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Old 24-08-2006, 03:26   #16
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Perhaps it was baseball pitcher Vernon Saunders Law ~ ”Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards.”
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Old 24-08-2006, 20:14   #17
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yeah... thats a clever saying alright.. I like it! unfortunately.. I also seem to live it!

Now that we are out of steel I think I'm a pretty good judge of the genre.. I would have spotted WhiteBirds troubles from across the marina now. But the next boat will be plastic so a whole new set of booby traps and mine fields to wade through. I'll be consulting here when the time gets closer!
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Old 24-08-2006, 22:19   #18
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There is a simple law when it comes to Boats Bob. If it's a boat, there will be problems, they will be expensive and it won't matter what it's made from.
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Old 25-08-2006, 01:46   #19
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AND!

No matter which boat you get, the last owner was a incompetent SOB. You'll find all sorts of jury rigging and mismatches, you'll wonder how it ever sailed. Wires that come to a dead end, stainless screws below the water line, 3M-5200 around your windows and thruhulls, some screws will be slitted & others phillips (in the same board), rusty tools in the bilges, bubbles under a fiberglass patch and pin holes just small enough to let the rain in.

Murphy walks the docks in every marina ..............................._/)
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Old 25-08-2006, 10:42   #20
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On Fiberglass boats I can reccomend reading Don Casey's book about surveying old FG boats. It really opened my eyes to the realities of how to look at a boat. Fortunately the first boat I bought was a little 22' trailer sailor. There were a few problems with it -- I'm still working on fixing them. But it wasn't a break the bank proposition. If I had read Casey's book beforehand I probably wouldn't have bought the boat. I wanted a turn key racing boat and that is not what I got. The bottom needs alot of work.
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Old 26-08-2006, 11:00   #21
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So I thought I would fan your paranoia of surveyors; I thought of you when I read this article in today's Saturday Vancouver Sun (Aug 26/06) - you'll love it.

COUPLE'S SAILBOAT DREAM TURNED TO ROT

"Marine Surveyors found negligent for missing decay before purchase"

Victoria (BC) A young couple who mortgaged themselves to the hilt to buy their dream, live-aboard sailboat ended up camped in it in dry docked for two years after the boat was found to be too rotten to be seaworthy.

From the home-turned-nightmare-on-stilts, Carrie Juteau and Dan Perara launched a lawsuit against the marine surveyors they hired as a precondition of their credit union (bank) to make sure the boat was in good shape.

This week a Victoria judge ruled in the young couple's favour, saying surveyors Jan De Groot and Stephen Stratton were negligent and that they missed significant rot that was found in the fibreglass-over-wood hull.

.... its a long article but I will finish with their final quote:

"But despite their experience living aboard Focus, Last month they moved into an 8 metre boat, which Juteau said they financed privately.

'It's made of fibreglass. We're never going back to wood. Never."

I have taught my son three rules in boat purchase, should he ever buy one.

First rule, never purchase a wood boat.

Second rule, refer to the first.

Third rule, refer to the second.
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Old 26-08-2006, 11:57   #22
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Unhappy It just goes to show ya!!!!

That becoming a true sailor, one has to be independent. And that means knowing boats. How anyone could have missed a rot problem as bad as the one they described here, to have it sit in a Yard for two years. One could have built a wood boat in that time.

Surveyors should only be there to confirm your own suspicions or what you didn't catch. As they say "Two heads are better then one" and three is even better.

For a Couple to sell their house and jump onto a boat with out the common knowledge of the industry was a foolish thing. But The Surveyor SHOULD have known too.

I agree they should have won the law suit But let this be a lesson to the newbie’s. Get some experience before buying a BIG project. I like wood boats, when they're in good shape, but they are a project.

Where I Keep my boat there is a plywood trihull on the hard a little ways from us and in the past 4 years it's had three different owners. And I've only seen the last one twice. How long does it take for people to learn???

I guess we can refer back to the Quote that Gord provided -- Vernon Saunders Law ~ ”Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards.”
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Old 26-08-2006, 13:48   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delmarrey
For a Couple to sell their house and jump onto a boat with out the common knowledge of the industry was a foolish thing.”
Heeeeey, who you calling foolish.

We have have a saying at work when one of us teachers make a comment, "how many times do you have to keep saying X"?
Answer! "at least once more"
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Old 26-08-2006, 19:06   #24
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Greetings rsn48...

whats the difference between paranoia and legitimate concern??

Yeah, their story is familiar to me. We decided against law suit. Besides tha fact the dirtbag got real scarce (vanished actualy) we had just spent the previous year and a half in US federal court contesting a fraudulent BK that cured us of any thought of justice through a court. I have no more faith in the "Just-Us" system than I do for the surveying business. I hate business's that usualy seem to never be called to account for bad proffessional performance that causes a client harm. I'm glad to hear it worked for them, thanks for bringing the story up mate!

It was also pointed out to us that sense we were the only insured cruising boat in the harbour.. (had cruisers asking for my autograph they were so impressed!) we should ahh.. have an accident! And of course a few said we should button it up and look for another sucker... but no. The only option we could live with was to fix her, which we did.

