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Old 14-11-2015, 13:00   #16
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Re: Brokers, Surveyors, Insurance companies, and Fools

I mostly agree with those who responded to Vino the Dog, the “sailor” in his story he used to embellish his diatribe clearly behaved like fool and paid the consequences. But I also mostly agree with Vino’s description of yacht brokers, yacht surveyors, lawyers and boat insurers. There are certainly reputable people in the world but my life-long passions, airplanes and boats, seem to have more than their share of miscreants. So this is why:

I don’t carry hull insurance (liability only).

I do my own surveys and inspections in and out of water.

I do 99% of my own maintenance up to and including engine changes.

I read everything available about any boat I am interested in buying.

I require proof of errors and omissions insurance from brokers and surveyors.
(This request usually makes them run out the door, which tells you a lot.)

And, I pray that any accident I’m in is the other guys fault.

The only thing that can be more worthless that a yacht survey is a home inspection report when buying your dream home you can’t get insurance without that either.
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Old 14-11-2015, 13:06   #17
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Re: Brokers, Surveyors, Insurance companies, and Fools

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Originally Posted by skipmac View Post

Not to dispute or minimize the claims of malfeasance in this case, but I do get tired of these general, wholesale rants against brokers and surveyors.

I was a broker for several years and there are absolutely people in the business that will lie and say anything it takes to make a sale. I knew surveyors for some very respected companies that were well known in the trade as a seller's surveyor. Basically if the boat wasn't sinking at the dock it would pass survey. However, the majority of the people I knew in the business were honest, hardworking and did their best to find the right boat for the buyer based on budget, experience and intended use and would never consider misrepresenting the quality or condition of a boat.

Bottom line, buying anything be it boat, car, house, whatever, it is always up to the buyer to take ultimate responsibility for the purchase. That process may involve hiring professionals to inspect the purchase, researching the history and reputation of the seller/broker/dealer but the final responsibility still lies with the buyer.
Absolutely....

If you are constantly finding yourself taken advantage of and cheated, then you really need to reassess how you're making your choices. I know many highly professional people in the industry. You make the choice of which one to deal with. Have people you've chosen on your side.

I have a friend who is a broker who just last week drove 100 miles to meet a surveyor for a boat that had been represented as a cream puff. The two of them looked at it, she called her client, they called the survey off and he cancelled the contract. The surveyor didn't even charge for the trip out.

I'm sure in whatever professions any of you were or are in there are some who are unprofessional and you'd certainly not want to be lumped with them.
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Old 14-11-2015, 13:39   #18
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Re: Brokers, Surveyors, Insurance companies, and Fools

WOW!!! What a lot of dumping on the owner / buyer!!

Not reasonable. He has paid PROFFESSIONALS to check and report. He rightly expects those reports to be accurate. If the reports are not accurate the buyer has been swindled....NO IFS, BUTS OR OTHERWISES. And it sounds like this guy was swindled by every operator. The insurer, the broker, the surveyor and even the guys that should have paid for the tow. I guess the reason these swindlers get away with it is that every one blames the buyer. Buyer beware crap!!!

I have only done 20,000 sea miles. Amongst others, I have bought and sold 5 vessels capable of going to sea. Currently I own a CT34. I do a thorough check befoere each purchase. BUT I AM NOT A PROFFESSIONAL. I expect that I will miss something and hire professionals to check for things that I may have missed.

The same reason this buyer paid for professional assistance. To find things that he may have missed. Especialy if things are deliberately hidden.

Example. the battery compartment in the rear deck of a 43 foot cat. was glassed over to hide a rotten section of the compartment. No amount of checking, short of destroying that section would uncover the rotten section. Comming off a wave, the batteries fell through the rotten section. Despite doing all the right things, **** happens.
.
Every post here that criticiesed the owner states that he should have done what the professionals were paid to do.
.
You guys just do not make sense.
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Old 14-11-2015, 14:00   #19
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Re: Brokers, Surveyors, Insurance companies, and Fools

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Originally Posted by julius222 View Post
Every post here that criticiesed the owner states that he should have done what the professionals were paid to do.
.
You guys just do not make sense.
Evidently you haven't read ALL of the replies.

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Old 14-11-2015, 14:14   #20
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Re: Brokers, Surveyors, Insurance companies, and Fools

fact is that surveyors always miss big stuff. oops yes it is a fact. surveys are only good for insuring and bank loans. they are not safety checks and equipment listing assurances. get real. when ye buy something make sure ye know enough about it before you buy to not befoul yourself.
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Old 14-11-2015, 14:22   #21
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Re: Brokers, Surveyors, Insurance companies, and Fools

Quote:
Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
First, I 100% agree with the several posts pointing out the buyer as the one ultimately responsible for making certain the boat was seaworthy and safe to take to sea. To start a passage without knowing exactly where every single through hull and seacock are located, how to access them and their condition is beyond foolish. Same applies to not personally testing the condition of the primary, backup and emergency bilge pumps, electric and manual. To depend on anyone, even the best, most ethical, skilled and thorough surveyor in the world to certify the seaworthiness of the boat without confirming it personally is almost beyond belief.

