WARNING about contracts to purchase
a vessel from private sellers, and maybe even some brokers !
So we found a boat
we really loved after a lot of searching and a couple of unsuccessful offers on very similar vessels. Which is an expensive process in itself, as you will know if have, or you are out there looking.
We agreed a price
on a ‘Modified’ Peter Snell Easy 11.6 Catamaran
afloat in northern Brisbane
area (Queensland Australia)... we then Paid our deposit of 10,000 dollars just so we could conduct a TEST SAIL (very standard procedure here in OZ 😔
After the ‘test sail’ we withdrew from the sale
and the owner-builders of the boat
deducted from the deposit $547.50 or 0.25% of the sale price
for the privilege
of sailing their boat for three or so hours for the sole purpose of evaluating the vessel before completing the purchase
We discussed the clause beforehand (verbally) and were told by the sellers it was meant to cover ‘expenses and outgoings’ should we withdraw after they took the boat off the market and went to a lot of trouble to accomodate our requirements of a sail test and a detailed out of water
Because of the time of year, scheduling a survey
post the sail test could not happen until mid January after our appointed surveyor
returned from Christmas
holidays, so we agreed the clause in good faith.
We agreed and paid the deposit on the Monday night. Signed the contract
Tuesday afternoon, test sailed on the Thursday and withdrew by email
on the Friday morning. At no time over those approximate 4.5 days did their advertisements for the vessel mention that the boat was sold or off the market.
No breakdown of expenses and outgoings has been forthcoming despite a written request. 😡
We hired a highly experienced sailing catamaran
consultant who came for the sail test with Sellers approval. We have monohull
experience but limited catamaran exposure.
Later we contacted the designer
due to the fact the vessel preformed so poorly under power and sail.
Both parties advised not to purchase this boat as it was their ‘expert’ opinion the owner-builders have strayed way beyond the planed designed weight and have made some grievous changes to the sail rig. Sellers commented the designer
had first hand knowledge of his vessel, just that the opinion of the changes made was positive, not negative !
So we strongly feel taking part of our deposit given in good faith is very wrong and not in the spirit of the negotiation or the clause in the contract
Its not industry standard practise to have that clause and we should never have agreed, but trusted we would be treated fairly should we decline to proceed.
They seamed so nice and reasonable 😱
Sadly the sail test was NOT good to say the least despite perfect conditions on the water
During the test sail, the port motor
would not key start, the helm
was not responding correctly due in part to large amounts of hard shell growth below the waterline. The sailing performance was miles away from what is reported by owners of other vessels of this same design and by the designer himself.
We anchored for a quick sandwich and the anchor rode
broke, if not for an anchor bridle
we would have lost
the anchor and chain completely.
Basically, it appears to be incorrectly rigged and heavily constructed beyond the designers plans. Furthermore she is currently poorly maintained and was not ready for a test sail and detailed inspection
by perspective buyers.
Sadly the owners are separated and the vessel is a property settlement so the adds reads. Hence their anger the sale fell over maybe?
In an attempt to settle this matter we asked for a reasonable break down of expenses they would like to claim, and offered $40 for the hour or less of fuel consumption
(two small outboard
motors power the vessel, or 3 litres per hour in total). This offer was rejected stating they had the right to keep the entire 0.25%, namely $547.50 and gave NO breakdown 🙁
So be forewarned, if you are looking at a modified Easy 11.6 that for sale
as a property settlement, bloody be carful !!!
Please feel free to copy and paste this to any other perspective buyers... Or as many sites as you can; hopefully no one else has to go though this particular experience ....trust me it’s no fun !