"That becoming a true sailor, one has to be independent." Delmarrey, I couldn't agree more. Like I said, a surveyor is a tool not an answer. (how many more times do I have to say that alan? At least one more time!) I let down my guard when I felt overwhelmed by ignorance, and paid an awful price for it.

I had been told a good surveyor was the way to go, all I needed to do, I was miss-informed. So newbies take notice and consider....
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Old 26-08-2006, 20:44   #25
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rsn48,Very intersting situation,It sounds like the "Bank" was involved with this lawsuit as well?From what I have read on this site and others is,"If ya buy a lemon,ya wear it,somthing to do with the fine print that says"Not responsible for anything I didn't pick up on"type clause that ya find in most surveyors clauses in anything from boat's to house's .Would it be a better way around the problem if one was to ask to see the fine print in their particular contract before contracting the said surveyor?I would think that any surveyor worth his salt would not mind this sort of probing and might even "Probe"into the boat a bit more even if just to cover his own arse,and the perspective buyer.If profesionals can not be held responsable for their dissions,then they arn't profesionals.Bob,those pictures ya posted looked pretty scarey to me,as a first time boat buyer its very overwhelming to see that even an experienced person could be fooled into what they were buying was above board,If ya got a bee up ya bum about me,fine,get over it!!But I did ask you about any relevent surveyors problems ya have heard about in QLD!!mudnut.
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Old 27-08-2006, 01:17   #26
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I am wondering if this issue should be looked at from another angle compleatly.
I reckon it should be the Broker being the one that becomes responsible. After all it is he that is selling the boat and he that "glosses it all up" for the prospective buyer. If they were the one that was ultimatly responsible, several things would result. The Broker would ensure a damn thorough survey is carried out. Any fault found would then have to be repaired by the owner before sale, OR, Full disclosure of the problems to any prospective buyer. It would then be upto the buyer/purchaser to agree on a price. If the survey was a good report and an issue like Bobs occured, then the Broker should be held responsible first, with the Broker being the one to seek damages from the seller and surveyor. The surveyor would most likely not be hired again. The present situation of brokering means that for very little work really, the Broker walks away with a percentage of the sale and in most all cases, would never ever speak of any possible issue. In fact, they tend to "hide" the issues as much as they can.
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Old 27-08-2006, 04:47   #27
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The broker who was selling the boat I bought was actually actively discouraging prospective buyers, because it just wasn't the right boat for them, on several levels, and he knew that. This was an old race boat that required an athletic crew, needed a fair bit of TLC, and was being sold inexpensively.

I bought it with my eyes fully open, knowing full well what I was getting into. Still, I did hire a surveyor who had be highly recommended to me, and who turned out to be excellent.

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Old 27-08-2006, 18:48   #28
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Hey Alan.. brings memories of a movie named "Liar Liar" I think, the Jim Carey flick.. I know some very good brokers, professionals with a reasonable personal code of ethics, people that understand the long term benefit of positve reputation... then there are others.. Make it illegal for them to lie!! OH!! that would be funny! It would take surgery and massive doses of powerful drugs to stop some I know from lying! and then I'm not sure it would work... they would be doomed to a career change to politics where their "skills" are still valued!

Hey Catamount... can I rub your head for luck?!!? Seriously, am pleased to hear of your good experience. I hate to make buying a boat sound scary but aim to balance the issue so less chance of people getting stung due to unwarrented trust of a 'professional.'

for those that haven't seen the dark side yet...

www.thecoastalpassage.com/rust.html

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Old 27-08-2006, 23:03   #29
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Here's my take according to Canadian law. We as the consumer are allowed to be an ignorant lot. Let me elaborate. If I go to a doctor, I'm not expected to know any medicine, in fact the reason I go to the doctor is that I know I don't know any medicine. So I go to the expert. If I am an ignorant sot then the right thing to do is to go to the expert.

Now my training. I was brought up in the insurance industry then financial planning. I was taught over and over again that if any business dealing I carried on with a client ever went to court, the court would consider me the expert and the client uninformed. Thus the burden of proof was always with me in any contestable transaction. In fact, the court recognizes that we are ignorant sots.

If what happened to Bob happened to me, I'd use small claims court where you don't need lawyers. I would have shown the survey, then the real situation using video and photographs. You can claim up to $20,000 (might be more now) in small claims here. This is the way to go to keep your lawyer costs down and your chances of success up.

I would have argued in court that I was not the expert and the reason I hired the expert was because this was his knowledge base. I would then have shown the survey and then the reality.

I think the couple in the above case should have gone to small claims because one item that I left out was that with the lawyer's fee, in the end they only received half. I am convinced they could have carried themselves well in court and used video's and photos. So they would have won $20,000 instead of $30,000 but they would have been $5000 ahead because the article stated the lawyer received half of the award.

If we can't hold experts accountable then whats the point of paying them?
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Old 28-08-2006, 00:38   #30
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"If we can't hold experts accountable then whats the point of paying them?"

exactly!!! From what you have said and reported rsn48, were I in Canada the value of a surveyors report would mean much more to me. It seems you have a reasonable and fair system. So local law is an important factor. hhmmmm..

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