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Old 11-01-2015, 14:08   #1
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Rookie in need of help!

Hello,
I've been researching living on a boat for months and months now and am finally at the position of buying one and am getting cold feet! It's on an auction ending in a few days! The boat is in a marina in London, off the Thames - it's an amazing location to be based and the boat is the perfect size and price for me. I'd be able to sail away my weekends, have boaty fun holidays and be close to work during the week. So far so good.

The boat is an old 1970s Westerly, GRP hull. I've gotten the impression that it's previous owners didn't use it that much and don't know when it was last out of the water - should alarm bells be ringing? I've researched and researched but can't find a definitive answer - is it terribly bad to leave a boat in a marina in the water like this? Is the Thames be a much of a corrosive enviroment for it?

The description of the boat as is that it has 'many more miles left in her' which is meant to be a positive, but make me feel negative.. like she has a finite lifespan and will pack up in a number of years.
I know that nothing lasts forever but I don't want to spend a large amount of money and time on something which is end up in the scrap heap - I want something solid which will stay in the family for decades.... is that possible or am I asking too much of an old boat?

I will get a full survey done, but it would be so so helpful to get some insight from more experienced boaters. (I've only sailed them and not bought one before!)

Thank you so much!
Lottie
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Old 11-01-2015, 14:16   #2
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Re: Rookie in need of help!

Why is it being auctioned instead of a normal broker sale?
Have you inspected the boat? Does it appear in good condition?
If you carefully select a good surveyor you should get a lot of info from this, but as it is an auction boat you may only have the option to take it or leave it. --- not the ability to renegotiate.
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Old 11-01-2015, 14:23   #3
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Re: Rookie in need of help!

Hi Paul,

Thanks for your reply - the auction is because the boat had been for sale for a little while and the owners wanted to speed up the process. The auction sale price will still be subject to survey so there is the chance to renegotiate.

And it appears to be in good condition but I've not seen the hull out of water!
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Old 11-01-2015, 14:28   #4
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Re: Rookie in need of help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lottie44442 View Post
Hi Paul,

Thanks for your reply - the auction is because the boat had been for sale for a little while and the owners wanted to speed up the process. The auction sale price will still be subject to survey so there is the chance to renegotiate.

And it appears to be in good condition but I've not seen the hull out of water!
Don't want to discourage you but be very careful as while the Westerlies were decent boats there is nothing harder on a boat than not being used. The cost to refit a boat can at times cost substantially more than the original selling price.
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Old 11-01-2015, 14:33   #5
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Re: Rookie in need of help!

Then offer assuming the hull is in good condition. Renegotiate after the survey if necessary. The most you'll be out is the survey cost and haul out.
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Old 12-01-2015, 06:02   #6
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Re: Rookie in need of help!

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Lottie.
Good luck with the auction.
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Old 12-01-2015, 06:50   #7
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Re: Rookie in need of help!

There is now way for us to give you any useful feedback on the condition of the boat. That is an old boat, to be sure, but Westerlys are solid boats. It could be in remarkable condition, well maintained and updated, or it could be old and tired and and a money pit at any price. It's impossible for us to know.

The fact that it is sitting in the water is not a bad thing in and of itself. The bigger question is how long it has been continuously in the water and what work has been done to the hull when it has been hauled out. In an ideal world a boat is hauled every couple of years and allowed to dry out, and the hull is inspected and necessary issues addressed.

I will say that the fact that it is an old boat at auction should raise suspicions, regardless of what the auctioneer tells you (because they can tell you anything, and will, to make the boat seem attractive). If a boat makes way to auction that generally means that it was unsalable on the open market, or that it repossessed or similar. Regardless of the reason, you should approach bidding on the boat with caution.

I'm not familiar with laws that might apply, but before you bid you should confirm that you are contractually and legally protected and can walk away from the deal after inspection and/or survey. And a survey is not cheap, so make sure you know exactly how much that is going to cost where you are as that is what you will be out of pocket should you walk away.

The best course of action is to find out if you can inspect the boat in person before bidding, and take along someone who knows old sailboats well enough to give you an educated assessment of the boat's condition and cost of repair and maintenance. Pictures of boats almost always make them look in better condition than they are, and descriptive text is always optimistic.

"Many miles left on her" strikes me as euphemism for "Pretty trashed but still floating."
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Old 12-01-2015, 07:13   #8
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pirate Re: Rookie in need of help!

Westerlies are great boats... their main faults are the cabin lining.. for some weird reason they used foam backed material and over the years the lining falls away as the spongy stuff dies.. next is the mast.. check inside for over tensioning warping the bulkhead/post below.. rudder... the washers etc tend to wear being nylon.. also check the keel bolts..
Trouble with being up at St Kaths or Galleons Reach is it takes a full ebb to get to sea...
Good Luck with the Auction..
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