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Old 23-07-2008, 13:24   #1
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Question Buyers Guide

I started out with my eye on a new cat (model to be determined) but the more I read articles and postings (like on this site) I think might be better suited with a 3-5 year old (non charter) cat that will allow me the funds to do some upgrades in exchange for that new-boat smell. What I can’t seem to find is a “buyers guide”. Now this subject may have been addressed in earlier postings, if so I apologize for the redundancy, but just what are the steps involved in buying, especially a used catamaran; either from the point that I have identified a particular boat or, if not, are sources besides magazines and web sites for used boats, and what comes after you have decided. I hear about marine surveys, sea tests, etc but in what order does that come. Since I am assuming that I will be footing the bill for a survey, do I do this before I have made an offer on a boat or after it has been made and money has changed hands? I don’t imagine they are cheap and doing several might eat up my budget for other things. Also, depending on the survey, is it reasonable to expect the owner to address/fix those issues that come up? As far as a sea test in a variety of conditions, is it ever possible for the prospective buyer to rent/charted the boat for “x” number of days before they make an offer. Are there other steps to take? No response is too basic, since I can sail ‘em but I have no experience in buying anything beyond a beach cat.
Thanks in advance
Fred
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Old 23-07-2008, 13:31   #2
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I found the following to be useful but reviewed cats that were too new for me. I found an older edition used that was more appropriate for the vintage stuff I was looking for.


Sailor's Multihull Guide to the Best Cruising Catamarans & Trimarans by Kevin Jeffrey and Nan Jeffrey
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Old 23-07-2008, 14:44   #3
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Process is:

Look

Tour

Write an offer with a check

Schedule a surveyor and haul out (your cost)

Based on the report you accept the boat and pay the balance or reject the boat for a full refund of the depost. You can propose to renoegotiate too. You lose the costs of the survey always. Some surveyors will discount if you reject the boat before they finish and don't have to prepare a report.

You can find boats a lot of ways the primary internet site is:

New and Used Yachts for Sale - YachtWorld.com

They get the most but all the listings. You can contact brokers to arrange to look at the boats but you can't take them out or rent them. You don't ordinarily get to sail the boat until the sea trial and that is limited. It's best to do some reasearch and I suggest look at boats more and less than your budget so you realize about what your money will buy.

When you write an offer it's not unlike a house. You can offer any amount you think might be accepted. It requires a deposit so the buyer knows you mean it.

You need a copy of the survey report for insurance.
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Old 23-07-2008, 15:46   #4
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Old 23-07-2008, 17:38   #5
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buyers guide

Thanks Pblais, and all, makes sense, alot like a house but with less yard work!
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Old 24-07-2008, 04:39   #6
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RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH will give you an idea if the boat is in the right price range. You can have an in water survey done before the out of water survey. You will without a doubt do a test sail. Hopefully you will bring along someone knowledgable to cats in particular. I would do the test sail before I spent apenny out of my pocket. Most likely you showing up where ever the cat is is proof enough you are serious......BEST WISHES, and welcome to the DARK SIDE of multihull ownership....LOLOLOL I don't know if the Buck Book covers cats? It is like the Kelly Blue Book.
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Old 24-07-2008, 04:43   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fbchristo View Post
Thanks Pblais, and all, makes sense, alot like a house but with less yard work!
Now you have it!

The process is exactly like buying a house. The only real difference is that other "nautical" language is used:

Appraiser = Surveyor
Water in the Basement = Water in the Bilge

etc... etc...

The lending terminology is all the same - escrow, deposit, etc...
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Old 24-07-2008, 11:16   #8
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Search. Go to boat shows. Beg rides. Do not tour until you have found a broker you can work with, or there will be a lot of wrangling over the commission. If the boat is not listed with a broker, you may still use a buyer's representative. for his commission he will arrange the paperwork (pita) and most of the wrangling without egos getting bruised. He may also help with finding financing, but he may be getting a kickback there. You can do all that by your self, but it can be a nightmare for the uninitiated. Ater you have selected a boat make an offer with a deposit check of something like $2000 or $2500. It is returnable if the deal doesn't go thru. Use a standard form contract for this, to cover the legalities and clarify your offer. It is common to make the contract contingent on a satisfactory survey and seatrial. You won't normally have an oportunity to sail on the boat before this stage, but you should always ask. Arrange for a surveyor and haulout, at your cost. Do not skip this step. Negotiate with the surveyor to include going up the mast and surveying the engines and electronics. Most surveyors will operate and evaluate all the other systems on board. With the completed survey in hand, decide whether you want the boat and how many discrepancies you want the seller to fix. You will have seatrialed the boat before or after the survey haulout, so you will know if it meets your performance requirements. If you walk away from the deal now, you will have paid for the surveyor, the haulout, and some incidentals from the seatrial, but if its not the boat you want, it will be a bargain. If it doesn't meet your expectations, make a counter offer, based on the survey. Don't expect the seller to jump at the chance to spend money for your benefit. And don't make an insulting offer. It is either the boat you want, or it isn't. If getting it cheaper makes it more appealing, you haven't been shopping for just a boat, you have been looking for some competitive thrills too.
Don't blow your purse on the purchase price. The Government will want a piece of the action too. Know ahead of time what thats going to cost. Arrange for slip fees for the time it will take you to get the boat underway. Sometimes the survey will find things that can only be fixed while the boat is out of the water. Unless you can complete the deal while its hanging under the travel lift, you will have to haul it again! If you think you're close to closing the deal, you may be able to fix the seller's boat for him on the first haul, but he owes you nothing for the gesture! Its a calculated risk, and a sure sign you really want the boat, reducing your strength in negotiation.
Know what it will cost to insure the boat. Have a place to keep it arranged as well as possible. Estimate what you will have to spend to make the boat ready to go, and double it. Estimate the time it will take to get everything done, and triple it. Always buy open end return tickets. Enjoy; you now have another dependant!
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Old 24-07-2008, 19:17   #9
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Suggestion: Visit to the Annapolis Boat show in October. They have every type of cat you can imagine on display. They are all new, but at least you can touch and see and narrow down which brand/model you'd like to have in a used model. They also have multi-hull demo days after the show, and you can go for a no obligation test sail on some of the more popular cats.
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Old 24-07-2008, 20:12   #10
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Sorry, totally off topic but which would you say has the biggest/best cat selection: Miami or Annapolis ? I've been to Miami and was thinking of going back this year but if Annapolis is better will head there instead.
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Old 25-07-2008, 16:28   #11
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OK, so really good info, now the question I didn't ask, have you or would you suggest getting lawers involved at the contract phase?
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Old 25-07-2008, 18:00   #12
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I think it was Danny Devito in "Other Peoples Money" that said, "Lawyers are like nuclear weapons. They have them so we have to have them but if either of us uses them we are all screwed." But seriously, I'd avoid them if possible but it may depend on financing requirements, escrow etc. I've never needed one but I do tons of research including into my brokers and surveyors and have never bought a boat (or a house) as expensive as some of the newer cats.
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Old 26-07-2008, 15:12   #13
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Use a closing company like Atlantic Boat Documentation on 1st St in Annapolis to make sure about titles, liens and documentation. No lawyers required. There will be someone like them in Houston, Galveston, or maybe Corpus.
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