Not to dispute or minimize the claims of malfeasance in this case, but I do get tired of these general, wholesale rants against brokers and surveyors. To me that is no different than putting down any group as a whole whether based on job, race, religion or any other category.

I was a broker for several years and there are absolutely people in the business that will lie and say anything it takes to make a sale. I knew surveyors for some very respected companies that were well known in the trade as a seller's surveyor. Basically if the boat wasn't sinking at the dock it would pass survey. However, the majority of the people I knew in the business were honest, hardworking and did their best to find the right boat for the buyer based on budget, experience and intended use and would never consider misrepresenting the quality or condition of a boat.

Bottom line, buying anything be it boat, car, house, whatever, it is always up to the buyer to take ultimate responsibility for the purchase. That process may involve hiring professionals to inspect the purchase, researching the history and reputation of the seller/broker/dealer but the final responsibility still lies with the buyer.
Skipmac, gotta agree with you on this one. I don't think the system is systematically rigged but there are bad apples just like in any business. I have known many totally ethical salesmen/women who will take the time to get you to the best boat possible. There are the ones who will do exactly the opposite and go home and have a good night's sleep thinking about how many suckers are born every day (and think that's the way of the world).

And some people think they can sniff out the bad ones with a brief, or long, conversation. But just like in everything, there are some very slick people out there who would sell your mother in to slavery and you'd end up thinking what a good thing they did for you. You have to take responsibility for knowing what you want, get the most independent help/advice/survey possible, understand the limitations of said help/advice/survey, and make your own decisions as to whether a boat is suitable for you or not in the condition it is, not as you would like it to be, knowing 100% in advance that there will be problems with even new boats from the most reputable builders and certainly in all used boats.

When I bought my first cruiser (actually first boat of any kind), I violated all the rules as I was totally clueless. Then I checked around to find the biggest baddest pit bull buyer's (not seller's) surveyor I could find. I checked references. I got a good one in that regard (Matt Harris in WA state). But I also knew that the survey was a best efforts deal and that he might find a lot of problems but that there would be some potentially major things that he did not find. His survey ended up causing me some grief from my insurance company since they wanted me to fix all the things he found fault with, some pretty minor, but he was very thorough as far as it went.

But he missed a couple of bid problems. One was that the inside of the AC electrical panel was a metal residential style enclosure that was rusted out and smoke from burning circuit breakers and wiring and wires that bypassed some things that should have not been bypassed. I was pretty upset when I found it but didn't really fault Harris since it took a couple of tools to unbolt the covers to get to it. I only found it a few months later because of another issue. He didn't ignore it to help sell the boat. But he stated and I understood that he would not open up enclosures that required tools.

My overall assessment was that he did a very thorough and excellent survey. But the owner (no broker involved) did not bother to tell me about an obvious problem. I would have liked for him to do so. He was upfront about several other things that were problems and I could either buy the boat with them or not. I understood where his motivations were. He was not evil and I believe he really thought I was getting a good deal overall so a few unknown problems were within the scope of what he thought was ethical. I cussed him out later (under my breath) but just went about fixing it. I still think I got a good boat for a fair price. And the new owners I sold it to got a good boat for a fair price. And they found some problems that I didn't know about. That happens all the time. But I didn't nitpick the boats faults. And I watched them sail off from New Zealand for Australia with their two kids on board with a clear conscience since I knew the boat would get them there safely if some act of God did not occur. It did and they have put thousands of miles on her and are one third around on a circumnavigation.

I have met some very crooked sales people. I have met some shady surveyors. I hired a less than sterling surveyor for a required insurance survey since I really knew my boat very well by then and didn't want to complicate my life with a fussy non-expert underwriter make a poor judgement about my boat. No surveyor could have told me anything major about my boat that I was not already aware of by then. And it was a safe boat as it sat and I wasn't screwing over the insurance company and never to this day have I made a claim (other than a towing once off of a mud bar).

I think the OP strikes a nerve and exposed (not hard to do) some of the issues that buyers face when they buy a boat. But I don't think he, or any of you, should condemn all sales people, surveyors, or insurance companies to the extent stated. At all. I have a great insurance company right now, but my feelings may change if I ever have a claim. I liked the broker and brokerage I bought the boat from. I think they answered all my questions professionally and ethically. I used a survey from Matt Harris again. And I have found problems with my boat that were not in the survey, some of which were known to the brokers, which they downplayed. But their evaluation of me was that I was a fairly competent buyer who could make his own evaluation as to what to expect. And I did. I even overrode one of my "I'll never buy a boat with teak decks, especially one that needs work" pet peeves. I regret that a little bit but I love my boat for all its warts and issues. I have mucho work to do on that deck but oh well it's a boat.....

