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Old 26-07-2009, 10:42   #16
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I think your thinking above is right on. Be prepared to make your move when the right boat comes up, and as mentioned above, try the internet. There are some amazing deals out there... people fall on hard times, inherit a boat, change priorities etc. 5 foot draft would be nice for sure. For most people it's really not about pointing 5 degrees higher going to weather...
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Old 26-07-2009, 11:19   #17
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I like C&C's but I like Beneteaus better. I think they are better engineered and built. I actually own a sister ship to this one, in RI:

1984 Beneteau Idyll -

And I think it might be close to what you want. I think the listing draft is incorrect... it's closer to 5 ft. Excellent cruiser, great interior layout, bigger diesel, with two real double sleeping cabins, instead of the usual open quarterberth.
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Old 26-07-2009, 13:06   #18
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Your Son said WHAT?

Originally Posted by s/v Moondancer View Post
My wife travelled 10,000 miles and viewed 22 boats before we chose...and in today's market in and out in 24 hrs is pure BS!
Sorry (no I'm not) & I completely disagree.
Have bought & SOLD innumerable vessels in < 24 hrs after listing w/brokers, or on the market.
IF the price is right (just not STUPID CHEAP) the buyers will come. If the price is too high...they won't.

We've bought sight unseen, w/nothing more than pictures (contingent on satisfactory survey, & closed before printed version was either emailed or faxed based on competent surveyor's rep. & eyeballs on scene, both coasts & overseas.

Been burned? Only on auction/storm damaged boats (this being a BUSINESS & all) where the seller (often auction houses) conveniently left out of both the descript. AND Photos....that little 3' HOLE in the hull, etc. Even had 1 (not naming names, but they STILL sell on Ebay w/a an "Angel" in their title) send pics of BEFORE Storm floating boat, only to arrive to a half-sunken hulk. It was still worth canibalization, just hadn't brought the tools. Headed back home (600+mi.) showed back up 3 days later & 5 days later it was a trailer full of parts.

Our pride & joy is going on the market soon, never thought I'd say this but we're moving up. FROM 1 of the finest specimen Pearson P39's (1975 vintage & better, stronger, faster than new) to a P40. Both are racer-cruisers, Bill Shaw Designed (might as well have been Herreshoff), beautiful lines, beautiful boat...only 1 complaint...can't sit down straight at the nav.stn, as it's also the "head" of the quarter berth. This boat will disappear so fast when it hits the market heads will swim. Why? Because I/we know how, where, when, & What folks are looking for in a vessel of this nature, & ours already all. Turn-Key is a misnomer, "Bristol" is an understatement, and an engine compartment You'd gladly serve dinner in is just about right. The pics will reflect that, the listing will be extensive, the questions answered before they could be asked. Fresh awlgrip, teak latticed cockpit sole, interfaced chartplotter w/AH, 3 Compasses, 4 VHF's, brand new cushions throughout, blah, blah, blah.
Price? Starting 5k cheaper than the CHEAPEST Elsewhere (anywhere in the world short of a flat out DOG) & of course ours' bears the legit. title of '75/'09 sparing no expense. You don't get RICH buying & selling boats, yet in 35 years of it I've Never LOST money yet...not once, not ever.

Indecision is for the landlubbers, and in the auction game, come to the table w/an "absolute I will not go higher than X$'s" attitude & abide by it. More & more vessels are coming available in this format again, as the banks are inheriting far more than they ever wanted. Formerly, even in down turned economies, it was always either the storm damaged, or the marina/yard bill scenario. Today, not so much. Now we have the opportunity to get a NEW(er) "dream boat" where I get my stupid little seat in my nav. station, for $14k less than walking from the closing table w/on the P39 at my rock bottom price, although I will hate parting w/her...been very, very good to me. We cruise, we DON'T Live Aboard, nor will we be able to for some time to come. I favor performance & beautiful lines, rather than floating condo's; when it comes to only 2 aboard, the tradeoff's were minimal. Having 4 dogs precludes the "living aboard", although we did so, long ago w/2 children, 3 dogs & a cat all while I owner/builder constructed a former WF house.

