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Old 26-10-2020, 23:34   #1
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Purchasing ex-charter 2012 Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 439

After finishing the RYA Day Skipper course, and having spent close to an year looking at boat listings, I've finally settled on a boat and signed the contract (subject to survey and sea trial). In fact, I'm doing the sea trial in a couple hours with the surveyor aboard.

I know, I'm bucking the trend by not buying a 40 years old project boat that requires 3 years to rebuild. I'd rather pay more upfront and be sailing the day after I take possession.

I'm hoping it will go well, I really like the layout of the boat. The particular vessel is the 4 cabin version with not many extras (no electric winches or A/C, she does have an electric windlass though), which I prefer, and the shoal draught keel, which I don't. Had some minor cosmetic issues when I looked at it in person but no deal breakers, and the broker has committed to fixing "functional defects" and deliver the boat in "charter condition" (this is in writing in the contract). Not exactly sure the definition of the term, but it includes all safety equipment which is a relief.

The immediate concern for me is negotiating any necessary repairs. Or rather, how to deal with the broker if we disagree on whether something is a "functional defect" or not in line with the boat being in charter condition. He's been a nice enough guy so far, but his interest until today was to get me to commit to the purchase. Now that I'm commited, his interests would lean towards saving as much as possible before the handover, since the price is fixed (they will repair the defects rather than lower the price to account for them).

So if anyone has suggestions on how to be firm but polite, I would welcome them. I don't have much experience negotiating boat sales, so I can tell I'm at a disadvantage here.

Actually, I don't have much experience with boats at all, just a life-long longing and a recent impulsive decision to buy. I've got the ten days of hands-on experience from the Day Skipper course (I know how a boat works in theory) and four days in a dinghy. So lots of learning ahead.

The boat is currently in Greece, so I will be spending the winter in the Mediterranean, visiting some family members around here. I was pretty lucky in terms of dodging COVID restrictions so far and managed to avoid catching it, now that I have my own boat I'm relieved I can keep traveling with relatively more freedom.
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Old 26-10-2020, 23:43   #2
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Re: Purchasing ex-charter 2012 Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 439

I would strongly recommend that you ask the surveyor to list those things that need doing to make the boat "charter condition" and then you can simply point to that rather than having to look like you're arguing yourself. The broker can't argue with the surveyor once he's not there and the surveyor's qualifications trump his.
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Old 26-10-2020, 23:50   #3
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Re: Purchasing ex-charter 2012 Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 439

That's a good suggestion. I was already planning to have the surveyor provide a written list, but listing things under "functional" or "charter condition" would be good too. I was also considering, in the event of a big disagreement, that I'd email the company (while implying I was a prospective charterer) and ask if their charters would normally have such and such defect. If they say "no, we maintain our yachts to a high standard and we would not charter a boat with such a defect", then I can provide that as evidence that it needs to be fixed.
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Old 27-10-2020, 02:33   #4
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Re: Purchasing ex-charter 2012 Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 439

The good news is that you are looking at a Jeanneau. While I own a 40 year old Tartan, I like the build on a Jeanneau.

The bad news is that it was a charter. Assuming it is a Yanmar, check the mixing elbow- this is a common failure point. Read up on the recommended engine and sail drive maintenance for that vessel. Then check if it was done. If not, it is not 'charter ready'.

A vessel can be 'charter ready' with a tired jib and a main so worn, it barely will roll back inside the mast. This could be a point of debate. One could argue that if the boat does not sail well because of tired sails, or if running rigging is tired and ready to fail, it is not 'charter ready'.

As Tillsbury said- find a good surveyor. Then be sure to attend the survey. Don't stand back and chat with the broker, check the boat out stem to stern. Be sure to run the engine at WOT, or max RPM for 20 minutes. Better to find an issue with the engine, transmission, etc before closing than after.
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Old 27-10-2020, 08:57   #5
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Re: Purchasing ex-charter 2012 Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 439

Check with the Jeanneau Sailboat Owners Facebook Group for more specific items to look for. There may also be a Jeanneau 439 Group.
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Old 27-10-2020, 09:30   #6
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Re: Purchasing ex-charter 2012 Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 439

Recommend William Walsh as one of the best yacht surveyors in Greece. Very thorough/efficient.
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Old 27-10-2020, 09:47   #7
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Re: Purchasing ex-charter 2012 Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 439

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kian View Post
After finishing the RYA Day Skipper course, and having spent close to an year looking at boat listings, I've finally settled on a boat and signed the contract (subject to survey and sea trial). In fact, I'm doing the sea trial in a couple hours with the surveyor aboard.

I know, I'm bucking the trend by not buying a 40 years old project boat that requires 3 years to rebuild. I'd rather pay more upfront and be sailing the day after I take possession.