It is, and always will be, caveat emptor out there. You do your best. Stay away from brokers who are patently shady or crooked, but if they are selling the boat you want, then go in to the deal knowing that (or not knowing), and do your best (not perfect) homework, get a surveyor you can trust knowing they may miss something or the engine may bust a rod through the case on your way to your home port, whatever. Boats are damn complicated and they break - all the time. Nothing new there. I'm not sure I can afford it but I bought in to it, and I hope my insurance will cover me for the catastrophic event. And some times you luck out. So far I have with two very old boats that were very well-maintained. But I am going through every last system, checking them out, replacing anything that I don't like, expecting something will break that I haven't checked out well enough, or is in the unpredictable category. Kings-X, cross my fingers, and hope.
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Old 14-11-2015, 14:27   #22
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Re: Brokers, Surveyors, Insurance companies, and Fools

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailmonkey View Post

Who takes a new to them boat offshore without digging around.
Very many owners of new boats do.

They paid the money, they expect the boat to be up to what the label read: Ocean Category A, CE.

b.
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Old 14-11-2015, 14:34   #23
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Re: Brokers, Surveyors, Insurance companies, and Fools

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Originally Posted by Sailmonkey View Post

Who expects a surveyor to find everything on a go-through.....especially when everything may take days and they charge by the foot.
I do.

If I pay by the foot then every foot should be surveyed.

b.
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Old 14-11-2015, 14:38   #24
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Re: Brokers, Surveyors, Insurance companies, and Fools

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Originally Posted by Sailmonkey View Post

And who in their right mind allows the selling broker to hire the surveyor.
The percentage of right minded boat buyers should be about same with the general public. Then we can safely guess a number of buyers may.

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Old 14-11-2015, 14:52   #25
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Re: Brokers, Surveyors, Insurance companies, and Fools

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vino the Dog View Post

... the boat he had just paid $130,000.00 for ...
... 50' pilot house sloop ...
... reputed to have circumnavigated three times...
... without digging deep into the bowels of this lovely craft ...
... an experienced skipper with over 40,000 sea miles ...
... four through-hull fittings that he did not know about...
... he then discovered that only the tiniest of four bilge pumps worked...
A s/h 50' boat and 130k USD ... 40k sea miles ... and four thru-hulls that he did not know about.

...

Do not expect anything else next time. Some people never learn, not even after 40k miles, sea or otherwise.

And not to take anything away from your post which I consider most worth reading thru and a great write up and a lesson for all those who want to buy a boat and go sailing.

Good luck with getting her aright. I hope her future adventures will be less dramatic.

barnakiel
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Old 14-11-2015, 15:05   #26
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Re: Brokers, Surveyors, Insurance companies, and Fools

Being a shipwright for many years[wooden boats] my experience has been that most surveyors do not do a good job, but if I want to do a survey on a vessel I wish to purchase, the insurance company will not honor it, although I have been repairing boats for over 40 years, I thought about becoming a "certified" surveyor but the fee's that are charged are very high and to make it worthwhile one must work full time, which I do not wish to do, however I will say probably the best survey one can get is from someone who repairs boat for a living. [ for wooden boats anyway]
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Old 14-11-2015, 16:36   #27
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Re: Brokers, Surveyors, Insurance companies, and Fools

CONGRATULATIONS - SOMEONE HAD TO DO IT.
I'm a retired professional skipper and 100% agree with you. The only reason I can tell any tale is I had to learn decades ago that you CAN die at sea.



Learn before you buy.
Inspect and try things before you buy.
Test the boat before you make an offer.
Use common sense before you pay.
Present a disaster scenario to the insurance company before you sign.

Do you see the same word popping up repeatedly? BEFORE.
Don't die before time.
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Old 14-11-2015, 16:45   #28
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Re: Brokers, Surveyors, Insurance companies, and Fools

CONGRATULATIONS - SOMEONE HAD TO DO IT.
I'm a retired professional skipper and 100% agree with you. The only reason I can tell any tale is I had to learn decades ago that you CAN die at sea.



Learn before you buy.
Inspect and try things before you buy.
Test the boat before you make an offer.
Use common sense before you pay.
Present a disaster scenario to the insurance company before you sign.

Do you see the same word popping up repeatedly? BEFORE.
Don't die before time.
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Old 14-11-2015, 19:03   #29
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Re: Brokers, Surveyors, Insurance companies, and Fools

I'm a few years away from purchasing my sail away boat and mostly
Crew on other peoples boats And I always ask the Skipper where all the Thru
Hulls are located, ask to see them to make sure the proper valve is there a the correct size bung is nearby.
It just seems amazing to me that every thru hull visualized on the outside
was not visualized on the inside and checked for the correct valve and bung.
130,000 and the very basics ignored
I do more due diligence for a two day cruise
Like to know why the tow contract wasn't honored?
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Old 15-11-2015, 09:57   #30
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Re: Brokers, Surveyors, Insurance companies, and Fools

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
Very many owners of new boats do.

They paid the money, they expect the boat to be up to what the label read: Ocean Category A, CE.

b.
"Capable" and "Ready" are two entirely different things - both the boat and the skipper/crew. Boats are not like new cars.
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