While the R/E market TANKS around us here in FL., the Sailing vessel market skyrockets...folks KNOW w/"obamacare"/Cap&Tax, a sneak preview last summer w/marine fuels all at $, etc. there won't be a chance in the future if they don't move now. Our "sailboat trader" recently stopped publishing & they rolled in to the "boat trader", as simply SO FEW are available, & at OTHER THAN ABSOLUTE TOP DOLLAR are hanging around as listings for weeks or DAYS. Brokers are Dying for more (realistic selling price owner's) listings, and the good boats get snatched up quick. Sit on the sidelines...there are lots more landlubbers than real sailors & always have been.

OP, I don't know whether You're an engineer, or an accountant, however most folks narrow down what they know they want/need/must have/can live w/o all in the 1st year tops. Making a BAD decision is FAR BETTER than making NO DECISION. Indecision makes mice of men. Pick a boat, LOOK at some similar models w/everybody present, know Your budget, sea trial 1 (not necessarily the ONE You intend to BUY, just same make/model & similar year), then get on the net & shop for price/equipment list, etc.

Remember 1 thing...All the electronics in the world can crap out tomorrow. Better if it had close to NOTHING for nav. & You bought new on top of a lower price (money saved usually get's "reinvested") as throwing money in the hole in the h2o might as well be for bells & whistles that suit YOUR purposes better than the former owners' AND who deserves the warranty on all those electronics...him, or YOU, now owning them?

Yesterday's state of the art is today's Antique(like LORAN)& this rings true as I checked out a touchscreen chartplotter today walking by at W.M....for a mere $ 6mos it'll be half that & by this time next year, old news & < a grand.

When the right boat comes along, at the right price, You'll know it (& then again several may already have?) & just know, what YOU Outgrow (whether too big or too small "then") is somebody else's "DREAM BOAT"/perfect for them, then. Don't pay too much, but don't waste Your lifetime trying to get the absolute ultimate "deal" either. You'll be old & Your kids grown & gone before You made a decision & began living life (at least partially) on the water.

(& I hope this isn't taken too harshly, however if my son asked me (as they usually do being the inquisitive litte observers of all we do, that they are) that question, AND WE HAD THE MONEY...I'd want to walk out on the back porch & shoot myself. Research is fine...13 years is overkill...You have grown(as a fmaily THRU multiple "perfect" boats for You then, which would be impractical now. Leaders (& Captains) are looked to by the crew (& family) for leadership, which starts w/decisions. GIVE UP the quest for perfection, it exists not in this lifetime, nor in "you"...we're GONNA Screw up (as both Fathers, Captains AND Decision's inevitable), so prolonging the inevitable is fools play. God Help the crew for example in MOB drills. Stop seeking Nirvana & get everybody OUT ON THE WATER! Like nike's logo...
"Just Do It".
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Old 26-07-2009, 13:14   #19
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Have you paid much attention to that gut feel? After you have done all the homework have you allowed that part of the cognitive brain to do it's job and "tell you" when it's the *right one*?