I'm hoping it will go well, I really like the layout of the boat. The particular vessel is the 4 cabin version with not many extras (no electric winches or A/C, she does have an electric windlass though), which I prefer, and the shoal draught keel, which I don't. Had some minor cosmetic issues when I looked at it in person but no deal breakers, and the broker has committed to fixing "functional defects" and deliver the boat in "charter condition" (this is in writing in the contract). Not exactly sure the definition of the term, but it includes all safety equipment which is a relief.

The immediate concern for me is negotiating any necessary repairs. Or rather, how to deal with the broker if we disagree on whether something is a "functional defect" or not in line with the boat being in charter condition. He's been a nice enough guy so far, but his interest until today was to get me to commit to the purchase. Now that I'm commited, his interests would lean towards saving as much as possible before the handover, since the price is fixed (they will repair the defects rather than lower the price to account for them).

So if anyone has suggestions on how to be firm but polite, I would welcome them. I don't have much experience negotiating boat sales, so I can tell I'm at a disadvantage here.

Actually, I don't have much experience with boats at all, just a life-long longing and a recent impulsive decision to buy. I've got the ten days of hands-on experience from the Day Skipper course (I know how a boat works in theory) and four days in a dinghy. So lots of learning ahead.

The boat is currently in Greece, so I will be spending the winter in the Mediterranean, visiting some family members around here. I was pretty lucky in terms of dodging COVID restrictions so far and managed to avoid catching it, now that I have my own boat I'm relieved I can keep traveling with relatively more freedom.
I recommend William Walsh as one of the best yacht surveyors in Greece (or elsewhere in the Med) and very experienced in dealing with ex charter yachts.
I bought an ex charter yacht 10 years ago and live in Greece.
A couple of issues you may not have thought about:
- your base. If live aboard or marina/mooring. Cost and availability where you want it
- LOA is more than 12m, so your cruising tax if staying in Greek waters is significant (depending on the intended flag).
- VAT status?

A number more...
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Old 27-10-2020, 10:42   #8
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Re: Purchasing ex-charter 2012 Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 439

Quote:
Originally Posted by spaman View Post
Recommend William Walsh as one of the best yacht surveyors in Greece. Very thorough/efficient.
Hah, what a coincidence. He's the one I hired, we did the survey today. Only issue was the boat spent this past year sitting in the marina (only went out two weeks), and wasn't scrubbed, so there was some growth:



That interfered a bit with the engine test, will put it back in the water on Thursday and test it again, check everything is fine. Aside from that, William said the boat was in great condition, only minor defects found. Boat is essentially ready to sail now. Sails in good condition, hull has no problems (aside from needing a sanding down and new anti-foul applied), engine sounded good, bilges dry, electronics work, and so on.

He was surprised because the boat wasn't properly cleaned before he started the survey (dusty, some litter in the cockpit), so he started with a bad impression, but ended up with very few, minor defects. I seem to have been pretty lucky with the owner too, the broker said the seller rejected three previous offers (all higher than mine) before finally deciding he was ready to part with the boat and taking mine.
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Old 27-10-2020, 11:58   #9
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Re: Purchasing ex-charter 2012 Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 439

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kian View Post
The immediate concern for me is negotiating any necessary repairs. Or rather, how to deal with the broker if we disagree on whether something is a "functional defect" or not in line with the boat being in charter condition. He's been a nice enough guy so far, but his interest until today was to get me to commit to the purchase. Now that I'm commited, his interests would lean towards saving as much as possible before the handover, since the price is fixed (they will repair the defects rather than lower the price to account for them).

So if anyone has suggestions on how to be firm but polite, I would welcome them. I don't have much experience negotiating boat sales, so I can tell I'm at a disadvantage here.
I've only purchased one boat (which I picked up and placed on the roof of my car) but many airplanes. IMHO you really should have laid this out already in the purchase constract.

I have always used a purchase contract that specifies the purchase price, that says buyer will select the surveyor/pre-purchase inspector and

1) Seller will repair at their cost any single discrepancy above $x and all discrepancies above a total of $y (x and y typically $250-500)
2) Specifically calls out "previously undisclosed damage whether known or unknown by seller" (sellers trying to cover damage from a collision or grounding for example will run on this and good riddance)
3) The ability to bail out of the deal is the buyers sole decision if there is something in 1 or 2
4) if buyer bails out because of 1 or 2 OR the seller refuses to make right, then the seller is responsible to pay for the survey/pre-purchase
5) If the buyer bails for any other reason seller gets 10% of the purchase price
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Old 27-10-2020, 12:25   #10
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Re: Purchasing ex-charter 2012 Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 439

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Originally Posted by flightlead404 View Post
I have always used a purchase contract that specifies the purchase price, that says buyer will select the surveyor/pre-purchase inspector and [...]
Yeah, the contract specifies all of that (different wording, but the clauses are essentially the same). The only thing not covered are "cosmetic defects".

