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Old 12-12-2011, 09:40   #1
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Remote Boat Purchase ? Winter ?

Like many of us, I think I've found what I've been looking for a couple of thousand miles away. From reading many threads here and on other boards, I've come across a few opinions. Short background, my first boat was purchased locally in the spring and was much less of a spend. Though there was a survey and sea-trial, it was a straight forward process. Now we've found a boat we want- I've been aboard and sailed a sister ship/model (not this exact year, but close). I've read that my best price leverage is actually before I travel to see the boat. But I've also read (which I completely agree with) is that it's a dicey game to make offers on boats you ain't seen. I guess I can't really fathom making an offer, albeit one contingent on survey and sea-trial, without my own rough inspection. I've read that the offer could be contingent on my "personal" inspection. I've read that folks use professional "pre-surveys" to gain some comfort for remote offers. If my remote- sight unseen- offer were accepted and I forked over 10%, what are my chances of being able to back-out (with my money? Upon personal inspection? Professional survey? Sea trial? Oil test? This boat is has been on the hard for 2 maybe 3 years and I think I sense some reluctance to commission and launch for a sea trial, which gives me even less comfort with the situation. Of course, it is winter! I'm kind of stuck. I think I've found the right boat, but can't decide if I should just book a flight, view the boat and then try to race through an offer, survey, re-commisioning, sea trial -all the while racking up motel bills. Or can I reasonably start the process remotely? Is that just asking for trouble?
Many thanks-

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Old 12-12-2011, 09:56   #2
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Re: remote boat purchase? winter?

Don1500 just bought an Aloha 34 long-distance, sight unseen and seems quite happy with it... I Have Pulled the Trigger !

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Old 12-12-2011, 14:52   #3
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Re: remote boat purchase? winter?

I have started the buying process long distance and finalized the deal with a survey and seatrial where I was present. This is how I did it:

First I had a "buyers broker", one who was representing my interests. He was well connected and could find a reputable local surveyor for a first look see. This first look typically costs 1/3 of the final survey price and is usually credited to the final survey. The first boat I did this with was a bomb. The surveyor sent me loads of pictures which showed stuff that couldn't be seen on the listing. He was somewhat reluctant to comment over the phone, but after chatting with him for a while, he became comfortable and told be to pass on this boat.

I did the same with the next one but when I talked with the surveyor he told me that he knew the boat and after looking at the listing said that it was represented fairly.

So I made an offer, negotiated the price and made the initial 10% payment TO MY BROKER. The standard YBAA contract provides that the buyer can back out of the deal and get his deposit back after the survey and seatrial for any reason. With your broker holding your money you have a good assurance of getting your money back if it busts survey. You do have to cover the expense of the survey and hauling to inspect the bottom and running gear.

The survey showed some problems and I worked with the seller to take care of them and closed a few weeks after the survey. I am happy with the boat.

I could have even finalized the deal without ever seeing the boat. But I think it is important to be there to see what is really important on the surveyors report and what isn't. On one deal the surveyor made a big deal about a corroded shaft log, but I looked at it and only saw some green stuff. The threads were still sharp and hadn't materially corroded. It cleaned up and worked fine for many years. If I hadn't been there to see it with my own eyes I might have held out for a price adjustment which may not have worked during that sellers market.

So the take aways: find your own broker, use a local surveyor for the first look and make sure that your contract gives you the ability to back out after the survey.

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Old 13-12-2011, 16:03   #4
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Re: remote boat purchase? winter?

bought my boat in the winter, the first time I saw it in the water was the day I came to sail it away
jobless, houseless, clueless, living on a boat and cruising around somewhere
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Old 13-12-2011, 16:47   #5
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Re: remote boat purchase? winter?

Am in the process of completing just such a transaction,Hire a pre survey person to go look and report back to you 150.0 to 200.00 bucks.If all is satisfactory make an offer subject to personal inspection,and survey meaning sea trial and engin survey also.Take nothing for granted,it can be done however you state the boat has been on the hard for 3 years buyer beware
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Old 20-12-2011, 16:10   #6
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Re: remote boat purchase? winter?

My wife and I bought our second boat that was on the other side of the continent. The owner had put a serious effort into selling it, they created a website and had a very extensive listing of parts, and equptment. They had it on the market for two years, we just decided to make a lowball offer, and they were receptive to it. We haggled on a price, and came up with a number.

They were a little wierded out that we would make an offer on a boat that we hadn't seen, but the equiptment list was so extensive and we priced in the major turnoffs like replacing teak decks. I also did a ton of research on the boat, and My wife and I really loved the style and size. So basically if it looked like the pictures and everything worked we'd buy it. The owners also had a survey from a few years back.

I don't really believe in surveys, I'm probably going to have to fix everything at somepoint anyways so I don't need to know that the flares need upgraded.

It was crazy stressful leading up to leaving, and only my wife could make it down. So she went down, it looked like it did in the photos, had everything on the list, it floated and the motor ran. Boat bought.

Have a little faith man. You can't force boat buying, if it's meant to be, it's meant to be. We've tried way harder to negotiate sales on a worse boats for higher prices and it went no where.

I say do your back ground work, ask for lots of pictures and old surveys, research owners groups/owner opinions. If it's good go for it, but beware if it sounds too good to be true it probably is. Also use a reputable broker, talk to them and research them. You should be OK.
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Old 14-02-2012, 04:42   #7
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Re: remote boat purchase? winter?

We are about to sell our boat at auction on ebay. Any ideas on how we can help bidders to feel confident. We have to sell, as we have run out of money, and can't afford to live without finding a job, after 4 years aboard having a great time, we are not complaining!

We have built a website, Lusty Wench - Blue Water Yacht For Sale and we are having a survey done, which we will publish honestly and completely as soon as it is available, and we have an advert already running, which we will convert to an auction on the date we have given (12th April 2012). In order to be certain of getting a winning bid we are not going to put a reserve and we will start at £1

Anyone who has sold at auction on ebay, or anyone who has bought, we would be really interested to hear from you.

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Old 14-02-2012, 06:22   #8
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Re: remote boat purchase? winter?

That survey is a good idea.

Details of where the boat is currently registered and how Registration / Title is changed would also be useful.

I would also throw in how you envisage the sale process to be handled and paperwork involved (especially given the location).

From a quick looksee at your website (couldn't see the Ebay Link), I assume that she is UK reg and from the location not VAT paid. But I appreciate that either of those assumptions could be wrong - I would clearly state the position (pros and cons either way).

State the obvious!

(oh, and starting own thread might be useful for you).
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Old 14-02-2012, 15:41   #9
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Re: remote boat purchase? winter?

Anyone know how much it would cost to get it from Turkey? If I were only in the market for a boat...

Bill Streep
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