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Old 05-04-2015, 06:03   #1
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Buying a classic boat

I guess it doesn't have to be classic to ask this question, but I'm curious with standard inspection/survey/purchase procedures, although they must vary between countries.

We felt a logical approach on a 40yr-old boat would be to have a pre-survey inspection. If things looked good, then proceed to full survey.

Does the seller's request to agree a price, have us sign a purchase agreement and deposit paid before survey sound like routine practice?

Paying for inspection and survey should be enough to indicate we're not time-wasters?

I don't see it myself.
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Old 05-04-2015, 06:43   #2
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Re: Buying a classic boat

Hi 2greens1red, the standard purchase process is as you outlined, at least in my experience here in North America.

Initial stage includes research, discussion with broker or owner (preferably), personal inspection and unofficial survey. Once you are confident the boat appears to be worthy it, an offer is made. This leads to the negotiation of a purchase agreement that includes price and other conditional terms such as "subject to satisfactory survey(s)," and "based on a successful trial sail." There would be other warrants and conditions as well (time frame, access rights during purchase, clear title, registration, etc.).

An accepted purchase agreement commonly includes the buyer placing a 10% deposit with the seller (or in-trust via say an escrow account).

The buyer then proceeds with a full survey (if they choose to do this), and final trial sail. If the survey or the trial sail reveals something new or unexpected, this becomes grounds to open up the purchase agreement for re-negotiation.

This is the standard approach, but everything is open to negotiation. If you want to avoid the standard deposit, then you can certainly try to negotiate this. Brokers are less likely to stray from the standard approach, but private sellers may be more flexible. Personally, I don't have a problem with the deposit. It ensures both sides have real skin in the game, and it cuts down on those who are not really serious (speaking as someone who has sold a classic boat and had to deal with a lot of tire-kickers).
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