What I wonder is to what extent something is "cosmetic" vs "functional". For example, if some non-essential piece of kit is missing (say there are 5 glasses in the cupboard instead of the full set of 6), is that a cosmetic issue or functional? Or more seriously, if the sails are old and past their prime, at what point are they liable for newer sails? If there was a massive tear then it's clear, but if they're not quite at that point, then...?

Fortunately, we did the survey and the boat doesn't have anything seriously wrong. One representative defect I found was that the door to the forward cabin locks from the outside but not from the inside. So the forward cabin can serve as a brig XD Except that you could escape out the deck hatch. We had a laugh at that one.
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Old 27-10-2020, 17:21   #11
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Re: Purchasing ex-charter 2012 Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 439

Got the list of defects from the surveyor. Thought I'd share it to see opinions on the state of the yacht.

- Engine produced white smoke during high rpm testing. It is likely to be due to lack of cooling water flow. However it is necessary to be checked again after launching. The exhaust should be clean even at full rpm.
- Saidrive oil cap/dipstick is chewed up by many uses of pliers and requires replacement.
- Engine panel is in bad condition and the rpm gauge plastic is cracked. Requires refurbishment.
- Bathing ladder clips require replacement.
- Lazy bag is torn at one lazy jack connection.
- Forward cabin hatch windows sunshade/mosquito screen the mosquito screen is missing. The whole unit requires replacement.
- Forward cabin door handle is wrong. The lock is on the outside.
- Forward cabin door holding open catch mechanism does not work.
- Saildrive raw water intake gate valve is seized and requires cleaning. Better to replace with ball valve.
- Galley out valve is seized and requires cleaning.
- EPIRB GME MT403 was missing.
- EPIRB requires annual service. EPIRB battery expired 01/2020 according to the certificate.
- Liferaft requires annual service.
- Fire Extinguishers require annual service.
- Pyrotechnic Flares have expired and require replacement.
- Engine requires annual service and saildrive oil to be changed.
- Port magnetic compass has bubble and requires refilling.
- Anchor windlass remote is sticky from sun deterioration of the plastic and requires replacement.
- Bimni windows are yellow/opaque and require replacement.
- Sprayhood top window is yellow/opaque and requires replacement.
- Antifouling is detaching and requires sanding before re-antifoul.
- Rudder stock retaining collar of steel is with minor corrosion and requires grinding and painting.
- Radar reflector is sun deteriorated and requires replacement.
- Port aft cockpit hatch requires the seal to be stuck back because it is loose.
- Engine digital hours gauge does not work. Replace with analog gauge.

The biggest issue is that, as I said a couple posts up, there was too much growth, likely blocking the heat exchanger water ingress, so the engine test needs to be redone. We will know the true state of the engine after we launch and retest.
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Old 27-10-2020, 18:01   #12
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Re: Purchasing ex-charter 2012 Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 439

Get rid of the gate valve ASAP, replace with ball valve. If through hull fittings are brass, replace with plastic or bronze (preferable). Highest priority.

I hope you can get the owner to do the charter ready ones, they represent quite a lot, new EPIRB ;re-pack liferaft; new flares; fire extinguishers. They very likely often sent the boat out in less than perfect condition, not fixing the door latch or replacing the shade and screen, and the engine panel and dipstick. If you haven't done it, make sure all the refrigeration is working properly.

Are the sails OK?

Expect more issues to turn up. People tend often to be careless with charter boats, and even a good, keen, honest surveyor may miss some things.

Ann
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Old 27-10-2020, 23:42   #13
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Re: Purchasing ex-charter 2012 Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 439

The sails look fine. They're Elvstrøm sails, not sure how old. The genoa looked very good, the main was a bit dirty but looked fine. The main is a fully battened main in a lazybag, so likely more exposed to the elements than the furled genoa.

Regarding the epirb, liferaft, flares, and such, I have the certificate of annual inspections and they only expired around April and June of this year. The owner seemed to have put the boat out of commission for his own reasons, only renting it out to a couple of people he was familiar with at the start of the season, so the charter company didn't renew the inspections since it would not be making money out of the boat this year. They should update the inspections and provide new flares before delivery. On the plus side, I get a whole year before needing to renew the inspections myself.

Also it appears the owner didn't like having the boat be chartered "bare-boat", only with skipper. So that may be part of why she is in good shape.
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Old 27-10-2020, 23:51   #14
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Re: Purchasing ex-charter 2012 Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 439

Good luck with it, mate.

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Old 08-11-2020, 16:41   #15
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Re: Purchasing ex-charter 2012 Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 439

Just picking up on your post, I bought a 44i just off charter service 3 years ago.
I did not have a list of things they needed to make right, I opted to use the list I made for my self to negotiate a better price.
I wanted to do the work to ensure it would be done correctly, not in a rush half assed to get it done and get me gone.
The water systems the most overlooked part of the vessel, get inside the cabinets and take a hose off and see what it looks like inside the hoses, I ended up refitting the whole fresh water system from the fill tank feed to the black water thru hull......I gave me great piece of mind.
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