ain't what ya do, it's the way that ya do it...
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Old 26-07-2009, 13:31   #20
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Originally Posted by Kefaa View Post
$65,000. That has to do everything to make it usable as a base for the couple nights during the week, and with the family on the weekends. The broker we were working with kept showing us $65,000 boats, so this created an issue where I would have spent everything on the purchase (+6% taxes +fees). His theory was it is better to be in a newer boat, using as much money in that area, than to be in an older boat with the inevitable upgrades, repairs, etc.
I want to avoid being boat poor (like house poor), where all my money has been spent on the purchase, but I cannot afford to use it. While I can work on the boat, I am too busy with revenue generating work to do so 20 hours a week for very long. I also recognize that certain work (rigging, engine) will require professionals if the work is significant.
I also look at the $65k as drop dead dollars. If it cost more than that to get into something that will meet the above, then I am done - espcially with the economy.
I think I covered everything, but if not, please let me know.
Boats in the sailaway condition, length, beam & draft You desire are EVERYWHERE...narrowing the focus is good...& CHANGE BROKERS...good 1's LISTEN to Your requests; he obviously missed that life lesson. Keep in mind a boat that's been on the market for $65k for a year (or Years!) can be had for $50k cash. Add $350.-$500. for a top shelf survey(which may or may not bring You BACK to the bargaining table for an even LOWER Price...engine AND hull, or don't bother, btw), fyi, buying a DOCUMENTED vessel negates sales tax depending on the state, & if across state lines almost Always. I'd's only $$$ (from a guy who's bought over a dzn fm the USVI, & that was a determining factor in the land of 7.5% here; maybe the broker figured You'd KNOW it's offer & acceptance...1 thing they often (Always) omit is how long (in real months, YEARS) most listings have been on the market...You'll know overpriced when You see it. Anything listed longer than 4 months is too high; over a year WAY, WAY TOO High. More in the neighborhood of "YEARS" and they're wasting not only brokers' advertising $$, they're wasting YOUR time too...move on, or offer market value & watch 'em all head for the poop chute. Serves's 'em right & some folks think their stuff either don't stink, or is gold plated. Neither is correct. They learn later than sooner. Start Low, find a broker who understands WHAT you want, that $55k is Your "top", & narrow HIS focus to 3 manufacturers, and 3 models each that You know You can live with. That's 9 different boats in style, length, age, & condition relatively the same...keeps Him(/her)focused.

FYI, MOST "older" boats in the price range are already "upgraded" & other than (some) electronics usually state of the art...let the surveyor make that call. Don't freak out over upolstery & fabric colors; Listed boats are usually in top shelf condition, because the sellers want to SELL them. Your broker is(make that was)not giving You good advice; since ultimately YOU ARE Writing his/her check, get 1 that listens & earns their pay.
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Old 26-07-2009, 15:44   #21
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I see in different places "everyone" expects to pay 20%-40% less than asking. Yet, my experience has been that bad boats go cheap and good boats are held until the person either must sell or they are willing to wait it out.
That has always been true. There is no magic password that says "tell me the real price".

Don't think you can screw a boat owner out of a boat. They are sailors and guess what you are? It never hurts to suck up a bit and make sure they know you do appreciate the boat and really want it. It matters. Owners want a good home to boats they really loved. Those are the boats you really want to buy too. I'm convinced it could be a criteria for picking at the end of the day.

Best advice is take the boat in better condition when presented with a list of actual boats you would really buy. Exclude any boats you would not buy. It means you need real boats to do this math. If I gave you two boats to pick from and you really liked them, I'm sure you could work the numbers and say this one is the better choice.

The last time around I had two boats. One was older and cheaper and one was newer and a lot more. I added up the differences and offered the better boat with the equalizer offer. I knew I could get either under those conditions. I then added 3,000 on the final offer to split a difference to close on the newer boat. I know I made the better choice. When faced with closing it's OK to toss a small amount to get good will in return. Lots of ways to screw a buyer down the road to closing. For a boat you really want it's OK to be a good guy on it. If you have been one through the process then how could another like minded good person do anything else. If the guy is a crook then you have to be a sucker. It works both ways.

Phone calls you get answered after the sale are often worth the price you spent to make sure you could get them to pick up the phone later on. It can be a simple question only they could know and you really do need to know the answer.

Brokers are not an issue ever. They help or they don't. If they help you will know it. You don't negotiate with a broker any more than you can go to a fast food restaurant and bargain for the price of the meal with a 16 year old kid.

Sail away condition - even new boats are not sail away condition. They are in sail back condition. There is always more stuff to fix. If it was fine in the survey it will break the first day you own it. Bet on it - Deal with it.
Paul Blais
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37 15.7 N 76 28.9 W
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Old 27-07-2009, 11:48   #22
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Qustion Catchup...

