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Old 02-08-2016, 09:48   #1
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Buying a boat in production

We are in the process of trying to negotioate a deal on a catamaran that is still in production. I would like to hear from others that have experience with this. Things like paying for a boat in full before it leaves the factory or before I see the boat seem risky... or what about that I have to insure the boat when it leaves the factory and spends 6 week under sail before I take possession of the boat? I can't find anywhere in this contract that protects me the buyer in any way. Where is the dealer taking any responsibility? Is this the industry standard? Part of doing business? Better to buy used?
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Old 02-08-2016, 12:13   #2
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Buying a boat in production

Is this a production boat or a custom one-off?
Also, there aren't any standard contracts in this industry and agency responsibilities vary widely.
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Old 02-08-2016, 14:36   #3
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Re: Buying a boat in production

If you're not happy with the conditions of the contract, don't sign, keep negotiating!


The insurance part is probably OK. The builder could insure the boat, but then he'd add the cost to the price, so you'd pay anyway.
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Old 02-08-2016, 14:38   #4
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Re: Buying a boat in production

You always have the power to NOT write the check.... until you write the check.
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Old 02-08-2016, 14:40   #5
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Re: Buying a boat in production

What's the price delivery term? E.g. Ex works, FOB, CIF. That dictates where risk of loss and liability passes.
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Old 02-08-2016, 17:34   #6
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Re: Buying a boat in production

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Originally Posted by freetogether View Post
what about that I have to insure the boat when it leaves the factory and spends 6 week under sail
So it will be a second hand boat when you get it. I dont understand why people buy boats that are delivered by sail half way round the world.
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Old 02-08-2016, 19:49   #7
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Re: Buying a boat in production

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Originally Posted by freetogether View Post
We are in the process of trying to negotioate a deal on a catamaran that is still in production. I would like to hear from others that have experience with this. Things like paying for a boat in full before it leaves the factory or before I see the boat seem risky... or what about that I have to insure the boat when it leaves the factory and spends 6 week under sail before I take possession of the boat? I can't find anywhere in this contract that protects me the buyer in any way. Where is the dealer taking any responsibility? Is this the industry standard? Part of doing business? Better to buy used?
Do not pay in full. That's is more important than the contract. Secondly, make sure you are happy with the contract and don't concede on anything you are uncomfortable with. Have seen ridiculous, one-sided and rather amateur sales agreement and took the time to rewrite a fair, logical and binding set of updates. In the end, those saved me. Insurance is your responsibility at handover, not anytime before.
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Old 03-08-2016, 08:35   #8
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Re: Buying a boat in production

I am hearing so many stories about poor quality work that I would not pay until delivery and after having it checked. You can always give them a letter of credit which is held by a bank and only paid once full delivery is done. If the factory needs the cash that much you need to be concerned that they might go into bankruptcy, but with the LC you are protected.
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Old 03-08-2016, 08:47   #9
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Re: Buying a boat in production

Before signing you should search the forums here for stories by other sailors and their experiences buying a new catamaran. I don't know what you are buying, but there are lots of happy and sad posts, especially regarding the prolific French builders.

Many CF posters are happy to give specifics via PM.
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Old 03-08-2016, 08:53   #10
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Re: Buying a boat in production

Coming from a family of shipyard owners, have got to say you are buying a pig in a poke unless you have done business with this company before. Let them build without obligation, and then you try it out.

Sir Francis Chichester regretted sailing in Gypsy Moth in his last round the world sail. Way too tender and horrible to steer. Famous yard, famous naval architect, best materials, produced a horrible boat. He regretted not trying out the boat first before committing to it.

Yards are good at producing production work boats; but not so much custom jobs unless they are a very very good yard like Hodgdon.
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Old 03-08-2016, 09:35   #11
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Re: Buying a boat in production

We just closed on our Leopard44 last week. We signed the papers at the Miami boat show in February while the boat was still in production. We were only required to pay a small deposit. The remaining funds were transferred only after it was delivered to South Florida and we had a chance to inspect the boat and go on a formal sea trial. There were only a couple of minor issues and they were fixed right away before or shortly after closing. Everything was done very professionally and we have absolutely no complaints so far. We were never asked to pay for or transfer funds before we were completely satisfied . When we were dealing with Lagoon I remember they had told me that I would be required to pay for the entire boat before it left the factory, sight unseen. Would definitely buy a leopard again and deal with the office in Dania Beach,FL again. So far so good😀.


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Old 03-08-2016, 10:11   #12
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Re: Buying a boat in production

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. When we were dealing with Lagoon I remember they had told me that I would be required to pay for the entire boat before it left the factory, sight unseen

Interesting. And perhaps it varies between agents, but our Lagoon purchase in 2014 was based on 50% down at time of order and remaining at handover/completion of commissioning. There were no surprises or disappointments. IMO this is completely acceptable when dealing with a reputable agent and manufacturer. Should you be buying otherwise, a whole host of purchasing terms can be introduced to protect the buyers interest.
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Old 03-08-2016, 11:26   #13
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Re: Buying a boat in production

Basically, we are being told that to purchase a boat the dealer has already ordered, we are required to pay for the boat in full and take on all the risk before it ever leaves the factory. I'm going to take the advice some of you posted and PM a few people that I see have bought from this manufacturer. Everyone has been really helpful. I must say I am impressed with this forum.
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Old 03-08-2016, 12:56   #14
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Re: Buying a boat in production

As a new boat dealer, we get 10-30% deposit and then we pay for 90% of the balance before the boat leaves the factory. I let new owners hold the balance until we deliver the boat to them and everything is good. I will also say if you're buying an overseas Cat, Make sure if you have 100-200-300K already invested that YOU have insurance on top of what the dealer should have as well as the carrier/shipper. Just to be safe. Having insurance in place even a few months before delivery is cheap if something weird happens and somehow the carriers/dealers insurance wants to dispute (finger point elsewhere) the claim. I've never had anything happen to a boat being delivered personally but I have heard of things happening.
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Old 03-08-2016, 13:38   #15
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Re: Buying a boat in production

I'm going to take a wild guess that it was at least 6 years ago when a forum member, perhaps on another forum, mentioned they had a deposit on a boat being built, when the builder went bankrupt. Which left them in a position of being just one more in a long line of unsecured creditors and without a contract saying "HIN ### belongs to you" they couldn't even recover against the partially built boat. You're gambling with (foreign?) legal systems and companies,not just with the broker. Maybe you could negotiate (everything is negotiable, even if that means walking away) and put your deposit in an escrow fund, to be transferred to the builder or broker only upon substantial completion, or delivery, or in phases as you both see fit. But "here's my lunch money, let me know if you catch lunch" counts as gambling these days. Don't put down more than you can afford to lose, and EXPECT that the delivery will be late, with issues still to be resolved. A friend of mine took delivery or a semi-custom from a respected US builder some years ago, and on the trip home with the boat? We found out all the cockpit winches (4) had been installed with the self-tailers oriented the same way. That doesn't work, half need to be "reversed" so they'll work port-vs-starboard. That was the start of the punch list.
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