanic by making you think he thinks it's okay, you choose to save the money
....the scenario works either way.]
Rust stain on hull from leaking stanchion base, definitely something neglected. First you get water, then crystal tracks, a one time occurrence will not leave a rust stain.
Different colors of paint
, definitely suggestive when it appears not all to have been done at the same time. Plus, if owner did the work, probably would not add the painting step, or if s/he did it, would have sprayed the whole thing.
Those are my thoughts, someone else here may have more for you.....