Speedoo - We like the Beneteau's also. The issue is under 34' they keep putting the table slap in the center of the cabin folded off the mast. It makes it too tight for us. We still have the Oceanis 351 in our pocket. It needs a bit of work for the price.

Sara - I have a number of good choices, where some people could claim I cannot lose. It is now my gut that needs to see them.

CaptMick - "IF the price is right (just not STUPID CHEAP) the buyers will come. If the price is too high...they won't." Like real estate - too many over bought, over paid and unless it is a collection property cannot afford to sell at the market value. A $70,000 lien on a $47,000 boat is going to stop that boat from going anywhere. I also have changed brokers. Again, a nice guy who was confused between what I could pay, and what I was willing to pay.

Paul - your insight is valuable as always.

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Old 28-07-2009, 07:39   #23
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You're getting Much Closer........


in "search" type in the length You are seeking, sail, used, and dollars high-low window (say $55k-$1.) when that result of 280 boats (or a thousand I don't know?) pops up, keep in mind all these boats You're looking at the asking price, there's a 10% brokerage commission factored on that, the brokers, like any commissioned sales person only gets a DIME when You CLOSE (ergo they're motivated for offers) and if You start on the last page, working from CHEAPEST to most expensive in "reverse", it may just be a real eye opener. They aren't necessarily old (although that's something You weren't scared of), they aren't necessarily abused, sometimes they're just estate sales (people do die), outgrown, 2 boat owners, no updated (or just almost no) electronics (<-my dream, others choices often do "nothing" for my "reach for wallet" motivation), medical/health issues (legitmately...folks w/5 way bypasses are routinely told...don't be more than 30 min. from a good ER/CCU for, oh, say, "THE REST OF YOUR LIFE"; puts the cabosh on those big plans of cruising the carribean..."some day"...ntm, there's a bunch of medical bills now), the "deals" are out there, come & go daily, You've already narrowed Your focus, refined Your budget, changed brokers (all normal in the progression of getting closer) so shock Yourself w/the search & remember that a "buyers broker" still has 2 goals in mind...
1-sell the house's listed boats 1st;
2-get as much money out of You for the boat You buy as possible;
Neither is necessarily in Your best interest. You don't really "need" a buyers broker with the tools out there today & all the time You've already expended familiarizing Yourself with them over the recent past...You know how to prepare an offer, contingencies of satisfactory survey(hull), sea trial, insurance acquisition, clear title, blah...
Former poster was right...keep searching, trust Your GUT, & don't be afraid to travel on a moments notice. Sometimes the price cut was yesterday, You're aboard (& impressed) today & close next week. When EVERYTHING is right...You just 'know' it.
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Old 28-07-2009, 08:24   #24
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Here ya go

Here is the boat that meets all your qualifers, I looked at it a few weeks back. High quality, appears to be fully refit and bullet proof at sea with shallow draft.

The owner has done an elegant job with the refit and from all appearances it has it all. To my way of thinking it needs a 3 blade prop and roller furling. Condition of sails..???. Also needs Air Conditioning.

1977 Fantasia Sail Boat For Sale -
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Old 28-07-2009, 18:15   #25
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I respectfully disagree with the 6' draft for the Chesapeake particularly if you are in the Annapolis area. In the lower bay (VA) that my be OK but from Solomon's on up you are limited at 6'.
For instance:
Can't cross the Swan Point Bar to take the shortcut to Rock Hall or Gratitude.
Can't get into Fairlee Creek (well maybe barely if at high tide)
Can't go past the Worton entrance very far (definitely not to the fuel dock at Buck Neck)
Norman Creek on Middle River, Southern part of Kent Narrow into Prospect Bay,
etc. etc
I can give you a long list of places like this if you want, but in my experience in the upper bay (30+ years) 5" max is best with 4'6" better. I draw 4'8" with the board up and have bumped around a good bit.
Just my $0.02
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Old 08-08-2009, 08:48   #26
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UPDATE on the search

As people correctly pointed out, part of the issue was making the actual decision. So, I took the advice to stop looking and start touching. Over the last week or so we looked at 12 boats and with all the looking wandered into one that we have a sale pending.
For background:
- We contacted each of the listing brokers, so these were all boats where the broker listing the boat is the one we met.
- We had pre-screened the boats as best we could and were looking a specific types (33-35', diesel, little teak, fiberglass, good engine records, no structural issues).
- We knew what we wanted in the boat for its intended use, to keep the crew happy.
- I took my toolbox, flashlight, camera and a list pulled from Don Casey's book. We did a deep dive on each one to looking for cracks, crazing, leaks, check the engine, water, bilges, rudders props, etc. We looked at plates and rigging, bulkhead tabbing, opened cushions for mold, looked at seacocks and heads, traced wires to see how they were setup and looked in every crack a light or mirror could see into looking for water. Everything we could visually inspect we did. (Much to the surprise of a couple of brokers)
- The intent was to compare everything we could on an equal basis. If we found nothing acceptable, we knew we would need to evaluate our criteria - maybe we were expecting too much for $50k? We were not kicking tires per se, but something would really need to be exceptional to make us jump.
- Some brokers suggested other boats, which we also looked at during the trek.

Here is what I would say of my "on the decks experience."
- If you are selling you should have someone call and test the broker. I would be bothered by a listing broker who was selling my boat but had never seen it or who knew only as much as the Yacht World listing.
- Most while polite were unenthusiastic at talking about boats under $70,000. I suspect if sales were brisk we might have been pushed off by one or two who would not be bothered. [I was told it works much like real estate agents. The listing house get's half, the agents gets half, if they have another house, the agent could end up with a quarter or less of the commission. Can anyone verify this?]
- People think a lot more of their own boats than brokers. That can be good, for putting a boat in perspective. However, I could not help think, especially in one case, that I was again being pushed to buy a little higher by being shown the worst of what is available in my price.
- There are some pearls out there. I saw a Sabre 34, where water had run down the mast and damaged the floor (badly), the teak needed to be refinished and it needed a good cleaning. However, it also had brand new standing and running rigging and new sails. The deck was solid and I could not find water leaking in anywhere (beyond the mast). Someone bought it, made the initial fixes and was forced to sell. If you love a Sabre 34, look for YW# 6944-1967950. One warning Ė you will need to fix the floor and the engine has unknown hours.

So, out of 12, we found three with potential. Two sold in the two weeks we were checking(a Bristol 35 and another Sabre 34). The Sabre above might have been a fourth, if I was more familiar/comfortable with installing a new floor, the layout was like the first and the engine checked out. The remaining one we are discussing with the broker and owner, but we continue hitting the decks, with two more scheduled for this week.

What has being on the decks taught me?
- Boats are more impressive on the water. They just look better sitting their afloat. I cannot explain it, maybe its me, but I feel it. Having said that, "on the hard,Ē was nicer when actually inspecting because it was easier to see all the below the waterline things. I felt I was more comfortable than the ones in the water where the keel, paint, and thru hulls were impossible to see.
- If they are not showing interior pictures on the listing, it is probably for a good reason.
- I do not understand people selling boats without any prep work. People who left everything on the boat, sealed it tight and then tried to sell it. Words cannot describe the smells. It is difficult to see the potential when all you want is fresh air to stop gagging. Or, people who don't bother to clean up the sinks, head, etc. 15 minutes with a cleaner makes one boat stand way above its competitors. Would they sell a car or a house without a clean up? I understand the deck will get grime, but inside? Spend a couple of hours and I bet it could be a faster sale and even thousands in an offer. I don't get it. If you cannot do it, pay someone to do it.
- Charcoal is your friend as a seller. A couple of boats had taken charcoal, one the kind you buy for fish tanks, the other regular grilling charcoal (not with started added), and you could not smell anything. It may have been that way regardless but it was impressive, after gagging through one.
- If your boat is listed on Yacht World,, etc. review the listing and have the broker fix it. Spelling errors, incomprehensible paragraphs, missing information, etc. need to be corrected. If you are not listing it (like hours on the engine, or holding tank size), buyers presume the worst. Brokers who have spelling errors should just be embarrassed.

So there is my first take. My number seems OK. Another $30k may improve things, but when would it make things worse? It has been great to get out and see the boats. While 3 in 12 sounds OK, I am hoping the percentages get better with time and we have two more to inspect this week.

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Old 08-08-2009, 09:11   #27
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Well done, Kefaa. I'm a bit confused however. Did you say you have a sale pending?

Good work with the pre-survey inspection. Did you use Casey's "Inspecting the Aging Sailboat" or something else? It's invaluable and I'm amused but not surprised that brokers were surprised at your thoroughness. I had a similar experience using that technique last time I bought a boat.

Brokers. Most of them are frankly useless. If you find one that knows the boat you are interested in and gives you lots of information about it, that's about all you can expect. Sad, but that's the way it goes.

You might want to start researching surveyors now. Get recommendations, etc. After some screening contact the ones of interest and start talking with them. Let them know what you expect from them and have very high standards. Make sure they are good with diesels and will give the engine a thorough workout during the survey.
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Old 08-08-2009, 09:13   #28
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PS... why is it you have not looked at any for sale by owner boats? Lots of great bargains on ebay, etc. And I think you are seeing how useless brokers are, generally so why pay a higher price so they get a commission?
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Old 08-08-2009, 09:36   #29
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Well, there you go Arenít you a lot more knowledgeable now, and beginning to sort the wheat from the chaff? Veni, vidi, veci.
Broker motivation is precisely the same as real estate, except we donít get 10% commissions to split.
The boat buying process is as much about people as it is about the actual boat, as you are finding out. Keep going and donít be rushed, and above all do not fall in love with any vessel !
Three weeks ago I went to look at a boat for the second time in Seattle, from Orlando, Florida, and made a written offer which they have been messing me about with ever since. I have just written to the broker and told him to forget it Ė Iím moving on. And so should you, when you meet objections you canít overcome, either financial, personal, or the boat.
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Old 08-08-2009, 09:54   #30
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Originally Posted by Jolly Roger View Post
Well, there you go Aren’t you a lot more knowledgeable now, and beginning to sort the wheat from the chaff? Veni, vidi, veci.
Broker motivation is precisely the same as real estate, except we don’t get 10% commissions to split.
The boat buying process is as much about people as it is about the actual boat, as you are finding out. Keep going and don’t be rushed, and above all do not fall in love with any vessel !
Three weeks ago I went to look at a boat for the second time in Seattle, from Orlando, Florida, and made a written offer which they have been messing me about with ever since. I have just written to the broker and told him to forget it – I’m moving on. And so should you, when you meet objections you can’t overcome, either financial, personal, or the boat.
Excellent advice.
Kefaa, there can be "hiccups" in every transaction, You know the difference between minor & major...minor is the engine needs a new alternator, or voltage regulator...major is a new ENGINE!
When the point is reached where the seller refuses to concede, YOU REFUSE to concede (because there's a better deal rolling around in Your head, OR it just doesn't "feel right" any longer) in the advice above. Walk away. In a few wks it will have all made sense for that "more perfect" boat, at a more perfect price/terms will float in to view.

Another poster's thoughts should be adhered to as well...don't rule out the FSBO's, gr8 deals are out there & many sellers, dealt w/directly are EASIER to work w/than brokers. You don't know if You don't try/expand Your horizons(& fyi, is exclusively brokerage listed boats). The plethora of FSBO sailboat sites for searching is more than this thread could list & probably more than You'd have time to search withOUT either getting a divorce or losing a job (or both).
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